Supreme Coffee’s Al Keating talks homebrew coffee

Lockdown has resulted in a lot of us really missing our morning flat white. We asked Al to give us the inside scoop on how to make the perfect brew at home.

Every morning when I get up, I head to the kitchen and make coffee for my wife and me on our Moccamaster. It’s a drip coffee machine that we’ve had for years. Easy enough to operate that my kids can make us a brew, too.

I get sent coffee from our roastery in Wellington. It arrives every Tuesday morning on the courier in a brown craft bag. I try to lessen plastic and, because I have a handy little tin, I pour it straight into that.

I get whatever they send me. I have a few favourites and I’m always delighted when I open the box and see one of those. But I’m not super fussy. I don’t love natural coffees, heaps. They can be fun for a taste but a mug of natural I find less enjoyable than a nice, clean Ethiopian.

I don’t use scales, just a little scoop. I know that’s probably not how a coffee person should brew, but I’ve mastered the scoop-to-water ratio.

I enjoy my morning coffee from one of my favourite mugs. There’s a few, but I definitely have one that I reach for first.

It’s not a flash one, but I like it enough that I might even rummage through the dirty dishwasher for it.

Sometimes, when you’ve rinsed it and wiped it out with a tea towel, you sniff it and it has that quite-bad teatowel smell that you remember from when you worked at a stink smorgasbord restaurant in the early 90s.

My mug collection has taken me years to assemble. They’re from all around the world, from coffee companies and diners and hotels that I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Remember travelling overseas? Man, that might be something we just tell our kids about.

Then I get some toast — Vogel’s is our go-to, especially now that our favourite bakery up the road is closed for a bit. Daily Bread: Tom, Josh, Pat, Al, Emily and Jono — if you’re reading this, hang tight — we’ll be the first at your door when you reopen. One Pioneer Loaf, please.

Mum always used to make me get a plate but these days — I eat my toast straight off the board.

The only downside if you butter directly onto the board is, when the butter melts through the bread and then goes hard, you have to rub it off in the sink with your stinky dry chux cloth.

Those sourdough loaves with the massive holes are the worst for that. They can be a real challenge choosing the best spot on the bread to apply the butter.

If you’re making a sandwich with bread like that, and you use mayo or aioli, that can be even worse, leaving mayo (or aioli) all over the board and your fingers.

And often those loaves are baked as round or ‘domed’ shapes, so it’s very rare to get two pieces that are the same size or have the same surface area. For that reason those loaves are better for toasting than they are for sandwiches.

That’s pretty much my morning coffee routine.

In the sun.

Always better in the sun.

COFFEESUPREME.COM

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