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 […]
Mister Americano’s Notebook
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 […]
Spring 2019 Road Trips
It’s been a heck of a year so far! I’ve taken a few breaks from the roasting drum to attend some of the amazing coffee events that happen around the country! My first stop was Kansas City, for the US Coffee Championships. My keenest interest was in the roasting championships, as I was very curious […]
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 Safari – Sulawesi Toraja
I’ve been fascinated by the coffees of Indonesia. It first started with a Sumatra Mandheling that, when seeing and smelling the green beans, I thought was going to be terrible. Then I roasted it and shared a few bags of the spicy, earthy, complex roast. It wasn’t long after that customers were asking for more. […]
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 […]
Spring 2018 Road Trip – Philadelphia and New Orleans
I suppose it’s no surprise that when I travel, I tend to incorporate visits to other coffee roasters on my itinerary. This spring, a trip to Philadelphia, PA gave me a great opportunity to visit 3 roasters, spend some time getting to know their people and their product, talk shop, and soak up some of […]
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?