My best solution
Coffee is my sole guilty pleasure. I don't smoke, don't drink much, but I absolutely need to have my 3-4 cups of extremely strong coffee every day.
For the last few years I have had my coffee ritual down pat. I buy coffee beans in bulk, grind them myself by hand, and make single cups of coffee when I want to drink one.
The coffee I make is extremely strong (most people need to water it down to drink) but very tasty. Most coffee I buy now doesn't match up to it.
Today's post is about how to make excellent coffee at home or at work in Japan. You may find some or all of the elements useful :)
You will need a handful of things:
- Aeropress coffee maker (created by the same guy that made the Aerobee flying ring, weirdly enough)
- Coffee beans
- Coffee grinder
I'm going to assume you have a kettle, or have access to one if you are traveling. The nice thing about this setup is that it is fairly portable -I almost always take it with me on trips.
The key piece of equipment is the Aeropress -a very reasonably priced device that makes amazing coffee. You can read more about it on wikipedia.
I tend to ignore some of the official advice -for example I use boiling water instead of 80-92 degrees, and I use more coffee than recommended.
I used to brew inverted but recently have been following the instructions and have found it works slightly better for me.
Drinking 3-4 cups a day (four scoops of beans for each), and making 1-2 cups for my wife means that I get through a lot of coffee beans! I tend to buy in bulk every 2-3 months, and always get the Costco branded Kirkland Starbucks Espresso Roast beans in 900g bags. They are quite a bit cheaper if you go to Costco, but I am lazy and tend to get them from Amazon Japan instead.
Coffee grinders ideally should be ceramic and have adjustable burrs (so you can change how fine or coarse the grind is). Electric ones tend to be really expensive, but hand ones are pretty cheap, with the added benefit of being portable. I like this Hario one.
So how to make coffee?
- boil water
- grind four scoops of coffee beans (takes 2-4 minutes, depending on how sleepy you are)
- set up Aeropress on cup
- put ground coffee in Aeropress
- pour hot water onto coffee
- allow to steep for 1-2 minutes
- press out coffee
- clean Aeropress immediately (I didn't know about this until recently, which may have ruined my first one)
- drink coffee
- repeat until hands shake
I like this setup so much that I actually have three Aeropresses and grinders: one at work, one at home, and one at my wife's school.
I'm pretty sure I learned about the Aeropress from Tim Ferriss.
How about you? Are you a coffee drinker? What do you use?