Tuesday, March 7, 2017


I read Sarah West's post tonight about creating good habits (eating healthier).  I definitely need to eat healthier and become more active and exercise,  but that is not a post for today.

   Her post got me thinking about some of my favorite habits.  If I had to pick a personal weakness, it'd have to be coffee. I'm not sure what my life would be like if I didn't have coffee. I'm guessing It would consist of 2 to 4 weeks of existential crisis followed by a return to life as normal. Since I like being nice to people,  I'll take a hard pass on that idea for the time being.  For the past few hours, I've been reveling in the joy of my newest coffee-related purchase.

    I don't know how many 36 year old men have ever driven home anxiously to pick up the box sitting on the doorstep containing their new stainless steel 6 cup pour over kettle, but I literally just wrote that sentence. You could say life has slowed considerably since my years backpacking around glaciers, and you'd be 100 percent correct.  The way I make coffee is probably different than most. I always seem to take something simple and purposely make it harder. Making coffee is simple. Scoop the grounds into the filter in the basket of the machine. Pour in the water. Press the button. OR for the digitally inclined... grab the plastic pod of coffee.Put it in the machine. Push the button. Hey, coffee!

    Here's my method: purchase beans (I'm fondest of the Ethiopian/Kenyan varietal) from my favorite roasterie in Madison, WI online. Get beans and store them in my vacuum sealed container. Remove beans from container as needed, measure them out by gram on my digital scale. Dependent on to the amount I'm brewing, apply my 14x multiplier of grams of beans/ grams of water ratio, and then measure the appropriate water addition.  Heat the water to 195-205 degrees (205+ extracts tannins, no bueno) and take a temp reading with my digital thermometer. As I'm heating the water, grind the beans in my conical burr grinder, rinse my paper filter, and then place it in my ceramic dripper. Add the ground beans to the filter, add 40-60 grams of heated water, wait for the bloom (seriously, don't ask) and then continue adding water while weighing the output on a digital scale. After about 3-5 minutes, I've added all the water I'll need, waited for the dripper to stop dripping, and be ready to drink my coffee. By the way, this nets me exactly one cup of coffee.

    Before the kettle, I'd heat the water in a pyrex glass in the microwave, or simmer it in a pot on the stove. The kettle is a game changer. It holds the temp so perfectly and it's spout is specifically designed for the pour over method. I don't know why I didn't get one sooner (actually I do,  and if you've read this far, you can figure out why). If that wasn't bad enough, lately I've been thinking about how it doesn't make much sense to continue buying freshly roasted beans when I can buy green ones much cheaper, and begin roasting them in the comfort of my own home. I'm just a few geeky contraptions away from this becoming a possibility. After a short learning curve, I'll almost have this whole operation down to a science!

   I brewed my wife some coffee the other day. She promptly added creamer, 2 packets of sugar, and told me it tasted "fine."

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