An Interview With Michael Allen Smith

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Michael Allen Smith, founder of INeedCoffee, the name alone can suggest that we are going to find a lot of coffee stuff. Michael Allen Smith loves to call himself MAS and we too will be using this convention here. INeedCoffee will turn 17 years old in April and is one among the reputed sites in the Coffee niche. Coffee Geeks can find a lot of useful info here about a variety of stuff on coffee. It is unfair if I don’t say that MAS is a born coffee legend. Below is the conversation we had from Mr Michael:

Michael Allen Smith

So Mr Michael, how did it all started, how did you got into this Coffee Stuff? 

INeedCoffee launched in April 1999. I was interested in both coffee and creating web pages. So I merged my two main interests and the site was born.

 In which form do you like your Coffee and how do you prepare it?

Outside the house I prefer straight espresso. I favor lighter roasts and single origins. At home I change up my primary brewing method every few years. At this time I love the AeroPress. I brew via the inverted method, and more details can be read from my AeroPress Tutorial. Besides the Aeropress, I also am a big fan of the Clever. Below is my AeroPress Setup at home.

MAS Aeropress Setup

  How was the Coffee Culture when you stepped into this field and what is it now?

I’ve lived in 6 US Metro areas since I started drinking coffee. It would be hard for me to compare them, because not only has the coffee culture of each of these areas evolved, but so have I as a coffee drinker. It wouldn’t be fair for me to compare Seattle 2016 with Tampa Bay, Florida 1997 or San Diego 2003.

The general things that come to mind are that coffee has gotten lighter in roasts and there has been a move away from blends towards single origin coffee. There has also been a push to collect more data. Dialing in espresso to half a gram or half a degree to get the desired taste is becoming more common.

 What’s next for INeedCoffee?

INeedCoffee will turn 17 years old in a few months. We will continue to put out quality content. This year I am hoping to partner with some food bloggers and improve the recipe section of INeedCoffee. Many of our recipes are 10+ years old and need to be updated with better photos and instructions.

What should be an ideal investment for people looking to prepare coffee setup at home?

There will not be one ideal investment. It will vary from person to person based off their interests and needs at that time. I do maintain a list on Amazon with coffee gear ideas.

 Any advice to beginners in Coffee Making?

For the beginner, I would advise starting with a kettle, an AeroPress and a decent grinder. It is the most foolproof brewing method I have ever used. Then seek out fresh roasted coffee. Enjoy the coffee journey called Experiment. Try new brewing methods and try different drinks at different coffee shops. Keep learning.

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