Monday, March 15, 2010
So I haven't made coffee at home with a drip percolator in years. I've been using French Presses for at least five years now, the simplicity just seems to make the coffee a better experience if nothing else.
Of course a press requires a much coarser ground than a drip machine, since they use a screen mesh instead of a fine paper filter. With a fine grind, you'd end up with most of the grounds in your cup. The trade off being that you keep more of the natural oils and accompanying flavor notes in your coffee and not trapped in the filter. Means a more delicious cup.
Back on New Year's Eve, I was at a friend's apartment, and he's really into cooking. He has a beautiful, and quite large, marble pestle and mortar on his counter. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, perhaps it was the abundance of whiskey in my system, but I had an epiphany in regards to my coffee.
Most electric counter top type coffee grinders are nothing more than a tiny little blender. Simple, but the little whirling blades actually slightly burn the grounds as it does it work, muting and subtly changing the intended flavor. They are also horribly inconsistent and create "coffee dust" that can clog up the screen on a press. The high end burr grinders grind slower, reducing the risk of burning the beans, but they're expensive.
So the next day I'm wandering around town, and manage to find a little marble pestle and mortar on clearance at Target. The mortar (bowl) is about the size of my fist, and it has a nice polished finish over both parts except the end of the pestle, which is nicely rounded, but unpolished, as is the bottom of the mortar bowl, so whatever you're grinding doesn't slide around and not get crushed. Perfect for grinding a few tablespoons of coffee beans.
And all together, they make a fantastic cup of coffee.