How to Make The Best Coffee, Anywhere, Anytime (on Any Budget)! | Ben Ahrens | Skillshare

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How to Make The Best Coffee, Anywhere, Anytime (on Any Budget)!

teacher avatar Ben Ahrens, Ben Ahrens

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Epic Joe Intro

    • 2. Welcome

    • 3. Equipment & Methods of Brewing

    • 4. The Importance of Quality

    • 5. Making EPIC Ice Coffee

    • 6. Creating Your Own Signature Coffee

    • 7. Thank You!

    • 8. Joe vs Wild

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About This Class

Let's get one thing straight here... I LOVE coffee! - But I had NO CLUE how to make it tast good. Every morning I'd just click on my drip coffee pot and slurp down whatever black stuff would come out - blach! SO, I set off on a quest to learn as much as I possible about coffee: what makes a good coffee, where to find the best sources, how to brew it in all different ways, what gear you need and what you don't! and so on.... Now, demystified the principles, I can confidently enjoy my beloved black beverage in its' highest quality form weather pulling an esspresso shot at on a handmade Italian La Pavoni, or brewing an 4 cent cup on a $9 aparatus in the middle of Central Park!  - Weather you're a coffee lover like I've become, or just want to impress all your friends and consistantly brew and enjoy the perfect joe anywhere, anytime - this course is for you!

Fire up your boilers. I'm stoked to brew with you! - Ben Ahrens 


Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Ahrens

Ben Ahrens


Hey Folks,

I'm passionate about living, learning, surfing, traveling, teaching, playing, cooking, farming, chocolate and many other things. It is my core belief that enthusiasm is the driving force of life. The more passionate you are, the more bountiful, positive and impactful your creations will be. We are all creators. We each have something unique to share. My mission is to share at my highest level of contribution and to help others do the same. My chosen means (or the means that chose me) to carry out this mission are a unique set of tools and skills, acquired over a lifetime that enable me to help others transcend limitations, increase vitality (energy aka "the capacity create") and sustain high-performance for ultimate personal fulfillment.

Learn more About Me See full profile

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1. Epic Joe Intro : 2. Welcome: welcome to have grew the best cup of coffee of all time ever. I've been Erin's your teacher throughout this tutorial. This is my first skill share class, and I'm very excited about it. Not too long ago, just about a year ago, I was drinking terrible coffee. Every morning I wake up, click on my auto drip coffee maker and drink whatever black stuff came out of there, and it wasn't very good. So I set off down the deep dive, learning all different types of methods and brewing techniques and technologies so that I could finally prove myself a decent cup of coffee. And what I found is truly astounding. I hope you enjoy it, so let's jump right in. I don't want to delay too much. You're going to see a lot of different things throughout this brief tutorial. But the three things to keep in mind or really as follows. There's really only three key points that determine the quality of your coffee number. One with the bullet is the quality of your source materials. You can't brew a season cup of coffee without shocker abuse and coffee, so, as it referred to throughout, give you a list of resource is later on. I like Inteligencia like Stumptown. ATTN. Like counterculture, these are a few top ones, but basically you want to start out with a high quality source, and you can also learn a bit more about it and definitely get organic, because coffee is a heavily spray prop. Growing Third World countries so organic is the way to go, and you can talk to different reasons. Talk to people at your local coffee shop and find out what's really high quality brand. Second is the beans themselves and the preparation of those beings. You want to be sure that they're roasted no more than 15 days before broom. You always want to buy a whole beans and grinding yourself using a colander burr grinder so rather tutorial, we're gonna see me used a Elektronik grinder, which is a burr grinder as well. But for all intents and purposes, you did the same thing with a very inexpensive grinding like So the reason you want to use such a grinder as opposed to a blade grinder. There's a blade Rider will actually shred and damaged beans. Well, a burger Reiner is basically a cylindrical type of grinder that bush is the beans and teach the oils intact and it also grind everything even Brian size. So just from a little bit of that's good from the little bit I ground there are probably can't see it. But everything is basically ground to even size, which is critical force, except because you have some pieces in grinds that are bigger than others. When you was will extract the caffeine or coffee from this, the extraction takes place when it's steeping in the water. When water being blast through the ground beings bigger pieces basically take longer to extract flavour. Smaller pieces extract much quicker. So you want everything to be the same size case in point. Kahlenberg Rider. So number one, make sure you start off with a good source. Number two being preparation roasted, grinding yourself right before you're gonna Pruitt And three is what we're gonna jump into in these tutorials. And that is how to brew the best cup of coffee. Are you ready to get cooking? So let's jump right in. But first, let's do ourselves a favor. And through our drip coffee maker, right trash were blows. All right, now that's done. Oh, word 3. Equipment & Methods of Brewing : all right, I actually want to start at the top, and we're gonna work our way down. So this is my favorite piece of equipment. This is my pride and joy. I got this one on for about half of the price. The normal price is around 7 99 So we're talking about Ferrari here. Um, this is basically a la Pavoni Italian made handmade manual espresso machine by manual. That means that you can see it has a lever here that you basically pressed down to extract it, even see, some water came out there. Um, so everything really comes into play with this one. Like, we were just talking about what? The quality you can feel the pressure of how much you're you're pushing down. You can see the temperature gauge or the pressure gauge of how much pressure is in the tank . So there's a lot of different things that come into play. And to be honest, it took me some time. It took me a couple of months of just experimentation before I could really get a decent shot out of this. Um, for me, that's fun. If you ever want to take it to this level. I highly recommend the lap of only their cheaper models as well, but it's well worth it. This this model itself will last actually generations, so I'll never need to buy another one. It's easy to maintain its simple, and if you are looking to get into espresso, I would highly, highly highly recommend this simplistic and complete a lot of only type of espresso and poll machine. So next sticking with the espresso category, we have this Italian stovetop espresso. If you've ever been to Italy or just about any European country, you'll find that they have these everywhere. These things have, you know, different sports logo's. They're outfitted with all sorts of different things. They have them in every color you could imagine every size they get, about 10 times bigger than this. I've seen ones in restaurants on, and they also get about three times smaller than this for like a single shot. But basically what this is and how this works as a stove Countess Crescent machine is very simple. Just like you have a regular espresso machine. What's called a basket or porter filter? Now this one's a bottomless porter filter normally used a stout on there like so, but what you have is a filter, a metal filter with screen mesh. In this case, it sits inside the base here, so you basically fill this with clean water up until the film line. You can't really see it, but there's a feel line in here. You take your coffee grinds, you place it inside your basket or your reporter shelter, and then you take this, which will be empty simply. I screwed up. Then this can sit on top of the stove, whether it's electric, whether it's a gas stove makes a difference. But after about 5 to 7 minutes when the water is boiling, what's going to happen is, as you can see, there's a *** it in here and this speaking as the water steams up and expands well, start to bubble up and, of course, as to cross through that coffee barrier so it will bubble up and release itself. And you'll get a really nice, frothy, thick espresso type of coffee in there, maybe a little bit more water, depending on how much you place, but still a very, very powerful cup of coffee. I don't recommend drinking it just directly like that. If you have a full basket. If you begin with a full basket, I recommend, actually that you pour about half into your cup. Happen to your friends cup or just happen to your cup and then pour hot water boiling water into the rest of it and making Americano super simple. Fantastic for camping. Fantastic for stovetop. Good for travel. Anything you want next, we're gonna go with a French press. Now, the key difference between French press, type of coffee and espresso type of coffee is steeping so in here, what you're gonna do is basically you have a metal glass like beaker. You're gonna have about 12 to 15 grams of coarsely ground coffee course ground in this case because they're gonna be steeping for about four minutes in there. Um, so the coffee is just going to Steve exactly like you'd make a cup of tea. No difference. You could even theoretically put coffee and tea bag. If it's coarsely ground and steep it that way, it would be exactly the same. But essentially, it's gonna be steeping. Here. You add hot water about 136 degrees again step away from the tools and technologies. The way to get the water the right temperature is to bring it to a boil, turn off the stove and let it sit for one minute. You'll have 136 degree water, and that's fine. If it's off by a few degrees, don't sweat, so you're gonna let sit, just like so this would actually float on top, you know, let it sit just like so for four minutes, and then after four minutes, you're gonna slowly plunge down. Just filter it out and you can see there's a mesh in there so you can pour with the top on and you'll just pour your cup like so that, as opposed to the fine ground that's needed for an espresso, where the water is basically heated and steam blasted through the mesh, Uh, highly packed, expressing you can see here, actually from an espresso that I made this morning with my bottomless porter filter. This is actually what's referred to as a puck. Now, this might look like a solid punk, but it's actually coffee grounds that were in here. Well, they have expanded so they won't fit back in there. It's got messy. Who? But in any case course ground last week we have a favorite of a lot of Arista's. It's one of my favorites for traveling when I'm home. I really do like the Italian one. If I don't want to do anything too fancy with my La Pavoni I love occasionally, if I want to have more of like, a cup of coffee in the French press, give you a little bit of silty coffee. Not as thick is the espresso, but but a little bit textured differently. So another one is the Arrow Press. This one is about $20 it's essentially like a cross between a French press, like an inverted French press combined with an espresso machine or combined with some kind of a manual. Even like this lever action manual espresso machine. How it works is really simple. It's basically two parts. This was developed by the guy who invented the Arrgh Be Frisbee, and it's basically a rubber plunger on one end and a tube on the other. You simply west the rubber plunger to give it a little bit of a seal. You would add your coffee beans right in here again. About 12 15 milligrams. Darts are grams, grams, and, um then you have your choice. Just like an espresso of either a metal mesh filter, which gives you a little bit of, ah, smoother, full body type of flavor, um, or texture. Or you could go with the disposable paper filters. So the I like the metal one because it's gonna allow more of the oils of the coffee through and give you a little bit of a richer flavor. So what happens next? You have your coffee. Just fill it up with hot water almost to the top, and then you slap on your top, which is the metal mesh with this basically type of cap on top just to secure it. Then you're literally you would stir before you put the cap on for about 10 seconds, and then we would literally take your cup. And best to do this on a surface. See here. But you had pressed down for about 30 seconds, 20 to 30 seconds and use your own body just like you could use this lever to squeeze out the coffee and blast it essentially through the metal grid, and you get a very nice I would say kind of a cross between on espresso and a French breast , and it's very interesting and very good cup of coffee for a very cheap price and very didn't make best part is the cleanup there is not. You would have a puck here. You literally ejected. You're popping sound. You rejected into the trash and the whole thing is entirely clean. Doesn't need to be. Don't need to run water over it. It's ready for the next time. So that's it. In terms of the coffee equipment, Um, I would encourage you to invest se. I think these go for 20 bucks on. Give this a try. I think you feel like this. It's kind of a hybrid. Or if you want to just go for all three, I think you can find one of these online French press. This is a single cover for 10 bucks on. This is a double cup Italian still atop espresso maker. Probably find also for about 10 bucks eso for investment of, say, $40. You can have a wide, wide, wide variety of very high quality coffee, and if you think about how much coffee. You probably drinkin a week spending four bucks at Starbucks over 10 days. You'll end up saving a bundle just by doing this yourself. 4. The Importance of Quality : This is one of my favorite stories. It's about Stradivarius, the violin maker. So for those of you don't know, Stradivarius makes or made the best violence in the world, no one even to this day could come close to matching the sound quality that thes violence could produce. So, of course, in the modern age of technology and measurements and all of the devices and things that we have, the tools that we have people tried scientists trying to replicate this Stradivarius method of manufacturing. Uh, violins. They would use the same exact kind of wood that he would use. They would measure everything with micrometers and and look at his existing violins and see the contours. Put these all into computers and make ones that were exactly identical down to the micro millimeter. And they could never produce or reproduce the same sound quality that these original Stradivarius violence had. And the reason that he attributes to the sound quality Stradivarius himself is that he would actually go out into the woods when he was choosing the right starting materials. When he was choosing the right would for this he, as he puts it, he would communicate. He would talk with the trees or commune with trees. And he was his inner sense of intuition to select the right one and to shape it just the right way. And he would do this, not with any measuring tools, but just with his own intuition about what he thought went, went best. And for that reason is sound. Quality is unmatched even today, with all the technology that we have. So why do I bring this up? I bring this up to highlight the importance of quality quality. Above all else is what will make the difference between an extremely good cup of coffee and , frankly, one that doesn't taste that good. So there's a couple of ways to go about it. And the novice type of approach we're all starting off somewhere is to try and replicate quality in the first place. We do that using different tools that are available. Like, for instance, I actually do have here on micrometer that I would use for something like, say, if I'm gonna make an espresso, I want to know exactly you know that 53.2 millimeters is how big the circumference is. So that's how big my tap size needs to be. I would want to know that six millimeters down is the optimal packing, uh, rate for this type of ah showerhead on my espresso machine. I would also use things like a temperature gauge or pressure gauge that I have on the machine here temperature gauge to ensure that the water reaches 136 degrees Celsius. I might also experiment with using something like a scale the digital scale for a couple of things to make sure that I weigh and measure and get the precise amount of coffee, the right ratio of coffee, toe water, or even for something like if I'm starting to make espresso to tap down, I should use about between 30 and 50 pounds of pressure so I can actually do that on the scale and determine exactly what that should feel like. Um, but before we get all this fancy equipment because I want to keep things simple, my goal is to keep things as simple as possible and to provide you with all of the tools to just get started to enjoy this process the way I've enjoyed it. Um, so what? I would encourage you to do is put all tools aside. So when I started off trying to make coffee, I was using all of these different tools. And sometimes it's good just to get a little bit of a baseline. Maybe spend the first week, you know, making sure that the water gets to the right temperature, making sure that you're using 12 to 15 milligrams of ground beams if you're making, let's say, a French press or something like that, but above and beyond that, what's really gonna make the best coffee is your own intuition, just like Stradivarius did when he was creating his violins. I would encourage you to be the same. Be a crafts person when you create your cup of coffee, and especially at the end of this course with your take home assignment when you create your own signature coffee beverage. So a few things that are important for quality number one hands down is the quality of the source. Materials, just like trees, was important for strata. Various. The coffee is the most important thing for making a decent cup of coffee. I like counterculture Inteligencia or Stumptown are all some of my favorite brands. The second thing is, when it was roasted, you wanted to be roasted within about 15 days, and you'll find that the longer it sits out, the finer you have to grind it in order to get a decent extraction. So a few things that come into play just where I'm going about my normal coffee and routine . Now let's say if I'm making espresso, I'm going to I place my beams, my grinder. I'm gonna set grind two different levels. When it comes to make me a decent cup of coffee, everything comes into play. Of course, it starts with raw ingredients. It starts with the materials that highest quality coffee beans you confined. But then it also goes into things like how you grind the beans, how you steep them, what temperature the water is. Even the atmospheric pressure comes into play when it comes to, say, making an espresso and determining how how finally, you should grind it and how strongly you should pack it. Today, for instance, I can see that there's a lot of humidity in the air. It's raining, for instance, so I might not pack it as hard as I normally do. if it was drier out as opposed on a sunny day, I would have to pack it down a little bit further. So these may seem like my new details, but these are the kinds of things that start to develop when you just experience it. And these are the things that skilled coffee tasters skilled coffee maker really gets you that last 20% of high quality and separates you from the rest of just an average Joe. So let's get started with equipment. 5. Making EPIC Ice Coffee : making delicious ice coffee is surprisingly easy. I actually don't recommend cold brewing, which is the process of slowly steeping the tea for 12 to 18 hours in the refrigerator. What I do recommend is using any of the methods we've talked about so far, be it espresso, French press, aero press or stovetop espresso to make a small amount about two shots worth of concentrated coffee and simply pour it over ice. Then when you're finished, all you need to do is add a little bit of your favorite milk beverage. In this case, I years almond milk and you will have the most delicious ice coffee that you have ever tasted. 6. Creating Your Own Signature Coffee : Let's get creative. It's time to make your own signature coffee beverage. First, I want to share with you my personal favorite and how I make it, how you can make it and how you can start using different variations and get inspiration to make your own coffee beverage to knock your socks off and not the panties off. Your friends were not the socks off your friends. All right. What I'm gonna do is for my method of brewing how many years my Nespresso machine, although this could just as easily be done with any of the other methods that we should, especially the Italian stovetop espresso maker. About 10 bucks. First thing I need is a little bit of heated heavy cream. This is heavy cream, and I would just heat it up on the stove or in this case, I would use my milk for author. But just take a little bit of cream. I'm gonna combine that with one teaspoon of this dog about organic chocolate Mexican hot chocolate, which is infused with different spices like a puppy paprika and the red one with the, um, you know, with the spiciness, Cayenne ever is delicious and third. My third secret ingredient is pure maple syrup, and this is actually infused with bourbon, so it has a slightly well, has a pretty potent alcohol, bourbon like flavour. So it's a little bit of an Irish flare mixed with Mexican flair, mixed with sweet tooth and a cappuccino mixed in one good cup. And I'm going through this one in a very tiny cup of something about a cross between a cross between an espresso cup in a cappuccino cup. But it's really basically, if you look at an espresso cup, it's really basically about the same. It's a little bit wider, just a little bit shallower, and I like this wide mouth one, Um, because it allows the foamy cream that you put on top to come spread out, make a nice pattern if I choose or, uh, basically a nice way to drink it. So part of this is, as you create your signature drink, think not only about the ingredients that you're gonna include what types of flavors do you like? You like spices, you conclude. I'm handing sorts of different spices. Uh, cinnamon, for instance. You know, just get creative, but also think about the presentation. Do you want to serve it? It has a nice beverage or hot beverage. Do you want to serve it over ice in a beaker? Like so we're in a Mason jar like this. You want to serve it in a beaker? Do you want to serve it in a flask? Do you want to serve it in a cozy coffee mug of this kind with bowl shaped to retain some of the heat is one of my favorites. My survival school copy cup. So think about these different things. Or if it's an espresso, if it's something small like just have view very small sips. Do you want to serve in an espresso cup or one of these double world espresso type glasses where you can actually see everything in there if it's let's say, has a nice creme on top? Or has a nice dark uh, you know what's Just think about what is going to, um, highlight the attributes of your coffee creation and presented that way, get creative posted in the class. I personally really look forward to see what you guys come up with, and I'm sure everyone else will, too. So enjoy this process be creative and have a lot of fun. So E e. And we got a little bit messy there. But that's part of the fun of it, and that's part of making the best coffee. So there it is. There's my signature drink. It's a little bit like a chocolate macchiato. I don't have a name for it. If you have any suggestions, I would be more than happy to hear them. Whoa, that's good. That's really good. 7. Thank You! : Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed that. Learned a lot and are well on your way to creating your own signature coffee beverage on bears for more tips and tricks and all sorts of unique things, as well as where you can find the best coffee approx. Check out block barons dot com. I'll be doing all sorts of fun stuff there. Thanks for watching. And I guess if you like this class sharing rated, do whatever the kids are doing these days. That's it. Enjoy and stay caffeinated. 8. Joe vs Wild : So we have a few different options here. First, the essentials. You need some kind of a gas source. I like these small compact size is you need some kind of ah, head or boiler like so you need favorite beans. I like counterculture. You need your grinder, a little coffee cup, preferably steel surrounded by ceramic. And then you have your different brewing methods. And as I've shown before, you can use the arrow press, or you can use the French press. Both are very convenient for outside, but my personal favorite is the Italian stovetop espresso maker. Super Simple already got this one packed with coffee filled with water. And here we go. Cheers, way.