Monday, March 2, 2009

The Hourglass Takes the Barista Test

Today, the Blog is in for a treat: our first guest Blogger, Tara! Tara is a college student in Portland and was a barista for four years. More importantly, she’s a coffee fanatic, and one with the demanding lifestyle of a student. We asked Tara to spend a week with the Hourglass and report back with her professional opinion—here’s what she had to say!

I’ve always made good coffee. I’m not sure where I picked it up, but I’ve been making coffee since I was little, and I’ve enjoyed the ritual of making coffee as much as I have drinking it. Trying out the Hourglass made me nervous at first—I’m used to coffee from high-end equipment, and I expect a lot from my coffee’s flavor. After the first week, I can honestly tell you that I’ve loved drinking it—it’s just plain good coffee—but more than that, I’ve loved making it.

Making Hourglass coffee is different than making traditional coffee in a lot of ways, but they have one important thing in common: it’s all in how you serve it. I made my first brew of coffee extract on a Sunday night, not knowing that the real nuances were yet to come. Monday morning, I took a hot thermos to class with me made with a small amount of extract; it was actually hard to concentrate in class, because I kept stopping to drink more! It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that I tried iced Hourglass coffee, which was perfect just before my 3-hour lecture. I was able to arrive to class both satisfied and alert. Each time I had another cup, I got to experiment with the amounts of extract to include, how much to serve at once, and each time, I got to experience a new subtlety of the Hourglass coffee’s flavor.

That first batch lasted four days, and by the night of the third, I was already busy thinking up new recipes and flavors to try with the Hourglass. The brew process fit perfectly into my schedule—I make it on Sunday nights with my Sunday-night homework. And with plenty of coffee extract, there was ALWAYS fresh coffee around, so I never had to worry about making too much or too little. If I started my day with piping-hot Hourglass coffee, I could still have a cold coffee with lunch with no extra fuss.

I still love the ritual of making coffee, and I’m still on the snobby side about my tastes in coffee. The Hourglass just changed my process, and evolved it to a way that works better for me on several different levels. Who knew change could be so yummy?

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