Something that is becoming a common practice is brewing great coffee at home. While K-Cups still have a hold on the market due to convenience, many people are beginning to move away from them as they realize that a great cup of coffee is attainable in a convenient amount of time through other brewing methods.
Something I always like to share with people who ask, “How can I make a great cup of coffee without breaking the bank and have it done in a timely fashion?” are the essentials of brewing coffee. This first post in a series of… let’s just say several, I am going to focus on the roaster and water quality. Before I go any further, full disclosure – what you want will determine money spent and time devoted to brewing the perfect cup.
In today’s world we have what is called the third wave of coffee. The term ‘third wave’ is believed to have first been coined by Timothy Castle in 1999 in reference to an elevated focus on quality. Third wave coffee is a specific focus on farming, processing, roasting, and brewing a high-quality cup of coffee. Some people may call this commitment to top quality “the search for the Gold Cup”. Coffee roasters and shops are popping up all over the US in search of crafting the ‘Gold Cup’ of coffee. This movement strives to give coffee a higher status than just a commodity to be sipped. It is an intentional pursuit to craft coffee to a standard that has not been known since its discovery centuries ago. A third wave coffee roaster has this ideology in mind when he/she creates their recipes and commits to roasting great coffees. Perfect Daily Grind has a great article that talks more about third wave coffee and roasting.
But what does all this mean for you at home? For your coffee that you purchase the end result starts with the quality of the coffees you buy. Off the shelf from the grocery store may get you through, but if you are looking for a better tasting cup you should aim to buy directly from the roaster. There are several great roasters in Indianapolis and the Midwest, but here at DBMH, we are partial to Tinker Coffee Company. They supply our shop with delicious coffees each week, which you can also purchase online, in-store (212 E 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202), or you can subscribe and receive Tinker Coffee on your door step (boxed up of course).
When talking about quality of water there is not much one can do, short of purchasing bottled water or getting an RO filtration system for your house, to drastically improve the water coming into your home. There are, however, other options that are less cost-prohibitive. Third Wave Water is a company that has put ‘water for coffee’ essentials into a small packet. Add the contents of this packet (a mixture of calcium, magnesium, and sodium) to a gallon of distilled water and now you have some “high quality H2O” (shameless movie reference). There are various reasons these three ingredients are integral for great water for coffee, but to keep it simple (I am no chemist, after all) water can ruin a great cup of coffee. Let’s face it, coffee is 98% water! Water can also ruin your coffee equipment. It is paramount that for the most important cup of the day you are taking the care necessary to give your coffee what it needs to make it taste great. And if you are curious about the actual difference, have a cup of coffee brewed with tap water and one with Third Wave Water and I promise you will notice a difference.
There is so much more in just these two variables of coffee that can have a positive or negative effect on your cup of coffee. One could easily write a book (many already have) about coffee and all the aspects of brewing a great cup. Next week I will jump into coffee to water ratio and grind. Blessings!