Skip sleeping in this Saturday and instead head out to your local cafe to celebrate International Coffee Day. Since every day can't be a coffee holiday, we've pulled together a few essentials that will ensure you're always pouring a perfect cup of black gold that rivals your favorite coffeehouse.
Efficient, well-designed and consistent are characteristics that make the Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine exceptional for the everyday latte. The comprehensive machine makes it easy to professionally steam your milk while pulling a consistent shot time and time again. And with a water refill system located on the top front—as apposed to the rear like many unfortunately designed machines—the Dual Broiler takes only minutes to get up to temperature and stays heated to be used whenever you please.
Porlex Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder
This stainless steel coffee grinder allows for flawless grounds, is easy to use and also TSA approved. Perfect for the frequent hotel guest who may find the coffee provided below par, just whip out the Mini Porlex grinder and the perfect cup of coffee is just minutes away. You can purchase the grinder online for $65.
Beautiful copper, brass and tin "Kaikado" canisters bring good design to coffee storage. Handcrafted using a technique that takes about 130 processes, each canister is built to keep contents fresh. The Kaikado is available for sale at the Tortoise General Store for $140.
Ka'u Specialty, Inc.
Grown on an 280-acre farm on the Big Island, this delicious Honey Dark Roast from Hawaiian co-op Ka'u Specialty, Inc. delivers a nice earthy taste with a slightly citrusy finish. Rather mellow in terms of kick and flavor, we found this coffee an ideal boost in the afternoon. Find the latest batches and more information on the farmers' co-op at Ka'u Speciality, Inc. online.
Pick up one of Brick Lane's famous bagels and down it with a coffee from East London's Nude Espresso. In addition to a range of delicious blends, Nude sells Ethiopian Sidamo beans that are harvested through the Operation Cherry Red project. This initiative challenges Ethiopian farmers to produce small batches of 100% red ripe cherries, which are naturally washed and pulped from a Wottuna co-op.
On top of the aforementioned newcomers to our ever-expanding list of coffee bean recommendations, we felt it would be fitting to add a nod to some staples forever in rotation at CH HQ. When in London we always make a point to swing by Climpson & Sons for a their mindful seasonal roasts, and when back stateside hardly a day goes by without the thought of Portland's Heart Roasters—who coincidently just started selling online. And of course, Seattle's Lighthouse Roasters dark roast is always a delight.
Blue Bottle Craft Book
Coffee enthusiast will soon have a magnificent tool in their hands with the release of The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee book, a rewarding piece of work by coffee industry pioneers James and Caitlin Freemen of Blue Bottle Coffee Company fame. Based in California and started in 2002, Blue Bottle Coffee began fostering a dedication to freshly roasted coffee with a simple rule: coffee would be sold to customers within 48 hours of being roasted as to enjoy the flavors at their most distinguished state.
Bringing their honed talent and appreciation for the ritual of making and serving coffee, the Freemens put considerable thought into creating a book that would allow for the enjoyment of the Blue Bottle experience at home. The educational anecdotes found in the book range from the growing and selection process of coffee to roasting and of course, tasting. The Blue Bottle Craft Book also discusses the Freemans diligent practice of "cupping" coffee at home, an evaluation process that allows for various aromas of coffee to be tested at one time.
And it doesn't stop there—Caitlin Freeman, who is also the resident pastry chef at The Blue Bottle Company, shares delicious recipes prepared specifically to compliment those coffee tastings. The Blue Bottle Craft book is a wonderful experience for the connoisseur and the curious alike, and is produced by individuals who not only appreciate the process of making great coffee, but who also truly understand the art of sharing coffee. The Blue Bottle Craft Book is available for pre-order now through Random House for $25, with a publication date of 9 October 2012.
Coffee, book and Breville images by Graham Hiemstra