Pro Tip #1 - "The Ways of Mr. Miyagi"
Make sure you have all your beans in a row, so you are not fumbling around trying to do everything at once. Making coffee is suppose to be enjoyable, when you figure this out it will start tasting better...I guarantee!
Pro Tip #2 - "Grandpa's Golden Rule"
Measure twice and grind once...I think that's how the saying goes. The right amount of beans to water ratio is crucial, if this is off your the flavor of coffee is going to taste bitter or taste like colored water.
Pro Tip #3 - "50/50"
It's a type of skateboarding grind, I'm getting back to my roots. The grind is a make or break moment, if it is to fine the water takes too long to pass through the filter and over brews the coffee leaving the coffee very bitter. If the grind is too coarse you have the opposite problem and the coffee is very thin because it has not brewed long enough. Just like the 50/50 grind you have to be evenly balanced with both trucks on the rail if not you go over the front or fall off the back.
Pro Tip #4 - "Sip, Slurp, and Act Like You Know Something!"
All three of these things will help you start to develop your palette for tasting new notes/flavors from different regions! Sipping allows the coffee to glide across your tongue while being naturally aerated by your breath. Slurping allows you to get a broader taste of the body and fullness of the coffee. The last one "Acting like you know what you are talking about" helps you discern different flavors from within the coffee. I like this one the best because no one can tell you how something tastes. There are guidelines of what categories different coffees fall into, but I like making up my own. For example, this week at work I thought our brew tasted like a refreshing orange Sunkist soda on a summers day, and one of my friends thought it tasted like trail mix with chocolate. So have fun and enjoy your next cup of coffee my young grasshopers.
Photos by Kaleb Nimz