Robyn is a freelance writer, editor and a serious foodie. A native of Seattle, she has found a new home in Northern California where she splits her time about equally between hiking in the redwoods and typing in local coffee shops. In addition to writing for CoffeeKrave, Robyn is currently working on a project to produce a short animated documentary—"Clipped and Tucked"—about her adventures in cooking recipes from antique cookbooks.
Coffee Makers,

Caffeinated at 30,000 Feet: Is It Possible to Make Your Own Coffee on an Airplane?

My philosophy toward airline coffee has always been, “Take what you can get and make the best of it.” Certainly the flight attendant would prefer I sit down, shut up and accept her meager brew. But it hit me– why can’t I make my own on the plane? Is it even possible? We set out to find the answer. Caffeinated at 30,000 Feet: Mile High Brewing Setups The constraints of a typical economy cabin don’t leave many options open. High-flying brewers need equipment that is a) portable and b) doesn’t require electricity. In this day and time it would take a brave soul

milk frother
Accessories, Milk Frothers,

Choosing the Best Milk Frother: A Buying Guide

And what is a foam after all, but a big collection of bubbles? And what’s a bubble? It’s basically a very flimsy little latticework of proteins draped with water. – Alton Brown   Hypothetical Scenario: You, Dear Reader, have decided you want more foam in your life, on a consistent basis. Alas, you either don’t have a home espresso machine, or you have a home espresso machine but it isn’t up to the task.   Do you: a)      Make the daily trek to your local coffee shop b)      Go the DIY route c)       Buy a dedicated milk frother   If

coffee cupping event
Coffee Makers,

An Introduction to Coffee Tasting

“I’m a firm believer that understanding is developed through the act of comparison.” —Geoff Watts, Director of Coffee, Intelligenstia Coffee Coffee tasting—what is it and how does it work? As with other types of food and drink tastings, the objective of a coffee tasting is to compare the qualities of different samples of the product in question. As part of an ongoing process, coffee tastings allow the taster to build a mental Rolodex of flavors and aromas to facilitate future comparisons. The full definition is a bit more nuanced. To lay the groundwork for appreciating that complexity, we need to start with

green coffee beans
Accessories, Coffee Roasters,

How to Roast Coffee at Home: A Primer

Back in August, we presented piece on Zen and the art of home coffee roasting, which included an overview of the process and links to the best of the tutorials around the web. We wanted to re-visit the topic, with a more in-depth look at getting started. Here we answer the three primary questions presented to us by newbie roasters: What equipment do I need? Where do I buy green beans? Where do I turn for help/guidance/therapy when I run into a glitch (or two or three)? Roasting Coffee at Home | What equipment do I need?   Roasting can

An electric kettle
Accessories, Kettles,

What is the Best Electric Kettle for Coffee?

“We had a kettle; we let it leak: Our not repairing made it worse. We haven’t had any tea for a week… The bottom is out of the Universe.” Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Poems of Rudyard Kipling Check the end of the post for our best electric kettle picks. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have a pretty strong aversion to unitaskers in the kitchen. The exception to our unitasking rule is when a tool does one thing really, really well, and that one thing is something you have to do on a daily basis. If you use a

home coffee roaster
Accessories, Coffee Roasters,

The Behmor 1600: A Smokeless Home Coffee Roaster

You know the saying—where there’s smoke (and noise, and chaff), there’s a home coffee roaster. Only not so much of that with the Behmor 1600: A Smokeless Home Coffee Roaster ($299). {OK—not entirely smokeless, but closer to that platonic ideal than most.} Behmor was the first brand to break the $300 price point with a home drum roaster, and they added features that make home roasting a much, much more enjoyable experience. As we noted in our post on Home Coffee Roasters, roasting coffee can be time intensive, labor intensive and messy. The design of the Behmor 1600 takes some

Best Espresso Machines Under $500
Espresso Machines,

The Best Espresso Machines Under $500

What is the best espresso machine under $500? Or does such a machine even exist at all? If you read our post on Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Cheap Espresso Machine, you know that we don’t define cheap as synonymous with affordable. We aren’t as much concerned with what you spend, but whether or not you are satisfied with your return on investment. [box] Top Picks Overview: The Best Espresso Machines Under $500 Gaggia Classic — All the features of a higher-end machine for a great price Gaggia Baby — Another great value with excellent ratings Gaggia New Baby —

Espro Press
Coffee Makers, French Press,

Espro Press Review

The online reviewing community has created an unofficial tagline for the Espro Press: “all the flavor of a french press with none of the grit.” After a week of testing, my vote for a tagline would be . . . {due to my inordinately strong love of alliteration, and my personal preferences for capitalization} “All of the flavor of a French press with none of the fines.” Fines being, accordingly to the ever-present Merriam-Webster on my desk, “very small particles in a mixture of various sizes.” Also known as grit, silt, sludge, sediment or mud. Fines are the reason that

coffee filters
Coffee Makers,

Coffee Filters: Some Eco-Friendly Options

Does your morning coffee routine include a crisp, white paper filter? Close your eyes and picture yourself inside a coffee shop on a movie set. You are seated at a table, waiting on a drip cup of gourmet coffee. A waiter hurries over with your order, and then sits down and introduces himself as a member of “The Dirty Dozen.” Film buffs are going to wonder how Charles Bronson figures into an article on coffee filters, but this isn’t a remake of the classic 1967 war film. “Coffee Filters: The Movie” is more of an eco-thriller.   Paper Coffee Filters:

Thermal Coffee Makers
Coffee Makers,

Thermal Coffee Makers Keep Coffee Warm

  “Just about everybody has experienced it: you make a pot of coffee, get distracted, leave it on the heating element too long. And 15 minutes later, that velvety, bracing cup of coffee has turned into something acrid — liquid cinder in your mouth.” Amanda Hesser, Test Kitchen, New York Times. At CoffeeKrave, coffee rarely lasts long enough to require a thermal coffee maker. That said, our readers do have the occasional need to keep a pot warm. And we absolutely want them to avoid the liquid cinder taste that Hesser aptly dubs “the burner effect.” To add to the