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We continue our chat with this year’s U.S. Barista champ about their selected coffees, and how their rewarding experiences will shape both their life ethos and content moving forward.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo by Niki Weegens
Yesterday, we began a conversation with 2022 U.S. Barista champion Morgan Eckroth (she/they), a barista at Keeper Coffee and the content creator of Morgan Drinks Coffee, a successful profile on TikTok and other social media channels. We wrap up our conversation with them by chatting more about working with the team at Onyx Coffee Lab, how they chose their coffees, and what their followers can expect from Morgan Drinks Coffee this year.
Note: This interview has been condensed.
Katrina Yentch: There are a lot of coffees to choose from and you picked Eugenioides, a rising star in the competition world. I’m curious how much your coach Lance Hedrick and the team at Onyx Coffee had inspired you to choose this coffee, and how much of your own influence went into the process of selecting your coffee.
Morgan Eckroth: This season there were a lot of constraints that don’t usually exist. Two months is not a lot of time to get coffees brought in internationally. It’s really difficult and time-consuming. In an ideal world we would’ve had time to go to origin and actually work very closely with the farm we’re gonna get coffees from, and we’d have time to taste everything. This year that just literally wasn’t possible, so Onyx came to me with two of the coffees that they thought would perform really well and were excited about and had enough of. Those ones happened to be the Eugenoides and Sudan Rume, which I used for my signature and my espresso.
They were like, “Here you go. Try these out! If you don’t love them we’ll keep exploring. You need to be in love with them, so let’s start from here and figure out what you want.” And so I tried the Eugenioides and I was like, first of all, it’s awesome to be able to talk about and explore a species of coffee that’s gaining more traction and sweeping the competition stages. But also it’s an opportunity to talk about this coffee to my audience, who very few knew about it.
The Sudan Rume is kind of on the opposite side, whereas the Eugenioides was incredibly sweet—super low caffeine, and high sugar. The Sudan Rume is a much more tropical and high-acidity coffee and it’s wonderful and complex. I just fell in love with it personally, so the two of them coming together just made sense. Even though I had the flexibility if I wanted to try different coffees, it was really lucky. We just nailed these right away.
Your signature drink had some strong cocktail mixologist elements to it, like using oleo-saccharum and saline. I was curious how that came together and how much you were experimenting with mixology to influence your drink.
It’s funny because most competitors will say this when you’re developing your signature drink—you just crack open a cocktail book and just start pulling things. So this year a component of creating the signature drink was knowing that we wanted it to be something that people can make at home. Part of the routine was that we had released the recipe and encouraged people to make it alongside watching the livestream. So it’s like you have the same sensory experience as the judges are having; that was kind of a component of it. So that kind of limited a bit of what we could do because it had to be accessible.
But we knew we wanted it to be chilled, something shaken. It’s a method for drinks that I really like and it’s simple. And then we were like, “Well now we have to put ingredients in!” … A lot of it is looking up cocktail recipes, and learning what those things are, just throwing things at the wall and eventually something tastes good.
What was the most fun part of putting the routine together? And what can we expect from Morgan Drinks Coffee in the future?
I think the most impactful part of this season’s competition was the amount of collaboration that happened. Both with the folks at Onyx, and I know that this is so cliche to say, but it really takes a village to put a competitor on stage, and I think most competitors would say that. There are so many people, so many folks at Onyx and Keeper and my family. Once we got to competition this year, there was a unique sense of camaraderie amongst the competitors. I came out of the competition with a lot of really valuable friendships in a really cool way. Honestly my favorite part this year was collaboration at every single level, from when we started forming the routine to getting to Boston and being with competitors. But we aren’t competing against each other; we’re just doing the best we can in every single way. In that way everyone was supporting each other, which was a very cool experience.
And moving forward, that’s the million-dollar question. Going into this year I just thought that I was gonna do the best that I can do. In a pipe dream, I was like, I’d love to win. You don’t ever really expect it to happen and then it does and you’re like, oh shoot! What do I do now? Do I just go back to normal?
I can tell you at least that Morgan Drinks Coffee will continue in a lot of ways that it has in the past. I still plan on making my little sketches and plan on doing really silly things with coffee on YouTube. But also my time and my presence online has evolved in the past three years and I anticipate that it will continue to evolve over the next four months. A lot of my life is gonna be taken up by competing for Worlds (taking place Sept. 27-30 in Melbourne, Australia). And so we’re gonna continue sharing the process, which will be incorporated into my content. I am currently figuring out what comes next career-wise in coffee, but for the time being without a doubt there will be shenanigans. We are going back to semi-regular programming after this!
What has been one of the most valuable things you’ve learned from this process and your team?
I think the thing I have taken away most from this experience is something that Andrea (Allen) told me when I was working on writing my script. I had tons of ideas and sentences that were too long and very chaotic. I had so many things I was trying to say all at once. And Andrea looked at me and said, “Come into what you’re doing here with a clear message. What is one sentence that you want to communicate with this routine? And then drive that home as hard as you can.”
That was something that was really influential in developing my routine. And honestly I carried it out of competition as well, with defining my mission and sticking to it. …
So what is that message?
That sentence nowadays for me online, my goal is to make specialty coffee as fun and approachable for everyone as possible. That is my goal online at all points. I’ve said many times I don’t make content for coffee people. I make content about coffee for anyone, and I’m really glad when coffee people can enjoy it. But overall my audience is not coffee people and I think that’s something I value a lot and is pretty unique, and so my goal is to make that bridge from me to specialty coffee and add value to the supply chain and make it as seamless as possible, because I care about the industry a lot. And if there’s anything I can do to help it grow, I’m gonna do as much as possible. So that’s kind of my driving force behind everything.
The post A Conversation With 2022 U.S. Barista Champ Morgan Eckroth: Part Two appeared first on Barista Magazine Online.
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Today I had the idea of trying the Moka coffee pot as I have never tried it out before.
To summarize the experience: “Coffee was not bad at all, I would dare to say it was really good, but the overall experience was not that great because of the work involved.” Not quite the convenience mind set we love with our Keurig machines.
The beans I used were a moka blend, finely ground. I used a mill to grind the beans. Note the grind size variation below. This was just for fun, and it is just to show a wide range of grind sizes. For a Moka pot, in fact, we would grind finer than the finest size in the picture below.
The Moka pot looks interesting. The pot I bought is very thick – good for any heat source. I paired it with a coffee cup set to match the color, and I am very pleased with the aesthetics of it.
The Moka pot below is one of the best on the market, it is a Bialetti Moka Express, and this model is renowned in the entire world. However, my preference was a model that had some personality and a bit of color.
Here is how brewing a Moka pot coffee looks like. You wouldn’t open the lid, normally, but here is just so you can see the coffee brewing.
I got the recipe from this Moka pot brewing guide. The author seems to understand the process very well, and it seemed one of the best recipes I have read.
I filled the water up to the line. I used pre-heated water, and it started to brew on the stove after 2 minutes. I then added some hot milk and sugar.
The coffee tastes quite smooth – not too bitter with a nice balance of acidity, which is perfect for people like me who don’t like strong coffee. However, I really didn’t like grinding my coffee with the mill; it is too difficult to clean. So I recommend using a blade grinder if you need a little more convenience.
Having said that, for a good cup of coffee it’s worth it! If you are interested in more brewing techniques, check out my French Press Brew guide.
I am always keeping an eye on health issues related to coffee and reading every piece of research related to coffee. Today I came across a report that shows coffee does not increase risk of high blood pressure.
Data shown in the research is very persuasive. The study consisted of 72,567 participants and 37,135 incident cases of hypertension, more than enough to be able to draw a definitive conclusion. It turns out we don’t need to worry that we will develop very high blood pressure if we consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day.
As a coffee lover, I have to say this is a good news. I can now enjoy my coffee without worrying about heart attacks and high blood pressure that may be caused by coffee. I love my life.
Right now, Folgers Gourmet Selections contains several types of K-Cup. My favorite flavors are Black Silk Coffee K-Cup, Lively Colombian Coffee K-cup, Vanilla Biscotti Coffee K-Cup and Lively Colombian Decaf Coffee K-Cup.
Both Colombian K-Cups are medium roasted and Black Silk is dark roasted, as the name suggests.. It is obvious that Folgers know their beans very well. Colombian coffee beans are not optimally roasted dark, as dark roasting can take away from the natural flavor of the beans. Medium or even light roasting is better for Colombian beans.
The above picture is of those 4 K-Cup options. If you buy Folgers K-Kups packs, they will look like this.
Folgers K-Cup blends taste exactly the same as their regular coffee. Regardless of whether the coffee is brewed from single serve K or from ground coffee, the taste is always indistinguishable, which is why I like Folgers. You can see the advantages of Folgers designing their coffees like this. Let me explain. I like Black Silk very much, and I have been drinking it for years. When I am travelling, I will take some Folgers K-Cups with me so that I can enjoy my coffee in my car, on the plane or in the hotel. When I am at home, I buy their ground coffee, so that I can brew a cup whenever I am in the mood for coffee. No matter where you are, you can enjoy your favorite cup of Folgers coffee that will give you the same taste experience every time.
If you can’t find Folgers K-Cups at your local store, you can always buy them online. They can be purchased from Amazon or Smucker, Folgers’ online partner.
Check out some other popular K-Cups brands in this post.
With the world market being as big as it is, it is necessary to find K-Cup coffee brands that are the most trusted and popular because they have been tried and tested. If you are the owner of a Keurig coffee-maker, you can start looking for the kind of K-Cup coffee that you want to buy. Though most Keurig K-Cup brands are tasty, they are not created equal. There are definitely some brands that stand out from the crowd. So, if you want to know more about the best K-Cup coffee brands, keep reading!
- Timothy’s World Coffee – This company has a collection of different coffee roasts as well as flavors, making it a preferred brand by consumers. With excellent blends that range all the way from light to dark and with various unique flavors, the consumer is left wanting more.
- Green Mountain Coffee- Green Mountain has a wide assortment of Keurig K-Cup flavors and coffee roasts. Choosing from all the different options is a dream. On top of this, many of the different blends contribute to different charities. If you are just looking for classic flavors and roasts, Green Mountain Coffee also has you covered.
- Gloria Jean’s Coffee- This could be the best product available, especially if you are looking for excellent flavors. They also proudly offer the Keurig K-Cup tea options. You can choose from the great tea flavors that obtained the maximum rating from all Keurig coffee manufacturers.
- Newman’s Own- unlike the first two Keurig K Cup brands, there are just two types of K-Cup in the Newman’s Own range. These are the special blend and the decaffeinated version which are both excellent for consumers.
- Diedrich Coffee Roasters- this manufacturer concentrates on the variety that they can offer their consumers instead of the quantity that they produce. They have created a variety of blends and roasts that cover all tastes and preferences for every coffee lover.
You can certainly find lots of K-Cup coffee brands on the market. The brands mentioned above are the highest quality K-Cup coffee manufacturers available today. So, all that is left is to choose the flavors and styles that best suit your preference! Take a look at my favorites here as well as my best espresso picks.
Coffees that have lots of different flavors and extras are extremely popular. However, buying this type of drink at a cafe or restaurant is quite expensive. So, if you want a great coffee at a price that suits you, what should you do? Well, there is actually an easy way to make the same quality coffee in the comfort of your home, for the right price. The Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods are single, pre-measured coffee servings that are brewed effortlessly in a coffee maker and allow you to make a single cup of coffee at a time.
If you wish to try different K-Cup flavors but you don’t want to buy a big machine, smaller options are available. These brewers are convenient and perfect for people who are the only drinkers in the household. They are also very simple to maintain and usually take up little space within the kitchen.
On top of that, you can choose from various roasts that range from light to dark to decaffeinated. You can choose from lots of options and coffees that suit your taste. But what about people who don’t want to drink coffee? Various drinks including different hot chocolates and teas are also a great K-Cup option. Herbal teas are particularly popular and have been proven to be beneficial for health and mind.
So, when you are looking to purchase capsules at the best price for you, they can easily be easily bought online or even at your local store. However, if convenience is your priority, buying online is a great option. So many coffee drinkers have chosen K-Cups coffee pods, have you tried them yet? They are a great coffee brewing alternative that will save you money, so get yourself some now!
If you’re like me, and you love your single serve home coffee brewer, you’re likely familiar with this problem: namely, there are so many flavor options that K-Cup storage has become an issue. It is a pain trying to sort through the different K-Cup we have bought!
Fortunately, there are some really cool choices for storing K-Cups. Let me show you.
Ideas for storing K-Cups
First up is the K-cup storage basket, coming in at about $22.90. Manufactured by Green Mountain coffee, this K-Cup holder has two layers and is a great option for storing K-Cups. You can also see all of your K-Cups really clearly. However, I think there is one disadvantage here: some counter top space is required. Therefore, the basket is not the best small kitchen K-Cup storage option.
The second alternative is my favourite. The Keuring K-cup Tower, at just $2 more than the basket, is pretty self-explanatory. Designed like a tower, it gives you a 360-degree view of your coffees. The tower can store as many as 30 K-cups, which really is very convenient. It is also definitely the best choice for saving kitchen counter space. The tower is very durable and long lasting, so you won’t need to replace it very often.
Storing K-Cups in the office
If you have a K-Cup brewer where you work, I highly recommend the K-Cup storage drawer for you K-Cup office storage. It really fits in with standard office couture and will make your work space look great!
Storing lots of K-Cups
If you have more than 30 K-Cups, no big deal! You can go for the K-cup Tree: it can hold 35 K-Cups for you and allows you and your guests to easily find the flavor you want. It also costs $22.90 and takes up very little space. This K-Cup holder has a really new and artsy feel to it and is great for storing K-Cups in a modern kitchen.
Storing K-Cups on a budget
If you are looking for something that can fit all types of kitchens, the most affordable K-Cup holder is the K-Cup Carousel. At $19 it is the cheapest storage option and also takes up very little space. This product doesn’t hold as many K-Cups but it is definitely worth trying out, especially if you have a small kitchen and are on a budget.
What is a safe temperature for storing K-Cups?
K-Cups are relatively stable which makes storing them a piece of cake. However, you should make sure that you are storing your K-Cups at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
What makes K-Cups the best option for coffee brewing? There are lots of great qualities of the K-cup that make it one of the best brewing choices. If you are looking for single-serve coffee capsules and you have a Keurig coffee machine, K-Cups are the right choice for you.
If you were to open up your K-Cup pack you would find a cup filled with ground coffee and a filter. The K-Cup has a foil lid, so the coffee stays fresh until you open it.
For one cup of coffee you just need a single K-Cup. Your coffee machine simply punctures the foil lid and feeds hot water through the cup. It then brews your coffee directly into your favorite mug.
Coffee lovers have a wide variety of choices in the K-Cup range, especially with the Keurig coffee machine K-Cups. There are many famous manufacturers that offer different K-Cup coffee flavors and also K-Cups that brew tea and hot cocoa. This means that even tea and cocoa lovers get wide selection of K-Cup choices, which is special and unusual for a coffee machine.
There are various reasons that K-Cup can be more advantageous than traditional coffee. The first reason for K-Cups being the best choice is the fact that they are easy to use. You must have heard people saying they don’t know how to make good coffee. With K-Cups, there is very little risk of brewing a bad cup of coffee. Even if you haven’t made coffee before you can brew a perfect K-Cup on your very first attempt.
With traditional coffee there is the hassle of measuring out the amount of ground coffee per cup of coffee. K-Cups also save you from creating a mess. You just need to place the K-Cup into the machine, put your favorite mug underneath, then fill the coffee maker with hot water and watch it brew. Then simply enjoy your delicious coffee, sip by sip. Say good-bye to pre-brewed flasks and bags of coffee!
When you are in a hurry to get to the office, K-Cups are an ideal choice for a quick, tasty cup of coffee. Get your coffee ready in two minutes!
There is one more advantage wit K-Cups. Namely, the taste and quality of coffee that you get is almost of the same standard as you would find in a coffee shop. A cup of coffee served at coffee shop is expensive, so making your coffee using K-Cups will save you a lot of money!
Both Brands play important roles in the coffee industry. What I am doing here is just introducing their history, development and features briefly, so we can understand them better.
illy was founded in 1933 in the port city of Trieste in northeast Italy. Its founder was Mr. Francesco Illy. Mr Illy was an inventor and a leader in the coffee industry. He invented the first automatic espresso machine ‘illetta’ in 1935, replacing the old steam method with a new compressed air method. After World War II, control of the company was handed over to his son Ernesto Illy. Because he was a chemist with a PHD in chemistry, Ernesto Illy established a research laboratory in the company where many unique unique inventions and patents were later born.
In 1996, famous modern artist James Rosenquist recreated the illy image, using a bright red box with bold white「illy」text inside. The appealing, eye-catching new logo was designed to update the illy concept and to welcome in the new millennium century. Here it is.
LAVAZZA was founded in 1895 as a grocery store and gradually moved towards coffee being their only product. After a hundred years of development, LAVAZZA has become the world’s third largest coffee roaster and, with a presence in more than 80 countries around the world, annual sales volume is around 86,000 tons (140 million cups), with Italy making up 47% of the market.
Its founder was Luigi Lavazza who devoted his whole life to the coffee business. In 1895, Luigi Lavazza bought a small grocery store, Paissa Olivero, for 26,000 liras (about 20 dollars) in Torina, northeast Italy. This store was the seed of the LAVAZZA kingdom.
In those days, grocery stores played dual roles as producers and retailers. Luigi Lavazza bought fresh beans then roasted them according to the customer’s preference . Because Luigi liked roasting coffee very much, he soon fully mastered his roasting skills. After World War I, his three sons Mario, Beppe and Pericle retired from the army and joined the business. Luigi Lavazza then had the capacity to develop his business from retailer to wholesaler, which was a big step on the road towards his successful coffee kingdom.
In the late 70s, LAVAZZA introduced a very popular advertising campain: ‘The more you drink it down, the more LAVAZZA picks you up’. This catchy ad brought LAVAZZA into the European market and turned the company into a multinational corporation.
Both illy and LAVAZZA are very successful brands in the coffee industry. The main difference is that LAVAZZA sell their coffee mainly to home consumers. On the other hand, illy focuses on formulas, packaging and marketing for high-end consumers and restaurants. In northern Italy, you will often see an illy sign in local coffee shop, but you will rarely see a LAVAZZA sign.
As for the flavor, both company tastes are typical for espresso, and I don’t want to make any rash comments. illy use 100% Arabica coffee beans that are roasted relatively light and they choose beans with mild flavor and light acidity, so that illy coffee tastes sweet and smooth. On the other hand, LAVAZZA coffee notes are more typical of espresso, with a great balance of acidity and bitterness. It feels “stronger” to drink, almost like drinking strong alcohol. A small cup of LAVAZZA coffee can leave a long aftertaste.
Compared with traditional hot coffee, iced coffee has become more and more popular among young people lately. On a hot summer afternoon, what could be more cool than a cup of iced coffee?
Basically you have 4 choices when it comes to iced coffee.
- Buy your cup from Starbucks
- Buy an iced coffee maker
- Buy Instant Iced coffee
- Make it at home by yourself
I think there is no need to explain the first method, we all can do it: pay the money, get your coffee. So let us move on to the next choice – an iced coffee maker. You can buy a coffee maker with an iced-beverage function or buy an ice coffee maker, which is specifically used to make iced coffee.
For a general coffee maker with an iced-beverage function, I suggest you check out the Breville Bkc700XL Gourmet Single-Serve Coffeemaker with Iced-Beverage Function. However, I don’t want to buy an expensive coffee maker for $200 just to make iced coffee. That is unless the coffee maker I have breaks, in which case I will look for this function when buying my next coffee maker.
In fact, I really like those cheap, cute little machines that are just for making iced coffee or cold brewing only. There are a bunch of them out there. For 30 dollars you can pick up a good brewer such as the Hario V60 Iced Coffee Maker. Watch the video below to see how it works.
Another option is the Toddy Cold Brew System. Watch the video below to see how this coffee maker works.
The 3rd choice is also popular because it is cheap and easy. As I have said before, amazon.com is the best place to buy things like instant iced coffee. Amazon is cheap, high quality and sells some products you can’t get at local stores. If you need some instant iced coffee suggestions, some good options are the Cappucino Coolers French Vanilla, Starbucks iced coffee, Maxwell house iced latte and so on. Have a look for yourself; they are easy to find. In fact, instant iced coffee is my favorite way of drinking iced coffee in the summer. It isn’t the best brewing option for flavor, but sometimes we don’t just concentrate on flavor.
If you are ready to make iced coffee at home, it is best to start with the easiest recipe. All you need is coffee, sugar and ice. Things you have to pay attention to are:
Adding more ground coffee than you usually do. For example, if you use one tablespoon for your hot coffee, use 2 tablespoons for iced coffee.
If you want to add sugar, add it when the coffee is hot. When the water cools down, the sugar won’t dissolve as well.
Don’t pour hot water directly over ice. Leave it to cool for a while or you will end up with a weak and flavorless iced coffee. If you watched the Hario V60 video, you will have seen that the coffee maker has ice in the middle section. This is a fast and convenient solution for cooling coffee down faster, without ruining it by pouring it directly over ice when it is still hot or waiting for hours to let your coffee cool down in the summer.
For other recipes choices, it is easy to search for homemade iced coffee recipes online. I am sure you will find plenty of options as well if you want to pick up an ebook so that you can read it when you are not online. Check out some other home brewing options such as Moka Pot and French Press brewing on this site.