I had a caffeinated moment of clarity several years ago when my mother-in-law made me a great cup of coffee using a French press. The coffee itself wasn't super premium grade stuff or anything (far from it, actually), but the drink was pretty damn good nonetheless. I realized that, as a daily coffee drinker, life is too short to drink lousy coffee. I told myself: "if you're going to drink at least one cup of coffee a day for the rest of your life, then try to maximize the enjoyment and enhance the experience." I've tried, believe me.
After spending far too much time online here and here (and sometimes here), I learned that freshly roasted specialty or artisan coffee beans are a must. I also learned that ground coffee begins to degrade and go stale within ten minutes. So the old "grind the beans at the store" routine is fatally flawed, and the best practice is to grind the beans immediately before brewing.
Coffee brewing. Over the last few years I've acquired and used a variety of coffee making devices and systems, and have experimented with a number of different brewing techniques. All of this effort devoted to the goal of making that perfect cup of coffee. The following is a quick summary of what I have at the moment (listed from the oldest to the newest apparatus):
1. Cuisinart automatic drip coffee maker. This is a decent, well-made machine, even though it has a few annoying design defects. It has a thermal carafe (with a lid that inhibits the outflow of the last bit of coffee), it's easy to use, and it looks nice. The wife uses this every day during the week. I use it on the weekends to make coffee for the wife (after pressing the "Brew" button on the Cuisinart, I'll make myself a cup or two using one of the preferred methods mentioned below).
|Bodum French Press|
|Hario V60 Dripper|
|The Clever's Valve|