The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 17, 2013

Be a B+ coffee snob

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

  • Boil some water in a kettle.
  • Measure out 34.5 grams of beans on a kitchen scale, and grind them finely in a conical burr grinder.
  • Put a No. 4 filter (I use Melitta) in a dripper sitting over a server.
  • When the water comes to a boil, pour a little into the dripper to wet the filter, then discard the water that collects in the server. (Keep the kettle boiling.) Replace the dripper, and add the ground beans to the filter.
  • Pour less than 1/2 cup of just-off-the-boil water over the coffee. Don't pour so fast that the grounds start rising up the sides of the filter. (The idea is to let the water "wet" the grounds, unlocking flavors, in preparation for the bigger hot-water hit to come.) About 30 seconds later, pour in enough water to let the grounds rise three-quarters of the way up the filter, while breaking up any visible clumps of coffee on the surface by shaking the kettle a little. About 45 seconds later, repeat, letting the grounds rise up no higher than they did on the first pour.

When the coffee hits the 12-ounce mark on the server, remove the dripper, drink your coffee, and get on with your day.

 That's it! The first cup is not going to be the best one you will ever make, but it will taste excellent compared to the swill you've been using to kick off the day. After a few test runs, the choreography will become second nature. At this point in the morning, I'm more likely to trip over my own feet than to overextract my coffee.

The best thing about B+ coffee snobbery is that it is customizable. You'll experiment to find your own pour rhythms. Maybe underextracting slightly is your thing, or going finer on your grind. (Bitterness and sourness are in the taste buds of the drinker.) But most importantly, you'll get dependably better tasting coffee, without the project taking over your entire life.

        

 

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