Today’s Favorite Thing: Cuissential’s SlickDrip

Today’s Favorite Thing: Cuissential’s SlickDrip

This dripper does what your typical plastic or ceramic pour-over cone should do — namely, hold a #2 cone paper filter while you brew coffee with it — but this one collapses into a disk about an inch deep when you’re not using it to brew your precious, needful cup.

Hotel Coffee: Just Brew It

Hotel Coffee: Just Brew It

Unless you’re staying at Portland’s Ace Hotel and thus have a Stumptown Coffee bar in your über hip, bohemian lobby, when you’re in some far off place hoteling in a name-brand tower or a teensy, boutique inn, you’re entirely at the whim of those oh-so-fickle gods of hospitality for your in-room coffee. Chances are further that this in-room coffee service is a frac-pack of ground coffee of questionable freshness, to be brewed at  questionable temperatures in a likewise questionable brewing device. It really doesn’t have to be this way. On this trip I packed a coffee bag. In it are two half-pound valve bags of just-roasted beans (Panama Los Flores de Boquete, and  W.P. Ethiopian Jimma Doromina, ’cause sometimes you want a juicy Central and sometimes a peachy African), my trusty Braun hot water kettle (tough plastic, not glass), a Melitta cone pourover basket and filters, a measuring cup and spoon and a whirly-blade grinder. Yes, I said whirly-blade… this is just the scenario where the grinder you wouldn’t choose to have on your kitchen counter is just fine, thanks. So equipped, making coffee in your room is much the same as you’d make at home. ‘Course, you could also order something to go with from room...

Playing Now on the Small Screen

I’d like to thank the Food Network Academy for this honor…  in particular Alton Brown and Mario Batali, both of whom have been such a great influence on me, and, of course, my family for all of their support. Move over,...

Pinching Pennies, Counting (Coffee) Beans

The economic downturn is beginning to get to folks’ bottom line — their coffee money. Java junkies looking to pinch pennies are sipping less expensive coffee drinks, brewing at home or going cold turkey altogether. The shift is hurting both small-time coffee shops and giants of joe such as Starbucks, which said Wednesday that it expected lower second-quarter profit and full-year earnings than it originally projected because in-store sales and traffic had declined. Historically, coffee is one of the last things to go from consumer budgets… but that history of spending doesn’t necessarily account for a more modern affectation: the five-buck-a-cup über café latte. Those who haven’t given up the coffee-shop routine are buying less expensive drinks: drip coffee rather than a caramel macchiato, or an iced coffee instead of a frappuccino. “Fancy coffee has had its run,” said Dean Trucco, owner of Stir Crazy, a boutique coffee shop on Melrose Avenue. While brewed coffee — both at home and in the coffee house — should be poised to make a come-back, what might that mean for the five-buck-a-cup Clover-brewed single origin? We’ll...
Coffee Tech: Remaking the Vac Pot

Coffee Tech: Remaking the Vac Pot

Oh… shiny! Don’t let the modern lines fool you… it’s not a new brew technology but a new take on the classic vac pot, from designer Lina Fischer. I have wine bottle-stoppers that look the like brewing end of this thing… wonder if that’s where the inspiration came from? [via...
How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee

How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ve imbibed your customary pint or three (or four or five) of Guinness and now you’re settled in at the bar, waiting for your designated driver to shuttle your tipsy self safely home. Good for you! Why not reward yourself with an Irish Coffee? Now you may have experienced a sad, pale imitation of Irish Coffee 1, be it enthroned in a place of honor at your local Irish pub, or found only far down the menu at your local bar… a cuppa joe, a jigger of whiskey, and a towering pile of whipped cream with — saints preserve us — a cherry on top. So, on second thought, maybe it’s better to wait till you’re safely returned to your own kitchen, where you can brew up an Irish Coffee that’s worth the wait. To begin, we need to choose our whiskey. 2 There’s one camp that swears by Jameson. There’s another that swears by Bushmills. Furthermore, these camps have a long history of swearing at each other. 3 We are going to neatly sidestep this whole brouhaha by choosing Tullamore Dew, instead. No, not because we are diplomatic souls, but because Tullamore Dew is a better whiskey. (Whoops. There goes another argument.) Having chosen our spirits, we can now choose our coffee. Why? Because unlike the folks behind the bar at the pub, we’re not going to use whatever mass-market, canned coffee they’ve got stewing on a hot-plate. Unlike them, we actually give a damn about the coffee. That’s why. The flavors and aromas of Tullamore Dew are malty, somewhat sweet, with lemony...
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