I am a coffee fiend. I have not yet reached the point that a day without coffee leaves me shaking, suffering from headaches, or screaming at innocent children and punching old men (although I do hit my father on a regular basis - I'm preparing him for elder abuse for when he gets put in a senior home), but I do love coffee. A good cup of coffee, that is. (Although I enjoy Tim Horton's coffee, which some people consider synonymous with swill.) For the longest time, however, I have been unable to make myself a good cup of coffee, or at least been able to consistently make a good cup of coffee. And more often than not, I ended up making a cup of coffee so strong that it was capable of burning a hole straight to your colon. An image I'm sure most of you will cherish.
Finally, however, I have mastered the Damn Good Cup of Coffee, using this little gadget my brother gave me for Christmas three years ago. Yes, three years ago. In my defense, I didn't use it very often. But since being back home, I've gotten the hang of this thing. I highly recommend purchasing this doohicky, especially if you're a student like me, with limited funds, a year of late nights looming before you, and very likely campus coffee that tastes like it was filtered through the lunch lady's hairnet.
So I bring you aeropress coffee, perfect for sipping on a Sunday afternoon whilst reading a ridiculously large novel, or any time of day, really. Because, as far as I'm concerned, whenever one has a cup of coffee, it should be good. Especially should you find yourself awake at some ludicrous hour of the day, when most sane people are sleeping, and your brain is struggling to remember the order in which you put on your clothes, or what day of the week it is. It's those times that demand a cup of coffee like this.
Damn Good Cup of Coffee
Coffee Beans (whole or ground)
1. Coffee quality is crucial here - I generally buy Just Us coffee; I especially like their dark roasts. I find that, with this method, it produces a very rich tasting coffee, so you can really taste the coffee bean flavour. So go ahead and splurge on coffee (if you're snobby like me) - I guarantee you'll taste the difference.
2. If using whole bean coffee, measure out (using the aeropress scoop) two scoops of beans into your coffee grinder, and grind for about 10 seconds. If using ground, scoop the coffee directly into your aeropress tube.
3. While assembling your aeropress and grinding your coffee, boil some water. Right before it boils, take it off the heat or (if using an electric kettle) turn it off. You don't want the water to be boiling temperature when you add it to your aeropress, as that will kill some of the flavour. The recommended temperature for making coffee is 195 - 205˚ F (92 - 96˚ C). Once your aeropress is ready to brew, and your water is at the right temperature (I always just guestimate, but feel free to use a thermometer if you want to be exact) pour the water over the coffee grounds until it reaches the number that corresponds to the number of scoops you used.
4. Using the stir stick, stir coffee grounds and water together for about ten seconds. Then take your plunger, insert it and push down gently (Aeropress recommends for about 20 seconds).
5. Once you pushed all the water out through the filter, you're left with espresso (minus the $1000 a machine would cost you). To clean up your aeropress, just unscrew the filter cap and, using the plunger, pop the puck of coffee grounds into the compost. You can compost the filter as well, or reuse it (each one is good for at least 3 cups of coffee).
6. You can now either enjoy your espresso as is, add milk and heat it up for a latte, or, as I do, add boiling water for American style coffee and then add your fixings.
7. Savour and delight in the joy of a damn good cup of coffee.