Chances are that all of you have been disappointed in a cup of coffee you have brewed. You may have even been in a coffee brewing “slump” where countless cups of coffee in a row don’t have that “darn good” factor.
Brewing a bad cup of coffee can be frustrating, especially if things were going well previously. Don’t worry; there is hope. Whether you are suffering from a coffee slump or simply looking to improve the overall quality of the coffee you are brewing at home, here are some basic things you can explore in am attempt to troubleshoot your brewing woes.
Before I Begin a Few Points of Emphasis (Author’s Note)
At some levels fixing a bad cup of coffee is easy. Below are the basic issues most people run into when trying to improve their coffee. Be forewarned. Pursuing brewing better coffee at home is a winding path the goes deeper and deeper into the abyss of coffee science. Somewhere early on in the journey, you will be passing me up and will need to find a new sherpa to guide you in your pursuit for manual brewing greatness.
I also want to emphasize that this article is meant to be helpful, not to scare you off. If you are brand new to manual brewing, don’t let this barrage of information overwhelm you. At it’s core brewing coffee manually is easy.
“Help me, I’m making bad coffee!”
Your first stop on the road of improving your coffee brewing skills is one of introspection. Take a minute to think about your current coffee brewing situation. Why do you think there is a problem with your coffee? Why do you dislike the coffee and what would you change about it?
It is helpful to answer these questions so you have a direction to head.
It is also important to mention that for the home coffee brewer, your reasons for improving coffee quality should be mostly intrinsically motivated. If you love the coffee you are making at home right now, don’t change because someone else said you make bad coffee. Make coffee that you enjoy.
So how about it, what don’t you like about your coffee that makes you want to make a change?
If you don’t know anything about your coffee except you are unimpressed with it, it is okay to go to the next step. You can still improve your coffee even in you aren’t exactly sure what you don’t like about it. Sometimes you don’t know what was wrong until you taste something better.
The Clever Coffee Dripper is a manual brewing device that is near and dear to my heart. Its ease of use and low barrier of entry made manual brewing approachable to me. I have many fond memories of brewing up my homeroasted coffee fresh out of my Behmor 1600 and savoring the interesting and intense flavors.
Unfortunately, my Clever’s clear plastic body slowly became cloudy and coffee stained. One day, I couldn’t take it anymore and threw out my clever coffee friend.
A year or two later, I ended up purchasing a new Clever Coffee Dripper and writing a review on the blog. One of the only negative things I could say about the Clever Coffee Dripper was that it would inevitably stain and “look a little scary”.
Andrew contacted me a few weeks ago and let me know that he had come up with a solution; he made a Clever Coffee Dripper out of black plastic. It was a simple change but possibly a major improvement (embarrassment over a heavy stained Clever Coffee Dripper is a real thing and no one is talking about it).
Well, It’s been over three months since I have posted something on my blog. That is a long stretch. The Brewing Coffee Manually blog has fallen into a lull that is quite common in the blogging sphere. Some blogs emerge from the lull rejuvenated and spur onwards with content creation. Some blogs never recover from their lull, post a few more times and gently succumb to burnout and a blog that has run its course.
I’m hoping the Brewing Coffee Manually blog is going to fall into the rejuvenated category. Blogging has been an enriching experience so far, although it must be obvious by now, I am finding it harder and harder to make time to write.
I have some exciting ideas for posts but before I attempt to return to a
regular posting schedule, I thought it would be good to give a synopsis of the last three months of my coffee experiences.
Excuses and Explanations
It’s been a busy three months and I haven’t had much time to create meaningful coffee content. This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I have several posts that are nearly completed (they are just waiting for finishing touches and a picture).
The truth is, I am having a hard time balancing it all. I’ve stepped back from blogging to focus on some more important things. I have also shifted some of my free time focus on to regular exercise (a new bike trip approaches) as well as taking some classes to pursue other creative interests.
This year I’ve been trying to focus on simplifying and decluttering all areas of my life. I am not sure exactly how coffee blogging fits into this.