Emile Haddad: Seattle’s Intrepid Coffee Snob
According to Emile Haddad, Seattle coffee will likely be a disappointment to connoisseurs used to the wonders of Italian coffee culture. Here, he discusses the basics of making a decent brew at home.
This is job one for the coffee enthusiast—acquiring the appropriate coffee accoutrements. You will need:
Coffee grinder. This is essential. If you want a truly exceptional cup of coffee, you have to grind the beans right before you brew. Pre-ground just won’t cut it—not in my world.
Instant-read thermometer. Water temperature has to be exactly right, and there is no better way of knowing you’ve achieved the proper temperature than with an instant-read thermometer. You want your water to be no hotter than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter what your brew of choice happens to be.
French press. A French press is a great tool for fantastic, smooth, non-acidic brews. It is also simple to use and (relatively) easy to clean.
Coffee! Naturally, you’re going to want to cap off your coffee initiation by purchasing great coffee. The very best can be obtained online from reputable roasters, and you can even join a coffee bean subscription service, so you can discover new flavors every month.
I have suggested that you invest in an instant-read thermometer, but there are electric water kettles that will heat water up to the exact temperature. I don’t particularly need another single-use gadget, so I lean towards the thermometer, since you can use it to temp foods as well.
I hope this gear gets you started on a fabulous coffee journey!
To Emile Haddad, Seattle isn’t really the heart of all things coffee, but he acknowledges it has a lot of good points, too.