If you've been following our articles, you probably know a fair amount about coffee by now.
You've seen how amazing this bean can be, and now you want to learn more. You want to be a true coffee expert.
Firstly, we would like to welcome you to the wonderful world of specialty coffee. To begin the next step on your coffee journey, there are some things that you should know. While you may be somewhat aware of them, to call yourself a true coffee expert, you need to know all about them; inside and out.
These few things will increase your knowledge of coffee to a whole new level. These will give you the necessary tools that you need to make incredible coffee in even more ways.
They will give you the perspective that the world of coffee needs right now.
1. Manual Coffee Brewers are Worth the Time and Energy
While the drip coffee brewing system is a great start, it is not where your coffee journey should end.
To reach the next level in your knowledge and understanding, you will need to graduate from the regular drip coffee system. There is a certain amount of robustness and richness that can't be matched by drip brewers.
They will allow you to get a better understanding of the coffee brewing process, up close and personal.
They force you to take a moment of peace and serenity while you are brewing your coffee. They give you a better appreciation for the smaller (yet important) things in life.
This can be as simple as understanding and appreciating the coffee brewing process.
I'll admit, the convenience and hands-off approach utilized by a drip brew are great. That said, for a coffee expert, it isn't about convenience. An experience that comes from brewing an amazing cup of coffee, from beginning to end, is where it is at.
The coffee expert's daily experience begins with grinding your beans and ends with the last sip of that amazing cup of coffee.
It is time for yourself to enjoy your surroundings while you sip on your coffee.
A mindful experience where you take in all the aromas, flavors, and sights. Regardless of the type of manual brewer you are using (french press, Aeropress, or a pour-over), each one works differently and will change the way that you approach coffee.
Additionally, each brewer will yield a different result.
For instance, french press coffee is going to be robust and on the heavy side, while pour-over coffee is lighter and has brighter flavor tones. Aeropress coffee is the most versatile and can be whatever you are wanting for that day.
There is a sort of coffee renaissance going on as relates to manual brewers, and it isn't difficult to see why.
2. Learn to Really Taste Coffee
Depending on the region that the beans were farmed and cultivated in, coffee can take on a completely different taste.
This is not surprising when you think about it: coffee is an agricultural product. The flavor of the bean will change depending on the surrounding environment. A lot of aspects can attribute the change in flavor, such as the soil, climate, health, and variety of the plant itself.
Also, the harvesting, processing, and roasting methods will alter the flavor even further.
For instance, have you ever tasted a coffee that has flavor tones similar to blueberry, rose, or even honey and cardamom?
These flavors are out there, and all you have to do is awaken and train your tastebuds to recognize them. I can't recommend enough learning the coffee tasting skill.
It may take some time, but it is well worth the effort. It will also deepen your understanding and appreciation for coffee and its farmers that make it all possible.
3. Avoid Bad Coffee Products
Because of the increasing popularity of coffee worldwide, there are a lot of cheaper and gimmicky products that have been introduced into the market.
These should be avoided; look past the lies, false promises, and low quality. For instance, steam espresso machines imitate the design of the traditional espresso machine that was created more than a century ago.
They are sold at most major retailers, but interestingly enough nobody has been a fan of them. They were not great sellers when they were first introduced, and that holds by today's standards as well.
Despite not making any sense at all, weight loss coffee products still are gaining popularity. The truth is that all coffee, when consumed with a healthy lifestyle and without harmful additives such as cream and sugar, can help you lose weight.
There is nothing special or particularly unique about this "weight loss coffee".
Drip brewers that feature a lot of settings and buttons are designed to give you a false sense of control over your brewing. However, most of these settings are in and of themselves misleading.
They don't let you have even a fraction of control that manual brewers do, and you won't learn anything about the coffee brewing process from using them.
Single-serve coffee makers such as Keurig and Nespresso are everywhere these days While they are the most convenient coffee machines out there, they fail in every other regard.
Compared to fresh coffee that is ground from specialty beans, the coffee that is made is stale and lifeless.
They make better tasting gas station coffee, and the waste they make is extremely harmful to the environment.
4. Buying Habits Have an Impact on Coffee Farmers
For better or worse, your coffee buying habits have a direct impact on coffee farmers around the globe.
And to make it worse, the global coffee market right now is not in the best shape. Coffee farmers are changing what they are growing and leaving coffee beans behind to cultivate, harvest, and sell other types of crops.
For instance, in Bolivia, there are a lot of farmers that are leaving the coffee industry to grow coca; which is a stimulant derived from cocaine.
While in Ethiopia, they lack the necessary resources to adapt to climate change. Around the world, coffee farmers are barely making ends meet, let alone turning a profit.
It is simple, but you can help better the lives of millions around the world by buying your coffee specialty from roasters that value economic and environmental stability and sustainability.
Buying your coffee from roasters who are not forthright about where the coffee came from and keep the farms hidden from view is a sure-fire way to keep great roasters from doing their work.
5. Never Buy Anything Besides Whole Bean Coffee
There is nothing better than whole bean coffee.
Coffee beans are only at their peak freshness for 2-3 weeks after being roasted (not packaged).
During this period, they are full of flavor, exude rich aromas, and the acids are clean and crisp. This is the kind of coffee that brings you to life on those difficult weekdays and brings joy to your taste buds.
And it is extremely easy to obtain.
To keep the coffee fresh, a coffee grinder is your best option, and in my opinion the only option. Ground coffee is only fresh for up to 30 minutes; meaning before you even buy the bag, it has already gone stale. If you ask any coffee expert what their most valuable kitchen tool is they will without a doubt say a coffee grinder.
Only buy the beans as a whole and grind the amount needed for your day. This is how you can brew coffee that is out of this world, and it is a quick step that you can do easily.
Amazing coffee is within your grasp; simply grab your coffee grinder and embrace the journey.