It’s not just a new year but a new decade, and we intend to kick it off drinking fantastic coffee. In 2020 we hope to not just increase the quality of coffee we drink, but our quality of life with these five resolutions.
Waste Zero Coffee
If you’re anything like us, your pantry has 3-4 different bags of whole bean coffee, each with less than 20 grams left. Rather than tossing the remnants, we were inspired by coffee marketing expert Jenn Chen to make impromptu blends. Not only does this cut down on waste, it often creates fantastic flavor combinations. Not into blends? You can make a traditional cup of Turkish coffee with only 7-8 grams of coffee if you have a copper cezve.
Stop Underextracting Coffee
Last year we picked up a coffee from one of our favorite Midwestern roasters, but were disappointed by the first few brews. Rather than sweet and juicy, it was flat and oddly vegetal. A quick reading with a refractometer revealed the culprit (though we ought to be able to guess). The coffee was only 18% extracted– within the Specialty Coffee Association’s gold cup standards, but on the lower edge. We tightened the grind a notch or two, and, presto, 20% extraction and a lot more sweetness.
The exercise revealed the importance of dialing-in each coffee you brew, as origin and roasting styles have an enormous impact on solubility.
Drink Different Origins
Like many coffee professionals, we have a trifecta of favorite coffee origins: Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. But more and more microlots are coming out of origins once only known for commodity coffee. In 2020, we pledge to get out of comfort zone, and drink a wider array of origins.
Try New Roasters
In a similar manner, we’ve learned through trial and error which roasters we trust to bring out the full potential of each coffee. When faced with an array of coffees to buy, we tend to settle on one of these few esteemed brands. But one of the most memorable coffees we drank in 2019 was some a small, unknown mico-roaster well off the beaten path. Roasting coffee requires skills and experience, but it’s not exactly brain surgery. It’s time we gave some small roasters the benefit of the doubt. (Please, no green-tasting underdeveloped roasts though!)
Drink More Coffee with Friends
Coffee has always been a social beverage. Unfortunately, at some point we bought into the notion that coffee is primarily a stimulate for coping with loss of sleep and increasing productivity. Perhaps it’s no accident that people are lonelier than ever. In 2020, we’re resolving to carve out more time for meaningful conversations over a cup of coffee with friends and family.