From Chemistry to Passion
Jeff is a student currently living in Chicago. In the past, he has competed and brushed elbows with the big leaguers in Coffee Champs. His pursuit for the perfect cup has set him up with a dream of a coffee corner. To him, coffee is about fun, simplicity, and excitement about flavors. We are very excited to share a snippet of his story.
Here’s the Q&A:
How did you get into coffee? I got into coffee as an excuse of wanting something to do on study breaks. At the time, my major was Chemistry and I studied a lot in my dorm because I didn’t like the library or many other spots. I wanted to make my dorm feel more at home and I needed to stay awake and alert. Coffee sort of found its way into my life when I saw a friend on the floor get a Kalita; he told what it was, and then he made me a cup. I was hooked, and the competitive edge in me didn’t want only one person on the floor to be the coffee master. So I went online and bought not only the Kalita, but a grinder and a kettle (I really thought I had him, but I had no idea where it would take me).
When did you get your first Baratza? I got my first Baratza for Christmas in 2015, it was an Encore.
What’s your favorite coffee story? So in January 2017, I did Coffee Champs in Knoxville. I was competing in Brewers Cup. I had roasted coffee for the first time for this and honestly was really proud of how it had turned out. It didn’t really hit me though, that other competitors would be trying my coffee…for some reason, and so when I got there and saw some of my coffee heroes, like Sam Lewontin, instantly I became insecure. But I walked right past Sam with my coffee and he turned around and pointed at me and goes “kid what is that?” He walked straight for me and had me open the bucket and stuck his face in to smell it. Lifting his head up and his eyes closed he looked at me and smiled and said “Holy $h*t kid, that stuff's gonna kill.”
What’s your preferred brew method? Want to share your go-to recipe?
My favorite brew method is for sure espresso. But for sake of sharing, I’ll give my basic pour over recipe with a Vario.
• Water 205 degrees Fahrenheit with Third Wave Water
• Grind setting at 6T
• 27g coffee
Bloom coffee with 45g water > wait for 30-40 seconds
Hit coffee again until you reach 200g total of fluid
@ 1:05-1:10 mins pour until you hit 300g fluid
@1:35 – 1:40 mins pour until you hit 350g fluid
@2:00 – 2:05 mins pour until you hit 400g fluid
Wait for it to drain; swirl, smile and sip.
Other than drinking coffee, what do you like doing? I really enjoy music (listening, reading and watching documentaries because I can’t keep a tune for the life of me). I love to cook as well!
Why is Baratza special to you? Baratza has always marked the peak of in-home grinding excellence. The products are bullet proof and with good care and upkeep, can last you a lifetime. They are always innovative and listen directly to the customer needs and their customer service is just fantastic.
Jeff's story is a good example of the Baratza Coffee Journey. For us it means a lot to know that he started out with an Encore and has now "graduated" to finesse his craft to a Sette 270 for his espresso, and a Vario for his pour overs. Who knows where life will take him next, but we are surely excited to find out.