Coffee is at the heart of the matter all about personal preference. At the moment, Meyer and I have five different ways to make coffee rolling around the house. (Yes, five and yes, it might be excessive.) Our everyday method is a pour over which varies by season: in summer into a Chemex and in winter a Hario cone filter into an insulted carafe. A Keurig sits on a counter for my father (an instant enjoyer) and guests. Yes, we do have instant in the house but right now only instant espresso for baking. An ancient dusty Nespresso D300 rounds out our collection. We are toying with the idea of upgrading to a Nespresso Vertuoline machine to consolidate some of our electric coffee making collection-then there will only be one machine for capsule coffee and espresso.
I have to admit, I’ve stolen the cone filter process from a good friend. She grew up with manual drip coffee and still swears by this method. I, on the other hand, grew up with instant. It wasn’t until college that I learned the benefit of freshly brewed coffee. Those were the days I’d carry beans in my carry-on back to school. Now days we are lucky to have several places in the area to pick up deliciously roasted beans and also to have direct shipping. Here’s a few coffee companies that we enjoy: Blue Bottle Coffee, Lexington Coffee Roasters and Swing’s Coffee.
Our two standard coffee brewing technics are explained a bit more:
Chemex coffeemakers are considered, by some, superior for brewing coffee as their unique extra thick filter papers trap sediment and oils which are the cause of most bitter tastes in coffee. The coffeemakers were invented by Dr Peter Schlumbohn in 1941. It is made up of a nonporous borosilicate glass-the glass is heat proof and lab quality which allows it to be warmed on an open flame just like a erlenmeyer flask in a lab (pretty cool I think). The natural wooden handle around the neck keeps cool to the touch. It is my preferred system for brewing, however, in winter I find the coffee gets cold quickly in our chilly house.
Our cone dripper is a Hario V60 ceramic dripper from Japan. The ridged interior supposedly facilitates better flow of the coffee into the pot or mug while the larger center hole allows (using their own pointed cone filter) the water to extract more from the coffee grounds and can change the flavor of the coffee depending on the speed of the poured water. Another benefit here is to put the ceramic cone on top of an insulated carafe or directly over a mug. This works ideally in winter when we want to keep the coffee blazing hot all morning.
Both systems are based on a pour-over method. I suggest looking at Brew methods or this video by Intelligentsia Coffee on how to brew a pour over. Though I’m not one to follow directions, I find my technique for brewing coffee is pretty traditional. I keep the water in our instant hot around the suggested 195-210 degrees Fahrenheit, I’ve started to wet the filter, I do bloom the grounds before adding more water, and then carefully keep an eye on the process so as not to over fill the ground with too much water and dilute the coffee. I’ve enjoyed brewing in my Hario dripper all winter but with the spring temps teasing me, I’m ready to switch over to my Chemex and sip some coffee on the screened in porch.