The Shapiro Files

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Perfect Cup

CoffeeSometimes remarkable things happen at the most ordinary moments.

Over the past number of years, I’ve become quite the coffee drinker. I guess it goes back to college when I started drinking the stuff to help me get through my aggressive course/study/work load. But as I’ve entered post-college life, I’ve grown to enjoy the beverage as a beverage — although the caffeinating effects are still important in giving me a jump start on my work day.

More recently, I’ve grown to appreciate the nuances of different types of beans (dark versus medium versus flavored etc.) and even treated myself to a burr grinder last year to allow for the best quality grinding (the second most important part of making a good cup next to the beans themselves) we could manage without investing in professional-level equipment (absurdly expensive). From that point on, I’ve experimented with various grinding settings, grounds-to-water ratios, and brewing methods.

And then, on a ordinary Saturday morning while hanging with Melody in the kitchen, it happened: I made the perfect cup of joe.

While such events are inherently ephemeral, I thought I’d at least try to detail as best as I can the steps I took in making the cup for both my own reference and for anyone else who enjoys a good hot beverage!

Tools:
  • Krupps coffee bean burr grinder
  • Crate & Barrel three-cup French Press brewer
  • Millstone French Roast beans
The process:
  • On grinder, set quantity to 3 cups and set coarseness just a couple of notches below full coarseness (fully coarse grounds are recommended for French Press brewers, but I like just the faintest hint of bitterness)
  • Boil water in tea kettle and activate the grinder only moments before water comes to a boil
  • Dump coffee grounds into the French press, forming a little mound, and pour out just a little of the boiled water on the grounds to start a strong expresso base
  • After about a minute, pour a little more water to about an inch above the coffee grounds
  • After another minute, add enough water to fill slightly more than half of the French press and mix with a plastic mixing spoon (a metal spoon might add unwanted metal flavor)
  • Wait a couple of more minutes for the coffee to be sufficiently brewed and press the French Press “plunger” filter down
  • Serve and enjoy
  • Voilà!

2 Comments:

  • Cous -

    I appreciate your appreciation for the perfect cup of coffee...I just can't imagine you having that kind of time! I did not see any diaper changes or feedings in the middle of those directions! HOW and WHEN do you do it all?? :)

    By the way, I responded to your blog comment by email and gave you some specifics...I did not want to bore everyone on the blog with technical jargon about music :)

    Bradley
    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 12/12/2006 6:53 PM  

  • Well.... I should be asking you the same question! How did you manage to record a WHOLE CD after Sammy's arrival?! :) I'm over a year behind with my home studio project!

    But in all events, thanks for your email and yes, we've now ordered a CD. Can't wait to hear it!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 12/13/2006 12:10 AM  

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