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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brewing With A French Press

As the saying goes, when in France do as the French do. Well, we’re not in France but you should definitely do as the French do when it comes to making coffee with a French Press. Some say that this classic coffee brewing method produces the best coffee with its rich and bold, yet clean taste. One of the reasons that the French Press brews such a great cup of coffee is because the concentrated, complex flavors of the beans are revealed when the water is in contact with the grounds for the entire brew process. In addition, the filtration that occurs with the plunger creates a much cleaner taste then the traditional brewing method, which uses paper filters.



There are only a few simple steps that need to be followed in order to produce that great cup of coffee. It’s important to first preheat the press by filling it with hot water, placing the top on and then pressing the plunger all the way down. This not only allows for temperature stability but it also ensures a hot cup of coffee. You will then want to grind the best, fresh and locally roasted coffee from Chris’ Coffee to a coarse grind that resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. The amount of coffee that is ground is dependent on the size of the French Press that you are brewing with. It is recommended to use about 2 tbs. of coffee for every 6 oz. of water. Add the grounds and fill the press about half way with hot water (200 – 204 F) and allow for the coffee to bloom for 1 minute. Use a spoon to then break the crust of the bloomed coffee and pour in the remaining hot water. Place the plunger on the top of the press and wait four minutes, not three and a half, not five, but four! Once those long, time standing still, four minutes has passed you can now press down on the plunger in order to filter the grounds to the bottom. You may now serve & enjoy!


Although this may seem like a simple brewing method, there are a few things that we as humans can do to screw this up. The most common mistake is not properly grinding the coffee. If you grind your coffee too coarse then you will notice that the plunger will press down with little to no resistance, end result – watered down coffee. If you grind your coffee too fine you might embarrass yourself if around others and you are struggling to press down on the plunger, end result – muddy coffee. Another common brewing mistake is not using the correct coffee to water ratio, so do a little research if you’re not the best at measurements.  Lastly, you do not want to leave coffee in the French Press once it is brewed because the coffee will continue to brew which leaves you with bitter, over extracted coffee – yuck. If you are able to avoid these common mistakes then you are sure to have one of the best tasting cups of coffees each and every time.

Try one of our freshly roasted coffees in your new French Press!



Keep your ground coffee fresh using one of these airtight coffee containers:


Monday, October 31, 2016

Barista Series: Grinders

How To Choose The Right Grinder
By: Mary Delong 




A consistent grind is hugely important in the process of making a high-quality cup of coffee, which is why the grinder is the most important piece of equipment when it comes to coffee preparation. Can it be more important than the actual machine itself? Yes, it can be. The grinder determines if the coffee you brew after you grind actually can be any good. Bad grind = bad coffee.

To prove the level of consistency of grind, we need a burr grinder and not a blade grinder. Burr grinders provide speed, quality, efficiency, consistency, and flavorful extractions. 


There are two types of burr grinders - flat & conical. Conical burrs simply use gravity to draw the coffee beans into the grinder, where they are chewed up and spit out. Flat burrs use centrifugal force which is more taxing on the motor and creates more heat. This might not necessarily be a problem for you home baristas, but commercial locations don't want to continually heat up their beans because it will alter their state. 

The larger the burrs are, the more coffee they can grind, and the faster they can do it. Not only are bigger burrs generally more efficient, but they don't heat up nearly as fast, especially if they are ceramic. As stated above overheating the beans can result in unwanted scorched flavors if you are not careful.


Another important feature in a grinder is whether they are stepped, or stepless which both have their advantages and disadvantages. Stepped grinders have defined settings making adjustments easy and convenient when switching between different types of beans. However, that being said, sometimes there will come a time when one setting will be too fine, and the next one down is too coarse. Stepless grinders give you endless adjustments and no limitations for dialing in your espresso. You can find that "sweet spot" of the bean most preferred for pulling a great shot of espresso.


The third feature to look for is doserless vs. doser. A doser grinder has a dosing chamber on the front which pre measures out the ground coffee precisely for each shot. A lot of home users find that by using a doser grinder they are able to fluff their coffee before dispensing it into their portafilters which cannot be done on a doserless grinder. For that reason, and a few others, that is why some prefer a doser grinder. 

Doserless grinders can be a little messier, but the grind on demand feature is the best way to get the freshest coffee. Oil from the coffee beans start to break down within 4 minutes of being ground. A lot of people are "single dosing" now so having a doser grind would not be practical for them and they would need to get a doserless on demand grinder. Doserless grinders are controlled either by time or weight, which both help with consistency and repeatability of drinks.


If you have any questions on what grinder will best suit your needs, or will pair nicest with your new or current espresso machine give us a call at 518-452-5995 or send an email to mary@chriscoffee.com, mackenzie@chriscoffee.com, or tynnetta@chriscoffee.com



Monday, October 3, 2016

Is the Linea Mini all it's cracked up to be?



The simple answer would be yes, but let us explain why.


The linea Mini is a compact version of the popular, well-known, classic Linea. If you don't recognize the name, than you don't know espresso! 

This miniature beauty is available in 3 bold colors - red, white, black, and of course stainless steel. 

The simplicity of this machine makes it not only a breeze to use, but to maintain for years to come. 

Although the brew paddle resembles that of the GS/3 MP don't be fooled, you cannot play around with the pre-infusion. La Marzocco has it pre programmed for you, eliminating inconsistency in your shots. 

The steamer on this workhorse is unbelievable! You can steam 8 oz. of milk in the blink of an eye. Be careful, because if you're not use to this kind of steam power you can burn your hand on the pitcher (GUILTY!) 

The proof is in the pudding, and as you can see from that latte art above, this machine delivers. It has quickly become one of our favorite machines to use here at Chris' Coffee Service.




Check out how beautifully the Linea Mini pairs with the matching Fiorenzato F4!



 




Click Image To View Video
 Linea Mini Overview by Mackenzie



Chris' Coffee Product Links:










Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Barista Series Volume 2: TAMPerfection

TAMPerfection 


By: Taylor Nachtrieb


The importance of a good espresso tamp can easily be compared to the quality of grapes that go into making a fine wine. The tamping process involved in pulling a shot of espresso can be a make or break scenario. The reason why tamping is such a crucial part of this process is because it greatly affects the taste of the espresso. A ‘bad’ tamp will cause uneven extraction and channeling, where all the water goes through one part of the espresso rather than being evenly distributed throughout. The end result – bitterness, yuck! The key to a successful tamp is even, consistent downward exerted pressure. Therefore, consistent tamp pressure = consistent espresso extraction.


You may be thinking to yourself, ‘this all sounds well & good, but how the heck do you actually achieve this perfect tamp?!’ The first thing you want to do is step up to your espresso station with confidence like you are about to strike a home run at the World Series, Yankees vs. Red Sox final game. Once you have ground only the best espresso, Machristay Black Pearl, and filled your portafilter you are now ready to tamp. You should rest the portafilter on either the edge of the countertop or your preferred tamping mat to ensure stability. It’s important to hold the tamper loosely in your dominant hand while making a 90-degree angle with your elbow and press straight down with even pressure. Some people will choose to knock on the side of the portafilter after the initial tamp to allow for any excess espresso to settle before tamping again. However, this may cause the seal of the espresso puck to break, which could affect the extraction process so we do not recommend this.


If you want to practice your new tamping skills but aren’t necessarily an espresso connoisseur when it comes to taste & aroma, the answer is go naked! Don’t worry you don’t have to take your clothes off, but you do need a bottomless portafilter. A bottomless portafilter will not lie to you because if the tamp is uneven the espresso has a tendency to shoot out in all directions & can give you quite the shower. Pictured below is what you want your extraction to look like, beautiful brown and caramel coloring concentrated in a single centered stream of espresso. Another indication that you have succeeded with your even tamp is when you knock the espresso out of the portafilter it comes out as a perfectly round shaped ‘hockey puck.’




 Portafilters



For the commercial setting espresso user you may already be an expert tamper but you are also probably one step closer to carpal tunnel after tamping up to 100 times each day. We have the answer to this problem and it is called the Puq Press automatic tamping system! All you have to do is place your portafilter into the system and the tamper is automatically activated giving you the perfect, even tamp time and time again! Some of the features of the PuqPress include; adjustable tamping pressure between 10-30 kg, consistent pressure no matter the coffee dose, and the ability to use any style or size portafilter. Visit our website for more information, photos, & videos, and to place your pre-order today.

Happy tamping to all!



 PuqPress Tamper


Monday, August 15, 2016

Barista Series Volume 1: But First, Coffee

"But First, Coffee"

(Image from Google)


MacKenzie at Chris' Coffee will fill your espresso cup with helpful facts and techniques to make the most of your espresso experience!

The first thing to consider when making your espresso is simply your coffee choice. Taste being individual you may prefer a light, medium, or dark roast coffee for your espresso. Buying from a reputable and recognized roaster (like Chris' Coffee of course!) will ensure you are getting the fresh coffee you need. Remember, however, to save the bubbles for your champagne! Too fresh a coffee with result in espresso with too much gas and bubbles and not the smooth, strong flavor of espresso.

The ultimate goal for your delicious espresso is to have the famous 3 layers (pictured above): the heart which is the very bottom of the espresso should typically be a deep brown color. The heart contains the bitterness that will provide a balance to the sweet crema. The middle layer is the body and is typically caramel brown in color. The top layer is the crema and is typically thin and foamy with a golden brown color. This top later holds the sweet flavor notes as it contains concentrated sugars and oils. 
Yum!



Monday, July 25, 2016

Andreja Premium Evo Review

Watch Mackenzie go over the features, and new changes made to the Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo heat exchanger espresso machine!








Thursday, October 29, 2015

Custom Wood Panels for La Marzocco GS3!


Article Written By:
MacKenzie Nachtrieb


Our master craftsman, Ward of the Wood, decided to tackle the challenge of making La Marzocco panels for us. To his surprise they were even easier to build, and assemble, than the Spaziale panels! 

The quality of  these gorgeous wooden accents is second to none. 
They have a certain wow factor to them, that will have your friends and family left drooling in your kitchen. 

What sets ours apart from others is the fact that we not only offer a variety of wood to choose from, but we also attach the La Marzocco logo right on each panel so that recognizable brand name doesn't get overlooked in the beauty of the panels themselves.


We will be offering these panels in Walnut, Mahogany, Cherry & Sapele!

Mahogany




Walnut