Coffee Making

We’d vacationed in Coorg at the beginning of the month. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the beautiful Kwality Estate, a working coffee plantation.  The plantation is large, varied, well planned and incredibly beautiful. The pictures in the AirBnb link do not do it justice; you have to be on site to feel its impact. The estate even has its own stream and mini-waterfall! We will return to stay someday; ideally in a large group.

Mr. Changappa was kind to offer a bag of his freshly ground Arabica to us, so we returned with more than just the memories.  There was just one hitch -  I didn’t know what to do with the coffee!

Backtracking a bit

  • I love coffee
  • I drink 3-4 cups a day
  • I love Espresso, and we have some incredible machines at my workplace, so that is my preferred poison
  • I’ve never liked the filter coffee decoction, so I just have instant at home (to anyone who cares: Bru Superstrong. 40% Chicory, 60% Robusta)

So here I was, with a bag of coffee that smelt so good, but with no real way to make it. Home espresso machines are incredibly expensive for a good one. Given what I enjoy at work, I don’t want a cheap one. Drip and filter coffee just doesn’t work for me.

Researching a bit, I found two options -  Moka Pots and French Presses. Reading some more, I found that a french press could approximate the taste I am used to, so I bought one post-haste.

It’s funny how precise people are with how to make good coffee. Each method has its own rules. For the French press, those rules cover the type of coffee beans, the grinding method, the size of the ground coffee, the temperature of the water and the amount of time you immerse the grounds.

I followed all that to the T. My grounds weren’t the ideal size, but if anything, the coffee should taste stronger. I felt that if it was too strong, I’d reduce the time to 5 minutes or so. To my surprise, the coffee was way weaker than I expected.

I then tried a robusta-chicory blend we had at home for guests. It was even worse. It ended up with an aftertaste that was quite unpleasant.

With some trial and errror over the last week and a half, I’ve found what works for me.

  • I add a little more coffee than the recipe calls for proprotionally. Around 20% more.
  • I let the grounds soak for around 10-12 minutes
  • I leave the coffee thus formed to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
  • Whatever little of the grounds that escape due to the fineness of the grounds settle down nicely by then

What comes out is an aromatic, strong and delightful sipping coffee that I’d happily trade an average espresso for.