In the last four (or has it been five?) weeks, scores of new work from homers scurried around the internet, hunting for desk chairs for their aching backs and booze for their anxious minds. What could be more important? According to my inbox and Gear Patrol’s Instagram DMs, coffee. Questions about drip machines. Questions about French press. Questions about cold brew. Questions about grinders. Thankfully, no questions about K-Cups.
To all of you who have reached out, and you are not alone, I have one recommendation: consume everything on James Hoffmann’s Youtube channel.
Hoffmann, whose last name is so often misspelled there is a bot lurking in the /r/coffee subreddit that corrects those who misspell it, is the co-founder of specialty coffee roaster in the UK, a coffee industry consultant, the author of a very handy book on coffee, a former World Barista Champion and I’m sure many other things. But to me and now more than 250,000 other subscribers, he’s a quirky, quiet Brit with nice sweaters and a knack for breaking down the many whys of coffee.
The channel is home to more than 170 videos on the subject of coffee, including how-tos (The Ultimate French Press Technique), guides for beginners (A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Tasting) and trend explainers for you to regurgitate to your friends for social credit (Dalgona Coffee – Explained and Upgraded). The only constants are coffee, techno-café licensed music and Hoffmann’s charming and blunt attitude.
From a technical perspective, Hoffmann’s channel doesn’t reinvent the wheel — there’s clean audio, plenty of B-roll of coffee splashing about and the lighting is, shall we say, stark. The difference, to me at least, is Hoffmann’s relaxed disposition. There aren’t constant like-comment-subscribe asks and there aren’t the in-jokes longtime viewers of other channels enjoy, but often shirk newer subscribers.
I implore you to subscribe to James Hoffmann’s Youtube channel. Whether you’re interested in the history of coffee, methods to make better coffee at home or the gear you need (and, in some cases, don’t) to make it happen, you’ll leave smarter than you came.
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