Look. I’m not here to make sweeping judgments about you or the people you care about. But if you use a K-cup or automatic drip, you are a monster.
You know what? I’m sorry about that. Like I said I am not here to…actually who am I kidding? I gotta go back to that K-cup/automatic drip thing. Why are you doing this? Did coffee hurt you in some way? Did someone raise you to believe you should go for the least best way to enjoy life? Including the stimulating dark as night bringer of joy and wonderment, coffee?
And I know we’re all busy. And I know at times we just need caffeine and we don’t have the time to have it in its best form. But I also think that most of the time, you probably do. And I think you are selling coffee short. Especially since raising your morning coffee experience is easier than you think. So come with me on a journey where we can learn and grow.
But here is how to make better coffee. It’s not that hard. Grow up.
THE COFFEE MAKER
Stop being a baby and get yourself a French Press. Sorry, I’m just still mad thinking of all that stale pre ground stuff that used to be coffee you have crammed in those K-cups.
But seriously. French Press.
Not only is it a relatively simple system, it is so much better than what you’re using. It’s not even close. Now some will champion pour over or Aeropress. And those people are not wrong. Those methods are fantastic. But they are a lot more sensitive to variables to get it just right. And you don’t need that kind of hassle. You’re a busy man/woman with a winning smile who grabs the bull by the horns. Yes, I am resorting to cheap flattery. But this is serious.
French Press. Any one from Target or Bed Bath and Beyond will do. Bodum is a good brand and not expensive.
If you take nothing else out of this discussion I just hope in the name of all that is decent and right on God’s great earth it’s this: only buy whole bean coffee.
Please. Heaven knows I don’t ask you for much.
Coffee is actually pretty volatile. It goes stale pretty quick. So get whole bean and grind it right before you brew it.
Also, Starbucks is terrible. Find a hipster coffee shop near you and get beans from them. Now, nobody would mistake me for a hipster. But they contribute great things to coffee. Getting fresh roasted, local coffee is best. But if that isn’t possible most non-Starbucks whole bean coffees will do.
Even if you plan to stick with automatic drip coffee this will make your experience so much better. And you can believe me. Because I am always right.
Which brings us to our next element…
Invest in a conical burr grinder. I use a Cuisinart I got from Bed Bath and Beyond for 45 bucks.
Sure, there are better ones, but this is the one I can afford, okay Zuckerberg?
The conical burr grinder is way better than those hand held ones. Those are dangerous for a couple reasons. One, they tend to “burn” the beans. And two, the grind is inconsistent. I’ve seen it compare to randomly chopping a steak all different sizes then throwing it on a grill and expecting it to all cook the same.
The burr grinder produces a very even grind and doesn’t ruin the beans.
If you are using a French Press (did I mention you should?) grind the beans to a coarse grind. If still using auto drip go for medium.
As a side note, I will say the hand held grinders are still better than pre ground coffee, you animals. If you must use one don’t hold it down. Pulse it twice. Then shake it. Then pulse it two more times. Keep checking the beans until you have a relatively even grind.
The general idea is 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 oz. of coffee. I tend to do a little more than that cause I like stronger coffee. My suggestion is to experiment during the weekends and times where a cup isn’t imperative or there isn’t a time crunch to get to work. It took me a good two weeks to get it right when I got serious about my coffee.
So, get the ratio right. Do not be afraid to figure it out. Use you K-cup or auto drip and then figure this out in your off hours. Now, here’s how to brew….
Bring a tea kettle to whistle. Remove it from heat. Then grind your beans. Boiling water will burn your coffee. But waiting 30 – 60 seconds will bring the water down to perfect brewing temp.
Pour the coffee into the French Press. Pour just enough water over the coffee and mix it. It should be like a coffee mud. Let that sit for thirty seconds. It’ll expand. That releases the flavor.
Now, at this point, famous Food Network guy Alton Brown says to add a pinch of salt to reduce acidity. He is right. Not like a tablespoon. Just a pinch.
After that pour the rest of the water, give a stir to mix it all together, and let sit for three minutes. Now über snobs will tell you to plunge it for 30 seconds. But come on. Who has that kind of time? Just do a slow, steady plunge.
You will have a cup of coffee that is worlds ahead of the normal one. Mathematically it’s an 80% better cup of coffee with 10% more effort. These numbers are not official.
If you follow these rules, however, you will make a great cup of coffee every day.