A few months ago we published a short post admiring our friend Brian Schiele’s Monarch Methods Kettle. Someone must have read the article, because my coworkers at Quills Coffee surprised me with one as a graduation present. I was taught to never look a gift horse in the mouth, but considering how fortunate I feel to get my hands on one of these Canadian-imports, I couldn’t help but share my thoughts about the Monarch Methods Kettle 500ml….
Coffee Product Reviews
The most important piece of brewing equipment you own is your grinder. As we’ve written elsewhere, there are many great reasons to invest in a hand grinder. If, like us, your life philosophy is “if you’re going to get wet you might as well swim,” then you’re probably looking for the most hardcore hand grinder on the market. It’s hard to find a more serious piece of equipment than the Orphan Espresso Lido 2.
At $175.00 the Lido 2 isn’t cheap, but it features specs that normally are only found on a commercial grade coffee grinder. Larger burrs mean a more consistent grind size, and the Lido 2 features 48mm Italian steel burrs- far larger than almost all its competitors. Another plague of hand grinders is the inconsistent particle sizes due to wobbly axles. The Lido 2’s dual axle eliminates the inconsistencies and ensures an even grind. The Lido 2 also offers a remarkable amount of control over the grind with stepless adjustment. This is especially helpful when …
Acaia Lunar Espresso Scale
Good coffee doesn’t happen by accident. When it comes to quality, precision is critical. Nowhere is this more evident than espresso. Even a half gram difference in dose or yield can have a marked effect on flavor. For espresso, we’re big fans of the American Weigh Sc-2Kg. It’s small, cheap, fast, and accurate, but it has one Achille’s heel: even a small amount of moisture will destroy it. I’ve seen many a barista ruin a scale with a careless steam wand purge or a sloppy pouring technique. But the latest product from coffee tech start-up Acaia promises to be a “barista-proof” scale. In addition to being waterproof, the Lunar offers…
The thought has crossed the mind of every serious coffee nerd: Can I roast my own coffee? We’ve debated it enough times that when we first stumbled upon a picture of the Huky 500, we were infatuated. The device looked like something between a hotrod and a spaceship – a vehicle to a new world of coffee knowledge and experience. When we found out roasting guru Joe Marrocco owns and endorses the Huky 500, we didn’t need anymore incentive to empty our piggy banks and place the order.
The Huky 500 is fabricated by Kuanho Li in Taiwan. Mr. Li does not have a website, just an email address. Judging by the serial number on our Huky, that …
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….
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….
I began my lifestyle blog with something that is pretty central to it; and that is coffee. Being a stimulant, I find that coffee easily becomes a catalyst for conversation, creative thoughts and ideas.
Especially over the past year or two, I’ve had a bit of reawakening for the drink. It’s gone from the necessary morning wake-up routine, to a soothing break midway through an afternoon. But I’m obviously not alone with this thinking – and when you have a city like London, populated with citizens and travellers who all demand a coffee that ticks a number of boxes that other coffeehouses can’t, a problem arises. This is where Blue Crow’s London Speciality Coffee Map comes into play….
Burr coffee grinders aren’t sexy, but they should be. In fact, your grinder is the most important piece of coffee brewing equipment you own. As a barista, I’m always a little surprised when a customer will brag about their $2,000 home espresso machine, only to ask me to pre-grind their coffee. It’s a provable scientific fact: you can make a better cup of coffee with …