Meet Cory Andreen - 2012 World Cup Tasters Champion and owner of Cafe CK, a speciality coffee shop in Berlin.
Cory is a world class barista - a true expert when it comes to making good coffee. We’re lucky he shared his 7 best barista tips with us.
#1. Use good coffee.
As with any food or beverage, the quality of raw ingredients is paramount. Good coffee meets a long list of criteria including but not limited to the following: freshly roasted, well roasted (avoid very dark beans, especially with a glossy sheen), in season, traceable (farmers and farms who know their names are on the bag care a hell of a lot more about quality than the guy who knows it just ends up in some sack labeled Nespresso or Starbucks or just COFFEE.). I could go on and on but you get the idea.
#2. Use good water.
A cup of coffee is about 98.5% water which means starting with delicious H20 is a must. Most filter jugs will do the job nicely if your tap water isn’t up to par. Leave the filtered water in Japanese coffee equipment maker Hario’s stone & charcoal water pitcher for a few hours to really up the ante. If you don’t have time to bother with filtering, steal a trick from coffee brewing competitions and use Norwegian bottled spring water.
#3. Grind fresh.
If you spend big money on any piece of coffee equipment, make it a grinder. Anyone can make delicious coffee with a 10€ filter or french press but it’s nearly impossible to do this without a decent grinder. Ground coffee loses most of its aroma in a matter of minutes or, at best, hours. Any coffee lover who owns a grinder for pepper but not for beans should think about this long and hard.
#4. Weigh Everything.
A good kitchen scale is a great investment in and of itself but can be of especial use to coffee drinkers. Brewing coffee is not so different from preparing anything else with a recipe and measuring your ingredients is key to consistently reproducing tasty results. I never leave home without a scale. Seriously.
#5. Time your brew.
Not as necessary for pour-over brewers but indispensable for steepers (Aeropress, french press, Clever, etc.) and espresso machines, a timer is one of the handiest tools for making coffee. 4 minutes is the magical time for a french press and most other methods range from 2 to 6. Espresso, being the major exception, takes 25-30 seconds.
#6. Brew it!
For under €100 manual brewers are your best bet. Aeropress, Chemex, Clever, Hario, Kalita, Bodum, Walküre and plenty of others make great devices for brewing coffee. If you can’t live without a machine, spring for a Technivorm Moccamaster and if espresso is your thing you might as well get a La Marzocco GS3 or Kees van der Westen Speedster.
#7. Measure your TDS (for coffee nerds).
Say what? No, it’s not a typo and we didn’t mean to write STD.
is the abbreviation for total dissolved solids. It is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid.
If you make it to the stage of of purchasing a VST LAB refractometer for coffee and the accompanying MoJoToGo app, congratulations are in order. You have completed the final level of coffee brewing obsession.