Everything Is Better With Coffee & Tea
Afternoon tea, a hand crafted coffee, a fresh baked cookie…what more could anyone want in life!?! We can think of a few things, but not many.
We are big coffee connoisseurs and love several brewing methods so we'll start with that obsession first. Our set up isn't up to super coffee snob standards but its coffee snob worthy and chosen for of our mobile life. We're not coffee experts but our friend Ben, of Crema Coffee is and he offered up these three tips for a great cup:
- Weigh your coffee and water, use a 16:1 ratio (16 parts water to 1 part coffee; for example 30 grams coffee, 480 grams water).
- Invest in a great grinder, makes a world of difference. It's all about particle size & consistency.
- Use great coffee that's relationally sourced by the roaster and roasted with respect and expertise.
Crafting the perfect cup is all about the science behind it and if you really want to geek out, there is loads of coffee education here: crema-coffee.com/allaboutcoffee/
As for us, here is our coffee/tea bar set up aboard S/V Curiosity:
I was unhappy with the performance of our Bialetti Moka Elettrika (it was fine but the espresso came out a little “flat”) and since we pony up the money for small batch roasted coffee I felt like we were throwing away money with each brew. I almost purchased an Aeropress but then I stumbled upon the ROK espresso maker.
It looks awesome, its made of heavy duty stainless steel, it uses ground coffee (not pods) and it makes a luscious crema when the espresso is pulled nice and slow. I love the entire process of making coffee each morning and this hands on experience is an extremely rewarding way to begin my day. They’ve just launched a manual coffee grinder that matches that's pretty cool too.
Pour Over Coffee
We could have opted for the highly coveted Chemex but it seemed to fragile and finicky for our traveling lifestyle. The kalita wave dripper is highly rated but it requires special filters that are expensive and sometimes hard to find so that didn't make sense either. So, we opted for a simple ceramic coffee filter cone. lt's more durable than the thin glass versions and can serve up several cups of Joe at once. It's your standard #4 filter that can be found anywhere or you can opt for the reusable metal filter but I find it leaves the juice a little sooty.
- Pour Over Combo (comes with porcelain pot) From Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QTlc1j
- Pour Over Cone: http://amzn.to/2j1Edp8
- #4 Filters: http://amzn.to/2jNjUQe
- Our Electric Water Kettle: http://amzn.to/29UhpU8
- Water Kettle We Wish We Had: http://amzn.to/2jFNFR1
We found this insulated french press a few years ago and have absolutely loved it! I can't tell you how many glass french presses we have broken over the years. No longer an issue with this stainless steel version and it stays hot for sooo much longer than the glass version. Plus, our french press is a two fold device for us, we use it to brew tea as well as coffee.
- Bodum Insulated Stainless Steel French Press: http://amzn.to/2khqHme
It's all about the Grind
We've had our Bodum Burr Grinder for years and it's been great. However, we're seriously thinking of upgrading to a hand grinder. We haven't settled on which one yet but we listed a couple of the ones we're considering.
- Our Bodum Burr Grinder: http://amzn.to/29849zx
- The Top Notch recommended by Ben: http://bit.ly/lido-grind
- Super Affordable Hario Hand Grinder: http://amzn.to/2jNIeBR
- Fancy Rok Hand Grinder: http://amzn.to/2kh7zEX
We're all about buying locally crafted or locally grown anything, but finding a locally roasted coffee can be a challenge in some areas. Coffee for us is a treat and we drink it because we enjoy the experience, not because its a survival necessity (at least that's what we tell ourselves). So, we have no desire to buy cheap, mediocre or mass produced coffee. There would be no enjoyment in that for us.
Right now we're stocked up on Crema beans and always keep our eyes out for a good local roaster wherever we are. Which is why you see us visiting coffee shops frequently in our videos and posts. We wondered into Crema coffee a while back when we were road tripping through Tennessee. They have a fantastic little shop in Nashville. The coffee was solid, baristas weren't snobby and we were really impressed with their commitment to their farmers. Almost a year later we connected on Instagram because Ben, one of the owners, is fellow traveler and RV'er! Go figure, it's a small world after all. Since then we've swapped travel stories, learned more about how we can perfect our cup on-the-go and eventually we're hoping to meet some of their coffee farmers (and Ben) down in South America when we set sail that direction.
Anyway, Ben is a super nice guy and is giving 10% off anything you order if you use the discount code: WYNNS The code is only good through MAY 2017 so get it while the getting is good. (no kick backs or anything for us if you buy, just a discount offered to us and our friends). Crema Coffee Website
Keep your pants on, I am talking about afternoon tea. A proper British afternoon tea among friends is a delightful thing. However, we like tea anytime of the day, hot, iced, herbal, or the all out British way with scones and clotted cream. Yum!
We prefer loose leaf tea so we don't have the extra waste or storage space that individual bags require. We use the french press mentioned above to steep our tea. If we want iced tea, we simply brew it double strength and add ice. Again, we try and visit a local tea shop (so fun to smell all the different teas) if there is one. When there isn't, we have a few go to brands and faves we can stock up on. This isn't all of them by any means but are some to check out if you never have tried them.
- Harney & Sons: http://amzn.to/2j2ef53
- The Tao of Tea: http://amzn.to/2j1TpTk
- Numi Aged Earl Grey: http://amzn.to/2jNJTHp
- Hibiscus: http://amzn.to/2j2aRae
Oh, and if you are wondering about our chandelier coffee/tea set, we've had it for 10 years now so I couldn't begin to tell you where we picked up. Sorry guys.