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Towards the Perfect Cup of Coffee

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posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:30 PM
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My lady-friend is a stone cold hipster. Besides my desensitization to the careless use of flannel, I haven't changed much since falling in love with her. But over time her inherent snobbery and ridicule of my plebeian tastes has fundamentally altered my once flippant attitude towards the finer things in life into something I would describe as—surprisingly—semi-refined.

This is true even of my taste for coffee. Where I once could go for months with only a cup or two of joe here and there (preferably the instant kind), now I wake up early, take the time every morning to measure, grind, take temperatures, and to brew my coffee by hand, all in the vain pursuit of that perfect cup.

Thankfully, with a little trial and error, some note taking, I have acquired knowledge that might be of interest to the uninitiated.

The proverbial key is in the literal ingredients. Freshly roasted, whole coffee beans are a prerequisite to that perfect cup. If you prefer the pre-ground stuff that comes from a tin can, remember that the volatility of coffee oils greatly enhances it’s likelihood that it will be contaminated by other odors. That subtle, meaty taste in your coffee may in fact be the remnants of someone’s bodily scents.

What country the beans hail from is largely a matter of taste, but where you purchase these beans could send you further down the path to mediocrity. Never purchase coffee from a grocery store. Don’t be afraid to be a little elitist on this point. Their products are mass produced, stale, often allowed to sit there for a year or so until they remove it, or until some schlub buys it, whatever comes first. Opt instead for locally-roasted, small batch coffee if you can get your hands on it. The nearer to the time it was roasted the better. Coffee degrades in character, flavour and aroma as time goes on, so only buy as much as needed to avoid unnecessary waste. (Are we not waste conscious yet?)

Grind your beans with a good Burr grinder. The Burr grinder offers a more consistent and finer grind than your typical blade grinder. The even grounds promise less variation in the extraction of flavours and aromas, promising a better cup of coffee.

For brewing methods, I have come to prefer the pour-over method over anything else. The freshly ground coffee is placed in a filter above a cup, usually in a pour-over brewer. The filter was previously rinsed in hot water so as to remove any trace tastes of the paper. Baristas, when they aren’t refusing to make a good cup of coffee, suggest a 1:17 coffee to water ratio, and I have conceded that this is indeed the perfect ratio for my own tastes. The optimum brewing temperature for water is 200˚F-205˚F, and for the perfect pour, a swannecked (goosenecked?) kettle is preferable.

At first, the hot water is poured over the coffee just enough cover it, allowing the coffee to “bloom”, which is hipster jargon to describe the moment when the coffee is puffing and swelling as it releases CO2 in a nice, coffee-scented bouquet. Afterwords, the rest of the pour evolves in subtle spirals from the outside to the center, then from the center to the outside, stopping every now and then for 15-20 seconds or so to let the coffee drip, as it fills the vessel with the hot, aromatic fruits of your hard work.

Maybe some Proust, maybe some jazz, most definitely a fine woman—not much else—is all that could ever make your morning any better now that you have your morning coffee.



edit on 24|7|18 by Words because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:47 PM
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Get your beans green, unroasted, from sweet Marias in Oakland. Get them online. They are cheaper green. I roast mine weekly in a vintage Hamilton Beach air corn popper. 8 minutes average roast time.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: Words

Who has time for all that nonsense?

Large quantities delivered in the most efficient way possible is the correct answer to how to make the perfect cup.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:53 PM
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I feel there is much to be said about the Italian belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior bean, in an animal, in a coffee plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day, which to many never comes, when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the beans which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognized their voice the spell is broken. We have delivered them: they have overcome death and return to share our life over a cup of coffee.

… when one day in winter, as I came home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some coffee, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first and the, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent out for one of those hard, dry, biscuits called “almond biscotti,” which look as though they had been moulded in the last century and were just as dry. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the coffee in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid and the crumbs with it touched my palate, a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place….




S+F for picking a fight with so many sides. Oh, water has be from here, only a gold filter works, only porcelain cups, no… only ceramic! A pinch of salt! No salt! Maybe some chocolate? No, do it the Mexican way with chocolate and chili powder!!

All I can add is: NO WHIP CREAM, EVER!!!

PS - All deference to Proust!! When you have that transcendent moment with that cup of coffee, may your words flow so we can have a new narrative about coffee!

: Pro(u)st: (see what I did there?!
)
edit on 24-7-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: formatting



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:55 PM
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The old perculators of the 50's is the best way to make a cup of morning Joe. I wish I could find one to buy, I don't even think they make them anymore, and the coffee grinds make good coverage for the catfish dewworms you use for fishing. Good times back in the 50's. Pure fun. Try to stay away from them white paper filters made in China or any place in Asia.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: Words

Like you, I have come to appreciate the ritual aspect of these types of things. The things one does often, one should do well.

I am as dilettantish as they come where coffee is concerned. I buy store brand in as big a can as I can get. I think it's "100% Columbian" and I love it. I have a coffee maker in my bathroom.

My daily ritual is the wet shave. I pride myself on having learned the wet-shaving technique almost exclusively by trial-and-error. It only took me 6 years to get it right, too.


As with anything, the real secret lies in the preparation stage.

First, make a pot of coffee. Then shower. After showering, I apply coconut oil to my skin and prepare my shaving lather in a cup. But instead of using water, I prepare the lather with the fresh, hot coffee. I use a medical dose dropper to get the perfect ratio of coffee to soap, and it's piping hot. Not only does it feel good, but I would swear that the coffee is good for my skin somehow.

Anyways, that's my ritual. I stumbled on the coffee-lather method one day when there was no hot water, and it became an integral part of the process. Shoot, for all I know, many men do this and I'm late to the party. I've been meaning to try tea next.

edit on 7/24/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:07 PM
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originally posted by: watchitburn
a reply to: Words

Who has time for all that nonsense?

Large quantities delivered in the most efficient way possible is the correct answer to how to make the perfect cup.

This ^^^^^
I think I am becoming a 3rd Level Navigator.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: Words

I do like my french Press when I really want to enjoy a cup of coffee. To me it makes a great cup with relatively little work.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: watchitburn
a reply to: Words

Who has time for all that nonsense?

Large quantities delivered in the most efficient way possible is the correct answer to how to make the perfect cup.


You have to make the time. It takes about 10 minutes in total. Your answer is demonstrably false.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I haven’t quite delved into the shaving ritual, but I haven’t quite hit peak hipster yet. At the rate I’m going I will be there soon.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: Words

No offense was taken, but if you only knew me, you'd chuckle at having accused me of being a hipster. If that is what you are implying. Either way, may your path be merry and your coffee strong.




posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:57 PM
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originally posted by: DictionaryOfExcuses
a reply to: Words

No offense was taken, but if you only knew me, you'd chuckle at having accused me of being a hipster. If that is what you are implying. Either way, may your path be merry and your coffee strong.



I don’t know you well enough to make any judgements this way or that. I was speaking about myself. Eschewing my typical shaving ritual, which consists of an electric razor, for a more barbaric method seems to me hipster in motive, but I would never imply you yourself was a hipster. Cheers.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 08:09 PM
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I go to Trader Joe's and drink half a pot of their "sample" coffee.
It's good stuff.
The manager doesn't like me.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: Words

Those 10 minutes could be spent drinking coffee instead of waiting for coffee.

Your answer is unquestionably false.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 11:00 PM
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I know someone who orders coffee beans from Guatemala and roasts them and puts them in bags. It is really great coffee, but at twenty bucks a pound, a little rich for our taste. What is good though is mixing some with our Hills Brothers can coffee, it gives it a really hefty boost of flavor and it doesn't add much price to a pot of coffee. A pound of their coffee will enrich the flavor of three 33 ounce Hills Brothers coffee. I am not into getting spoiled making it full strength every day, it could get addicting.



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 11:18 PM
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originally posted by: watchitburn
a reply to: Words

Those 10 minutes could be spent drinking coffee instead of waiting for coffee.

Your answer is unquestionably false.


Drinking bad or even mediocre coffee is simply not worth it for me any longer. I cannot justify it.



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: musicismagic

Agree. I only perk. Best taste. Had mine for 30 years-gift from ex's mother. Only good thing she ever gave me.
edit on 25-7-2018 by Justso because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 07:56 AM
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I have had many perfect cups of coffee. It's the circumstance and situation that makes it perfect rather than the coffee itself. Sitting on he top of some hill with the sunrise, or watching a meteor shower at four in the morning with a cup of instant from a camping stove, beats the chase to the perfectly ground-and-measured cup anyone could labour over.
edit on 25/7/2018 by paraphi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 08:38 AM
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originally posted by: Words
My lady-friend is a stone cold hipster.


As much as I love coffee and was curious where this was leading, I had to stop right there. lol



posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 11:30 AM
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I usually do the same but try all kinds of different beans.

I do have some "go-to" beans when I want that comfortable "I know this cup will be damn good" feeling.

My wife made me buy a electric grinder since I got her into drinking coffee in the morning, before that I ground by hand.

Fresh Press is my weapon of choice.



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