10.16.2011

Stovetop Espresso

I have always thought of myself as more of a tea party kind of girl, but recently I have developed a strange obsession with coffee. It’s so perfect isn’t it? Why didn’t anyone get me into in sooner, I am kind of upset about it. I really could have become a coffee snob a long time ago. I have learned that there is no doubt about it, the best coffee is made in a French Press. A French Press is a glass beaker you mix coarse ground coffee with hot water and then plunge a very fine mesh through it, pushing the grounds to the bottom and straining the coffee. I don’t know the physics of it but I am pretty sure that when you infuse something in water the flavor will be stronger if it steeps and then is strained than if the water just drips through like in a regular coffee maker.  

That being said, although the idea is genius, I feel like the design could use some work. Maybe I am doing it wrong but I have broken five. Yes, F.I.V.E. French Presses this last year.
There is obviously something wrong with how they make them.

So the other night I broke my fifth French Press in a dramatic episode that I will not recount, but also involves getting barbeque sauce all over my new sheets, and this made me realize that it might be time to try something new.
So I bought a percolator. I don’t like calling it that, it makes me feel like it was invented by Willy Wonka and it is going to backfire on me in some horrible way, like I’ll turn into a blueberry or something. Basically it is a stove top espresso maker and it is amazing. Here are some reasons why you should buy one too:

1. They cost only $30.

(Think about how much one of those crazy town espresso machines cost, like $1000 and they both make the same thing. Or think about how much you spend on lattes and mochas you could be making for yourself and all the money you could be spending on other things like Hungarian Paprika or new rain boots.)
2. They are easy to clean and only have three parts so you won’t need a mechanic to put it together.
3. You will save on your energy bill and the Earth will love you... more.
4. You won’t have the kitchen appliance equivalent of a hummer on your counter top.
5. I have one, and I am super fancy.
Still not convinced? It’s also really easy to use, let me explain.
1. Fill the bottom portion with water
2. Put a couple of spoonfuls of ground coffee into the filter funnel-y thing.
(when you go to the store to buy/grind your coffee make sure that you set the grinder to “fine”)

Since I am a coffee snob now so I only buy my cult favorite Ritual Coffee Roasters. Which is not only the BEST coffee in the world, but roasted by a little company in my lovely San Francisco. There are three locations, including this super cute pop-up coffee magnificance that is walking distance from my place.


I may or may not stalk it.

3.  Now screw the top part into the bottom part
4.  Place on your stove on high heat, leave the lid open
(so that you espresso isn’t contaminated with steam) and (You have to stand there, its quick though I promise)

5. After the water starts boiling through the filter and up through the spout the espresso will collect in the top part. (If it starts shooting out of the spout and staining everything in your kitchen and giving you creepy looking burns that is because the water is boiling too much and you should turn the heat down on your stove, or close the lid towards the end of espresso brewing. )

Congratulations - You have espresso.
Well actually you don’t, I do! I am going to enjoy it with some brown sugar and soy milk and then sit in my beautiful, breezy bay window and read a really good book.

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