The extent to which Americans guzzle coffee — random coffee, mediocre coffee, whatever coffee is most readily available in the office kitchen or nearest Starbucks — belies the expertise and sheer nerdery that can go into making coffee. Bean varieties, grind styles, brewing timing, water quality — the number of variables at play seems endless, as does the number of methods.
Which is why it doesn’t hurt to ask an expert. Charles Babinski is the cofounder of Go Get Em Tigerin Los Angeles — which consists of several GGET coffee shop locations and a roasting operation — and the kind of coffee pro who frequents (and wins) barista competitions. These days, one of Babinski’s favorite approaches for brewing involves what he describes as “a basic, rudimentary tool,” the Melodrip.