We love coffee.
Our most recent love affair has been with pour over coffee. Some call it “slow coffee”, some call it “by the cup” coffee. Whatever you call it, it’s the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. There is a whole subculture exploding around this coffee and for good reason.
Between the two of us, we can finish off about 3 pots of coffee in a day. Easy. He’s Dutch and I’ve been drinking coffee since I was like 9. Actually, Phillip never drank coffee until he took a trip to Costa Rica in college. There he admired the coffee bushes everywhere. Then he split his time between drinking cafe con leche and rock climbing during his 2 year stint in Spain. I spent some time in Italy back in 2001 and really grew to appreciate delicious $1.00 cappuccinos at every gas station and one stove top cappuccino every hour when you were in someone’s home. I fell in love with Illy coffee and when I returned to the states, searched high and low for cafes that served it. I attempted to buy it, but at $15 a pound, it’s not really affordable. Together, we’ve learned to appreciate all sorts of coffee.
Phillip and I made it a point to stop by the best coffee shops in San Fran when we were there on our honeymoon. What we encountered was hipster heaven and super snobby coffee drinkers. All that aside, we discovered a whole world of pour over coffee and it’s science. You may ask, “What is pour over coffee?” Here’s a great article from the New York Times about the Japanese ancestry of pour over coffee and how it made its way to San Francisco. In Escondido, our town and a small suburb of San Diego, there’s a coffee shop called Blue Mug (El Norte location) that does pour over. They have a small brew bar set up and their coffee is pretty decent.
At home Phillip and I use a Chemex (a gift we registered for at William Sonoma and someone who loves us bought for us). The Chemex, featured above, claim to fame is that it makes the best cup of coffee in the world. This method proves convenient up at the ranch as it is “off the grid” compatible. All our methods are simple with easy cleanup, beside the grinder, you don’t plug it in and they don’t take up much counter space in our economy size flat. Another perk is you can take it with you (our Chemex just served 20+ breakfast in Joshua Tree National Park). We usually buy Starbucks or Pete’s coffee, with occasional beans from boutique roasters (check out Escondido’s local). We use a burr grinder.
Put simply, burr grinder differs from other grinders because they grind coffee more uniformly, “Devices with rapidly rotating blades which chop repeatedly (see food processor) are often described as grinders, but are not burr grinders. Burr mills do not heat the ground product by friction as much as blade grinders, and produce particles of a uniform size determined by the separation between the grinding surfaces.” We pretty much follow the steps of the Chemex video below and every cup is phenomenal. The last piece of equipment that we are in need of is the Hario Buono Kettle. It looks a lot easier to pour than my water kettle at home.
I’m a fan of bold, dark roast coffee. Phillip loves medium roast. This was a problem when we visited Four Barrel where the server said they they “don’t do” dark roast coffee. That’s what they said. Whatever… your coffee doesn’t taste any better than Folgers to me.
Like I said, I like dark roast. Luckily, there are people who still believe that you can do dark roast without ruining the flavor or burning the bean. Ritual Coffee was a much more down to earth coffee bar where the gentleman took 10 minutes to describe the process of brewing and tasting coffee properly. These two coffee spots are the most well known pour over coffee shops in the city.
We’ve been trying to share the love, buy giving a ceramic pour over funnel called a V60 to a friend in return for emceeing our wedding. He loves it, down to weighing his coffee and timing his pour. Awesome.
We also enjoy espresso at home from time to time. Our preferred method is the stove top stainless steel espresso maker. Everyone is familiar with the aluminum ones, but the stainless ones have risen in popularity after the aluminum cooking scare. Phillip admired these stainless steel ones in the windows of the hardware stores in Spain, but could not sacrifice bus fare to climbing destinations to buy one. Luckily, this too was a thoughtful wedding gift from a Lone Star coffee fan.
I just wanted to share our love for good coffee.
Enjoy these helpful and informative videos from Intelligentsia, one of the local pour over coffee joints in SoCal (Venice, CA). They have a video demonstrating how to use a V60 and a Chemex.