What’s All the Buzz About Making Craft Coffee At Home?

Staff Writer
Macy’s and KitchenAid® invite you to see, smell, and taste for yourself

With a few simple steps, you can easily whip up some amazing high-quality coffee through a variety of brew methods that rivals anything you’d get at your neighborhood coffee shop.

KitchenAid® has teamed up with Macy’s and Toby’s Estate Coffee to create their very own craft coffee school. On January 30, Macy’s

Herald Square will host the Home Brew School by KitchenAid. Experts from Toby’s Estate Coffee will be on hand to demo KitchenAid’s new line of brewers and show coffee-lovers how to prepare perfect craft coffee at home. Then, guests can head over to the Barista Bar for a tasting and to sharpen their barista skills with game-changing brewing tips. There will even be a giveaway where someone can win a free KitchenAid Precision Press Coffee Maker.

The decision to partner with Toby’s Estate Coffee was an easy one for KitchenAid. Toby’s is so excited about the art of home coffee brewing that it started teaching its own home brew classes. We chatted with Toby's Estate Educators Kris Fulton and Allie Carran to get the inside scoop on their love of and lessons on craft coffee.

The Daily Meal: Why did you guys start teaching home brew school classes?   

Kris Fulton and Allie Carran: We truly believe that being able to make yourself (or a guest) a great cup of coffee in the morning is one of life’s simplest pleasures.

Does the equipment you use to brew your cup of coffee really matter?

The type of equipment that you use definitely matters. The differences can be small in things like design and brew capacity or large, such as in availability to control factors of time and temperature. If you’re not sure where to start, we definitely recommend investing in a quality grinder. 

How does at-home brewing equipment, such as KitchenAid’s Craft Coffee Brewers and Burr Grinder, elevate a cup of coffee when compared with typical machines?

There are many factors that affect coffee extraction. Equipment can be vital in helping to manipulate these factors to produce the best results. 

The grinder controls what are arguably the most important factors in at-home brewing. Uniform grind size is pertinent to proper coffee extraction and burr grinders, like the KitchenAid Burr Grinder, produce a smaller range in particle sizes versus a conventional blade grinder. In addition, storing whole bean coffee and grinding right before brewing helps to maximize flavor potential.

The brewers each focus on consistency in the other factors important to proper extraction, such as water temperature, time, and precise dosing of coffee and water. KitchenAid has found a way to make this control user-friendly through features like the integrated scale and timer on the Precision Press Coffee Maker. The Pour Over Coffee Brewer ensures that the brew water is at the proper temperature (195-205 [degrees] F) before dispensing (a feature not found on many automatic home brewers), allowing users to brew coffee at home to the same quality of what they might receive in a specialty café.

Can you give us a couple examples of the different coffee types each brewer makes?

Each brewer makes a cup of drip coffee, but while using different variations in brewing and filter types. 

The Precision Press Coffee Maker uses what is called full immersion brewing, in which the coffee and water interact throughout the full brew time. The metal filter for the press allows more coffee oils and solubles into the cup, providing a full and rich mouth feel. 

With the Pour Over Coffee Brewer, the brew water flows through the coffee bed and extracts coffee solubles as it travels down into the pot. The paper filter holds back much of the fine particles, producing a cup with enhanced brightness and clarity.

The Siphon Coffee Brewer is considered a hybrid method, as throughout different points in the brewing process the water both maintains full contact with the coffee and also passes through. This combination of brewing techniques, along with the cloth filter, can produce coffee nuanced both in body and clarity.

Why is KitchenAid and Toby's Estate a perfect match?

Retail coffee sales are a big part of our company's focus, which makes quality home brewers of the utmost importance. Many times our guests will enjoy coffee in our cafes and buy a bag to take home only to return with questions as to why the quality is noticeably different when they brew at home. Our Brew School came about as a way to educate our guests in the same way that we educate our staff and wholesale partners as to the factors that are important to brewing coffee and how to best control them. 

KitchenAid has spent time focusing on crafting devices that not only bring these factors to the forefront, but also provide users with easy solutions to control them. This focus on precision brewing is a big part in upholding quality from the coffee farm to the cup, making our collaboration a perfect match.

Be sure to stop by the Home Brew School to get a glimpse of all the KitchenAid brewers in action. Plus, with a purchase of any KitchenAid coffee appliance you will receive a complimentary craft coffee take home kit curated by KitchenAid and Toby’s Estate Coffee.

Class starts at 2 p.m. Don’t be late!