I don't know about you but I measure my day in cups of coffee I've had. I wake up and almost immediately brew a full pot. As soon as I get to the office, I have another. By the end of the day I've had at least 4, and on a bad day (or maybe a good day? Still haven't decided.) I've had 5+.
So, I'll be the first to admit it. I have a caffeine addiction I think most of us do-- more specifically a coffee addiction. I can't help it! Since elementary school, my parents would take us through the drive-thru of out closest Starbucks and the scent would pour into the car like a cup being filled. The smell lingered for hours and from then on I knew that I wanted to be a barista. I was so obsessed with Starbucks that I would make mix CD's with titles like "Starbucks Music" "Starbucks Tunes" AND I wanted to desperately to redecorate my room like a Starbucks. During college, it finally happened. I became a Starbucks barista and one of my childhood dreams became true. I worked there for 2 years, and it was honestly the most fun I've ever had at a job. I still see people and remember their order (and It's been over 4 years since I left).
During my time at Starbucks I fell deeper in love with coffee. I learned as much as I could about it, and even hosted monthly coffee trainings. Did you know that, according to legend, a goat herd in Ethiopia circa 800 AD? The shepherd noticed how energetic his goats were after munchin' on these little tiny red berries and he, like any normal 9th century shepherd decided to eat them as well. From then, coffee started its journey through Arabia (hence Arabica beans) to what we know and love today.
Enough history -- through my years of coffee experience (and a little inspiration from my Hispanic heritage) I have found the perfect coffee recipe, every time. I definitely recommend grinding your own coffee beans at home (which means buying whole bean instead of pre-ground). Coffee, like wine, has so many different flavor profiles all dependent on where the bean was grown, what the soil conditions were like, when the beans were harvested, and how long they were roasted for. Typically I like beans grown in Guatemala (floral, summery, aromatic) or Columbia (mellow, caramel, ripe). I suggest buying coffee for the week, so every Sunday I'm buying a new pound of coffee. Keep it in an air tight container (that means removing it from the bag, a lesson I learned the hard way).
Once you have your beans, if using a traditional coffee maker I suggest 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to ever 6 ounces of water. If you like it stronger, just add more grounds to the maker! If you prefer weaker coffee, add less! Did you know that light roasted coffee actually has more caffeine than dark? The roasting process actually burns caffeine out of the bean, so the longer it sits the less potent the coffee. When I make coffee in my Chemex, or a french press, I typically add an extra half tablespoon of grounds. NOW, for my secret. Before I start the coffee maker, or pour the hot water over my grounds (in the Chemex) I add cinnamon. To the grounds. You read that correctly. It just adds a really nice warmth to the coffee, and cinnamon boosts your metabolism!! Especially with South American and Ethiopian coffees, it really kicks up the flavor. Reminiscent of café de olla a Mexican spiced coffee it always takes me back to childhood. Smelling coffee brewing in the kitchen, then later in life smelling it through the Starbucks drive thru, and even later, brewing it on my own. Who doesn't want that!? Once your coffee is brewed, add to it whatever you'd like (duh). If you like foamy milk, heat so milk up in a saucepan and whisk away until it's nice and frothy! The possibilities are endless.
Cold brew is just as simple, but the wait time is longer. Worth it? Definitely. It's smoother and honestly a bit sweeter than traditional hot coffee, no matter the country of origin. To make your own cold brew, use the 1:8 ratio! So, about 2 cups of water to 4.5 tablespoons of coffee. Stronger than hot coffee for SURE. Coarsely grind your beans, and add them to the bottom of a sealable container, add the water, seal and let the beans steep in the water for at least 18 hours but no longer than 24. Then strain and you're all set! It's really that simple.
Coffee is something that we all drink (if you don't I will never understand), but it's also something that's a giant part of the human experience! Dating back to the 9th century, one of the oldest beverages on the planet and we still find new ways to enjoy it. How do you take your coffee? ALSO! DISCOUNT CODE ALERT! Use code: MSP for 12% off amazing single origin Guatemalan via Aktion Specialty Coffee!