Hobbies are odd things. They are things that take time and focus, but they are also activities we enjoy. I never thought I would take upon myself coffee as a hobby. I’ve always enjoyed a good cup of coffee. My father instilled in me the value of a good cup of coffee. I have yet to find a cup as delicious as his. After all, not only does he use various brewing methods, he has experimented with roasting and found a roast that all who taste it suggest the same thing; it is a very fine roast and cup of coffee. Maybe this is where I was inspired to delve into the world of coffee. But it has taken years. Let me clarify. Like I said, for as long as I can remember, I have liked a good cup of coffee. Instant coffee, no. Store brands, no. Mass produced brands, no. I have always found local or speciality coffees to indulge in. They can never be pre-ground. I must always grind the beans myself.

For a long time this is where my indulgence stopped. I would grind with whatever grinder was available. That included a blade grinder and, for the last two years it has been a burr grinder gifted to me by my aunt (thank you). They both served me well. I would take my grinds and place them inside a reusable Keurig pod for better quality Keurig coffee. For a long time, this was the extent to my coffee “hobby”. Frankly, It was more daily fuel than anything else. Yes, the enjoyment was there but, I would not yet call it a hobby. It simply was. I often added flavored creamer to make the coffee more palatable.

Then, for whatever reason, I found flavored syrups on amazon. I started using them instead of flavored creamer. Plain creamer in addition to syrups made for a more customizable experience. There have been days where I would prefer hazelnut and other days where I would prefer caramel. It made coffee a more hands on experience; a more enjoyable process for me, however limited. Yet, I was still using a Keurig for the brewing process. This was mostly because of convenience and the belief that it was the easiest way to get a cup of coffee. I will not deny the ease of a Keurig. Pop a pod in and press brew. A few minutes later, there is a cup of coffee ready for tasting. Easy, yes. Enjoyable, perhaps.

I don’t know what prompted it. But, one day, I found myself looking at conical burr grinders. This has long been a topic of research for me, as I know such a piece of equipment could really allow for a more nuanced brewing experience. One thing causing a hesitation was not only the price point but also static electricity. Because of the way burr grinders operate, they also generate static. This can cause a mess of grinds. On the day previously mentioned, I happened on Fellow Products, a company that specializes in coffee equipment. One of their more recent products, a burr grinder includes anti-static technology. While some may call it an impulse buy, I purchased one right then. In part, this was because I have experienced the annoyance of static in my coffee grounds.

This initial purchase sent me down a rabbit hole of researching all the Fellow products I could, exploring reviews. What I found was most people truly appreciated the engineering in each product. This convinced me to consider the suite of Fellow products, furthering me down the rabbit hole of specialty coffee and brewing. If I was going to further ingrain myself into the world of coffee, I was going to do it right. I chose to purchase a pour over set in order to start elevating my coffee journey.

Then came the research. I started researching everything coffee (still am). What I did not realize at the time was there was more to coffee brewing than meets the eye, including math. If you know me, you know math is one of my favorite subjects (sarcasm). I didn’t know there was a slew of knowledge to absorb about ratios. For example it is supposedly widely known that the golden ratio for pour over coffee is about 1:16. For every one part of coffee there is 16 parts water. Thankfully, the math is relatively simple and calculators can handle it just fine. Through my testing, at least with the coffee I have on hand, I found that ratio to be a little strong. I ended up with a ratio more like 1:19.

I am still experimenting. I am trying different ratios, grind settings, water temperatures, brew times, and agitation methods. But, what I am finding is there is very little extra effort compared to what I was doing before- grinding, filling a reusable pod, and pressing brew on a Keurig. Now, I just have finer control over every aspect of the brew process. Which leads to a far better quality cup of coffee.

So, from time to time, I may end up writing an entry on my coffee journey and explorations.

Till Next We Meet.