Coffee. That slightly bitter, nectar of the coffee cherry gods, plucked by fairies, roasted by nymphs, and delivered by unicorns. The liquid life that wakes us up every morning, keeps us conscious during daylight hours, and finishes off our day with its comforting warmth. The dark ambrosia, extracted from a bean, that we use as an excuse to gather with friends. Yes, we love our coffee.
For some, a visit to Starbucks every morning will suffice. For others, a drip coffeemaker at home is a savior during the morning rush. Brewing up some tasty store-bought grounds causes our eyes to open, and our day to start right. Drop in some creamer, maybe some sugar, and we are good to go.
This is not the case for the serious connoisseur of the art that is coffee. For them, a coffee pot, a Keurig, or a percolator will not do. If you give them two hours, they will school you on all things java. They live to discuss the nuances of this brewing sorcery. There are some items, which sound like complicated science experiment materials, that these lovers of the magical bean will use to concoct their potions. It’s as if they exist to find the perfect combination that culminates in the all-elusive, flawless cup of joe.
Not many people talk about the FRENCH PRESS anymore, but it kind of started the whole fancy coffee craze. It is a heavier, more oily process, where the coarsely ground beans sit in hot water for four minutes. They are then pressed through the water using a metal screen. This extracts the flavor and all the oils from the coffee into the hot water. It is a delicious mug of piping hot goodness, but it is a bit heavy and oily, more so than if the ground coffee beans had been filtered through a filter paper.
The V60 pour over method is the next level of coffee wizardry. To brew a 10oz mug of coffee using this process takes about three minutes. This does use a special paper filter. The steaming water, heated to approximately 205°f, is hand-poured via a gooseneck kettle, very slowly, over the ground beans resting in the filter. Approximately three tablespoons, or if you’re really hardcore, 21grams of just-ground, weighed coffee beans are used for a 10oz mug of coffee. A taste of coffee made this way is considered “bright and focused.” In real-person language, this means not as oily as the french press method.
The GINO coffee process is where they start to lose me, but I’m not a hard-core coffee connesuer. This process uses a double-walled glass dripper, with a flat-bottom, three-holed filter. Much like the V60 method, the water is heated to about 205°f, and poured over the ground beans using some kind of sorcery and magic. It takes approximately three-and-a-half minutes to complete this process, which results in a mug of brew that is much like the V60 mug. I guess fancy people can tell the difference.
A true coffee geek would be remiss if they did not mention the CHEMEX process, the crème de la crème of coffee brewing magic. I am not a true coffee geek, so this process is way too complicated for me. There is a glass, test-tube looking carafe on the bottom that holds the glass, funnel-shaped top part. This top part houses a silicone stopper, which is apparently important. The just-ground beans are placed in a tri-fold, cone-shaped filter. Then, apparently angels and genies come to complete this pour over method, because, it is said, this makes the smoothest, best brew available.
However you take your cup of dark, liquid pleasure is perfectly appropriate in my book. Make it quick, or savor the process, coffee is like a liquid, magic, blessing in a mug. Drink up, my friend. Drink up.
Tell us your favorite way to brew coffee in the comments.