Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

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How to Use Coffee Recipes to Brew Better Coffee

In the last couple years, I have been writing considerably less on the blog. I have, however, still been brewing copious amounts of coffee. I’ve done some traveling and explored new coffee products during my intermission. These experiences have made me more keenly aware of a coffee brewing truth that impacts everyone who crowdsources their coffee information: Everyone’s brewing set-up has different variables and thus you should approach coffee recipes with a bit of skepticism. 

What is a Coffee Recipe?

Some of you are scratching your heads right now trying to figure out why you would need a recipe for brewing coffee beyond ground coffee beans plus water equals happiness

For the purpose of this post, a coffee recipe is going to be defined as detailed instructions on making a cup of coffee with a particular brewing method. This may be more specific and include a particular coffee from a particular roaster or more general and just talk about the brewing method itself.

Coffee recipes generally include a grind size (fine, medium, coarse), coffee dosage, brewing time and other techniques such as stirring or number of pouring pulses. 

Why Coffee Recipes Don’t Always Translate Well

Two products come to mind that show just how large the gap between nearly identical brewing set-ups can be. A few small differences may seem insignificant but they really can drastically change the results of a meticulously followed coffee recipe. 

Those products are Third Wave Water and the Kruve Sifter. While this post isn’t about the products in detail and reviews of them, here is what I learned from simply tinkering with them for a few years. 

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Atlas Coffee Club Review- Exploring and Tasting Coffee Origins

Last month, Atlas Coffee Club sent me some samples of their geography inspired coffee subscription program for feedback and as a possible blog post topic. I found their program and mission statement to be interesting and thought it might be something my readership would enjoy.

Since I started roasting my own coffee, the impact of geography on nearly every aspect of how a coffee tastes has fascinated me. Many consumers have a tendency to overlook the importance of coffee origin on the final product.  Climate, altitude, available facilities, local traditions and access to water are all part of the coffee story. These geographical factors (and many more) have a significant influence. Coffee travels a great distance and is touched by many hands before it ends up in your coffee mug. 

Atlas Coffee Club is on a mission to change how consumers think about coffee by spotlighting the coffee-geography link.

What is Atlas Coffee Club?

Atlas Coffee Club is a monthly coffee subscription service with an emphasis on the places where coffee grows. This company is hoping to move coffee lovers away from buying coffee at the grocery store and introduce them to single origin coffees from some of the fifty plus countries where coffee is grown.

They source their coffee through direct relationships with farmers and specialty coffee importers. So far the company has featured over twenty different countries including some pretty unique origins— Myanmar, Zambia, Ecuador, Malawi. Atlas coffee club cups over 300 specialty coffees a year and only shares their 12 favorites.

The coffee of the month subscription box is designed to feature a single country every month. They are self proclaimed  “coffee tour guides” desiring to showcase coffee destinations. Each month you’ll get the opportunity to explore a coffee region by sampling high quality coffee. These coffees are sourced with seasonality in mind and to highlight the qualities each locale has to offer. 

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Bourbon Barrel Coffee-An Interesting Trend. Is It Worth Checking Out?

Recently, I was corresponding with a coffee company and they mentioned their bourbon infused coffee was one of their top sellers. This surprised me. If you keep tabs on a few favorite coffee roasters or get the occasional promotion coffee email, you might have noticed this trend too. More and more roasters are advertising bourbon barrel coffee programs and featuring bourbon infused coffee. 

I poked around on the internet a bit and was bombarded with companies doing bourbon coffees. You can find coffee infused with Blanton’s and Jack Daniel’s. There are even infused K-cups (these are likely done with artificial flavorings). Good Folk’s roasts a coffee for Pappy and Co. that is aged in Old Pappy barrels. 

It is not just bourbon either. Roasting companies are featuring tequila, rum, red wine, white wine and plain ol’ whiskey infused coffees. 

If you don’t know much about bourbon barrel coffees you may have a few questions: How did this bourbon and spirits infusion trend get started? What exactly is bourbon barrel coffee? Are spirit infused coffees different from flavored coffees? And maybe most importantly, does the finished product contain any alcohol? 

Let me unpack some of these questions. 

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