- Coffee Pantry Lists
- For Beginner
- Cost Breakdown
How-to’s: Will link them here when available
Three Ways to Get Your Coffee Fix When Traveling
Three Coffee Roasters Worth Visiting in Seoul
From Beans to Brew in Five Simple Steps
Out of thousands online articles and blog posts here are the ones I found most helpful, easy to digest, and informative. If you have suggestions to add feel free to leave in comments below.
|Coffee Brewing: The Big Picture||Start here for total newbie!||https://goo.gl/r7MJYZ|
|Beans||Different origin, different flavor.||https://goo.gl/NCwy54|
|Roasting Style||The same reason why steak is made rare, medium, or well done.||https://goo.gl/nteibZ|
|Coffee Trading and Sourcing (photos)||Ever wonder what Ethiopia coffee farm is like?||https://goo.gl/S2FBGr|
|History of Coffee Pre 15th Century (podcast)||Cut from the same cloth||https://goo.gl/bH5j0o|
|The Coffee Compass||Troubleshoot your coffee||https://goo.gl/wO6yQK|
|Coffee Flavor Wheel||Flavor vocabs||https://goo.gl/n8yfMq|
Frustrated with inconvenience of getting a decent cup of coffee when I went back to my hometown, I started carrying homebrew kit during travel in 2016.
The town my parents live is mid-sized suburban area; two large scale supermarket, two small scale shopping mall, two government hospital, two private hospitals. Traditional style cafe ‘kopitiam’ (plenty around) serve black coffee, or does it? Third wave coffee shop (not so plenty) serves the modern fares of coffee based drinks. My friend, a doctor with crazy work schedule, would drive 30 minutes to our town to come to one particular cafe. She proclaimed it “the hippest place in the north”. Rightly so because we don’t have many contenders up there.
The roasted date on their beans is 4 months old
Sadly on my visit to the said cafe I found that the roasted date on their beans is 4 months old. Oy, you gotta be kidding me.
In any case, I don’t like driving 10 minutes just for a cup of mediocre, or worse, terrible coffee. When I’m back in my hometown I’d rather spend my precious time at home. And so the start of my home brewing obsession..
3. Coffee Pantry
Past and current brew. Also my tools of trade.
This list isn’t an explicit recommendation. Instead it’s my way of keeping logs as I train the palate to distinguish coffee flavors from different regions.
|Blend||Dark Libre||Cafe Libre||Seoul, Korea|
|Single Origin||PNG Goroka||Quest Coffee||Queensland, Australia|
|Blend||Bella Donovan||Blue Bottle Coffee||Oakland, CA US|
|Single Origin||Sudan Khartoum||Homeroaster||Khartoum, Sudan|
|Blend||No Surprises||Cafe Libre||Seoul, Korea|
|Single Origin||Ethiopia Yirgacheffe||Brown Bag Coffee||Seoul, Korea|
|Single Origin||Brazil||Brown Bag Coffee||Seoul, Korea|
Ceramic burr handgrinder Made in Korea I found in (out of all place!) a shipbuilding town south of Korea
Another Made in Korea. Tarr function available, small issues with accuracy (1~3g off). Sometimes go off in the middle of pour over. WTF?
3.3.3 Pour-Over Cone
Plastic cone made in Japan from Daiso
Caydanlik kettle (Turkish tea pot) that has a nice curvy neck to control water flow. Not a gooseneck kettle. I’d call it duck neck instead because the neck is shorter yet still have that curves. I bought it in Istanbul.
My French Press pot from IKEA. Why buy new one when you can improvise?
3.3.6 Coffee Mug
Random cups in my kitchen. When I want to keep the drinks warm longer: 300ml tumbler (a gift)
4. I’m A Beginner! Do I Need All Above?
If you start having thoughts like “my coffee tastes like bad water “, “I like coffee but I don’t know how to appreciate it”, ” how do I make it taste like the one I had at this cafe”, then you’re ready to step it up. It’s time to start paying attention to scale, ratio, and beans. Until then, just play around!
Short answer: no
Long answer: use what you have and follow these five steps.
1) buy 200g (or the minimum amount) whole beans
2) grind it using blender, not recommended but we’ll work on that later. or ask the roaster to grind it for you.
3) brew it. Campstyle, French Press.. whatever floats your boat
4) separate the grounds from brewed liquid
5) pour your delicious coffee
Play around with the parameters (if you don’t have scale, play it by unit i.e, scoop), taste the end product, tweak it to your liking.
True story: I used electric blade grinder and eyeballed the portion for few months before upgrading to ceramic burr grinder and kitchen scale.
If you start having thoughts like “my coffee tastes like bad water “, “this is too strong”, ” how do I make it taste like the one I had at this cafe”, then you’re ready to step it up. It’s time to start paying attention to scale, ratio and beans. Until then, just play around!
5. Costs Breakdown
In the spirit of exemplifying it costs very little to start brewing coffee at home here is my cost breakdown.
|Ceramic burr handgrinder||25,000||23|
|French Press pot||12,000||10|
Total Start Cost
Compare that to
|Monthly gym membership||$63|
Keep in mind you don’t need to purchase all items in one go. You can upgrade to two items each month, thus mitigating the cost per transaction. Also, once purchased you can use it forever (except beans). Or until it breaks down 10 years down the road.
All being said, if I must give the tools credence here is how I’d rank them from most to least useful.
|Beans||Overall taste||Fresh roasted (1 day) or less than 2 weeks|
|GOOD TO HAVE|
|Grinder||Ground uniformity||You want uniform grounds, so burr grinder.|
|Kitchen Scale||Coffee extraction||Golden ratio is 17:1|
|NICE TO HAVE|
|Cone||Extraction rate||One big hole|
|French Press pot||Serving volume||From serving one cup to five servings|
|Kettle*||Water flow||Gooseneck or long neck for better pour control (*drip specific)|
|INDIFFERENCE: Decanter, Mug.|