Consuming The Harvest

While Pottering About At Home In Norfolk

In Search Of The Perfect Brew (and update)

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Of coffee that is.

I’m by no means an expert, and connoisseur sounds a bit elite, but I do like my coffee and I am fairly particular as to how it tastes. I’ve had all sorts of coffee creating apparatuses both manual and mechanical. Currently I own a Senseo and have been very happy with both the machine and the coffee it produces for quite some time now. Then, on a long weekend in London, I ordered a coffee at a restaurant and it was the most heavenly thing. A simple ‘filter’ coffee with a touch of milk, but it was perfect. Just strong enough (I like my coffee strong), no bitterness whatsoever, no ‘bits’ floating around in it nor in the bottom of the cup afterwards and no crema/frothy layer on top. Suddenly the Senseo seemed second rate.

I spent a few hours searching online for drip/filter coffee makers. There are hundreds. The biggest problem I had in the past with all of the filter coffee makers was amount. I normally drink 2-4 cups per day. One at a time. BH (bestest half) isn’t much of a coffee drinker, so it’s just me. I don’t want to make a ‘pot’ of coffee, have a cup and have the rest (whatever amount that may be) sitting on a hot plate and stewing for hours on end – the result is nothing I’m going to want to drink! During my online search I found it very hard, impossible really, to find a mechanical coffee maker that was specifically made to make 1 or two cups at a time. There was one but you had to use the cup that came with it. No, sorry, I like my mug(s). I have tried a small 3 cup French Press, but even after much experimentation never really was able to produce what I was hoping for.

So for a single cup at a time I found my options to be:

1. A Cone Filter – which you place on top of your cup, add a paper filter and then your coffee, pour hot water over it and let it drip into the cup. Sounded OK, but I couldn’t find any with some sort of lid that would help to keep the water hot while it made it’s journey through the coffee.

2. One Cup Coffee Filters – These work on the same premise as no. 1, but the coffee is pre-measured into a plastic cup that has a filter. You simply pour hot water into this cup (which you’ve placed over your mug 😉 ) and the add the lid that comes in the pack and let the water drip through. It worked and tasted pretty good. Downside – it’s expensive if your going to have 2-4 cups a day (they came in packs of 10) and you’ve got 10 plastic ‘cups’ and lids to dispose of.

3. Coffee ‘Bags’ – same principle as a tea bag only with coffee! Yuck!

4. The AeroPress – YES!

The AeroPress is exactly, more or less, what I’ve been looking for.

It’s a plunger type of coffee maker (which sets on your own cup/mug) with the difference being that the ‘plunged’ coffee drips out from under the grounds rather than setting on top of them like a french press. I ordered one from Firebox which arrived on Tuesday. My first cup was horrible because I used too much coffee (a case of more is not better) and with a little tweaking through the next few cups I’ve hit on the perfect combination of coffee/water/press time and milk. I’m in coffee heaven! It really is easy to use, very easy to clean and I am absolutely ecstatic that I can go back to buying beans and grinding my own here at home as I need to. The AeroPress even comes with it’s own funnel so that if you do grind your own beans you can pour directly from the grinder into the gadget!

I’ll be keeping the Senseo for those odd times when I want a frothy top, but the AeroPress will be my main way of making coffee. At least until they come up with a new version that’s just push-button! Now, I hear the done thing if you’re really serious about your coffee is to roast your own beans. Hmmm…………..

*Update* The Senseo finally gave out (this was my second machine) and rather than go for a third I opted for the neat little Magimix Nespresso machine. Love it, but the capsules do tend to be a bit pricey!

**this post has been imported from my previous blog, minus the update**


Written by kadeeae

August 11, 2008 at 1:33 pm

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