There's a thread dedicated to tea, so I figured it would only be right to devote one to our other favorite caffeinated beverage: COFFEE:)
Are there any other coffee gadget geeks out there? I'm looking for a less wasteful way to brew coffee and have been inundated by the huge number of different methods and machines that are out there. I saw that Bea's recommendations include a stainless french press or reusable cloth filter. I tried out the cloth filter with my Hario V60 ceramic drip coffee maker and ended up with less than stellar results (a muddy and watery-tasting coffee). Is there some trick to making the cloth filter work?
I'm researching different french presses right now. Is there anything in particular I should be looking for when buying one (mesh filter size, insulated or not, etc.)? I saw this neat gadget recently. Any recommendations on coffee grinders? Tips for storing coffee without using plastic bags?
Try a stainless steel Italian stovetop espresso maker. My husband uses his twice a day - requires no filter - dump the grounds in the compost. He adds water to the espresso to make an Americano, not drip coffee, for sure, but a good waste-free alternative. Not to mention that I see these at resale shops constantly - would be a good way for you to try one out.
Why do you keep your beans in a plastic bag? We keep ours in the container that we fill with bulk beans at the co-op. My barista friend says not to keep coffee beans in the freezer, by the way, they can absorb other food odors. Just keep beans in any old container, but don't buy more than you need for a week, and then you'll always have fresh coffee. Hopefully you have a roaster nearby. I forget that other people aren't swimming in coffee beans like we are here in Seattle.
Thanks for the tips on the espresso maker and bean storage. I tend to buy more than a week's worth of coffee beans and store the beans in a Le Parfait jar. I was looking for a way to preserve the bean's flavor over a longer period of time, and the recommendations I repeatedly got were to seal them in an vacuum-sealed plastic bag. Just wish I had easier access to my favorite coffee roaster so I could buy beans weekly. You must have an amazing selection in Seattle.
Ah, so vacuum-sealing will not work long term, either, because the outgassing of CO2 from the coffee beans will inflate the bag. Thanks for this info, Jay. I plan to search out nearby roasters and see if I can find an alternative to my current coffee place.
My husband and I are huge coffee fanatics and our drip coffee maker is about to go. So we are in the market for something new. I really want to switch to a french press, but are there any big stainless steel ones out there? I like the one that Bea has on the blog store but 4 cups is too small for us. We go through a pot of coffee in the morning and 1/2 a pot in the evening....
Julie, I'm looking at french presses right now, too. Here's some of what I've seen so far.
For a larger stainless french press, you may want to take a look at the Frieling brand. Their presses come in sizes of up to 6-7 cups. There are also other french presses out there that are larger sized (8-10 cups) and made with glass and metal. I'm looking at ones by Alessi and DWR, though I have to admit these are a lot more expensive than the Frieling. Does anyone have other non-plastic french presses they would recommend?
Thanks for the tip, Sandra. I like the 35oz one that Frieling has. I might invest in that one. Did you end up buying one?
I just wanted to throw out another idea for getting rid of your coffee bag. Sometimes I buy Starbucks coffee at the supermarket and whenever I do, I make sure to get the package that offers a free tall coffee with the bag. That way once I'm finished with the bag, I can turn it in to Starbucks and get a free refill of my travel mug. I'm not sure what Starbucks does with the bags but it looks like they recycle them somehow. Lately, I've been buying my coffee at WF and composting the bag, but I thought I'd just mention the Starbucks deal. :)
Hi, Julie. I'm still debating my options and working to finish my supply of paper coffee filters, but I did get to see the Frieling french press in person. It's sturdy and stylish, and a little heavier than I expected (I guess because it's double-walled). The only thing that gave me pause was the difficulty I had pressing down the plunger mechanism (this was while the press was empty). I think this would be a problem with any stainless steel french press, and is the result of the friction created from the metal plunger scraping against the walls of the metal press.
I did find a much, much better price on the DWR glass and metal french press through the manufacturer's direct website, WMF (it's called the Kult coffee press). The site also offers a beautiful all steel, 6 cup espresso maker, too.
When my ancient Braun drip coffee maker died several years ago I did a lot of research to figure out what kind of coffee maker to replace it with. I love strong, black coffee and drink a pot of it every morning. My whole day would be thrown off if I had weak coffee. :-)
Anyway, one coffee fanatics website mentioned Chemex. People raved about them. Simple hourglass shaped glass beaker with a wooden cuff for holding it. Put a Chemex paper filter in it, fill with coffee and pour over nearly-boiling water. Delicious. Beautiful. Simple. (Fragile - I've broken many).
After finding ZWH I decided to try to replace the paper filters. I found a product that I am totally happy with, Coffee Sock! Organic cotton filters made for different coffee makers by a small business in Austin, TX. If you use paper filters today I definitely recommend you try them out.
I purchased the Breville You Brew Coffee maker. It has a built in grinder that you can fill with bulk coffee beans, a reusable coffee basket where you just dump grinds into compost and reinsert and a steel carafe so the once coffee is brewed you can just unplug and coffee stays hot. You can adjust strength and brew a pot, travel mug or cup only so that you don't have waste. So much better than wasteful single use plastic coffee pod machines.
Anyone want to weigh in on cold brewed coffee? I found a youtuber who uses 1/2 gal mason jar, water, 1.5 C coffee grounds mixed together and left on her kitchen counter for 8-14 hours. She likes cold coffee drinks and 64 oz gives her enough for the week. I use a French Press right now and see this as a way to reduce the trips to compost.