Coffee Box Blog

  1. Farm to Cup

    Welcome to the wonderful world of coffee! There are a few things we’d like to tell you about the process our coffees go through to get from the farm to your door. Coffee picking is a laborious process and the cherries are often picked by hand. 


    Once the cherries are picked, they are treated in a few ways. The more modern method is to “wash” the cherries to remove all of the flesh/fruit from the beans. The older more traditional method is to spread them out to dry under the sun. The final method is called “honeying” the beans and in this process, some of the flesh/fruit is left on the bean so that it can sun dry with the “fruit” and people have noticed that the coffee itself exhibits more fruity flavours. The second and third processes take more time and require more work. The trade-off for this time and effort is a massive savings when it comes to equipment. Industrial coffee washing machines are very expensive and take up a lot of ‘real estate.’ 


    When we finally get to the bean (or seed), it’s roasted to bring out the flavours and aromas locked inside the ‘green’ bean. Typically this is done at a specialty roastery or the shop where the coffee is to be consumed so that the coffee tastes its best. Coffee in its ‘green’ state can last a very long time before it will lose any flavour so it’s alright to ship it all over the world. Once it’s roasted, we have about 2 weeks to get the absolute best flavour. Unless you have a home coffee roaster and you are buying your own green beans, coffee this fresh is hard to come by. Many coffees still taste incredible for months after they have been roasted.


    To find out the best methods for getting these well-cared-for beans to your favourite mug, read our grind and brew guides! 

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  2. Cold Brew Coffee

    There seems to be a bit of a craze sweeping the coffee drinking world: cold brew. This leads us to ask, what’s the big deal? Well, to answer that question, we need to understand how cold brew is different from our standard cup of hot coffee. There is a fairly common misconception that cold brew and iced coffee are the same thing. Iced coffee, popular in the summer as an alternative to hot coffee, is typically espresso that is brewed to standard strength and then allowed to cool before being put in the fridge to be used in these iced drinks. Cold brew on the other hand is made by allowing grounds to soak in room temperature water for 24+ hours. 


    There are a few significant differences in these two brew methods. The standard ‘hot-brew’ method allows us to brew a whole pot of coffee in as little as 5 minutes. In this we are able to extract the flavours from the bean quickly but the heat changes the character of the flavour and makes it taste more bitter and acidic. The cold brew extracts a ‘smoother’ flavour and has less acidity and typically has more ‘fruitiness.’ Depending on how it is brewed, cold brew can be much stronger than standard brewing and is often watered down to taste. When if comes in cans it’s always water but if you order it in a coffee shop, it may be diluted with milk or cream instead. We could argue that one is better than the other but that is really something to allow all of you to decide. 


    One thing we have been seeing more recently is cold brew appearing craft beer bars. The flavour and smoothness of this beverage lends itself really well to being nitrogenated. The most recognizable beverage that is always nitrogenated is Guiness. Adding nitrogen to a beverage makes it somehow taste even smoother and gives it that iconic creamy thick ‘head.’ 


    We think the best, and most enjoyable way, to taste the differences in these is to try them side by side. We hope you’ll keep trying all kinds of coffee! 

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  3. Stovetop Espresso Brew Guide

    Another classic coffee brewing method. This is our favourite way to make espresso. It may take a bit longer than the fancy new machines that exist today but the old ways are sometimes the best ways. 


    This coffee maker is a staple in nearly every Italian household. We learned from a lovely Italian Nonnina that this coffee maker is never to be washed with soap. Make sure the water basin is rinsed and dried and the coffee housing on top gets the same treatment but anything else will ruin this device. 


    The grind for this is fairly specific. Even though it is technically an ‘espresso maker’ we don’t want an espresso grind. We want something closer to an Aeropress grind for this coffee maker. Something in the beach sand size. If the grounds are too fine, the water has a tough time pushing through and making it up top where we need it to enjoy this delicious espresso. 


    This is unlike newer espresso makers in another fashion: we don’t want to compress the grounds. Again this makes it too hard for the water to defy gravity and push through. 


    So, we add water to the bottom vessel before we put grounds in the little cup. Most of these come with a maximum fill line but we have seen a few that didn’t. A general rule of thumb, we fill it so the water is just below the pressure relief valve. 


    Once the water is in the bottom, we put the cup in the slot and fill it level to the top with coffee. Remember, don’t press it down. Screw the top on snugly and place on the burner over medium heat. It will take a few more minutes on medium but we want the water to get hot enough to pass through the grounds and rise up to the top container but not so hot that it ‘burns’ the grounds. 


    Wait to hear the distinctive bubble of the last bits of water coming to the top, give it a few minutes to cool, and enjoy!

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  4. Aeropress Brew Guide

    Aeropress is the ‘hottest new thing’ in single-cup coffee brewing. We feel that it makes an exceptional cup. We like it for a few reasons: it’s lightweight and compact so you can even take it on adventures, it’s easy to clean up, and it makes a really great cup. 


    We’ll start with the grind. The grind for this is fairly forgiving but we like to shoot for something on the finer side. Not quite to espresso but smaller than the ideal grind for a pour-over. We find this to be pretty close to beach sand.


    Make sure to add a filter to the bottom before you get started and make sure the filter housing is locked in, otherwise, we will have a big mess to clean up. 


    Dump the coffee into the tube with the filter in the bottom. Then pour the hot water (92-96 degrees) on top of the coffee. Use the stir stick to stir up the coffee for a few seconds and all of the coffee is under the water. A small layer of foam will form on top of the water.


    Next, put the plunger on the top of the tube and push it down until a seal is created and water stops dripping through. This allows the coffee to become fully saturated before the water flows through. We like to give it 3-5 minutes and then pull the plunger out, add a little water, give it one last good stir and force the plunger down in one swift strong-motion until you hear the water sputtering out of the bottom. 


    Wait a few minutes for the coffee to cool, and enjoy!

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  5. Pour-Over Brew Guide

    First, we need fresh ground coffee. Pour-over is the most forgiving with ‘improper’ grind size. The more course the grind, the less flavour you will get from the grounds. The finer the grind, the more powerful the flavor. 


    The ideal grind for this brew method is slightly larger than beach sand. 


    Next, we need the filter. There are a number of different kinds of filters, they all perform the same function and we don’t feel that they affect the flavour of the final product that much. The most important thing to do with the filter is to run hot/boiling water through it before you put the grounds in the pour-over bowl. 


    Add the freshly ground coffee beans to the bowl and place the device on top of your mug. The best way to pour the water (92-96 degrees) over the coffee is to pour a small steady stream directly into the middle of the grounds and allow them to become saturated. This may fill the grounds bowl to the top with water, often the fresher the coffee and the lighter the roast, the more water it absorbs before dripping through. 


    Once the initial saturation takes place you want to try to pour the water over the grounds in a circular pattern being careful that the water doesn’t touch the edge of the pour-over since it will run straight through to the cup. 


    Pro tip: until you have the amount of water figured out for the mug you are using, fill it over the sink. That way, if you overfill it, there isn’t a big mess on your counter. 


    Lastly, let it cool down a bit and enjoy!

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  6. Cafetiere (or “French Press”) Brew guide

    A tried and true classic. The Cafetiere requires the least amount of ‘specialty equipment’ and is a great place to start.


    The grind for cafetiere is the coarsest. It requires a nearly chunky grind, this also takes the least amount of time when grinding by hand. The closest thing we can think of for this grind is coarse salt. Not as big as rock salt but larger than kosher salt. 


    The reason we grind it coarsely is so that the filter can be pushed to the bottom without exerting too much force because the grounds will sneak up through the filter if we have to push too hard. 


    The hardest part of brewing in a cafetiere is determining how much coffee to use. We like to push the plunger all the way to the bottom and mark the carafe with a permanent marker just below where the filter stops. Then you know exactly where to fill it to. You can also measure out how many tablespoons it takes to get to that point but we find the marker line easier.  


    Once you have the right amount of coffee in the carafe, pour the hot water (92-96 degrees) on top. Stir with a butter knife or something that reaches the bottom and stir thoroughly. Wait a few minutes, often a layer of grounds will form on the top after a few minutes. We want to stir that back into the water and give it a few more minutes. Then push the plunger down slowly and in one smooth motion.  


    Pour into your mug, give it a couple of minutes to cool, and enjoy.

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  7. Brew Guides

    Making the best cup of coffee is a trial and error journey for every coffee lover but there are a few things which never change. 


    1. The water needs to be the right temperature, just below boiling (91-96 degrees)
    2. The beans should be ground within 30 minutes of use
    3. Use the freshest beans you can


    Every coffee connoisseur has a favored method to brew their perfect cup. I say ‘their’ instead of ‘the’ because the perfect cup is a personal choice. Personally I prefer the classic “pour-over” method since it produces a consistent cup and is easy to clean up. 


    Coffee lovers are always innovating and finding new ways to make a cup of coffee. The most popular methods include:


    • Pour-over
    • Aeropress
    • Cafetiere (or “French Press”)
    • Stovetop Espresso


    Another factor that seriously affects our ‘perfect cup’ is the grind. Personally, I have a few different grinders and they are set to different grind sizes for different brew methods. You can always buy a powered grinder but the good ones are pretty expensive. 


    When selecting your grinder there is only one type that we advise and that is a burr grinder. The beans get ‘fed’ into the grinder and are ground more consistently than the ‘blade’ type grinders. 


    Whichever method you choose, when you purchase the equipment, there will be advice on which grind size to use. As a general rule, Cafetiere requires the coarsest grind and the Aeropress the finest. 


    If you have a Pour-over Click Here


    If you have an Aeropress Click Here


    If you have a Cafetiere Click Here


    If you have a Stovetop Espresso Click Here

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  8. Craft, craft, craft, craft, craft

    Craft, craft, craft, craft, craft

    Craft beer, craft gin, craft coffee, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft. What does it all mean? Well as far as we can tell, ‘craft’ means a couple of things. First, it means that the product is made to a higher standard. Higher than what? You may ask. The answer is: mass produced, purely for profit, ubiquitous products. 


    Why do we care? Well, some of us don’t and that’s OK. The great thing about the ‘craft movement’ in today’s world, the ‘information age,’ is that we can learn how to make the best products possible. We don’t have to hear about home-grown greatness through the grapevine or travel hundreds of miles to obtain it. 

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  9. Welcome to Discover Coffee

    Discover Coffee has been setup to try and bring you the worlds best coffee’s from lots of indie roasters direct to your door.

    Please join us in discovering the worlds best coffee.

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