Sag Rising

Notes to Myself

How to Have a Fresh, Hot Cup of Coffee

Posted by Richard Cockrum on August 26, 2008

I love my coffee. Plain, black coffee. No cream. No sugar. No cappuccino. Just fresh, plain, black coffee.

At home I use a Melitta brewer. I heat water in a tea kettle. Pour it into the Melitta, then pour the coffee into an insulated carafe so it tastes fresh and hot, but not burnt, every cup.

That doesn't help when I'm at work. I work in a different location every day, most of which don't have a coffee brewer, but all of which have a microwave oven, so I used to keep a coffee cup at each location, and carry instant coffee with me. If you drink coffee, you know that no matter how famous the brand is, it doesn't taste like fresh coffee. As my wife would say, How do you drink that stuff?

Fortunately, my wife loves me. She got me a 16oz french press coffee brewer. If you've never seen a french press, it consists of a decanter of some kind that has a lid with a plunger. Attached to the end of the plunger is a fine meshed screen.

Making coffee in a french press is easy. Put enough coffee in the decanter for the amount of water you'll be adding. Add water that is near boiling, then put the lid on. Let the grounds steep for a few minutes, then slowly lower the plunger. The screen traps the grounds at the bottom of the decanter. After letting the coffee sit for a minute more to let things settle, pour yourself a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee.

When I first started using the french press I tried the normal, pre-ground coffee we use at home. That was a mistake. It is too fine for the mesh screen, so I ended up with somewhat 'chewy' coffee. Since I'd rather drink my coffee than eat it, I bought some whole beans and ground them in a hand-cranked, burr type grinder that we have at home. The first cup I made with the hand-ground coffee was heavenly. I haven't looked back.

So now I get fresh, hot, black coffee wherever I am. No more instant. No more How do you drink that? Just caffeine pleasure.

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