The New Year, An Intentional Review

A message from the co-founders: 

Thank you for an amazing 2016. We set out to bring freshly roasted coffee to you all. Sharing our love of coffee was a simple mission, but getting to laugh and share with everyone has been an incredible experience. We are overwhelmed by the amount of love and support from our family, friends, investors, and our caffeinated readers. 2017 will be a truly exciting year ahead as we continue to innovate and work with amazing farmers that bring the fruits of their labor to you.

Love,
Ernest & Faye
Co-founders of Hook Coffee

With the birth of 2017 comes a blank slate. We are sad to see 2016 shift into the past, but good times are coming, and we are excited to share them with you! Whether or not you’re ready for the new year, it’s time to get back into the grind of things.

Before we go on, we wanted to look back and further thank you all for the amazing year. Your support has been monumental! So much has been done.

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It is only natural that New Year’s resolutions tag along as we celebrate 2017. Every year, many of us take out the notepad and construct massive lists on how to better ourselves. Even if you aren’t fond of the “New Year’s resolution ritual,” let’s be honest: there are always ways to improve yourself. Looking ahead is not always fun. Improving, learning, or shaping can be a daunting task.

We at Hook want to do our part and help to eliminate as many of those daunting resolutions as we can.

How can we do that? Well, maybe getting better at brewing coffee is on that resolution list of yours.

Loads of information can be found about the coffee realm. Roasting, brewing, grinding, farming, processing… the list goes on. Learning the coffee craft can indeed be “daunting,” but we want to help quell that fear. Coffee isn’t about prestige or being a rock-star barista. Coffee is about being a part of a community that enjoys hospitality and good intentionality.

 

Getting better at coffee:

Understand that the coffee learning process will take some good old fashioned tears.

What we mean by “tears” is that you won’t just wake up one day with a kettle in your arms and an infinite knowledge of the coffee craft. It will take some work, and by work, we mean practice and being intentional.

 

So how does one practice coffee?

Brewing coffee is tactile (application). Coffee knowledge is both tactile and visual. This is vital to understand when continuing your coffee journey or beginning it.

To be proficient at anything, one must perform a given task. You can’t just read coffee theory and blogs all day if becoming better at brewing coffee is the goal. Books are good, but you’ll end up spilling water everywhere during the brew process, adapting to changes will be entirely difficult, and efficiency will be pitiful. The same goes for brewing without knowledge: you may be able to beautifully execute a particular pour-over method, but you will have difficulty manipulating variables in the brew process without any sense of coffee theory.

Here are some good theory resources to amp up your coffee knowledge:

-The Barista Handbook (Rao)

This is an all-around theory and application guide for the aspiring barista. Espresso and milk theory are addressed as well. Think of this as a barista lexicon. A wealth of information and formative application can be found here.

-The World Atlas of Coffee (Hoffmann)

In this book, Hoffmann takes the reader through a coffee pilgrimage. By country, this book covers key growing regions, taste profiles, and history. Roasting processes, farming processes, and brewing is also covered. This is a good pick for someone who wants to go further than just brewing.

-Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (Freeman)

This book is another incredible resource that takes the reader through a thorough seed to cup process. Freeman helped the coffee industry in many ways, so this is a worthwhile read.

-Everything but Espresso (Rao)

Rao dissects water quality, brew colloids, agitation, temperature, and all other sorts of coffee alchemy in this book. Great for the home barista.

Practicing coffee is brewing coffee, and understanding how that coffee is brewed. Intentionality should always be at the forefront. If the coffee you just brewed tastes like a rancid trash can, figure out why and fix it.

 

Should you buy gear to get better?

This is an interesting question. The real answer is no, but there are certain exceptions.

Growing out of your gear is a real thing. For example, there comes a point when a normal kettle is too bulky and inexact. There comes a point when the current grinder being used doesn’t provide a suitable particle size distribution. The examples can go on.

Sure, gear can help us achieve our coffee goals, but more gear doesn’t mean better coffee.

Intentionality means better coffee.

Think about making the upgrades you need. The one upgrade we recommend is a grinder.

Many people overlook the fact that a grinder is arguably the piece of gear that affects coffee quality the most. If you want to take your coffee to the next level, obtain a grinder with better particle size distribution (PSD).

PSD is the variation in size between coffee particles (usually measured in microns). If the grind is even throughout, repeatability and consistency in brewing will more likely follow. When boulders (course grind chunks) and fines (powdery coffee particles), make it into the brew bed, an unbalanced cup could be brewed.

We recommend trying out the Kuissential evengrind, Knock Feldgrind, or the Baratza Encore for your coffee grinding needs!

Just remember that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on gear. Get what you need.

 

Thanks!

Thank you for embracing our achievements with us. Your support makes us happy. To express our heartfelt gratitude, here is 17% off your next order to kick start 2017.

Use code: 2017

 

Happy New Year, and Happy brewing!

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