Ikea timer... not helping.
Ah, coffee. I can’t think of a food more powerfully unifying and aggressively divisive as this humble bean.
It’s a reassuring constant that no matter where you go in the world, coffee will be there, intricately woven into the social, agricultural and political fabric that defines a country and its people. Coffee is universal in its presence in cups across the globe but unique in its preparation from country to country, household to household and person to person.
Even in my short and sheltered life, I have somehow managed to carelessly flit about at least a dozen countries, and in each one coffee was a big deal but in very different ways.
I sipped cafe con leche during merienda at tiny streetside tables in Spain. Espresso in cramped cafes crowded with businessmen in Italy. Instant Nespresso in a hammock in Nicaragua. Cappuccinos on my way to class in Chile. And, uh, tea in the United Kingdom.
Here in the States, our coffee culture has gotten straight up out of hand. It’s all triple-venti-sugar-free-skinny-soy-caramel-macchiato-no-whip-extra-hot, and it is ridiculous. When I hear someone order coffee extra hot, I want to smack them. I’m sorry if this is you but… seriously? What does that even mean?
Me? I like espresso with one cube of sugar. Black coffee with a splash of soy milk (iced or hot… and a standard degree of heat will suffice, thank you). And if I’m feeling feisty… a soy latte.
The point of this rant about coffee is that I’ve been using a French press at home for the last couple years and I have never felt like I’ve really perfected the art.
I know what you’re thinking, “What the hell? The title of this post implied that she had the secret to perfect French press coffee. I cry foul!”
I know. I’m sorry. I don’t have the answer. I mean, I know that the grounds should be coarse. That the water should be poured just before boiling. That it should steep for about five minutes for a nice, robust brew. That the coffee should be poured into the milk and not the other way around. Nevertheless, I’ve never been impressed by my coffee brewing skills.
So. Whose got the insider scoop on what it takes to make a perfect cup of French press coffee?
Again, I know what you’re thinking. “Google it, you idiot.” But I did. And everyone says to do it differently. So if you’ve got a method you swear by, do tell.
In the meantime, I’m gonna take down my third cup of mediocre coffee this morning. Onward and upward.