St. Kilda Coffee New York

You’ll walk right by it and never know it’s there.  St. Kilda Coffee in New York is just across 8th Ave on 44th St. from the Majestic (Phantom…probably never closing) and St. James (Something Rotten as of right now) theaters.  It’s down under a residential building with the street level sign, literally at street level…as in..your feet.

St Kilda Coffee

With a plethora of Starbucks in the vicinity, it’s nice to have an indie joint so close to the theater district.  They are open 7-7 most days, and are serving up the a pretty standard drink menu crafted from beans roasted by Birch Coffee (local NYC company).

The Flat White I ordered was decent enough, but the espresso didn’t really hold up to the milk.
wpid-wp-1480731528990.jpgThere was a pretty typical 3rd wave aroma to the drink, but the flavor of the espresso was totally drowned by the milk.  I don’t know if the fault was drink assembly, or just that the shot was off near the end of the day.

However, if you want to support an indie spot, and get something infinitely better than Starbucks, and are near 44th St., check out St. Kilda Coffee.

Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Review

Cold brew has passed the “fad”phase.  It is now almost its own food group.  Places like Stumptown, Bluebottle, La Colombe, etc are all touting their cold brew these days.  So, what about low cost competitors?  Trader Joe’s has 2 variants, “black” and a flavored variety (vanilla I think).   Note, I’m not talking about their Cold Brew Concentrate.  I’m talking about the little 8oz Trader Joe’s Cold Brew cans that look like this.

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The good news is Trader Joe’s Cold Brew tastes like coffee.  The bad news is it tastes like their “brew in bag” coffee only cold.  The can claims to be 100% Arabica, but I’m probably not far off when I say it’s likely 100% cheap Brazilian Arabica.  If you like Dunkin coffee, you will like this.  If you like coffee…not brown dirty water…you won’t like this cold brew.

It was worth the experiment, but cold brew is so easy to make at home.  If you really like cold brew, you should find a local roaster, buy fresh beans, and make it your self.

Gaggia Classic with a Mid Level Grinder

So far, we’ve had a budget grinder (Capresso Infinty), and a good grinder (Macap M2M).  What about something in between?  Here we have the Baratza Preciso.  This is a workhorse of a grinder that is easy to maintain, and I’ve had this one now for close to 4 years.

You really can’t go wrong with this grinder in your home set up.  Paired with the Gaggia Classic, you will be very happy with your home espresso.

Coffee Stain Shirt

Another wearable for your coffee geek pleasure is here.  Check out this artistic coffee stain shirt design.

Coffee Stain Shirt Design

There’s several colors and sizes to choose from as well as sweatshirts , hoodies, and even phone cases. Ladies…we’ve got you covered too because this design makes a great graphic pattern.

 

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This design was painstakingly created with real coffee.  We actually produced real stains with the bottom of a mug.  The coffee, in case you were wondering was a wonderful Yemen Mocca. 

Does the grinder really matter? Really?

Just how much does the grinder affect your final product?  And, does it really matter if you have a decent one or not?  I have been fortunate to be able to actually test this. I have both a Macap M2M and a Baratza Preciso. The Macap has flat ceramic burs and the Baratza uses conical steel. Both are really excellent grinders with the Macap about $100 more than the Baratza. I ran the same beans through both and dialed in an 18gr dose for my preferred 45sec run time to 40ml on a Gaggia Classic. By all accounts, the Macap shots are excellent…really good, But, the Baratza produced a significantly sweeter shot…like a WTF…did I use the right beans type of significance.
But, it doesn’t end there. I was able to pair these same two grinders with my other espresso machine, a Bezzera BZ10.  I dialed in the exact same shot.  18gr, 45sec, 40ml.  The Macap pairs with that machine way better than the Baratza did. The Baratza shots were always a little bit flat…really good, but lacking a little “pop”. With the Macap, the shots all of the sudden popped like I wanted them too.  I had a hunch that changing the OPV setting on the Bezzera would make it even better, and I was right (adjusted the OPV down to 9.5 bar).
So, there you go.  Yes, the grinder matters, and simply changing your grinder can improve your cup even if you use the exact same machine and beans.

Roasting with the Behmor 1600 Plus

The Behmor 1600 Plus is one of the most popular home roasting solutions out there because it can roast a pound of coffee and only costs $369.  I personally roast 1/2lb batches because I find that to be the sweet spot of the Behmor 1600 Plus.  I like my roasts to not go longer than 14 minutes.

Here’s a video I did showing a roast profile I like for beans destined for cold brew.