Rob's guide to great coffee • 8 December 2011 • The SnowBlog
Rob's guide to great coffee
I'm about to do you such a favour. I'm going to tell you how to make fabulous coffee. It takes about two minutes.
First off, this is my definition of great coffee and I'm not a proper coffee snob. For a start, my favourite kind of coffee is a latte - and probably not the correct definition of a latte either - more like what Starbucks might make for you on a good day. I'm talking about something that's half hot milk but which has a really rich and smooth coffee taste. In the last couple of weeks I've had some of the best cups of coffee of my life and I made them all myself. And best of all, you can almost certainly improve on what I'm doing here. (But note, you will need to spend twenty quid - or the equivalent in foreign money) First of all, you're going to need to buy an AeroPress. Amazon UK have someone here who'll send you one for £21 plus p&p. They're basically a tube with a filter at the bottom and a plunger at the top. In other words, they're the plastic offspring of a cafetière (= french press) and a drip coffee maker.
Here's what you do to make a large mug of coffee the way I like it:
1. Heat up some water to near boiling. If you're using a kettle, you're going to want to turn it off about 20 seconds before it shuts itself off. Coffee tastes better made with not-quite-boiling water (whereas tea demands boiling water). Or you could use a drip coffee maker with no coffee, just water, in it. Or you could let the kettle boil but add a little bit of cold water to the coffee before tipping in the boiling water from the kettle. Or boil the water and then wait a couple of minutes. Lots of options. While the water's heating do step 2.
2. Put a cup of milk in the microwave and give it a minute on full power. While it's heating, continue with step 3.
3. Put a filter in your AeroPress and screw the bottom on. Put in four level scoops of ground coffee. I go for 'espresso' coffee, ideally something fairtrade because that way the coffee has better tasting karma in it. Put it on top of a large mug. I use a double-walled metal mug because then the coffee stays hot for about 20 mins.
4. Tip not-quite-boiling water onto the coffee and stir for ten seconds.
5. Wet the plunger and push the coffee out of the AeroPress and into the mug. Only use gentle pressure. If you've stirred well enough this will take no more than 30 seconds. Push the plunger down until it scrunches the coffee grounds, which makes it easier to...
6. Eject the spent fuel pellet. Rinse out the AeroPress and leave to dry. (As you'll see, There's No Mess With An AeroPress (=my own cheesy slogan, not theirs). Ejecting the fuel pellets is almost as much fun as drinking the coffee.)
7. Add the hot milk to the coffee in the large mug. Rinse the cup you heated the milk in and leave to dry.
8. Elapsed time around 2 mins. Now enjoy your tasty coffee-drink!
9. Repeat aloud: "I've said 'yes' to flavour." Optional: punch air in triumph.