Making Coffee

aero_press_04This morning I went to the Post Office and picked up an Amazon.com box with my new AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Bialetti Mukka Express for the last year or so. All of these coffee producing gizmos are at the intersection of my gadget geekness and coffee obsessions. There is also something purely delightful to me about manual production and simple tools. I feel like it puts me closer to the process, and more in control of the results.

I also have a couple burr grinders for grinding coffee. One is electric and quick to use, but I really love taking the time to hand grind my beans with the Tre Spade grinder I have from this site. There’s just something about feeling the blades shaving down the beans, and doing it without plugging something into the wall, that I really savor.

Back to the Aeropress. Over time I have kept running across mentions of the product. I’ve heard that it is similar in principle to the Clover Coffee Machine, but costs $26 instead of $11,000. While I have been enjoying my Mukka Express, it DOES require a range to use (unless you get the version with an electric hotplate) so I’ve been looking for something novel to produce coffee at my desk at work. I finally found a way to justify my curiosity and pulled the trigger on the Aeropress this week.

I’ve only brewed three cups from it so far, but I’m already impressed. The product has been very rich and strong while remaining smooth without bitterness. The great thing about such a manual process is that there are plenty of elements to tweak and experiment with. Over time I know I’ll find all of the tweaks that work best for me. When I mentioned that I had ordered the product on Twitter I got a great link from Lawrence Ingraham (@lawpower) pointing me to some alternative brewing methods for the Aeropress. I’ll certainly be giving them a shot soon.

Of course, as much as I love what I’ve mentioned already, I would be completely lost in joy if I could get a setup like Tom Metcalfe’s beautiful coffee roaster, grinder, brewer product concept.

What kitchen gadgets are you in love with? What tasks do you prefer to accomplish manually instead of plugging something in to do it for you?