I’ve longed bemoaned the fact most tourists visiting Istanbul don’t make it to Balat, the old Jewish quarter. In addition to its colorful row houses and historic synagogues, Balat is home to one of my favorite coffee shops, Coffee Department. The roaster/retailer has set themselves apart as one of the strongest brands in a very crowded marketplace, due in no small part to founder Metin Benbasat’s tireless dedication to quality. Benbasat is a longtime resident of Nişantaşı, so it makes sense he would open his second café closer to home….
Archives for January 2019
I spent the better part of my twenties in Louisville, Kentucky, a city that, by all accounts, punches above its weight class. From fast casual barbecue to white tablecloth Mayan food, the culinary scene is surprisingly diverse, spurred on by low cost of living and a young, culturally-aware population. Many of the most exciting restaurants and cafés are independent, DIY passion projects– a little rough around the edges but driven by a salt-of-the-earth, Midwestern work ethic, with a generous portion of Southern hospitality. (As a river city straddling the Mason-Dixon line, Louisville is geographically, and culturally, confused.)
Ales Pospisil has been to a lot of coffee shops. The cofounder of the website European Coffee Trip has compiled the most extensive regional catalogue of specialty coffee shops we’ve seen anywhere. But the Czech-native’s latest project is even more ambitious. Pospisil recently produced Aeropress Movie, a medium-length documentary about the cult brewing device. We viewed a screening of the film and were impressed by its engaging story, uncovering surprisingly bits of information about one of our favorite brewing devices. We caught up with Pospisil to ask him what it was like to meet legendary inventor Alan Adler, and, of course, how does he brew an Aeropress….
This week I was perusing Instagram and came upon a surprising coffee recommendation from author and consultant Scott Rao. According to Rao, when making coffee with manual-fill batch brewers, such as our favorite, the Bonavita 1901, filling the tank with cold water can help slow the brew cycles, increasing extraction (i.e. more delicious coffee flavor).
This tip is surprising because water temperature is one of the key variables that affects coffee extraction. Overwhelmingly, most manual-fill batch brewers struggle to get the water hot enough. (And don’t get us started with baristas brewing your $5 pour-over with too cool water.) In fact, we’ve long heard coffee experts recommend the opposite: preheat your brew water to help the machine get it to temperature.