Brew Methods

It’s Time to Kill the Keurig, and I Need Your Help

If you’ve been following coffee news lately, you know that the new Keurig 2.0 system is receiving less than stelar reviews – and for good reason. Their new DRM system is making a lot of enemies with businesses that once supported the Keurig brand, and it’s prompting some people to go as far as hacking their coffee machines.  I’ve never been a fan of K-cups: they brew weak coffee with stale beans, they are over-priced, and they are environmentally irresponsible.

With Black Friday approaching and the holiday season following close behind, I believe that it’s time to step up and voice our concerns with friends, family, and co-workers to keep these things out of homes and businesses. It’s time we step in to kill the Keurig.

To help with this, I’ve written a short essay and am distributing it as a PDF. I’ve embedded it below, and you can also click here to download it. I’ve included the introduction text in this post to give you a little taste.

Please share this with your friends on Facebook and tweet it. Send it to your favorite coffee shop. I didn’t put this together for blog hits or for exposure – I did it because I love the coffee community, and I hate seeing it tainted by overpriced, bad beans.

Download the PDF file .

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The process of getting a coffee bean from the plant to your mug is incredible. Expert growers spend their entire lives painstakingly cultivating their farms and creating relationships with distributors. Master roasters spend years practicing and alternating between degrees down to the decimal point to find the perfect temperature for their single origin and blended roasts. Baristas train and compete, taking great care and putting incredible effort into each and every cup that crosses their portafilters and pour-over cones. I have a huge amount of respect for the individuals that take part in this process daily.

The more I learn about the method and skill necessary to create high quality coffee, the deeper my resentment towards Keurig gets.

This short diatribe is primarily meant to be informational – as backwards as that sounds. As I’ve talked to people about Keurig, I’ve found that many folks like their coffee and the variety of options that they make available, but don’t know much about their coffee or what differentiates their machines from traditional brew methods. If that’s you, I beg you to read on. If you’re like me and dislike Keurig already, you’ll probably find yourself nodding along with my conclusions – I ask you to share this with your friends that fit into the first camp.

This essay contains three short chapters, and trust me when I say that each only scratches the surface of their respective topics. We’ll begin with history, then discuss math and money, and finally talk about the environment. I encourage you to do your own research on these topics as well.

In the sage words of Khan in the newest Star Trek film – “Now, shall we begin?”

 

Edit 11/20/14
This post has received a strong positive response with over 600 views and great discussion. Thank you for passing it around! I encourage you to continue to do so, especially as we get closer to Black Friday. #KilltheKCup

Edit 01/12/15
The campaign that this post and essay pushed is over, but I hope they both continue to shed light on why I believe Keurig is a less-than-stellar way to make coffee. Keep sharing the love!

BoiseCoffee’s Hario v60 Brew Method

I made a short video that shows my brew method for the Hario v60, and has a pretty fantastic song to go along with it! Enjoy, and please share yours in the comments.

Heat water to 200 degrees F.
Grind 28 grams of your favorite, fresh coffee at a medium grind in a burr grinder.
Wet filter and preheat vessel.
Pour 60g of water and let the coffee bloom for 1 min.
Finish pour to 415g.
Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

The Coffee Guy

Test driving my new Aeropress

I finally got my new Aeropress coffee and espresso maker today! I’ve waited with much anticipation, and I’ll admit, some disbelief. Having worked at a coffee shop in a different life (Ok, it was high school. And yeah, that was only like a year ago. Cut me a little slack.) I didn’t really see how something this…simple could create any kind of decent espresso. Boy was I wrong.

After unboxing the contraption and setting out all the parts, I checked out the instruction fold out/booklet. Making coffee in this thing is too easy: put in filter, put in grounds, put on top of cup, plunge away (a la French Press). The physics/dark arts that make this thing work make sense as well: hot water+coffee+lots of pressure=espresso. Granted, the grind and type of coffee plays into the quality of the coffee, but I found that this factor wasn’t nearly as important as it is in a regular espresso machine.

I had an hour between classes when I checked my mailbox and found this package waiting for me. After unboxing it, playing around with the parts, reading the mini-manual, and making my first double-espresso, only 45 minutes had passed. Yeah, I had to book it to my class, but it was so worth it.

The first type of coffee I used was the special “Hello Gadaffi! Blend” by Starry Night Coffee. Without commenting too much on the taste itself (possible review in the future), I was amazed to find that even though the coffee was ground much courser then espresso (I used a drip grind) the shots pulled from it were still fantastic. I didn’t get much crema on my espresso this time around, but I was also still trying to figure out the press. Diluting my shots with hot water, I had my first homemade Americano ready to drink for my next class.

It was the smoothest Americano that I’ve ever had. It was delicious from the top of the mug to the bottom. This wasn’t “camping coffee” or a “quick fix,” it was a straight-up delicious brew.

This evening I got a second chance to play around with my new toy. While I’m sure my roommate thinks I’m crazy by now, as I’ve done nothing but drink coffee for the last week straight, I had to try another type in my Aeropress. Turning to a bag of flavored coffee that I’ve recently received for a review (again, not focusing on the taste) my convictions were solidified. The flavor popped from the cup, and I once again enjoyed it to the last drop.

I decided to share the love with a fellow espressofile. Emailing my friend who lives in the same dorm as me, I told him to come down for some free coffee. I threw together a double-espresso of the “Hello Gadaffi! Blend” for him, but this time I focused more on quality as opposed to speed. Being deliberate with the press, and making sure I used piping hot water, I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the Aeropress from the top of my friend’s mug. The espresso had a thick caramel-colored layer of creme resting on top of it. My friend definitely enjoyed it, and I was happy to know that great espresso doesn’t take a $200 machine to make.

I would highly suggest getting an Aeropress for yourself. Not only is it an inexpensive alternative to higher end espresso machines, but it actually makes great coffee.

Do you have an Aeropress or something similar? What’s been your experience?

The Coffee Guy