Friday, June 07, 2024

More Coffee Musings

Last August, I mused on my various summer coffee options. Since then, there have been some developments. Not in chronological order:

  • My thrift-store Krups espresso machine gave up the ghost (as thrift-store espresso machines will do); and
  • I bought an Aeropress Go (not an affiliate link, and I got it on sale for a lot cheaper than the currently displayed price); and
  • I decided I didn't like the Aeropress and put it away; until
  • Yesterday, I decided to RTFM (or, rather, to do a little Googling, since the actual manual was the first thing that went in the trash when I opened the Aeropress); and
  • Decided I like the Aeropress
Since I was thinking of the Aeropress as an espresso machine, it didn't occur to me to actually steep the coffee before giving the water a good hard press through the filter. I was getting what amounted to brown hot water out of the thing.

Using double paper filters and letting it steep for 4-5 minutes before bringing on the pressure produces a decent cup of something close to espresso (from Cafe Bustelo grounds).

So now I'm back in "brew a couple of cups of something close to espresso, refrigerate overnight, have two nice cold brew lattes in the morning" mode rather than "steep regular coffee in the French press, refrigerate overnight, have two not-quite-as-nice cold brew lattes in the morning" mode.

I really prefer espresso to regular coffee. Not just the flavor, but the caffeine content.

To see if I can get from "close to espresso" to "actual espresso," I've ordered a $1.59 ultra-fine stainless steel filter from Temu. My understanding is that paper filters tend to stop a lot of the oils that make espresso more than just coffee. With the paper filters, there's not really any crema on top, and it doesn't have quite the full, creamy mouthfeel caused by the oil droplets the filters block most of.

In the "you get what you pay for ... or at least what someone pays for, and a $1.59 filter just may not do the job" mindset, I've added a higher end filter ($10.99) and something called the Prismo attachment ($30, which is more than I paid for the Aeropress itself) to my Amazon Wish List. So if any of you are depressed every morning just thinking about me suffering from inferior coffee, feel free to cheer yourself up by helping fix the situation.

Side note: One of the more enjoyable aspects of the Libertarian National Convention was getting my customary (any time I'm at a convention) Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mocha Latte each morning. I generally try to avoid Starbucks, Opus, and other coffee shops between conventions, then treat myself. In the six years between my last physical convention and this one (New Orleans, 2018 -- I attended the 2020 convention virtually and didn't go to Reno in 2022), I probably averaged a little less than one commercial iced white chocolate mocha latte per year, usually from Opus when I happened to be at the hospital visiting or waiting for someone. But I got three -- Friday morning, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning -- from the "licensed to sell Starbucks beverages" hotel shop in DC.

No comments: