A Very Deep Dive on Coffee w/ Sam Higby of First Ascent (Ep.2)

Finally. The coffee episode. This week on GEAR:30, we’re doing a deep dive on coffee with Sam Higby of First Ascent. We discuss the difference between good and bad instant coffee; light roasts vs. dark roasts (and what some dark roasts have in common with hot sauce or double IPAs); the brewing process & brewing at altitude; how to make great coffee on a budget; and more.
The first of many cups of First Ascent coffee at our editor's porch.

Exactly one year ago this week, we published a conversation about coffee on our GEAR:30 podcast (episode 158). And since that conversation is very much the spiritual predecessor of our new CRAFTED podcast, we wanted to give it a home in this CRAFTED feed, too.

While we are big fans of First Ascent’s beans, they might be best known for their instant coffee. So in this conversation, First Ascent owner and coffee roaster, Sam Higby discusses the difference between very good and very bad instant coffee; light roasts vs. dark roasts; the brewing process; brewing coffee at altitude; how to make great coffee on a budget; and more.

So today, we are running back our coffee conversation with Sam Higby, and then next week, we recorded a conversation on site from the best brewery in Park City. It’s pretty small, it’s quite new, but they are making extremely good beer. So stay tuned for that one, and I’ll tell you at the very end of this episode which brewery it is that I’m talking about.


3 comments on “A Very Deep Dive on Coffee w/ Sam Higby of First Ascent (Ep.2)”

  1. I wonder if anyone has explored the possibility of semi-instant coffee. For lack of a better description. But I don’t drink that much coffee, but I do appreciate a good cup if I am going to have some. If I buy a bag of good coffee, I never drink enough before it goes bad. It’d be interesting if someone sold vacuumed sealed small batches of coffee. One pot packages. Could that be done?

  2. I placed my order with First Ascent. Every now and then I need a quick cup before I run to the airport. I don’t want to grind and go through the whole process of making a cup. So I’m curious to try out their instant coffee. Order placed and let’s see. Thanks for the rest of the good information given during the podcast. I know I learned a lot. I also enjoyed all the Bobak callouts. Since I know Bobak that was fun to hear. Thanks for the content and I enjoyed it.

  3. It was wonderful to hear this episode again. This summer I thru hiked the Colorado Trail and I would stop about a third of the way through my day and enjoy a cup of First Ascent. I shared it with many other hikers and all were blown away by how much better is in than VIA or the other crap. It is also significantly more expensive at about $20 for 8 packets. I found it at REI in Denver and an outfitter in Breck.
    Some hikers just pop a couple Excedrin in the morning. Don’t ask me how I know.
    I now order beans from First Ascent, so good!
    In the episode you mention a link in the show notes to a roaster and their “pie chart”…. I don’t see it?

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