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Better coffee at a workplace

Better coffee at a workplace
27.09.2019 tildamaria.turunen

Simple tips for much better coffee in the workplace

People Drinking Coffee in a MeetingMany people need better coffee in the workplace. A cupful of tar-like substance is scooped from the coffee pot in the coffee room and habitually gulped down your throat throughout the day. Or you might take a couple of obligatory doses of what the work community calls coffee, and grind them down to get enough caffeine. Familiar patterns, slightly exaggerated, I’m sure, for everyone.

However, the quality of the coffee experience in the workplace can be increased exponentially with a few tweaks. Two key problems are a filthy, dirty coffee maker and a coffee dispenser that is entirely dependent on the coffee maker. Workplace brewers are rarely kept clean. Their dirtiness is mainly due to the fact that water is poured into the machine with a coffee pot – while the insides of the machine receive a miserable dose of coffee grounds. These then stick to the machine’s rails.

Tip 1: Get a separate jug for pouring water in the coffee maker and instruct people to use it instead of a coffee pot.

A good rule is 5 to 6 grams of coffee per decilitre of water. However, people who are used to “stronger coffee” often pour a fair amount of coffee into the brewer. Those who prefer a leaner coffee, on the other hand, will use less than one cup. Without proper dosing, it’s hard to extract good coffee at work – or anywhere else for that matter.

Tip 2: Instruct people on the right way to properly dispense coffee, and more people in the workplace will feel better about their coffee.

The third coffee problem arises from the coffee you use yourself. Coffee that has been ground, as you know, oxidises and loses its flavour very quickly after opening the packet. If you want the best, get the coffee at work in beans, and grind them in a grinder just before brewing. This is understandably not possible in many workplaces. The next best option is to track down a local roaster and buy from them coffee ground as freshly as possible, for example for a week at a time. Some markets also offer the option of buying coffee in beans and grinding it fresh on the spot. When buying beans, however, be careful of the roasting date – if it is even indicated – as the coffee is at its best about a month or two after the roasting date. Ground coffee loses its best flavour in a day or a week, depending on the taster’s opinion.

Tip 3: Get your coffee to work in beans or as freshly ground as possible.

Why not make the tasting of different quality coffees also a kind of shared activity for the work community?

Good coffee is also an economic issue for the workplace: a larger portion is used with a coffee that tastes like nothing, because “coffee has to taste good to somebody”. When coffee is too strong for most people, it is then topped up with a glass of milk during the day. Both coffee and milk are consumed wastefully.

One cup at a time extracted at its best

Better Coffee at Work

Many people need better coffee in the workplace. A cupful of tar-like substance is scooped out of the coffee pot in the coffee room and habitually gulped down your throat throughout the day.

If you want to take the workplace coffee experience as far as it can go, but your workplace policies don’t allow it, there’s nothing stopping you from extracting the best coffee you can, one cup at a time. This requires a small additional investment in extraction equipment (I’m talking about extraction rather than brewing, because in reality coffee is extracted, not brewed). There are various pour-over devices, but the AeroPress is particularly good. It is also particularly handy when travelling because of its durability and lightness. I won’t go into the device itself at this point – the internet is full of good instructions.

With the above extraction equipment you need a kettle, which you can find in almost every workplace (and in hotel rooms when travelling). A digital kitchen scale is the best possible aid for accurate coffee dosing, but I grind the required amount of coffee in the mornings to take to work. Of course, the coffee is not as fresh as it could be – for those who want the best freshness, they can buy a manual grinder and grind the beans at work.

One of the perks of a working day for me is always tasting different coffees, each with a different, more delicious taste, with a very fresh grind and always with a fresh roast. There’s something about everyday life: unique and wonderful flavours day after day, instead of days spent languishing in a caffeine haze produced by the office tea.

If you are more interested in a trip to a good quality coffee, I invite you to visit Kahvia & Suklaata -blog, also on Facebook. (FI)

– Jani Wahlman, vieraskynä


Organise a free coffee tasting to your workplace here

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