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