6 Factors to Consider While Choosing a Coffee Maker

Figuring out the kind of coffee maker to buy and what features to look is quite straightforward if you have a clear idea of what you require in your morning coffee. Here are some factors you need to consider while shopping for a coffee maker whether you know the kind you want to purchase or not.

  1. Coffee Type

It is the most important consideration that lies in front of you when it comes to a coffee maker. Before stepping out to buy a coffee maker, know your coffee type. If you like lattes or cappuccinos better, will you ever use a coffee brewer? So, you should purchase a coffee maker that brews the kind of coffee you actually like.

  1. Quantity

Before you choose a coffee maker, you should consider the fact of how many people drink coffee in your household. If there are more than two people, then you need to go through the process of brewing a cup of coffee five times if you are thinking of buying a single-serve maker. If you are the only person who drinks one cup of coffee to wake up, then a single-serve coffee maker is what you need. So, consider this factor.

  1. Counter Space

Every kitchen has limitations to how many electrical applications one can place on the countertop. Certainly, some coffee makers will consume more space than others. That’s why you need to consider the dimensions of a coffee maker you are settling on. If that maker needs to be put in another room or cabinet after every usage, there is no point.

  1. Cost

Definitely, the coffee you love needs spending a few hundred dollars on espresso machines. If you do have that much amount, you have to make some compromises. Otherwise, you need to look for a maker that fits your budget.

  1. Convenience

Like most people, if you make your coffee in the morning, you may need a coffee maker that is not complicated to use. Look for a coffee maker where you just need to stick in a cup or pod and tap on a button to prepare a nice cup of morning coffee. Plus, there are various programmable coffee makers available out there.

  1. Other Features

Nowadays, coffee makers have become so common that they come with lots of different features. Here, you have some advanced features like a built-in grinder, programmable settings, multiple warmers, auto shut-off, steamer, water filter, and various others. So, these are some of the extra features that you can look into a coffee maker.

No matter what you eventually decide, ensure that you consider both the long-term and upfront costs of the kind of coffee maker you select to purchase. It is quite worth to spend a bit more today if it will save the money over a few months or years. However, do not just settle on a coffee maker that you do not actually want. So, decide on a coffee maker after considering all of these factors.

Hawai’i: A New Wave of Coffee Innovation

The Hawaiian Islands are known the world over for beautiful beaches, diverse microclimates, and both active and dormant volcanoes — pretty much paradise, as the cliché goes. Hawaiian culture is both uniquely American and, in many ways, happily incongruous with mainstream American culture. One island in particular, Hawai’i Island (often called the Big Island), produces the famous, widely name-recognized Kona coffee.

Kona Coffee, Then and Now

Kona coffee is grown on the west side of the Big Island in the Kona District, where it was first planted in the 1820s. There are not many people in the U.S. who drink coffee who haven’t heard of Kona; in fact, the name is virtually synonymous with Hawaiian coffee. And until California fairly recently got into the coffee-producing business, Hawaiian coffee was the only coffee grown in the 50 U.S. states.

Further, Hawai’i is both a producer and consumer of specialty coffee. In many parts of the world where coffee is grown, the highest-quality coffees are exported (because they command a higher price than they would fetch in the local market) and locals drink lower-quality, often commodity-grade coffees. Not so in Hawai’i, where the local market consumes (and pays the same premiums for) locally grown Arabica coffee. The most widely planted coffee variety here is Guatemala Typica, known on the islands as Kona Typica.

If you’ve seen a bag of 100% Kona coffee anywhere, you likely will have noticed how much more expensive it is than mainstream coffees from most other origins. Lee Paterson, co-owner of Hula Daddy in Holualoa (in the Kona District of the Big Island), explains that labor costs are a chief reason for this price differential. “In Kona, we pay $200-$300 a day for farm work, while a farmer in Guatemala pays $3-$6 a day for the same work,” says Paterson. When you factor in the exorbitant cost of living in Hawai’i, it’s easy to see why 100% Kona coffee retails for upwards of $30 for 12 ounces.

Complicating matters for consumers, and a perennial trap for tourists to the islands, is a 1991 law, still in effect, that allows roasters to label as “Kona Blend” bags that contain as little as 10% of coffee actually grown in the Kona District.

But coffee is grown on all the Hawaiian Islands. And although the Big Island produces the vast majority of the islands’ coffee, the Kona District itself has, in recent years — perhaps because of marketing that glosses over important distinctions among the district’s 600-plus farms — taken a back seat in the upmarket specialty world to the smaller-volume Big Island growing regions Ka’u and Puna.

Some of Hawai’i’s best coffees still come from the Kona District, no doubt, but when we asked roasters to submit samples of Hawai’i-grown coffees for this report, we received a broad array of impressive coffees not only from Kona, but also from Ka’u and Puna, as well as the islands of Maui and Kaua’i. Even more interesting is that, of the 10 top-scoring coffees we review for this report, only one, the Big Island Coffee Roasters Kona Peaberry, could be considered a “classic” Kona in the historical sense: a cleanly expressed washed-process Kona Typica. What best characterizes these 10 top-rated Hawai’i coffees is experimentation, whether with regard to variety or processing, or both.

Roaster Heather Brisson-Lutz and farmer Gerry Ross at Kupa’a Farms. Courtesy of Origin Coffee Roasters.

From a local-rum-barrel-aged Puna Caturra to a Ka’u-grown coffee fermented with wine yeast, a washed-process Kenya-style SL28, and a honey-processed Ka’u Typica, the 10 coffees we review here signal the direction many Hawaiian coffee farmers are taking in the 21st century: careful, creative experimentation, thoughtful choices about varietals best suited for each microclimate, and an openness to exploring what Hawai’i coffee can be, without preconceptions. We even review a coffee, Greenwell’s Mamo, that represents a new hybrid variety developed exclusively in Hawai’i that is making its debut on the world coffee stage after two decades of research and testing.

Baby Mamo trees in the nursery at Greenwell Estates. Courtesy of Tom Greenwell.

Nine of the 10 coffees here are from the Big Island and, of those, four are from the Kona District; four are from Ka’u; one is from Puna; and one is from the island of Maui. One was submitted by a roaster in Taiwan, and another by a New Orleans, Louisiana roaster whose mission is to elevate specialty Turkish coffee. Three were roasted by the producers who grew the coffees. (Producer/roasters are common on the Big Island, especially in Kona, but less common in the smaller Big Island growing regions.)

Hawai’i Coffees in a Global Context

Importantly, Hawai’i as a coffee-growing region is not bridled by the world commodity market (C-market) that sets the price of commodity-grade green coffee. The floating C-market price is determined by the mechanics of worldwide supply and demand for commodity Arabica coffee, but it affects producers of specialty coffee, as well, because it is a benchmark for price negotiation. The C-market has been under intense scrutiny recently because average production costs for coffee producers now unequivocally exceed the C-market price, a tragic discrepancy for small farmers who can only compensate by working harder and harder for less and less money.

But the prestige of the Kona name and the relative scarcity of Kona coffee create a separate market for Kona, in part freeing producers from the influence of the C-contract and giving them a great deal of autonomy, both in terms of pricing and product.

Kelleigh Stewart, co-owner of Big Island Coffee Roasters, says, “We’re removed from the C- market, so the feedback loop between producer and consumer here is short and direct. Our producers and industry professionals are often educated and have the resources to test variables. In Hawai’i, producers can test a new processing style, have it taste-tested by their end buyers, then set their own green/roasted prices based on the additional work involved. As producer/roasters, we have a wide breadth of responsibility, but we also have great creative freedom to explore.”

Paradise Roasters co-owner Miguel Meza adds, “Many Hawai’i producers travel to consuming markets and are familiar with things people in other parts of the world may be trying. Also like anywhere else in the world, producing coffee in Hawai’i for the general market is often not a profitable venture. So growers look to differentiate their product to be able to sell it at more profitable prices.”

Paterson says, “Everything is an option for the third wave,” and that, “When we created Kona Sweet [a natural-processed, sun-dried coffee] in 2008, we were advised not to do it because it wouldn’t be perceived as traditional enough,” he continues. We can report that we have tasted many iterations of that coffee here at Coffee Review and can say that the Hula Daddy rendition is one of the consistently cleanest naturals available, resonant with bright fruit, with none of the funk that often haunts natural coffees. It’s not a stretch to say that Hula Daddy has helped carve a path for broader acceptance of the natural process in specialty coffee, in general.

Karen Paterson picking coffee at Hula Daddy in Kona. Courtesy of Lee Paterson.

Paterson ticks off a list of the types of experimentation he sees routinely on the Big Island: “In Hawai’i, we have farmers using carbonic maceration, alternative fermentation liquids like Pepsi and sea water, and commercial yeasts. Many of the ideas for coffee-processing are coming from the wine industry.”

Origin Coffee’s founder Heather Brisson-Lutz, a mainland roaster who set up shop on Maui’s west side in 2018, works with both Hawai’i coffees and coffees from other world origins. She is seeing experimentation on Maui, as well, reporting that, “Olinda Farms has had great success with their controlled yeast inoculation during fermentation. It is challenging on Maui for smaller producers to take on natural- or honey-processing, due to our naturally rainy climate even in the ‘dry season.’” She works with Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson at Kupa’a Farms, upcountry in Kula, where she suggested they try a double-fermentation method widely used in Kenya (fermenting twice and washing twice in clean water). “Flash forward a month, and on my next visit to Kupa’a Gerry showed me the drying beds with Red Catuai, Yellow Catuai and Orange Bourbon separated in batches of single- and double-fermentation,” Brisson-Lutz says. She adds that, ” In general, I think producers see the value added by experimentation, whether it be in processing methods, fermentation or hybrids. They are creating a unique cup profile that attracts specialty coffee roasters and consumers.”

Joan Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian, who moved back to Pahala (in the Ka’u growing region of the Big Island) to help her mom, Lorie Obra, run the family farm after her father died, says her mother asks one question when she approaches coffee processing: What does this coffee want to be? Joan says, “The answer depends on the variety, where it’s grown, the weather conditions for that year, processing type, and length of drying. Yeast is a fun new variable to add to those factors — and it falls in line with Lorie’s previous experiments. She has replaced the water in wet fermentation with seawater, pineapple juice, chili water, wine, soda, and other ingredients.” She says, “In short, we’re driven by curiosity. There’s an excitement around the cupping table when we taste the results of a new experiment for the first time.”

Four Standout Konas

Equator Coffee, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, sent us a gorgeous Kona coffee from Monarch Farms, owned by Greg and Susy Stille. It is experimental not by virtue of its processing (traditional washed) but by its variety, Gesha or Geisha. Long a darling of the elite specialty market, Gesha is being planted widely beyond Ethiopia (its origin) and Panama (where it was popularized), and this Gesha (which we rated 94) is floral and sweetly herbaceous with notes of aromatic orchid, spearmint and fine musk. Equator’s Director of Coffee, Ted Stachura, says, “There remains a mystique around Hawai’i coffees, in general, and Kona coffees, in particular. So many people from the U.S. mainland vacation on the islands and take away a positive feeling about the coffee as a result of their experience. Limited availability and high cost of production create an air of exclusivity, and you can’t get more exclusive than this award-winning Gesha lot.”

Greg and Susy Stille, co-owners of Monarch Farm in Kona, accepting an award from the Hawai’i Coffee Association. Courtesy of Abby Stille.

The most “classic” coffee here is perhaps a Kona Peaberry from Big Island Coffee Roasters, a conventionally wet-processed Kona Typica. It is also a peaberry, a kind of bean that results when the coffee fruit develops only a single, oval bean rather than the usual pair of flat-sided beans. This one, which we rated at 93, is rich-toned, with notes of black cherry, magnolia and a hint of thyme.

Hula Daddy submitted its Kona-grown version of the famous Kenya SL28 variety, Laura’s Reserve (93), a juicy-sweet cup with leading notes of red fruit and spice-toned sweet florals, backed up by buttery toffee.

Coming in at 90 is a true innovation, Greenwell Farms’ Mamo, a hybrid of the Maragogipe variety, famed for its huge beans, and the tiny-beaned Mokka, celebrated for its unique cup character. Mamo was developed over the course of 20 years by Dr. Chifumi Nagai of Hawai’i Agriculture Research Center (HARC); Hawai’i Coffee Growers Association (HCGA), under the direction of Kimo Falconer; and Tom Greenwell and his team at Greenwell Farms. The cup for this sample is sweetly savory, spice-toned and framed by rich aromatic wood notes. In regard to bean size, the Maragogipe parent appears to have prevailed here, as the beans are quite large.

The first flowering of Mamo trees at Greenwell Estates. Courtesy of Tom Greenwell.

A Wild and Wacky Ka’u and the New Classic Ka’u Naturals

One of the most interesting coffees to land on our cupping table is Paradise Roasters’ Ka’u Champagne Natural, harvested by Meza himself from various farms in Ka’u, then fermented in the whole fruit using two different strains of wine yeasts, and dried in the whole fruit. Meza observed that, throughout the fermentation in water, there were a lot of bubbles as a result of the yeasts producing carbon dioxide. He says, “When tasting the cherries during fermentation, I noticed that they have a sparkling, effervescent sensation, and later in the fermentation when most of the sugar has been consumed, the fruit is bright and crisp like a dry sparkling wine.” We rated it at 94, finding it to be juicy, brightly fruit-toned and spicily floral, with notes of wild strawberry, honey, dried gardenia, pistachio butter and pink peppercorn.

Miguel Meza’s experimental fermentation process at work on the Paradise Ka’u Champagne Natural. Courtesy of Miguel Meza.

Rusty’s Hawaiian coffees at the beach. Courtesy of Joan Obra.

Three Ka’u coffees, two produced by Rusty’s Hawaiian and one produced by Rusty’s sister company, Isla Custom Coffees, impressed us with their cleanly bright fruit-forwardness and elegant balance. Rusty’s own Honey Typica scored 92, as did Three Chairs Typica Natural (produced by Rusty’s), roasted in New Orleans by a native of Turkey, Turgay YILDIZLI, whose primary focus is on elevating Turkish-style coffee within the specialty market. And Nine Point Coffee in Taiwan sent in a Ka’u Natural we rated at 93, sourced by Isla Custom Coffees from various Ka’u farms.

Nine Point Coffee Roasters in Taipei. Courtesy of Yu-Lin Chiu.

One could argue that the development over the last decade of high-quality Ka’u coffees that land somewhere on the natural-process spectrum, led by Lorie Obra and the Rusty’s team, argues for Ka’u as Hawai’i’s ground zero for these consistently graceful, cleanly fruit-expressive coffee styles.

A Maui and a Puna

Origin Roasters’ Orange Bourbon from Maui’s Kupa’a Farms (93) is notable for its crisply sweet-tart cup with pretty notes of peach, honeysuckle, cinnamon and cocoa nib, as well as for its backstory (see earlier in this report), in which local roaster Brisson-Lutz collaborated with the farmer to elevate and distinguish the cup profile.

Big Island Coffee Roasters sent us a Puna Caturra aged for two days in local Kuleana rum barrels as part of a series of barrel experiments with different coffees and vessels to explore, Stewart says, the influence on flavor, acidity and mouthfeel. I might add aroma to that list, as, right out of the gate, this coffee perfumed our cupping room with Concord grape and ginger blossom, along with some kind of barrel-treated alcohol we blind-identified as aged grappa. Surprisingly, the coffee itself is not overwhelmed by the barrel conditioning; it was brief enough that the coffee character is accentuated by the barrel, rather than dominated by it. We rated this coffee at 93.

Big Island Coffee Roasters’ Puna coffee going into local rum barrels for aging. Courtesy of McKenzie Wildey.

By now quite apparent, the theme of this Hawai’i coffee report is experimentation, which has been encouraged by the islands’ unusual position in the global marketplace and by an infrastructure conducive to innovation. Stewart says, “To me, it feels like we’ve jumped from being a decade behind the specialty coffee movement to the forefront, just within the last five years.” We here at Coffee Review look forward to see how this exciting region continues to evolve.

The post Hawai’i: A New Wave of Coffee Innovation appeared first on Coffee Review.


Coffee clicks: It’s May

I have been totally overwhelmed by your responses to last week’s housekeeping post. I initially began blogging as a creative outlet, was drawn deeper into the rhythm and discipline of daily writing as a lonely new mom adjusting to life outside the 9-5, and was totally blown away by the real life community that developed on the internet. So I’ll be honest, my interests were largely selfish from the outset!

Over the years, nothing has brought me more joy and more astonishment then getting messages from people – mostly women – from all over the world sharing their stories of coming into the Church, coming back to the Church, coming into a fuller understanding of some particular teaching of the Church in some small part because of something they read here.

It’s a fearful thing to participate in someone else’s story of conversion, and it is one of the great honors of my life to be on the receiving end of these messages and emails, but I give 110% credit to the Holy Spirit. It’s all His story, I’m just jotting down a few thoughts here and there in translation. So thank you, but also you give me too much credit, as anyone who has known, loved, and endured me in real life can attest to.

I won’t be hanging up the blogging hat entirely, even as things refocus a bit, so how about a few clicks for the weekend:

1. This story is so important, and so difficult to read. I said on Twitter and I’ll say it here:

This is important. Believe women. Believe believers who have something hard to tell you about the Church, about a priest, about a bishop, about a Cardinal. This woman exercised tremendous courage and humility to go public with her story.

2. Back on Instagram because Proverbs 26:11 is my life motto and the title of my forthcoming memoir (kidding about the forthcoming. Not about the title) and trying desperately to implement some balance and best practices gleaned from reading “Digital Minimalism” and “How to Break up with Your Phone” during Lent. I’m nothing if not predictable. I have noticed that if I don’t use the app (which I delete after each use) but login via my phone’s web browser, the web version of the site is so much less addictive/pleasant/user friendly. Only real issue? No access to messages, so don’t @ me. Seriously.

3. But speaking of phones… worth a read. (Please note the length of the article and whether or not your attention span wavers ironically in reading, at which point I recommend indulging in some sincere self abasing humor and/or soul searching.)

3. Beyond disgusted by the incongruence and faux outrage from the internet this week over these remarks at the National Prayer breakfast. Because sure, the paraphrasing is the problem, nevermind that the Governor of Virginia (still in office nbd) literally defended infanticide, made global news coverage, and still somehow gets to keep his job and probably his reputation, too, since 2 months ago might as well be the time of the Vikings.

4. I can’t stop thinking about Sri Lanka and the families there whose lives were torn apart on Easter Sunday. This was a sobering read with that in mind. We Christians in the West have a profound responsibility to speak up, to tell the stories of our brothers and sisters in Christ who’ve been silenced by the pen or by the sword. We enjoy unprecedented freedom and still (yes, still!) unbelievable public goodwill. How are we spending it?

5. “I do not know God’s plan. All I can do is try to find meaning in what has happened. And to use this borrowed time to make my life matter more.”

Have a beautiful weekend. I’m going to tempt fate and say it might possibly, finally be spring here in Denver, but I always grimly warn my kids “we’re not safe from winter till the Mother’s Day blizzard;” so, in the spirit of realism I say soldier on, brave little tulips of mine. Warmer days are ahead. Maybe just not quite yet.


Who Are European Baristas at Berlin World Coffee Championship 2019

Over a hundred competitors will show their skills across four different competitions at the 2019 Berlin World Coffee Championships from June 6-8. Berlin will be brimming with coffee professionals and fans, as the World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship, and Cezve/Ibrik come to the Messe Expo center on the city’s west side.

As usual, most baristas represent European countries and below is a complete overview of 67 competitors we will see on the world’s stages in all four categories. In case you can’t be present in Berlin, you can watch the Livestream online.

World Latte Art Championship 2019

Irvine Quek Siew Lhek from Malaysia, the 2018 World Latte Art Champion, will pass a title to one of the 41 competitors (20 baristas from Europe).

World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship 2019

Dan Fellows, the 2018 World Coffee in Good Spirits, will either keep the trophy or pass it to the new champion. Among the challengers, you can find Agnieszka Rojewska, World Barista Champion 2018, or Manos Mamakis, twice Runner Up (2017 & 2018) of this category. There are 23 competitors, 14 coming from Europe.

World Cup Tasters Championship 2019

Yama Kim from Australia, the 2018 World Cup Tasters Champion, will pass the title to one of the 46 competitors (25 baristas from Europe).

Cezve/lbrik Championship 2019

Slava Babych from Ukraine, the 2018 Cezve/Ibrik Champion, will pass the title to one of 9 competitors (8 from European countries).


The post Who Are European Baristas at Berlin World Coffee Championship 2019 appeared first on European Coffee Trip.


Interesting Folklore That Revolve Around Coffee

Folklores are often given the tone of fantasy and myths that are the only stuff that people imagined. Over time, these got codified in stories and have been passed on through generations. However, myths and folklore are a little more than just fantasy. They come from our culture and tradition and is very deep-rooted.

There are multiple folklores that revolve around coffee. All of this might sound a little spooky but why should you not enjoy them. Talking about coffee legends and folklore on a cold wintry night, over a cup of coffee; what can be more perfect than this scenario? You just got the idea of a perfect sleepover with friends! Find out more about coffee folklores here:

Folklore #1

The most pervasive of myths about coffee that has been carried on for years is the one about Kaldi who is said to be the one who discovered coffee. Belonging from Ethiopia, Kaldi was a goatherd who cared greatly about his goats and took them out grazing one day. It is said that the goats ate the berries from a tree and started behaving ecstatically. Kaldi tried to eat some of these fruits and after feeling energetic, began dancing with the goats.

All of this was seen by a monk who brought some of these berries to the monastery. The monks found out that these berries could keep them up during those long prayer hours. This is how humans came upon the gift of coffee.

Folklore #2

The second folklore is not so much of myth but more of a practice that Oromo people do. These people are native to Ethiopia who would plant a coffee tree on the graves on sorcerers who yield great magical powers. It is the belief of the people of the Oromo people that the first coffee sprouts from the grave are produced from the tears that gods shed over the death of a sorcerer. Such myths speak a lot about the place of its origin and the thing around which it revolves.

It is not a surprise that Ethiopian coffee is so famous worldwide. There is also a folk story that coffee in Ethiopia grows in the wild. In fact, you can even find a type of coffee which is known as forest coffee that hails from Ethiopia. This kind of coffee, as the myth goes, is said to grow wildly and is then collected by the locals. While this is a bit hard to believe, we cannot ignore the importance of the growth of these folklores. The fact that they managed to survive until today, says something about their origin.

Whatever folklore you choose to believe in, coffee still tastes the same. Be it Kaldi who brought coffee to mankind or some other person, we are all just thankful that coffee exists. Moreover, today, various regions across the world produce their own type of special coffee. For instance, there is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, Cuban coffee, Sumatra coffee, Brazilian coffee, etc.


Barista Stories: Martin Wölfl of Balthasar

Martin Wölfl of Balthasar Kaffeebar, Vienna

Martin Wölfl is 27-year-old barista originally from Lower Austria who works as a barista at Balthasar Kaffeebar in Vienna. Martin jumped into the coffee industry two years ago after having his eye-opening cup of coffee a year prior. Martin placed 3rd at Austrian Brewers Cup 2019 and we are excited to share his story today!

Barista Stories are made possible by Puqpress

Martin, what is your first memory with coffee?

3 years ago I was visiting a specialty coffee shop for the first time because I wanted to try something completely new. So, I ordered a filter-coffee. I can exactly remember the moment when I had my first sip. It was a taste I had never experienced before. I wanted to find out more about it so I bought a grinder, a V60 and a bag of coffee and went back home. This was the moment when everything started!

Could you describe the moment or situation that made you decide to become a barista?

After this visit, I started reading books about coffee, visited cuppings and workshops and went deeper and deeper into the science of coffee. Once my girlfriend asked me why I didn’t entertain the idea of becoming a professional barista. After this conversation, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

What is the funniest thing that you have experienced behind the bar?

On a busy morning shift, I was pulling shots when a lady came up to me and asked if I could have a look at her baby for a second. Lost in thoughts, I agreed. Before I could actually realize what that meant for me, the lady had already left and the baby was staring at me as scared as I was. I was praying that the baby wouldn’t start crying. Luckily everything went fine and we had a good time together. By the way, her mom also came back!

If a career in coffee was not an option, what job would you be doing

Tricky question. I was studying economics and already had worked in marketing and event management. I think I would do something like that because I like to release new projects and ideas and work on them till everything is up to 100%.

Do you have an unusual habit or hobby that you love?

Not unusual but I love playing the drums. I started 16 years ago and haven’t stopped since then. I enjoy playing concerts with my band and also with different classical orchestras. What fulfills me the most is, that I can work as a drum teacher too and share my knowledge and passion with the students. It never gets boring with kids and loud drums!

Rumpelstilz. Photo by Ferdinand Svoboda

What is your piece of advice for anybody starting a career as a barista?

My advice would be that nothing is impossible, just follow your passion! If you love what you do, you are getting better on the go.

What qualities set a good and a great barista apart?

In my opinion, a great barista creates a relaxed, comfortable and welcome atmosphere for every customer and has to be open for a talk, even when it is a busy day. At the same time, a great barista has to work clean and produce coffee in high quality at any time. To combine these things is the biggest challenge when you are working behind the bar.

What helps you to handle a bad day at the cafe and to provide good customer service?

Every challenge gets easier if you have a great team and boss on whom you can rely on. So if someone in our team has a bad day, we can talk it out and leave the troubles behind. We guys have great fun in what we are doing and support each other in the best way possible.

What is the one thing that you would miss the most if you could not work as a barista anymore?

I think it’s the social aspect. You are meeting so many interesting people from all over the world who are sharing their stories with you when you are working behind the bar. And as a barista you have the chance to awake the passion for coffee in your customers and introduce them to the world of coffee, this is one of the most rewarding moments as a barista for me.

Quick Fire Question for Martin Wölfl

Would you serve filter coffee with milk, if asked for it?

Yes, but would give the advice to try it first without 😉

Do you ever take sugar with your coffee?


Espresso or Filter coffee?


Do you aim for Sweetness, Acidity, or Body?


Milky or Black?


Slurp or Spit?


Sit in or Take Away?

Sit in

Cake or Pastry with your coffee?

Just coffee, thanks!

What is the wifi password at your cafe?



The post Barista Stories: Martin Wölfl of Balthasar Kaffeebar, Vienna appeared first on European Coffee Trip.


Best Drip Coffee Maker Review

After over 50 hours of research and testing, our pick for the Best Coffee Maker is the OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker. This coffee maker encompasses two things important to us before our morning dose of caffeine, simplicity, and speed, and of course, great taste. We’d like to note that we restricted our research to drip coffee makers since they‘re the most common for home and office use. Here is our top five list of the Best Coffee Makers:

#1 OXO – Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker

#2 Bonavita – 8-Cup Carafe Coffee Brewer

#3 Cuisinart – Perfect Temp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

#4 Moccamaster – 10-Cup Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe

#5 Hamilton Beach – Single-Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker

So, how did we test? Well, we began by enlisting the help of colleagues to volunteer for numerous taste tests.

After all, the taste was one of the determining factors in customer reviews. The size of the carafe was also noted. Think about whether you plan to brew coffee for yourself and a partner or for an entire office. The general size and height of the coffee maker were also key. Not everyone has a massive countertop at their disposal. Finally, overall usability. No one wants to deal with a complicated machine bright and early. Other features we made sure to note were brew time, aesthetics and overall value. Before going over our top picks, you can check out links in the description below for more detail on each coffee maker. There’s also a link there to the full review on our blog post. Our #1 pick: OXO – Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker You would be surprised at the variation in taste, smell and brewing speed of these coffee makers and the OXO ranked highly in every category.

Plus, it is extremely user-friendly. There is only one button slash knob, which allows the initial set-up to be a piece of cake. And it’s extremely quiet, easy to fill and aesthetically pleasing. Any weakness? Well, yes. It only brews nine cups so if you are brewing for more than four people, we recommend a larger coffee maker. If we were ranking purely on coolness, the Bonavita – BV1900TS would definitely be our top choice. It makes coffee just as good as the OXO, looks like something from a trendy coffee shop and would impress any coffee connoisseur. In fact, it was recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, which is how it landed on our radar in the first place. However, this level of trendy will cost you around double the other coffee makers we tested and it’s also on the small side with a capacity of only eight cups. For the coffee addicts and the office brewers, our number three pick is for you.

With a massive 14-cup carafe, low price tag and solid taste testing results, the Cuisinart – DCC-3200 was our third place and budget pick. The Cuisinart has a solid handle, which you begin to appreciate after your third cup, and it is quiet and compact. We would also like to give a shout out to the Moccamaster which is a solid unit but had the highest price tag. For those looking for an elegant design and a strong, bitter cup of joe, this could be the coffee maker for you, as long as you are willing to swallow the cost. Finally, for versatility, the Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker should be noted.

It was the cheapest coffee maker on our list and has a single-serve option which while eye-catching, was unpopular with our judges. If you consider yourself a coffee snob, you will want to pass on this one. It was built for practicality, not the refined palette. Overall, we were quite impressed with the OXO – Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker. Its futuristic design only has one button slash knob removing any confusion in your early morning routine. The maker was admired by all of our participants both for its appearance and the quality of coffee it brews quickly. Like the video? Have any questions? Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe.

Check out the description for product links and we’ll see you next time on Your Best Digs…

As found on Youtube

36 fl. oz. French Press – Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B004XGBMB8″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D7aKqjg%2BL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ width=”128″]The Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press is one of the best selling coffee presses on the market. It is made from unbreakable stainless steel. This makes it rust free and durable. It is double-walled for high heat retention. This makes it four times better than one made from glass. This French press allows users to have control over the brewing process. This makes it possible to adjust the personal taste.  With the full immersion brewing method, the grounds can soak, or steep for some minutes before pressing. This intensifies the aromas and taste.
Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press Features

  • Solid construction. The pot, plunger and lid are made to be sturdy and with durable construction. It is made from rust-free materials such as BPA-free plastics, food-grade stainless glass, or quality ceramics.
  • Insulation. To get high quality coffee, it should be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees F. This is to ensure that it releases as much aroma and flavor as possible. It is insulated in order to keep temperatures in this required range.
  • Easy to Clean. It is dishwasher safe and therefore it can be cleaned easily. The hidden corners and crevices can be washed easily.


  • Easy to use
  • Double walled
  • Insulated
  • Heavy duty


  • Plunger is tad tight

Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press Reviews
One of the recent customers who purchased the [easyazon_link asin=”B005FCE72U” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press[/easyazon_link] said, “This is great equipment which is highly functional. It is durable and easy to clean. I have been using many other presses but this is quite unique and the coffee is of high quality.”
The Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press is designed to deliver high quality coffee. It is made from superior materials making it to last longer than the normal presses.
[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B005FCE72U” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″]Frieling Brushed Stainless Steel 36 fl. oz. French Press[/easyazon_block]

17oz Frieling French Press Ultimo

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B003QM6NKK” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Cum7wkzrL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ width=”160″]The Frieling French Press Ultimo 17oz is made from the high quality 18/10 stainless steel for added durability. The innovative design makes it sleek, sturdy and beautiful with mirror finish. It does not have power cords or filters to mesh with, allowing you to brew and serve your coffee right at the table. The handle is long, stable and comfortable. The all-steel mesh plunger makes it possible for this equipment to be used with coffee grounds or loose tea leaves. The double-wall construction keeps the hot beverages hot and cold ones cold. All its parts can be disassembled for washing by the hand or go in the dishwasher.
Frieling French Press Ultimo 17oz Features

  • Dishwasher Safe. This makes it easy to clean by hand washing. The hidden crevices and corners can be cleaned easily.
  • Double-Wall Insulation. To get high quality coffee, it should be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees F. This is to ensure that it releases as much aroma and flavor as possible. It is insulated in order to keep temperatures in this required range.
  • All-Steel mesh plunger Mechanism. This makes it possible to be used for brewing coffee or tea. It can be used with coffee grounds or loose tea leaves.


  • Sleek profile
  • Nice design
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to clean


  • Small capacity

Frieling French Press Ultimo 17oz Reviews
One of the recent customers who purchased the [easyazon_link asin=”B0015VMKME” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Frieling Polished Stainless French Press, 17-Ounce[/easyazon_link] said, “I purchased this amazing French press last month as my old glass French press was no longer working. I love the sleek profile and the beautiful look is one of the reasons why I bought it.”
The Frieling French Press Ultimo 17oz is innovatively designed to have a sleek look and deliver high performance. It is able to grind even the tiny coffee grounds.
[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B003QM6NKK” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″]Frieling Polished Stainless French Press, 17-Ounce[/easyazon_block]

28 oz Frieling French Press Ultimo Review

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B002M3DG1S” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GIEbEm%2BFL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ width=”160″]The Frieling French Press Ultimo 28 oz is made from the high quality 18/10 stainless steel for added durability. The innovative design makes it sleek, sturdy and beautiful with mirror finish. It does not have power cords or filters to mesh with, allowing you to brew and serve your coffee right at the table. The handle is long, stable and comfortable. The all-steel mesh plunger makes it possible for this equipment to be used with coffee grounds or loose tea leaves. The double-wall construction keeps the hot beverages hot and cold ones cold. All its parts can be disassembled for washing by the hand or go in the dishwasher. It has a pot capacity of 28 ounces.
Frieling French Press Ultimo 28 oz Features

  • Double-Wall Insulation. To get high quality coffee, it should be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees F. This is to ensure that it releases as much aroma and flavor as possible. It is insulated in order to keep temperatures in this required range.
  • All-Steel mesh plunger Mechanism. This makes it possible to be used for brewing coffee or tea. It can be used with coffee grounds or loose tea leaves.
  • Durable. This is a long lasting coffee maker designed to last for many years. It is rust-free and corrosion-free.


  • Easy to use
  • Keeps aromas and oils
  • Great taste coffee
  • Easy to clean


  • Very fine grounds may get into the cup

Frieling French Press Ultimo 28 oz Reviews
One of the recent customers who purchased the [easyazon_link asin=”B00009ADDR” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Frieling Polished Stainless French Press, 23-Ounce[/easyazon_link] said, “The machine delivers the flavor I need. I use it both at home and in the office. It is very easy to use and the coffee is of great taste. I recommend this coffee maker to coffee consumers.”
The Frieling French Press Ultimo 28 oz is highly rated for its performance. The design does not allow the aromas and the oils to escape from the coffee. It also keeps coffee hot for longer time.
[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B002M3DG1S” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”coffeea2zshop-20″]Frieling Polished Stainless French Press, 23-Ounce[/easyazon_block]