1. the coffee
if you are used to instant coffee all your life, brewing your cup will come as a shock! it sure did to me. i have tried everything from the evergreen nescafe classic to smoky davidoff coffee to the ones flavored with hazelnuts, vanilla, love and dolphin tears.
also, if you are a true blue “south indian” who is on a constant, chicory induced high, brewing your coffee might not even be for you. chicory is what gives your coffee the “strong” flavor while masking coffee almost completely.
i have always had my coffee black. so the transition to a brewed cuppa joe in the morning, did not take much. i, however was shocked into realising that “flavors” came with the coffee and were not added to it. every coffee will sing a different song based on the plantation, origin, roasts – oh the permutations are endless!
if you consider yourself a coffee lover, get yourself some grounds and brew a cup. it’s only when you taste good coffee, you will truly know what you have missed in life, thus far.
in india, there are several roasteries across the country, that can provide you with coffee per your liking. my favorites right now include blue tokai, deccan coffee, seven beans coffee company and the flying squirrel.
2. the right kind of coffee
most of the roasteries provide 101 guides to the basics of coffee, roasting, brewing and even how its going to taste once you brew it. read up! do not go by fancy packaging or instagram photos and buy what the masses do. call up or email the roasteries with your queries and get them all clarified before you buy your grounds.
coffee is typically graded on acidity, aroma, body/balance, flavor and aftertaste. there are several other criteria such as sweetness, uniformity etc but that’s when we get to cupping protocol status.
for now a quick guide to picking your roast, as this impacts your coffee most.
light roast (cinnamon) – is most acidic and has the highest amounts of caffeine. however you can taste the flavor notes well and there wont be any oil on the surface. beans will be light brown.
medium roast (american, vienna, full city roast) – no oil on surface, you can taste both flavor notes and have body balance. medium caffeine and acidity. when it doubt, always get a city roast!
dark roast (italian, french, volcano) – for the brave spartans! you can mostly taste only the roasting, has the lowest acidity and caffeine content. the coffee is a beautifully seductive dark brown-black!
3. the equipment
roasteries will often ask you what grind you want. this is based on the equipment that you have. if you are in india, the humble south indian filter will get the job done. also i have cold brew-ed in an mason jar and it worked just fine. look through instagram and pinterest for more “goals”. i however am satisfied with the indian filter. follow instructions or learn from experience on how long you are to brew, how you are consume etc. the flying squirrel, sells some good coffee that goes great with a splash of milk, however most coffee is best had black.
word of caution: if you are buying a south indian filter, go for the stainless steel one. the brass one looks great for photo-op and likes on instagram but its such a pain to maintain and stains easily! get yourself an SS and breathe!
what makes your morning right? tell me know your favorite coffee and what how you make you brew. also keep me notified, if you come across a great french press!
until next time, brew away!