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: […]

How to make cold-brew with an AeroPress

Note from Margaret: I’m thrilled to welcome Benji Walklet as a guest contributor to Coffee Cantata! Benji runs The Coffee Concierge, which is a fantastic resource for all things coffee – machine recommendations, coffee reviews, and cool experiments like this one. Check out his writing (and videos) at http://www.thecoffeeconcierge.net. In the world of coffee, there […]

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 […]