If your New Year’s Resolution is learning how to make coffee from a world barista champion, you’re in luck. A new video series from Gwilym Davies and European Coffee Trip offers just that opportunity. Davies is the 2009 World Barista Champion and co-founder of London’s Prufrock Coffee. These days Davies is running a barista training center outside of Prague, which doubles as a film studio for this series of instructional videos. Over the course of the series, Gwilym breaks down the fundamentals of espresso preparation, including dosing, tamping, and equipment maintenance. The series is being released in installments, so be sure to sign up for notifications for when each video is released. With more and more resources like this becoming available for baristas worldwide, we can only expect 2015 to be the best year for specialty coffee yet.
Archives for December 2014
Grinders are the unsung hero of the specialty coffee industry. They may not be as sexy as a new espresso machine or a custom made kettle, but without them even the best barista wouldn’t get very far. We caught up with the man who makes sure those burrs keeping spinning: Kyle Ramage of Mahlkönig USA.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do at Mahlkönig?
So, yeah firstly we are a really small company here in the US. Despite our huge footprint in the US there are …
The Eastern Regional of the US Aeropress Championship will take place in Louisville, KY on January 31, 2015. Louisville-based micro roaster Quills Coffee will host the event, in partnership with sponsors Prima Coffee, Mahlkönig USA, and The Coffee Compass. In each round of the bracket style tournament competitors will have eight minutes to make a single cup of coffee with an Aeropress. A panel of judges select the best cup to advance in a blind tasting.
Competitors will have access to a Mahlkönig EK-43, a Bonavita Variable Temperature kettle, and have the option of using their own coffee or a coffee provided by Quills. The top 3 contestants will automatically earn a spot at the US Aeropress Championship. Prizes include a free trip to the national competition for the winner. Individuals interested in competing in the competition can register at easternaeropress.tumblr.com.
Just when we thought the manual pour over movement had peaked, notNeutral’s Gino Dripper burst on the scene in early 2014. Todd Goldsworthy used the device to win the 2014 U.S. Brewers Cup, the same weekend it received the award for best new product at the SCAA’s tradeshow. We’ve been using Not Neutral’s coffee mugs since their first Intelligentsia collaboration. So when our sponsors at Prima Coffee gave us the opportunity to test a Gino Dripper it felt like Christmas had come a little early….
Field of barista dreams
For career baristas, coffee competitions are where dreams are made and hearts are broken. To the winners belong respect, accolades, and some really cool swag. To the losers, disappointment and the agonizing wait until next year. Amidst a highly competitive regional competition circuit, one home barista defied the odds and qualified for the US Brewers Cup Championship. It’s exceedingly rare for an independent home barista to compete. For someone with no professional experience to place in the top six is unheard of. But then again, Mikey Rinaldo is no ordinary person….
A Foodie Favorite
We have a fairly simple policy for finding tasty coffee in Arizona: go where Bryan Schiele goes. The mustachioed software engineer has a caffeine tolerance that could drink most baristas under the table, and a palate as refined as a master sommelier’s. As anyone who follows his fantastic blog already knows, the guy drinks a lot of coffee. So when Bryan invited us to visit Crepe Bar with him, we didn’t have to think twice. …
With more than a week left, designer Tyler Deeb has already successfully funded his second Kickstarter project. Coil is a device that flash chills coffee without diluting the brew. Tyler enlisted the Coffee Compass to beta test his prototype, and we were very impressed. Our brews featured a depth of flavor and a balance of acidity and sweetness we had yet to experience in an iced coffee. Needless to say, we’re excited to see this device go into production. We met with Tyler and asked him a few questions about …
The Crossroads of America
Some would say it’s long overdue, others would say it’s long been underrated. Either way, Indianapolis’s food and beverage scene is gaining some serious momentum. Recent openings like Thunderbird and Milktooth prove that Hoosiers have a growing appetite for craft drinks. And as one of the Heartland’s largest cities, it’s not surprising that Indiana’s capital has attracted outside interest. It just so happens one of those companies is my other place of employment, Quills Coffee. …
Super Food Meets Super Coffee
If there’s anything hotter than specialty coffee right now, it’s chia seeds. The omega-3 rich super food is popping up in everything lately. It was only a matter of time before someone tried to mix it with nature’s other miracle, coffee. Thankfully, Chia Pod and Intelligentsia have risen to the occasion, and they were kind enough to send us a sample in exchange for our opinion. In our experience Intelligentsia only puts their name on quality products (like this Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream collaboration). Plus, as a barista, I’ve never been one to turn down free food….
The Search for the Perfect Kettle
A good gooseneck kettle is an essential tool for making pour over coffee. Like many baristas, our first gooseneck kettle was the ubiquitous Hario Bueno Kettle. Still a fixture of budget-conscious cafés everywhere, it’s not a bad little kettle for the price point. It has temperature stability issues, but pours water slowly- which is what matters most. Pragmatically, there’s no kettle we recommend more than Bonavita’s Variable Temperature Kettle. It has unparalleled temperature control and incredible insulation, but it’s probably not going to win any design competitions. More aesthetically minded baristas have long preferred the Takahiro, which pours like a dream and works well with induction burners. But recently a new kettle on Bryan Schiele’s blog caught our eye….