“Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat” ~ Johann Sebastian Bach
I went to the dentist for my semi-annual cleaning the other day. “Do you drink coffee?” asked the hygienist, as she was chiseling away at my incisors. Sigh. This question comes up every time. And I suspect the answer is bleeding obvious, too. You’d think they’d just make a note of it in the file and save their breath.
So, yes, I love coffee. And not just any coffee. I like strong, brewed coffee. Here’s where it all happens at home:
In front are my favorite 12-oz ceramic mugs. These are large and sturdy, and don’t tip over. Behind the mug on the right is a travel mug — an essential companion on my daily commute (all stereotypes about Americans and car cup holders are, unfortunately, true). At the back left is our trusty automatic coffeemaker, best for making large quantities of this wonderful elixir. To enter my house, an automatic coffeemaker must satisfy two criteria:
- Programmable timer, so my morning coffee is magically ready when I come down to breakfast, and
- Thermal carafe, so the coffee can sit for hours without developing the burnt taste that comes from sitting on a hot plate.
Our 10-cup Cuisinart Grind & Brew Thermal has both of these features, and it grinds the beans.
So why is there a coffee grinder next to the coffeemaker? Because the ultimate cup of coffee comes from a cafetière. If you want a truly delectable cup of coffee, this is hands down the best method. There are many internet resources describing how to make coffee using a cafetière, also known as a French press (examples: here, here, and here, with video). I became a fan of the cafetière when we lived overseas. We had difficulty finding an automatic coffeemaker to our liking, but we did find a 1-liter cafetière with a thermal carafe. The only thing missing was the programmable timer. 🙂
Today, the cafetière is my preferred method for a mid-afternoon coffee break with my husband. We have two models at home: in the above photo, there’s a small cafetière on the right, which makes a nice 12-oz cup. Next to it, somewhat obscured by my travel mug, is a 1-liter glass model. Now, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a single-cup Bodum Travel Press in my local Starbucks (see photo on right). This one lives in my office, with a bag of ground coffee close at hand. Perfect.
Coffee made in a cafetière is so fresh, and tastes far better than anything produced by our automatic coffeemaker. It feels elegant and special, and always reminds me of our time abroad. As Ilsa said in the classic film: