Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coffee-Fix

On a decidedly different note I'm really happy about my new coffee related toys.

My old fashion-y italiano espresso maker is pretty cool. I'm most intrigued by how the heat and pressure forces the water upwards through the grinds whereas every other coffee maker works with the water dripping downward.

My french press is pretty awesome too. I might forgo my "normal" coffee maker once I get the swing of things. The hot water to grind ratio is a bit off still and I'm not entirely sure about the ideal temperature of water to use.

However...thanks to a method I stumbled upon when reading about my favorite (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) I found something of great interest to me. Cold brewed Iced Coffee.

Now I've tried the double brew method of simply using twice as much coffee grind to the typical amount of liquid you'd use for normal hot coffee. The results are almost always disastrously bitter and need a ton of sugar and cream to balance it out. However, I'm glad to personally confirm that cold brewed iced coffee is dreamfully smooth, rich and ridiculously easy. The hardest part is waiting and straining, but thankfully now that I have my own press it's a lot of fun to press out the grinds. I don't really measure anything. I think it was like 2 heaping tablespoons and about 8-10 oz of water. I like my coffee stiff, particularly if it's going to be served with ice.

And when you think about it, it's a lot like the process of making sun tea. Instead of forcing out the flavor with hot water you let it slowly bloom on it's own. It's just like the kind you'd get at your chain coffee purveyor and it won't cost you $2+ a cup.

I'm not a coffee addict. I have one cup or less each day and I think that's plenty. I just happen to like having good coffee and I'm fascinated by the fact that so many people drink coffee all over the world and that they all have different methods of brewing theirs. I'm admittedly biased and I think there's nothing quite like a good glass of frosty Vietnamese Iced Coffee with condensed milk though I do not have any patience whatsoever and dislike waiting 20 minutes for it to slowly drip. But on the bright side, it does help maintain a certain "specialness" when you only have something you like once and so often.

So if you're keeping count, I have 4 distinctly different methods for brewing coffee but all of them are individually sized because Trevor doesn't even drink coffee.