Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Still alive

It occurs to me that I haven't been updating this weblog very much recently; I apologize, although I don't promise to do better! I've been busy at work and putting most of my free time into setting up a MUCK and continuing my irrational pursuit of coffee perfection. Everybody needs hobbies, right?

On the coffee front, I have a vacuum brewer pot now, a crazy Rube Goldberg-type device that consists of a glass pot and a "funnel," really another pot that goes on top of the first one. The funnel has a filter in it which is just a plastic disc held against the bottom by a spring, which is hooked through a glass tube that sits almost, but not quite, against the bottom of the pot. You put water in the (bottom) pot and coffee grounds in the top, and then boil the water. When the water starts boiling, it gets pushed up into the top funnel, churns around and mixes with the coffee--all without boiling in the top part. Then you take it off the heat and the coffee gets sucked out back down into the pot, leaving the grounds nearly dry in the top. The upshot of this is that you get coffee that's as clear and silt-free as it would be through a normal drip method, but with all the flavor of French press. At least, if you do it right. It seems to be a bit of an art, and unlike a press, it works best when you're making at least 24 ounces of coffee.

The other crazy coffee gadget I bought is a more common one--an espresso machine. Yes, I talked myself into buying one from Starbucks, since they're in their annual sale. Say what you will about their coffee, their brewing equipment (made for them by an Italian company called Saeco) is pretty good, and when it's on sale you're not paying for the *$ name. This gadget, I'm still learning my way around. I gather that true espresso lovers almost immediately go on a quest to replace the stock "pressurized" filter wand with a commercial-style, non-pressurized one, but I think I'll get used to the stock version first. (It's designed to consistently make "pretty good" espresso; the commercial style one can make great espresso, but can also make lousy espresso. I want to get used to a good baseline!)

So now I'm having a pretty good cup of Cafe Americano and contemplating the work day. The office is going to be having an informal training lunch using the manual I'm writing tomorrow, so I need to be happy enough with what I've done to start making copies this afternoon....

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