When I titled this coffee talk, I quite literally meant that I would be talking about coffee today. I have strong feelings about the stuff. For one, I cannot function like a proper human being without a cup in the morning. The other day I missed my daily dose of caffeine and my entire day was thrown off. I was in an awful mood until the following morning, when I finally relished in my steamy mug of coffee shortly after waking and swore never to miss a cup of it again. I can’t relate to people who don’t drink coffee. I really can’t. As a little girl I loved waking up the the smell (not so much the sound) of freshly ground coffee beans on Saturday morning. And when my parents left me alone with my brothers for date-nights, my rebellious little spirit would sneak into the cabinet and make my own instant coffee in the microwave, setting the stage for both being a coffee addict and a bit of a wild child in my youth!
Beyond physically and mentally relying on coffee, I also have strong feelings about how it should be made. I will probably be labeled as a coffee snob for saying this (not that it would offend me), but I think Keurigs have done a disservice to the art and ethics of a good cup of coffee. I also think drip coffee makers are for college and break rooms, and as coffee loving adults, we should embrace the beauty of the bean, and explore more exciting ways to brew and connect to it at home. If not every morning, at least grind those beans on the weekends! I probably sound like a bit of a hippie, which I kind of am deep down, but I really mean what I say. The more connected we are to our food and beverages, the better they are. If you want an argument as to why your Keurig is so evil, plenty of other people have already given more than enough reasons that I’m not interested in rehashing here. Just trust me when I tell you, there are much more beautiful ways to brew coffee.
While I’m not claiming in any way to be an expert on coffee beans or brewing, I do think I know at least a little something about good cup of it. While there are undoubtedly many ways to make good coffee, this is how I’ve upgraded my coffee game since my drip maker days.
Fresh whole coffee beans. If fairtrade is your concern, I’ve bought this brand before and received positive reviews. If you’re into flavored coffee and want to buy it for a good price, everyone loves this in the southern pecan flavor. We actually buy our beans locally a lot, and the owner who was scooping them one day praised us for buying whole bean. He told us that he’s had people buy the coffee ground, and then had them claim it doesn’t taste as good as when they drink it there. The reason? Because you need to freshly grind your own beans! Embrace it, and enjoy a better cup of coffee.
Which brings me to my next essential, a good coffee bean grinder. I can only recommend the one we’ve had for years that works like a charm and has yet to ever fail me: Cuisinart’s automatic burr mill. It’s not the cheapest you’ll find, but if you’re using a french press it’s essential for a more coarsely ground bean.
Finally, the technique. I love and swear by my Bodum French press. I’ve tried cheaper versions of French press, and they honestly just do not compare – so go for the Bodum! A French press will give you a delicious full-bodied cup of coffee, and it honestly takes only a couple more hands-on minutes than a drip coffee maker, minutes that are well spent in my opinion. For those sensitive to bitter tasting coffee, and looking for a cleaner cup, I’d recommend a Chemex coffee maker as opposed to a French press. My brother has one, and not only is it a work of art for your kitchen counter, it also makes a mean cup of coffee. Some tips for mastering the French press here.
How do you like your coffee? Are you committed to the Keurig, love your drip-maker, or a devoted French presser like me? Either way, I’m sure all coffee lovers can agree on one thing – our mornings are at a loss without it!