You do not need a percolator to make excellent coffee. A French Press is a unique way of getting the most flavor and fulllness out of your coffee. Here's how it works-
1) Boil a pot of water. Removing the press from the decanter of the French Press, place two level tablespoons of your favorite coarsely ground coffee. Pour the boiled water over the grounds until you have only an inch of room left in the decanter.
2) Place the press, slot side closed, on top of the water/ grounds mixture. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
3) Gently press the press down, turn the slot open, and pour yourself a rich, fresh cup of sultry coffee that is unique to your taste.
You don't need a fancy, dedicated machine to roast your own coffee at home. All you really need is a heat source that will reach at least 370 F. Many DIY coffee roasters take pride in the Frankenstein coffee roasting contraptions they build or modify, but you don't need to solder or modify anything to do a creditable job of roasting your own java. These basic household gadgets will produce excellent roast coffee with no modification at all.
Electric Air Poppers
Choose an air popcorn popper with air vents in the side of the popping chamber rather than the kind with a mesh grille in the base. Place green coffee beans in the popping chamber and run the popper until coffee reaches the desired roast level.
Stove Top Popcorn Poppers
Follow the directions used to make popcorn in a stove top paddle popcorn popper.
Spread the beans in a single layer in the bottom of a flat roasting pan or cookie sheet and heat them in a 500 F oven until they reach the desired color.
Stove Top Roasting
Roast coffee in a heavy frying pan or Dutch oven that heats evenly. Stir constantly over a medium flame until the coffee beans reach the desired roast level.
Heat Gun and Metal Bowl
Put coffee beans in a heavy metal dog bowl and direct the hot air from a heat gun at them until they're done.
For all methods:
Remove the beans from the heat source when they reach the desired roast level and dump them into a metal colander or strainer. Pour the hot coffee beans back and forth between two colanders, strainers or bowls to hasten cooling.
Single serve coffee brewers are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. A few years back, there were only two or three brands from which to choose. However, as patents on the various technologies expired and as the market for single serve coffee machines expanded, many more companies entered am continue to enter the market.
The biggest issue most critics have always had with single serve coffee brewers is that the choice of machine limits your choice of coffee. Typically, each brand of machine uses a specific type of coffee pod, capsule or cup that does not fit into coffee brewers made by other manufacturers. Some brewers use the standardized ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pod system, but many others use a plastic cup or disc that only fits into their own machines. Because of this, consumers should consider the coffee selection available when choosing a single serve coffee system.
When choosing a single serve coffee brewer, consider these criteria:
1. Does the brewer use a proprietary capsule or does it use a standardized system, such as ESE pods or Caffitaly coffee capsules?
2. Is there a good selection of coffee and drink varieties available for the brewing system?
3. Are the coffee capsules easily available or can you only purchase them from the company?
4. How much does the coffee cost per cup for the coffee brewing system you're considering?
5. Can you get a reusable coffee capsule for the system you're considering?
Single serve coffee brewers have become far more sophisticated in the past few years. They're convenient, easy to use and let you stock an entire coffee shop in your kitchen cabinet. Choosing the right machine will make a big difference in how pleased you are with your purchase.
Choosing an air popper with the right design is important if you want to use it to roast coffee safely and efficiently at home.
The single most important element to consider when choosing a popcorn popper to roast coffee is the venting system. Look inside the popping chamber. If you see an aluminum mesh screen at the bottom or sides, look for another popper. Chaff from the coffee beans can drop through the screen and pose a fire hazard.
Instead, look for a popper that blows hot air into the popping chamber through side vents. In addition to being safer, the blowing will keep the coffee beans in motion and contribute to a more even roast.
Sweet Maria's, one of the best known and most respected online suppliers of green coffee beans and home coffee roasting supplies, maintains a list of suitable air poppers at http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpop/airpopmethod.php. Other poppers may work as well, but these have been tested and recommended by Sweet Maria's users.
If you and your wife, husband, roommate, or co-worker have two different preferences for how strong you like your coffee, it can be a real pain in the neck taking the time to make two pots at two different strengths every morning. Luckily, you can easily work around that by simply stopping the brew halfway through to pour a cup for whoever likes it a little weaker. Then, you can let the pot finish for a stronger cup, as the coffee will have to sit in the basket a little longer to turn blacker. This can help to save time and effort, not to mention coffee grounds, so that starting your day doesn't have to be a two-hour process.
Espresso grounds, according to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, feel almost like confectioner's sugar in your hand and can be compressed with little effort. The brew from these grounds is heavily extracted and tastes rich and heavy.
Green Mountain's Dark Magic Extra Bold K-Cup offer the rich aromatics and flavor qualities of espresso, but they are designed for the K-Cup.
If cappuccino is your drink, texturing milk for lattes and cappuccinos is something of an art. The right tools include a 20-ounce steaming pitcher is perfect for steaming and stretching milk for one to four espresso drinks.
Made of durable stainless steel, it features a reverse bell shape — with walls narrowing toward the rim — which helps keep steamed and stretched milk in the pitcher during spinning and twirling. A pouring lip directs textured milk and foam, making it easier to control your pour.
When texturing milk for coffee drinks, start with ice-cold milk and an ice-cold pitcher, too.
Need more milk? Invest in the Bodum Frother, which froths milk quickly and easily. Insert the whip end into cold milk and then push the button. The frother whips into action, creating a nice froth that will last in hot beverages. It works best with cold milk.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|