Pragmatic 30: Coffee

21 July, 2014


On the day following the launch of his new app Overcast, Marco Arment joins John to talk about coffee. We cover the history from the 13th century to present with brewing techniques and a bit about our personal journeys with that wonderful brown liquid.

Transcript available
Welcome to Pragmatic. Pragmatic is a weekly discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology. Exploring the real-world trade-offs, we look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives. Nothing is as simple as it seems. This episode is sponsored by ManyTricks, makers of helpful apps for the Mac. Visit for more information about their apps, Butler, Kimo, Leech, Moom, Usher, Witch, Desktop, Curtain, TimeSync and NameMangler. If you visit that URL, you can use the code "Pragmatic25" in the shopping cart to save 25% on any ManyTricks product. This episode is also sponsored by LIFX. visit for more information and to take advantage of a special discount off their amazing LED smart bulbs exclusively for Pragmatic listeners. We'll talk about them more during the show. I'm your host John Chidjie and today I'm joined by a special guest host to talk about somewhat of a more unusual topic, at least offbeat for the show perhaps. So my guest host tonight is a well-known iOS and web developer who in 2007 built the guts of a little website called Tumblr, build an app to help him read his favorite web pages when I was on the subway when he was out of mobile data range called Instapaper. Then he did the magazine Bug Shot, Nursing Clock. On his blog he's covered LED light bulbs, headphones and bathroom layouts and he's had three big podcasts starting with Build and Analyze, then Neutral and now most recently the Accidental Tech podcast. And just yesterday he released a new app for podcast playback called a podcatcher, if you like, that you may even be listening to this episode on right now. That's called Overcast. So, I am, of course, joined by none other than Marco Arment. Welcome to Pragmatic, Marco. Thank you. And hello. I think it's funny that what we're going to talk about has very little to do with the intro that you read for the show. Indeed. But I thought about it and I thought, well, you know, well, you have two passions. There's PHP and there's coffee. So, we had to pick one. And so, naturally, we would have picked coffee. And because, well, I mean, why not, right? coffee, okay, is it pragmatic? Well, coffee helps me to focus and to think. It's a stimulant, so that kind of works. Yeah, I mean, I guess it is, I mean, I use some technology to make the coffee that I'm drinking right now. You know, this is a very complicated process of heated water and some crushing of beans and then some stirring. Those are all technical processes. Absolutely, absolutely. So, okay, it's going to be a little bit different, but you know what, I am determined to tackle this the way I normally tackle topics. So I have to start with a little bit of history. So the history of coffee, I guess, trap yourself in, I guess, or turn off. No, don't turn off. Okay. So in terms of recorded history, going back to about the 13th century, it was thought to have originated in what we now call Ethiopia. So it was believed to have first been harvested by Arabs in the 14th century. But the first actual documented evidence came from Yemen in the 15th century. So, within a century of that, it had spread all through the Middle East, Persia, Turkey and Northern Africa. Within another century from then, it was pretty much grown globally. Now, the word "coffee" actually entered the English language in the late 1500s, and it came from the Dutch word, well, "coffee", K-O-F-F-I-E. But that was also actually borrowed from a Turkish word, and I'm not sure how to pronounce it in Turkish, but I'm going to go with kahve, K-A-H-V-E, which in turn was borrowed from the Arabic, and I'm not even going to try and pronounce that. But anyway, it was just- No, there's even some more I'm not going to pronounce. Anyway, it was roughly translated as "wine of the bean", apparently. So, the word itself traces the travel of the coffee from the Middle East through the rest of the world. So, the word sort of went, you know, evolved along with the beverage as it was becoming popular. So, the funny thing is that in the Americas, coffee came to the Caribbean and that was in the 1720s. And that was actually- The funny thing is it was popularised after the Boston Tea Party in 1773 during the American Revolution, because drinking tea was a very British thing. So, drinking coffee, you know, tea was considered to be an unpatriotic thing to be drinking. So, you should be drinking coffee. Like Freedom Fries. Yeah, that's- Yes, exactly. So, there you go. Drink your patriotic coffee. One of the little darker sides of it, just to sprinkle in here, is that historically the cultivation of coffee sort of gone hand in hand, unfortunately, with slavery. It sort of piggybacked a little bit on the sugar industry. It was never as big a driver as a sugar industry, but the sugar industry and the coffee and tea industries, they sort of were all interrelated. And that was at its worst during the 15th and 19th centuries. But it's less of a problem these days. But you still read things from time to time about some of the places it's grown, being perhaps, yeah, less than less than ideal working conditions. But in any case, it's a very popular product. So people want to drive the costs down. Anyway, so there's two major kinds of coffee, and I only learnt this very recently myself for reasons I'll explain later. But anyway, Coffea Arabica, and of course, everyone just calls it Arabica, and the other one is Coffea Canifora, which is commonly referred to as Robusta. And those are the two main strains, and they provide, between them, about 95% of the world's demand of coffee or production of coffee beans. Now, because Arabica is one of those things that it's, I think It's less pest resistant or something like that. It's it requires more care and attention and love or something, and it's more expensive to produce. But because it's much nicer flavour, then there's 70% of that demand is arabica. Robusta is about the remaining amount. So, it's used to usually blend together and sort of like, so it's not 100% arabica. It'll be a bit of a mostly arabica with a bit of robusta in there to sort of give it a bit of a different blend. Anyway, so it's a member of the Rubiak- Oh, God. You know what? I'm an electrical engineer, I'm not a botanist. It's a Rubiak- I'm going to spell it. R-U-B-I-A-K- It's in the show notes. Thank you, Marco. Yes. Have a look in the show notes for that one. Anyway, it's from that family, gets its name. Basically, it translates from the Latin word "ruba", meaning red. But of course, you know, by the time where you pick the berries and everything, they end up being green. And then when you roast them, they're certainly not red or green anymore. They get that lovely shade of brown. So anyway, but the funny thing I always thought that the coffee plant was a shrub, but I only just learnt the other day that actually they come in as either shrubs or small trees, depending upon the type. So they can be either shrubs or small trees, but they all produce a little green fruit that we pick it, we roast it, grind it, immerse it in water, chuck out the grounds, then drink the water and when you put it like that it doesn't sound very appetizing does it? Well first of all to correct you on one minor point the fruit is red. It is? Yeah but the seeds that are in the fruit end up after the process being this greenish lightish yellow color. Damn it. Yeah but so but thank you for correcting me on that. The seeds are the inner part that we eat but the the fruit which is called coffee cherry is red and it looks a lot like cherries which is probably why it's called that. Fair enough and thank you for correcting me on that because you can tell I haven't grown my own. Actually, have you ever- Neither have I. Oh, okay, fine. Well, okay. I've only ever seen it coming out of a packet and photos of it roasted. So, I'm- And yeah, so I haven't actually seen raw stuff before, but I saw they were selling bags of it on eBay and it was all green. So, anyway, there we go. So, I reckon the main reason that coffee is popular is because of caffeine. And I don't know if that's even disputable or not, because I mean, if you took the caffeine out, do you think people would actually enjoy drinking lots and lots of coffee? Do you think? You know, I don't know. I mean, there are a lot of people who drink decaf because for various reasons, either they prefer it or they can't have caffeine, and so they have to. But I would imagine most of those people probably used to drink regular. Yeah. And that's how they got- That's how they got into coffee. And they probably, I would imagine most decaf drinkers, you know, drink decaf because they like it, but they started to like it because of the caffeine. I think, you know, it's probably similar to like non-alcoholic beer in that way. In like, there are situations in which, like there's social situations in which it's nice to, you know, if you're having a meeting or if you're socializing at a coffee shop and you can't have caffeine or you don't want to have caffeine at that point, it's nice to have an option to say, "Okay, I'll take a decaf." and you can still participate in the thing everyone else is doing without having the caffeine if it causes problems for you. But I have never heard of anybody who started drinking coffee because they just love the taste alone and always just drank decaf and just didn't ever want caffeine. And I do like coffee a lot, and so if there came a point where I couldn't have caffeine anymore on a regular basis, I would probably still drink it and probably switch to decaf, Although there is a bit of a problem that decaf usually tastes worse, which we can get to why that is. But I think you're right. Overall, I think the main reason, just like most people don't start drinking non-alcoholic beer and that's all they ever have. The reason why, you can appreciate beer as a complex beverage that tastes good to you, but the main reason most people start drinking beer is because of the alcohol. And so I think the main reason people drink coffee is for the caffeine. And it just so happens that it is also a very good tasting beverage that you can get into kind of as a result of wanting the caffeine. Absolutely. Yeah, and I agree completely, and I think that that's the problem, is that the caffeine is where it starts. So, I think it's important that we just quickly cover a little bit about caffeine because there's a little- And there's a little bit of chemistry in here, so I apologize for people that don't like the chemistry, but I just- I had to have it. So, just like the caffeine, I had to have it in there. Anyway, so looking at that, caffeine is a stimulant and it is an addictive substance, but the dependence and the withdrawal that you get is relatively mild compared to other drugs like opiates. So the thing is, the molecule itself fits into the brain's adendocine, I think it's pronounced adendocine, receptors, and adendocine is actually responsible for telling the brain when it's time to sleep or to rest. So the caffeine gets in there and blocks those receptors. So that then allows the dopamine to work more efficiently. And it also triggers the adrenal glands to release more adrenaline. So the combination of those things makes you feel more alert, well, you become more alert. So with long term use, though, the brain adds more adenosine receptors to compensate because the caffeine keeps blocking the ones that you've got. And that causes you to build up a tolerance, you need to have more caffeine in order to then block the additional adenosine receptors in order to get the same result out of the dopamine and the adrenaline. So if you then miss your caffeine hit, then the brain is flooded with the dendrocyne and the dopamine adrenaline levels basically drop through the floor and you start getting withdrawal. So the thing with withdrawal is that the symptoms vary from person to person, but the general ones withdraw from caffeine are headache, sleepiness, irritability, lethargy, constipation, depression, muscle pain, muscle stiffness, inability to focus or concentrate, which for me is the big one, insomnia, and some people even get flu-like symptoms. So... Is that all? I know that's all but I just want to... I'm curious have you ever... I know. Have you ever been through caffeine withdrawal? What was it like for you I guess? So I don't... I've never had anything very severe. The only... the only withdrawal symptoms I've ever had are if I... if I go a day without having any coffee I will usually get a moderate to mild headache at about 4 p.m. for a little while. That's it. And that is definitely a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. But I don't actually have that much caffeine. Like I don't, even though I love coffee a lot and I love talking about it and I am a severe coffee geek, I only have either one or two cups per day and they're pretty small cups. Like to give you some idea, each cup only has between eight and twelve grams of coffee beans brewed with it. So that's, you know, by coffee standards those are pretty small cups and at most I will have two, some days I'll only have one, because I'm actually very sensitive to caffeine, like that's all I can take. If I have much more than that, I get like, what to me feels like a caffeine overload, which not only has me kind of tense and not necessarily jittery, but just kind of high strung, but if I have too much caffeine, I actually feel like I have a fever. - Wow. - And it's really unpleasant. And so, I don't have a lot. So, I don't hit those more severe withdrawal symptoms that I think a lot of people get if they're having like four or five cups a day and then they just stop. Yeah. Okay. Wow. Well, you've managed to surprise me, Marco. The thing is, the amount of time that I've heard you talk about coffee, I always just jumped to that conclusion that you would therefore drink a lot of it. So, I'm sort of glad you pointed that one out because I have something I had no idea. And in my case, it sounds like I have too much coffee now because I feel bad now. But just sticking with the withdrawal, though, for the moment, though, I do have withdrawal from it, and I find that the worst withdrawal for me kicks in after 24 hours. It takes about that long for me to start feeling the symptoms. And it starts with a- It's not a traditional sort of a headache like I would get from, you know, fatigue or maybe eye strain, but it is- It's sort of a very dull, very, very light throbbing that's very distracting. And then after about halfway through that, the second day, I just get very, very irritable. I don't quite get the shakes, but I just get very short with people and very snappy. And I'm just generally not- I'm not the bubbly, pleasant, effervescent personality you're listening to right now. Let's put it that way. So, yeah. I would love to see bubbly you. This is bubbly me. Like, what does that state look like? I don't know. I don't know. Oh, dear. Anyway, so, look, yeah, I do get withdrawal and, yeah, it sucks. So, I try to moderate my caffeine from two points of view. One, I want to be maximally alert. And the other point of view is I don't want to let it go too long. Otherwise, I know I'm going to get withdrawal symptoms and I'm not going to be very pleasant. So, yeah. So, there you go. I guess I have issues. But if I can make it past the third day, then I'm fine. And then I'll be without caffeine for weeks and I'll be suddenly like, oh, I'm tired. should have a cup and then I'm back on the train again so yeah yeah I found that like it's it's an easy tolerance to reset yeah in that like you know usually you know if if you totally even if you have a lot like like you said sound like you do if you quit cold turkey and don't have any caffeine usually like for most people I think it's a matter of just one or two maybe three at most days in which you might see any problems at all and then you're totally reset and you can you know go back to it whenever you want or you can stay off of it forever you know at that point it's a lot easier to quit caffeine than it is like cigarettes you know. Oh yeah sure yeah no cigarettes are bad so it's like very hard to quit and it's they're up there with opiates in terms of difficulty there. Oh yeah. Yeah but caffeine no so okay so there you go now we've both admitted that we sort of tweak our caffeine levels for at different levels but yeah we're stuck on the stuff that's okay because it you know coffee tastes lovely so that's all right. All right, here goes the chemistry and I actually remember how to pronounce some of these. So, there we go. Caffeine has a systematic name, 3, 7-Dihydro-1, 3, 7-Trimethyl-1H-Purine-2, 6-Dione. This will be in the show notes. Oh, that'll be in the show notes. Yes, it will. However, the funny thing is, caffeine is also known as 1, 3, 7-Trimethyloxane and 1, 3, 7-Trimethyl-2, 6-Dioxyde-1, dioxopurine. I mean, obviously. Anyhow, so I couldn't help myself, I'd throw that in. Caffeine is classified as an alkaloid, and it enters the bloodstream after and about after 10 minutes after it's ingested, it starts to take effect and it stays in the body for up to 12 hours. Obviously, that rate varies from person to person, some people metabolize it quicker than others. But like other alkaloids, you know, it has a psychological effect that we sort of talked about, but it stimulates, the stimulation causes the heart muscle to be stimulated and beat a bit faster, relaxes other structures in the body and, you know, including the coronary arteries and your lungs, the bronchi in your lungs. And the other benefit, well, side effect is it's a diuretic. Which means what? You know what a diuretic is? I know the result of a diuretic, but I think what it actually means is doesn't it kind of cause your body to want to dump water? That's exactly what it means. It's a very nice way of saying you got to go and wee a lot. So, yes, basically. And that therefore dehydrates you. And that's the downside. So, if you have a lot of caffeine and you don't balance that with a lot of water, well, not a lot of water, but balance it with water, then you tend to get dehydrated. Obviously, that's not good for you. So anyway, okay, so before we go on any further, I just want to talk about our first sponsor, and that is ManyTricks. So ManyTricks is a great software development company whose apps do well, you guessed it, many tricks. Their apps include Butler, Kimo, Leech, Moom, Usher, Witch, Desktop Curtain, TimeSync, and NameMangler. There's so much to talk about for each app, what we're going to do is we're going to focus on a different one each week. And this week, we're going to talk about NameMangler. Now NameMangler's job is to rename files quickly, efficiently, and in huge numbers if need be. It can search and replace by pattern, of course, but you can extract metadata from the files you're renaming and use it in the file name. You can add multiple steps to your renaming sequences, you can run them one after the other, you can create preset actions for commonly repeated renaming tasks. 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Now, when you fall in love with it, like I did, it's available from that page or through the Mac App Store for $19 US. However, if you visit that URL before the 17th of August, you can take advantage of a special discount off their very helpful apps exclusively for Pragmatic listeners, simply use the coupon code "Pragmatic25" in the discount code box in the shopping cart to receive 25% off. Thank you to Many Tricks for sponsoring Pragmatic. Okay, so we've talked a bit about the history of coffee and about caffeine. But what I want to do now is talk a little bit about personal history, and I'd like to start with you, which is, when did you start drinking coffee? I actually didn't start until I had my first full-time job after college. I was not one of those people who had coffee in high school or college. I probably should have, but I didn't. It was really just, you know, I was adapting from a lazy college kid to a lazy full-time worker and just needed, you know, a little boost in the afternoons and then the mornings as well. And that's really how I got it. Okay fair and I started out you know despite the nerd I am about it now I started out putting milk and sugar in my coffee and drinking terrible coffee from one of those big office coffee pots and yeah and then over time I slowly reduce the sugar in the milk as I as I learned to like the taste of it more and as I found better coffee and you know by probably three or four years in I was just drinking a black. Wow. I'm not at that point yet. So, I'm sure I think I will too, as I'm seeing a progression already and it's only been two and a half, three months. I'm already starting to leave sugar out. So, all right. So, all up. So, how long? Ten, twelve years, would you say, roughly, you've been drinking then, coffee? About ten. So, in my case, I never drank coffee. I grew up in a relatively hot climate in the tropics and my hometown of Rockhampton, it would get up to 40 degrees Celsius in the summertime. It's quite warm, whatever that is in Fahrenheit, but warm, 100 plus anyway. So warm. And drinking a hot drink made no sense to me, so I would always stick with cold water. Anyway, I started drinking Diet Coke and got into the caffeine through Diet Coke. However, as I got older, I started having issues with my teeth. It sort of started to because, you know, too many sodas, soft drinks, whatever you want to call them, or soda pop, starts eating away at the enamel layer on your teeth. And that's not good. And end up getting a few fillings and so on. So that's not good. But I was still on the caffeine and I didn't want to have hot drinks. So then there was an incident recently where I've I've blogged about this on my website, but if you don't, and there's the number of people that listen to the show that don't read my site, probably aren't aware of this, but I recently had weight loss surgery because I was having some health issues related to my weight. And in any case, I now have got a gastric sleeve and I can't have soft drink anymore. I can't have bubbling beverages. It causes intense pain. And it's the sort of thing that I basically have to remove from the list. So, either I flatten my Diet Coke and drink it as a cordial, which I don't like, or I found a different kind of beverage. So, I decided to try coffee and I'd never really tried it seriously in the past. And if I had, it had been a sip or two and it had been that stuff that you're describing, you know, from the communal, you know, percolating, you know, coffee pot machine that tasted absolutely horrid. And anyway, I decided that I would try coffee and I have now been drinking it for just over two and a half months, getting close to the third month now, and I've just fallen in love with it. I think it's fantastic. And I get the caffeine that I'm looking for, but I also am learning how to tweak the flavours the way that I would like them. So, for me, this is a very new thing, very new sort of idea, but you've been doing this for, you know, a decade compared to me. So, I know you know a lot more about it than I do. So, we're going to start picking your brains on some of this in a minute. So, I did a lot of research because it's funny how much I just didn't know about how to make coffee, because of course, there's instant coffee, which you buy in a tin or a bottle and you put a couple of spoonfuls of it into hot water, stir it, and then, you know, you think that's coffee and it's just terrible. I can understand why people do it because it's so quick and so easy, but I just could not get into it. I mixed it with some milk, I added sugar and it just tasted odd to me. I just couldn't quite get into it. So then I tried store-bought coffee. Then there was Gloria Jean's and we do also have Starbucks here, though significantly less because Starbucks aren't doing well here. So, oh, good. Now, now, don't be mean. But yes, so and oddly enough, it was Gloria Jean's store-bought coffee that made me realize that coffee could actually taste better than instant coffee. And that's what got me into it. So I started researching my equipment and what equipment to use, and I guess I want to get to that in a few minutes. But first of all, I want to talk about the roasting of the coffee itself. Now, I have not roasted my own coffee, so all I know is what I've read. But as I understand it, there's different colours of roast, light of all the way from light to dark. And there's the first crack and the second crack I've read about, but maybe it's more appropriate if you tell me a little bit more about the levels of roasting and what that gets you, because you've done it and I haven't. Yeah, sure. So basically, when you roast and just to address the first part of how you roast, You know, the big shops do it in these big machines, these big steel drums, and they're usually, I think they're usually gas fired or some way to make tons of heat. And if you home roast, you know, you have to find a way to heat beans up to roughly 400 degrees Fahrenheit, whatever that is in Australia, and I don't know. Sorry. That's all right. Yeah, so roughly 400 degrees Fahrenheit is where you're going. I forget the exact number for the different cracks, but you can find that on Wikipedia, if you look up coffee roasting. They even have a nice picture grid of the different levels and what color it looks like. It's nice. Anyway, so we'll put that in the show notes if one of us remembers. - Yep, it's in there. - So the home roasting machines look basically like, if you've ever seen one of those home chicken rotisserie machines, it looks like a large toaster oven, basically. That's what most of these roasters look like. Some of them look like tiny shop roasters. The one I started off with is called the Baymore, B-E-H-M-O-R. It's one of the most popular ones. It's the one I would recommend if you want to get into coffee roasting, I would say that's the one to get. It's about $300 in the US. I don't know if it's available in other places, but about $300 in the US. The best place to get it is a website called Sweet Maria's,, and they also supply unroasted beans, which is very nice. They have lots of tutorials on how to roast, and they have videos and everything. So if you want to get into home roasting, go to Sweet Maria's and start there. You can even get into it much more cheaply with either a cast iron skillet or a popcorn air popper. And you can get one for like 30 bucks. - Wow. - And there's even like, there's forums where people like figure out like which models of air poppers work best for this purpose and how you can mod yours to be a little bit better. - Okay. - It's this whole community of people who roast with air poppers. But-- - Weird. friend of friend of the internet underscore David Smith started out that way and I think Sean Blanc still does it that way I'm not sure but they I'm pretty sure both of them have at one time roasted using air poppers and it's been fine anyway so these machines are you know basically toaster ovens that with drums in them that spin and and they just have immense heat output so that so they can heat these things so hot within about 15 or 20 minutes so So anyway, when you're roasting, you know, the beans come as these really like hard, like rock hard. It's like, it's like if you try to bite into one, it's like trying to bite into an uncooked popcorn kernel. Just like these rock hard little beans. And they, they look, you know, pale green to pale yellow. And so you dump them in, you roast them. As they roast, they kind of pop like popcorn. They have like this outer skin on them that falls off called chaff. And it just makes these little weightless flakes of this kind of dusty thing. If you open the roaster and sneeze, they'll go everywhere. So be careful. And that's why you always need a vacuum nearby when you're roasting coffee is to get all the chaff out. But anyway, so as you roast, they kind of pop. And that's first crack. First crack is them reaching the point where the chaff kind of blows off. pop they get that little like cracked part in the middle of the bean where like the little seam runs through. That kind of like cracks open and that's like the first point and it's pretty far into the process. You know if you're doing a roast that's 20 minutes long, first crack will happen around 15 minutes. Like it's pretty far and most of the process is pretty boring. And then between first and second crack is when you get all the darkness levels. Like first crack is like the earliest you can stop the roast and have it be drinkable in any reasonable way because if you miss that, if you stop it too early, the coffee you get tastes really weird. Because unroasted beans don't smell like coffee. They smell kind of grassy. I always make people smell them when they're in my house because I'm strange and they're always surprised by... It totally blows them away. It is not at all what they expected coffee beans to smell like because they don't smell like coffee at all. If you stop the roast before first crack, your coffee tastes like that. That's no good. It's a very odd, unpleasant taste that you don't generally want. Anyway, so first crack, they're very light brown, but they start becoming drinkable. And then you progress, and really over the course of three to five minutes, you progress through the entire range of darkness levels. And you can choose to stop the roast whenever you want. And so you choose how dark to roast it. And there's a science to this and there are some tweaks you can do with like, you know, with like playing with the heat level during that time or turning on or off the fan to exhaust the hot air from the roaster at different speeds and trying to get like a, they call it a roast curve, like a different progression of the heat into the beans. I have tried tweaking that here and there and have never found the results noticeable in the way I roast. It's probably because I'm not a very skilled roaster, but whatever the reason, that has not been worth the complexity to me. So I just let it go at full blast until it reaches my desired darkness level and then I stop it. So as it progresses, it will... If you have coffee at a fancy place like Stumptown in the US or any fancy craft roaster that heard of in the last few years, it will never even get close to second crack. They stop the roast very early on, usually like a third of the way between first crack and second crack, so it's still a pretty light flavor. I like it better dark, and so, you know, dark but not like, not burnt. And so I stop it at the full city roast, which is why my, the corporate entity that I do my blog and podcast business with is called Full City, I'll see this is why. It's a coffee roasting term. I happen to live near Manhattan, which is kind of a nice double meaning of full city, but it's more about coffee. And so full city roasting is, and forgive me if I'm getting this wrong, check Wikipedia, but it's right before or right at second crack. So as you're roasting, the first crack is like this loud pop. It sounds like popcorn in the roaster. It's very, very clear. And then, and it's a lot like microwaving popcorn. So it kind of comes in a wave. They don't all pop at once, but first you'll hear one or two, and then you'll hear a whole lot, and then it'll kind of drop down again. You'll hear one or two that took a while. And then second crack sounds almost like Rice Krispies crackling. It's a much quieter, more crackly kind of sound. And again, it's the same thing. You'll hear a couple of them early, and then you'll start hearing more and more frequent ones. there'd be an obvious peak where they're all hitting second crack and they'll start fading off. For me, I like to stop the roast right at, like right as I start hearing the first few of them hitting second crack, then I stop it. 'Cause if you go past second crack, it burns pretty quickly. - Right. - And so, yeah, that's kind of what roasting is like. - Okay. - And the process. And then it dumps out all the beans and, oh, one more big warning. If you are interested in getting into home roasting, Roasting coffee produces a lot of smoke, not steam, smoke. So, do it outside or something or have a extraction fan? Yeah, a lot of people do it outside. I did my first couple of roasts where I put the roaster on a baking tray on top of my range and just use the range fan. That was not sufficient. And part of that's because my range fan sucks and is half broken, but part of it is that it needs a lot so what I do now is I have the roaster on a countertop that has a window above it and then I put a box fan on that window sill blowing out. Wow okay. So it's and that takes care of everything because box fans push a lot of air even on low so that's how I do it now a lot of people just do it outside that's another way to do it if you can run you know run some power outside it's that's another way to do it. So that's how we track you down Marco is we're just gonna look for the the steady smoke column rising when you're roasting it know it's you. And you can smell it from a few houses away I'm fortunate to have very nice neighbors. Oh dear well if they like coffee maybe you can offer them some so there you go. Okay cool. And also if there's any question in your mind about whether you should roast the answer is no you shouldn't. And yet you do right? Of course it well yeah it's like writing your own blog platform you shouldn't do that either but I do. It's like you generally If you're looking at it from a purely practical standpoint, you can try to make a cost argument. You can say, well, 'cause a really great unroasted coffee bean might be six or seven dollars a pound. - Yeah. - And that's like for the, you know, the average is closer to five or six. And so that's really, it's cheap. Unroasted coffee is cheap. And you can get really good coffee that would, if you bought coffee that was that good from someone roasted, it might be 20 bucks a pound. you can get that for six or seven bucks a pound. So there is a big cost savings, but you have to pay for the roaster. And so I think it takes a long time. If you're trying to make a cost argument, it takes a while to cross that line. But it's mostly about control because the advantage of home roasting is that, 'cause the unroasted beans keep for like six months or a year. So I have a cabinet full of unroasted beans. I have like 20 pounds. And so then I'm never out of coffee. whenever I'm running low on beans, I just roast some more. And so at any point I can have fresh roasted beans. And in a lot of places, there is no local fresh roaster. There's a lot of places where the only coffee you can get is old coffee that's been on store shelves for six months. Or in warehouses for six months. In a lot of places, even places that have fresh roasters nearby, which are pretty rare, usually if you can't see the roaster in the store, they probably aren't a fresh roaster. But even places that are roasters, sometimes they won't roast the way you like it. Sometimes they'll roast too dark or too light. And so it's a way to get exactly what you want whenever you want, and a pretty much infinite supply of coffee done exactly your way. That being said, it is a hassle. It is something that takes time. You know, a roast start to finish plus cleanup time takes about a half hour. And so it's not for everyone. By a long way, it's not for everyone. So, the other thing that I was told is that once you do roast the beans, you've got about two weeks or something before- Yeah, it depends who you ask. Yeah. What have you found? This is one of the reasons why store-bought coffee is bad. Yeah. Because once you roast coffee, it is kind of like fresh produce in that, like when it's in like the dried, unroasted state, it's pretty stable for a long time. Once you've roasted it, though, all sorts of chemical reactions inside of it change. I'm not really qualified to tell you exactly what they are. A lot of it has to do with oxidation, oxidation, oxidation? - Oxidation, yeah. - Or whatever. Yeah, a lot of it has to do with that and gas escaping the beans and the internal chemistry changing when you roast it. Basically, the short version is you have roughly a week after roasting where it's really good. And then, and so after roasting, it starts losing flavor. Some people will argue that the best flavor is actually like day two or three afterwards 'cause some of the gas still escapes after roasting for a while, which is actually, that's the reason why the bags have those little one-way air valves on them. It's to let air that comes inside out because the beans will continue to emit carbon dioxide for a little while after they're roasted. So that's why those valves are there, to let air out. But, so you know, the best flavor is between day zero and two depending on who you ask. And then as the beans get stale, their flavor starts dropping. And the flavor gets flatter, some of the high notes are lost. It's hard to describe flavors without sounding douchey or like a wine taster. - Well, yeah, but you're right. - It's kind of hand in hand, I guess. - No. - But you basically start losing the details. - Yeah, I understand. - You start losing, yeah, you start losing the finer parts of the flavor, the more savory parts, you lose a lot of it over about a week, maybe two weeks. And then after about two weeks, the beans reach a relatively stable flatness where they're no longer great, but they're okay. And they can stay in that state for a long time, months. So almost any bean you get from a store is in that state because just the supply chain, it just takes more than two weeks. Chances are whatever coffee you see in a store shelf has been roasted at least a month ago, probably more. And so a trick that people use, so generally speaking, the difference in flavor between fresh and not fresh is the not fresh flavor is just dull, it's flatter, it's less complicated, it's less bold, there's less flavor there in general. And it's kind of a lower quality flavor. But there's a trick. If you roast really dark, really dark, then you can get more flavor out of it. It's not a good flavor, it tastes charred almost, but it's more flavor. So super dark roasts are a way for old beans to seem to relatively undiscerning taste, to seem like they are more bold and have more flavor for longer periods of time. - Yeah, but the flab is-- - And that's why like Trader Joe's, like Trader Joe's is this very popular chain here in the US of grocery stores that sell, you know, they basically sell like old weird food, private labeled, that's been sitting in a warehouse for a long time, and some of it's good, and a lot of it's not. Trader Joe's, it's like if you've ever gotten one of those gift baskets that has like all like the fake brands of like crackers and stuff in them, like you know, for holidays and stuff. Trader Joe's is a lot like those gift baskets where everything is private labeled, about a quarter of it is good, and the rest of it is forgettable or bad. (laughing) Roasting coffee, they have all these super dark roasts in these tubs that are probably roasted a year ago. The super darkness is a way to make the coffee have more flavor for longer, even if it isn't necessarily a good flavor. And that's also Starbucks's trick, by the way. Exactly, Starbucks's trick. Yeah, that's it. So, I guess from this- And thank you for all that detail, because I read it bits and pieces, and the bits and pieces I'd read about the level of roasting was that the darkie roast, it basically, it starts to destroy the caffeine in it. You get less acidity. There's more oil that leaches out of it, but the flavour ceases to be about the flavour of the actual coffee beans themselves and more about the flavor from the roasting process. I think that's the way that I took it to mean. Yeah, coffee nerds use the term roast flavor. That's a euphemism for char burnt flavor. Right. OK. Yeah. That's what that means, really. And yeah, so, you know, as you're you know, it's like it's like toasting anything, you know, it's like as you you know, you're to a point earlier on where or like you know the inherent flavors of the bean are still there but once it starts burning even a little bit the burn flavor can take over the flavor profile very quickly because burning, you know burnt food is such a strong flavor that you have to be very very careful with it. Yep, fair enough. Alright cool, well it's just time for our second sponsor. So let's talk a little bit quickly about LIFX. That's spelled L-I-F-X and that's a smart light bulb that gives you previously unheard of control of your lighting. Each light bulb is Wi-Fi enabled. It can give you light in whatever color of the rainbow you like and it's an energy efficient LED light bulb that you can control with your smartphone. 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All you have to do is head over to LIFX, again, that's spelled to learn more and enter the coupon code pragmatic for 15% off the total price of your order. Thank you once again to LIFX for sponsoring Pragmatic. So, now I think it's time we talked about blooming and I first read about blooming, I thought- Oh, God. Okay, now you need to explain what you mean by "Oh God" because I'm beginning to think I've picked a bad thing to say but okay so... Okay so when coffee beans are freshly roasted, I mentioned earlier about the air valve, the one-way air valve in the bags because they still continue to have a lot of carbon dioxide and then that gets emitted slowly. When you pour water on them, that gets emitted quickly. And I'm not, you know, I'm sure there's a good chemistry reason why I don't, I'm not qualified to explain why, but that's what happens. So when you, when you brew very fresh coffee beans, they foam up because all the air in them escapes quickly and makes this nice big foamy head on the coffee. Like, you know, just like pouring a beer too fast. And if your coffee is more than about six days from roasting, that won't happen nearly as much if at all, or to a level you won't notice. But yeah, for the first few days, it's pretty noticeable. And common brewing wisdom these days is, especially when doing something like a pour over or an aero press where you are controlling the water flow into the beans. The common wisdom is to pour just a little bit of water at first and then wait for the coffee to bloom. And the bloom really refers to that foaming up of you know it's oh the air is coming out it makes us nice little like foamy head that might even like bloom up and then pop because you know it can't support its own weight like like baking a souffle. So the common wisdom is that you should let this you should pour a little bit let it bloom And this does something. And it's vague as to what people think this does. I think the most common thing people think it does is somehow improve the flavor. - I'm guessing you don't agree. - I think that's BS. - Yeah. - And yeah, I think, you know, 'cause coffee, you can brew coffee in a lot of different ways. All you're doing is adding water to the beans in some fashion, providing maybe some kind agitation method, whether it's stirring or whatever, and then straining out the ground somehow. Yeah, that's it. That's all you're doing. And so, there's lots of different ways to do that. And there's lots of different things you can do at each step there to, you know, try to add your own flair or to try to make small changes that you think might make a big difference. I think a lot of this is placebo. So there's all this possible variation in how you brew things and there's a lot of room for what most people call ritual. And I think that's a good word for it. Much to their chagrin. Because ritual is something that you do because you do it. And it's not necessarily because it does anything. might think it does something but that's often not supported by science or reason and I think there's a lot of that in coffee brewing there's a lot of like well you just do it this way because you know it seems like it might make a difference or it's it's fancy and it gives you it gives you a feeling of being fancy you know reasons like that the problem with that is is that it makes coffee seem fussier than it really is and it makes you you know it makes people who don't care about the ritual feel like they have to waste time doing certain things or do things a certain way that's less convenient or harder to clean up or you know various has various practical deficiencies and yeah so bloom is one of the many things I put I put wetting the paper filters in that same category yeah some people say that you should wet or rinse a paper filter before you use it because it'll make it taste less like paper I think if you're if your coffee tastes like paper you're using way too much paper and not enough coffee. I've never had coffee that I could identify as having a papery taste. I think that is psychological. So anyway and especially like with an Aeropress where like the the filter is this you know relative to the volume of liquid and the volume of coffee being like the the filter is such a tiny mass in that it's this thin paper this little disc you know it's I think I think that's - That's crap. - Yeah. - I've never, so a lot of these things, I will do things a certain way, like the way that the pros recommend, I'll do it that way for a while, and then one day I'll be like, you know what, I wonder what happens if I just do this the easier way. (laughs) - Yeah. - And I'll try it, and the coffee will taste exactly the same. - Yeah, yeah, that's it. - So it's like, you know what, okay, I guess I don't need to do that anymore. (laughs) - No. - And there's a lot of those things in coffee, and I think everyone should kind of find your own preferences there. Like, you know, if people say you need to do X, Y, or Z, but you try it both ways and can't tell the difference, don't like struggle to try to detect the difference that isn't there for you. You know, if you can't tell, just do what's easier for you. That's it. And so like, you know, I do with the air press, I do the inverted method where you kind of set up the whole thing upside down and you flip it over on top of the cup. I do that mostly because it's actually easier for me to do that. It is not as crazy as it sounds. - Well. - It's actually easier, 'cause then I can control the amount of water that goes into it very easily, without having to weigh or measure the water beforehand. I could have a kettle full of water that I boil, and I pour in as much as I need for, you know, to fill it up, basically. And then I, anyway. - That's cool. - But yeah, like, in general, it's important for people to realize that a lot of the things you read about how you need to do certain things with coffee and everything else in life, a lot of the things that people say you should do, you should figure out for yourself whether you really need to do them or not. And I bet a lot of them you don't need to do. Yeah. And in my researching this, there are so many opinions on the best way to brew coffee. It's just sort of got to that point where I stopped reading them because it was impossible to, because they were all conflicting. And some would say different periods of time, the whole blooming thing, for example. You know, some people would say, oh, it's a waste of time. other people would say, Oh, you know, it's absolute, you've got to do it. And yeah, so I've tried it. And I couldn't detect any difference. So I don't bother I simply I put in. All right. And I guess this is the next step. Okay, so the next thing to talk about is specifically how we go about brewing. You sort of started this already. So we've talked about roasting, I don't roast, I just buy. Okay, I'll admit, I have two things. I have the "I'm in a damn hurry, I need to get out the door and I have the, I want a nice, as nice a cup of coffee as I can make and I've got time to make it. So I have, and I know that you're going to roll your eyes at this, but here we go. I've got pre ground coffee ready to go in a tin. And for when I'm in a hurry to get out the door, and I've got a couple of nice whole beans, they are medium to dark roasted. One of them is Vittoria Coffee, which I don't know if you have that in North America, but it's one of the sort of chain brands here. They also have coffee cafes and so on around that just serve the Vittoria Coffee. And I've got some stuff from an actual freshly roasted local specialty coffee roasting place, like you were talking about. And I'm almost at the bottom of that bag, and I'm a little bit sad about that, because they look really nice. So, I have a hand grinder, which is- Because I looked into the cost of getting an electric one and I also know how loud they can be. So, I actually went with a hand grinder. It's a Hario Skurton, I think it's pronounced, HSS 1B hand grinder. And it takes about- Oh man, that takes forever. Oh yeah, it takes about five minutes to grind enough for- Hey, it's therapeutic, at least that's what I keep telling myself. My kids say- not just get a good all right so first of all to address a point you just said yes about about how loud they can be yeah that is correct however there are two types of grinders that most people have yeah there's the spinning blade or the or the conical burr grinder yes the spinning blade is the cheap kind it's what everyone everyone has seen these before it is literally a spinning blade at the bottom of like a small tub and it spins ridiculously quickly and just kind of beats the blades into, it beats the beans into submission. And the fancier kind is the burr grinder which it, it crushes the beans between two spinning rough steel burrs basically. Yeah. And, and so rather than striking them into size it crushes them into size. The advantage of this design, there's a number of advantages to it, the main advantage is that the grind size can be more consistent and this is important for things like a French press where if you have a bunch of big chunks for the French press and a bunch of small chunks that happen to get in there because your grinder was sloppy, then in a French press like all the small stuff will leak out and then you'll have all that sludge at the bottom of the cup. That's not good. And so a burr grinder can get a much better consistency of the grind. It's not perfect, but it's better. And it can also grind a lot finer usually. But the other advantage that might be relevant to you is that they're quieter. Now they're still not quiet like in an absolute term they are still loud devices but I've heard it's it's a much lower pitched sound and it's and it's lower volume than a spinning blade grinder still loud but but much more pleasant I think and not as loud well the biggest problem I face is that I get up to go to work at 5 in the morning and I can't be grinding and making any noise and I even thought the hand grinder, that'll be quiet enough until I woke up. Not really. No, it was loud enough that my son came out, it was a quarter past five in the morning and he said, Daddy, why are you grinding it? It's too early. I'm like, I'm sorry. So, that was that. No, I actually have a hand grinder for travel purposes. Okay. And I hate it. I would never recommend a hand grinder to anybody. It is such a ridiculous amount of time and effort to grind One cup's worth of coffee by hand, it is completely not worth it. I now like... You can control the speed, you can control how fast you grind it and that might affect the flavour, right? I would rather just bring some tea bags when I travel next time. I'll just switch to tea for the week because it's so much easier than trying to grind your own coffee with a hand grinder. Well, you know what? Hey, maybe one day I'll graduate to one of these fandangled, you know, machine things. But for the moment, okay. - Well, and for whatever it's worth, you can get a good burr grinder. I never tried the lower end ones, but there's some for like 50 or 60 bucks that are reasonable. And then the one I recommend, if you want something really good for the long haul, I recommend the Barraza Virtuoso. It's about 200 bucks. And it's a nice, heavy piece of machinery that like, you use this thing and you can tell this is gonna last. And you know, it doesn't move when you touch the button because it's heavy and it's just, the grind size is nice. The blades are very advanced. Like it's easy to take apart and clean if you need to. It's a fantastic device. So yeah, Baratza Virtua, so 200 bucks. That's the way to go if you can. If you can't or won't spend 200 bucks on a coffee grinder, that's totally understandable. And in which case I suggest either use whatever spinning blade piece of crap you already have because everyone has one of those. And if you don't, ask your parents, they probably have one they aren't using anymore and they can give it to you. Or go to a thrift store and buy one for like a dollar. They're everywhere, they're cheap. You can even buy them new for like 10 bucks. I mean, these are not expensive devices. Or if you wanna step up from that, but still don't wanna spend 200 bucks, spend 60 bucks on a decent burr grinder that you can find in a store. That's it. - Cool. - Yeah, so. - Okay. - Don't, never, ever get a hand grinder under any circumstances. They're never worth it, you will hate it. And that whole category should just go away. - Well, I am sticking with my story that it's therapeutic and that's just, you know. All right, fine. Okay, so I think it's a good point to keep moving. So we're going to move on to French press. Yeah, great. French press versus AeroPress. And I think you've already kind of alluded to the fact that you're an AeroPress guy and I'll put my hand up and say so am I. And it's the grit, because I use a French press once and there was this grit in the bottom and it was not- It's just, I just, I hate that grit. You know, I just, I don't like having that in my mouth at the end of it. And the AeroPress- Never take the last sip of a French press cup. Oh, no, I just don't. But yeah, but the AeroPress is just perfect. Unbelievable. I can see why everyone raves about them. But the thing about the AeroPress that I wanted to quiz you about, what are your thoughts on? And you sort of started on this topic, was the paper versus there's a very- There's a stainless steel insert that you can use instead of the paper. that's supposed to be fine enough that it stops all of the grit from getting through, but people that have been saying, I've been reading, "Oh, because the paper leeches all the oil out and that's a bad thing because the oil's flavor and therefore that's bad." So, first question is, do you use the paper or the stainless steel disc? And why, I guess, or do you think that that oil thing is BS as well? So I've tried two stainless steel discs. The the Koava Disc Filter, which I believe was renamed because I think Koava renamed their company name, something like that. But it used to be called the Koava Disc. Now I think it's just called the Disc, something like that. And I also use the Caffeology S Filter, which started on Kickstarter and is now sold separately. The S Filter is by far the better one, by a long shot. I did a whole review of it on my site and with close-up pictures of the difference and everything, and so I'll post that. But, if you, yeah, so it's the Caffeology S filter. That's Caffeology with a K. But in my review of that, I took pictures, 'cause the oil in coffee usually will float to the top of the cup. And you can see it. In freshly brewed coffee that has any oil in it, you can see this little sheen of little oil dots floating on the top of the coffee. So it's very apparent when it's there. I took close up pictures with a macro lens and a couple of flashes to illuminate this of two cups brewed side by side of the same beans with two air presses, one with the Caffeology S filter, the metal filter, and one with the paper filters that come with it, and they both had oil on top. They both looked exactly the same. And I tasted them both, and they tasted exactly the same. And so I think, I've read all those exact same things. Everyone thinks that paper filters block oil. I'm not sure that's true. Paper filters do block some things that the metal filters don't. One of them, if you look, there was an, I'll have to find, I'll have to dig up the link. There was an interview like a year ago with the guy who invented the AeroPress, who I think his name is Alan Adler maybe, it's something Adler, anyway. I'll have to look this up, but they asked him like you know, what he thinks of some of these things that people do with it, and he mentioned something that is interesting, that one of the oils, or one of the chemical compounds in coffee can actually increase your LDL cholesterol, which is bad. - Yeah. - Or HDL, it increases your cholesterol in a bad way. And it's a relatively small amount per cup, but this one chemical compound that's in coffee can do that. The paper filters block it, metal filters don't. So if you use a paper filter, you are not drinking that compound. - No. - And so there is actually a health benefit, even though it might be minor, to using a paper filter. To me though, so when I did a side-by-side test, I could not tell a taste difference at all. So that advantage is removed. There is a slight environmental argument to be made for not throwing away all these paper filters after one use. But you still have to make a metal filter and the amount of paper that you use on an AeroPress filter is so small. I would imagine the difference, And paper, of course, is biodegradable and everything, and usually comes from trees that were grown specifically for that purpose. So I would guess that the environmental argument there is not that strong. The metal filter probably does come out ahead in the long run a little bit, but I bet it's a pretty weak argument. The other argument against the metal, though, is convenience. Because if you have a metal filter, that means that after every brew, you have to take the butt cap off the AeroPress, and instead of just popping the whole puck into the garbage like a reasonable human being, and then having almost no cleanup work to do at all, you have to peel that metal filter off the coffee grounds, which is gonna be hot. (laughs) - Yeah, that's it. - It's very inconvenient to remove this, and then you have to rinse it off and wash it and dry it and then put it back. And so it totally changes the convenience of the AirPress. So many people try to make the AirPress less convenient because they think it's better. the whole point of it. - Yeah. - It's convenient and it's like, it just, it seems like one of those things that people do because someone said it would make a difference and in reality, in my opinion, it doesn't. You can try it back to back, brew two different cups at the same time, one with, one without, see if you can tell a difference. I can't and so I can't recommend these filters. It just seems like they make everything harder for not much reason. The one benefit they have that I can say is real is that you can't run out of metal filters. - No, that's right. - Unless you throw it away. So, I mean, the AeroPress comes with 350 filters. - That's right. - And you can get 350 more for about $4 on Amazon whenever you want, or any coffee retailer that sells AeroPresses will usually sell the filters too. And yeah, it's like four bucks for 300 of them. So, you know, if you're going on a trip or something and you don't want to bring paper filters or you don't want to be limited yeah throw a metal filter in the bag too you know yeah but that's the only real argument I have for it and that's not a very strong argument I have two different metal filters and I never use them I never bring them anywhere I just never I just bring a little stack of paper filters I'm going to go on somewhere and that's it. Fair enough so the can because it when you're traveling it's a convenience thing is that because I mean I want to do that cleaning up and drying when you're out and about so. And I'm not even talking about like, you know, bringing the AirPress to a hotel or anything. I'm talking about like bringing it to my mom's house if I'm going there for the day. Like it's like bringing it to a hotel and everything. People do that. Not a lot of people, but some people do that. I have done that. I've tried it. It just has never been worth the hassle. So I, at this point I just bring tea bags or try to get coffee wherever I am that's reasonable. - So you do store bought Starbucks, is that what you're telling me? - Not Starbucks. (laughing) - Just checking. - You know, I'll like, you know, open up the Maps app on my phone and just search for coffee roaster and see what I find. Usually I can't find a real roaster, but usually I find something decent and I'll just go there and that's it. It's no big deal. Fair enough. So with the stainless steel filters though, do you find that they do actually stop all of the grit? Or does some grit get through with those? Or are they pretty good? They mostly do. I mean, and that's part of the problem that I have with the disc filter, the Coava Disc Filter, is that the holes on it were big enough that the grind could actually clog them up. And that's no good. The Caffeology S-Filter does not have that problem. It has an extremely fine mesh that the coffee grounds, in my use of it, coffee grounds were not able to clog it up. And the Coava Disc, I know there's been multiple versions. Please don't email me. Either way, yeah, I mean, sludge was not a problem. coffee grinds getting through them was not a problem. - Okay. - And while we're on the grind size topic, by the way, this is one of the reasons why you need a grinder. - Yes. - The AeroPress, the flavor that you get from it can improve substantially if you make the grind finer. - Yes. - You should be using a grind almost as fine as espresso. Like if you have one of the Baratza grinders, I usually, it has like this big dial that kind of goes from zero to 40, and I usually put mine on six. - Right. idea of like how fine this grind is. Yes. Where a bigger, the larger number is a bigger grind, so it's almost as fine as it goes. Yeah, yeah, my hand grinder is, it has several clicks on its selector for the conical, because it's a conical burr hand grinder, and yeah, it's basically the first click open. That's how fine it is. Yeah, which with a hand grinder makes it take way longer. Yes. Much more effort. I've noticed that, yes. My upper arm strength has improved dramatically recently for no reason I can think of. Anyhow. All right, cool. So, I just want to quickly talk now about steeping time and- Because I've been reading some interesting things about this. I've experimented with it a little bit, and I honestly am not sure what the right answer is, and you've probably got a better idea than me. So, how long do you let it sit? You said you do the aero press and the inverted method. How long do you actually let the hot water sit, just immersed in the grinds, immersed in that hot water before you invert and press it? Not very long, usually less than a minute. Wow, OK. Certainly one minute would be the high end. And you know, like you can- It depends on how you use the air press. You know, the air press is just a tube that lets you plunge coffee at the bottom of it when you're done. And so, you can use it like a French press. And a lot of people do. Where a French press typically has a four minute brew time. You see, you use a nice big grind, you have these pretty large chunks of ground coffee in there, and a four minute brew time to let them slowly steep. I don't like a French press flavor enough to do that. Oh, and by the way, if you are still using a French press and you have never used the AeroPress, let me tell you how you clean an AeroPress. This will sell you. Yeah, that's it. how you clean a French press is horrible yeah how you clean an AeroPress is after you push the coffee out through the bottom of it the grounds are all compressed into a little puck that's it you take the cap off you hold it over the trash can and you hit the back of it like almost as if you hit a glass ketchup bottle to get the ketchup to fall out you just hit the back of it firmly and the puck just pops out into the garbage can and you have an almost perfectly clean AeroPress you just have to like rinse it a little bit and that's it. That's it. And then you're done. And if you wanted to make a second cup you could immediately start that. You don't have to like wait for anything to cool down or rinse anything else out like you could immediately do a second cup if you want to. The downside is that it can pretty much only make one cup at a time. You can if you try really hard you can get it to make two decent cups but it's for the most part you're making one cup at a time. Anyway so you can use an air press like a French press where you use a very large grind and you let it steep for a while before you plunge it out. I don't do that. I think the whole point of an AeroPress is to get a flavor that you can't really get from other methods. It's a more dense, a stronger flavor. Not as strong as espresso, but partially, it's like partway there between drip coffee and espresso. And so it's an extra bold flavor, an extra strong flavor that I find very pleasant and clearly the market agrees because the Airpress does very well these days. And so to get that flavor you need to use a very fine grind. When you're using a very fine grind you don't need long extraction times because you're sitting there like you know trying to brew out the flavor from this grind that is itself so fine it doesn't take long for the flavor to go into solution at that point. So I've read a few articles that say that if you actually leave it in too long, all it does is increase the acidity to a point which it's less pleasant a flavour. It does increase the bitterness because like the different compounds in the bean, like they go into solution at different times, like after different durations of being in water. The first thing to leave the bean is caffeine, which is actually how decaf works. Well, you can get to that if you want. But the very- Like if you put beans in water, the caffeine leaves almost immediately. So, the brew time doesn't really affect the caffeine level. But some of the more bitter compounds leave the bean last. And so the longer you leave it in, the more likely it is that it might become too bitter. So now acid is a different topic. Acidity is widely thrown around. I think it, and it means different things. It could mean like the science version of acid versus base on the pH scale. It could mean that. most people when talking about acid in food are talking about like stomach acid, which is not always correlated to whether it's an acid or a base in the pH scale. Like it is not, that's a different thing. And this is one, I haven't done a lot of research into this with coffee because I haven't had problems with acid, but I think a lot of people are kind of taking advantage of by marketing claims of acid being high or low or less or more with certain beans, certain brews, because the people need, you know, if coffee irritates your stomach or gives you heartburn, or you know, causes the problem for you, you might try a lower acid brew, but I'm not actually sure that helps. I've read things that say both ways. Some people say it helps a lot. Some things I've read say it makes no difference. And the ones that say they make no difference are usually from more credible sources who would know things like this, like medical journals and stuff. So, yeah, I'm inclined to think that the acid level is mostly BS or at least it doesn't do what you hope it does, which is make it easier on your stomach if it has a lower acid level. Yeah, I understand. OK, cool. So, right. So, I just- There are a few more things to talk about. We're almost done. But the funny thing is, there's actually quite a bit to it if you go into the details. So, OK. It's come up a few times. Let's just briefly touch on why decaf tastes worse. I think you've mentioned it earlier. So, yeah, go for it. Yeah. So, the main reasons it tastes worse are economic. So, here's the thing with decaf. There's a few different methods to get the caffeine out of the beans. It is not a separate plant or anything. It's as far as I know, I don't think anyone's come up with one. It's the same coffee beans. They have caffeine when they start and they go through a process to remove the caffeine. There's a few different ways to do it. Check Wikipedia, it'll explain them in detail. The quick version is, usually they are immersed in some kind of chemical solvent or just water before they're roasted. And so, as I mentioned earlier, caffeine goes into solution first. And so, there's either like, you know, either the chemicals you put them in that the caffeine leakage out, but the whole idea is you want to try to remove the caffeine without removing the other flavors in the bean because you're kind of brewing it. So you know you want to leave the other flavors in but remove as much caffeine as you can. This is not a perfect process and the different methods of doing it have different techniques of you know trying to do this properly or well. So you have two problems with decaf. Number one One is that the decaffeination process, just by its nature, will remove some of the flavor and some of the good parts. So the beans usually aren't as fully flavored. The other problem is that the decaf process costs money to do. And so, if you are a coffee vendor or a coffee supplier, you have two choices. You can either charge more for decaf beans, which is what good suppliers, like the specialty nerd suppliers they do. Decaf beans should be more expensive because there has been an extra step performed on them. They are more expensive to produce. But in the marketplace like you know you go to Starbucks or a diner or something and if you try to charge people more for decaf they're not going to like that very much. And so what most people do instead is just use crappier beans. So that way the beans cost less and that cost savings on the beans can offset the cost of the decaf process and so the reason why decaf beans taste bad is usually just because they're worse beans. Yeah, like Robusta or something. Right and then and there's you know there's also like a practical issue of if you are if you are a coffee shop or something and you're selling multiple different brews their specialty single origin all this stuff usually the demand for decaf is far less than for regular if you're in a specialty place like that and so you might only have justification to stock one decaf bean type it'll probably have to be a blend so it'll appeal to most people and you probably won't even sell as much of it so your decaf beans won't be as fresh you know because you won't have as much turnover on them so there's all these all these different practical reasons why like you know in reality decaf usually tastes worse some of it has to do with the process but I think most of it doesn't okay cool well I am I'm going to try my hardest to never have decaf unless there's a really good reason. So, I haven't tried it, so I couldn't tell you, but I trust and believe that it tastes terrible. So, we'll run with that. I mean, it usually isn't terrible. It's usually just incredibly forgettable. It's like, you know, it doesn't have a lot of personality. It's, you know, like a more flat, average, unremarkable flavour because it's just, you know, it's not using great beans in a great way that are usually very fresh. Cool. Fair enough. Okay. So the last thing I just want to talk about really quickly, though, is I guess this is my journey, which has been nowhere near as of the duration of yours, but my coffee journey and where I am at the moment and how it's changed even in three months is I basically will make myself a latte. So I'll do the espresso base using the Aeropress. And I like it to be quite strong. And then I'll mix in and dilute it with some milk, which I've recently got myself a frother, which is one of those ones you push down. It's got two meshes in it. Yes, I know. Go on, laugh. Yeah, it's funny. That's got to be fun to clean, huh? What did my wife say? Gee, that sounds- that seems like an awful lot of trouble, she says. She's right. Yeah, she's right. Anyway, fine. So is roasting yourself. I mean, I can't really argue. Well, there you go. So we're both crazy for different reasons. There you go. Anyhow, so I then I don't like to... I started out with, you know, Equal, Splendour, Stevia, Stevia, whatever, you know, fake sugar, not real sugar. And I put that in there and then I'd put in some some kind of flavour of some kind, like a like a caramel syrup or something like that. And that would be what I would have, because you've got to realise this is where I started. So I started with that was what I would get from Gloria Jeans and I want to replicate that at home. And I've come to the point where now I'm actually reducing the ratio of milk. So I'm actually going to a stronger flavor. So I'm saying it used to be more like one is to five. Now I'm down to one is to three, maybe even half and half to the point at which I'm now going to be, you know, putting less and less milk in. I've given up putting the sweetener in at all. And it's just the syrup. So, I can foresee a time in the not too distant future where I'm going to probably end up forgoing the syrup and I'll end up just having the coffee as my taste is changing. And it's sort of fascinating. One of the things I've noticed, though, is that the flavour of the coffee changes from the first sip all the way to the final sip. And I've got a thermos mug that I keep it in to try and keep it as warm as possible. So, it's not about the temperature of the drink. and it's got something to do with the taste receptors on your tongue being dulled either based on the higher temperature initially or the bitterness not entirely sure which it is. Is that something that you've noticed? Oh definitely, usually the first few sips are the best for me. You might also be seeing part of the problem with that mug, are the walls of it made of stainless steel? Yes. So most insulated mugs have metal walls, and I have found, I have a few myself, I have found that they do, and this applies to like thermos bottles too that don't have glass walls, which is most of them, they do leach a somewhat metallic taste into the coffee, and the longer it's in there, the more you can taste it. It's not very strong, but it is there and you can notice it, and I don't like that flavor, And so that's usually, I will try to avoid using metal walled glasses if I can. And sometimes like if you're on a road trip and you got a travel mug, you know, then, you know, fine, do what you got to do. But I try to avoid it if I can. So you might be seeing some of that as well with it not tasting as good towards the end is just because it's been sitting in this metal thing that does impart some flavor. There is a glass travel mug that I like. It's by a German sounding name, which even though I'm pretty sure the company is not actually German called Grosche it's like it's G-R-O-S-C-H-E I think. Amazon has their travel mugs for like 17 bucks they seem like they're pretty widespread and they are glass double walled travel mugs with the silicone lid so it looks kind of like a coffee travel cup from a from a from a coffee shop and they are they're great for taste but they're bad for everything else that people use travel mugs for. Durability. They don't keep it definitely durability they don't keep it hot for very long because they're not that well insulated. Between the two glass walls is not a vacuum and the lid is just a silicone lid that you stick on top. So it's not very well insulated. You can't, you know, it's always somewhat open because the lid has a small sipping hole in it. So you can't like turn it on its side, put it under your arm or anything, otherwise it'll spill out. So as a travel mug, it's not very practical for long-term keeping. It is good if you're like, "I just made one cup of coffee and I'm going somewhere that's going to take me 20 minutes to drive to, I'd like to drink it on the way. It's fine for that, but otherwise it's not great. The best travel mugs I have found are the Contigo brand, which are similar, 12, 13 bucks, something like that. They have a nice little button you push to unlock it to sip, and otherwise a Contigo mug that is not having the button pushed on it at that moment, you can do anything to it. You can like put it in a bag like you can do anything to it and it won't leak so it's awesome So I love those for that anyway Where did this even start I forget but but you were talking about your brewing yes, I'll just happy put into it Yes, I was adding all of that unnecessary stuff that is laughable to someone that's been drinking You know coffee for a while, and you know so I guess what I'd like to know is now you've heard it I started there, too. Yeah, well I'd like to hear how you would what do you add to your coffee if anything it sounds like you've got much Nothing, I mean so I think I add water to my coffee So people always ask me how I brew and if I've ever written it up before and the answer is no because I don't really Care and you know everyone's gonna brew differently, but if you want I'll tell you how I brew yeah So first thing is I weigh the beans to know how much to put in and this is something that you can I? I didn't have a kitchen scale until I started becoming a coffee nerd like this and wanted to weigh my beans. But you can get a kitchen scale, again, you know, 20 bucks on Amazon, maybe even less, depending on what model you pick. Yeah, get a kitchen scale that is sensitive enough to show you grams. You don't even need fractional grams, it isn't that important, just grams. And it changes everything when you have that because, first of all, your coffee gets better because you can make a much more consistent cup. I don't know how many scoops you need because the there is no standard size of a scoop and every like coffee bag or device that comes with a scoop they're all different sizes yeah and similarly like the cups measurement on the side of coffee pots those are not cups those are arbitrary measurements sometimes they're like a cup of liquid is eight ounces that's a cup on a coffee pot might be six or five or seven or eight it doesn't no one there is no standard usually they're small, usually they're like five or six, but it is not a standard. So, you know, it's important for you to be able to, if you find a way to make coffee that you like, you probably want to reproduce it. And it's nice to not have so much variation in the two most important measures, which is how much coffee is there and how much water is there. Those, that makes the biggest difference to the taste of any other factor. So you should at least not be shooting in the dark with that. You should know what you're doing. So that way you can make adjustments to get what you want and then you can reproduce what you want. So the easiest way to know how much coffee you're putting in is to weigh it, simple as that. Technically, darker roasts weigh less per bean than lighter roasts 'cause they have a little bit less water in them. It's a very, very small difference, probably doesn't matter. and you know, because the range of water content between light and dark is such a, it's such a small range there, it probably doesn't matter. So you can temporarily ignore that unless you're really hardcore, which I'm not. Again, it probably doesn't matter. So anyway, I use between 8 and 12 grams of coffee beans for a cup made in the Arab press. That is not a lot. If you get a cup from like a fancy pour-over place like Stumptown or Blue Bottle, they probably use more like 20 to 30 grams for even a small. That is a lot. I can't take that much caffeine. If I get a cup from... if I get just a small coffee, a small drip coffee from Starbucks or Blue Bottle or any of those places, I can't drink the whole thing. If I drink the whole thing, I'll get all crazy feeling and fevery and buzzy. I can't like I can't even finish one small coffee from those places. It's way too much coffee, way too much caffeine for me. And if... and I'm not the only one. Whenever I say this, I hear from a lot of people saying, "Oh my God I have the same problem with like Starbucks coffee where I can't like I can't believe how people drink that because I can't so if you are like this you are not alone anyway so 8 to 12 grams depending on how much caffeine I want basically do I want you know a lot or a little and it's well it's all relative you know it's not yet again it's we're talking to you know a 50% range here so anyway 8 to 12 and then I use an inverted air press so I set it up upside down and I align it so that the the black ring of the plunger yeah you know in in the press you can look at where it lines up with the numbers whereas like if you line it up with the three and then fill up the press then that's gonna be a certain amount of water if you line it up with the four that's gonna be more water you know so I line it up so that the plunger is at the three for a for an 8 gram cup if I want 12 grams I'll put it on the four okay And then I will boil water. I don't care if it's 202 degrees, 205 degrees. - So you don't control the temperature. - I don't control the temperature, I just boil it. Because that's one of those things that I have tried. I've experimented with different temperatures. And even the guy who invented the AeroPress says 180, which is a very, very big difference. And I found it matters a lot for green tea, which I like. I have found in my coffee making that The difference between 200 and 212 boiling, sorry this is all Fahrenheit, the difference between 205 and 212 which is what people seem to think for specialty coffee, I can't tell that difference. I can tell the difference from 180 to 212, but I don't like the flavor of 180. It dulls the flavor in a way that many people find pleasing, but the things that 180, the components that get muted by that are flavors I like and so I go to 212 I just boil it because it's easier it's you know I don't need a fancy kettle or anything I just have like a typical $10 glass kettle that I've had for years and it's no big deal right so I boil the water I pour it I don't bloom I just pour it most of the way in the only the only reason I won't go all the way to the top on the very first pour is that if I did it would overflow with the with the foaming up that happens because the beans are fresh yeah so I pour it most the way to the top, stir it, top it off, wait, you know, 10, 15 extra seconds, maybe 30 if I'm feeling generous, and then put the cap on and plunge it into a cup. I don't plunge extremely slowly like some people do, I just plunge, you know, medium speed. You can tell this is, I don't do it in an extremely fussy way. The most fussy thing I do is probably measuring the coffee. But I don't consider that a bad thing. And the reason why I do it this way is first of all because it's quick and easy and the things that make it more complex, as I said, are things that I don't notice a difference for in the resulting cup. And I measure the beans by weight, but because I measure the amount of water by just filling up the AeroPress inverted either to the plunger at 3 or the plunger at 4, depending on the bean quantity, I don't have to measure the water then. Because the AeroPress, I'm filling it up. So I don't need to weigh the water or measure. Some people have to do to boil exactly 200 milliliters of water. I don't need to do that. I can just measure one thing basically. And it's easy. And it takes five minutes at most. Most of the time is waiting for the water to boil. It's a really simple process. And as I mentioned before, I use a very fine grind. use, you know, almost as fine as your grinder can do it. And, you know, one stir. I don't do a fancy stirring technique, which is very popular among certain crowds. Yeah, you can't stir it. I have not found that to matter. You can't stir it more than five times, apparently, because otherwise that destroys the flavour completely. That's what I read. Come on, really? Yeah, you can read a lot of crap about this. Oh, my God. If you can tell the difference, fine, do it. But I can't. So, I think we're doing- You know, the coffee world is doing itself a disservice by being like so snobby about how these things are done and so pretentious. Yeah. And this is... I'm glad you said that, because that's exactly where I wanted to almost wrap this up, is that everyone has their own opinion about what the best way is, and that's fine. You know, it's a free world. Well, parts of it are free. The point is that, yes, you can believe what you want, you can do what you want. If it's placebo effect, if you actually have special taste buds on your tongue that you can actually tell the damn difference. Well, that's great. You know, I'm happy for you. But the reason that people do this, the reason you're doing it, the reason I'm doing it, I think is we want something that is consistent. We know exactly what's going into it, and we want to remove that variability. I mean, if you go out and you get store-bought coffee, even from Starbucks to Starbucks, and I know you'd never drink Starbucks, but let's just say you did, they're going to be different because they've got different baristas doing it their own way. Even if it's the same physical hardware, you don't know how old the beans are, you don't know if they were ground recently, or you just don't know. So there's too many variables. And then, of course, you throw into that, okay, well, I'm not going to go to Starbucks because I hate Starbucks. And I understand that, fair enough. So I'll go to this other shop or that other shop. And you got all these different cafes and they're all completely different, varying levels of coffee. There's no consistency. It's all highly variable. So I think the reason that people do their own coffee in the way that they want to control it is We figure out the way that we like it so we can keep making it the way we like it. We take the variability out of the equation. We take control of it. And that's all I think it's about. I mean, is that how you see it? Oh, definitely. And, and I would, I would hate myself if I didn't bring up this one topic. I know we're trying to wrap up, but, um, it's also worth pointing out, um, when you're going to different cafes or buying coffee beans or anything, the way they advertise the flavors and the way they describe the flavors is usually complete BS. You know, they'll have these names like "bold breakfast blend". Yeah. Well, what does that mean exactly? Can I have a breakfast blend later in the day? No, you can't do that. What does breakfast taste like? It is not a very helpful description usually. Or they'll say like, you know, "mountain fresh breeze". You know, it sounds like deodorant scents. It's like what you look at the descriptions of coffee flavors. Okay, what does that mean? And usually it's not quantifiable. Usually these are they're not using well-defined terms. Usually the terms are using are meant to evoke a marketing feeling in your mind. They are manipulative terms purely for marketing sake meant to evoke a certain pleasant thing for you. Yeah, and they have enough of a variety of these terms to appeal to any mood you might be in or any person you want to be or any flavor that you think you might want even though most of them taste differently from what they're advertised because what they're advertised is not quantifiable and and a lot of them like you know if they if they a lot of it is the power of suggestion if they tell you this flavor tastes like bold mountain sports you're going to think that flavor tastes like bold mountain sports when you drink you're like oh yeah I do feel like I'm climbing a mountain and you know Colorado like you're gonna think that right and yeah and it's and most of those descriptions are complete and utter BS the big the biggest thing that matters in a bean in how it tastes to you first of all the biggest thing that matters is how it's brewed and how fresh it is but the difference between different different beans the biggest thing that matters is where it was grown that's where you will see the biggest difference yeah being grown in say Kenya tastes very different from a bean grown in Colombia or Brazil. There's all these different countries and anything labeled a blend means it is not just one country's beans. It is a blend of different origins. Single origin means it's from one place. This is one batch from one farm usually grown at the same time, packed at the same time, everything else. So usually the blends taste like what you'd expect it's like a more average unremarkable taste the single origins have like certain certain like strong flavors that might not be present in all coffees that certain origins will have that flavor certain origins won't or it'll be different balances or whatever so they're they're necessarily less agreeable to the general public yeah the general public will want the average if you average everyone out but if you can figure out what you like then you can get a really good roast like my favorite by far is Kenya. I love Kenya beans. And they have to be roasted relatively dark, to a full city level. Maybe even a little bit darker than that to get the flavor that I like out of them. But not everyone likes that. You might like Colombia, you might like Brazil, you might like, Costa Rica is another high point of mine. I like Costa Rica a lot. And there's so many places coffee is grown, so you can find what matters. But if you go into a coffee shop, You know if it's a fancy coffee shop and they'll say oh, you know this is an Ethiopian blah blah blah That is that is useful information to you Yeah That actually can give you a pretty good idea once you've had a couple Ethiopians you can have a pretty good idea of what that Will probably taste like yeah, and whether you like it or not yeah But Mountain Fresh is less likely to be helpful right if you know the description of like you know like espresso blend That means nothing no espresso is not a different type of bean no - I know, I didn't get that either. - That doesn't mean anything. Usually they use it to mean it's roasted dark, but that doesn't necessarily always correlate. The descriptions are all over the place and they are almost always meaningless. And they are almost always just marketing terms invented to evoke a particular placebo in you that is not reflected in the actual bean. And if they have to resort to those terms, usually it's 'cause the beans aren't very good. - Yeah. Well, ultimately, I think that it comes back to, you have a choice if you make it yourself to get beans specifically from different parts of the world. If you want to go to the next step and roast them yourself, that's fine. But you know, that's great. If you want to do that, go for it, Marco. But most people are just going to buy them pre-roasted and, you know, probably get a darker roast, different range of roast. You can pick and choose and get just the one you like. And I guess that's where I really want to wrap this up is, it's about control of what you're drinking. And, you know, some people say, "Oh, it's just coffee. Just go grab a coffee from the shop." And it's like, "Well, yeah, of course I could do that. Sure." But if I'm going to spend some time and drink something, I want it to be nice. I don't want to just drink crap and for the sake of, "Oh, I've had a coffee. I really need a coffee, so I'm just going to go and grab whatever's handy." So, if I have a choice, I will always make my own because now I know enough to make a consistently good cup that I like. I'm still learning and I've got a long way to go. And I haven't even tried, you know, coffee from different parts of the world yet. I've just I've got some Ethiopian stuff and I've got some from Vitoria coffee and Vitoria not actually being a country. I have no idea where the hell it's from, but never mind that. So, it's about control. And I find that there's people perceive, other people perceive you and I for doing the stuff that we're doing as like we're taking this over the top or it's way too far or it's, you know, we're some kind of, you know, nutbags for doing this. But I don't see it that way at all, at least certainly not anymore. Now I understand that it's about controlling the consistency of what you want to drink. If you don't care, then just, you know, like what you eat, what you drink, go to McDonald's and be happy, you know, whatever. Eat crap, drink crap. I don't care. Fine. But as for me, I'd like to take a few extra minutes grinding by hand and doing it myself. I'm still gonna make fun of you for the grinding by hand. I know I'm gonna cop that now for the rest of my life. Yeah, yeah. There's no upside. It's therapeutic anyway. Okay, so on that note, I just want to quickly mention before we go your Overcast, which is a podcatcher and if you don't like the name podcatcher, podcast playback application, whatever. You can play all your netcasts in it. You can play your netcast. Wow, cool, man. That's like cutting it. It's cool. Anyway, so honestly, I think it's an awesome app. Compared to other apps out there like Castro and downcast, I find it's a very nice compromise app that gives you, it's a beautiful, nice, simple interface. But at the same time, it's still quite powerful. And there's little features in there like smart speed that I really, really enjoy and I've come to depend on. So, it only came out yesterday, so it's hot off the press. It is free to download and there is an in-app purchase to unlock some of the extra features, but you can sample them for periods of time to see if they're what you want. And honestly, for what you get for that price of free, it's fantastic. So, I think you should check it out and thanks. I think we've done coffee to death there, Marco. So, if you want to talk to more about this, you can reach me on Twitter @johnchidgui and check out my writing at If you'd like to send any feedback, and you may have some about coffee, who knows, please use the feedback form on the website and that's where you'll also find the show notes for this episode on the podcast Pragmatic. You can also follow Pragmatic Show on Twitter to see show announcement and other related materials. I'd also like to thank our sponsors for this episode. First of all, ManyTricks for if you're looking for some Mac software that can do many tricks, remember to specifically visit this URL, for more information about their amazingly useful apps. And use the discount code Pragmatic25 for 25% off the total price of your order. Hurry, it is only for a limited time. And I'd also like to thank LifeX for sponsoring the show. If you're looking for a great LED light bulb that's energy efficient, remotely controllable, colorful, and just plain fun to use. Remember specifically to visit this URL lifex spelled li slash pragmatic and use the coupon code pragmatic for 15% off the total price of your order. I'd just like to say a very special thank you also to Marco for joining me on the show and you taught me quite a bit I did not know and dispelled a lot of myths about coffee. So thank you very much for coming on. And if people do need to get in touch with you, and they still don't know how to get in touch with you, how would they do that? Best place is to use Twitter @marcoarment or you can go to my blog if you forget any of this information and want to spend hours reading really geeky stuff that you probably might not like. Thanks for that Marco and thanks for listening everyone. Thanks it's been fun. (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] People are going to listen to this thing and think "Marco, we're going to talk about overcast, we're going to talk about software or something" and I don't know. I talk about that everywhere else. Yeah, exactly. I can't do coffee on my show because neither of them drink coffee.
Duration 1 hour, 41 minutes and 31 seconds Direct Download
Episode Sponsors:

LIFX: LIFX is a smart lightbulb that gives you previously unheard of control of your lighting. Each bulb is Wi-Fi enabled, can give you light in whatever colour of the rainbow you like, and is an energy efficient LED light bulb that you can control with your smartphone. For developers LIFX are running a competition with great prizes please check it out and submit your app by the 25th of July, 2014. Visit and use the Coupon Code PRAGMATIC for 15% off the total price of your order.

Show Notes

Caffeine systematic name: 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione; aka 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine aka 1,3,7-trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine

Check out his new podcast playing app Overcast site and the [App Store Link] as well as my review.

Some Useful Links:

Marcos Coffee Equipment & Recomendations:

Johns Coffee Equipment:

The Tweets That Started This Episode:

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Marco Arment

Marco Arment

Marco writes at his site and has a podcast with friends called the Accidental Tech Podcast each week.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.