A perfect cup

Today was an icy, rainy day. Perfect for making coffee. I have a fresh bag of Starbucks Christmas Espresso beans. I tried a new coffee ‘recipe’ today and liked it, so here it is.

First, the equipment. I’m using a basic hand-powered coffee mill. I’ve found this to be a high-quality grinder that works very well for me. The scale is a 4,000 gram Jennings kitchen scale. The features to look for here are accuracy (of course), the ability to zero/tare, and the ability to stay on without turning off after a few seconds of inactivity. I love this scale. And no coffee workshop would be complete without an Intelligentsia mug.

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Measure the beans. For this cup I’m using 17 grams of beans. Zero the scale and pour the beans until it hits 17. Easy.

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Next I grind the coffee. This is a boring but important step. I use a medium grind similar to what you’d use for a drip coffee maker.

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Here you can get an idea of how fine the grind is.

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My water is heated now. I have an Adiago 30 oz. electric kettle. I chose this kettle because it has a variable water thermostat. I set it just below boiling and that works for me. This is also a slightly smaller kettle than many others with a 12 oz. minimum amount of water to heat, so it works well to quickly heat one or two cups of water at a time.

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I’m using an Aeropress coffee maker. Put in a filter and pour a little water through to wet it.

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Next I set the whole rig on top of the scale, pour in the coffee and zero it. Dump in the grounds, and slowly dribble in 50 grams of water for the bloom.

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Let this soak for 30 seconds. The grounds should puff up.

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Zero the scale again, and add another 250 grams of water over the next 30 seconds or so.

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You want to stop pressing before air reaches the filter as the slurry in the bottom is oily and bitter.

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Remove the press from the mug when the water is mostly pressed out. It’s nice to be close to a sink because this will dribble unless you pull up on the press slightly before removing it.

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This makes a large cup (10 – 12 oz.).

102_3578And there you have it – the perfect cup, smooth and full of flavor.

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