14 February 2014

how we make coffee

When we used to live in our tiny apartment with our very tiny kitchen, our coffee maker occupied part of the precious and limited counter space. Then we bought a Vitamix. My dear, powerful Vitamix. Our coffee drinking habit had slowed down a little bit anyway and our smoothie habit was kicking up, so we reasoned that the blender really ought to have prime counter space. In an apartment of our size, the coffee maker couldn't just be moved to storage. There was no room for storage. So out it went. We picked up a one-cup pour-over thing and figured that would do just fine.

Fast forward to our current, normal-sized kitchen. We still haven't replaced our coffee maker. There's no need. Here's what we use to make coffee.

Electric kettle. This one is particularly lovely because it is sleek, quick to boil and has an automatic turn-off feature. There's no whistle, but I actually prefer that because it saves me from sprinting through the house to turn off the kettle. When the water is boiling, it just shuts itself off. If I've forgotten about it, no worries, I just heat it up again.

Ceramic pour-over thing. Some places call it a coffee dripper. Ours fits just one mug. There are two of us, but only one pour-over thing. We figure the other person can wait a minute or two to start brewing their cup. Not a big deal.

Coffee. Sometimes we grind our own beans, sometimes we buy them pre-ground. I don't have a preference. Gasp! We have a charming coffee scoop with a maple handle that makes even the simplest grinds seem elegant.

It's the simplest method and the one I grew up with at home and at my Nan's. Assuming you already have a kettle of some sort (and I hope you do), it only requires one extra tiny piece of clutter and doesn't take up any additional counter space. Put one kettle of water on and then you can make either coffee or tea without any fuss. From what I gather, the pour-over method has also become trendy. The famous Blue Bottle Coffee uses this technique and has built a fiercely loyal following and somewhat confusing air of mystery and intrigue around their brand. I don't know about all of the frenzy, but they do offer helpful detailed instructions here, if you are interested in hopping on the bandwagon.

The only thing I might add to our coffee kit is a larger pour-over thing for times when we're brewing for a crowd. Or a fancy Chemex so we can pretend we are brunching in Vergennes. But even those practical items would be used rarely enough that they may not warrant the storage space. For now though, if you come over for coffee, we will brew you your own personal mug just as you like it. It's like a Keurig, but way better.

And that's how we make the coffee here. We don't drink it everyday, but I do enjoy a mug a few times a week. This basic method doesn't take any longer than a regular coffee maker, but it does require that you slow down your morning routine for just a moment while you pour the water over the grounds. I'd say it takes a minute or two to add in the water. It's meditative, simple and surprisingly satisfying. 

Happy Snowpocolypse & Valentine's Day to you! Make a mug o' coffee for a loved one today.


  1. Blue Bottle takes exceptional care at every step of the way in the coffee making process. The reason why there is always such a line is because each drink is given the time it deserves. Nothing gets rushes. They take no shortcuts. And I am one of the many who love them for it.

    FWIW not all ceramic cone drippers are created equal. It sounds like you have one that's pretty easy to use. Others can be a real headache for beginners (or those too bleary eyed to care in the morning). There was a great rundown on the pros and cons of different versions on Serious Eats, and for those who care, I'm posting the link below.


  2. Love this coffee making ritual, as you know. Simple, delicious and personalized....plus (gasp) if you put in a touch of cinnamon, it won't get bogged down. Nana turned me on to that.

  3. Genuinely, some hot espresso has bunches of excellencies. Envision how you want to ascend to the possess a scent reminiscent of new espresso in the morning! Regardless of whether it is holding with companions, whipping anxiety or simply twisting in bed to peruse a book, all you require is some espresso. Ana Maria

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