The Ritual of Making Coffee

April 1st, 2012

I'm often asked why I spend so much time making my morning cup of coffee. Why I measure, pre-infuse, wait, pour, and consume. It's not only a matter of making the best possible cup of coffee so I can get my day started. But it's a way of starting my day out on a productive path.

Making a cup usually takes me 10 to 20 minutes depending on my brewing method. If I'm home, my first pick will most likely be the Chemex. It's a clean full bodied taste, a good way to start your day.

For two cups, I usually grind around 45 grams of coffee, medium to fine. Water just before boil I will wet the filter and pre-heat the Chemex. Pour the excess water, add your coffee and start a 30 second pre-infusion by adding roughly 30 grams of water. After 30 seconds, continue to pour water slowly till the scale reads 700 grams. Remove filter and enjoy.

Making a great cup of coffee can be more complex than most people think. You need the freshest roasted beans you can find. Once roasted, the coffee beans will quickly start losing flavor and go stale. After a week it'll start taking on a different non-pleasant taste.

Buy whole beans and grind yourself. Freshly ground coffee can go stale after a day or two, so measure and grind your coffee. It's important to minimize waste and measure before you grind. Find a good privately owned coffee shop that can ship to your house fast. If you're in the bay area, have a look at Verve Coffee Roasters.

Take time to pick a brewing method and perfect it. There are many different kinds one can make a tasty cup of coffee. From pour overs with a Chemex or a v60, to full submersion techniques like a siphon filter. Each will bring out different qualities from the coffee you're using.

Doing this ritual is a good way to remind yourself that you should give whatever you're doing your full attention.