The experience spectrum of indulging in a cup spans from:
Muddy water for 90cents at the coffee machine in front of the library while the flickering fluorescent light illuminates the reflection of your exhausted visage in the vending machine from 1999. A shameful moment, but you could care less.
Sitting by the dimly lit mahogany bar table, you notice the ever-so uncomfortable designer chair underneath you. The barista pours your cup in one elegant motion, after he has performed the extraction in a show resembling a Grade 9 Chemistry class. You notice a pun between all the spiritual symbols on his full-sleeve and chuckle to yourself.
Each of these cups of coffee serve a specific purpose, respectively.
I hath yet again bestowed it upon myself to present a PPT (Price-Performance-Taste) optimized alternative somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of “outrageous” to “outrageous” as aforementioned.
The Laundry Day Coffee
Disclaimer: This is a heavily opinionated guide. I possess neither of the two qualifications necessary, 1) a beard 2) a flannel button-up, to describe a cup as “herbaceous” or “unctuous” (/hʌŋ(k)tjʊəs/).
There is no way around this, aside from the usual stuff you will need:
- Coffee grinder
- Electronic scale
Even though the Elbow-Criterion is subjective, I think it’s fair to say that the cut off for a PPT (Price-Performance-Taste) optimized recipe draws the line after “FRESHLY GROUND”.
1. Sourcing the Beans
Finding the perfect type of beans is an individual endeavor, the only criteria: FRESHLY ROASTED.
Any shop that doesn’t indicate the roasting date, doesn’t want you to find out.
Dark vs. Light
I will refrain from using obnoxious adjectives to describe the different roasts.
- dark = strong, bitter, smoky
- light = sweet, sour, subtle
2. Freshly Ground
Why you ask? If you are familiar with the difference between freshly ground pepper and McCormick ash-dust, you know why. Same principle applies here.
A post from my behalf without a little “numbers” and “science” is like baking chicken breast; you know it’s NOT going to juicy.
1:18 Ratio of Ground Coffee
Now churn those rusty gears in your head…360g of golden brew for this, assuming your water has a density of 997 kg/m³. If this isn’t the case for your tap water, you have bigger worries than reading about a guy talk about brown liquid on the internet.
Nasty Water = Nasty Coffee
My recommendation is Volvic. I can go on and ramble about Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), mineral hardness or bi-carbonate, but it’s just fucking water.
Bring your water to a boil and while pouring assure you cover all grounds. For consistency abide to the 1:18 ratio.
Wait 4 minutes.
4. Double Filter
My French Press has a seal as tight as security at a techno festival. Ergo, I recommend using an additional coffee filter for that smooth silky texture.
a cup of silky, smooth and gunk-free coffee
Is it worth it? Probably Not!
For a better PPT recipe you can go to McDonald’s McCafé as their 5,000$ DeLonghi and ethically sourced beans will trump your makeshift meth-lab like coffee contraption at home.
However, life is an accumulation of irrational decisions. For the same reason your parent’s still keep the hideous fridge drawings, you should spend 20 minutes to make an alright cup of joe.