Hey everyone! Welcome to our first episode of Behind the Brew – a blog segment where we share conversations we have with people that love coffee!
We want to talk to real people in our community and ask them about their home brewing and coffee experiences. That’s what Behind the Brew will focus on.
Without community, coffee wouldn’t be possible. Hook is excited to pick the brains of other coffee lovers out there. We are going to coffee pantries everywhere and getting your story!
Today, we are sharing an interview we had with Ernest Ting, Hook coffee’s founder. Ernest thought Behind the Brew would be a good way to further involve the community with the beauty that is craft coffee, so he wanted to kick us off with the first episode.
Let’s get started!
So when did you first discover specialty coffee? Tell us about the experience!
I discovered specialty coffee in 2012. Hipster cafes began sprouting all over as craft coffee became more and more prevalent in Singapore, so I enrolled myself in a latte art course. I was fascinated by the way craft and art came together in the culinary spectrum of coffee.
At that time, I was mostly interested in latte art, but I later came to realize that there is much more to coffee. This was when I began exploring further – reading and experimenting with brew methods, studying coffee origins and varietals, and familiarizing myself with taste profiles.
Coffee really sunk in when I attended a three day roasting course at the London school of coffee. That was where the things that I learned came together and started making sense. This was everything from coffee sourcing to roasting and taste.
What do your days look like, and how do you fit good coffee into that routine?
Unless I have morning meetings, I like to kick start my day with a pour over. I usually use my v60 to brew up a more full bodied coffee, like Hook’s “Sweet Bundchen” or “Give me S’mores.” I grind my beans fresh using a Baratza precisio (which in my opinion is a superb home grinder).
If my mornings are rushed, I’ll just pop two capsules into the Nespresso machine and head off for work.
When the afternoon comes along, I enjoy a flat white, and I usually take this time to taste what Hook is roasting that week. I also do some experiments with new blends!
Fortunately, the Hook office is filled with coffee geeks, so there’s always fresh coffee to be had -even if I’m too lazy to make some myself.
After dinner I usually have another cup of coffee (usually a capsule) that keeps me going through the evening.
However, weekends are quite the opposite. The weekend provides me with more time to get the Espresso machine (Rocket V2) running, and I brew myself milk based coffee at home. And of course, I get to wind down with a brew in the afternoon.
Walk us through your coffee brewing process!
To me, brewing a cup of coffee is actually quite simple. Specialty cafes these days make the brew process look like a science experiment – commanding an exorbitant price for a cup of brewed coffee. That was partially why I founded Hook Coffee, to change that.
My brew process looks like this: I weigh out 15g of coffee. I then grind my beans using the Baratza precisio. Next I rinse the filter paper, dump in the ground coffee, and boil the water using an electric kettle to approximately 95 degrees. Then I brew, pouring in concentric circles. I do this until the water volume reaches 250ml. And that’s it. It is that simple.
What’s in your coffee arsenal?
Here’s a list:
-Hario weighing scale
-Hario V60 Dripper
-Hario Coffee Syphon
What is your desert island gear? (Meaning, if you had to choose a few pieces of gear and be limited to that decision, what would you choose?)
To be completely honest, I would go for Hook’s drip coffee bag. It’s just so simple, and I get great coffee on the go. Essentially all I need is hot water and a cup.
What is your favorite thing about specialty coffee?
It’s fascinating to see how coffee is something we often take for granted. Coffee is so special, so powerful, and it’s constantly changing the landscapes of demographics and cultures.
And that’s the end of our first adventure in Behind the Brew!
Hook is here for all of your coffee brewing needs. If you need anything, feel free to let us know.
Happy brewing everyone!
The Hook Coffee Team