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Ditting and Mahlkonig Grinders at Evansville Coffee Company

Coffee Grind Size – A Visual Guide

What’s the right grind for your coffee? The answer is simple–it’s whatever tastes the best to you. But if I just stopped now, there would be no reason for this notebook entry, so let’s forge onward! Coffee grind size matters because you will always get the best results with the right grind for the brew […]

Which has more caffeine? Light Roast or Dark Roast?

This question comes up so often, that I feel it needs a more lengthy response than my typical “If you judge by volume, light roast, if you judge by weight, dark roast”. Even this response requires an explanation, so let’s dive in! Caffeine is one of many compounds found in green coffee, as well as […]

what is espresso

What is Espresso?

Americans are such innovators. If we don’t invent it, we improve it and make it our own. Nothing can be more illustrative than with the example of espresso. This liquor of potent coffee extraction is a quintessentially Italian beverage made possible by early 20th century invention. Names like Bezzera, Pavoni, Gaggia and Arduino—popular today because […]

coffee refractometer

Measuring Coffee Strength

When I started roasting coffee, I became more concerned than ever with a mountain of details related to brewing. After all, how could I judge the quality of my roasts if I couldn’t be assured that I was brewing coffee under optimum conditions? This wasn’t a question for me previously, since I was only brewing […]

Attention Chefs! Do you treat your coffee the same as your entreé?

As I talk with more restaurant owners, I am learning that coffee is often a required menu item that does not get much forethought. In the old days, it was typical to have a simple “Bunn” style coffee brewer and glass carafe pots warmed on a heating element and refilled as needed. This has led […]

The Importance of Tamping Pressure

You’re a barista. Maybe at home, or maybe you’ve been working in a shop, and you hear all sorts of theories about how to tamp your espresso, ultimately deciding that how you tamp, doesn’t really matter that much. I’m here to tell you, that it matters a great deal, and the reason is not among […]

Do You Buy Ground Coffee?

Your coffee-loving friends have already told you that it’s a bad idea to buy ground coffee. They say it’s not as fresh, that ground coffee goes stale quickly. But hey, you’ve been drinking coffee for years, buying it already ground, and you’ve been perfectly happy with it, right?

Is Blue Bottle Single-Serve Coffee For You?

My friend Ahmed (who happens to be a barista at Honey Dew Coffee) surprised me with a gift yesterday, a serving of Blue Bottle Coffee’s new “perfectly ground” pre-ground coffee pack. This is their Bella Donovan Blend, ground for pour-over. If you haven’t heard of Blue Bottle’s pre-ground coffee, don’t fret. Blue Bottle, an icon […]

Let’s Make Americanos Great Again!

Everyone who has ever served me at an espresso shop knows I’m picky about how I order Americanos. I always ask about their recipe first, so I can determine how many shots to how much water. They always get it wrong. Every. Single. Time.

What Makes a Perfect Espresso?

There’s espresso and then there’s Espresso! Seriously, anybody can learn to pull a shot from an espresso machine, but that doesn’t mean the beverage being pulled would put a smile on the face of Signore Americano. It is an easy beverage to get wrong, and that is even more likely now that the urban American […]

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