Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Coffee Enthusiast's Guide to Good Coffee

A few friends have asked what I have been doing without Peregrine down the street to feed my coffee habit. Well, after a few discussions with some trusted experts on what I can do without having to purchase a fancy espresso machine (basically the only good ones are several thousand dollars and Dan is not ready for me to make that kind of purchase!) This is an overview of my coffee routine. It really is not as complicated as it may look.


I'm not a coffee purist by any means; my aunt Chottie will totally poo poo this post when she reads it because a purist drinks their coffee black. I am merely an avid coffee enthusiast, a milk and sugar adder to my coffee-er. There was an interesting article in Barista Magazine on this subject this past fall.

Though I pollute my coffee with milk and sugar I am however rather picky about my joe additions. I make a vanilla simple syrup or a vanilla sugar (for the sugar stir together 1 cup sugar and add a Tbsp of vanilla bean paste or more depending on preference; store in the fridge for up to a month), or I'll also use dark muscavado sugar, which is the pile of sugar pictured on the right. The sweetener I use depends on my mood that day.


I use a coffee bean vacuum. A friend gave this to me several years ago; this thing runs on batteries and vacuum seals the beans. You can set it to a 12 or 24 hour reseal setting to conserve energy.


I have currently been importing beans from Peregrine, but I'll switch to Counter Culture from the CIA or Bread Alone once the last of my beans have been used up. It may not seem like one would notice the sublety in flavor whilst using milk and sugar but there really is a difference between freshly roasted beans and the stuff you get in the supermarket.


A great friend gave me a Williams-Sonoma gift card once (as a note...WS gift card always equals a happy Patricia...just saying!) and I was able to get this little beauty. It takes all of 10 seconds to grind the beans...then I pop those into a filter and set on top of my dripper (which I got at Peregrine).


Summer of 2009 my good friend's mom (Dede) introduced me to the little baby above and I've been using it ever since. It is a Nespresso milk frother another WS item; my parents and in-laws think that I am a bit ridiculous when it comes to my coffee (I keep a french press at my in-laws lake house and I brought my frother when we stayed two weeks one vacation.)

Seriously though, this thing is awesome. You add a bit of milk, hit the button and voila, frothy milk.


I use a dripper that I purchased at Peregrine this fall to actually produce my coffee. It is pretty straight forward. You put your grounds in a filter and pour hot water over the top and it drips into the cup!

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