jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2009

How to Make a Perfect Coffee


On how to make the perfect coffee: a guide for the unaware.

The road to make the perfect cup of coffee is paved by hard trial and error... even if we only need a pinch of knowing how to do it and about 57 cups to master the technique, the traveller who dares to walk this tortuous road will be rewarded by the best coffee he or she has ever tasted, a coffee against which all upcoming coffees will be judged; a thick, creamy, smelly and delicious coffee, even if this "coffee" are actually 1,757 different cups with as many different kinds of coffee grains... But is it an old mystery? Hardly.

The secret to make this dreamy coffee is to make it with the right tools, and the first tool we must use is the FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKER, like that, with capital letters. Expert coffee tasters as well as life long coffee aficionados agree on that this is the best way to enjoy all the characteristics that coffee grains have to offer. But are there other ways? But of course! The Italian coffee maker is another expert`s choice. And the Turkish coffee maker too. And in Mexico the 'cafe de olla' is just amazing.

But nothing like the French press coffee maker because it creates a smooth, pure coffee flavour as the actual coffee grind is in direct contact with hot water, which allows all those small ingredients that create that sophisticated flavour to escape and make the finished beverage as complex as it gets, as well as all natural oils coming out of the grains that are never to be seen - God forbid - in instant coffees or automatic coffee machines, and which add such sophisticated smells, flavours and colours, on the assumption that we are using the adequate kind of coffee.

This coffee maker allows you, dear reader, to enjoy the coffee of your choice at is full expression.

However, you also need some other tools and ingredients equally important in order to achieve the above mentioned perfection, namely:

1) A SPECIAL pot to heat the water, preferably small, and if professional, much better. (Do not allow this pot to be used to make the soup or heat the baby's milk in it).
2) Cold, pure water.
3) A special coffee 0.25 oz spoon.*
4) Coffee GRAINS of the best quality you can afford. (Only buy the amount of coffee you are going to drink in a week).
5) A coffee grinder machine.*
6) A special coffee thermometer.*
7) A special 4-minutes timer.*
8) A three-cup French Press Coffee Maker in order to better calculate quantities.
9) A wooden shaker, better if made of bamboo.
*(Shown in pictures)

You will be using these utensils for a long time if you take care of them well, besides you can find them at any good coffee shop without any further trouble.










DIRECTIONS:

a) Fill the coffee maker with water up to its upper level without spilling it. Fill the pot with this amount of water in order to heat it. Put the thermometer into the pot. The water must be heated up to around 160º F and MUST never boil; this would burn the coffee.

b) In the meantime, put three spoons of coffee grains in the grinder and grind them for around six seconds. Slightly shake the grinder to allow the grains to be ground evenly. The finished grind must have a coarse consistency. Storing coffee grains and grinding them just before making the coffee allow you to have the freshest coffee possible.

c) Once the coffee has been ground, place it into the French press. When the water has reached the desired temperature, fill the coffee maker with it up to the upper metal support of the coffee maker. Start counting four minutes with the timer to allow the coffee brew. Stir with a wooden shaker (a utensil made of any other material may add unpleasant flavours at this delicate moment), and place the lid of the press with the sieve barely touching the surface of the coffee.

d) Once those four minutes have passed, slowly lower the plunger (and sieve) until reaching bottom... and you are ready to taste the best coffee you have ever drunk... (Enjoy!)


Although if you think that this first time the coffee is too strong, put less grains the next time. If it is too smooth, put more grains in the grinder until you achieve the best results. These quantities vary depending on the kind and origin of the coffee that you are using. Always remember that the coffee made by this method has a maximum life span of 20 minutes.

Other feature of the French press coffee maker is that it allows you to make three-part blends, e.g. in Mexico, the coffee from Chiapas is in general smooth and delicate. Coffee from Oaxaca is strong and spicy. The coffee coming from Veracruz is exquisitely aromatic... make your own blend!

Take my advice, making your coffee as I recommend may become a small, daily personal ritual, allowing you to taste in detail all what a good coffee has to offer.


by Paco Hernández-Castañeda

November, 2009.

©


Pictures by the Author

2 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Is there a way to star drinking coffee without feeling a "hangover", everytime I've tried, I've regreated, I think I'm more a milky coffee drinker... cute

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