I have decided to allow coffee to be a big part of
my life. I love it , I look forward to it each and every day.
In the words of my good friend Chris O'donnell, "coffee makes you
happy". But as with many things I do in my life, I fixate on
what appears to be the "best" read: what ever I decide
seems the most informed and newest method for whatever my current
passion/obsession is, and then I make a hasty and irresponsible
conclusion based there on.
Therefore, after weeks of contemplation I have decided to make
this page an ongoing event, instead of just some dogmatic diatribe
I "think" clarifies a worldwide phenomenon. Get it?,
I am not sure I do, but...
My quest is to make my "BEST
CUP OF COFFEE IN THE WORLD" at home. It may have started when
I glanced upon an offering in Bon Apetit magazine for a stainless
steel carafe auto drip machine
$16.95 from Gavilia.com which
is trying to get people to buy coffee via subscription. Kind
of like a a "beer of the month"
club. They sold out of this offer rather quickly, but
you can still get
a 10 cup glass carafe auto drip, plus 2- half pounds of coffee,
plus a stainless scooper for the same price. I thought I had
hit pay dirt with
this slightly scammy way to get what I thought I wanted.
But I was wrong.
I will take this early opportunity to point you towards a website
that is truly as close to what my minds eye is of a coffee
website expounding the obsessive qualities of coffee nature
too much like a froo froo small town much coffee shop website.
It is called coffeekid.com,
don't be put off by the name, the site
is just a coffee info webspace that proudly serves up the
word obsession when applicable.
My personal criteria are to make my "best cup of coffee
in the world" at home that only needs a little
half and half and can go into my travel mug and make me
(if I am
work) or supply me with the four cups I drink in the first
hour or so of the day without putrefying the natural oils
thirty minutes after infusion and/or two weeks after opening
a package of whole beans, that is assuming it was sealed
properly at the time of roasting. If for some bizarre reason
you are messing with pre-ground coffee, all bets are
As of January 28th, 2007 I have almost succeeded
in discovering, creating and maintaining a supply of the best cup
of coffee in the world criteria, here is what I can currently offer
This just in!
I saw this on Digg and was intrigued. But before I add it to
my coffee making arsenal (see left) I thought I would
wait to hear more. Well, that was a few months ago and I still
have not heard anything. Anyone know if this is the deal or
Great Beans: I used to drink french press and
was convinced Graffeo was the only
coffee worth guzzling and that was
the end of the conversation.
Now I hope I have found a more civilized perspective. Recently
I decided it was high time I got my coffee situation into ship
shape. I thought I had it in ship shape when I had found Graffeo,
but now I know otherwise. One of my friends who is also in search
of the "BCOCITW", (which will be referred to as "Boca-see-two" from
me onto a website entitled Greatcoffee.com a
few months back. (thanks Kappy) And it is the shit. In a nutshell
it has changed my life.
So much so that it is hard to know whether to present this info
as a HankNow, Dada, or even a heralded HMP page. But no one goes
to HMP, so I decided to go with Dada, he needs the company.
I hope I don't
really need to yack at all about how coffee works and the
different climates and such. All that info is out there a plenty.
As well as the above mentioned Coffeekid,
CoffeeReview.com. Here is a link
to their reference section. It is logically laid out, and
not overwhelming at all. When you drink as much coffee as I do,
it is easy
overwhelmed. CoffeeReview.com is the "Wine
coffee drinking. Great site to get most any info you might need
coffee, coffee. They in turn have a relationship with Greatcoffee.com.
So, the coffee you read about at Coffee review can be purchased
from GreatCoffee.com. Order's over $35 get
I had a long talk
with the guy who runs Greatcoffee.com Ron Walters
day and my resolve became even greater. He called me because
they were out of stock on one of the coffees, so he was offering
upgrade to a better bean in order to get the order out
asap. I asked him about how the supply/demand works and how often
selection changes. Among other things he mentioned were
that when stock is too old to sell (like two WEEKS after roasting)
it to a local men's shelter. that's pretty cool.
(I am glad to report that after at least a year of buying my coffee
solely from Greatcofee.com (except one or two binges from Monkey
I am delighted with the universally delightful coffees they are always
selling. Never had a bad coffee from Greatcoffee.com)
There are many boutique roaster hitting the market
and some offer exceptional coffees. There was a recent article
in the LA Times about local roasters, here are the links.
of the main reason I decided to update this page (10.2006) was
the introduction of the missing link. Short of roasting your
own beans with one of the home roasters Sweet
the biggest issue with keeping coffee fresh and stable is
storage of the beans.
As my research has shown, (contrary to many opinions including my
own) it is best to store beans at room temperature in a ceramic light
That was of course, until now:
Introducing BeanVac The worlds first battery powered
vacuum bean container. A MUST have at $39.95
Just to make sure I get my words in re: Graffeo. Graffeo
coffee is truly one of the best blends around and a blast
to be a part of. The guy that runs it (based out of San Francisco)
used to be a wine maker applied the same meticulous refinement
process in his effort to create bocacitwo. They make one
kind of coffee and roast it in two ways, Light and Dark.
They have a gorgeous minimalist storefront on Beverly Dr
in Beverly Hills staffed by very young brewed out gen-xers
selling coffee and only coffee. I got into a conversation
with one of the guys recently who explained that graffeo
is a blend. That he has tried all of the beans separately
(there are four) and none of them are as good as the blend.
He has also tried the same exact beans roasted by another
company and found it undrinkable. That in part is how mysterious
the whole coffee blending process is. You cannot buy a stupid
cappuccino, or a go cup or a cookie at Graffeo, just buy
beans. I love it. They are so devoted to making great coffee
that they stopped selling there beams retail, (too little
control over stock turn over) and they flatly recommend ordering
from them in as small batches as you can imagine in order
to keep the roast:drink ratio to a minimum. It is a great
blend and is served in many of the best restaurant in the
country (that is how they make there money).
(I will grab some pix next time I am there)
is a big deal:
One of the reasons I decided
to go bocaseetwo was the advent of low cost burr grinders for
the home. A year ago it still coasted you $100 for a burr grinder.
A few weeks ago I was at Bed
Bath Beyond and they had no less the 10
Burr grinders ranging from $29-$200. Now is the time to buy!
Simply put, burr grinding crushes the beans so that there is
no harm done to the very fragile oils in coffee that a blade
grinder just plain hacks up. Burr grinding is possibly the
most significant upgrade that you can make in your own bocaseetwo.
Pictured is a kinda cool Kitchenaid burr grinder with a retro look
and comes in all those great Kitchen Aid colors. Too bad it is $129.
By far the coolest name in coffee brewing. The was a late contender
for my search, and I have the filters, but still have not yet
tried the coffee. and even tough I love the purity of it and
that it has a whole coffee-brewing-sub culture surrounding it,
the bottom line is that the vessel is a little hard to clean.
Like a wine carafe (something I recently purchased and know
of but hate the cleaning issues) it is just plain a pain in the
butt. Chemex carafes are still available new for about $70 from
at least one place I found but many
people buy vintage ones on eBay for less. Pretty much if it isn't
broken, it's gotta be in working condition. The filters are available
from Amazon for $4.99/100
French Press: Also known as the Melior method
after the first model that is still available today, or "plunge" coffee
is considered one of the purest ways to make coffee. Very little
simple, controllable water temperature (195-220), etc.
I love French Press just like everyone else. But I just feel
that after a few
months of French Press you are yearning for a "clean, clear" cup
of coffee. Coffeekid.com describes french press as: "crunchy coffee" to
describe it. It's not a bad term - far from it - it means it's coffee with
heaps of texture and mouthfeel."
I drank French press for awhile
and I am sure I will again. But, for me it is not how I wish
to define bocaseetwo.
Auto Drip: Drip pot you say? Well, This is the way I see it.
Cooks Illustrated did
a brewing roundup and much to my dismay the top rated brewers
were those weird looking reverse osmosis things
that Starbucks sells for $100 (technically they are electric
vacuum siphon coffee makers). (The Starbucks
model sucked even
the rest of there products and was discontinued) The truth is
that these vacuum pots are the purest way to brew coffee (see
below). But even Cooks Illustrated displayed there frustration
with using vacuum pots. The odd looking carafes are hard to
clean and expensive, The cheapest one is $85 and
believe it or not made by Black
and Decker. As of 10.2006 I think Black and Decker stopped
making there Vac Pots, no listing on their website?
That leaves me with a drip pot
Yup, my old friend the auto drip. I guess I just want this to be
the way I make coffee. But there is a big difference between the
Cuisinart drip machine that I had pledged my allegiance to for many years
and the one I now use exclusively. The awesome, outrageous and goofy looking
Technivorm. After learning about the Technivorm
CD Moccamaster (tell me
that is not the coolest name for a coffee maker you ever heard).
The Moccamaster is the only drip machine in the world that brews coffee
at the proper infusion
temperature of 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit. (Which is the same as water
that has been resting from a full boil for 20 seconds, at sea level no
less) and adheres to a brewing
cycle of eight minutes, which has been determined as the optimal brewing
There is not much else to say about it, it is the best. It is expensive
yes, but if you do like I did and ask to receive it as a gift and then
your sister gets contributions from all your friends and you get the Moccamaster,
then it is easy. (thanks Rach!)
Vacuum Siphon: So now I am resolved that bocaseetwo
is only gonna come into my life with an all glass siphon pot.
I have read and re-read the universally
accepted accolades to this process and as soon as I feel comfortable
throwing down the hundred bucks on the model I want, I am gonna
do it. More and more I think that I will wind up with one of
these beauties scientifically making coffee in my house. It meets
exceeds all my criteria. 100% glass environment, virtually foolproof,
amazingly cool looking. A brewing style that was made popular
in the 40's and quite possibly the holy grail of brew art. In
best of cases the coffee never touches anything other than glass,
you cannot burn the coffee or over infuse the grounds. The common
down size is that the brewers are hard to clean and delicate
scientifically inclined objects.
After a month of using my new vac pot
that I bought form Cafe
Balcony, it developed a highline crack. I think the seal between
the top and bottom was not tight and all the water evaporated the
in the bottom bulb so it super heated. Well, at almost $100 a
pop I thoght I better look elsewhere while I try to get a replacement
bulb frmo Taiwan.
Low and behold I find that one of the highest rated siphon vac
pots made by Bodum is on sale at a place called iKitchen
for $35 (not $39 like all those other appliances, but close), so I bought
I stumbled onto
this place a few years after moving to LA. It is a Japanese Coffee
Salon that serves very expensive, individually brewed cups, though
none other than an all glass vacuum siphon. I checked just the
other day and it is still listed. So now you can "try before
If you actually buy a Vac Pot
like I just did, you will want to get one of these butane enhanced
of using the alcohol burners that come with them. It will be
the best $31.50 and free shipping you have ever spent. Remember Bunsen
thanks to Dave W. for reminding me to make this important addition.