Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Photos: Daybreak Coffee in Titusville

Photo by Nate Robinson
This post originally appeared on Abeja de Café, an Orlando-based blog covering local craft coffee and the global production network.

Not to be all Charlton Heston about it, but are there many things better than waking up with a hot cup of joe to watch the sun rise? Good coffee is arguably a relatively new development in America, but the ritual has been around for generations. Maybe you remember the Folger’s commercials from the '90s taking place in the Smoky Mountains teeming with images of steam and soft sunlight, super-blocky plaid shirts, faces way too fresh. Decidedly cornball. Of course, today we all understand that Folger’s might as well be brewed with leftover hot dog water.

That doesn’t mean in 2015 we can’t get up in the black of early morning to enjoy the good coffee and natural beauty we have right under our noses here in Central Florida. See for yourself! Here are some pointers from out shoot in Titusville on how to do coffee for two in the great outdoors:

Portable Gas Range 

Photo by Nate Robinson
You can get these for pretty cheap, as low as $25 on the internet with replacement butane canisters at about $2/piece. These will take up half of your baggage space if you’re hiking. If you are on foot, you might choose the stealthy option with a top-of-the-line Jet Boil. This is more pricey, but you will feel pretty badass.


Photo by Nate Robinson
The Hario V60 Buono Kettle is the industry standard with a capacity up to 34 oz and slender spout for controlled pouring. At the risk of kicking up a few grinds in the coffee bed we chose the kettle pictured, because it’s pretty, no? The only real consequence of a little ‘turbulence’ is a heartier cup, which can be pleasant first thing in the morning.

A Liter of Water (About 34 oz)

Photo by Nate Robinson
You will only use around a half a liter in the process of brewing 16 ounces, use the other half to heat up mugs pre-pour so as not to transfer heat from the brew to your mug. A little extra hot water helps to do a quick clean of materials once the brewing is done.

1 ½ oz of Roasted Coffee

Photo by Nate Robinson
For this trip we chose Kansas-based PT’s Coffee. Not a Florida roaster, we know, but PT’s sourced these beans through a direct-trade relationship they’ve built in El Salvador. Sergio Ticas, the President of the Salvadoran Coffee Grower’s Association, reserved this particular lot to be managed and harvested by the women of Finca Los Planes. More about that here.

Hand Grinder with Steel Burrs

Photo by Nate Robinson
This will ensure an even grind size, arguably the most important part to brewing an evenly extracted coffee. We recommend Porlex for a good quality grinder at a modest price.

Digital Pocket Scale

Photo by Nate Robinson
Make sure your brew ratios are on point. Decent scales help you monitor proper dosage and water flow. They can run as low as $10. To be a true blue specialty coffee drinker you will want to get comfortable with grams as your standard unit of measure. Don’t be afraid; here are some tips.
Water: 500 grams of water = 500 milliliters water = 16.9 fluid ounces.
Dry Grounds Tip (V60): 1.25 oz = 36 grams. Requires 500 grams of water. Makes for 15 oz of hot coffee.

V60 Drip Cone with Filter

Photo by Nate Robinson
V60 will take up a little more space in your knapsack, but the deliciousness is worth the extra care. In under 4 minutes of brewing, you will have a cup worthy of your neighborhood specialty coffee shop all in the fresh, open air. (Remember to bring a waste bag for used coffee filters.)

For pourovers, you want to use a large size mug to catch the contents from start to finish. If you’re using two smaller mugs make sure to mix the two. Don’t fill either with the first or second half of the brew. They will taste different.

…Or There is Always Aeropress!

Photo by Nate Robinson
If you really want to keep light on your feet bring the Aeropress. It will make for a great cup and it’s quick and easy. We recommend using the re-usable wire mesh filters from Kohi.

Helpful Add-Ons

Thermometer. This way you can ensure that the brewing temp stays between 201-205 Fahrenheit, the ideal temp for pourover. Inverted Aeropress can be slightly lower temp but be careful about dipping below 195F. If a thermometer isn’t handy, make sure you don’t wait too long to brew after the water has reached a boil, especially if it is chilly in the morning.

To keep track of your brewing time and measurements download the KOHI app to your phone. It will walk you through time & dosage amount depending on brewing method.

Whichever method you choose and no matter the setting, always remember to enjoy.

Jimmy Sherfey is a freelance journalist covering Slow Food in the southeastern United States and founder of Abeja de Café, where he writes about specialty coffee production in Central America. His interests include Latin-American culture, baseball, and Brazilian music from the '60s and '70s. 

Jimmy and Nate's other guest posts at theORLANDOAN include In Photos: Vespr Craft Coffee and Allures and InPhotos: Lineage Coffee Roasting.   


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