Stepping Up Our Coffee Game

The French Press

There is no time like the present, stuck in the house, highly discouraged to travel from within the confines of our humble abode.  Forced to take time and pleasure in the small daily activities that we more often than not take for granted.

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As I stand in my kitchen listening to the drip coffee maker grumble and groan about its one responsibility, I am in no hurry to fill up my bamboo travel mug and run out the door.  I am instead, deep in thought contemplating the status of my coffee brewing situation.

“You know what, I’ve had enough, I’m doing it.”  I say out loud. “I’m doing it!” I yell up the stairs to my wife.

“Doing what?” she yells back.

I don’t answer, how is it possible that she is not in the same train of thought that I am in?  Confounding.

I am a thorough researcher when it comes to purchases.  This is in part because I don’t really like to buy things…ever.  So when I do decide to purchase something, I want it to be the right thing.  I had previously debated our coffee brewing situation in the past, and had previously researched the perfect combination of french press, hand grinder and decanter.  So my decision to finally go for it and upgrade the quality of my morning cup of Joe is not without precedence.

Decanter not pictured.

When looking into a french press, I kept coming back to the classic, the original, Bodum 1.5L Chambord Coffee Press.  It’s hard to beat the original, it has kept the same design since birth over a hundred years ago. How can you even compare with that?  Plus, it is glass and metal for the most part, I was a little disappointed that plastic was integrated into the design, and this did dissuade me a little, but not enough to ignore the clearly unrivaled reputation of the device.  It is the boss of the french press coffee mafia, no doubt about it.

Next was the grinder.  I had a couple stipulations for this, for one, I get up earlier than everyone else on work days, and if I have to grind some fresh coffee beans I don’t want it to sound like a cave full of bears are growling at each other in the kitchen inducing nightmares for the rest of the family.  Second, glass and metal are the materials that I am more comfortable bringing into my household. I don’t want a big plastic obstrocity judging me every time I pick it up. Third, research convinced me that an adjustable, ceramic, conical shaped grinder results in the highest quality coffee.  So now I have my Triple Tree Manual Ceramic Hand Grinder. It unfortunately has a small amount of plastic on the end of the handle, and a rubberized lid, but it’ll do.

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Lastly, once again thorough research led me to understand the need for an insulated decanter.  Even after the coffee is “pressed”, letting the brew sit with the coffee beans will lead to a bitter taste after a little time.  One option is to scoop out the beans as well as you can, not ideal. The other option is to pour out the brew into a decanter, bonus, an insulated one will allow you to have hot coffee for hours past initial brewing.  Hey, all of a sudden I have plenty of time to enjoy another cup of coffee halfway to lunch. The decanter is also a place where you can dare bask in the aesthetic as well. So, a visually pleasing accessory is on the checklist alongside the usual, metal/glass only prerequisite.  Large enough to hold an entire freshly brewed 1.5 liters of coffee is the only other requirement. Decision made, Upkoch Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee Carafe, it is.

Supplies in hand, a test run or two is required to attain the perfect cup of coffee.  Everyone’s tastes are different. Experimenting with coffee bean intensity, grind consistency, amount of grounds per brew and brewing time are all to be carefully considered. We have fine tuned our mix to our version of perfection.  We will continue to experiment with brands of coffee bean, but the basics are ironed out.  

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There is just something incredibly relaxing about that first steaming cup of coffee in the morning, mug in hand, looking out the sliding glass door into the world.  Even better yet, once the weather warms and the world returns to whatever its new version of normal is, sitting outside on the patio sipping a cup and listening to the birds chirp as the rest of the world wakes up before your eyes.

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