Not Your Average Joe: The Story Behind Crafting Quality Coffee
As foodies move towards a greater appreciation of source and taste, craft coffee is coming into its own
Just like the growing world of beer, juice, cheese and micro-veggies, coffee has a culture of its own. And it doesn’t involve a vanilla latte. According to a recent study by the National Coffee Association on coffee drinking trends, overall coffee consumption in the US increased by five percentage points, to 83 percent. When it came to the type of coffee, single-cup brewing saw a steady rise, from 37 to 43 percent, while consumption of coffee made in drip coffee makers declined. That’s because the movement toward pure, craft coffee is growing.
Craft coffee culture is about more than a caffeine fix. It pays homage not just to the country the beans come from, but to the farm they were harvested from, too. It demands high standards but still plays on passion. New brewing and serving techniques have been developed to enhance the unique characteristics and flavor profiles of coffee are emerging, too. Some of which were created centuries ago. The New York Times referred to Japanese-style pour-coffee as coffee’s ‘slow dance.’ Made by hand, one cup at a time, pour over coffee is as much a ritual as it is a pleasure. Heated water poured through a narrow spout and over a filter full of ground coffee produces a thin, precise stream that, when done correctly, delivers a measured amount of water over several minutes. Getting that traditional pour over used to involve importing bulb like bottles and strainers from Japan and a steady hand only years of yoga practice could produce. That has all changed. Thoughtfully designed machines like KitchenAid’s Pour Over Coffee Brewer - which earned a Home Brewer Certification from the Specialty Coffee Association of America – take the uncertainty out of how exactly to master that delicate pour and delivers a cup that craft connoisseur would be proud of. Through the machine’s gentle extraction process, grounds are actually allowed to ‘bloom’ because they aren’t oversoaked.
Two innovative craft coffee brewers from KitchenAid are the Siphon and Precision Press Coffee Maker. Machines like these truly make it easy to create craft coffee at home. Before you start brewing, though, you have to work your beans. Any barista will tell you that one of the most important pieces of equipment in craft coffee creation is a good grinder. The KitchenAid burr grinder is adjustable from extra fine for high-end espresso machines to coarse for French presses and everything in between for drip and pour-over. The best brew uses fresh ground beans from a Burr Grinder and is immediately transferred to your chosen KitchenAid brewer.
If you’ve been dedicated to your French press, create a coffee house quality cup with a precision press that creates a rich, full-bodied robust cup of coffee without the guesswork. KitchenAid’s Precision Press is equipped with an integrated scale and timer. It refines the classic brew method by measuring coffee and water by weight instead of volume – a method favored by professional baristas because it maximizes complex coffee flavors. An integrated timer ensures proper and precise brew time. The maker’s dual wall stainless steel construction is both attractive and functional. It provides optimal heat retention compared to traditional French press glass carafes. Plus, its cordless design allows for easy clean up.
The KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer creates complex flavor at the flip of a switch. A vacuum method that works on the principle of the expansion and contraction of water vapor, everything about using a siphon coffee making involves the senses - and a bit of science. Vapor pressure creates a vacuum that draws hot water from the carafe up through a stainless steel siphon tube and into the brew unit. There, the grounds are fully immersed and evenly saturated with hot water, extracting the coffee’s full range of flavor. From the aroma of the freshly ground beans to the motion of the artfully designed machine to the visual stimulation of watching the coffee move up and down the pot, it’s an experience that could change everything you thought about coffee. And it’s a hell of a lot more fun than waiting in line for someone to pronounce your name incorrectly.
If you’re already approaching coffee from a culinary standpoint, consider incorporating craft coffee brewing into your routine and realize the full potential a coffee bean has.