This week’s New York Times Magazine included an article titled “Coffee’s Slow Dance” by Oliver Strand.
Strand writes about how he “started buying gear — a grinder, a drip cone, a pouring kettle — that was simple, functional and beautiful. They were low-tech, high-fidelity gadgets that cost $15 to $50 and changed how I make coffee. For the most part, the key components came from Japan.” I’ve recently had a similar experience.
One of the podcasts I enjoy listening to while driving hither and yon is the Build and Analyze podcast by Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin. Turns out that Marco is a real fan of coffee done right – and he’s talked about how he does it on earlier editions of this podcast. His techniques include using the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker – a hand-operated manual press that turns out to be SO much better than the traditional French press.
If you’d like to manually grind your own coffee – instead of using a cheap blade grinder or an expensive burr grinder – I recommend the HARIO Coffee Grinder ‘Mini Mill Slim’. With this Japanese grinder, it takes about 2-4 minutes to manually grind up enough coffee for 1-2 cups of coffee – good morning exercise!
His other tips include using a more expensive burr grinder – although in my experience the AeroPress does a fine job of brewing with beans that have had a good 20 second blast in a blade grinder. AeroPress recommends using water heated to 175 degrees (an easy 2-3 minutes in the microwave) – instead of using boiling water out of a tea kettle.
And, of course, the other key ingredient is great coffee.
I’m especially a fan of Peet’s coffee – and, in particular, their African coffees. They have just the right balance for my taste – much better than their Sumatra coffees for example. My current favorite is a special Peet’s roasting of Ethiopian Super Natural organic coffee – it’s amazing when brewed with the AeroPress! (You’ll need to get on Peet’s mailing list to be able to order this particular coffee the next time it’s available.)
Slow coffee indeed. Rich, dark and especially flavorful. Here’s to a great morning cup of ‘Joe!