Kitchen Tips

Coffee

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There are so many ways to prepare a quality cup of coffee. Some people prefer french press, others prefer drip, and others prefer more complicated or unique methods. I think the most important thing is that you prepare coffee in a way that you enjoy it. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences.

Over the years we’ve had several methods of preparing coffee. Although we liked the convenience of single serve brewers (those that use plastic or paper pods), we didn’t like the expense, the waste, the plastic, or the taste. Also, as I became a bit more aware of the effects of certain plastics and hot liquids, we set out to try to reduce the amount of plastic in our morning coffee. In Germany we alternated between a french press and a ceramic pour over. The latter was a bit impractical if more than one person would be drinking the coffee (although you could drip it directly into a carafe) and the former was never really perfect for us.

When we moved to Hawaii, my aunt gave us a Chemex, which I had always wanted. It has been the best method we have found. It requires a few other pieces of equipment, but it prepares excellent coffee. Here is our setup:

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You’ll notice in the first picture there is a large water filter (Berkey filter) which we use here in Texas. We didn’t need one in Hawaii because they had nice, soft, un-fluoridated water. Here we certainly need one, so we use this for all our drinking water (I’ll post more on the details in the future). Next to that you can see our coffee grinder. We use a burr grinder (this one) because they are supposed to be the best at crushing and grinding the beans, rather than chopping them. We have very limited space in our kitchen, so that is why our setup is a little unique. In the second picture you’ll see our water kettle and our Chemex.

Our routine is as follows:

  1. Pour the correct amount of water into the water kettle.
  2. While the water heats, grind the correct amount of coffee.
  3. Place the filter in the Chemex (either paper or reusable) and pour in the grinds.
  4. Pour over a bit of water until the grinds are just coated. Allow this to set for a little bit (we do about 30 seconds) to allow them to “bloom”.
  5. Pour over the remaining water. When there is no remaining water in the grinds you are ready to drink.
  6. We use a little pot holder under our Chemex and tend to wrap a towel around it to keep it warm. Etsy has cute little Chemex cozies you can buy if you’re interested. We also have a little glass lid to keep the warmth in.

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It really takes less time than filling up an automatic coffee machine and waiting for it to brew, so we think it is the perfect solution.

We usually buy coffee beans from Trader Joe’s, but you can use whatever you prefer.

All you have to do is rinse the inside out with hot water. The wooden pieces allow you to hold the carafe while you pour out the hot coffee.

I usually stick to tea and rarely drink coffee, so Dominik is the one doing this most days (although I still think it is fun to prepare it).

We do actually have a Nespresso machine for espresso, but it is much too expensive for daily use.

Do you have a unique method of preparing coffee? If so, please share below!

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