Equipment

Why Coffee Freshness Matters by Caleb Savage

Coffee is a fruit

Coffee beans are the seeds of a flowering fruit tree. Because coffee beans are the seed of a plant, the seeds serve as incubators for future plants filled with all the sugars, acids, and cell structures necessary to supply a new plant. When roasted, these compounds can be tasted as the sweetness, acidity, and bitterness we love in a great cup of coffee! Without these compounds, a great coffee can taste flat or dull.

Coffee Plant.jpg

What kills freshness?

  • Sunlight

  • Heat

  • Oxygen

  • Moisture

  • Time

How long does coffee stay fresh?

Using resealable, valved bags like the ones our friends at KLLR Coffee use, coffee is best in the first two weeks after the coffee is roasted. The further you get away from the roast date after the first two weeks, the more the acids and sugars present in the coffee will degrade. What do you do with three-week-old coffee? Drink it! When we talk about freshness, we’re talking about coffee in it’s most ideal form, not that it’s bad, dangerous or should be discarded after it’s no longer fresh, just that it’s no longer the most ideal!

Meet: The Atmos

Atmos Canister.jpg

We love Fellow. From their XF Brewers to their kettles, Fellow consistently makes quality coffee equipment that looks great too! With the Atmos, you can combat the effects of sunlight and oxygen and extend the life of your coffee without introducing changes in temperature or risking exposure to moisture.

The Atmos Vacuum Coffee Canister removes oxygen from the canister (and your coffee) by twisting the lid back & forth, meaning don’t have to worry about batteries or having to keep weird tools on hand every time you go to make a cup of coffee!

By removing oxygen from the environment, the process of sublimation or the loss of coffee flavors through oxygen, can be slowed and the coffee itself will retain its bright, sweet flavors longer!

Acaia by Caleb Savage

Good news! We just received a fresh restock on our favorite scale: the acaia pearl!

Who is acaia?

Creator Aaron Takao Fujiki launched his Kickstarter for acaia (pronounced ah-kigh-ah) in October 2013 after nearly a year of research and development. His goal was to marry the needs of the specialty coffee brewer to a device that was sleek, precise, and could be integrated into the growing apps and systems for measuring and tracking coffee brewing. Four years later, acaia is the industry leader in beautiful scales that lead to quality brews.

acaia.jpg

We use the acaia pearl in the shop for pourovers, syrup-making, and drink-building, and before switching to the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle, we used the acaia lunar on bar to weigh all of our shots.

Basic Functions

Acaia Remote Scale.jpg

All scales weigh. Many weigh well. Few do things outside of being an accurate scale. We like acaia because they do everything we need them to in a way that makes sense. The acaia pearl works in two modes, having a scale option that measures up to 2000 grams in either grams or ounces in increments as small as .1g, or a second mode optimized for brewing with a stopwatch and whole gram scale visible on the display. This allows us to use the scales interchangeably for making a pourover with our Chemex brewers and then measuring ingredients for a syrup or drink.  

Connected Brewing

For the home brewer obsessed with making the perfect cup, acaia’s scales are all bluetooth-enabled to allow for tracking and comparing the quality of each pour, measuring yield and flow-rate to enable the user to better understand what’s going on in each cup and how to improve their brew.  

We love our scales because they do exactly what we need them to while being simple to use, flexible enough to be used for almost all of our measurement needs, and look great while they do it. If you’re in the market for a scale that can help make you a better home-brewer, acaia is absolutely your best option.

Victoria Arduino Black Eagle by Caleb Savage

Our espresso machine is a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle. When we switched from the La Marzocco Strada EP last April, we talked about why we love the Black Eagle. This Championship level machine has been a lot of fun to work with and shows off the expertise of Victoria Arduino’s long history with espresso.

Black Eagle Group.jpg

Founded by Pier Teresio Arduino in 1905, Victoria Arduino exists to provide espresso machines with heavily researched technologies that lead to creating the “ultimate espresso coffee machine.”

“La Victoria,” Ardunio’s first machine and the company’s namesake, was named after the victory of his first machine, the summation of all of the efforts to develop and build his machine. Over the years, Arduino developed several different machines improving design and technology as innovations in power and mechanics occurred. The desire to constantly improve and innovate in both performance and design leads to Victoria Arduino’s current offerings of 9 different machines for the home, workplace, or coffee shop.

Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.jpg

With modern machines like the White Eagle, Black Eagle, and Theresia; or with heritage models that harken back to the vertical design of early espresso machines like the Venus, Victoria Arduino’s machines are beautiful. Lucky for us (and you), they also make outstanding espresso.

Our Stagg [XF] Dripper Recipe by Steve Willingham


XF Set Up.jpg

This is how we suggest making a pour over on the new Stagg [XF] Dripper.

What you will need:
Stagg [XF] Dripper
Carafe (or Mug)
Kettle
Filtered Water
Stagg [XF] Paper Filter
Freshly Roasted Coffee
Grinder
Gram Scale
Timer

Find many of these items on the shop page.


XF Filter.jpg

Before You Brew

Start with fresh filtered water just off boil. We suggest 204 degrees if you're using a Fellow Stagg EKG kettle.

Set your paper filter inside the dripper.

Pour a generous amount of water through your paper filter, completely wetting the entire filter, to rinse paper dust and preheat your insulated dripper and carafe, then dump the water from the carafe. Set your dripper back onto the carafe. Alternatively, you can set the dripper onto a mug and brew directly into it.

XF Water.jpg

Grind & Bloom Coffee 

Grind 20g of fresh roasted coffee on a medium setting (about a 13 on a Baratza Encore) and add it to your filter. Give the dripper a gentle shake to flatten the bed of coffee.

Pour 40g of water over the coffee while starting a timer. Note: 1g of water = 1ml of water.

Let the coffee sit. You should see the coffee bed start to rise. This is called the bloom.

XF Brew.jpg

Concentric Circles

When your timer reads 40 seconds, pour water in slow circles of varying sizes, concentric around center of the coffee bed. Keep the pour steady, but try to hit 320g of water at the same time your timer reads 1:45.

XF Brewing Wide.jpg

The Draw Down

Allow the coffee to draw down through the filter. When liquid is no longer visible on your bed of coffee, pull the dripper off of your carafe and set it in the drip cup, gather the filter at the edges and throw the coffee grounds and filter in the compost or trash. You're ready to serve your coffee. The entire process should take about two and a half minutes.

XF Draw Down.jpg

Our Chemex recipe can be found here, and more brew guides can be found here.

We also recommend Fellow's fill up method