If your weekend was anything like mine, it may have included one (or two?) too many margaritas. To help perk up your Monday morning, here's a selection of some of my very favorite coffee videos: I always play through this caffeinated list when I'm feeling a little bit, shall we say, sluggish to start.
How to Make Vietnamese Coffee
How do you make something as sexy and luscious as creamy, sweet Vietnamese-stye coffee even sexier and more luscious? If you're Eric Slatkin of High Beam Media, you put it over a totally killer soundtrack of trippy fusion jazz, and drop some fact bombs on us about Vietnam's coffee production, and how sweetened condensed milk got thrown into the caffeinated mix.
Coffee Break (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
In Ethiopia, an invitation to someone's home for a coffee is not an instant affair by any means. In most households throughout the country—which, incidentally, is the beans' birthplace—the brew is made in a ceremonial way, often by the woman with the highest rank or level of respect in the family. The coffee is washed, roasted, ground, and brewed directly before serving, in a process that can take fully a half hour to complete.
What's most beautiful about this video is the perfect marriage of semi-sacred tradition—the methodical and meticulous preparation of the coffee and popcorn—with quiet, contemporary domestic life. That the whole thing takes place without comment on the worn linoleum of a family's kitchen floor speaks to how ingrained this seemingly laborious and deliberate process is, as well as how relatively casual it can be.
My boss Peter Giuliano, co-owner of Counter Culture Coffee, knows a thing or two about brewing great coffee at home. (I know because he's one of the people who's done the most to make me better at it, and I manage to make a pretty mean coffee at 6 a.m., if I may say so myself.) If you want to learn how to up your pour-over game, you can't do much better than following Peter's helpful advice.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Kenya
This stunningly gorgeous short film about Kenyan coffee is one of my favorite reminders that there are people at every single stage of a coffee bean's life: Hands planting the trees, picking the cherry, drying and sorting the beans, packing and hauling sacks of them, telling the story of the harvest—and still managing to live the rest of their full, busy lives. Coffee is a very human beverage, and the humans behind it are inspiring. Let this video put some faces to your daily mug.
The AeroPress "Ritual"
In one completely delightful minute, Sandwich Video's Adam Lisagor lets us in on his morning AeroPress ritual: Weighing, grinding brewing, pressing, and letting out the kind of ecstatic primal scream most of us are probably all too familiar with upon our first sip of the day.
Syphon Coffee at Intelligentsia Coffee
Certainly one of the most dramatic and theatrical ways to make a cup of coffee, syphon (or siphon) brewing can also be somewhat elusive to most folks. Broken down into fully accessible and digestible steps by barista Chris Owens (who has since left the Intelligentsia Coffee featured in the video to co-found Handsome Coffee Roasters), this seemingly alchemical brewing style suddenly ceases defying logic, even as it still defies a bit of gravity.
French Press Technique
When I first saw this video by former World Barista Champion and Square Mile Coffee Roasters owner James Hoffmann, my then-French-press-hating mind was blown. The idea that press-pot coffee could be virtually without silt, the flavors unmuddled by heavy coffee oils and my teeth free of errant coffee grounds...well, it just seemed too good to be true. (But it is true, and it is delicious.)
Do you have any videos to add to this playlist? (Sometimes you just need a little extra kick, ya know?)
About the author: Erin Meister trains baristas and inspires coffee-driven people for Counter Culture Coffee. She's a confident barista, an audacious eater, and a smiling runner, but she remains a Nervous Cook.