Holey Brewed's Content Contributor Spotlight - @testing1x2x3

Updated: Feb 13

The addition of this new Content Contributor is a major milestone for Holey Brewed. Not only are we adding one of the best coffee content videographers to our team, but we have officially expanded our team into the United States!

We are elated to announce that @testing1x2x3 will be joining the Holey Brewed team as a Content Contributor!

@testing1x2x3 page is focused on what he deems is “the most beautiful and interesting part of the espresso process”, the extraction. He built his page to focus on the extraction as those types of videos are a rarity in the social media world, especially when the focus is on fancy latte art (which is really just a party trick). He decided to dedicate his account to the art and science of extracting espresso and sharing his learnings and journey along the way. Not only is @testing1x2x3 videography skills are almost second to none as he has a way of illustrating and capturing the colours and intensity of the extracted espresso.

@testing1x2x3 has a lot planned for 2020. His plan is to expand the scope of his content into new areas. His first plan is to expand his videos to focus on walking the viewer through the "dialing in" process from start to finish. These videos would show everything from brew ratio starting points, grind settings, temperature settings, water formulas, and testing various puck preparation tools and techniques. Another goal he has planned in 2020 is to enter the blogging space. He’d like to pair his videos with a blog that would contain details, test results, and formulas mentioned. This will allow him and his audience to compare test result based on different variables during the extraction process. We are excited to watch @testing1x2x3 expand his page and his offering to his audience!

As @testing1x2x3 lives in North Carolina, Mr. HB was unable to connect with him in person. As Mr. HB makes it a habit to sit down and chat with all new team members before their introduction to the community, they decided to chat and share an espresso over Skype!

Mr. HB: I am going to jump right into the tough questions. What is your favourite type of coffee and why?

T123: Leading this discussion off with a doozy. This is easy for me, its espresso! I enjoy all aspects of espresso. I love the constant testing and analysis it requires. Of all the different forms of coffee, espresso has the best texture and mouthfeel. It also has the most visually stunning extractions, especially when using a bottomless portafilter. Espresso is delicate balance of science and art.

Mr. HB: Where did your love for coffee come from?

T123: I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, which has an extremely diverse food scene. I grew up running around the streets of Cleveland, exploring the city. There was a small doughnut shop / cafe on the block I lived. My brother and I would save up our change to buy a doughnut and a coffee at that shop. We have a close family friend who was always really into coffee. He actually bought that doughnut shop about 20 years ago, and turned it into Savor the Moment Coffee Shoppe, which is still there today. Needless to say, the smell of coffee always brings back good memories from my childhood.

Mr. HB: I am a huge fan of Cleveland (GO BROWNS GO), I think the city is so underrated, especially their coffee scene.

T123: Couldn’t agree more, one of the best!

Mr. HB: How do you see the coffee space changing in the next 10 years?

T123: 10 years is a long time; a lot can change. I feel like the home barista scene is exploding right now! There used to be a massive gap in the market when it came to home espresso, and this gap is getting smaller every day. It used to be that you pretty much had two types of espresso machines. First you had the really high-end espresso machines that you would find in a cafe, which is not an option for home use for most sane people, and second, the extremely cheap and horrible Mr. Coffee style "espresso machines" that are not capable of producing a real shot of espresso. In the more recent past we've started to see affordable home espresso machines that are capable of making great espresso. I believe in the next ten years we are going to see an explosion of espresso machines hit the market that are affordably priced, packed with amazing features, and capable of producing great espresso.

Mr. HB: One of my favourite questions to ask is what is something you wish you could change about the coffee space?

T123: I wish it was easier for the average person to be able to taste how amazing espresso can be when it's properly made. Outside of the major cities, a lot of towns do not have a quality cafe. On top of that, the towns that do have a cafe, have cafes that don't always take the time to dial in and redial in their espresso throughout the day. Unfortunately, this results in a lot of people having a bad first experience when it comes to espresso. I will say that more and more cafes are starting to pay attention. I have hope that the demand for quality espresso by informed consumers, and the efforts of dedicated cafes, will eventually drive this change.

Mr. HB: I couldn’t agree more. I believe that a lot of cafes don’t obsessed about the details which is something you need to do when pull the perfect shot. Forget about the bean for a minute, the timing, weight and water is so important and often overlooked.

Mr. HB: You know I am absolutely obsessed with your Instagram account but tell me where the inspiration for @testing1x2x3 came from?

T123: Thank you for the kind words. A huge part of espresso is documenting your settings, and results. I kept a running record of extraction specifications, photos, and videos for each coffee on my phone. I was sharing this information with a friend when he suggested that I create an account and post it on Instagram. Espresso at its core is testing over and over again, so I settled on the name Testing1x2x3.

Mr. HB: Tell me why you think your Instagram account is s compared to so many out there?

T123: When I first started to get involved in the Instagram espresso community, I noticed that it is was about 99% latte art. I was surprised. In my opinion, the most beautiful and interesting part of the espresso process is the extraction itself. Extraction videos seemed few and far between, and most of the videos I could find didn't really capture the color and intensity I was seeing in real life, not to mention most were shaky and out of focus. I decided to dedicate my account to the art and science of extracting espresso and sharing that journey.

Mr. HB: I don’t know where you built your videography skills but your videos are ridiculous. They are so capturing and mesmerizing! Easily the most satisfying videos on Instagram.

Mr. HB: I feel like I would be insulting you if I don’t ask you to breakdown your set up for your espresso extractions? Equipment, process, technique?

T123: I am currently using a Breville Dual Boiler 920XL Espresso Machine that I modified with pressure profiling. The pressure profiling modification allows me to adjust the pressure on the fly during the extraction. I recently upgraded to the Niche Zero grinder with a small modification. I'm using a 3D printed replica of the NFC disk (Niche Flow Control) which increases overall grind consistency. I grind directly into the portafilter with the help of the tall portafilter dosing cylinder from Orphan Espresso. I'm a huge fan of the WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique), and I use a variety of tools. Right now I've been using a WDT tool from Londinium that I'm very impressed with. I'm using a 58.5mm tamper called The Force Tamper, which produces extremely consistent results. As for filter baskets, I switch around constantly between VST, IMS, DE, and Stock Breville. Sometimes one will taste better than another depending on the coffee I'm currently testing.

Mr. HB: Any goals for 2020 you'd like to share?

T123: I would like to expand the scope of my content into new areas. Most of my videos range from 15 seconds to 60 seconds, and primarily focus on extractions. I'd like to create videos that walk the viewer through the "dialing in" process from start to finish. These videos would show everything from brew ratio starting points, grind settings, temperature settings, water formulas, and testing various puck preparation tools and techniques.

Another goal for 2020 is to start a blog. I would like to pair blog posts with the videos I previously mentioned. The blog would contain details, test results, and formulas mentioned in the accompanying video. I would also like to use the blog to document coffee reviews, and espresso equipment / accessory test results and comparisons.

My last goal for 2020 is to upgrade my current espresso machine. I've been looking into a few different options, but so far I'm leaning very hard towards the Lelit Bianca.

Mr. HB: Why did you choose to join Holey Brewed as a Content Contributor?

T123: I had been looking around for a while trying to find the right coffee community to join, but everything out there looked unoriginal and plain. I came across Holey Brewed and was very impressed with the concept, and the amazing team that had put together.

Mr. HB: What advice would you give someone newly getting into coffee?

T123: Surround yourself with knowledgeable people. Ask a ton of questions. Learn as much as possible. Don't be afraid to test new things. Keep detailed notes.

Mr. HB: What should people know about you outside of @testing1x2x3?

T123: I come from a Pharmacy background, and I currently run multiple laboratories in my day job. I love analyzing data, adjusting the variables, and testing the results. I am a retired disabled Army veteran. I love good food, good company, and most importantly, great espresso!

Mr. HB: As I mentioned to you offline, I rather do these interviews in person instead of Skype. I promise that I am going to make a trip down to North Carolina in the near future. After we are done having some great espresso, which doughnut shop are you taking me to?

T123: EASY. A really great spot near me is about to open called Down for Doughnuts.

Mr. HB: I’m down!

Check out @testing1x2x3 on Instagram and give him a follow! The best extraction videos you will find on the internet!

For general business inquires or to book @testing1x2x3 for an extraction review, please email us at info@holeybrewed.com

Mr. HB | Holey Brewed


If you are interested in working with us or just want to say hello simply drop us a line, we don't bite!

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