Food & Dining

Kitchen Whiz: National Barista Champ Michael Harris Conlin On Brewing Better Coffee At Home

Kitchen Whiz: National Barista Champ Michael Harris Conlin On Brewing Better Coffee At Home

Coffee lovers enjoy making their own cup of coffee at home as part of their morning ritual. While some go with their usual ratios and ingredients, 2019 National Barista Champion Michael Harris Conlin—who now has his own barista school Institute for Coffee Excellence—says maybe it's time to experiment.

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It was a great honour and privilege to be able to represent Philippines on the world stage during the 20th World Barista Championships in Boston, MA. We made history by being the first ever Filipino Barista to enter the semi-finals and feature Philippine coffee in the world stage and placing as the top 15th barista in the world. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all in uniting together and joining us in our mission of creating a fully sustainable coffee economy, by producing, ordering, consuming and loving Philippine specialty coffee you are already contributing to a beautiful coffee future for Philippines. When farmers respect the land, roasters respect the crop, baristas respect the beans and create a beautiful experience for the consumer then we can ensure the long term sustainability of our ???? coffee industry. ??: @baristaian #beautifulcoffeefuture #maketheordinaryextraordinary #itsmorefuninphilippines #teamphilippines #baristamagazine #splurgemagazine #fullysustainable #mindfulness #worldcoffeeevents #kapekabuhayankinabukasan #ilovephilippines #baristamagazine

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“What I have learned during my journey to becoming a national champion is there are no hard rules. There is no such thing as not allowed in coffee,” he tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. “I’ve done it all. I’ve frozen coffee, I’ve ground coffee twice, I’ve used crazy ratios like 3:1, I’ve tried grinding my coffee, freezing it, and then grinding it again. I have even made coffee wine!”

If you’re looking to add a health boost into it, Conlin suggests skipping the sugar. “If you brew coffee well, you can make it sweet. The goal in barista competitions is to get the perfect balance. The sweeter, the better, without adding any sugar,” he reveals. “It comes down to adjusting your grind size and getting your extraction right that your bitterness and your acidity are just balanced. If you can get your sweetness as high as you can—that’s the perfect shot.” 

[related: In Focus: National Barista Champ Michael Harris Conlin On The Risks Of Drinking Instant Coffee]

Instead of drinking it right out of the roaster, Conlin suggests setting it aside for a week first. “When you’re roasting coffee, you’re putting a lot of heat on the coffee. You’re putting it at 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit and you’re transforming it,” he continues. “Let’s say it’s raw and you put so much heat in 15 minutes, the molecules are still jumping around. Once you cool it, it’s still transforming. You have to give it some time. Seven days is good but we found that fourteen days are the best.”

ALSO READ: ABS-CBN Lifestyle Asks LGBTQIA+ Couples: Why The Passage Of The SOGIE Equality Bill Is Undebatable

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