Review: Blue Bottle Perfectly Ground for Pour Over (Oakland, California)

When I bought Blue Bottle’s Kenya Embu Gikirima in whole bean format, I placed an order at the same time for the same coffee in Perfectly Ground, ground for pourover. Perfectly Ground is the name for Blue Bottle’s new line of coffee which has been ground and then directly sealed in individual oxygen-free bags so

The Best of 2015

This time of year, indie-music snobs the world over take great pleasure in making and criticizing each others’ year-end best-of lists. I didn’t make a list of my favorite albums because I really didn’t buy very many this year (though, I do have a favorite album – “Carrie and Lowell” by Sufjan Stevens. Devastating, beautiful, haunting,

Advice: Anatomy of a “good” espresso shot

A friend recently purchased an espresso machine and asked me to help teach him how to use it, as he does not know what “good” espresso is supposed to taste like. This got me thinking about how to describe the taste of a properly pulled shot of espresso to someone that has never had one. Let’s talk about orange

Advice: What should I order at a third-wave coffee shop?

Third-wave coffee shops are popping up everywhere. Walking into one is quite different from walking into a Starbucks; the menu is different, the equipment is different, and it can be a little intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. A quick history lesson for anyone that isn’t familiar with the coffee “waves”: First wave:

A general guide to single-origin coffees

One of the more fun but frustrating parts of getting into single-origin specialty coffee is trying to figure out where to start. Let’s say that you have resolved to start buying specialty coffee, and you pop into your local specialty coffee shop. You are overwhelmed by the array of bags on the shelf. What do you

How to host a coffee cupping at home

What is a coffee cupping? It’s like a wine tasting, but with coffee. Roasters will have cuppings regularly with their staff to analyze their product for consistency, defects, etc. Cafes will sometimes hold cuppings open to the public for people interested in learning more about coffee and about the differences possible between roasts, countries of

Experiment: Can I reheat coffee in the microwave?

Doing a Google search for “reheating coffee” seems to mostly yield the same advice: Don’t do it. At best, it ruins the flavor. At worst, it’s purported to cause cancer (which is a myth, but yikes!). I was curious about just HOW bad reheated coffee tastes, so when I had some leftover coffee, I thought