You don’t have to be obsessive to make great coffee, but it helps. Let me just get this over with right up front… I have a natural tendency towards laziness. [This comes as no surprise to those who know me well.] I view this not so much as the stuff of the seven deadly sins [for the record, that would be sloth, not laziness] but instead as an entirely human tendency to seek out a way that’s easier than what’s generally prescribed. Call it ease engineering–the art of the shortcut.
It’s only natural, then, that I would apply my best engineering efforts to my love of coffee. Natural though it may be, it just doesn’t work. Every attempt I’ve made to shortcut any part of my coffee production–from roasting to brewing–has resulted in failure. Not catastrophic failure, mind you. The house hasn’t imploded, and the dog doesn’t slink away in shame… but the simple fact is that shortcuts lead only to an inferior cup. [more]