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Friday, January 22, 2016

I love coffee... Finally!

By now most of you know that I do my best to consume a balanced diet meaning I eat very healthy things. . . And some very unhealthy things :) It's definitely a balancing act. At most I try to consume only one sugary thing a day. Before it was ice cream, a little bit each night but then I saw a news article early last year that said drinking 5 cups of coffee a day had a lot of health benefits. Since then I've traded in my ice cream for a smidge of chocolate sauce in my cafe mocha each morning.

The thing is I've always loved the way coffee smells but not so much the way it tastes. That is until, just like dessert wines, I finally figured out the very specific way I could enjoy it. It has to be very strong (I only like espresso beans), with just 3 TBS of milk or soy milk, and just under 1 TBS of Torani chocolate sauce added to it.

The first few times I made coffee I swiped some of Fred's paper filters for his Melitta pour-over system, plopped one in my kitchen funnel and gave it a go. Once I figured out the type of beans I liked I was ready to take the plunge and get some kind of single cup coffee maker. I didn't want anything that was breakable or had to be plugged in because I wanted to be able to take it traveling in The Glampette with me. I finally decided on a French press so that I wouldn't need to use disposable filters each day.

The Espro press pictured with my mug and a bowl of freshly ground coffee.

After a lot of online research I decided The Espro Press was the way to go. By all accounts it is outstanding and the first press that has a double micro-filtration system so no grounds make it through to make your coffee gritty. It comes in three sizes (8 oz, 18 oz, and 32 oz). I got the 8 oz as it would be my one cup per day which I figured would help keep me from becoming a raging coffeeholic.

Speaking of coffee, while reading about the different types and how to prepare them I learned you can buy raw beans and roast them at home. I ordered some from Mojo Roast online and was quite excited to roast them in my cast iron fry pan on my camping stove out on the back deck when they arrived. I learned to use a whisk to stir with and do it outside for sure because it's a very smoky process.

It's like making risotto. You continuously stir the beans for just over 15 minutes. I wish I'd saved the links to the articles I read (maybe these 1, 2) and the video I watched but I didn't and it was practically a year ago so I don't recall exactly which ones I used when I looked at Google just now. You can also you an air-pop popcorn popper to do the job. But I didn't have one so I stuck used the cast iron pan I did have.

Funny thing was, while roasting them out on the back deck I was attacked by black flies trying to bite my ears. I'd fling my arm up to brush them away and in the process a bean or two would fly out of the pan in the whisk and end up on the deck. As I collected them up after I was done I realized I had a perfect color chart to show the stages of roasting.

But here's the tricky thing. Even though you can find article after article that says drinking 5 cups a day is the magic number, none say how much ground coffee you use or to what ratio of water. This is something I noticed right off the bat because Fred uses less ground coffee than I do but then ends up using probably close to 7 cups of water and drinks weak, black coffee all day long. . .

Where as I like my coffee STRONG! I use 3 TBS of ground coffee to 8 oz of water. That's it. One cup a day but it's rich and tasty.

My new habit has also given me a reason to use the beautiful curlew mugs I found on Etsy years ago.

The bad thing? Oddly I still haven't gotten into the routine of being a daily coffee drinker. There have been a few instances where I forgot to drink my morning coffee and didn't realize, until a few hours later when I was lying around the house like a slug in a brain fog around noon, what was amiss (usually after Fred pointed it out). LOL

I even had a go at making cold-pressed coffee. I'll probably do more of that next summer.

It would go great with the breakfast affogatos (cofee + ice cream) I make from time to time :) See what I did there? Instead of chocolate sauce I add ice cream!

I even took my Espro to the Tearjerkers CRA Teardrop Trailer Rally last summer. Because it's small it was easy to pack and travel with. It's also gone into my carry on luggage when I've flown home to visit my family.

So, after many failed attempts over the years to learn to like and drink coffee, I finally do! Well, except for the days I forget. LOL

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