May 25, 2012
A million ways to make coffee
Our Bodum electric Santos has, I think, finally given up the ghost. The last jug is leaking coffee into the electrics, which is sort of terminal. I have set up a zillion eBay searches to try to catch these, but still one sold the other day without my noticing. I haven't given up hope, though 12 cup Santos in good condition sell for more than their new value these days in the US. We do still have one of the smaller ones somewhere, tucked away for emergencies (like this).
This might or might not be related to my drinking at least twice as much coffee at home as I was six months ago.
In the meantime, we are going to try a Chemex CM-4, sourced from Has Bean. It will fill a sort of 'bigger version of Aeropress' niche in our lives, and people seem to like them very well. But it's not fire and forget like the eSantos.
Food notes -- a chicken & peanut stew defrosted on Wednesday; this hadn't been frozen for terribly long but had lost some texture so that the sauce was much thinner. It had been a very 'what can I make from stuff in the house' dish in the first place, nothing special but perfectly tasty. Greens Frittata with mozzarella and prosciutto on Thursday. I originally sourced this recipe by searching on things we needed to eat up, but it's very tasty and got a permanent place. Obviously the greens can be anything green, the mozzarella could alternatively be feta, taleggio, gruyere or even cheddar, the prosciutto could be ham or bacon or anything of that kind. In this case, I had slightly run out of meals to cook the day before the groceries came, but we had plenty of eggs and greens (rainbow chard), some cheap mozzarella from Lidl, and the last two tiny chorizo. It was very nice but didn't set in the limited time I gave it; I've scribbled digitally on the recipe to allow longer next time. We had it with some potatoes that were meant to be sauteed but went a bit soggy. They tasted good though. Salmon with baby new potatoes and peas and beans tonight -- I think edamame rather than frozen broad beans because I appear to have two packets and because frozen edamame don't have the grey skins. Looking at the BBC's minimal recipe, which I mostly saved as an aide memoire, I'm not going to microwave the salmon, so it's not going to come out *quite* as healthy after its run-in with the grill pan.
Posted by Alison Scott at May 25, 2012 12:04 PM
Don't mess about - you want a Gaggia. A Classic or if you're feeling flush a Baby.
Posted by: Russ Chandler at May 25, 2012 06:38 PM
No, we're after something that works with a wider range of coffee than just dark-roasted espresso blends. I like espresso well enough, and we considered getting a self-cleaning beans to cup machine a few years ago. But it doesn't work well when you have friends round (nobody wants to make eight espressos one after the other while everyone's sitting around waiting) and it's not right for our morning coffee either. Hence vacuum brewing, but stovetop vacuum brewing has too many inherent risks. Chemex is a bit of a change for us so we'll see.
Posted by: Alison Scott at May 26, 2012 09:33 AM
Go to Target and get a coffee grnider. You just put the beans in and grind them. After that, you have to make the coffee in a coffee maker. Make sure you have a good drip coffee maker, and get the correct filters for your type. Add the water, and decide how strong you want it. Follow your own taste on this, some people like it strong, some not. Fiddle around with it a little, and decide what you like. I use about 1/2 cup of ground coffee in my 12 cup maker. It is about medium strong. You will never go back to instant! By the way, if you do not want to go to the trouble of grinding the beans, just buy the coffee already ground, or grind it at the store.
Posted by: Moada at June 10, 2012 10:48 PM