Posted on April 12, 2017
Emile Haddad Seattle Native, Coffee Lover: Making the Perfect Cuppa
Emile Haddad Seattle Coffee Critic: 3 Things To Remember When Making Coffee
So you’re sick and tired of that coffee shop chain and decided it’s time to learn how to make a good cup of joe? Then you’ve come to the right place! I’m Emile Haddad, Seattle native and Ballard’s resident coffee connoisseur, and I’d love to share to you everything I know about coffee. Whether you’ve had that coffee interest for only 24 hours or 24 years and running, you are most welcome to hang out here in my blog.
Reading my previous blog entries, I realize that I may have been talking about coffee to a limited audience. By this I mean only other coffee lovers would probably understand and be able to keep up with what I’ve been talking about. Because of this, I thought of writing down some of the basics of coffee making first.
Based on my experience, a lot of people seem to be intimated to dive right in, possibly, the world’s most beloved drink. This is completely understandable, of course; what with so many coffee beans and regions to read up on, “fancy” machines to get the hang of, and intricate processes and methods to jot down for posterity—a beginner can and will easily feel overwhelmed.
Remember, when it comes to making a coffee, there’s already a world to explore in these three things, three variables that are under your control and which should be enough to kick-start and sustain your interest in coffee for a few years:
#1: Grind size – The first thing you should think about is grind size. Finer or coarser? There’s a whole spectrum between both as well, so you can just imagine the possibilities. Generally, you’re better off using burr grinders over blade grinders. Burr grinders produce a nice, uniform grind whereas a blade grinder can leave you with an uneven, dusty mess. Not only that, blade runners also run the risk of “burning” your beans, which is the last thing you want. Take note too that your brewing method will also dictate the grind size. Unfortunately, you can’t just use any grind size for any brewing method you wish. Trust me on this; plenty of others have attempted this before and the coffee always turns out the same: horrible.
#2: Water to coffee ratio – The rule of thumb has pretty much been 1-2 tbsp of coffee for every 6 oz of water, but as you go along and learn how to taste coffee, and I mean truly taste the different flavors and notes in a single sip, you can change it up according to your preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! If you ask around, you’ll most likely find that people have different answers. Personally, I find 16:1 the sweet spot.
#3: Length of time for extraction – You know how coffee shop chains obsess over extracting the “the perfect shot”? The truth is, there’s a real rationale behind that obsession. Getting the resistance and timing right, and consistently at that, takes years to master and is what keeps baristas all over the world passionate over their craft.
Do you have any questions for me, Emile Haddad? Seattle is a wonderful place to discover coffee so I hope to see you here again soon!