A Very Deep Dive on Coffee (Ep.158)

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 at our managing editor's porch in Crested Butte, Colorado.


You had to know we’d do this, right? This week, I sat down in Blister HQ with the person I’ve talked with the most (and who has taught me the most) about coffee this past year, Sam Higby, of First Ascent Coffee. So I wanted to get you, my fellow coffee-loving gear dorks, in on the conversation. And even if you aren’t coffee obsessed, the science and art of coffee making is inherently fascinating, so I think any curious person will enjoy learning more about Sam’s time in the outdoor industry and in the coffee business; 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 roasting process; the brewing process; brewing at altitude; how to make great coffee on a budget; and more.

TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Sam’s background (5:44)
  • First Ascent Coffee (10:09)
  • History of instant coffee & what makes it good or bad (11:33)
  • Light Roasts vs Dark Roasts (23:44)
  • The roasting process (32:19)
  • Q Graders vs Sommeliers (35:49)
  • Hot sauce, hops, & dark roasts (38:42)
  • Brewing at altitude (43:39)
  • Grinding & Grinders (47:29)
  • Extraction / grind size (52:43)
  • Different brewing methods (52:43)
  • How to do good coffee on a budget (1:03:33)
  • What We’re Celebrating (1:11:16)

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