This past Saturday, I did one of the most exciting things I have ever done – I got to visit the Big Shoulders Coffee shop’s roastery and got a behind the scenes look at all things coffee! My life definitely revolves around coffee, so learning about the beans and the process of how they turn into that morning/late morning/afternoon cup of coffee was so interesting. The founder of Big Shoulders Coffee, Tim Coonan, spoke about coffee like it’s his baby and I totally love that. He’s so passionate about his business and coffee and you could totally tell that everybody on his staff as well feels the same about bringing good coffee to us Chicagoans. Big Shoulders Coffee is located at 1105 West Chicago Avenue and various retail locations throughout the Chicagoland area. It’s open bright and early at 6AM until 7PM.
According to Tim, here are his tips on how to brew a great cup of coffee:
- Keep your equipment clean.
- Use fresh coffee, visit Big Shoulders weekly! Or pick up a bag of Big Shoulders beans at your local Mariano’s or Whole Foods stores.
- Match the grind to the brewing method and use a burr grinder. *A common mistake is grinding too fine.
- Use a scale and a ratio of 1 part coffee to 15 parts water as a starting point and play with this mix based on brewing method and your flavor preference. An example is 33 grams of coffee to 500 grams of water.
- Use filtered water heated to 204 degrees.
- Bloom the coffee by pouring just enough to moisten the grounds but not actually brew, allowing the water and coffee to get to know each other and not have just a fleeting romance.
- Allow 1 minute after the bloom before you start to actually brew.
Auto Drip Brewing Method:
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 from above.
- A basic formula for home auto-brewing is two tablespoons of freshly ground Big Shoulders coffee per cup of coffee. It is a very common mistake to under-dose the coffee. By following the above, you will make your morning coffee an extravagant and very affordable luxury.
*Thank you Big Shoulders Coffee for the behind the scenes action. As always, all opinions are my own.