As a developer, I love caffeine. I also mentioned in an earlier post that I have been waking up before dawn to code recently, meaning I love caffeine even more than usual.
For decades I drank coffee like (most) everyone else, from a drip coffee maker. In 2007 I started a new job that had this magical new coffee maker, called a Keurig, that made near-instant coffee that tasted much better than, well, instant coffee.
I was in love, and bought a home version for myself a year later. Like I always had, I added cream and (fake) sugar without a second thought. The coffee tasted fine this way. People sometimes raved about Starbucks or complained about Dunkin Donuts, but to me, all coffee tasted the same.
Of course, that was because I was adding cream a sugar. Sadly I can’t remember when it happened, but one day I tried a cup of good quality coffee without any additives whatsoever. The first sip was somewhat bitter, but after that, I realized it’s possible to appreciate coffee as a drink itself, rather than a way to streamline caffeine into your system.
Sadly, I realized around this time that the coffee made from Keurig machines was pretty sub-par. I decided to make the jump to making myself good coffee.
It took a few months, but I ended up with this setup:
- Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker
- Bodium Conical Burr Grinder
- Bodium Coffee Storage
- Milk frother
- Good quality whole bean coffee
- Coffee spreadsheet
I actually started with just the Aeropress, since it was so cheap. I bought beans from places like Trader Joes, ground them at the store, then brought them home. The coffee was pretty good, but I noticed an exponential decrease in the coffee as early as the second day after grinding them. I realized an investment in a decent grinder was needed.
I did some research on coffee grinders used with Aeropress, and found out that you really need to spend the extra money on a burr grinder, as the blade grinders not only have the issue of burning the beans (due to the heat the friction generates), but also that the lack of consistency makes for a poor press.
- Preheat Keurig (yes, I now use my old coffemaker as a hot water machine.
- Measure five Tbps of whole beans and grind on the medium setting
- Prepare Aeropress filter
- Pour beans into the filter
- Pour two ounces of water into the plunger
- Stir for two seconds, wait another twenty
- Plunge the coffee
- Clean up the plunger
- Pour the remaining water into the coffee
- (Optional) Add some frothed milk on top
Even though it’s ten steps, the entire process takes about two minutes of actual work.
Best of all, the cleanup takes literally eight seconds (I timed it). I briefly used a french press, and while I loved the taste, the cleanup was such a pain. An Aeropress makes such good quality coffee for the incredibly low amount of effort it requires.
I was ecstatic after a week of using my new grinder though, and it was absolutely worth the investment. Shortly after I purchased the glass container to store the coffee in. I’ll usually pour out about 1/4th cup of beans into the storage container and put the rest in the freezer until I need them.
I also created my Google spreadsheet right at the beginning. I found there was such a vast difference in the taste of each coffee that I needed to keep track of it, in order to avoid repeating bad coffees or forgetting the best ones.
As for the next step? I should really purchase a digital scale to measure the amount of beans and water I add. I actually lost my Aeropress scoop a few months ago, which is why I’m estimating with five tablespoons of beans.