My quest for the perfect cup of coffee

Like most techies, I love to enjoy a couple cups of coffee each day. I’m not an espresso person like my blogging partner Mike, but am a simple drip guy. For the past 3 – 4 years I’ve been using a Cuisineart 12-cup drip coffee maker with natural unbleached filters. I THOUGHT this would provide a good cup of joe, but oh how wrong I was.

A few weeks back I got to talking about coffee with a good friend of mine. He gave me the ins and outs of preserving coffee, his thoughts on roasting the perfect bean, and then he schooled me on the best ways to craft a cup of joe. He also recommended replacing my drip coffee maker with a french press, which would bring in more of the natural flavors of the coffee. I had never really studied or read about this stuff before, so hearing how to store my beans and how beans decay over time was rather interesting.

With this wealth of new information in hand, I ventured off to see what kind of French presses Amazon had. After reading tons of reviews and seeing the Bodum Chambord Coffee Press come up on several sites, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one. I got the 32-ounce coffee press, and after reading the directions I decided to grind up some beans and give my new coffee maker a whirl.

I decided to start small, and put in 2 scoops of coffee along with 8 ounces of how water. The coffee aroma smelled real nice like, and after four minutes of brewing time I poured my first cup of joe. When I took my first sip I almost gagged, since I had ingested a mouth full of coffee grinds. Gak! I figured I did something wrong, and after a little googling I found out that you need to use COARSE ground coffee instead of fine ground coffee. Duh! My electronic grinder didn’t have a coarse setting (I could fudge it by grinding less, but the end product was not ideal), so I decided to order a hand grinder that I could set to coarse.

After once again reading tons of reviews I decided to order a Kyocera Ceramic Coffee Grinder. I decided on a hand grinder since I could take it camping, or use it while the power was out. It landed on my door step the other day, and after opening up the box I was very impressed with how durable it was. Still itching to see what my buddy meant by a “killer cup of joe”, I coarsely ground two scoops of coffee and then started the brewing process a second time. When I poured out my cup of coffee this time, there were no grounds in it and it smelled like something a high end coffee barista would make.

So what do I think about the taste difference? There is absolutely no comparison. I can actually taste the coffee flavor now, and when a coffee says bold it is indeed bold. I’m still trying to figure out which beans and regions I prefer, but my initial foray into the french press coffee making business has been an almost complete success! I say almost since I wound up with a mouth full of grinds the first time through, and then learned that Whole Foods isn’t joking with their happy morning buzz beans! Those had me wired and attentive for hours straight. ;)

So if you are a drip guy or gal, you may want to look into using a french press. If you are already brewing delicious coffee using a press or some other brewing process, please leave me a comment and let me know which beans and brewing process you are using. I’m planning to experiment a lot over the next few months, and your input would be greatly appreciated! Now to save up for a 3-cup Bodum Chambord Coffee Press for work. That will definitely help me stay attentive and alert after lunch, and experiment with more flavors of coffee and tea. Happy brewing!