Food & Home

Our Own Expertly Sourced Coffee Beans—Plus a Guide to Making a Great Cup

Our Own Expertly Sourced Coffee Beans—Plus a Guide to Making a Great Cup

cup of coffee on a table

Our Own Expertly Sourced Coffee Beans—Plus a Guide to Making a Great Cup

Coffee still rules, but here’s what is new: We launched a custom coffee and we’re excited for you to meet these beans. Our food director put together a guide to making your best cup of coffee at home. It covers the low-tech pour-over, the simple French press, a couple more-automated and luxe routes, and (of course) a few recipes.

GOOP BEANS

There are plenty of fun coffee gadgets to nerd out over, but none if it really matters if you don’t have great beans to begin with. These are great beans. They come from Astrid Medina’s coffee farm, Buena Vista, in Planadas in Gaitania, Tolima—a municipality of Colombia. Medina is an award-winning, third-generation coffee farmer and a leader in a very male-dominated industry. (Read more about her farm, sustainability goals, and team in this essay on her life and work.) We connected with Medina through our friends at Common Room Roasters, who are now roasting Medina’s beans for us. The coffee is a delicious, full-bodied medium-roast Arabica. When you drink it, you can pick up some delicate flavors—peaches, honey—from the coffee berry. It’s deep, complex, and balanced. We’re hooked.

  1. goop Fair Trade Specialty Coffee
    goop Fair Trade
    Specialty Coffee
    goop, $28
    SHOP NOW

CLUTCH EQUIPMENT

If you’re buying the best beans, you will not regret investing in a proper coffee grinder. Grinding your beans just before brewing has a bigger impact on your home brew than anything else you could do. Look for a conical burr grinder, like this one from Smeg. It prevents the coffee beans from getting too hot while they’re being ground, which can prematurely release their oils (i.e., all the flavor). And it ensures a consistent grind. You can run the coffee gamut here, from an extra-fine grind for espresso to a medium grind for pour-over to coarse for French press. This grinder is also super quiet, so you can make your 6 a.m. cup without waking anyone up.

  1. SMEG Coffee Grinder
    Smeg Coffee Grinder goop, $375
    SHOP NOW

If you want to get more technical: Weight is a much more reliable measure than volume, so switching from a coffee scoop to a scale will result in true consistency. Most baristas use a ratio to determine how much water and coffee grounds should be used: fifteen-to-one for a strong cup and seventeen-to-one for a milder cup. We did some of the math for preparing an eight-ounce (226-gram) cup of coffee—because no one should be doing calculations uncaffeinated.

For one strong cup: 226 grams water and 15 grams ground coffee. For one milder cup: 226 grams water and 13 grams ground coffee.

Play around with your ratios until you’ve nailed it and you’ll never have to do coffee math again.

  1. Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale
    Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale Amazon, $25
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This Roman and Williams mug is the one that you’ll gravitate toward every day despite the fact that you have an entire shelf to choose from. You know it doesn’t make any sense, but the glazed porcelain feels so good in your hand, and look how pretty and rustic it is. How to be more extra: Prewarm your mug. Fill it with hot water for a minute or so just before serving, then dump the hot water and pour in your coffee. It will stay warmer longer.

  1. Roman and Williams Guild Kaneko Kohyo Rinka Mug
    Roman and Williams Guild Kaneko Kohyo Rinka Mug goop, $50
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FOR LOW-TECH BREWING

Pour-over coffee produces a great-tasting cup of coffee and is a good entry-level brewing method—all you need is a dripper and a kettle. This dripper cup by Sanyo Sangyo has a unique flower petal design that allows the coffee grounds to expand fully when saturated with hot water, giving you the maximum flavor. To brew, place a filter in your dripper and set it atop your prewarmed mug. If using a paper filter, wet it slightly—just a splash will do to help take away the woodsy taste (you can combine wetting the filter with your prewarming-mug step). Once you’ve dumped any excess water, add your grounds to the filter and add enough hot water to just saturate them in slow steady spirals, then let it filter through. Repeat this process about two more times (you’ll probably develop an eye for it, but doing this over a scale will help you know when you’ve hit that 226-gram mark).

  1. CAFEC Pour Over Coffee Dripper by Sanyo Sangyo
    CAFEC Pour Over Coffee
    Dripper by Sanyo Sangyo
    Amazon, $38
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French press makes a full-bodied cup of joe easy to achieve. The simple design of a press pot and strained plunger hasn’t changed much since it was invented almost a hundred years ago. Simply add coffee grounds to your prewarmed press pot (yes, we prewarm that part, too), saturate them with hot water by filling it up with half your water (you could use your scale to help you gauge the amounts), and let bloom for about one minute. Then give a gentle stir, fill the rest of the pot up, and let it steep for another three minutes before pressing the plunger to strain and serve. The long steep time is why you need a coarse grind—more time steeping and less surface area on the beans makes for a slower extraction of deep flavor. This press pot from Yield Design is beautiful and the ceramic keeps your coffee much warmer than the traditional glass models.

  1. Yield Design Ceramic French Press, 850 ml
    Yield Design Ceramic French Press, 850 ml goop, $120
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We’ve spent a lot of time on coffee, but what about the second ingredient, water? Using good-quality filtered water can improve the flavor of your coffee. (And if you’re looking for guidance, see our article on how to choose a water filter.) Temperature matters, too: Bring your water to a boil and let it sit for five minutes. The sweet spot is right around 200 degrees Fahrenheit—you don’t have to be exact; you just don’t want it to be scalding. A kettle with a long gooseneck and a narrow spout will give you the most control when “blooming” your grounds for pour-over and French press, which is when you first saturate the grounds to help release the oils from the beans. The Stagg Stovetop Kettle makes that job feel incredibly precise and a little bit fancy.

  1. Fellow Stagg Stovetop Kettle
    Fellow Stagg Stovetop Kettle goop, $79
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FOR LUXE BREWING

We loved the Ratio Eight. And we’re enamored with Ratio Coffee’s newest edition, the Ratio Six. It looks like a drip coffee maker, and you load it as you would a drip coffee maker, but the machine simulates the process of pour-over coffee—with that initial “blooming” pour and all. This way you get all of the delicate nuance, but it’s totally hands-off. And it’s a simpler way to make pour-over for more than one person (which can be slow going otherwise).

  1. Ratio Coffee Ratio Six Coffee Maker
    Ratio Coffee Ratio Six Coffee Maker goop, $345
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Great espresso at home is a luxury. An espresso machine that looks like a piece of art is a bigger luxury. While pulling perfect shots might take a little more time than perfecting your pour-over, learning to work with this well-crafted machine will bring you such joy. Steaming silky microfoam also takes practice—but if you aren’t afraid of a little challenge, YouTube is your friend.

  1. Anza White Espresso Machine
    Anza Anza White Espresso Machine goop, $1,275
    SHOP NOW

NEXT-LEVEL COFFEE RECIPES

  • Coconut Butter Coffee

    Coconut Butter Coffee

    Coconut butter gives coffee a tropical, nutty, slightly sweet flavor and an incredibly creamy texture.

    GET RECIPE

  • Cardamom Date Coffee

    Cardamom Date Coffee

    We’re obsessed with this coffee-meets-soda hybrid. The cardamom-date syrup adds nice depth and spice without being too sweet.

    GET RECIPE

  • Affogato

    Affogato

    The ultimate dessert. Since this recipe has only two ingredients, splurge on the good stuff when you can.

    GET RECIPE

TREATS TO ACCOMPANY YOU

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.

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