We’re big fans of our Coffeeshop Cardigan: Ultrasoft with an easy, slouchy fit, this cozy layer is the ideal companion for your deliciously lazy, curl-up-with-magazines-and-coffee kind of mornings. We’re also longtime fans of Intelligentsia Coffee, the Chicago-born company that’s committed to eco-friendly, socially sustainable growing practices, with beans that remind us just how good good coffee can be. We knew the two had to meet, so we asked Stephen Morrissey, I.C.’s brewmaster (and 2008 World Barista Champion), for the inside scoop on making a coffee shop-caliber cup without leaving home. Happily for us, he obliged.
What You’ll Need:
• Whole beans Get them no later than two weeks after their roasting date (which should be stamped on the bag). “Buy coffee like you’d buy your bread—fresh and in small amounts,” says Morrissey.
• An electric burr grinder (as opposed to a blade grinder, which can chop beans unevenly). Because coffee beans start losing their aroma, and therefore their flavor, as soon as they’re ground, Morrissey recommends grinding beans as close to brewing time as possible. Otherwise, he adds, “flavors you’d like to keep for your cup have already escaped.”
• A glass manual coffeemaker Morrissey’s cool with a simple French press. Glass canister styles, like Chemex or Melitta, work too. (These allow you to hand pour the water directly over the ground coffee.)
• A digital food scale (It can sound like a bit much, we know, but it can actually come in handy in the kitchen.) “When you only eyeball the ingredients, you will often end up with something too bitter or watery,” says our expert.
How To Do It:
Use 15 grams of coffee (roughly two and a half heaping tablespoons of unground beans) per 8 ounces of water. Boil water and let sit for 30 seconds before pouring over grounds or into your French press. (To take it from here, consult the brew guide for your coffeemaker.)
And remember, says Morrissey, you don’t have to buy a super-dark roast if you like it strong; it can be bitter. “If you want a heftier cup, simply use more coffee or grind your beans a little finer.”
Bonus tip: With coffee this good, if you’re game, you can probably skip the sweeteners and/or the cream. “When you add milk and sugar to great coffee, it can dumb down the flavor,” says Morrissey. May we suggest taking yours with a Coffeeshop Cardigan?