From Plant to Cup: Brew an Amazing Cup of Coffee | Michael Phillips | Skillshare

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Michael Phillips, Director of Training, Blue Bottle Coffee

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11 Lessons (59m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:11
    • 2. Project: Brew a Cup of Coffee by Hand

      0:44
    • 3. Coffee Theory

      6:07
    • 4. Brewing Tools

      8:50
    • 5. Grinding Your Beans

      2:59
    • 6. Selecting Your Ingredients

      8:48
    • 7. Making Your Recipe

      6:52
    • 8. Brewing Your Coffee

      12:25
    • 9. Tasting Coffee

      8:10
    • 10. Enjoying Your Brew

      2:24
    • 11. Hungry for More?

      0:25
161 students are watching this class

About This Class

Learn what it takes to brew an amazing cup of coffee by hand! Go behind-the-scenes with celebrated California roaster Blue Bottle for a one-hour class on sourcing, brewing, and tasting everyone's favorite bean. From the plant to your cup, Michael Phillips brings every lesson to life while also offering options — giving you a process for making a simple cup or going the distance with pro equipment.

Filmed on location at Blue Bottle's original roastery and cupping room, this class is designed to be both enjoyable while also deepening your knowledge of coffee in everyday life. From your morning ritual to even hosting your own coffee tasting at home, these insights will come alive in your own experience.

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Blue Bottle Coffee is an Oakland, Brooklyn, and LA-based coffee roaster specializing in single-origin beans. Michael Phillips is Director of Training for all baristas and winner of the 2010 World Barista Championship.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello. My name's Michael Phillips. I'm the Director of Training for Blue Bottle Coffee, based in Oakland, California. At Blue Bottle, we brew each and every single cup of coffee that we serve, by hand. And today, that's what we're going to work on with you. Is teaching you how to brew a great cup of coffee, manually, intentionally, just for yourself. Now, we're going to walk through each and every single step that we go through here, on our very own coffee bar. From, the process of selecting beans, to making sure they're the right age, to having all the proper equipment, to technique you need for pouring, even talking about, how to taste coffee, to see if you're actually getting as much out of it and as you should. Whether you're nervous, and it's the first time you've ever, picked up any of these tools, or if you're a seasoned professional, who's brewing this cup of coffee, in a coffee bar somewhere. There should be something here for you to walk away with, to up your game to the next level. 2. Project: Brew a Cup of Coffee by Hand: Today, we're going to work on learning how to brew an amazing cup of coffee. We're going to approach it holistically. So we're going to start all the way at talking about how to source the beans and all the different aspects that go into that, to different aspects of how you can brew a cup of coffee, even going into how to taste a cup of coffee. So you can really learn how to pull out those different nuance characteristics in the cup. To be able to do this you're going to need to be able to follow a basic recipe, do some simple math, have some relatively low-level dexterity so you don't burn yourself. But outside of that it's a pretty relative process. It mainly just depends upon you caring about getting a really amazing cup. 3. Coffee Theory: So, for this lesson, we're going to dig into some, kind of, heady material and talk about coffee theory in general. Coffee, is actually a fairly scientific process that just happens for most people without really knowing about the nuts and bolts of what's occurring. At the most basic level, what we're doing, is we're using hot water as a solvent to wash away a certain amount of soluble material from the grounds that we have in the basket. The problem behind this is that, there's so many variables involved, that is really difficult to quantify and extract that material consistently. So, we're going to talk about two main things today. We're going to talk about percentage of extraction, cover that in the second, and we're going to talk about TDS. Now, TDS refers to total dissolved solids, and that more or less means, the amount of coffee that's in your coffee. Coffee is typically around 98 to 99 percent water, with that remaining percentage being actual coffee that was dissolved and brought into the cup. We measure TDS using a device called the refractometer. This is a specific one that's tuned in for coffee purposes, but they use this in wine and spirit making, a whole range of different activities. It allows you to determine how much dissolved solid material's floating around in that cup. It's a very common idea for people to say this coffee from Brazil is strong, this coffee from Rwanda is weak, and that's actually not- it's not a really accurate way to gauge coffees because strength is more so determined by how you prepare the cup. We can measure that in terms of TDS. Coffees themself are more or less malleable flavor profiles that you can work with as you start to learn these different techniques. So, this section on coffee theory, is one of my favorite ones. It's really engrossing, it's frontline stuff that is happening in industry right now. But honestly also you don't really need it to be able to brew a tasty cup of coffee at home. It will help you do it, it'll definitely help you get to the point where you can make it even better, but if some of these concepts still feel a little bit out there, and you're just not interested in bringing anything that needs batteries into it, to make a cup of coffee, feel free to move on more towards the technique sections. So, this next part gets just a little bit trickier. We're going to talk about percentage of extraction. Now, percentage of extraction, we're talking about more or less the dose, which is the amount of coffee that you start with, the ground coffee that you put into your basket or your filter, and how much of that we're taking away. So, if you think about the amount of coffee you start with, the dose, if you'd extract everything that, that coffee had to offer using only hot water as a solvent, at most, you could take away about 30 percent. The rest of it is insoluble material like fiber and cellulose, it's just not going to dissolve. Now, out of that 30 percent, there's been a lot of testing that's been done to figure out where the real sweet spot is. And what we've ultimately come down to is 18 to 22 percent is the accepted industry standard for the sweet spot of a cup of coffee. Now, personally, for myself, I'm more of a 20 to 22 percent guy, but to each his own. That right there, is where you're going to get the best reflection of what a cup of coffee has to offer. So, it makes all of this information usable, at least on the industry side of things, is something that we refer to as a brew control chart. Now, the way a brew control chart works, is you have TDS Total Dissolved Solids. We're measuring that on one axis. So again, TDS is mainly reflecting the strength in your cup of coffee. On the other axis, we're going to put that percentage extraction. This is letting you know exactly how much you're taking out of that dose of coffee. Now, where this gets to be helpful is that, as you brew cups of coffee, you can plot them on this chart and see whether or not they're really nailing that goal you're looking for. Now, we talked about the desired range for percentage extraction being roughly 18 to 22 percent, so say that's right in here. What's really handy about coffee is that, something extracted between 18 and 22 percent, is hard to say exactly what it will taste like, because it's going to reflect the flavor profile of the coffee, which could be chocolaty, or fruity, or sour, or sweet. But if you go over 22 percent, that's what we call over extraction. If you go under 18 percent, that's commonly referred to as under extraction. And the thing that's really nice about these two areas is they have a universal flavor attribute. For over extraction, you going to most commonly see bitter. Under extraction, typically, people will describe coffees that have been under extracted as sour. So, even if you don't have a fancy device like a refractometer to say, ''Alright, my TDS is 1.5,'' and you plug it in to some software that says you land right around here, or right around here, or right around here. You can use general tasting notes that you get out of the cup of coffee yourself to say, ''This is a little bit bitter. I'm probably extracting too much and need to dial that back, or it's a little bit sour. That cup of coffee probably has a little more to offer me. I'm going to try and extract a pinch more. And that's where even if you don't use a brew control chart, the concepts in it, can help you make a better cup of coffee. 4. Brewing Tools: A really important part of brewing a great cup of coffee, is having the right tools. Just as you couldn't build a motar without the right tools to hold pistons or bake a cake without an oven that had good temperature control, you can't make a great cup of coffee without the right tools to do the job. So, we're going to walk you through the tools that we use here at BlueBottle. Part of what's nice about the way we brew is that you can do all of this at home. None of these are prohibitively expensive except maybe the grinder, but bite the bullet, it's worth it. So, we'll talk about each of them and give you a little bit of information there. The first thing you're going to need, of course, always is a delicious bag of coffee. We'll get into some details about this, but you want to make sure that it's freshly roasted and right in that perfect window, and that you've got something high-quality that's going to give you a delicious cup. To grind up that coffee. Again, hopefully that coffee is whole beans. So, you can get the best out of what you're looking for. To grind it up, you're going to need a high-quality grinder. There are two different types of grinders out there. This right here is a Baratza Forte BG, it's a big fancy name, but more or less it's a burr grinder, which is the one category. The other category is a blade grinder. You guys have all seen those little spinney choppy guys. If you have one of those, my suggestion would be to find the person you like least, wrap it up in a box, ship it off to them, and let them enjoy horrible coffee, and go out and buy yourself a burr grinder because one of the most important aspects of a grinder is that it produces a consistent sized particle. Those blades chop up, you get big chunks, small chunks as we were talking about, we will get a percentage of extraction that's really precise and that's tough when you have various coffee grind sizes. A burr grinder has two sets of burrs, and how close you move them together or pull them apart, determines the size of your coffee. A good burr grinder will also have various adjustments. This one you can see has a macro-adjustment, so that makes a big step changes, and a micro-adjustments, so you can really fine tune to get that special point. This one has a few extra bells and whistles. It actually weighs out the amount of coffee that you're grinding. So, you say, ''I want 30 grams,'' and it grinds until you have 30 grams in there. So, it takes out some of the fuss there. But, there are definitely cheaper grinders in this that will still do a great job. Just search for burr grinder online, you'll get a few options. It's nice to shop in person because then you can do the weight test. This one's heavy. That's a really good sign. That means it probably has a good motor in there, better casing, longevity is an important thing. If you buy a cheaper burr grinder, chances are it's only going to last you a year, maybe year and a half. Next up, we have what's called a pouring kettle. Now, you can heat up water, any old way and splash it in there. The control with which you do it is what's really going to differentiate between getting an okay cup and a great cup. So, we have two different ones here. They both have the key defining aspect of this skinny neck that starts at the base of the kettle. That's what makes this a pouring kettle because that very skinny neck allows you to get a slow stream, that you can have a very controlled pore with. There's tons of different pouring kettles out there. I actually tend to like the electric ones at home, they're really easy. A lot of the nice pouring kettles get a little beat up if you put them on a range stove, electric, or gas. So, if you do have one of these, I would recommend heating your water in a proper tea kettle, and then adding it to this for the brewing process. But, anything with this style of spout is probably going to be good enough to give you the type of pouring control that you needs. Next, this is a digital scale. This is, a lot of people will say, ''Ah! Digital scale I don't want to get that crazy into it.'' This is one of the most helpful tools that you can get in making a great cup of coffee because it lets you be really accurate. If you're not using a digital scale, then you're doing everything basically by eye. So, imagine if I gave you a recipe and I said, ''Hey, go bake this cake.'' You got tablespoon of butter, you've got all the different ingredients, but you don't necessarily have the exact measurements. You can use volumetric measurements, but it gets a little bit trickier as you'll see when we walk through the brewing process. A good digital scale should have a resolution of at least one gram. So, it has one gram increments. Fancy ones will get down to a tenth of a gram. It should have a capacity of at least a 1,000 grams preferably 2,000 grams. So, that means the roof as to how much it can weigh. This one also includes a timer, and it also hooks up to an app that you can get for an iPhone or an iPad called Brewmaster, that lets you do a bunch of fancy things. We'll talk about that a little bit later as well. So, digital scale really crucial thing. Timer, if you don't have a timer on digital scale, having just some simple little kitchen digital timer is helpful or any timer at all, to sync up what you're doing. We talked about this earlier, a refractometer. Now, if you have this in your kitchen, you're going a little overboard. I respect you for it, and you'll have fun with it, but you don't really need this. This is for people that want to have a little too much fun. Brewing method, the brewing method that you pick is crucial in determining the flavor profile of the cup you're going to get. Now, there's a couple of ways that we differentiate them. There are pour over methods. So, both the chemex here and the bonmac would be poor over. So that simply means, you pour water over them to brew your cup of coffee. Then there are steeping methods like the French press and to an extent the arrow press over here. Where you add the water to the coffee, and you let it sit for a while. Those are two broad families of different types of brews that you'll encounter. I honestly don't think that you get dramatically different cups from them based on steeping or pour over. I think the bigger differentiator is whether or not you have a metal filter like you do with a French press or a fibre filter like you will for the bonmac or the chemex, because that's going to determine how much sediment, how many oils get through into the cup. Out of these brew methods, the French press is a very common one that you're going to see, the same with the chemex. Arrow press got a little popularity, that's kind of a fun guide that you can read tons about online on your own. We at BlueBottle love the bonmac. It produces a really nice clean, clear cup that highlights those fantastic characteristics of the coffee that we know and love. In terms of filter, we use the bonmac filters. These are actually really interesting in that they're made out of bamboo. So, it's not like a lot of your traditional paper filters you see in the store. But, if you can't find these because they're a little tough to get a hold of. You can go to the store and get number two mellita filters, they typically have those. You can use number fours in here as well, they're just going to be a little big and floppy. The thing to think about is that a lot of filters in the grocery store you'll see are either bleached white or natural brown. Go for the bleached white ones every time. Those natural brown filters tend to have a very cardboardy papery taste that's hard to get rid of. I know natural sounds like a great thing when you're drinking it, but in this case, opt for drinking bleach. Last but not least, there are a couple of different apps that you can get, that help you brew a better cup of coffee. This one's called Brewmaster. It lets you create a brew profile that's a fun fancy thing. There's one that pairs up with the VST that's called CoffeeTools and that lets you dig really far into that science side of things. But more or less, these are the tools that we have, that we use to brew an amazing cup of coffee. 5. Grinding Your Beans: In this section, I want to highlight a few aspects of grinding. Grinding coffee is arguably the most overlooked yet important part of the brewing process. Whether it's Espresso or brewed coffee at home, everybody thinks about the brewers, and the beans, and all those things. If you don't grind your coffee right, there's no way you're going to be able to get a great cup. So, this right here is a Baratza Forte BG, it's a burr grinder. So, you've got the burr sets that nestle into one another. The reason we like that is it produces a very consistent grind. What I mean by that is all those little particles that you see when you dump it into the filter is close to being the same size as possible. The ability to control the size of that is also a very important thing because, as we walk through the brewing process later on, grind setting is the one thing we're really going to encourage you to change to affect the flavor of your cup. So, say for example, you brew up a cup of coffee and thinking back to over-extraction, under-extraction, you say this tastes over-extracted because you can taste bitterness in it. That means you're taking too much out of the coffee. What that means to us in terms of what we want to do, is that our grind setting is too fine so the particles are too small. It's too easy for the water to wash away too much soluble material. So, we would go to whatever grinder we're using, and for this one, the bigger numbers mean coarser. We would move it a little bit more course, so that makes our grind particles a little bit larger which makes it difficult for the water to extract as much. So, we lower that, and we end up more towards our sweet spot. Part of what makes this one really nice is that you have a macro side. So, this is going to let you make big steps in how you adjust the grind and the micro side, which allows for fine tuning. Every burr grinder out there is going to be a little bit different. We recommend the Baratzas, we have those in the BlueBottle store online. We also have a fan of Porlex grinders which are little handheld grinders. There are also burr grinders, you can adjust the size on those. But the most important thing is that it's a burr that gets you a very consistent size, and that it has good controls that allow you to adjust to what that size is. Different grinders will have a lot more bells and whistles like this one, can grind by weight, and so you can select and preprogram different weights on there. You can do it by time, all sorts of things like that. But, grind adjustments and grind consistency, two most important things, and you get what you pay for. So, make sure that you're investing the money to get something that you're going to be able to use for years, and years, and years, to make delicious coffee. 6. Selecting Your Ingredients: In this section, we're going to dig into ingredients selection. This is arguably one of the most important sections, and that you can't make a key lime pie without key limes, right? So, in terms of ingredients, this is what's really going to determine the flavor profile of what you get in your final cup. There's a lot of different things that go into that, and we're going to cover as many of them as possible. In terms of types of coffee that you're likely to encounter. whether you're shopping online or in a store, they split, at least in my mind, more along two lines. You have blends which we have a few of right here, and you have single origin coffees. There are two very distinct categories. So, blends are more or less created by the roaster in terms of a profile. So, they say, we would like a cup of coffee that we think people will enjoy in the morning that maybe it's earthy and smoky and has a nice medium body. Then what they do is go around and try and source coffees and roast them and combine them in a way that creates that flavor profile. When they run out of one coffee, they start looking for another coffee that fits the piece of that puzzle and that allows them to keep the flavor profile of a blend consistent, so that you can see Bella Donovan, and you know what Bella Donovan should taste like and that you can go and get that whenever you want. That's the role that blends play. It's a really nice consistent cup. Oftentimes tailored to specific flavors that the roaster's looking for. We have a few of those here at Blue Bottle, and they're tasty and delicious, and we love them. We also have single origins. Now single origins are a newer category for specialty coffee you seen a lot more attention in the last 10-15 years or so. What a single origin refers to is, mainly a coffee that has an aspect of traceability to it. So, it can be as simple as saying, this coffee is from Columbia, all these beans in this bag come from a single origin which is Columbia. Or it can get even more defined. So, this coffee for example is from Popayan, that's an area in Colombia, and it's actually from a specific group of producers inside of Popayan in Colombia. Even further than that, it's from a specific point in time, this is the spring harvest version of coffee from that producing group. So, all of these details help to paint a broad picture, and just as there may be wine that you enjoy from a specific vineyard in France that has developed a reputation for producing great wines, same thing is starting to happen for coffee. There are producers that are becoming legendary for year after year making amazing coffee. So, those details about it being a single origin can be valuable to you in that they give you an idea as to what you're going to be digging into. Another aspect that you can look at when you're shopping around for different coffees are the details of how it was produced. So for example, over here, we've got another coffee. This one is the Brazil, FAF Santa Clara Red Catuai Natural. That makes sense, right? It's a lot of words in there. So, if you break that down, Brazil, again single origin. FAF is the name of the producer group, and Santa Clara would be the area. But we've got a few other things in here. We have red catuai and natural. So, red Catuai refers to the variety of coffee that you have. Just like with apples, how you have Fuji, Red Delicious, and Pink Lady, and all these different types of apples that some are for baking, some are for eating, some are for making booze, whatever you use apples for. They all have different flavor profiles and coffee is kind of the same way. There are definitely a few dominant strains and everybody's heard of robusta versus arabica is the main big categories. But inside of that, there's a lot of varietals. So, this particular varietals is red catuai. You'll see some famous ones out there such as geisha or pacamara, these names are all indicative of the plant that it came from, and a lot of times, those plants carry a very distinct flavor profile that you can start to build up that library of flavor in your mind as you get to taste through them. One of the last key things that you want to look for is roast date. So, all these coffees that we ship out are going to have a little date on there that says, roasted on, and gives you the month, the day and the year. Hopefully, the year is never important to you. So, if your using coffee, where you're not sure what year it was roasted, please just go buy another bag of coffee. The roast date's really crucial. Coffee is very much like bread. You get a loaf of bread, it's fresh and then slowly it starts to go more stale and become less magical. Well, you can use coffee that's two, three or even four months off of roast date, it's going to have lost most of the magic that makes it special. If you're buying a really nice specialty coffee, you want to taste, you want to smell, you want to get everything that it has to offer. So, if you're getting coffee and you can't find a roast date on it, that's probably a sign that they don't want you to know the roast date. So, look for that. We typically recommend within 10-12 days. But you also don't want to use it too soon. Because in the roasting process, gas is developed inside of the beans that can cast a veil over the flavor. So, we typically will start using it around days two to four. Then, depending on the blend, cut it off around days 10-12, at least for the home market we recommend that. Coffee is of course the really, really important ingredient that we have to put a lot of time in selecting. It is however the minority player here. Water, 98 percent of your cup of coffee, and is incredibly important to getting that cup of coffee to taste great. Now, there's a lot of ideas around water, you can see some people talking about, "Oh, you need reverse osmosis water." I've heard that said a lot. Reverse osmosis is a process where you basically strip everything out of the water. There's no mineral content, it's just reduced down to a zero TDS because you can measure water in TDS as well. That's not actually what we want for a cup of coffee. You want your water a little dirty, you want a little bit of mineral content floating around in there to help you get that right balance of extraction and flavors. So, don't use straight reverse osmosis water. Can tap water work? Yes, tap water can work. Any the water will work as a matter of quality. So, if you're thinking about tap water, that all depends on where you are in the country. More or less, you can think about it in terms of taste. Some cities have very hard water, some have very soft water. If your city has a good nice balanced water that tastes great, yes, go ahead and use tap water. For me myself at home, I just like a nice simple water filtration. Any of your average filtration [inaudible]. You're going to be able to get at a home goods store will work for you. Want to take out sediment, any odor if your city or municipality has chlorine or anything that they put in there, these filters will usually take that out, and that will help you get a wonderful delicious cup. If you really want to nerd out and go the extra distance, and you're finding a hard time getting great cup with your water that you're getting at home even when you filter it, you can use spring water. Some people will bounce around and try a couple different types to figure out what they want. This is of course something that you do that people will point at you and be like, you really go out and get spring water for your coffee. So, if you're prepared for that level of stigma, go right ahead and do it, you'll probably enjoy the cup even more but you don't have to. Just basic filtered water should be more than enough to get you a good cup of coffee at home. 7. Making Your Recipe: In this section, we're going to talk about how to build a recipe for the cup that you're going to brew. This is interesting because this is where you get to add a lot of your personal touch. In the recipe, there is no right or wrong. This is where you decide, you want a stronger cup or a weaker cup and how much you want to brew. So when building a recipe, we're going to show you how to do it using measurements that are taken in grams. So, we're doing this by weight. The reason we're doing it by weight is twofold. One, weight is simply a really accurate way to measure things. If you're able to say, "I want 25 grams of coffee and X number of grams of water", you can see that very clearly and it's going to be a little bit more precise than volumetric measuring. The other reason why we use weight is that coffee as a raw ingredient is frustrating, and that it's not incredibly consistent. This Columbia Popayan spring harvest is going to be a different density than the Three Africans blend that we had. Depending on how coffee is grown, whether it's high elevation or low elevation, the roast level that you use for it, any of these various factors will change the density of the bean. If you're doing things by weight versus by volume, you're going to get a much more accurate recipe. So, the first step in building a recipe, how much coffee do you want to drink? The thing that's nice about how we're going to teach you to do this, is you can scale it up or down, but that's the first decision you have to make. Now at Blue Bottle, we and brew coffee more or less for a 10 ounce cup. So, if you come to Blue Bottle, you're going to get a 10 ounce cup of coffee and we know that, in terms of weight, that correlates to about 350 grams of water in. So when we're brewing a cup, that's our starting number. At home maybe you're like, "You know what? I don't want a full 10 ounces. I like a smaller cup, I like about 200 grams of water to start with", or maybe you've got friends and you want to do 700 grams, so you've got enough to pour everybody a cup. Deciding the amount is a good first step. So, we're going to say that we want 350 grams of water as the amount that we're going to make. So, the amount is the first step. The next thing you're going to do, is you can figure out strength. Now, I know we were talking about strength in terms of TDS earlier, total dissolved solids, but we're going to forget about the refractometer and science for now. We're going to talk about it in terms of a ratio, because that's much more easy to use at home. So, what I mean by that is, how much coffee to how much water you use will be a good indicator of the strength that you're going to get? Now for strength at Blue Bottle, we approach it from an intent standpoint. So, if we're brewing our blends up and our cafe, we realize we have a lot of guests that really enjoy a little bit of milk, maybe a little bit of sugar in their cup of coffee, so our blends are sourced and roasted, and the preparation method is tailored to be able to stand up to that. So, our ratio for a blend is a much higher strength. They're closer to a 1:11, so that means for every one gram of coffee, you have 11 grams of water. Whereas a single origin, like this Colombia, we like to get a much more nuanced delicate cup of coffee out of it. So, we'll have a different ratio, something closer to 1:14 or 1:15. So, for every one gram of coffee you have 14 to15 grams of water. That makes for a lighter bodied cup. You can think about it in terms of sound. If you're listening to some speakers and you crank the volume way up, you get a lot of noise but it tends to get a little fuzzy and broken up. Whereas if you have at a lower level, you get a little more articulation, a little more clarity to the sound. Same thing happens with strengthen in coffee. If you have a lot of strength in that cup, it's going to be a fuzzier version that may stand up a little bit better to ingredients, whereas if you have a lower strength, like that 1:14, 1:15, you get a little bit more clarity and you can see all the unique aspects that make this Columbia so special for being this Columbia. Now, at Blue Bottle we use different ratios for different coffees. Our ratio is intent-driven. So for our blends, we realize that some people want to have a slightly stronger cup of coffee. So, that's going to be a ratio that's going to be somewhere around the lines of 1:11, so for every one gram of coffee, it'll be 11 grams of water. When you have a cup that strong, it can stand up to any milk or sugar that people might add while still carrying through some great coffee flavor. Now if you have a cup of coffee that's really delicate and you want to emphasize that nuance, you may go up to something like a one to 16. This will be a much lighter cup of coffee. So, for every one gram of coffee you use, you would have 16 grams of water. This would lower the overall strength and allow you to get a slightly more articulate view of what's going on inside of that cup. Today, we're going to work with a 1:14, it's going to be a nice medium strength cup. So, for every one gram of coffee, we're going to use 14 grams of water. Once you decide, "All right, I want something right in this range here", you take that 14 and you simply divide the amount of water you have by that, and that's going to leave you with what your dose is. So, that's 350 grams of water up top, divided by 14, which is your ratio, leaves you with 25 grams of coffee. So, that right there is your overall recipe. You've got your amount of water, you've got your amount of coffee. Now, you've pre-programmed your formula that you're going to use to brew a cup and you are all ready to go. If you want to change this down the road, you brew it up you're like, "That's not quite what I wanted. I wanted something a little bit heavier", then next time, take that 14 out and turn it into a 13, and figure out how that changes your dose. This is all up to your preference. 8. Brewing Your Coffee: We've talked a little bit about coffee theory, we've talked about ingredients, we've talked about tools, we've put together a recipe. Now, we're going to use all of this to finally dig in and brew a cup of coffee. I'm going to walk you through the steps right now. This is going to be the one that you watch a few times over, because this is going to get a little bit tricky, but I promise you'll be able to pick it up. The first step for me, every time I'm brewing a cup of coffee at home, is I want to get the water ready. So, over here, we've got a nice electric kettle that's heating the water up, and it's going to get it right into that temperature range that I want. So, I start the water first, because that process usually takes roughly four to six minutes depending on what you're using to heat up the water. Once it is up to temperature, I'm going to add a little bit to my kettle, and I'm going to rinse and pour off, because I want to get the kettle warm too, so that it doesn't drop the temperature of the water. Then I'm going to fill it up with around twice as much water as I'm going to use. The reason being larger body of water, is more thermally stable. So, even though we're using 350 grams, I'm going to put close to 700 in there because that's going to keep that temperature right where I want it, a little bit longer so we can make it through the brewing process just right. The next step is, we're going to weigh out the amount of coffee that we want to use. Now, I got this fancy grinder right here and that I can simply plug in our 25-gram dose to. But in case you don't have that, what you do is you use a digital scale that you're going to be brewing with and simply weigh it out in that fashion. So, take a few out of there, get us right to 25. Again, all these things that we're doing, I'm going to lean on you to go out and buy digital scale because I think it'll make your life better. But you can break this down to doing simply tablespoons to ounces and come up with the ratio that you feel works for yourself. So, if you want to do 10 ounces, you could start with three tablespoons or four tablespoons and brew it up, and see how that works, and adjust strength as well. But for us, we've got 25 grams right here. So we have that weighed out. Still waiting for our water. The next step is, we're going to get our filter ready. So, for the Bonmac, we've got these little filters right here. You want to fold one edge one way, and the other edge the other way. This is going to help it seat properly inside of our brewer once we get it in there. So, once those are folded, you're going to pop it open and just nestle it in there right like that. Right. So now, our next step is we're going to do what's called pre-wetting the filter. We're going to take this little bit of water here, add it to our kettle, and this is nice because this is also going to help to preheat the kettle. So, we got a little splash of water in there to help get it up to temperature. Little swirl. Feel that's nice and hot. So, what pre-wetting the filter does is twofold. One, it helps it adhere nicely to the side of the brewer to keep any gaps out, and it also will rinse away any sediment that may be trapped in the paper filter. The bamboo ones tend to be pretty nice, they don't carry a lot of that with them but, just in case. So, I'm going to leave this in here so it keeps the trough nice and warm while I grind my coffee. One of the tricks for grinding coffee is that this is the first cup that we're brewing of this coffee. So, we don't really know what our grind setting is, and remember, grind setting is really important, because that determines how much we're going to be able to extract with our technique. So, the first time you get a fresh bag of coffee in the mill, you're mainly going to be making an educated guess. You're going to say, "All right, my last cup of coffee, I ground right around there". So,s I'm going to try this one there and then you'll brew up the cup and depending on how it tastes afterwards, the next time you go to brew a cup of coffee, you may change your grind setting to reflect what you're hoping to get that next cup to taste like. So, we're going to do is grind that up. Wonderful Brew Grinder, nice consistent grind setting. There we go. So, we now have our dose of coffee ground just the way we want it. We now want to make sure we get rid of the water in the bottom of the trough, this is a rookie mistake. Don't brew your cup of coffee on your pre-rinse water. So, like that. So we have our trough, nice and empty. We've got our brewer with a filter inside of it, pre-wet. We've got our coffee ground. We're going to add that to the brewer. Okay, back in there. So, we've added our dose of ground coffee. You want give it a nice shake so that it's level in the brewer. Next step, we've got our water at temperature. Again, I'm going to put around 700 grams and here. You have to weigh this, this isn't a precise thing. You just want to make sure you have enough water that is going to be a good full of kettle that'll stay nice and hot. So now, I got these numbers facing you guys. You want to make sure that your scale is zeroed out so that it can reflect the weight change as you add water. This one has a timer on it, so we're going to have that timer in zero as well. Now, as we're pouring, we're going to break this up into four distinct pours. The first pour we call the bloom, and that's when you add water to coffee. Throughout the roasting process, we talked about how coffee develops a little bit of gas in there. That gas actually inhibits our ability to extract. So, that first pour, the goal is to saturate all of the grounds in a way that allows it to push that gas out. Visually, you'll see the coffee expand and develop a dome that has a nice glossy surface to it, that's why we call it the bloom. What's happening there is that gas is escaping, it's carrying grounds up to the surface. That starts out nice and shiny but then as the bloom goes on, it will be more of a matt finish and you'll see it start to collapse, and some little bubbles will occur. For our coffee being a little bit fresh is going to have a pretty aggressive bloom. So, we're going to give it around 45 to 55 seconds to let all of that gas escape. Then, at that point, we start doing the second pour where we'll start in the center of the grounds, spiral out to the edge, come back into the middle, raising the weight up to 150 grams. Let that sink down a little do our third pour, same technique, sink down. Fourth pour, same technique. Weights are really important. So, for the bloom, we're going to do about 55 grams of water. The way we calculate that is that coffee can absorb roughly twice its weight in water. So, we have a 25-gram dose, multiply that times two and then just add a little bit on for water that's going to escape into the bottom of the trough. That gives you your target bloom weight. So, target bloom weight of 55 and then we're going to break it up into three more pours. So, from 55 to 150, to 250, to 350. All right. So, as we start, I'm going to tap the timer start button then I'm going to dig in. The bloom pour is going to start at the outer edge and slowly move into the middle evenly saturating. So, start the timer there and notice how the flow rate is really slow and controlled. There we go, and then the surface has a nice shiny look to the top. A little bit over, I'm at 65. Don't worry about fudging the number on this one, that's totally okay. What you want to make sure you don't do right now is shortchange the bloom. A lot of people it's like watching water boil, you just want to keep going. Give it enough time. You want to let all that gas escape. A slightly longer bloom is better than a slightly shorter bloom, because that can really inhibit the extraction that you're getting. So, we're at about 50 seconds now, I'm going to go into that second phase of pouring. I start right in the middle with a thin stream, then slowly spiral out and then I move back in, boom. Again, aiming for your numbers. So this one brought it up to 150 grams. I'm going to let it sink down just a little bit. Let me go into the next pour. A good thing to look for while you're doing these pours is how the surface of the coffee is reacting. You can see that it becomes a lighter color as you pour over the grounds that are floating in the top. You want this to happen in nice consistent fashion. If you're doing your pattern and you see that there is some areas that are really light and some areas that are really dark, chances are the pattern of your pour didn't go over that dark area as consistently as it did the lighter areas. So, by evaluating what you're seeing on the surface, that can let you know how you might need to adjust your technique in the future. It's dipping down a little bit. Another visual cue that you're going to be looking for that will help you moderate your flow rate is how high the water gets in the filter. We refer to that as a shoreline. You want to make sure you have a nice even consistent shoreline. There we go, 350 on the dot. You want to make sure that you have a nice even consistent shoreline i.e. the level that it rises up to, because that helps make sure your technique is consistent as well. If you bring it all the way up to the top on one brew, put on the next one, you keep it very low, those variations in technique will extract more or less out of your coffee. You don't want your technique to be the thing causing change, you want your grind setting to be the thing causing change. So it's a much more controllable variable. One other last thing that you want to look for in terms of visual cues for how you're brewing is the sidewall of the grounds after you finish. You don't want to see any points where it's washed away at the edge because that indicates that you're probably over extracting that side of the cup. You also want the bed of the grounds at the end to be as relatively even as possible. If you pour a little bit faster in one direction, you're going to see that you have a little bit of a gully there. So, that right there is a finished brewed cup of coffee. 9. Tasting Coffee: Now, we've got a finished up with coffee. You can pretty much stop watching the video right now if you want. This is this is sort of an extra section, but if you want to carry it on into full nerd, in this video we're going to talk about how we actually as coffee professionals tend to taste coffee and throw in a few little tips and tricks that can help you enjoy coffee a little bit more at home as well. When tasting coffee, it can be a really intimidating thing. If you're at a tasting event with a bunch of coffee professionals and they're,'' Oh my gosh, there's notes of late harvest, winter melon, and a firm right body that can only be found in tobacco that's been pulled from the fields of Vietnam under a soft autumn moon.'' Yeah, people that have these really audacious outlandish flavor descriptors, and they do it for a living. They get used to it, they're very knee-jerk instinct to be able to come up with those words and associate things based on what they're tasting. For the novice however, that can be a little complicated. So, a very easy way to break yourself into it, as I like to break tasting down into looking at five categories in the cup, you look at sweetness, you look at body, you look at finish, you look at acidity, and then you look at flavors, kind of a general overall category. You can look at each one of those in terms of quality and intensity. So, you could say, "All right. I took a sip of this coffee and I'm thinking about sweetness, is it sweet or is it not sweet? Well, yeah, it's kind of sweet." Is it a good sweet, or is a bad sweet? Is it like a nice refined sugar, or is it like a rotten banana? Both of those flavors can exist in a cup of coffee. Then, you can think about body, is it a heavy body? Is at a light body? Is it a good light body or is it kind of dishwatery light body? Finish. Finish is a really tricky one, because right now I'm still tasting that sip that I took off for that cup of coffee. A lot of times we don't really think about finish, even though it's there and it's affecting our perception. So, after you had a second or two, just think about, "All right. Was that a really clean finish? Did it it just evaporate and disappear, or is it a long lingering finish? If it is lingering, do I want it to linger or do I want it to get out of here? Does it taste smooth and clean or is it a little rough and aggressive?" Acidity can be another tricky one, acidity is one of those terms that we use in coffee that is very appropriate and applicable to what we're doing, but in general people don't like to think about acid in things that they drink. Even though it's in all sorts of things we love, all types of citrus have acid, there's a wonderful pantheon of flavors that you can get with acidity. Coffee that is grown roasted and prepared very well will display it in a good way. Think, lean more towards fruit citrus as a type of acidity that we generally like. Flavor, flavor is a very broad category and that's where you start pulling in those associations like, Okay, this reminds me of grapefruit, or this reminds me of chocolate or tobacco. So, when you're tasting going through and thinking about those different aspects individually, can help you get over that blank canvas of the question of, what does this coffee taste like? Just sort of walk through them one by one. Another thing that's really important in tasting coffee, I've let these coffee sit for a little bit, which means that the temperature has started to drop. When you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the method that we're using with a pour over in the bomb Mac, it's probably going to be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a pretty hot cup of coffee. Now, if you were to take a sip at that point, the flavors will be relatively flat and it would be hard to get as much character out of coffee as it has to offer. As that temperature starts to drop, you'll notice that the sweetness becomes more pronounced, and you can pull out a little more articulation in the cup. A fun nerdy experiment to do would be to put a thermometer in the cup and just take a sip every 20 seconds, and note how the flavor changes as it starts to cool off. I find typically between about 120 and 135 degrees is where I get really really delicious and interesting flavors out of a cup of coffee. So, I like to let it cool down just a little bit. When it comes to the way that we taste coffees, there's a lot of different ways that you can do this. If you want to go on full nerd and really pull in eccentric coffee tasting paraphernalia, get one of these guys. This is called the cupping spoon. It's more or less a soup spoon, it should have a nice little ball-shaped end to it. The way that we use this in the industry is we'll pull a little bit of coffee up in there, and then we'll slurp it like this, roll it around, chew on it. What happens when you do that slurp is ideally, you're aspirating the coffee. You're causing it to spray across your palate, so that you can get a really even, an accurate view of all the different flavors that are involved in that coffee. If you do try this at home, there's a good chance you're going to inhale some of it and cough, drool, all sorts of things will happen that are not very attractive, but it's fun. You can play around with it a lot of times, local roasters in your area will host these things called cuppings where they'll teach you how to do that. You can also of course just simply taste the coffee that works really well too. I kind of like that better personally. Now what we have here, is I brewed up a couple of different cups of coffee to give us a chance to talk about this. So, we have the Bella Donovan. This is one of our staple blends, you can find it in all of our shops. We have the Beta Blend. This is something that we only sell in the online store for Blue Bottle at home, it's a subscription coffee. Then we have a single origin, that Colombia Popayan Spring Harvest that we've been working with all day. Each one of these coffees is going to be incredibly different, and one of the really fun things you can do with coffee is tasting it side-by-side. That's where you really see the different sorts of flavors jump out. So, the Bella Donovan, this is typically a mix of Ethiopian and Sumatran coffees, and it's a very big very bold blend. There's a lot of red berry in there, there's some caramel, there's some milk chocolate, this is a very full cup. Whereas, the Beta Blend, well this is also a blend, this is a flavor profile that we try to source and create coffees to keep consistent. This one's going to be a little bit later, you're gonna get some white peach, a little bit of candid orange. It is a very very crisp, very refreshing style of coffee. Then, you bounce all the way over to the Columbia Popayan, and this is an entirely different world. This is a very light, nice brown sugar, a little bit of orange, some fig. All of that comes together in this cup, but it's also brewed a little bit differently. I brewed this one at a slightly lower strength. This is that one to 14 ratio, whereas this was at a one to 11, and this was at a one to 13. So, there's so many different things that can go into the way the cup of coffee tastes, you've got the beans you've selected, the way the roaster is chosen to roast them to curate that profile, the way you the brewer have chosen to create your recipe and execute your technique, and all of that comes together to create very different cups of coffee. 10. Enjoying Your Brew: When you're tasting coffee, we have those five things that we look for: sweetness, body, acidity, finished, flavor. Tasting coffee in a vacuum is very challenging, so that means tasting coffee just on your own. Okay, I think that's a medium body, it's clean finished, got a nice high sweetness, low acidity. Tasting stuff on your own it's good but it's hard to have a great perspective. One of the best ways to develop your palate is to taste with other people. Bring some friends over and have them taste coffees. There's a lot of different ways you can do it but being able to bounce back and forth ideas as to what you get because a lot of times in a professional setting, there'll be multiple people tasting coffees and one person says, "Oh yeah, I really got a lot of grapefruit out of that," and someone else who had tasted the same coffee, they knew that there's an acidity there but they hadn't made that connection between that food and that flavor. So that helped build that bridge for them and they now have that added into their lexicon that they start using. Something we do as staff every once in a while is set up a range of fruits. So, go to the grocery store and get some bananas, get different types of oranges, get some lemons and put little pieces of them and then start tasting them, and try and rearrange them into a ranking of acidity. Because all these flavors, all of this palate development helps you learn how to analyze those exact same things in coffee itself. You can do the same thing with apples. Depending on the coffees, you can go out and try and get fruits and then pair them up with the coffee that you think has the most similar characteristics. Attending cuppings or coffee tasting sessions at your local coffee bars is another really great way to develop your palate as well. Hopefully, I've given you the tools to make one of these cups on your own. I encourage you to experiment with it, to try different things. The world of coffee is vast and there are many roads free to travel down, each one unique and different, and I hope that at least several of them are enjoyable. Thank you for being with me today on this video and enjoy a cup of coffee 11. Hungry for More?: