You may not know this but if you Google Trout Fishing in America the first link has nothing to do with tying a fly to a line. Instead it takes you to the site of the 4 time Emmy Nominated children’s music duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood. Be careful if you check them out – you’ll get hooked.
I first heard their music a few years ago and my family and immediately liked them. Their songs are fun and clever. One song stands out in my mind. The song is entitled, What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee. The Chorus goes like this:
“‘Cause all I want is a proper cup of coffee
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
I may be off my dot but I want a proper coffee
In a proper copper pot”
“Iron coffee pots and tin coffee pots
They are no use to me
If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee
In a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll have a cup of tea”
Let me be frank. I do not love coffee. I love good coffee and there is a difference. For those who want to argue otherwise I’d suggest that their taste buds have long since given up and died – probably due to drowning in an overly sugared and creamed, toxic, soup in a styrofoam cup. I’ve tried all sorts of coffee and I’ve tried many different ways to make a good cup of coffee at home. In the last few years I have succeeded and I have proof of my success. The proof is that my wife, who at one time would not touch coffee, now drinks at least one cup a day with me. What changed? The coffee and its maker.
Here is what I’ve learned about making a good to great home-brewed cup of coffee:
First, I think for coffee to be made properly it must be made in a certain way. In order to get a proper cup of coffee it probably shouldn’t be plunged through paper. I also think that coffee is something that should be enjoyed and savored. Most of the time folks are in such a hurry to grab their cup and go they don’t even bother to taste the brew – which is probably best since a lot of it stinks. Just because it can be made cheaply and quickly doesn’t mean that it should be. It’s like rushing to make wine, beer and bourbon. Sure you can do it but why on earth would you? So the thing I’ve learned about making a great home brewed cup of coffee is take your time in both the brewing so you can enjoy drinking it.
To do this you’ll need to by-pass a coffee maker. Yes – put those things away. They don’t seem to get the water hot enough to really brew the coffee. If you are buying good beans and putting them through a paper filter and barely hot water you are wasting money and coffee. Plus who wants to drink something that has gone through paper – most of which is bleached.
Go for a French Press or a Stovetop Glass Vacuum Coffee Pot. We’ve used a French Press for three years and they are great. However, my wife got me a Bodum Stovetop Glass Vacuum Pot for Christmas and it is amazing! We’ve been using it the last few days and man is it good coffee. Plus a Vacuum Pot is fun to watch and easy to clean. In either case there is no paper filter to mess with so you get the full taste of the bean. If you go for a French Press you’ll need an electric kettle (one with multiple water temp settings is preferable a proper water temp is very important). Top those things off with a good supply whole beans (I like Nicaraguan personally) and a bur grinder (avoid whirr grinders) and you are set.
Going the route of a French Press or a Vacuum Pot will need a bit more attention than plunking grounds in a drip machine – but it is worth it. But I will warn you. Once you go down the road to drinking good to great coffee you’ll have a tough time drinking anything else. In fact, like the song says, if you can’t have a proper cup of coffee you’ll probably just ask tea.