People who know me know that I’m obsessed with coffee. I’m not a bean snob or a machine snob. I only visit this site when I need to read consumer reviews or check the fair market price for coffee related appliances. What I do do with ritualized obsession is prepare coffee according to the fixed laws of the Time Life Beverages book. Following the advice of the book, I use a Chemex glass carafe brewer and Chemex bonded filters (cheaper to purchase as unfolded filter circles). And these are some of the rules, in condensed form, I follow: always preheat mugs and carafe, grind one more scoop of beans than recommended, wet grounds in 15 second intervals, wait until grounds “bloom” before pouring in large amounts of water, keep swilling coffee in bottom of carafe to avoid “bottom brew”, preheat milk, add small pinch of sea salt and or cracked pepper to final brew (it’s in the book!). Friend Hilary brought me back a reversible Harris tweed tea (now coffee) cozy from England. Wrapping the Chemex carafe in this cozy is my first sartorial act of the day.
Coffee service in On The Beach (Kramer 1959)
My Technivorm Moccamaster ended up as a craigslist sale to someone in Kansas City, Kansas. I spent so much time applying manual brewing rules to the machine (making sure the grounds were evenly damp, turning machine on and off to retard the brewing process, etc.) that I lost whatever automated convenience the on-off button was providing me. Nevertheless, Technivorm remains a brand I admire since they still make their amazingly high quality brewing appliances by hand in Holland. For a coffee themed field trip, I’d recommend visiting Boyds Coffee Company, the US distributor for Technivorm (located near the Danner Factory store in Portland, Oregon, though I doubt Boyds sells factory seconds or Japan only models).