So you got that new espresso machine you wanted for Chrismukkah, but have no idea how to use it? Are you pouring out your shots and wishing you just asked for a Nespresso machine? If so, Clive Coffee is here to help you get a grip on your portafilter and understand the basics of pulling better shots.
Portland, Oregon-based Clive Coffee (a proud DCILY sponsor) has published this beautiful printed primer to making espresso at home, called “The Craft of Espresso. The book is artfully written by Hanna Neuschwander (author of Left Coast Roast) lovingly illustrated by Ben Blake (creator of Draw Coffee and current Sprudge intern) and elegantly designed by Jenn Lawrence.
Coffee is either nothing—a brackish fuel, a necessary accomplice—or it is something: an education in taste, a way to be playful, a daily sacrement…this book is a primer for those who want to tap into the somethingness of coffee through its most exalted method: the art of making espresso.
The book’s letter pressed cover and hand-stitched binding gives it that tactile quality you just don’t get from a blog post and it’s ripe for the reading while sitting in your kitchen or lounging in your den. With no pretension and lots of great information, the book covers a brief history of the drink and explains the core principles of grinding, pulling shots, steaming milk and clean-up.
The Craft of Espresso illustrates and defines the different types of grinders and espresso machines available, while gently making suggestions towards certain preferences without making definitive claims or assertions.
There’s step-by-step instructions and a few troubleshooting tips as well to help solve the common problems you’re bound to run into. If you plan to take the time and craft your espresso by hand, it’s nice to have a companion book that you can read with them.
This may just be the cutest coffee video ever made. Watch as Ellanie and Ethan pull up a chair to demonstrate that anyone can learn to make espresso. I think Ellanie should be participating in the next Portland area TNT event, and Callum Thompson may need to reliquish the title of “Young Barista.” Enjoy.
Last time I wrote about Clive Coffee, they were in the process of moving to their new space in Portland (and were also running a temporary ad promotion on DCILY). Though I still haven’t made it in person, it’s still at the top of my list of places to visit in Oregon—SCAA in April? The shop is walking distance from both Coava Coffee and Water Avenue, so there’s no reason to miss it during your next coffee tour.
I finally got some photos of the new Clive showroom and it looks great. It resembles an adult toy store (not that kind) full of shiny things to play with and good coffee to brew and taste. Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon hanging out here?
Clive Coffee first showed up on my radar when I came across their custom designed Clive Stand, made with Oregon walnut. Since then, they’ve continued making those, while expanding their experimentation with beautiful woods. Recently, they’ve taken a Mini Vivaldi home espresso machine and replaced its underwhelming plastic side panels with a more luxurious outfit from the forests of Oregon. Lovely work.
I’d like you all to meet the newest supporter of DCILY—Clive Coffee. The first time I came across their website a year ago, I thought, “they’re doing everything I would do, if I were doing what they’re doing.” Clive Coffee is a number of things, and I love who they are because they’ve put design at the forefront of all of them.
Clive’s purpose is simple, to help you enjoy great coffee at home. They do this by selling a great selection of the top coffee and espresso brewing equipment for your home, leading classes that teach you how to use your new gear, and micro-roasting a nice range of single origin coffees. From the design of their website, to their gallery-esque showroom, to the beauty of their original products, they consider every detail.
I first wrote about Clive at the beginning of the year, after they launched their beautiful pour-over stand, but I didn’t take much time to talk much about the other great things they do, so I’m happy to finally share more of those things with you.
Aside from selling coffee gear, many people don’t realize that Clive is also a craft-focused coffee roaster. They sell individual 12oz bags, or you can create a reoccurring subscription with any of the coffees they offer mailed to your home or office. They sent me a sample pack of some coffee and I enjoyed a nice weekend cupping with my girlfriend, which led to a few fun tasting notes like “sun,” “marzipan,” “red,” “milk duds,” and “tar” (neither of us are very partial to Indonesians).
You will also find a lot of great information on the Clive Coffee website, including brewing tutorials, coffee 101, and a list of coffee definitions to help beginners or anyone else brush up on their knowledge. They have a palpable passion for coffee and design that comes across while talking with them and looking around their website. While I haven’t had the chance to visit their showroom in person, checking out their new space on a future trip to Portland is at the top of my to-do list.
For a limited time, save $10 on your first order from Clive, use code: TAKETEN
The more cafés begin using pour-over as a method to brew coffee, the more creative they get with the stands that hold the drippers. From the concrete bar at Water Ave in Portland, to the custom Chemex drippers used by Kickstand in Brooklyn—I am continually impressed by the ingenuity of baristas and store owners who provide a unique set for their coffee theatrics.
While I love a homemade cup of pour-over coffee, resting a V60 on top of a mug just isn’t the same experience as visiting a café with a dedicated pour-over bar. The guys at Clive Coffee must have agreed when they set out to create an elegant stand that would look just as good in a home as an Eames chair. Thanks to them, pour-over in the kitchen just got a bit more sophisticated.
The Clive Stand was designed—and beautifully hand crafted—by Delaney Carthagh Kelly, who has been working with wood since he was 13 years old. The stand, made from salvaged Oregon black walnut, takes about 10 hours to build from start to finish and costs $165—a fair price for quality design and woodwork. It will work with a Hario V60 or Clive’s own ceramic dripper made by Pigeon Toe Ceramics.