I have been making coffee as a hobby since 1996 but started really taking it seriously in about 2008 when a sudden major life change afforded me lots more time for study and experimentation.
This page is meant to be an introduction to me as a home barista and a gateway to my ongoing coffee interests. It is therefore cluttered and image-heavy.
I do not see myself as a coffee snob or hardcore – I’m a coffee enthusiast. I love all coffee. I love Dennys coffee, I love Folgers, I love those Starbucks dessert drinks, I love Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz! ice cream.
But I also love the science of making coffee. For years, I have watched hundreds of hours of videos, read hundreds of threads on Home Barista, I read books and Barista magazine, I experiment endlessly – I know the rules. I just don’t follow them all. I enjoy coffee and I know that coffee made and served right is the best coffee but my philosophy is to study study study to learn the traditional/correct way and then, if it stops being fun, do what works for me.
I tell everyone who visits my “home cafe” that I don’t claim my coffee is better than anyone else’s, I just enjoy making it more than most people. But, since I know the rules and have years of practice, I like to think it’s pretty good. I buy fresh beans, grind seconds before using them, minimize syrups and flavorings, and my guests like (and often love) my coffee.
I try to always be learning new drinks, new techniques, new tweaks to what I already know, and keep growing in the art and science of coffee.
Some guys have a garage or workshop – I have a coffee bar. And for similar reasons, I think.
My equipment includes an Ascaso Steel Uno V3 Pro espresso machine and a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso grinder. Aside from espresso-based drinks, I also make press, siphon, moka, and have been learning Turkish.
To see blog posts about coffee that I make, follow these tags: coffee geek for general coffee geekery and home cafe for stuff specific to my experience. There is plenty of overlap between the two. The posts sometimes contain pics.
I have a Flickr account I sometimes post coffee pics to but don’t go too far back because many of the old coffee pics are embarrassing :P And, on my YouTube channel, I have playlist called We Love our Home Coffee Bar that has a few moderately interesting videos about what I do and a little of how I do it.
But, enough talk. How about some drink pics?
First, an espresso shot. The building block of all the drinks you see below.
24g of Espresso Strata from Red Rock Roasters here in Albuquerque, ground on my Baratza Virtuoso Preciso. Gaggia Classic at 9 bar, bottomless portafilter.
I never thought of a good name for this creation so I just call it an Iceless. Which is just short for “iceless iced latte sorta’ thing”. I wanted a milky summer drink with no melting ice. I use a press pot with a couple ice cubes in the bottom to cold-froth the milk. Frozen 8oz mug. The best I’ve achieved so far is 38 degrees, so the experiments continue.
Summertime usually means it’s time for what I call ConPannaSicles. 1.5oz espresso, 1oz cream, .5oz vanilla/choc/hazelnut/whatever syrup with a demi spoon for a stick, served in a latte bowl. Very creamy. Sort of a frozen Espresso Con Panna with flavoring.
Or a hot chocolate for non-coffee drinkers.
I love a simple cappuccino when drinking alone.
And now I am admittedly just showing off…