Hang around a coffee shop long enough and you’ll likely hear a barista mention cupping. No, they’re not talking about competitive cup stacking. Cupping is a century-old quality control technique utilized by coffee producers and roasters alike to evaluate coffee. Thanks to a great new educational video from Cafe Imports, you too can learn how to cup coffee. Watch as roasting guru Joe Marrocco walks you through the basics, including water temperature, brewing ratios, and best practices. Cupping spoons and coffee not included.
Scientists at The University of California Davis have successfully sequenced coffea arabica‘s genome. The findings have been posted to the public database Phytozome.net so the breeders and researchers around the globe can have access to the data. The project, which was funded by the Japanese beverage corporation Suntory, was complicated by the fact coffea arabica has four sets of genomes, twice as many as most plants, including other species of coffee. Researchers chose to sequence UCG-17 Geisha’s genome, an heirloom coffee variety indigenous to Ethiopia but now being grown commercially in California. Geisha varieties are known for disease resistant qualities and researchers hope their finding will help coffee producers fight leaf rust and other diseases. Watch a video and read about the the findings from actual scientists here.
There’s a million ways to pull a bad shot of espresso, but the easiest way is to mess up the tamp. Although it might appear to be a menial task, tamping is essential for an even extraction, i.e. ensuring all of the coffee grounds are saturated with the same amount of water. Any inconsistencies in the bed of coffee grounds and the water will channel, resulting in an unpleasant, astringent espresso.
As a barista educator, I can testify there are few bar skills that take as long to master as tamping. Even veteran baristas tend to tamp at a slight angle, ensuring the full flavor potential of that shot of espresso goes unrealized. Traditional tampers have the further problem of placing a lot of tension on the barista’s wrist. More than one barista I know has needed physical therapy because of repetitive stressed caused by tamping. The UK’s Clockwork Espresso claims to address both of these issues with a revolutionarily simple device they call the PUSH Tamper….
Kickstarter has been a decidedly mixed bag when it comes to coffee. On one hand, it’s given us success stories like Acaia, whose Bluetooth-ready scales have become a fixture in quality-minded cafés. On the other hand, the failures have been numerous– perhaps none more disastrous than the ZPM espresso machine, which after years of delays failed to come to market. The outcry that followed garnered the attention of the New York Times and even motivated Kickstarter to change their policies. …
It can be tough selling a hot beverage in the desert. Against all odds, roasters like Cartel, Press, and Peixoto have long championed locally-roasted coffee in the Phoenix area. But a new wave of cafés are introducing the Valley of the Sun to out-of-state roasters, adding a depth and diversity to the Phoenix coffee scene. On a recent trip to Arizona we visited three Phoenix coffee shops changing the local scene. …
Still looking for the perfect present for that caffeine-addicted person in your life? Don’t worry, we’re one step ahead of you. We’ve compiled a list of presents any barista, roaster, or home brewer would love to have. Our criteria was plenty simple: only pick products we also want for Christmas. From stocking stuffers to major purchases, there’s something on this list for everyone.
Clockwork Espresso PUSH Tamper
From wrist tension to shoulder pain, baristas are prone to all sorts of repetitive stress. This long-awaited tamper Clockwork Espresso promises not only a more ergonomic approach to tamping, but also a more consistently level espresso bed. Did we mention they come in fun bright colors?…
Every coffee professional has had the experience: a coffee blows you away on the cupping table, but subsequent brews don’t measure up. Or perhaps you’ve invited your friends to a cupping, only to see them look confused when you hand them a spoon and spit cup….
Against all odds, the Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series Champions. But when it comes to coffee, Chicago has been a champion for a long time. On our most recent trip to the Windy City these five coffee shops stood out amongst a slew of great options….
When The Voice’s Dave Moisan isn’t busy having Alicia Keys and Adam Levine fight over him, he’s something of a coffee nerd. The Louisville native is known to travel with an Aeropress and Hario handmill. In a recent Youtube video Moisan share his personal tips for making good coffee in a hotel room. His Aeropress technique shows several signs of sophistication, including extreme agitation after a bloom and a flip-and-rotate technique designed to ensure even extraction. Regardless of what happens this season we hope we’ll see Moisan throw his hat in the ring at the US Aeropress Championship. So grab your Aeropress, kettle, and your favorite bag of coffee (Moisan prefers Good Folks), and give Moisan’s technique a try.
Almost everyone owns a French press. The ubiquitous brewing device is prized for its simplicity and yet hated by many coffee aficionados for the sludgy mouthfeel. But according to James Hoffmann, you’re probably using it wrong. In a new brewing guide entitled The Ultimate French Press Technique, Hoffmann explains how to get a rich, fully-extract French press with less of the silt. Everything you thought you knew about press pots will be brought into question!