#writingtap day 022 — My encounter with manual brewing coffee

I didn’t enjoy coffee at all at the beginning. Here goes the story of how I love it now.

Since early 2020, I’ve been brewing my own coffee. Now it is a morning habit. First time, it was only for the sake of the old times of going to coffee shops and enjoying their manual brews; the espresso was not possible (nor it ever will be). I wasn’t even a coffee drinker. I tried and learned how to enjoyed it because my work involved a lot of meetings and I would’ve been broke with I kept buying things to eat or drink. I chose to drink coffee to cut my spending because it was cheaper menu and presentable. I tried enjoying it so that I wouldn’t feel as forced; I came to like it then I wanted to know more about it.

I still remember the first coffee beans I brew was Drama roastery’s “Yogurt Mbohang”. Roasted beans was cupped and noted for their tastes; Mbohang had strawberry and lactic acidity to it. The first time was a mess: I didn’t know how to optimized the hand grinder, I didn’t have thermometer to temp the water, nor the proper kettle to pour the hot water in. I used our kitchen’s measuring cup to pour the hot water into 4 phases with kitchen scale and phone timer. The dripper I used was the plastic flat bottom dripper from Daiso and it’s not mine, it’s my sister’s. Though it was not perfect, I was glee with joy to finally enjoy coffee without much sugars like the brown sugar milk coffee that’s more of the hype.

I definitely tasted the strawberry notes from the coffee though it’s not apparent. What would I expect from it? What mattered back then was that I tried and it made me keep on going. As cheesy as it sounds: You’ll never forget the first experience. It’s usually horrible but it taught you something. I learned that I wanted to make coffee for fun, for my own. The next thing I knew I was looking through the websites and imagining to buy all the coffee wares that I wouldn’t easily get my hands on. I was not really struggling financially but I couldn’t afford so much because the coffee brewing equipment would be a luxury for me then.

I kept learning about how to make good coffee by learning how to pour nicely to extract the ground coffee evenly. That alone took me a while since I was not used to it. Pouring the water from gooseneck kettle in a circular motion while paying attention to move the spout inward or outward alternately AND paying attention to the scale and the timer; I needed to focus on each one slowly. I wanted to be good before I bought the equipment, I was serious about it. I was thinking if I bought the coffee grinder, good drippers, my own scale with timer, and kettle; all the while I would possibly quit — it’s going to be a bad splurge of money. I wanted to be sure that this was not going to be just mere toys.

Then nearing the end of 2020 I bought the manual brewing equipment one by one: first was the plastic V60 Hario dripper. Next was my white gooseneck kettle; it came as a birthday gift. Then my scale with timer was bought with good deal. And then finally: the coffee grinder! It was not the greatest one, but it was enough. The coffee grinder was a big change in my whole home-brewing experience though, the old grinder sucked (LOL) It helped bringing out the best of the coffee beans!

Brewing coffee reminds me of science experiments. It makes science so close to me at home. It was simply the extraction process which was in my chemistry lab course in university. I really enjoyed the thinking process of how the extraction could possibly be. I think as of now I enjoy brewing the coffee more than drinking it.

The other great thing though: coffee brings people closer somehow. Through sitting down and drinking coffee, you could’ve met your possible partner, or someone who’s going to be a good friend. You could learn from them. Many people likes talking over coffee. I remember there’s a documentary I watched, titled Coffee for All, on Netflix. ‘Do you want to go grab coffee?’ culturally means a friendly offer to spend some time together, socialize: sit down and talk to each other. ‘You socialize sharing a coffee.’

One thing I missed in this pandemic is how I can’t interact with people while having a cup of coffee in a nice coffee shop. I really enjoyed that back then. Also another thing is brewing coffee together with friends and think it over about the coffee: whether it was good, great; is there anything that can be better. But really, more than that, it’s the relation that comes with coffee; it makes family. Would you want to have coffee together after the pandemic ends?

A nerd with varied interests. Currently reforming old habit.