learning how to “heat” water, and avoid “boiling water”- also holiday news.

Boiling water for coffee has been out of style many years- except in the middle east (you know Turkey, Serbia, Iran etc.)- and Italy, where almost everyone prepares coffee at home at a boil. New coffee house style is espresso machine, and drip brewer, french press, and pourover. One of the most popular and prolific Portland coffee roasters swears by the commercial drip brewer. I guess you could say that if Portland coffee style is trending, then boiling would be anti-cool.

choose vocabulary carefully about water, because your highschool chemistry teacher would be sad. Many many people advise water be below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and necessarily above 180F. Boiling for most of us is much greater than 200F. So letting that kettle whistle on the stove means it is too hot. So we want to create hot hot water, yet below boiling, how to achieve?

The best way would be to get a feel for the signals that your water is ready. Heat the water, and get a temperature reading in the kettle before it is poured. Know your thermometers accuracy and response time. Make sure the thermometer is calibrated and accurate. For us at home we pull the kettle just as soon as steam is coming out of the kettle in more than a whisp, yet almost steadily, but not forcefully. a fun experiment is to also boil water in an open pot and look for the water bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan, while reading a thermometer as an indicator of temperature. Heating water is a science, but it can be an art as well if you are able to work with your senses. for us making coffee is part science, part art. we need some sort of scale, yet we also need to engage the senses that we have.

Please get the water hot, and if you need (for your purpose) then boil it. I think i can already feel the scorn both my chemistry and physics teachers at Cleveland would have for this description, since i was a pretty serious c plus student. Boiling point always eluded me, but i will give myself at least a 60%score on this post.


The atmosphere this week at the roastery is pretty laid back, because many are shut down this week, but a little tense because things are unpredictable. we are keeping retail coffee limited and trying to be ready but its hard because we dont want to roast too much or too little. a few of the staff are on holiday. we enjoyed the sunday off, and looking forward to New Years Day off. best best-joel ccr

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