When it comes to brewing coffee only take advice from the best

Tuesday, 20 November, 2012

No amount of tuition and advice could ever see me brew a cup of coffee remotely matching the quality of a barista who knows what they are doing. Still if you’re willing to have a go at making your own top-notch coffee, taking pointers from Katie Carguilo, this year’s US Barista champion, is the way to go:

Most of us are satisfied with any good cup of joe, especially on a winter’s morning, but if, like Carguilo, you want it to be truly great, you must treat your kitchen like a laboratory. “The way I’ve mastered coffee brewing is to focus exclusively [on one batch of beans] for a month or so, recording all the variables, and keeping good notes,” says 29-year-old Carguilo, who has worked in the coffee profession for a decade, first as a barista and now as a trainer for Counter Culture Coffee. Working with one type of coffee for a four-week period, “I write down how much coffee I’m using, how much water. I take a record of the time it took to brew, of the grind size. And then if I don’t like it, I change one variable each time. Tomorrow, or by the end of the week, it’ll be good, and then you can have another three weeks of blissful coffee making at home.”

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