coffee | equipment

Place spoon in jar, scoop desired amount of contents into a cup, add water, and milk… Maybe some sugar. Does anyone still make coffee like this? In the UK, apparently so. Of all of the top coffee drinking nations the UK still motors through more instant (soluble) coffee than most other countries.

In 2017 there are an abundance of ways to make coffee, the complexities of using some of the equipment though maybe scares people off a bit. I must admit when I first stared down the barrel of a stove-top pot, I was intrigued and baffled in equal measure – This is usually the point when in a shop that the budding home barista places the said pot back on the shelf, walks off and buys granulated stuff.

They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil — Frank Sinatra, The Coffee Song

Bite the bullet though and you can have some fun with coffee making, it doesn’t have to be a dull loveless relationship of a process, here are a few possibilities:

kris-atomic-39750.jpgCafetiere/French Press (Left): Humble, understated and a great place to start to be honest. Do away with your instant and buy some ground coffee to start with and move to beans and grinding later. Chuck a scoop of coffee in, pour in some warm water, leave it for a bit (2-3 mins), gently press the plunger down to the bottom and POW! – Coffee.

 

Filter: This one is up to you. Filtered coffee has been doing the rounds since possibly around the 17th century, filters themselves have been depicted in Egyptian tombs since the 1500bc… So what are you waiting for? Filter coffee can be percolated in a machine and collected in a pot at the bottom, something that a lot of people will have seen. Go to a general news agents in New York, you’ll see these lining the counter in the shop ready to go. If you’re an eighties kid, maybe your parents had one. However…andrew-welch-77146

Filters have moved on. Hario have the V60 (Right). A paper filter system, 60 degree angled sides in the shape of a V, and they are brilliant. 3 minutes of your time is all it takes, not a long laborious process at all, actually therapeutic. It beats staring at the kettle mulling your life over, if-of course-thats what you do. The coffee from this little contraption is crystal clear perfection. If there was a coffee version of a consommé, this would be it.

Machine: Now you’ve braved the instant coffee free world, and you’ve dabbled in a couple of methods outside of the cup and kettle tandem, now, machines.

If you have £10k in your back pocket and you really want to go deep into this, go for it. However, if you just want a machine (below) in your kitchen £50 should do it for a barista style contraption and this is where the love affair starts. The noises, steamer hissing and then the coffee, wow. Love it.

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If that still isn’t floating your boat, you could even, dare I say it, try pods. Pods are becoming massive in the coffee industry, France have embraced them. They just don’t scream coffee, or authenticity, and what’s with the branding of certain drinks??

Moka Pot (Stove-Top): This apparently first came to light in 1830’s England, but wasn’t patented until 100 years later, it has been around for a long time. When you first make a cup of coffee with this thing, it’s like being back at school with a bunsen burner. How the hell does that go from there, to there? – It’s like science and stuff. And yeah, that is what it is. annie-spratt-65077

Water squeezing its way through a tube and pushing through the coffee grounds and gathering in the top pot. Ace. This method though, differs day by day, this is like caveman and fire style of coffee making, stripped back.

 

Others: Well where do you stop? Cloth filters, metal filters, cold brewing, it’s all good fun if you step away from the ease of a jar. And if you do want to go further try an aeropress. Its like an amalgamation of different techniques, paper filters with an inverted french press element. But of you really want to get in on the action, syphon brewing could be the one for you.

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