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My love for all things coffee started back in the early 70's when as a curious young man I walked into a small boutique in my hometown of Capitola California finding in the back room a selection of freshly roasted specialty coffee beans in glass  containers. From there I began my journey into pour over coffee and a Melitta filter. The transition from canned coffee to fresh roasted coffee from all over the world forever launched me into an unending coffee quest. One that continues on to this day.

Here is my coffee bar and my equipment used to make not just good coffee but great coffee. The machine to the far left is my espresso machine. It is an HX E61 machine and I use it to extract the most delicious flavors from finely ground coffee. I steam milk and make wonderful cafe lattes.  There are 850 volatile compounds in coffee associated with its beautiful flavor.  Wine on the other hand which is often lauded for its complex aromatic profile has 250 volatile compounds contributing to its taste. Using a good drip coffee machine ( those recommend by the SCA  - Specialty Coffee Association ) uses the correctly heated water with the right temperature and gravity to extract coffee from the ground beans. Drip coffee certainly has its own beauty yet for those seeking there is more.

That is called espresso and it can extract even more of those 850 volatile compounds. It does this from heat and pressure. When the finely ground coffee is tamped into the portafilter it is then locked into the grouphead. When the switch is activated water is forced through the beans at around 190 to 196 degrees Fahrenheit, right below boiling. It is also forced through at 130 pounds per square inch.  
This form of extraction by its very nature goes immediately to work on those 850 volatile compounds removing a complete suite of flavors from the bean. So much so that even in 16 oz's of steamed milk it still offers a wonderful drink.

Along with this I also home roast my own beans and recently added a high end drip machine to my arsenal. I paired it with a new grinder designated for just drip coffee. They are a Technivorm Moccamaster and a Eureka Filtro grinder. Ive also been blessed in that I have gotten to visit some of the great coffee houses in our country. I visited Intelligentsia in Chicago, Vivace in Seattle and Klatch Coffee in San Dimas California. I love all things coffee.

                                               ©  Steve Lathan


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