A Barista Spills: Meet Ramon
How one expert meets the morning grind
Coffee has always been such a comfort to me. It was a big part of the Puerto Rican culture I grew up in — a very social experience. We’d all have simple pour-over coffee with sugar for breakfast. After dinner it was always coffee con leche or espresso. Either way, we liked it sweet and light.
Brew method of choice? Coffee press, hands down. The fact that I can pour it, let it be, then come back to a perfectly steeped coffee is key. I typically go for a strong, full-bodied cup, so I let my press sit for four minutes. The best thing about a press is that you have full control. If you like a milder, lighter cup, let it sit for about 90 seconds and you’re good to go. Just imagine all the flavors and oils of the grounds being enhanced while the coffee is brewing.
Favorite Beans? I really like bright, citrusy roasts, so I’m a big fan of Kenya and Guatemala Antigua. But my friends like all sorts of different coffees, which is why I have three coffee presses! Everyone has unique tastes and preferences when it comes to coffee, so if you want to do it right, you need to provide plenty of options. It’s fun to do side-by-side tastings, then talk about all the flavors and aromas you pick up in each one. It makes a brunch even more entertaining than usual.
One tip I picked up between growing up with coffee and becoming a barista is to grind my beans just before I brew, and to use a burr grinder for a consistent grind. When I started, I had no idea it would make such an extreme difference. But after coffee is ground, it immediately starts to lose freshness and flavor, leaving your coffee a bit flat. My trusty hand grinder helps me keep it fresh every morning.