How to Make Cafetiere Coffee: May 25 2022
The empty desert that was John Lewis Leicester on a wet May afternoon.
I'd gone to buy some small storage containers so I could have a cocktail bar of coffees, a selected range of different notes and intensities to match my mood or desperate need for a pick me up.
I'm a sucker for the marketing emails that plop into my inbox, especially when I hear the luscious stories behind each coffee. Right now, I'm drinking Blueberry Candyfloss, from Rwanda, part of an Easter chocolate-y focused promotion.
"Abundance of Blueberry flavour, hints of Candyfloss, Chocolate, fruits like mango and syrup."
You could smell the caramelised spun sugar aroma emanating from the packaging before I had even taken a Stanley knife to it. I like it strong, very hot, the lovely dark chocolate flavour and a long, long after-taste.
It tastes expensive. It is expensive. But worth every penny.
I've got more into coffee in the past year or two. Before then, it was an 8oz supermarket bag that lasted me months. I preferred the rich medium-dark coffees from Sumatra and Java, but I didn't drink often and certainly not daily.
But then I visited White Rose Coffee Roasters as part of a UK HIVE meetup and found out more about coffee roasting, coffee farming, the coffee trade and last, but not least, the array of coffee sacks from all parts of the world. (I wanted to take the sacks home, all of them, just to have. I resisted).
I became fascinated with the different varieties and started trying them out. Then I read how good coffee is for you (a fermented food full of polyphenols - gives the wonderful aroma and taste and apparently our gut microbiome loves it). I was buying two varieties at a time and keeping one on the freezer. The last time I bought some, I discovered I already had two packs in there already - old faithful Shibden blend, a stalwart, especially in the winter:
"A versatile mix that will suit filter or drip brewing but is also perfect as an espresso - giving a chocolate caramel mix of flavours that is sublime."
Plus a bag of Burundi:
"Bright green apple and lemon with raisin, brown sugar and chocolate."
Even just writing this, I'm getting deep into the problem I have. I want all these coffees on tap so I can compare tastes, one coffee after another. (On the website the flavour profile is different: "savoury-sweet, herby, citrus, stewed tomato, pineapple, leather"). Just makes me more curious.
And now I was adding Old Brown Java, an aged, monsooned coffee ... "the coffee of dark burgundy libraries and billiard tables". (A perfect match for my modern Mondrian house):
"An exceptional earthiness of flavour ... has a syrupy taste, hints of spice and pipe tobacco smoke."
I decided the solution was to buy some small air tight storage containers and keep a little of each variety in the kitchen cupboard and the remainder in the resealable bags in the freezer . John Lewis obliged with some stackable containers (bonus) with an easy to use flip up handle to remove the lid or, conversely, to seal the container.
I bought a new Cafeteria or French press which "gives a smoother coffee while retaining the grinds natural oils". (I've only just understood why the waste coffee is called "grounds", something that has puzzled me since a child. Anyway, the grounds go in the compost or straight on to the vegetable patch).
I have a small 3 (espresso) cup Cafetiere, just right for a mid-morning deep wide cup of coffee. So, to make your coffee:
Rinse your Cafetiere with a little boiling water to warm the glass. Tip out. Then add around 7g of coarse-ground coffee per 115ml of water. I use two scoops for a rich, flavoursome taste.
Pour over enough hot water to cover the grounds. Wait 30 seconds, then top up as required. Place the lid on with the plunger up and let your coffee brew for four minutes.
Gently push the plunger all the way down, then pour your coffee and enjoy.
Before pressing down the plunger, give your coffee a stir.
Hot - leave the kettle after it has boiled for a minute or two to let the temperature drop to 95-97 degrees, so as not to scald the coffee.
It's ruined me for coffee shop coffee.