New Coffee Routine


Sometimes a little change can make things exciting again!

Mark and I used to go to one of the many great coffee shops along Commercial Drive in East Vancouver every morning for our daily caffeine fix. But, the Americanos were starting to lose their appeal, and we found that even if we went to the same place, the coffee would vary depending on who was making it that day. So, in typical ‘control freak’ manner, Mark and I decided to take matters into our own hands and bring the coffee making back into our own kitchen.

We had a variety of coffee making devices and grinders in our house, but none of them were just right. The electric coffee maker made its way to Value Village a long time ago. The glass Bodum was nice and easy, but by the time we would actually go to drink the coffee, it was always just luke warm (plus, Mark broke it!). The stove top maker was good, but fussy. Plus, the ‘fancy’ grinder that I had bought last year didn’t even grind the beans fine enough for espresso. And, who wants to subject themselves to that kind of noise first thing in the morning? (I need my coffee for a reason. It’s because I’m cranky and don’t like mornings. I don’t appreciate the high pitched whine of the grinder!)

Off Mark and I went to see Robert at Elysian Coffee on Broadway and Ash. Mark likes shiny things, so we were sold even before Rob could place the stainless steel Frieling French press in front of us. But besides the good looks and sleek design, it is double-walled, so it is insulated. No more luke warm coffee! Then, there was the matter of the grinder. Rob showed us a hand grinder. As it turns out, we already have one of these at home sitting proudly on a shelf as beautiful decoration. My dad actually hand made it for me years ago. Why had I never tried to actually use it?

So now we have an exciting new routine in the mornings! As I’m getting ready to go to work, I can faintly hear Mark grinding away in the kitchen, pouring water into the French press, and setting the timer for 4 minutes. Hot, delicious, and consistent coffee every morning!

What is your coffee routine? (Dave Shea – I’m waiting for you to post a comment!)


9 Responses to “New Coffee Routine”

  1. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    Mmmmmmmmm… coffeeeeeeee. Trust a German company to perfect the French Press! I am at the Elysian on Broadway on an almost daily basis. While waiting for my americano to be “crafted”, the addition of the chrome gallery wall of new Frieling’s caught my eye as well. I purchased the largest of the bunch and now enjoy a hot cup of coffee that outperforms anything being manufactured at most coffee houses of the chain variety.

    One additional snippet for the post… The Preheat. While the water is boiling for the coffee, I preheat the press by filling with hot water first. The fresh, hot coffee lasts even longer!

    Additional note, I bought a smaller Frieling for my office for personal mid day pleasure. Mmmmmmmm… coffee.

  2. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    My coffee routine these days is so pedestrian I refuse to even comment on it here.
    However, I am very familiar with hand grinders.
    From the age of about 5, it was my job to grind the morning coffee for my parents. At Mom’s house, I used a little braun electric grinder to prepare the grounds for her coffee while she made us breakfast.
    But at Dad’s house I used a hand grinder, almost identical to the one in your photo above, to grind enough coffee for at least 3 pots. I would sit in a chair by the fire, with the little box clamped between my knees and grind. And grind. And grind. And grind.

    The smell of fresh coffee being ground mingling with the smells of breakfast being grilled – pancakes, eggs, bacon.

    No wonder my coffee routine is pedestrian! I have yet to have coffee flavour live up the anticipation those years of grinding created.

  3. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    What Andrea didn’t mention above is that normally I make coffee immediately after getting out of the shower, so I stand in the kitchen, naked, as I grind the beans and make the coffee. I find being unfettered by clothes helps—maybe it’s the aerodynamics? I also recommend feeding the dog nude, but have found there to be health risks when frying eggs and bacon in the buff. Ouch. TMI perhaps?

  4. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    @Mark Busse – TMI, dude. TMI.

    My routine varies. It used to be more interesting when I was home roasting my own beans, but that’s been on hold for a few months. I’ll pick it up again shortly, and rest assured there will be a post here when that happens.

    Right now, it starts with the beans. I need to know when they were roasted; if the café can’t tell me that (don’t even ask at grocery stores) then I move on. 49th Parallel is my choice when I can make it to 4th, but JJ Bean is a good alternative when I can’t.

    A few years ago I made sure to ask Santa for an expensive burr grinder. Blade grinders have the tendency to slightly burn the beans as they grind, while a burr grinder avoids that and offers an adjustable grind to boot. Believe it or not, the one Starbucks sells in the $100 range is actually fairly good.

    When I grind I never measure, I go by sight and time. (“One one thousand, two one thousand…”) There’s a sweet spot around the 15-17 second mark on my grinder, but that’s obviously not a useful guideline for anyone else.

    My french press is a cheap glass Bodum knockoff I bought years ago. I’m only ever making a cup at a time, so heat loss isn’t much of a problem. At some point I would like to get my hands on an Aeropress.

    After the kettle boils, I give it a few seconds. I think I’m a little too anxious, I need to give it closer to a minute to cool off a bit, but I can never wait that long. I pour, I wait four minutes (used to go by instinct, but now I use a stove timer because four turns into seven way too quickly when I’m doing something else), and then I serve.

    Repeat up to 4x daily.

    Oh, and re: hand grinders. I tried one once, but I didn’t spring for good quality at the time, so it didn’t do it for me. I’m not sure the relative difference between electric burr/blade vs. hand. I’d guess the good ones are better than a blade grinder anyway. But that’s just a guess.

  5. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    The Elysian coffee beans are the way to go. If you are anal about your coffee, then you need to know that it’s not only important to know WHERE the beans are from and who roasted them, but especially WHEN they were roasted. Elysian won’t sell you beans older than 14 days. I buy smaller quantities now too, so it’s extra fresh.

  6. Posted on April 2nd, 2009

    If you’re REALLY anal about coffee, go for the monkey poo coffee beans:

  7. Posted on April 11th, 2009

    I use the Aeropress for daily coffee fix. I also travel a fair bit for work and the size of it makes it very handy for hotel rooms, and holidays.

  8. Posted on January 24th, 2010

    Our Press Time routine:

    Usually after lunch time, so there is something in our stomaches to soak the coffee.

    We head to the kitchen and get our dark roasted beans from a dark and dry place and begin to grind them *(we have a manual grinder like the one shown above, but we noticed that there are cast iron deposits falling into the grounds of the coffee! So, you might want to check on your manual grinder if this is happening when grinding).

    We set the burner on HI and get fresh water from the Culligan man and wait for a boil. We then yell out the time and pour — wait one minute then stir and wait another four minutes for a great soaking of the ground beans.

    We then, set up our community table and set two chairs up next to the table. We grab our leather coasters and two “ceramic” mugs and play “Woods” by Bon Iver. We then press the French Press slowly and pour only a but at a time for a full taste. Clank the mugs for our covenant as friends, smell or waft then sip and think deeply about what may be in store for our next steps of our days to come.

    Who are you enjoying your Press Time with?!

  9. Posted on April 20th, 2013

    There are a lot of ways to prepare your coffee from roasted beans like using the coffee maker, espresso machines, brewing it in pots etc. So what would be the best?

    Coffee Grinders Advice

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