Coffee Fix: Getting-by with Amateur Coffee in Troubled Times.

2020-04-20 11:32:22
Those who are confronting the Covid-19 virus first-hand are facing a reality that many of us will never truly understand. But the complete overhaul of our daily schedules and habits to protect others is affecting everyone differently, and the stress is real.
 
To cope with that stress, and help focus a mind that is usually fixated on training and racing, Swiss Norco Global EWS rider Anita Gehrig has taken to indulging her caffeine connection.
 

 
Java Scripture by Anita Gehrig
 
With pretty much every coffee shop closed, having a good cup of coffee at home has suddenly become more important than ever.
 
My love for coffee started a while ago (before turning pro) when Caro, my twin sister, became the manager of a newly opened Coffee shop. They had the fanciest machine in the region and were some of the first to prepare latte art.
 
The customers‘ reaction to these pretty patterns in the coffee was priceless. Some could simply not understand how this was even possible. I spent a lot of time there too and loved to bake sweet treats to indulge customers.
 
With being spoilt on quality coffee, my taste buds quickly got so used to good coffee that I simply could not enjoy just a coffee anymore. But in the meantime, Caro stopped working there, as she slowly but surely started to pursue her dream of becoming a pro mountain biker.
 
But then, what are we supposed to do with these cravings for good coffee?  Hence the idea for a home barista machine was born!
 
 

 
Around that time, our granddad gave us some money - not so much that you’d feel pressure to put into savings, but more than a nice amount to have. The last thing I wanted was to slowly spend it and not know what I had actually spent it on in the end. So I bought my first espresso machine - one that was built to last - that I would enjoy for a long time and I could remember my granddad with it too.
 
To this day, I remain convinced it was money well spent. Frankly, I can say it is one of the only objects I own that I thoroughly enjoy every day. How many things do you own that can you say that about?!?
 
It seems like the love for coffee is commonly shared between cyclists. It’s no wonder: Coffee includes a performance-enhancing drug that is perfectly legal to take: caffeine. Also, coffee shops make for a perfect meeting spot, mid-ride break, emergency cake, and post-ride gathering. You got it, it’s pretty essential! So what do we do with not having the possibility to grab our favorite drink in a bar during this Covid-19 time? You should become a home barista! ;-)
 
 

 
So here are a few tips for home baristas:
 
What if I can’t afford an espresso machine?
There are so many ways of brewing a good coffee the artisanal way. You can try Aeropress, Chemex, Bialetti, Pour-Over, French Press and many more. Personally I like the Bialetti. The coffee comes out so strong and powerful and I like the simple way of preparing it. Definitely part of my adventure kit.
 
Local Roasters
Coffee has many different tastes. It is so much fun to try different beans from all over the world. Once you become a connoisseur you can clearly taste many differences between the origin of the bean. I really like South American coffee for it’s rich chocolaty, nutty taste. Source your beans from a local roaster if you can. It‘s better to order more often so you always use freshly roasted beans.
 
Brew Ratio
Brewing coffee is actually a simple equation.
The parameters for pulling a double shot of espresso are:
Dose: 18 - 21 grams.
Time: 25-30 seconds. (If it runs too slow, use coarser grounds)
Yield: 1.5-2 oz or 35 - 45 ml.
 
It’s worth it to properly set up your grinder and control your brew results, you will have a much more consistent coffee shot. Some people weigh every shot they pour, I honestly don’t. Once my grinder is properly set up I do micro-adjustments by feel. By no means I’m an absolute coffee geek, I just love a good cup and want it to be simple.
 
A simple trick to learn how to steam milk
A perfect cappuccino is only possible with perfectly steamed milk- no big bubbles just nice creamy milk (so-called micro foam). It really takes practice but is annoying because what are you going to do with all the milk? Use this simple Use water with a drop of dishwashing soap and steam that, it will work just fine and is good enough to practice.
 
 

 
My favorite coffee recipes
 
Affogato- LOVE: Coffee and vanilla ice cream is a true love story for me. Take a scoop of vanilla ice cream and pour a shot of espresso on top of it. It's heaven to me!
 
Espresso Tonica: So refreshing on hot days! Put some ice in a small glass fill up with tonic water and pour a shot of espresso in it. Sounds weird? Try it out.
 
Having La Marzocco, the Italian specialty coffee machine maker, as one of our main partners, we thoroughly enjoy having an insight into a whole other business than cycling. Sharing a cup of coffee at races with our fellow friends is always a highlight and thanks to La Marzocco, we’ve already hosted two Coffee Sessions at the EWS races. Hopefully we can prepare a cup for you sometime soon after this all passes, and racing returns!
 
 
You can follow Anita on her coffee, racing and variety of other adventures on Instagram @AnitaGehrig.