My coffee setup / by Josh Li

On my birthday back in October, my wife bought me the Marco Arment coffee setup.

I have never been a coffee drinker before that, but all the coffee talk on numerous 5by5 podcasts got me interested in coffee culture and all the tools / toys associated with making good coffee at home.

Two and a half months in, I now wake up 15 minutes early to make sure I get my cup of coffee before leaving for work. My current system is as follows:

  • Beans: I have experimented with beans from Tonx, but have found their coffee to be a bit too lightly-roasted. So far, my favorite beans have been from Aroma.
  • Grinder: Virtuoso Conical Burr Mill - as per Marco's recommendation.
  • Scale: Hario V60 scale, which has a built-in timer that allows me to time more conveniently.
  • Kettle: Bonavita Digital Gooseneck Kettle, which allows precise control over how hot the water is for optimal brewing.

I have found that I do not like drip coffee, because by the time the coffee is ready for consumption, the temperature has cooled and the acidity level has already risen. The way I make my coffee is with an Aeropress, as follows:

  1. Heat water to 203F
  2. Place filter into Aeropress cap and soak with hot water for 30 seconds
  3. Weigh 12g of coffee beans and grind to medium fineness (setting 12 on the Virtuoso)
  4. Pour ground coffee into inverted Aeropress
  5. Place Aeropress (with the ground beans in it) onto scale and tare
  6. Start timer and simultaneous begin pouring in 100g of hot water
  7. Stir - the timer should read 20 to 25 seconds post stirring
  8. Pour in an additional 110g of hot water (total 210g) - the timer should read 40 to 45 seconds at this point
  9. Begin pressing when timer hits 1 minute; when done, the timer should read 1 minute and 25 to 30 seconds
  10. Stir coffee with spoon briefly

(My brew method is a modified version of the winning recipe of the Northwest Regional Aeropress Championship.)

As much as I enjoy the coffee, I have found the above ritual to be very therapeutic and relaxing - a great way to start a day!