Perhaps there are others out there with my particular problem. You see, my significant other finds it ever more difficult to “put up with” my addiction not only to coffee, but to coffee makers. Ever since that fabled Ethiopian goat herder found his animals prancing and dancing around the coffee tree, humans have struggled to find the very best way to make those berries into a delicious drink.
As a side note, it’s an interesting fact that for a long time, people made coffee into a drink without roasting the beans first. Of course, you would get the same benefit in terms of caffeine, but when it comes to taste and aroma, unroasted coffee beans leave something to be desired. In truth, coffee beans actually have to go through a lot of processing before they are ready to be turned into that delicious bewitching drink we all know and love.
The beans of the coffee plant are actually quite beautiful when they are on the tree. They look similar to the berries found on a holly bush, only slightly larger. Once the berries turn deep red, they are picked, dried, hulled, perhaps aged, and then they are finally roasted to perfection. It is interesting to note that coffee beans are shipped unroasted, i.e. in their “green” state. Before coffee beans are roasted they are extremely shelf stable. They can keep their essential oils nicely packed away for years if left raw. Once you roast them, however, they begin to lose their flavor quickly.
Okay, on to the topic at hand-coffee makers. I love them. I find it fascinating to see how different cultures use different methods to create their unique take on this beautiful drink. One of my favorite coffee makers is the beloved French press. You’ve probably seen this one before. It looks like a huge beaker with a plunger attached to the lid. The idea is you put your grounds in the beaker, add near-boiling water, stir, let it steep for four minutes, and then plunge the grounds down to the bottom. What could be easier, right?
That’s the real beauty of the French press. It is simple, and that’s why many connoisseurs consider it to be the absolute best way to sample coffee. Some of you might be asking why the French press is better than your standard drip machine. The answer is simple-essential oils! A drip machine that utilizes paper filters actually filters out some of the best flavors of the coffee. Paper filters work too good in that they essentially throw the baby out with the bathwater-so to speak. The French press on the other hand utilizes a wire mesh filter system that allows all of the essential oils to stay where they’re supposed too, i.e. in the coffee.