It’s not so hard to make a good cup of coffee.
You can do it at home with a $20 French press, or a $10 filter cone.
Buy some good coffee beans, grind them yourself, get the water temperature right, keep the ground coffee and hot water in contact for the correct amount of time, and... voila... great coffee.
Not so difficult.
Sure, when you’re starting out you’ll make a few mistakes. But that’s OK. We’re making coffee here... not performing brain surgery. It’s no big deal when you mess up.
And once you’ve completed the coffee-making dance a few times, you’ll have it all figured out and bad brews will be a thing of the past.
So... if it’s so simple to make good coffee, why is it presented as such a mysterious and mystical skill by the baristas at your local coffee shop?
Why the fancy brewing gear? The cool decor? The well-rehearsed performance that seems to accompany the making of each cup of coffee?
The answer to that, I believe, lies in the fact that making coffee really is pretty simple. So if you want your downtown café to attract folks with money to spend, you have to “add value” to the coffee-making experience.
In other words if you want to charge $3.50 for a 60 cent cup of coffee, you need to offer your customers the dress-up and drama.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this.
It’s a great business model. And I’m not mocking coffee lovers who pay the extra. I do it myself. I enjoy immersing myself in the whole gourmet coffee experience from time to time.
All I’m suggesting is that we not confuse all this entertainment with the brewing of good coffee.
So... don’t feel intimidated.
Don’t imagine for a moment that the coffee you make at home can’t be just as good as the coffee you bought at the coffee shop.
And that’s my point. That’s all I’m trying to say here.
By all means enjoy the fancy café experience.
Just don’t forget you don’t need any of that to make good coffee at home.
Like I said, a French press or pour-over filter cone, plus a little practice, and you’ll be good to go.
In these posts I share my thoughts and opinions on various aspects of gourmet coffee – sometimes thoughtful, and sometimes more lighthearted. Find my posts here...