Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Coffee Break (March 2016)

Last April (in the flurry of the hectic beginnings of spring) I published my first “Coffee Break” post. This year my breaking point came a month earlier and the load is a lot heavier. With baby number three on the way (due in July) and a complete kitchen remodel on my plate, I need to take a step back.

I plan to continue posting (I have several posts that are nearly completed and just need to be edited) but I need to give myself permission to make the posting schedule a little erratic. I also want to spend some time writing on some subjects other than coffee (gasp) and rework some of the pages and material I currently have on the blog.

The original idea of the first “Coffee Break” post was to supply a few short updates joined into one post and inform my readers that I may be MIA at times. This post will follow relatively the same format.

Good coffee is worth the extra dough

The subject of buying good coffee is important enough to be made into a manifesto type article but for now, I think these few words will do.

I’ve been having more conversations with people about coffee and I’ve noticed a trend. When people ask me where I get my coffee from, I have a tendency to tack on a statement about how the coffee is a little on the expensive side but really good. Sometimes I feel a little awkward about how much I spend on coffee.

Last week I got two really great coffees in and as I was enjoying a morning cup with my wife, I had somewhat of a revelation. Good coffee is worth it. I look forward to that 8 ounce cup of delicious and interesting coffee (some of the finest available) and compared to most of the other finer things in life, great coffee is a bargain.

In case you are wondering what two coffees sparked this realization, it was an Ethopia Duromina from Verve and a Peru Idelberto from Ruby.

I have been trying to be more disciplined about taking tasting notes and deliberately tasting my coffee but I occasionally need a little nudge to keep me on track. I am toying with the idea of bringing some coffee reviews to the blog in the future, for now I thought I would share the three subscriptions I get every month.

  • Ruby Coffee Roasters Monthly Subscription- Getting my Ruby subscription is one of my favorite coffee events each month. This roasting companying based out of Nelsonville, Wisconsin consistently sends me coffee that I love. It’s well developed, unique (colorful coffees is their slogan) and one of my favorites to recommend. I had been ordering coffee from them on occasion but the I Brew My Own Coffee podcast convinced me to sign up for a subscription once I listened to their episode featuring Jared Linzmeier (the owner).
  • Misto Box One– Every four weeks, a high quality roaster sends me an excellent bag of coffee compliments of my Misto Box One subscription. I like Misto Box because of its randomness and the fact that I rarely receive a coffee I do not enjoy. The coffees are curated based on your tastes and how you rated previous coffees they have sent you.
  • Angels Cup– I bring up Angels Cup quite a bit in the course of my writing and that is because I really like the subscription. It is a great way to explore new coffees and practice tasting coffee. If you want to find out more about them, I’ve written about them here (and several other places).

I am also compiling a personal list of favorite roasters and roasting companies I would like to explore. Do you have a specific coffee or roasting company that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments or contact me.

Other resources for coffee knowledge

Since my posting schedule is likely to become spotty, I thought I would plug some of my favorite places to learn about coffee. Here are a few resources you may want to check into.

I Brew My Own Coffee podcast

This podcast has a new episode out every other week spanning a wide variety of topics. The Brians (or Bryans… It is Brian Beyke and Bryan Schiele) do an excellent job of being entertaining, knowledgeable and articulate. They find interesting guests and keep the topics relatable to a wide range of coffee people. Some episodes my readers may like are the coffee outside episode (episode 34), the aforementioned Ruby episode (episode 26) as well as the most recent Aeropress episode.

Coffee Brew Guides

Garrett Oden of Coffee Brew Guides does an outstanding job with this site. He has been running the blog since September of 2013 and the archives are filled with all sorts of great posts. From brew guides (as the name suggests) to equipment reviews Garrett has a great way of explaining and exploring all things coffee.

The Barista’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Barista’s Guide to the Galaxy is actually a brand new page that is run by Matt Perger. This page looks as if it is on the fast track to becoming a rich resource for coffee learning and is definitely worth a browse.

Working on New Merchandise

It’s been about 4 months since the release of my t-shirt and notebooks and it’s time for a few updates.

Choose Your Weapon and other T-shirts

Having never created a t-shirt before, there has been a bit of a learning curve along the way. I wear my light blue “Choose Your Weapon” t-shirt proudly every week but I’ve also been gathering feedback and making plans for some tweaks.

Since there seems to be a demand for shirts of a different color scheme than the current navy on light blue and different materials (such as a tri-blend), I will be placing another t-shirt order in a few months. Along with the color changes, I am contemplating taking the logo off of the back of the shirt and putting it on the interior by the tag.

If you are interested in a particular color scheme please send me a message at shop@brewingcoffeemanually.com (or through the contact page).

I also have one other shirt design that I hope to have out sometime in the fall (get excited).

Brewing Notebooks

I am also planning on getting some more brewing notebooks made. I would like to add a few other manual brewers to the mix (such as the Aeropress, French Press and Siphon). I am thinking about switching out the moleskins for a less expensive notebook to bring the price down but am still searching for the right one.

The best way to keep informed about shop changes is to sign up to follow me via Gumroad. I send out minimal messages but they will all be pertaining to coupon codes, new products and price declines.

Conclusion

That’s about it for the (not so) short and sweet update. If you want to follow my progress on my kitchen remodel, I may be posting some GoPro demolition videos on my scarcely populated YouTube channel.

As always, I enjoy reading and responding to your comments and emails. If I go missing for a week or two, I’ll be back. Have a good spring!

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the resources links, always enjoy more research!

    • There is so much great stuff out there. I try to link to stuff on Twitter when I find stuff that really resonates with me but I should share more stuff on the blog as well.

  2. Woah! Lots going on. Great post, lots of good info here. Congrats on number 3! We are expecting our first in 6 days :D eek!!

    • Thanks Holly! I am sure you have had your baby by now. Congrats! I noticed that you have not posted on Instagram since March 17 so I assume you are hanging out with baby and drinking coffee. I am going to have to order some Kaito coffee some time :)

  3. Hi John,

    Okay, I’ve read it and I’ve read it again and re-read and I still don’t understand, so you’re going to have to explain it to me… What’s this “subjects other than coffee” you’re talking about? ;-)

    On a more serious note, I know what you mean about coffee being an affordable luxury (my term). Although a slightly different market, I think it’s one of the reasons that coffee shops have thrived in the recent recession: because they offer a slice of something that people really enjoy without breaking the bank.

    Enjoy the break and congratulations on Number 3.

    Brian.

    • Brian,

      Thanks for the comment! As you can see I am a little behind on responding (I’ve been slammed). I will be posting a time lapse of the kitchen project on my YouTube channel at some point to prove I haven’t just be loafing about :).

      Affordable luxury is a great term and I think that it describes coffee perfectly.

      As far as writing about things other than coffee… that has definitely not happened. But you understand there are other things than coffee. Like when you write about cake :)

      Thanks again,
      John

  4. Thanks for the share. As a coffee lover, I keep visiting different web pages. Just read your article. I love reading your article and responding to it

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