Brewing at Residence and On the Highway with Darrin Daniel

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We verify in with the Cup of Excellence government director to be taught his present coffee-brewing habits.


Featured photograph by Emre by way of Unsplash

Brewing espresso is, for a lot of espresso professionals, greater than only a job.  

They normally brew espresso every single day, each for themselves and their prospects. Maybe they do it with the aim of attempting out a brand new “sizzling” roastery on the town. Maybe it’s to verify the roast profile on a contemporary batch, or to share a brand new video on social media.

However they don’t simply brew espresso once they work. Quite the opposite, many espresso professionals do it even when they’re at dwelling enjoyable, or when they’re touring. 

The coffee bar inside Rockaway Roastery. There are swivel bar chairs, a naturally shaped wood countertop and La Marzocco machine. A bowl of oranges sits on the counter.
Inside Rockaway Roastery. Picture courtesy of Darrin Daniel.

Darrin Daniel at Residence in Portland

Darrin Daniel, government director of each the Alliance for Espresso Excellence and Cup of Excellence, splits his days between Portland and Rockaway Seaside, Oregon. He additionally spends a whole lot of time on the street. 

When he’s at dwelling, he normally brews utilizing a Kalita Wave flat backside or a Chemex.  

“That is nearly all the time the case,” Darrin shares. “I lately opened a café (Rockaway Roastery) together with my spouse on the Oregon Coast, so recently I’ve been going out to our espresso store in Rockaway Seaside and making a small 6 oz. cappuccino or macchiato, utilizing a PB two-group La Marzocco.” 

A Kalita Wave pourover device. It sits on top of a Stumptown Coffee diner mug on a kitchen counter in front of a toaster.
The Kalita Wave. Picture courtesy of Darrin Daniel.

However he additionally loves visiting different specialty-coffee retailers. When he’s in Portland, he says, “I do head to espresso retailers, and I normally order the identical drinks I discussed.”

On the Highway

Darrin positively loves brewing his espresso and, whether or not he’s visiting pals or household, or headed someplace on a visit, he all the time travels along with his espresso gear. 

Having to decide on the espresso instruments he can’t journey with out, Darrin has clear concepts. “Clearly the Kalita brewer and the Comandante grinder … which is normally sufficient to handle me completely. Typically, if I wish to have some enjoyable, I add the AeroPress, too.” 

Darrin Daniel reliably brings alongside his espresso gear when on the street. Picture courtesy of Darrin Daniel.

However touring isn’t nearly brewing espresso in a resort room, or at some espresso occasion: Touring can be about exploring the native espresso scene. 

Espresso folks normally try the state of affairs of the specialty-coffee they may discover at their vacation spot earlier than the journey. This may increasingly contain consulting specialised web sites, asking different espresso professionals for recommendations, and even making a map of locations to go to on an upcoming journey. 

For Darrin, quite the opposite, this normally is just not mandatory. “Until I’m going someplace the place there’s a member of our group I wish to try and help,” he says, he doesn’t typically try cafés whereas touring.  

Go Industrial?

However what about Darrin’s relationship with “business” espresso? If there aren’t any specialty-coffee retailers round, is it OK for him to only have a “common” cup of espresso? 

“I’d reasonably do with out it, to be trustworthy. I’ve discovered many coffees on the business facet to have secondary or main defects, so they’re actually undrinkable. Plus, as I stated, I by no means journey with out my espresso gear!”

As a remaining suggestion on one of the simplest ways to brew espresso on the go, Darrin leaves us with a easy tip—good for each espresso lover on the market, irrespective of the extent, or the brewer of alternative. “Apply makes good!”


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the espresso machine (or visiting some hidden nook of the world), she’s busy writing for Espresso Revolt, an internet site about specialty espresso that she’s creating alongside together with her boyfriend.

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