Getting Started with Specialty Coffee

If you are serious about coffee and want to learn and experiment more, I’ve put together a list of items on Amazon that will help you getting started.

You basically have a choice to make about which brewing method to start with:

  • Aeropress
  • Chemex
  • Hario V60

If you prefer an espresso-style (stronger) cup of coffee, then choose Aeropress. If you prefer a more smooth, rich bodied cup of coffee.

Next, you will need to get a coffee bean grinder,a scale to measure the grinds with a precision of 0.1 grams, a water kettle with precise control of the water temperature and ideally also a thermometer to check the water temperature. But if you choose one of the kettles I’ve listed, they have a built-in thermometer so you can forgo that.

If you’re the only person drinking coffee at home (I sympathize with you) then you might want to get a great hand grinder and skip the more expensive Baratza grinder for now. You always get them later and then use the hand grinder for your travel needs!

hand grinder

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Proud SCA Member

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SCA_MT18_With_Logotype_Stone_CMYK-01I decided to become an official SCA member so that I can showcase my expertise and work towards earning the “Coffee Skills Diploma” with all the courses and training that I’ve been doing.

In addition, it gets me market research reports, a sticker and access to some of the industry’s leading conferences. Most beneficial is, however, the discount you get on additional training!

Facts about coffee

Ideal coffee water is fresh and pure in taste and has no discernible odors. It should be mineral-rich, yet have a balanced mineral content. A total hardness of 7–12° EH, a carbonate hardness of 3–4° EH and a pH value of 6.5–7.5 are ideal (Source: ). Only then can coffee develop its full aroma.

Source: Deutscher Kaffeeverband

Read more about the meaning of EH or Eh, as chemical literature calls it, here.

What does this mean for anyone on a small island making coffee?

  • Don’t use tap water!
  • Don’t use water that has been desalinated!
  • Don’t use Reverse Osmosis (RO) water!
  • Don’t use just any mineral water but pay attention to pH and “dissolved minerals” per liter

If you do get RO water, get some tablets from Third Wave Water and you are fine!
Update: Chemists at MIT and 2 UK baristas have made a deep dive on this subject and analysed why soft water is particularly bad for making coffee.

Your Help Needed in Coffee Tasting

I’m about ready to try out different recipes for making filter coffee and sampling various coffees. But I could use your help with this! I simply can’t drink all the coffee myself.

On Friday 24th, Sunday 26th and Monday 27th of November from 10 AM – 1 PM, I will host small coffee tastings at my home. Only 4 seats are available each day, so make sure you sign up if you’re interested!

You will taste coffee made by a coffee maker (OXO on), the espresso-style Aeropress and the ultimate filter brewing method Hario V60.

Go to the No Pressure Coffee Facebook page, like it (if you haven’t already) and sign up for one of the sessions using the Events section.

There is no cost for this. I will supply the coffee, tea, water and juice that day and will also bake one or two cakes so you can keep your blood sugar levels at a reasonable level.

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I have WiFi at home, so you can work from my home instead of yours that day and enjoy the company of other coffee lovers, good conversations on coffee making and what goes into a great cup of coffee! You’ll learn something about coffee, I’m sure of that.

Hope to see you!

No pop-up store soon

Due to reasons beyond my control, the venue where I could have started a specialty coffee pop-up store has been sold. That means that I have to look for a new place. Still have a list of locations but having to rent them first and such makes it a lot more time consuming than using an existing venue.

Maybe I will do something different to get going…

Sourcing local coffee

While away on Guadeloupe, I’m taking time out to source a local supermarket for their coffee. Guadeloupe used to make lots of coffee for the European Continent but stopped due to competition. After WWII, production has slowly but surely increased again and farmers are more focused on producing higher quality Arabica and Robusta beans. But there’s also a local Bourbon variety that is sometimes added to produce and fuller bodied, round and subtle blend. I’m particularly interested in that variety which is imported from the other French colony Bourbon, off the coast of Madagascar.

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First blog post

Yesterday we set-up our domains, plural. You never know where customers come from.

Today we created our website, contact form and WordPress settings. Downloaded and selected variety of stock photos.

Tomorrow hopefully social media accounts and connections to/from IFTTT.

Next is MailChimp integration.