While researching for interesting events and meetups for the Startup Digest, I stumbled upon the Indie Coffee Passport club, which is independently organized and the brainchild of Vanessa and Calin. Out of pure curiousity and wanting to visit my 10th stop on the Indie Coffee Passport (besides needing some more caffeine), I decided to check it out. If anything, I figure I’d meet some interesting people and over a common passion – coffee.
About the Indie Coffee Passport Club
Today’s meetup was at R2 Cafe, which was formerly known as Quaff Cafe last year before changing ownership. From the meetup, met Vanessa and Calin, Andrew and Ariel. The level of passion and knowledge of coffee (nerdiness) was of varying degrees.
They hold a meetup at a pre-determined location and time every Sunday on the Passport. The meetup was very informal and just a gathering of people discussing coffee and anything that came across their minds.
Out of our many conversations, we talked about Vanessa and Calin’s trip to North Korea and the state of the country, OccupyTO, our favourite coffee shops, our preference to dead-tree books compared to e-readers, my geeky passion on data visualization and personal data via Daytum.com and many others threads of conversation to give you a quick overview over what this meetup group is all about.
I’ll make the effort to drop by to these meetups more often.
Here’s a pic of the attendees of the Indie Coffee Passport Club – left to right are: Calin, Vanessa, Ariel and Andrew.
On another note, I realized that the barista behind the bar was Matt Sonberg who was a wildcard from the Canadian Central Region Barista championships and a student of Sameer Mohammed of Fahrenheit Coffee. He was a delight to get to know and dropping stupid knowledge about coffee.
Of course the title of this post is a tongue in cheek statement. It annoys me profoundly witnessing people unknowingly ruining the natural “sweetness” and flavours of coffee by dousing a perfectly good espresso (insert your drink of choice here) with a packet of sugar or artificial sweetener (the horror!).
For those who protest “it’s too bitter!” and then proceed to pour sugar into their drink like a little girl , I say this: man up! You’ve probably tried beer which was bitter as hell to start with, you pretended to enjoy wine without wincing. Much like fine wine and awesome beer, life is too short for bad coffee and it should be appreciated as such.
Here’s a little comic I made to convey the emotions
a typical coffee snob I go through at an awesome indie coffee shop.
So real men don’t put sugar into their coffee… (okay, I’d understand if you were having a cup from Tim Hortons … or Starbucks.)
P.S. This is just a rant so relax and have a coffee (with sugar if you want to 🙂
To start things off, the Aeropress has improved my life in 3 ways. After playing around with my not so new Aeropress for the last 7 months now, I’ve almost always had a fantastic cup of coffee, drastically reduced my monthly coffee expenses, increased my tips to our under appreciated barista with the savings I’ve had and as a result given more awesome treatment (*ahem* free cappuccinos once every so often 🙂
Even Geoff Polci, owner Crema Coffee says, “almost impossible to fuck up a cup of coffee with this device, I love mine.”
What is the Aeropress?
The Aeropress is best described as a plastic “syringe-like device” with a filter at the bottom allowing you to use paper filters that it comes standard with or you can buy a Coava disk filter if you like to taste all those delicious coffee oils.
My Aeropress Review
It takes about a good 10 minutes from the point of boiling water of your coffee to the first sip from your cup (or faster if you own one of these babies)
While it may seem a little flimsy at first, it makes rock solid cups of coffee full of flavor, consistently. This thing isn’t a joke. Heck, there’s even a World Aeropress Championship being held in Milan on October 23, 2011 this year.
What the Aeropress is great at
Through my experiences, it makes a great and consistent “Americano style” cup of coffee, meaning I don’t put anything into it after “pushing a shot” into my tumbler.
It offers a very clean cup of coffee, and depending on whether you use the supplied paper filters (it comes with 300) or if you pick up an Coava Disk Coffee filter to capture all the tasty oils, you’re going to get a consistent cup of coffee if you tinker around enough to your own tastes.
Who is the Aeropress for?
The aspiring home barista – people who enjoy a great cup of coffee and who want to explore the world of coffee.
Those who can’t afford a shiny new Slayer machine or La Marzocco. At least not right now, anyway…
Different Aeropress Brew Methods
Besides the standard out of box method, there’s also the inverted method for those who are daring enough to try…
A quick search on Youtube serves up a long list of different approaches to using your Aeropress. Depending on the variables you can change such as how hot the water should be, the grind, how many grams of coffee per shot, and even the timing it can all.
My Aeropress recipe
As I’m usually on the go in the morning, I usually stick to one scoop of coffee with the scoop provided as part of the Aeropress package and pour water at 95 degrees celsius up to the “4” setting to get a nice round cup of coffee that I can savour in the morning.
I handgrind my coffee with my Hario MSS-1B Mini Mill Slim Coffee Grinder. It makes a world of a difference. If you don’t want to pick up a manual grinder, getting an automated burr grinder would be your best bet in getting a consistent cup each time.
In terms of timing, I usually like to let it steep and let it drip without having to put too much work by pressing down on the Aeropress. If I’m in a hurry, I usually wait for about a minute or so to steep then I plunge.
It’s an entire brew system that fits into your backpack. You get a really great tasting cup of coffee at a fraction of the cost compared to stopping over at your favourite cafe for an Americano.
Pick up your own AeroPress for about $30.
New Chemex I got for my birthday from Irene 🙂