Jessie Gao

I am Jessie Gao. I was born in Vancouver, Canada, and grew up in Beijing, China. I moved to the UK in 2016 and started to work in the coffee industry in 2019.

I first started drinking specialty coffee in Bath, UK, where I attended my undergraduate degree in Economics. Daf, who always served me at the coffee shop next to the train station was never shy of answering my very basic coffee questions. I never expected this specialty coffee experience – where you are served by a friendly barista with consistent skills – would actually make me who am today.

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What does coffee mean to you?

To me, coffee is a lifestyle. There is so much more than seeing it as just a cup of bitter and dark liquid. I try to make drinking coffee fun for myself. I like to go café hopping and see how each place serves me differently. I secretly observe the baristas and take note of what I like and don’t like (for self-improvement purposes).

Jessie Gao
Jessie Gao

I took upon a part-time Barista role at my university and fell in love with practicing my latte art. I then started working as a full-time Barista at a specialty coffee shop in West London in 2019 and started focusing on my customer service skills and quality control. As I always had a passion for mentoring, I became the Coffee Trainer/Head of Coffee just after 4 months. I was developing new coffee recipes, maintaining quality control, and training new employees. I am still quite surprised that I could accomplish so much without any further SCA training. I self-taught all of my coffee skills through YouTube and A LOT OF practice.

I am in Marketing and Operations at the moment. I will be continuing my postgraduate studies in MA Curating and Collections in London starting September 2021, so, unfortunately, I will not be able to work full time in the coffee industry any time soon. However, I will continue to share my coffee journey on my YouTube channel. I will primarily focus on the inclusivity and accessibility of coffee knowledge, plus some visual brewing guides. Ultimately, I am planning to create a creative hub/multifunctional space that features a coffee section in a few years. I met some amazing people in the coffee industry along the way, so hopefully, I will be a part of it again (after I finish my postgraduate degree)!

Jessie Gao

How my passion started:

My passion for coffee all started from my backpacking trip to Vietnam in 2016. After getting off from an overnight bus in Hoi An, I sat beside some middle-aged uncles in a cramped local café at 5 AM. They sat silently, enjoying the time pass. They gradually left one by one as their early shift started. The coffee shops in Southeast Asia seemed to contrast those in the UK, where people are accompanied by laptops or meetings. Coffee is not only a beverage but also the base of many cultures and people’s daily routines.

What motivates me daily:

Each milestone I accomplish motivates me. It can be a random cup of filter coffee I just made that tasted damn good or a new pattern I just nailed by watching a video for dozens of times. I always wanted to enter a latte art competition, so that has definitely been a factor for me to improve on my skills and stay in the coffee industry.

Tips for this recipe:

This recipe is nice for Gesha and Ethiopian coffee. It really brings out the sweetness and gives a smooth body.

Jessie says:

"Practice makes perfect! And never be shy of asking questions. The more you ask, the more you learn."

Brewing tool

Aeropress, Inverted method

Grinding Size

Check Grind Setting for more info

Dose of coffee

13 g


92 °C

Total brewing time


Coffee water ratio


Total water

210 ml

Detailed Guidance

Rinse an Aesir Filter. If not available, rinse 2 traditional AeroPress paper filters


00:00 - 00:30

Bloom with 40g of water and stir 10 times

00:30 - 01:00

Add 50g of water

01:00 - 01:30

Add 120g of water and stir 10 times

01:30 - 02:10

Close the cap, reverse, and plunge within 40 sec


Enjoy your freshly brewed coffee and have a nice day.

What makes this recipe so special?

Makes a medium to the heavy body for people who like intense filter coffee. Very easy and quick recipe. Slightly bitter when it’s hot. Can extract rich and sticky molasses sweetness. Floral and fruity notes come out when the coffee is cool. A very fun recipe to
play with La Cabra’s coffee. I used it for Altos Typica and Potosí, it came out very interesting.

How to grind coffee?

Grind setting 1 to 10

1. Extreme fine grinding

<200-200 µ – Extra Fine (I) (confectioners sugar)

it is so fine that is almost impossible to filter/separate, like a powder, usually the finest grading in your grinder. Used for Ibrik/Turkish method because it “dissolves”; in pour-over can clog the filters. The substances extraction is extreme and can lead to a more bitter taste.

2. Finest grinding

300 µ – Fine II (flour)

almost a powder, a little more boulder. Can be used in Ibrik/Turkish coffee, and for some coffee beans in Moka Pot and espresso. The substances extraction is very high but has less surface contact area than the previous one.

3. Fine grinding

400 µ – Fine III Dry (no lumps)
it is fine, but not a powder, you can see little boulder parts. Used mainly for espresso and Moka Pot, but some Aeropress recipes use this grinding in a short time extraction. The substances extraction is high, it has high surface area contact, and it is used in methods with pressure, less time, high temperature.

4. Medium-fine grinding

500-600 µ – Medium – Fine (beach sand)
it is finer than sand, but not as fine than the previous. It is perfect for tuned recipes with pour-over methods, V60, Kalita, et cetera and also for some Aeropress recipes. It can be tricky if you do not master the brewing techniques leading to clogging. The substances extraction is high; it has a high surface contact area, but less than the previous one.

5-6.Medium grinding

700-800 µ – Medium I (Table Salt)
it is the start point for a test with a new coffee, it is a little bit coarse than the medium-fine. Very similar, in consistence and size, to sand. Can be used in various methods like pour-over, siphon, Aeropress, infusion, et cetera. The water-substances interaction is medium here, as the surface contact area is starting to decrease. In this grind size, and beyond, other variables like temperature and time become to influence more and more. It is the grind size that doesn’t extract too much but don’t extract too little.

7. Medium-coarse grinding

900-1000 µ – Medium II Commercial
it has the aspect of sand with boulder particles. Methods like Chemex, Clever and Aeropress benefit a lot from this grinding size, also some pour-overs with a little adjust in the variables. The surface contact area is smaller, so the solubility of the substance in water become to decrease. In this case, extraction is medium and extraction time starting to get more attention.

8. Coarse grinding:

1100-1200 µ – Medium III (Silica Sand)
it is more rough than sand, almost a sea salt, you can see boulder particles. Methods like French Press and some percolators are the best ones applied here. It is also very used to coffee cupping/tasting. In this case, extraction becomes small to medium, there is even less surface contact area with water and extraction time become fundamental.

9. Coarsted grinding

1300-1400 µ – Coarse I (clay particle)
similar to peppercorns. Used mainly for cold brew due to small substances extraction rate because the surface contact area is little, the pores are not available for extraction.

10. Extreme coarse grinding

1500-1600 µ – Coarse II (coarse kosher salt)

also similar to peppercorns, also used for cold brew. The substances are even less extracted than the previous. The surface contact area is small.
1600µ – Extra Coarse (III) – (broken peppercorns)
The grind setting below is from our volunteer Carlos @chaosinrye and @fatima_quest. This is only a draft version.