Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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70 barista magazine A step back from by-the-cup However, as the novelty of pourover coffee wore off in the early 2010s, a bit of a backlash began against some of the perceived nega- tive aspects of the approach. For one, pourover coffee is potentially slow, with each brew taking at least four minutes, so some shops struggled to move through lines quickly and feared losing customers due to long wait times. Further, while pourover has the potential to create a superior-tasting cup, there are also many variables at play in every brew. In the early years of pourover's resurgence, baristas sometimes followed imprecise recipes for amounts of coffee and wa- ter used, as well as brewing time, resulting in inconsistent cups that inaccurately represented the coffees. They could taste delightful one day and dreadful the next. In the wake of the manual backlash, many specialty coffeehous- es chose to transition from by-the-cup brewing to batch brewing. Though the latter method was once associated with urns of long-sit- ting, stale coffee, a new era of batch brewers from such industry leaders such as Wilbur Curtis and Bunn brought more sophisticated machines with myriad customization options, digital controls, and sensors measuring coffee's temperature, age, and more. Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters, the roaster-retailer that originated in Chicago and now has additional shops in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston, was one of the companies to transition away from manual brewing toward batch in the early 2010s. Jesse Raub, Intelligentsia's director of education, says the company was able to take the lessons learned from its manual-brewing program and adapt them to batch brewing. "The promise of manual brewing always was being able to brew fresher coffee all the time, brew multiple batches while dialing in, and be able to refocus on all the brewing variables that really impacted the extraction and fl avor profi le of each brew," he says. "Applying those christian schwartz

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