coffee equipment and coffee supplies

From Part-Time Barista To Making Coffee At Home: My Homebrewing Coffee Journey

A former barista and longtime coffee lover just now starting a homebrewing coffee journey? It’s more likely than you think.

Let’s take a few steps back. My priorities were already being shuffled around long before the pandemic stepped in and shook us for all our loose change. From moving to a new apartment to figuring out a career shift, my desire to have an omnipresent home cafe in the corner of my kitchen was a lovely dream, but just that. A distant dream of making coffee at home, constantly pushed onto the back burner and growing ever loftier with every new excuse. If I wanted to enjoy a good cup, there was always a great cafe (or three) just a walk away. I live in the heart of Washington: throw a stone.

These days it’s too risky to even go to the low-activity cafes or roasteries, on top of everyone’s wallets being burned out. Now that things are both more stable and entirely unstable for me, my love for coffee has been resuscitated beyond said coffeehouse trips (and endless poring through coffee industry reports). It’s time to save money in the long run and create a homebrewing coffee set-up, at my own pace and with my preferences front and center.

While living with my mother I’d bounced between using her little red Keurig and her French Press (buying specialty beans had also been low-priority). After I moved, my roommate also happened to have a Keurig on standby. One collecting dust, at that. I’d proceed to use it a few times a week with grocery store coffee staples like Peet’s and Signature Select, giving me another coveted taste of the homebrewing experience (as well as a reminder of why I don’t want to rely on unsustainable coffee pods in the future).

One day my roommate was cleaning up the place and asked if I wanted to sell her Keurig, flicking on the lightbulb in my head that I have a prime opportunity to finally, at long last, upgrade.

Don’t let my procrastination turn you away: putting together your own coffee corner is a ton of fun. I’m going to share my homebrewing coffee journey in this ongoing series, from the equipment I’ve bought to the beans I’m grinding. I’ll also share recipes I’m trying out, homebrewing coffee resources and my thoughts on coffee culture. If you have a coffee set-up you’ve been thinking of starting, or just enjoy the thrill of the journey, read on.

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A Wealth Of History In Each Bean: The Depth Of Central America’s Coffee

The more I read about coffee, the more I need to learn. It’s not a pain point for me, but rather, a joy.

With every single country having a unique relationship with coffee, it only makes sense getting to the bottom of this bean is like trying to reach the deep ocean with the tips of your fingers. If you’re in the mood for an informative-yet-brisk read, this piece over on Vinepair takes a brief look at each coffee variety throughout Central America. This guide sheds light on the incredibly subtle flavor notes that can be cultivated (such as brown sugar and honey) to the astronomically high prices-per-pound, quite literally, only found in high places.

The sheer depth of detail that goes into cultivation is a lesson in patience. Some coffee varieties found mean competition in the mass market not even for their flavor notes, but for the fact they were more resistant to destructive rust. The Robusta variety, as such, might see more popularity in the future for being less delicate than the more coveted Arabica. You’ll never find me wagging a finger at someone for lacking cultural or technical coffee knowledge, because the very nature of this widespread and ancient drink means there’s always something new to discover.

And what fun it is.