3 Coffee Resolutions for 2018
Posted by Ernest on Jan. 14, 2018, 2:07 p.m.
Lose weight. Be healthier. Go to bed earlier. Those are fine resolutions for the average person, but here at Hook Coffee, we’re not the average person. Here, we judge success by one measurement alone.
Simply, “How good is the coffee?”
We have nothing against your typical New Year’s Resolutions, but we’d like to provide you with something a little different. Three resolutions you can use to make 2018 your best year of brewing yet!
RESOLUTION #1 : GET SOME RECIPES UNDER YOUR BELT
As you get settled into the new year it’s important to also settle into consistently good cups of coffee. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. The more your brew, the more likely it is you’re going to run into a cup of under-extracted or over-extracted coffee.
When this happens, what can you do to make sure your next cup is better?
Have a couple of recipes up your sleeve!
When the extraction is “off,” odds are you’ve messed up a couple of variables in relation to the particular beans you’re brewing.
Expert brewers know exactly what to change once they mess up, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Instead of endlessly tweaking single variables, one at a time, recipes allow you to replicate good batches of coffee with relative ease. All you have to know is when to use what recipe. It comes with research and practice.
Feel your immersion brew is a little sour, watery, and under-extracted?
No worries! Make a new patch with a recipe you’ve design to counterbalance this particular problem!
If you’ve experimented enough, you should have a recipe that tells you exactly what variables you should change. Maybe, the grind size needs to be a little thicker, the water a little warmer, or the brew ration a little smaller. Tweaking any variable will result in the next coffee tasting different. The more you learn to understand those differences and the variables that make them, the better your cups will taste in the future.
Don’t let 2018 be defined by “so-so cups.” Experiment with different variables now so that you can formulate you’re own go-to recipes. That way, if you ever come across a new bean that doesn’t taste quite right, you’ll know exactly what went wrong and how you can more easily fix it. In this way, you can take all the guess work out of brewing.
When time is limited and you need to carefully dial in a brew for others, having some “preset” recipes can greatly help you make some impressive cups!
RESOLUTION #2: MAKE YOUR POUR MORE CONSISTENT
Just as a lack of recipes can lead to a less than stellar brew, so too can a less than stellar pour.
If you decide to follow the first resolution, you should have a better idea of what goes into a properly extracted cup of coffee. Consistent grind size, water temperature, and proper ratios can go a long way to perfecting a cup. But… there’s one thing that can often get in the way.
The human component.
When it comes to brewing, human error always stands in the way as a potential road block to that perfect cup. Unless you’re using some sort of advanced machinery, no pour is ever going to be the same. To mitigate any potential mistakes, it’s best to lock in a pouring method, that you can practice and replicate.
In the same way an athlete may work on his basketball shot or golf swing, so too will an advanced brewer work on his pour. First, figure out what you want that pour to be and then start practicing it.
Maybe your preferred pouring method is pouring straight into the center of the bloom. Maybe you feel the best path to a uniform gradient is through slow concentric circles that expand outward in a counterclockwise motion. There’s a lot of opinion on the best way to pour. At Hook Coffee, we just feel the most important thing is the consistency of the pour.
This New Year, find a pouring method that works for you and let pouring practice make your cups perfect!
RESOLUTION #3: IMPROVE YOUR GEAR
We’ve said it in the past and we’ll say it again… a good cup of coffee is not made in spite of it’s gear, but because of it! If making coffee is a battle, then you’re gear is your arsenal. Don’t let it’s limitations slow you down in the new year.
First take note of what you have, then take note of what you need. Remember, not all gear is created equal. Some tools is inherently more essential than others. Such as:
A good grinder is essential. If you don’t have one, any beans you received over the Holiday break are currently useless. You can get a solid burr grinder for around $40 or you can go the automatic route and get a solid device upwards of $400. We won’t talk about the cons and benefits of both methods here, but feel free to check out our shop at https://hookcoffee.com.sg/gears/essentials to see what you might like.
If you’re going to have any success narrowing in a recipe you like for a specific bean, it’s imperative you have a scale. That being said, you don’t want just any scale. You’re going to want something that is accurate, reliable, and portable. Find something that meets all three criteria, and you’re good to go.
A solid kettle is essential for home-brewed coffee. A good kettle will not only heat up your grind, but it will be with you every time you pour. Just know you’ll need a goose neck kettle if you’re making coffee using a pour-over method. If you’re just sticking to immersion, any solid kettle will do.
-Pour Over Device
In some ways, your pour-over device will be your most important gear. However, unlike other gear, here you have a multitude of choices to choose from. All you really need to worrying about is making sure you have something that you’ll enjoy brewing with. Maybe you enjoy using the Aeropress more than a V60. Maybe you feel most comfortable with your trusty Clever Dripper. It doesn’t matter what you have, just that you have something you enjoy and trust.
The New Year can be an exciting time, as you try new things and implement new habits. This year, make those new things and habits be about coffee. Get some recipes under your belt, make your pours more consistent, and improve your gear. Follow these resolutions and make 2018 your best year of brewing yet!