Black Oak Blog

Black Oak Brew Tips: The Recipe for a Perfect Cup of Coffee"

Black Oak Brew Tips: The Recipe for a Perfect Cup of Coffee

by Black Oak Team | July 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

We created this chart to make it super easy to brew the perfect cup of coffee whether it's one or ten cups. While a lot of fancy-pants coffee folks (including us) use digital scales and measure by weight, this recipe works as a jumping off point for when you measure by volume. 

These PDF files are easily printable and shareable. We even made a version with 2 per sheet so you give one away. 

The Recipe - Letter Sized (click to view/download)

The Recipe - Two Per Page (click to view/download)


Check out our other tips to get you closer to coffee nirvana:

Fix a "sour" coffee taste when brewing

Water is Important

Keep Your Carafe Clear & Clean

Tagged: black oak brew tips, ethiopian coffee, how to brew coffee, single origin

Black Oak Brew Tips: Water matters for a better cup of coffee (a lot!)"

Black Oak Brew Tips: Water matters for a better cup of coffee (a lot!)

by Bobby Cochran | June 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

We have been experimenting quite a bit with water these days at our cafe.  We have been really surprised by the results.  Ethiopian coffees which taste like peach with one water can taste like lime candy with another. 

If you are curious about your own water we propose a simple experiment that will only cost a few dollars.  Next time you are at the store, pick up two gallons of water: one distilled and one gallon from Crystal Geyser.  Both water types are readily available and cheap.  Your distilled water has no hardness at all and the Crystal Geyser is a fairly soft water bottled from Mt. Shasta.  Brew your coffee with the waters and see if you notice a difference, we think you will be surprised to see the influence of water on coffee’s flavor.

Let us know your water preferences, experiments and notes in the comments!

Tagged: black oak brew tips, water

Black Oak Coffee + Lovingly Crafted Doughnuts = Heaven in Santa Rosa"

Black Oak Coffee + Lovingly Crafted Doughnuts = Heaven in Santa Rosa

by Bobby Cochran | June 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you're in Santa Rosa and have a craving for a Lovers Lane Latte you are now covered! We are very happy and proud to partner up with the fantastic City Garden Doughnuts, collaborating on a mission to make Sonoma County blissfully satiated.

City Garden Doughnuts is located at 1200 4th St, Santa Rosa CA, and trust us, you won't regret a side trip. In fact, making it your daily mission is completely acceptable given the bounty of their doughnut creations: Orange Glazed made from fresh squeezed orange juice and zest, Guittard Chocolate with Sea Salt, and a Pistachio and Pepper (!) doughnut among many others. 

Pair with our Lovers Lane Latte, Borgia, or City Garden's special recipe the 'Potle, made with smoked chipotle and dutch chocolate. If you need to set this blog post down and head there right now we understand. 

If you don't believe us, check out these two articles which continue to drive the point home: Next Level Coffee + Doughnuts are here.

Robert Parker: The Wine Advocate:
"Celebrate National Doughnut Day at City Garden"

Sonoma Magazine:
"New Donut Spot in Santa Rosa is Brioche-a-licious"

City Garden



Tagged: City Garden Doughnuts, Lovers Lane Latte

Steve Cuevas: National Cup Tasting Champion"

Steve Cuevas: National Cup Tasting Champion

by Bobby Cochran | April 28, 2017 | 1 Comment

Steve Cuevas grew up in the suburbs of Southern California. Having been a barista since 2004, he eventually made his way North through a series of jobs at Bicycle repair shops and Cafés, eventually finding himself at Black Oak Coffee Roasters where he met owners Jon & Keith in 2014. He was hired as a barista but through his insatiable appetite for education and fierce, genuine passion for coffee, he transitioned full time to head up the roasting and quality control program there. Since Steve has been at the helm, he has taken the quality of Black Oak Coffee to an entirely new level, eventually establishing Black Oak as a highly regarded award winning roaster. In 2016 he helped earn two gold medals for his roast profiles of two Single Origin Ethiopian Coffees at the Golden Bean Competition, with a total pool of over 200 entrants. He also took a bronze medal for his Decaf Roast of Black Oak’s proprietary “Canopy” decaf blend.

In 2017 Steve was again thrust into the spotlight when he became the Specialty Coffee Association’s 2017 National Cup Tasting Champion, in which he correctly identified 6 of 8 sets of blind tasted unique coffees in 2 minutes and 20 seconds, besting his competitor in time by over a minute. He will move on to compete in the World Championships in Budapest Hungary in July 2017. While a significant upset in the Specialty Coffee competition scene, this solidified his reputation as a professional in the Specialty Coffee Industry, and recognized him for his hard work and dedication developing his palate.

Steve attended his first Specialty Coffee Expo in 2015 in awe of the energy of the competitions and was inspired to sign up to compete.

When he’s not sample roasting or setting up a cupping, Steve enjoys exploring the nuances of craft spirits and obscure wines. He is currently enjoying discovering the natural wines of Europe and Japanese Whiskey. While he now calls Ukiah home, he is also known to travel frequently to the hot food and beverage spots in the North Bay & Bay Area to compete in the BACC latte art competitions or throw back some oysters.

Tagged: competitions, national cup tasting, steve cuevas

Black Oak Brew Tips: Coffee Freshness"

Black Oak Brew Tips: Coffee Freshness

by Black Oak Team | March 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

We recently reviewed a scientific study  done at the University of Minnesota on coffee staling and found some interesting results.  The biggest factor, by far, in the perception of stale coffee is oxidization of coffee lipids.  Exposure to oxygen caused tasters to notice staling effects within 2-4 weeks of roasting.  When oxygen was not present (FYI, we seal our coffee in nitro-flushed bags), tasters could not detect stale coffee flavors for 30 or more weeks.   The study also looked at temperature and noted that coffee stored at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, when sealed and free of oxygen, did not notice stale.

Once your sealed bag is opened, you will need to consume that coffee within a few weeks to preserve its flavors.  If you open a bag and know that you are not going to brew the coffee, the study suggests that freezing will extend shelf life by a few more weeks. Unfortunately, the effect is magnitudes smaller than oxygen free storage,  so you should expect your unsealed freezer coffee to lose flavor quality within a month. 

Our main conclusion from reviewing the study is that you don’t need to worry much quality loss in your coffee, assuming the bag stays sealed, regardless of temperature.  As soon as you open your bag, plan to brew it within a few weeks, or freeze a portion in a sealed ziploc bag.