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Daily Cup – The Set-up

Have I mentioned that coffee is an key player in my life as an EP?  In theory making coffee is a simple process that has only a few essential steps; yet it’s amazing how many ways you can make coffee badly, (and there is no end to the number of companies willing to sell you their way of making it badly.

Another major problem is cost.  It’s easy to spend $10 a day on good coffee which can add up.  Now I have no problem paying $3.50 for a good hit of Counter Culture espresso from time to time, but I really don’t feel compelled to dish out $20,000 for my own La Marzocco espresso machine (until I can afford to hire the barista to go with it of course).  So for around $120 I think I have found the sweet spot for home coffee production that will satisfy the needs of all the serious coffee drinkers and sleep deprived EPs out everywhere.

Step one.  The grind.  Anyone who makes good coffee will tell you the grind is key.  Screw it up with a cheap electric blade grinder or buy the coffee ground and, well, you’re on your own.  Enter the burr grinder that doesn’t cost a lot and takes the ritual of coffee making old school.  The Hario Skerton Hand Coffee Grinder – Ceramic Burr Coffee Mill.

This hand grinder does require a bit of time and elbow grease, but not excessively so.  I use the time grinding to review the dosing of my important RSI medications or the entry criteria for the Canadian C-Spine rule.

Step two. The brew.  I’m a fan of the French press.  In general they make a rich, strong brew with a taste as close to espresso as you can get without the steam.

The drawbacks are a lot of them are made of glass and don’t travel so well, and most of the plungers that filter the coffee leave a substantial amount of grounds in the bottom of your glass.

Like good wine, I don’t mind a bit of silt at the bottom of my glass, in fact I kind of enjoy it, but when I start spitting out coffee grounds like its tobacco there’s a problem.

My Espro at home with some new Stumptown coffee beans.

The Espro Press 8 Oz Stainless Steel Coffee Brewer.  Light, durable, with an insulated container to keep the coffee hot and a filter system that makes clean, grounds-free coffee.  Both of these items can be found on Amazon (I’ve provided the links).

The only downside I can see for this system is that it requires a little bit of time.  From grind to pour is about 10-15 minutes.  But that’s nothing if you consider the time it takes going out for coffee.  Once you realize that you will save a fortune in store bought coffee drinks, and be able to make it how you like every time, you may even begin to enjoy the ritual of the home brewed coffee before a shift.

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