Few things in life are taken as seriously as coffee, particularly on Monday, on the way back to work. For some people, it’s a ritual but it’s also medicine to many, and not to be messed with. But what makes a good coffee? And what should we as drinkers look for? These are the principles for making the best coffee and where to find a quality cup.
Beans – Foundation Elements
Perfection stems from sourcing whole beans that have been sustainably farmed and roasted within a few weeks of harvest. Arabica beans from Ethiopia are where coffee started, but the Robusta strain produces the crema. When it comes to roasting the beans, a lighter style means you can taste the flavour – the terroir – of the coffee. Coffee aficionados will tell you a dark roast is similar to a steak well done. If you want “strong” coffee, try a French press roast.
Grind – Fresh is Best
Coffee is delicate and perishes quickly when its organic compounds are exposed to oxygen. Great baristas grind their beans just before brewing. They also ensure an even consistency of the grind. Why? The secret is having the water flow over the grind slowly but not too slow as to burn the grind. So, it all comes to a question of technique.
Brew – Don’t Flood the Beans
A good barista knows their water to bean ratio needs to be just right. It must be spot on, with the coffee component not overwhelmed with water. In maths speak, coffee > water.
Professionalism – Do Not Scrimp
Are the beans good quality? Ask the barista. Are they fresh? If the beans are left out, the answer is probably not. Is everything orderly and neat? The best coffee comes from clean gear.
Style – Top Technique
Brewing great coffee is about precision and consistency. A great barista knows practice makes perfect. Making an espresso? Make it into the cup. Pour over? Slowly to ensure the best possible extraction.
Where to Get LKF's Best Coffee – Where the Rules Reign
G/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central; +852 2344 0005
G/F, Shop D, 50 Stanley Street, Central; +852 2663 2884
The Coffee Academïcs
G/F, 24 D’Aguilar Street, Central; +852 2110 1728
The Cupping Room
G/F, 18 Cochrane Street, Central; +852 2511 3518
Holly Brown Café
22 Stanley Street, Central; +852 2869 9008
60 Wyndham Street, Central; +852 2525 8805
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