International Coffee Day
My love affair with coffee has spanned over 20 years. From the first pilfered sips of my mother’s Sanka to my years drinking rocket fuel in night-shift hospital nursing stations, I have loved every dark and bitter sip.
While I do enjoy a cappuccino every so often, I’m not a fan of overly complicated and sweetened drinks that require a thesaurus to order. I fully agree with humor writer Dave Barry who said, “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” (You know who you are you quad shot, grande, soy, half-caff, sugar-free, two-pump caramel, no-foam latte...)
My favorite coffee is simply dark roast made in a French Press. You can find very detailed directions on the best way to prepare a French Press on Craft Coffee.
Since I do this half asleep every morning, I abbreviate some of their steps. My basic routine is:
Boil water while I clean the press from the last time I used it
Add about 1 Tbsp course grounds for each cup
Play around to find out the strength you like
Pour water over grounds
Stir to break the crust
Wait about 5 minutes
Plunge and drink
I add half a pinch of Kosher salt to my grounds before brewing. This helps heighten the flavors and mellow the bitterness. With the current trend of overly-acidic coffee (which I personally hate), this helps me save the cup and still enjoy coffee while out. This is also a good trick since I don’t add any sugar to mask the bitterness.
French presses are also great to make gourmet coffees and are perfect for entertaining. You can add any spice you like to the grounds. I often toss in some cocoa powder or baking spices. Try adding 1 tsp of cinnamon and a strip of orange peel. Serve with a shot of brandy for a holiday treat.