Coffee break ?

Someone whose posts I follow decided on a really simple one today (oh – I believe it’s still yesterday with most of you … no matter).

As I said to her, it reminded me that there’s something I would be absolutely fascinated to know: the way in which we all make our coffee …

This is a simple coffeepot like the one in the graphic on Sharifah’s post. I believe you put the grounds in and pour boiling water over, letting it steep.

This is the Bialetti-type coffee-maker: the ground beans are above the water, which is forced up through them to pool as coffee in the top part. Most Italians use one of these !

This is an electric dripolator. It is standard in all French gîtes, alas ! But Stringer would use about four times the amount of coffee, and then fill up with milk heated on the stove. Pas mal !

The plunger is very popular. I am occasionally prepared to drink plunger coffee …

This is the simplest system for ground coffee beans: the plain filter – used a lot in offices.

We used to have one of these when I was growing up: it was called a “percolator” (the cutaway shows you how it works), and kept in the dining-room sideboard until we had guests.

Yesss !!! – the domestic espresso machine. It makes easily the best coffee you can expect to produce at home (especially if it’s a Gaggia Classic !). I will ALWAYS drink espresso machine coffee.
That’s the lot – well, that I know about or have come into contact with, as it were.

Addenda: I did miss out on (at least !) two other kinds of coffee-makers – the hand plunger and the capsule coffee maker.
Aeropress
As the AeroPress (on the left) screen-grab is never going to be able to be reduced to the same height as all the other images, there no point my firing up the WinXP computer and trying any Corel PhotoPaint work on this pair, so here they are in all their unmatchingness. Sighh … It’s hard being an obsessive.

The shorter one is something I’ve actually laid hands on – a capsule coffee-maker. Linda calls it a ‘Keurig’, but that’s just one of the brands on the market (the Nespresso is another one, of course).

I am beginning to wonder if there’s any other thing one consumes that is furnished with so many ways to produce it !

Discounting anyone who sniffs and says “I don’t drink coffee !”, I’d love to learn about the way you make yours …

146 thoughts on “Coffee break ?

  1. I’ve been in love with my morning coffee for my entire adult life. I love the smell of it, the taste and even the ritual of making it. I’m no purist, though – I don’t need to grind the beans before each pot. I do that at the supermarket and toss the ground coffee in the freezer. A few years ago, when our electric drip machine gave up the ghost, I remembered the French press I kept in a closet for the occasional visits of a decaffeinated friend. I started using ‘the plunger’ and was hooked. Love the simplicity of it. The kettle, the stir, the plunge! and then two perfect mugs of coffee. No filters. No wondering hours later, across town, if I had turned the electric thing off. I don’t know if I was addicted to coffee; I do know that the making of the coffee had become the official starting pistol of my day. The drinking of the coffee was pure pleasure. I do know that I never really understood (or trusted?) people who don’t drink coffee. Tea if you must, but… So, it is with some astonishment that can report that I haven’t had a cup of coffee in a month! Well that’s a lie. I made a pot on the morning the plumber was coming to fix a toilet. He didn’t want any, it was a hot day, so I iced it and sipped it that way in the afternoon. Why, you ask? In all the research I did about how to avoid ever getting another kidney stone, caffeine was suggested to be a culprit. And that pain was such that if oxygen had been suspected, I might still be holding my breath. Also, I seem to have developed some highish blood pressure, and again, caffeine is a villain in that regard. So I put the French press back on the shelf. And I’ve fallen out of the habit of morning coffee. I miss the ritual but I can’t honestly say that I miss the medicinal value of the cuppa joe. I don’t know if this is a permanent change of course. Maybe I’ll drift back into the habit. Maybe I’ll switch to decaf. Tea is not the answer for me. I’ve always associated that only with the depths of la grippe. And there you have it, M-R. Aren’t you glad you asked?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am indeed, Steve ! – not a happy story, but I feel the ending is not yet set in stone (kidney or otherwise) …
      Personally, I think it’s absolute rubbish to point to coffee in the latter regard; but I can easily relate to gut pain – mine was theoretically gallbladder – as stopping one in one’s tracks. Decaf isn’t an option, not if you’ve truly loved coffee. :-(

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    • I agree re plunger/french press Steve. It does a great job in the home I reckon. We do grind our coffee though as we make it. And MR, we tend to blend whole beans with decaf beans. Works a treat. I drink coffee in the evening – this half-and-half blend and it never affects my sleep. I think I’m the last one in my reading and sewing groups to still drink coffee at our evening meetings!

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      • I can hear the whispers behind your back at your reading and sewing groups: “Look at that lush!” “That’s her third cup!” “No wonder she finishes her rows before anyone else!” ;)

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        • You made me piss myself laughing, Steve, at the unintended categorisation of Sue ! – she’s about as unlikely a person to attend a sewing group as I can think of. And although I could add “except me”, it would not be because of our intellectual similarity: this dame writes every day, and reviews, and researches, and … is in fact NOTHING like me ! :-D

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          • Ah but I do, MR, sorry to have to admit (so clearly I am nothing like you!) – and I told him so in my comment! Admittedly it’s a patchwork group and our subtitle is “the not no serious group” because one of our members was in a “deadly serious group”. We rarely sew at our meetings these days (unlike my reading group where we ALWAYS discuss the book) but we do undertake projects, mostly for charity – we’ve given to fire causes, flood causes, a head injury independent living house, and every year to the local Kairos Outside (a retreat for women).

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              • Patchwork and quilting go together! Patchwork is the act of piecing together bits of material into a “top”, and quilting is the process of joining the pieced top to the batting and backing. People generally use one term or the other to encompass them both. I can’t knit to save myself, but did crochet in my youth and enjoyed it.

                Patchwork and quilting are easy, technically, because it’s just simple stitching. Some people machine stitch now but I like the peace of handwork!

                I’m glad I can surprise you MR!!

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  2. What a great topic, M.R. I’ll drink any kind of coffee, but for my home…. I use the electric dripolater – Mr. Coffee, actually and it has a clock, so I get it ready the evening before and Elby, That Cat! comes to wake me when it starts dripping. For emergencies, when the power goes off, I have a plunger type – but I can’t stand cleaning out the dregs, though I love the coffee it makes. I think I’ve tried every type you displayed. In a town like Seattle, who came up with Starbucks, I’m considered a peasant in my tastes. …When I taught emergency management classes, the worst case scenario was so many people without coffee… grin.

    My boss used to drink 6 shots of espresso over ice about six times a day….

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      • Laughter! Actually, M.R., he was considered off the charts re brain and style – a large bear of a man with a very quiet voice. He almost had a core meltdown during a six day power outage because he had a tough time finding any place able to make espresso… Later, he analyzed a sudden drop in the espresso effectiveness due to it eventually shortening out his synapses. He dialed back and it worked better… :)

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  3. Coffee in Austria is a big ‘to do’, everything evolves around coffee. ‘Let’s go and get a coffee’ is the excuse or invitation for everything and there are more coffee houses than bars -seriously. Kids start drinking ‘children s coffee’ (1/4 milk 3/4 coffee) early on and it goes from there. There are saying like ‘ coffee is like a woman. It just doesn’t stay in the kitchen where it belongs. Just like a woman, its influence and power is strong’. When you go to stores like a Home Depot you can buy coffee. When you go to a gas station to tank up, there is a delightful little coffeehouse. I have an older Austrian coffee and don’t ask how much it cost, lets just say “forget Starbucks”. It is 3:45 in the morning and I have my first cup of coffee (couldn’t sleep a movie didn’t leave me alone)… sorry you asked.

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  4. Plunger for me at home, espresso (long black) when I’m out. We do have a domestic espresso machine but it never seems to get coffee to the heat I like. I know, I know, coffee is not supposed to be that hot just like white wine in not suppose to be that cold BUT I like my coffee HOT and my white win COLD!

    My parents had one of those percolators – a Corningware one. It was the ultimate cool back in their day.

    I must say I still have a couple of friends who offer instant when we visit. Hmm … plunger is so easy. I’m a pretty polite person but instant is beyond the pale. I usually say, “no thanks, perhaps I’ll have tea”!

    Oh, and how it is to get good coffee when you travel … we have about the best coffee here (or is that just because it’s what I’m used to!!)

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    • You are almost perfectly correct in everything related to coffee, Sue ! :-) Like you, I can’t bear having coffee more or less luke-warm: so if I order it out, I always stipulate “as hot as you can make it, please: and forget about the regulation number of degrees !”. At home I heat the milk in a saucepan: I am TOTALLY unable to get it hot enough. As for instant, that’s just unforgiveable. And I’m probably much ruder than you are in that situation …

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  5. Home espresso every day. Plungers for family dinners (due to sheer numbers). You’ve just reminded me of the moka pot in my cupboard. I might pull it out tomorrow. I am also a rabid tea drinker but always in a teapot with leaf tea.

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  6. We use the Moccamaster — it boils the water quickly and, combined with Norway’s pure water, gives a strong cup of coffee that I can’t replicate when I’m visiting in the States.

    I don’t know if it’s available in your part of the world, but in looking up that link I discovered it IS available to purchase in the States, which means Cindi is happy … it will be our first purchase when we (eventually) move back. :)

    I’m also with you about espresso. Although we don’t have our own machine, I’ll never turn down a cup if offered!

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    • Pop down and I’ll make you a bee-yoo-ty ! :-D
      That Moccamaster is a classy dripolater, yes ? It begins to look as if Scandinavian countries are largely dripolater-oriented …

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      • Watch out, I may be knocking on your door one day. I’ll give a warning. :)

        Yes, a dripolater. But better than any drip machine I used in the States — those never boiled the water.

        We used a plunger for the first time when we visited New Zealand. It took us a couple tries to get it right! (And when I say “us,” I mean “my husband” …. I’m spoiled when he’s around; he fixes a better cup of coffee for me than I can myself.)

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        • I had never used the little espresso machine we had when Chic was here: I couldn’t’ve made a coffee to save my life ! But then, I couldn’t cook, either … :-D

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          • You are a strong woman, M-R. I know learning to make coffee and cook isn’t a huge thing in the grand overview of a love life together …. but I’m sure having to do so was just another gut-wrenching obstacle.

            OK, those words are clumsy. But I hope you can understand the sincere sentiment behind them.

            And that reminds me, I need to email your publisher to find out if your book can be available for an amazon.com (U.S. Kindle) download.

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  7. Well it’s morning here, Yes coffee time, and I actually use two of the above. I use the espresso when I want something strong and if not, my French press goes to work. Cafe Au Laut is my favorite by far!
    Now let me go fill my cup! Cheers!! :-)

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  8. Good morning, drinking my dripolator coffee as I type this! I’ve used my Bialetti a few times but not enough espresso fans to make it worth the bother. We have a keurig at work but unlike many other people, I don’t feel I need for one at home. People love their keurigs, though.

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    • There now, Linda – you’ve widening my horizons !
      I knew NOZZINK of a keurig … That is to say, I did know that capsule coffee-makers exist, but (a) I forgot about them and (b) I didn’t know they had a name !
      I shall do an addendum on the post, and acknowledge this vital input. Many thanks !!! :-D

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  9. Not sniffing in the least (love the smell of coffee), but I make my tea in my great-aunt’s English china teapot with loose tea leaves either in a removable basket or in a large bag so the leaves can move around. Sometimes I make a flowering tea in a glass teapot so I can enjoy the beauty of the unfolding “flower” before and during my delight in the tea.

    janet

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    • I do love those ‘spring apart’ gunpowder-type little tea-balls, and I commend you for wanting to watch them do their thing: the action is simply fascinating ! :-)

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  10. After years of slogging through cups of Mr. Coffee-brewed “hot black water”, we broke down and shelled out the bucks for a Jura espresso/coffee machine. And my life has been permanently improved!! Yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but when it comes to coffee, can you ever really overstate its importance in starting the day?

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  11. I love my coffee and use our electric dripolator – yes, it does work well. I used to use what’ was like a French press for foamy cream on top and realized it was too much like a treat. Coffee is here in my house all day – for me it’s a wonderful luxury.

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  12. I use the Bialetti type- maybe that is why my gall bladder croaked- bought one in December on our annual holiday to make coffee on the beach on my camping stove. When I bought it the label said “makes 6 cups” but I found it just filled a medium sized mug… One smallish mug for our standards. So I had three or four of those mugs a day… something went wrong. But the coffee is delicious, specially with some condensed milk in it…

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  13. (SNIFF) “I don’t drink coffee!” I used to but when I had my appendix out I felt no need or desire for it! Weird!! I have also not bitten my nails since the operation either. I have no idea why….I just don’t do it any more! I have no explanation! :£

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  14. I have a coffee machine, a Hamilton Beach Coffee Station, BUT I LOVE expresso. I really thank you for this post, because darn it, I am going to buy me self, an expresso coffee maker and beans to go along with! Italy spoiled me with expresso and why I haven’t drank it here in USA I dunno. Just using the same machine …. and just using it. Well! That is soon going to change!!! xx Amy

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    • Not cheap, Amy – I was GIVEN mine for my birthday a couple of years back, by my dearest friends. Mind you, I had then to buy all the things that go with it – tamper, knockbox and, MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL !, grinder. The grinder is almost more important than the espresso machine …

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      • I know. My ex Mom in law drank expresso and brought all of the equipment with her when she came here. I have a good grinder now. That won’t be a prob. I want to buy a GOOD expresso machine, and like you said taint cheap. Something else to put on my Dream List. :-) xx

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  15. Domestic expresso all the way!!! My morning coffee ritual is sacred; my moment of Zen-like contemplation of grind, tamp, crema and textured milk.

    The plunger gets brought out when we have too many people in the house to make them all an expresso, or when (as has happened a few times lately) we have power cuts. Then we can boil water on the gas hob and heat some milk at the same time.

    I’m a latecomer to coffee and like all born-agains am completely evangelical about it. :-)

    Thanks for giving me a chance to rant.

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    • ‘Rant’ ? – you want ‘rant’ ??????
      No, let us not go there, Su. [grin]
      It is soitingly a popular subject – I hadn’t realised to what degree. And now I have two more coffee-makers to add !

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  16. I sold out to the Nespresso a few years ago, I’m afraid – convenient and jolly good.

    Now, see what you did here, M-R? I have to get out from under the warmth of the blankets this lazy and chilly Sydney morning to go and make a mugful. :-) The power of suggestion…

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    • Serves yer right, yer lazy bugger !
      I was up at 4:50 – not from choice, I hasten to add, but because I had to go to the loo, and I also had to cut up a new lot of cat’s meat. Lui would give me NO peace until I did. Wot a martyr. [grin]

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  17. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag | beeblu blog

    • Apparently ‘Verismo’, Sheri – and another pod system. These are really popular, and it’s easy to see why.
      I’d hang out a my local coffee shop if I had someone to hang out there with, that’s for sure: when my beloved second-eldest sister was alive, and frequently up in Sydney to check on me after Stringer had died, we just loved wandering about the local little cafés … Crikey, I miss her …

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      • I know, Margaret-Rose, it’s a lot more fun when you have someone to go to the coffee shop and hang out with. When Tom feels like going, he’ll take along his sketch book and work on design ideas and I’ll take writing or research I’m working on and we’ll have a grand time. It’s an independently owned shop, one of those places where everyone knows your name and glad you are there. They also call to check on you if you’ve missed a day or two and that’s always nice. This is the first time we’ve lived in one place long enough to enjoy developing long-term friendships.
        I well understand how you must miss your sister that was available to be with you. I’ve never had a sister but I do have a best friend of over 35 years and for 13 of the 35 years, we were together almost daily. We’ve stayed in touch weekly but when I want someone to just ‘pal’ around with, she’s definitely the one. When Tom’s feeling up to the task, he also loves to pal around. P.S. Thanks for the spelling help!

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        • Your brain needs to have some lazy times, Sheri. A person so aware of everything that’s going on and all the relative importances has to kick back for a bit, eh …?
          But still you take your research with you ! Tsk !
          Your local sounds absolutely wonderful; I so envy you.

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  18. I sit here drinking a very large cup of coffee made from freshly ground French Roast beans from a dripolator pot that looks just like the picture you posted. I have a nice little caffeine buzz going to start my day and I’m thinking that coffee is the sweet nectar of the gods and is a perfect start to my day regardless of how it’s made … as long as it’s fresh, hot, and strong.
    When we travel, I’ve been known to bring a french press with me so I can guarantee a perfect cup of coffee in the morning. I only have one a day – but it is savoured!!!

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  19. I, too, must confess to drinking instant coffee. That is not to say that I don’t like brewed coffee…it’s just that instant is…instant.
    Nothing like walking into work, adding water to kettle, milk and brown stuff and the heart is ready to miss the morning cuppa (at 1000) because we have lunch at 1130 hours.

    A few years ago MGW asked for a coffee machine for her birthday. Being the dutiful husband, and mere male, I was despatched to the department store to purchase of coffee making machine…with number 2 son in tow. Why? Because he has a ‘good eye’ for these type of things, so I am told.

    I think we have made FOUR cups of coffee – 3 each – using this birthday present. From memory that is around $60 per cup. Yes I drank them really slowly.

    I decided to cut my reply here M.R. I was beginning to ramble…I think.

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  20. We use plunger, dripolator, domestic espresso machine and instant. It all depends on how much time and/or energy we have. My instant is Kava, hubby’s is Nescafe. Cream in mine, sugar in hubby’s. Then there are the mornings that we skip the coffee and go for tea. What I have in my mouth right now is drip coffee with Half n half. And now you know more about my coffee preference than you ever wanted to know!

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  21. Bialetti Moka… caffeine extraction is optimized above the boiling point of water and because the water is pressurized (boiling point of water is higher under pressure) in that, it makes for a much more caffeine-rich coffee by volume. This is compared with any other wallet friendly method. If you want to go for the professional italian coffee makers, then never mind that.

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  22. My Dear M-R, Thanks for having raised this interesting topic. Here’s something I can contribute to! Reading through Yours, found that I practice the MOST sophisticated method of all in this. As follows:

    Starting with a Steel tumbler, 180 cc, put in about one and a half spoonfuls of coffee powder, and let it seep. Depending upon how busy I am or how I remember it, I mix the decoction with Milk and Sugar, after about 30 seconds to 5 minutes! The whole delicious thing is made at about 5.30 AM, and last is consumed at 5 AM the next day! :)

    This would be costing me some Rs. 5 per glass. I really wonder what could be in cups that cost Rs. 200, sold in cafes! Love and Regards.

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    • You know, Swami … I think I have decided that you’re a bit of what we Aussies call “a stirrer”. [grin]
      It’s someone who throws something into the conversation to see what effect it will have, and then sits back …

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      • Frankly, My Dear M-R, I had not thought as much as that and all. Mine was sort of keeping up the Banter. But would be glad to see what responses, if any, People have to mine! Love and Regards.

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