02/08/12

Coffee - The Rabbit Hole Edition

As you might know I am pretty obsessed with good artisan coffee making (espresso to be precise). Recently I found myself in the middle of a long discussion about the "right" equipment.

Good coffee is pretty much a function of 1) the right beans, 2) the right grinder, 3) the right machine, 4) the right temper and 5) skill. If you ever want to go down the espresso rabbit hole - here's my current top 5 list.

  1. I buy beans from tonx.org - these guys are positively obsessed about getting the right beans and roasting them to perfection. My second source is Verve in Santa Cruz, CA and if I get my hands on them, pretty much any beans from one of the many artisan roasters in Portland, OR and Seattle.
  2. Baratza produces some of the finest burr grinders on the market. Their new Vario-W is phenomenal.
  3. The espresso machine I now use is a Rocket Cellini Premium Plus, the tool of choice for a lot of coffee aficionados. A great alternative is the Izzo Alex Duetto.
  4. Tempering is mostly about applying the right pressure. Getting the right temper tool helps a ton with this - the tool of choice for a lot of serious barristas is a Reg Barber. Personally I love their C-Ripple base - used by the World Barrista champion.
  5. The videos produced by my favorite store Seattle Coffee Gear are an amazing starting point to learn how to pull the perfect shot.

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