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Cup O Joe

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CUP O JOE

        Ever since I was a little kid, coffee has always been a very soothing smell to me and it still very much is. I am one of those whom only drink coffee socially not in the morning. GASP! You say, yes I am one of “THOSE” that do not require a cup O joe in the morning to wake up (please don’t hate me, I can’t help it). I love to drink coffee with dessert and to go out for coffee; I just don’t have a coffee habit. Recently I did an interview with Tim the owner of WOOD-FIRE ROASTED COFFEE COMPANY,(check out my article here) and he too enjoys a great cup of coffee and feels it should be savored as I. During my time with him, he did some demonstrations on proper way of brewing coffee in a CHEMEX and a FRENCH PRESS. These two methods are they only two he recommends to use.  I asked why you would use one method over another and Tim said that each method brings out different notes in the particular bean. It was recommended that when you purchase your coffee that you should inquire on what the recommended method is.[Of course this is assuming that you are not a heathen and buy pre-ground generic coffee from the local store…]

Before we get started there are a couple basics to making the perfect cup O joe: Quality of the coffee, proper grind for your maker, right temperature (180-200′)of water, quality of the water(filtered), and brewing method(chemex or french press). It is also recommended to have a small coffee cup ready to go. Don’t forget to heat coffee cup with hot water before cupping your coffee.

 

CHEMEX

     This device consists of an hourglass-shaped glass flask with a conical, rather than cylindrical neck. It uses proprietary filters, manufactured and distributed by the same company, which are thicker than standard drip coffee filters. Coffee is made by first placing the filter and grounds in the neck of the flask, heating water in a separate vessel, “blooming” the grounds (releasing the Co2 in the grounds) by adding a small amount of water to moisten them, and finally pouring the desired quantity of water over the grounds. The standard ratio is 50g ground coffee to 25 oz. water; Tim prefers to weigh it so that would be 1.63 lbs. of water on a digital scale. This method he uses for complimenting softer notes of certain coffees.

The brewing process is as follows:

  • grind whole bean coffee to a “table salt grind”
  • heat water in a separate vessel
  • rinse the paper filter with hot water, this removes any residual chemicals from the paper filter and promotes less absorption of the oils from the coffee
  • pour a small amount of hot water in the chemex and swirl to heat it up, pour out excess
  • place rinsed filter in the neck, fill with your coffee grounds, place on scale (if using) and tare
  • drizzle a small amount of water on grinds to wet them
  • pour enough water slowly to fill the neck about 3/4 of the way and allow grinds to bloom (they bubble up as they release Co2) This takes about 30 seconds.
  • slowly fill with rest of water(desired amount or until you reach desired weight) brew about 2.5 to 3 minutes
  • now “GIVE IT A MINUTE” this allows for the flavors to fully develop
  • cup your coffee now and treat it like a ritual, go ahead- sit down and savor it

 

FRENCH PRESS

    The modern French press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a plunger, which is made of metal or plastic that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine wire or nylon mesh filter. A French press requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then pressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker. The standard ratio is 54g of ground coffee to 32oz of water. This method is used for bring out stronger notes in coffees.

The brewing process is as follows:

  • grind whole bean coffee to a “kosher salt grind”
  • heat water in a separate vessel
  • pour a small amount of hot water in the french press and swirl to heat it up, pour out excess
  • put coffee in vessel and 1/2 of the water and set timer for 4 minutes, at 30 seconds(when done blooming) pour rest of water in slowly on top of bubbles to get all of the grounds trapped in the air pocket out, let brew full 4 minutes
  • when the timer goes off , put on the lid and press down the plunger slowly
  • now “GIVE IT A MINUTE” this allows for the flavors to fully develop
  • cup your coffee now and treat it like a ritual, go ahead- sit down and savor it

Now that you know how to brew the perfect cup O joe, I recommend going to a local artisan roaster, get a taste testing and recommendations from them. Manual brewing in the morning could be one of your steps to becoming more rustic and simple. If you really time it, the brewing process takes the same amount of time with ALL methods. The time it takes to drink it is another story.

 

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