Who knew there was so much to making Coffee?

Himself is a huge coffee aficionado. While I like coffee – it no longer likes me (but that’s another story) – and have drunk a lot of it in my many decades… I’d no idea what went into making not good coffee, but really superior coffee.

Among our coffee making ephemera, we already have multiple sizes of French press, a V60 pour over filter (with unbleached filter papers), a rather funky stove-top pot, as well as my own Nespresso machine. I don’t drink coffee very often, so had gone for the least mess & fuss option for making single cups – and I was pretty happy with it, truth be told, but Himself was decidedly sniffy…

I thought he was just being a coffee snob, until earlier this month. In order to explain fully, I’ll need to go back to late last year, to when he decided it would be wise to order his preferred espresso maker from Italy before post-Brexit regulations made imports more troublesome. It turned out he was right on that score (an annoying habit of his), and A La Pavoni professional espresso machine duly arrived Just before Christmas. At the same time, he also purchased a coffee burr-grinder costing almost as much…

Since then, there have been a dribble of further purchases – if of a smaller size and investment. There’s been the tamper, the blind shaker, the coffee brush, the basket funnel, and the (highly accurate) scales. He browsed at length (seriously I cannot tell you the level of research) in order to obtain the best quality to price ratio. He also continues to undertake a similar level of research into the methodology of making the best coffee. For the past month, he’s been practising and learning how best to use all his equipment – and while the murmurings of pleasure have been slow to come, I think we’re pretty much there now.

The other day, during a video call with my granddaughter, he stood behind me with a cup of coffee in his hand… and the smell was unbelievable. Honestly, I was bowled over with desire for a cup. He’s since made me a few cups of decaf (my insides won’t stand for the full caffeine versions), and they’ve been the best cups of coffee I’ve ever drunk… no word of a lie.

He still browses coffee paraphernalia websites, and today’s subject was a hand-grinder selling for $1,000! Yes, you read that right. Fortunately, discovering it takes 25 full-turns of the grinding handle to produce sufficient to make each small cup of coffee, meant any thoughts of it were tossed aside before he got to checking the cost. Now he simply admires the engineering beauty of the thing. While there we browsed the other products… viz coffee vaults and bean cellar glasses. These appear to be extremely ordinary glass containers to hold – respectively – ground coffee, and pre-measured doses of coffee beans, both being sold at a vast premium.

Fortunately he just laughed at them… but I’ve a growing realisation of quite how much of a money making business this coffee malarkey is.

How do you make your coffee? Would you take it to the level I’ve described for the perfect cup?


© Debra Carey, 2021

12 thoughts on “Who knew there was so much to making Coffee?

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  1. I became a full-blown coffee snob after visiting my cousin’s flat in Amsterdam years ago and enjoying a latte from his fancy machine every morning. It even had a hopper in the back to grind the beans fresh for each cup. When I got back to Canada I tried to source a similar machine but balked at the price. So I found an alternative that fit better with my budget: the Nespresso Latissima+….I’m now on my 2nd machine, having worn out the first 😆. I’m also a tea snob but let’s not go there. Basically anything I take a fancy to I will take to the snob level, I have learned. 😉

    Deb

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  2. I am not a coffee snob. I make a pot of coffee for us each morning and use ground coffee purchased at the grocery. Our machine is a basic drip coffee maker, although we have a Nepresso espresso maker for those moments when I want to feel fancy. However y’all carry on with whatever brews your beans [my take on the old saying, whatever floats your boat].

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  3. LA, I know you’ve got one of those kettles where you can control the temperature. What else do you do with your tea drinking? I’m more of a tea drinker these days (because of the over-sensitive insides), so I’d be keen to learn how I can maximise the experience 🙂

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  4. Deb, the machine your cousin has is the perfect way, as the machine does all the work and you don’t have to develop the technique (as Himself’s machine requires). As you say, the eye-watering price tag though 😀 Even making coffee with home ground beans has lifted my (occasional) coffee drinking experience up a notch or two. I’m fussy about what tea I drink and like using loose leaf tea when I’m making it. I do have a preferred tea bag option available for when Himself makes my tea, as I like it “just so” and he’s not been able to achieve that yet! 😉

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  5. “Whatever brews your beans” 😀 Love it! I was the same, and I hate that he’s converted me. Stay content with your method Ally, it’s best for your pocket and a relaxed lifestyle.

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  6. Oh my Natalie, that’s a trial. When we’ve travelled, Himself has puts up with whatever is on offer. He’s only sniffy about my Nespresso machine 😉

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  7. Water temp and brew time is key. The only reason that should be brewed using boiled water are black tea. Any other tea should be brewed about 185. Let the leaves steep, whether you use loose leaf or bags…at least three minutes

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  8. I’m still laughing at Himself’s “annoying” little habit. He’s certainly into being completely authentic with his coffee! The joke in our home is that my wife has to have hers flavored; while I merely take out a mug, pour it up to the top, and walk away. I prefer it black, and she adds all kinds of “treatments” to it that take up to at least five minutes or more to prepare. In the mornings when I’m waiting for her to come to the sofa so we can watch the news together, it feels like an interminable period. We have an Nespresso machine too, which she uses nearly every afternoon. I just go for that boring black cup that takes a second to pour. 🙂

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  9. LA, I can see that temperature controlled kettle could well be going on the list for the future. At he moment, I’m mostly drinking chai which, being black tea with spices, boiled water isn’t doing any harm. Likewise the Earl Grey which Himself makes for me.

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  10. Marty, it is terribly annoying of him 😀 Fortunately, on the rare occasion when he’s mistaken, he does hold his hand up to it. Actually, I drink my coffee just like you – black, no additions. My advice is to stick with what you’re enjoying now. Don’t try coffee made Himself’s way, or it’ll be impossible to go back. However, Gorgeous – as ever – has displayed excellent taste in having a Nespresso machine too 🙂

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