Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rich, Bold Flavor

Some people say a writer’s work is only as strong as his coffee. I’m a flavor extremist. If I’m going to drink beer, I want it to punch me in the sinuses with hops and drown me in malt. I like my food to be fatty, salty, or heavily seasoned (Indian, Korean, Vietnamese…) or some combination of all three. And I’d rather take a caffeine pill (Jet Alert with 200 mg caffeine) than drink weak coffee. Here’s how to make strong coffee.

1. Grind your beans as you go
Here is the whitest thing I’ll ever say: coffee starts going stale the moment you grind it. And that means it starts losing flavor. If you like strong coffee, you need to grind as you go. I suggest getting a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder for more consistent results and ease of use. The grounds funnel down into a container, so you don’t have to put in the exact amount of beans you want to use. You can store them in the top for later grinding. A burr grinder will also produce grounds coarse enough for a French press, which is nearly espresso. Blade grinder grounds are too dusty for the mesh.

2. Use dark beans
Duh. Use espresso roast beans.

3. Use a lot of coffee
Duh number two. The list gets more interesting from here.

4. Use a mesh coffee filter
Coffee beans are oily. A lot of the flavor is in the oil. Unfortunately, paper filters trap a lot of that oil.

5. Run the coffee through the grounds extra times
Pour the coffee back into the grounds. Stir it up if you want. Then put the pot back under and let it drip back through. Do this a couple of times, if you want.

A lot of people don’t like my coffee, or can only drink a few sips. More for me!