Posts Tagged ‘caffiene’

Out of all the methods of brewing coffee, I use the french press and the moka pot … both I have at home.

The french press is for the light roasted beans or when I want a light but flavourful coffee. Very good to savour the full flavour of coffee without adding any cream, milk or sugar. A light anytime of the day Kopi’O … or add ice on a hot and humid afternoon.

The Mokapot is usually or my morning coffee because it makes strong, dark full bodied coffee. The strong cup, when warm milk is added makes a good latte, in my opinion. The whole ritual of grinding the coffee,placing the coffee grounds in the filter and placing the mokapot on the stove is like an “exercise” to wake up the mind and body. The coffee aroma from the brewing coffee makes my eyes pop open.

I bought a cheap steam powered espresso machine long time ago but it just makes coffee … not espresso. Since the “steamtoy” can only make 2 small shots (if you can call it that), it is not in a box somewhere in storage. My Bialetti Mokapot makes better tasting coffee closer to a cup of espresso.

Here’s a writeup from Gizmodo on how to whip up the perfect cuppa

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 8/26/09


You probably brew coffee, like most people, the most insipid way possible: Using a Mr. Coffee that you fill with pre-ground coffee from the supermarket. There’s a million other ways to make coffee, and they’re all better.

Here’s the rub about making coffee: The best ways to make coffee are the super simplest or the ultra-geekiest. The middle ground—i.e., your drip brewer—produces mediocrity. And where I come from, mediocre is spelled s-h-i-t-t-y. What’s universal to every good method of making coffee is that there’s a ton of control and consistency going on. In fact, consistency is the secret sauce to making great coffee. But we’ve got a few things we even get to the part you probably think of as “making coffee.” These are the basic elements, no matter what voodoo you’re invoking to make coffee: The beans, roast, grind, dose, water, temperature and brew time.

Beans

Buy ’em fresh, buy ’em whole, buy ’em sustainably. That’s about all there is to it. Well, almost. If you’re a dark roast drinker, it’s time to branch out. Here’s how Ken Nye, owner of Ninth St. Espresso, which has been at the forefront of NYC’s coffee scene since 2001 explains it like this: Take a piece of dry-aged prime rib, which is loaded with complex flavors. How are you gonna cook it? Lighter, to preserve all of that complexity, or are you gonna char the holy hell out of it? There’s nothing wrong with people who like the taste of a well-done piece of meat, but well, they’re loving the char more than the meat. Same thing with some of the amazing coffees people that are being sourced now by companies like Intelligentsia, Stumptown and Counter Culture—they tend to roast on the medium to lighter side using older equipment to let the coffee’s actual flavor come through. Roasting super dark is a good way to hide what’s going on with the bean (good or bad).

Grinding

There’s no way around this: If you care about coffee, you have to grind the beans right before you make it. As soon as they’re ground, the oils inside the beans are exposed to air, and the thousand different flavor compounds inside start dying. Coffee’s fragile, man.

The grind is the foundation process for everything else that happens afterward. In fact, David Latourell, formerly of the Coffee Equipment Company (of Clover fame) and currently at Intelligentsia, says that the number one thing people can do to “change their world” when it comes to coffee is to fix their grind situation. If the grind up is screwed, so is everything else. Uniformity is what’s key, otherwise you get an uneven extraction, which means mediocre coffee. And the only way to get that uniformity is with a good burr grinder.

Blade grinders mutilate coffee beans, and the heat caused by the friction screws up the chemistry, so don’t even think about it. A burr grinder pulverizes the beans instead of chopping them up. Just because it’s a burr grinder doesn’t mean it’s a good grinder, though. You want one that’s efficient and can grind slowly, otherwise you’re introducing friction and heat that corrupts the coffee. Typically, that means a conical burr grinder, versus a flat burr grinder. While you can get a burr grinder as cheaply as $50, both Ken and David say that you have to spend at least $150-$200 for a home grinder—in particular, David recommends the Baratza Virtuoso, a conical burr grinder that’s about $200. (Ken’s commercial grinder, pictured, is about $3000.) It sounds like a crazy amount of money for a grinder, but if you’re serious about making coffee at home, this is where you start. Fortunately, it’s the most expensive piece of equipment you need to buy.

Okay! Let’s get to brewing, from simple to whizbang.

(more…)