Many recent followers, or even friends that start to pay more attention to the content I am creating through BCNCOFFEEGUIDE, frequently come to ask me how they can start with specialty coffee. First of all, thank you to everyone that has come up with that question, and congratulations: you are about to enter a world with tons of stuff to be explored. Just a quick curiosity as you enter this world, as the great but sadly closed TORNQVIST COFFEE in Hamburg used to put in its coffee paper notes: coffee is so complex that it has as much as twice the amount of aromas present in wine.
Having that been said, the first thing you will need to start in specialty coffee is an open mind to taste different flavors from those you are used to perceiving with commercial or regular coffee. It will always be better, of course, but sometimes cultural barriers or purely habits can put you in a place that you might not like.
So, number one: open your mind!
Second of all: don’t be scared when you see us, coffee freaks with our one hundred million dollar coffee gear, brewing methods, jars, grinders, and so on. To brew a reasonably good coffee you won´t need much, in fact, in the very beginning of your journey, you will probably need nothing, except a good quality specialty coffee, with the same apparel you already used with your normal coffee. Of course, it will not be the way of excellent brewing, but let’s face it, from the overroasted coffee you were used to having (and many of them do not even have bad quality of the beans themselves, but the overroast will take everything good from them to have a uniform pattern: bad taste, but uniform), it is already a huge, enormous step!
So second of all: you will need good ground specialty coffee from your elected roaster, ground in the method you will brew it! And you can buy it in many places, go to our ONLINE COFFEE SHOP MAP and find out!
Third, if after this stage of introduction to specialty coffee at home, you are more confident in evolving into this enjoyable universe, you can start acquiring some basic gadgets. In my opinion, it has to be a filter brewing device. If you’re looking for a good price, you can go with HARIO V60. Their portafilter can be found for values under 10 Euro. But if you are looking for overall value, I would suggest you go for KALITA WAVE or AEROPRESS: those methods may look scary and complicated at first sight, but trust me, they are not! And here you find an article in this same blog on how to brew coffee in various ways.
So third step: go for a simple filter brewing method, still buying your ground coffee from your elected roaster. And below we leave some suggestions to acquire them:
Fourth, and now we start to evolve to freshness in coffee beans by adding a grinder to the crime scene. You have a huge amount of coffee grinders in the market, but you can divide them into two basic families, which are BLADE GRINDERS, and BURR GRINDERS. I will definitely not recommend the blade grinders due to one main reason: they will grind your coffee with violent shocks to the beans and you will end up with everything but uniform ground coffee for the brewing process, especially if your method will require a coarser ground pattern (it will bring you many brewing issues that you did not have buying ground coffee from your elected roaster, and you do not want that). So, let’s step up to BURR Grinders which are the most recommended. If you are willing to let little money in the betting table, go for a HARIO SKERTON. If you are looking for value, and willing to pay a little bit more, go to TIMEMORE CHESTNUT, it costs roughly twice as much as the first suggested grinder, but you will be able to have it until you become the champion Barista in town. It is light, beautiful, has stainless steel burrs, differently from HARIO that are made of porcelain and do not give a very uniform pattern (but always better than blades). And finally if you are willing to show off, and not wanting to change your grinder again in life, go for the famous COMANDANTE. This is the top of the art manual grinder, used by champion baristas and made by perfectionists, but for it you will be needing to pump up your budget at around 7 times as Hario Skerton price, or 3 times the TIMEMORE CHESTNUT. I could also put the options of electric grinders, but I will not! First, do not be lazy to the point of not wanting to grind your coffee. Second, be sustainable please, it will not take more than 40 seconds for you to grind your coffee, not to mention the pleasure you will feel crushing those beans, ahhhhhhhhhh! And third and most important: if you want to have an electric grinder in the same level as COMANDANTE for example, you will probably need to sell your used car or maybe your expensive bicycle to have it.
Fifth, and it can go in any position of priority because of the low budget first solution: you should start controlling your water temperature. Do you need a NASA level temperature gooseneck boiler to begin with? No! Go for a THERMOMETER, it is the best first step. Later you can buy a gooseneck jar and start getting 1.000 likes in your Instagram. If you want to impress, go for the FELLOW JAR or for BREWISTA, their design and funcionality are great but you will pay for quality and design of course. An intermediate solution can be the gooseneck electric jar that I have that has the temperature control and has been proven durable, here is the link to it! And in the same category we could add the weighting scale: you may already have it in your house, but if not you will find many options in COMPLEMENTOS DEL CAFÉ too.
With this very basic introduction gadgets guide, I hope I could help you guys out on the introduction to specialty coffee. If you want to have a more in depth article about 8 ways to brew at home, here is the link to it!.