A few weeks ago, Hubby and I went to our bi-monthly Bible study at our friends' house. After a yummy meal of pasta and an incredible chicken with vegetable/tomato gravy* we were asked the question that makes my heart skip a beat and my pulse slowly increase: "Who wants coffee?"
Note: If you don't know, it's the true Italian way to call tomato sauce 'gravy'. I pride myself on the whopping 25 percent of Italian that flows in my blood. I will occasionally try to let that Italian truth show through in my language. However, I have a hard time doing it. It feels so forced. My excuse? I wasn't brought up using words like gravy for red sauce. Thanks a lot, mom and dad.
There are two usual methods that coffee is served in house these days. First, there is the classic 12-cup coffee pot. Nothing special, but a classic nonetheless. Then, there is the new age technology of the Keurig, Tassimo, or other similar machine trying to pass off as one of these. I admit, I retired my 12-cup coffee pot as soon as the Keurig machine craze hit. It just made more sense. I was the only one who regularly drank coffee in our house of two. Making a pot of coffee was just a waste of time and...well, coffee. (And going through the whole process to make just two cups seemed ridiculous).
It made sense to get a Keurig. In fact, it was the right thing to do.
After a few years, I bought an espresso machine to feed my latte addiction and to make myself feel better for never brewing anything other than disposable K-cups.
Aside from these options, the only other method I knew of to brew coffee was a French press. I hadn't yet been convinced that I needed one in my life.
Then I met this beast:
I've tried to find this exact product online and can't seem to match it.
I'm starting to think it's illegal. Which makes me love it even more.
I'm assuming it is a sort of drip brewer, yet it still doesn't match picture perfect to what I've found.
The flame underneath was an added bonus to my excitement.
Though I asked continuous questions, I clearly was absorbing more entertainment factor from this experience than knowledge. Therefore, my description of what is going on will be in layman's terms at best.
Tyler (pictured above...and below) is a bit of a coffee expert. His father began roasting beans a few years ago and selling his coffees here: http://numucoffee.com/ What is especially awesome is that every 'batch' will have its own unique flavor since he roasts them completely on his own.
This little piece of hardware comes from China. From what I understand, he started by heating water up in the bottom 'flask' (for lack of a better word). When the water was heated to the proper temperature, it began to fill up into the upper glass chamber. On its own. Crazy, right?
Once the water had completely moved, he added the scoops of coffee. We had the Harrar roast (made of beans from Ethiopia) that his dad had recently sent him. Recently sent = fresh coffee. Yes, hallelujah, amen.
He used the little wooden rod (off to the left) to stir the coffee grounds in. The coffee water then began to drip drop back into the flask.
The flask then was able to be unattached to use to pour the coffee.
I sat with my jaw at my chest, in awe and silent excitement the entire time.
Of course, I also managed to sneak in these pictures that Tyler was completely oblivious to.
The fun wasn't over yet. First, Tyler asked us if we knew why the surface of our coffee had an oily appearance. Hubby and I both assumed it was a bad thing, but we learned that when coffee has that oily surface it means that it is fresh.
Nice to know.
Before we could ruin our coffee with the pleasures of this world named sugar and cream, Tyler made us try our coffee without anything in it. I had expected it to be overpoweringly strong, but it wasn't. It was smooth and mild without sacrificing any of its delicious flavors. This is one of the few coffees I have met so far that I could probably enjoy completely black.
He also made coffee for us in his French press. I left his house interested in the Chinese coffee contraption, and adding a French press to my Christmas list.
Yes, I've already started it...