Don’t Try This At Home

The Tonx subscriber letter from 2/24/2014

[Part of a series of Tonx Propaganda. Each fortnight the Tonx crew ships out a new bean and I’ve had the privilege of writing most of the letters to subscribers we include. These are some of my favorites]

There’s an implicit message to coffee lovers from many top coffeebars: “Don’t try this at home.”

Making coffee is an art and a science. Baristas are highly trained artisans. You could not possibly afford the precision engineered equipment, imported German grinders, refractometers, and water conditioning systems which are being meticulously employed. Those bags of beans over there on the shelf are for serious hobbyists only.

Needless to say, we think this is bulls&%t.

Ask your barista a simple question about brewing at home and instead of honest advice you might find yourself getting a lecture or dissertation in response.

These messages are a big part of what has been holding back honest, great coffee from reaching the same level of mainstream acceptance now enjoyed by craft beer and other contemporary culinary pleasures. Good coffee has become unnecessarily intimidating.

Thing is, unless you plan on serving several hundred cups a day, all the fussiness and gadgetry on display at the modern coffeebar doesn’t need to be replicated in your kitchen. Start with great beans, freshly and skillfully roasted, and just a modest amount of care. Making great coffee can be nearly effortless without transforming your kitchen into some sort of science lab.

Whenever you feel compelled to explore new techniques or upgrades to your brewing routine, know that all of us at Tonx are standing by to give you the tips and cheat codes to help you make a better cup. We always love hearing from you.

– Tony and your coffee loving friends at Tonx

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