The fine folks at Mistobox, a poly-roaster coffee sampler subscription service, have been quietly amassing quite an impressive set of accessible, consumer-focused coffee educational materials.
With the recent addition of a series of in-depth video brew-guides for the Aeropress, Chemex, Clever, French Press, and Hario V60, their site just may be one of the best sources of consumer coffee education on the internet.
Their new guides, made in collaboration with the creative folks at Ah Diós, strike a great balance. They didn’t cut any corners on the details: the techniques are as comprehensive and technical as something you might find in a big-time roaster’s internal training documents. But Mistobox clearly put a lot of effort into making them accessible and easy to follow, with the videos carefully walking you through each step, leaving some of the more finicky numbers and other details in the accompanying text to make sure the videos are succinct and easy to follow.
Maybe the best feature of the whole situation is their awesome visual guide to grind-size in each brew-method video. Grind size is one of those things that can be really hard to communicate to customers, with the answer often being left at a nebulous variation on “coarse-ish, and if it drains too slow, it’s too fine.” If you’ve worked on a brew-bar and made eight million Chemexes and Aeropresses, you can get a strong intuitive feel for appropriate grind size, but Mistobox’s visual guide is a great shortcut to that knowledge.
The people at Mistobox are really going the distance when it comes to sharing knowledge that used to be the purview of only the most experienced of coffee nerds. They’ve even included the super advanced Sprudge Chemex draining tip in their Chemex guide! Their educational materials actually go far beyond brew-methods too. Check out this great de-mystification of the explosion of information adorning many coffee bags:
They’ve got a wealth of accessible explanations in their library, including discussions of coffee processing, the factors affecting grinding, the coffee trade model, and even a handy cheat sheet outlining the general characteristics of different growing regions and specific countries of origin. They even have an “Advanced Brewing” page that does a pretty good job of introducing the variables of water quality, temperature, and turbulence.
Now there’s always going to be a coffee puritan or two who will nitpick about the correctness or appropriateness of any piece of coffee education, because let’s be real, we still don’t have a complete consensus in the industry on some of these questions. But it’s great to see a company like Mistobox doing the legwork to compile a wealth of coffee knowledge into a pretty darn comprehensive and “correct” consumer introduction to the endeavor of quality coffee brewing and enjoyment. Whether you want to begin a serious dive down the coffee geek rabbit-hole, or simply brew a tastier cup of coffee every morning, Mistobox’s Learn page is a great place to start.