My name is Mike Jones, and I’m a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City. I’m going to teach you some basic coffee-making skills.
So, what sort of beans should you be buying to make coffee at home? This is kind of a tricky question because it depends on who is offering coffee in the area that you’re at, as well as are they doing a good job. And unfortunately, there’s no real way to tell until you buy it and taste it, unless you have some feedback from someone you trust or someone you know. But one kind of guideline to look for—it’s not 100% guaranteed but a lot of grocers that are good in recent years have started moving to this trade program called Direct Trade, which is sort of a catch-all phrase to describe when the roaster is working directly with a farmer. So they’re actually going there visiting once or twice a year. They have a relationship, they can guarantee that it’s quality, they often will actually invest in that farm and help them to get their quality of their coffee up. So basically, if you were to search for roasters that have a Direct Trade program, you can at least contact them and see if you can buy online or if they’re selling in your area. That’s what I would definitely recommend as a place to start. Just search for that and then kind of take it from there.