Brewing at Home and on the Road with Justin Piercy

In this series, we ask coffee professionals how they like to drink their coffee while at home and when traveling.


Feature photo courtesy of Justin Piercy

Coffee professionals tend to spend most of their days brewing coffee. Baristas brew coffee behind the bar for their customers. Roasters brew it to check the roast profile; bloggers brew it to share a new recipe with the world. But what happens when they’re not at work? What are their coffee habits when they’re relaxing at home? How do these habits change when they travel? 

Meet Justin Piercy, aka Daddy Got Coffee

Justin Piercy is a 36-year-old coffee blogger who lives a little north of Toronto with his wife and three kids. In addition to his main occupation in digital marketing, he runs his coffee channel: Daddy Got Coffee. He loves “helping people discover their own breakthroughs in coffee,” as he puts it.

So what are Justin’s coffee habits when he’s chilling at home? What is his favorite brewing method?

Justin and his three kids watch while he pours water from a white gooseneck kettle into an AeroPress. They are at the kitchen table with an overhead lamp. A couple of houseplants are visible, and a gray door and chandelier are in the background.
Justin and his wife, Sarah, keep the coffee flowing while at home, from Americanos to batch brew. Photo courtesy of Justin Pierce.

“Oh man, I really change it up,” Justin says, “but Sarah and I always start the day with a round of Americanos. After that, we usually crank out a couple pourovers, maybe a batch brew. And often we’ll have some decaf espresso or drip later in the day!”

Out and About Near Toronto

Justin’s days are typically full of caffeine, but does he also go out for coffee at specialty-coffee shops in his town? And what is his go-to order?

“I live near a couple of small towns with a very small number of shops. If I’m in a hurry I’ll get an Americano to go. But I also love a good pourover, and if I feel like sitting down for a sec, I love getting a single-origin espresso and water. So good!”

The interior of a bustling Toronto cafe. The space is large and industrial looking, with exposed brick, hanging lamps, and tall windows and a glass door. The tables are wood and metal, with plain chairs and a shiny espresso bar.  An assortment of people sit at the bar and at tables for two.
When Justin visits a coffee shop while traveling, he likes to ask the barista for recommendations. Photo by Nick Hillier via Unsplash.

For Justin, however, coffee outside is the exception. He almost always drinks it at home, frequently taking it with him if he has to go out. He has even set up a little coffee bar at his office, to make coffee there as good as the coffee he has at home. “When I visit a café,” he says, “it’s because I love connecting with the people there.”

Coffee with Friends

Things obviously change a lot when Justin isn’t home: a visit to friends or family can be somewhat tricky when you’re a coffee pro. Will their coffee be “good enough”? Will they feel the pressure?

“Because of my Instagram account and YouTube channel, when we’re visiting friends and family, comments are usually made about them being nervous to make coffee!” Justin shares. “But the reality is, when we’re visiting someone, we’re there for the company, not the café-quality coffee. We always drink whatever is served, and even if it might not be what we would make at home, we enjoy it just as much if not more!”

The Piercys On the Road

When Justin travels somewhere else, perhaps visiting a new city, he always tries to hit a couple of great local cafés with his family. His favorite way to order at a new spot is always the same: “I’ll take one of whatever you would have.” Wherever possible, he loves to try a barista’s recommendation.  

Justin brews coffee with his three small children in tow. They are in the kitchen, using an AeroPress at the table. The smallest child is trying to put a red toy on Justin's head.
Justin and his wife have three kids, who also get into the coffee-brewing process! Photo courtesy of Justin Pierce.

The ’Essential’ Travel Kit

For Justin, traveling means visiting new cafés and sticking to specialty-coffee shops as much as possible. But for someone so used to brewing at home, it also means traveling with a “small” brewing kit. 

“Don’t ask my wife if I’m traveling with a simple brewing kit, because she might give you a different answer—ha! In my mind, I’m a minimalist, but it always seems to balloon to a little beyond what may be considered … appropriate. If I had to pick three essential coffee tools, I would say a great hand grinder (currently a TIMEMORE Xlite), an AeroPress Go, and a scale. Maybe a small kettle, in case there isn’t one there. And while I’m at it, I may as well bring a Kalita Wave. And water-additive pouches don’t take up much space. … Let’s just say I haven’t packed up an electric espresso machine, yet. But sometimes I pack a manual machine and an electric grinder. I should stop before I incriminate myself further; I think you get the picture!” 

Justin has one final suggestion regarding the best way to drink and brew coffee while traveling. “It’s really hard to beat the hand grinder/AeroPress combo. At a hotel, I’ll even use the junk coffee maker to heat up water for the AeroPress! Such a forgiving and lightweight setup, even if you just eyeball it!”


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.

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