Friday, January 4, 2013

The Perfect Cup

"A cup of coffee, real coffee, home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, 

but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java. 

Such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all."
~Henry Ward Beecher

Do you feel that way about coffee?
This past holiday vacation, Mr. A was obsessed with finding the perfect cup of coffee.
Apparently, my coffee wasn't cutting it!

 He thought that my old fashioned way of making a pot of coffee in the coffee maker wasn't producing the results that he was looking for.
I was reminded of the Folger's coffee commercials from the 50's where the wife just doesn't know how to make a good cup of coffee!

My favorite blend, Peet's Major Dickason's just wasn't rich enough he said.
Funny, it says it's rich, complex and full bodied on the bag...

I can understand his quest.  I too love a good cup of coffee.
I even have a coffee bar set up on valuable counter real estate dedicated just for coffee making.

 So for days, he experimented with various drip methods and various coffees from Starbucks, Peets, Blue Bottle, etc.

Eventually, he found that freshly roasted beans, (Peet's JR Reserve), ground for each cup and using the drip method with a Melitta coffee filter is the perfect cup.
For him.

My perfect cup:
Already ground Major Dickason's from Peet's (I abhor that coffee grinder sound in the morning) which is made the night before in the coffee maker to produce a pot of coffee that is rich, complex and full-bodied, just waiting for me in the morning.
Add a healthy pour of Half and Half and I'm a happy girl!

Just for fun, a 1950's coffee commercial.
Seriously, instant coffee? Ugh! 

What's your perfect cup?
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Janet said...

Trader Joes Bay Blend, freshly ground and dripped with my ancient melitta filter cone. Perfect every time...then add lovely organic half and half.

Karen at Home Sweet Hollywood said...

Peet's house blend is my perfect, strong and brewed fresh every single morning. Enjoying it as we speak :) Great post, nice photos...have a great day!

Lori E said...

I will only drink good coffee and my pick is a dark French roast from, you guessed, Starbucks.
I drink it black and unsweetened so it has to be good. I detest the brown, hot water that some try to pass off as coffee. Blech.
Strong and black. Mmmmm. We grind it the night before when we remember or we pay for it with the sound in the mornings. Dripped through a paper filter into a stainless steel thermal pot.
At 5 in the morning it is the ONLY thing that gets me out of bed.

La Dolfina said...

So funny that you posted about coffee today Dolores!
I only drink espresso and like your hubby have been dissatisfied with our Francis Francis machine.
It is requires too much work and is inconsistent.
So for Christmas I did a lot of research and taste testing and bought us a Citiz and milk Nespresso machine.
It is a dream machine and the aerocchino milk frother is genius!
Nespresso just opened a stunning coffee boutique on Grant St. In Union Square.
I am in love!!!!!
Leave it to the Swiss to perfect he art of coffee.

Kathysue said...

I became addicted to the Nespresso machine while in Paris. We came home and purchased one and I think it makes absolutely the best espresso around. You can make a lungo which would be a larger cup and add your half-n-half.
I highly recommend it. If I am going to have a cup out of the coffee maker I like Starbucks Verona. For the Nespresso my favorite blend is Volluto.
I order it on line. There is also a shop in San Jose, Santana Row.

Nancie Mills Pipgras said...

I asked Santa for a hand-crank burr grinder and it has been a revelation. Beans are "crushed" releasing more flavor. Got the clue from a Santa Rosa master roaster. Plus, no nasty noise!

Unknown said...

I like our Nespresso machine with mild what they used in my husband's office when we lived in Paris and we've had a little machine ever since.

onnery said...

Burr grinder for sure. My favorite coffee comes from a local brewmaster - Baltimore Coffee and Tea and it's their Baltimore Blend. Oh and don't forget the half and half!

Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

I love Major Dickerson too and grind it fresh, then use my beloved AeroPress to make one perfect cup. It combines (hand) pressure with a filter paper and I haven't found anything better, did Mr A. try one?

I bought a Nespresso for my spoilt husband so now he makes his own coffee - I was getting the sort of comments you were getting!

Jo said...

We were totally happy with freshly ground 100% Columbian in the French press until we got our Rancilio Silva espresso machine. Soooo particular eding on snobbery. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

Victoria said...

In a past life, I owned a gourmet shop and roasted the coffee I sold, so I am used to really fresh coffee. I now use Peet's French Roast ground fresh for each pot in a Kitchenaid burr grinder. I use fresh filtered water and brew my coffee in a Technivorm Mocchamaster. I drink my coffee black.

Pura Vida said...

I could not agree more...with the real big fat heavy cream that is...and one level teaspoon of real sugar. Oh the divine!

Pura Vida said...

I could not agree more...with the real big fat heavy cream that is...and one level teaspoon of real sugar. Oh the divine!

Libby said...

I don't drink coffee any more... but when I did I liked only French Espresso. Full bodied, strong! And of course, sugar AND cream to go with it. I do think in this country it is almost impossible to find really good coffee...unlike France and Italy where it's difficult to find a BAD cup of coffee. Good luck to everyone in your search!

Libby said...

I don't drink coffee any more... but when I did I liked only French Espresso. Full bodied, strong! And of course, sugar AND cream to go with it. I do think in this country it is almost impossible to find really good coffee...unlike France and Italy where it's difficult to find a BAD cup of coffee. Good luck to everyone in your search!

Karen said...

I had to laugh, Mr. B is always on a quest for the perfect cup. We both love Major Dickenson's blend from Peets. We've tried most of the methods you've shown in your post. I still love the coffee set up the night before, push the button, savor a hot cup with real half and half each morning.
Karen at Garden, Home and Party

Anonymous said...

This is too funny - I've been freezing here on the coast and went to your blog just before starting dinner. Those photos of coffee made be toasty and warm - now off to the kitchen!

Seriously, I just read an article about coffee from a experienced barista who said it wasn't the implement that was so important, but quality of ingredients - from good water to the right beans and grind.

Sounds fine to me and we use CDM Chicory (from Louisiana) and coffee from Natalies Roastery in Derry, NH) blended. I put the two bags together and we end up with this delicious, dark and certainly robust coffee. It does get you started in the a.m., but also doesn't seem to overpowering to have 1-2 cups during the day (okay, so we're serious coffee drinkers).

An indulgence for me (spouse drinks it black) is to have this blend, topped with a tad (really!) of freshly made Clotted Cream. Fabulous, but you sure don't want to have too many!

Happy New Year from Pebble Beach!

carolyn bradford said...

Ok…I love coffee but sure don't know how to brew that perfect cup…which is why we have the one that lets everyone brew their own…love it! However, my son ordered coffee at the restaurant that we took him and his sweet girl friend to for New Year's Eve and it came in a French Press…now, I'm addicted to that and want to study it and learn it and make it and love it! It was so fun and so yummy and just felt "cute" which I know sounds stupid! Anyway, he's only 18-almost 19, so I figured if he loves it that much already at his age, it must be good! Great post!

lvroftiques said...

Oh my gosh I am a COFFEE-O-HOLIC!..Well I live in Seattle where coffee is almost a religion LOL! I have a commercial espresso machine (UNIC), a La Pavoni machine for the old world flavor....A Starbucks Barista coffee machine for drip coffee (very good) And coffee presses a plenty! But I don't buy my coffee here, I have my aunt in Italy ship it to me. I agree with the poster above who says it's hard to get a good cup here but almost impossible to get a bad cup in Italy and France! It's true!... I have a reputation with my European family members as having the best cup of coffee in America...A HUGE badge of honor for me! *winks* Vanna

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard I had to hide in the kitchen!


I am so lucky I cannot even stand it!

My husband makes my coffee every morning......and it is always delicious!

He switches things around!


Somehow; they are always just exactly what I am wondering about that day!

How do you do that?

My computer was broken (it fell on the corner when we were in the desert)!

I read your divine blog on my iPad ; but the iPad is not the same !!!

(thank God for your blog through Christmas and New Years) !

(Do not have your macbook pro without a case or something to protect it if it falls off the table!!!



Lori said...

Love the commercial! Burr grinder, Mr. Coffee machine and my favorite Community Coffee from Louisiana. No chichory, just a dark roast. I grind my coffee beans the night before. Can't stand that sound in the morning either.

Marielle said...

Our family has a love affair with French Press. That's how your coffee is served at the Victoria and Albert Museum cafe (grgeous and yummy spot to regroup). We have a travel French Press when on-the-road and away from our Nespresso Citiz (totally worth the money, but coffee not quite hot enough after I add half-n-half).

Grind your beans on the coarsest setting at the large grinders in grocery stores, etc.

Marielle said...

Ugh-h-h... Couldn't finish my post twice once I hesitated and made some edits (iPad glitch?)

Anyway, home grinders won't be coarse enough or consistent enough to give you the proper grind

Marielle said...

French Press gives a great flavor, but there's sediment in the last 1/3 of the pot. I love gifting the individual pots (TJMaxx, Marshall's, Home Goods) with some custom ground beans--as a on-the-spot intro to the romance of French Press. Usually I include a "recipe" card for a quick initiation.

We prefer our take-along French Press over Via, etc. Ours is a standard Bodum carafe encased in a plastic, bubbled holder. The plastic protects the glass carafe, but we still add a covering of bubble wrap if including in checked luggage.

Marielle said...

Many claim (David Lebovitz for example) that you can't get good coffee in France, but I have had mostly good experiences in a variety of places throughout France. Guessing Italy rocks, but have only experienced one time in San Remo.

Privet and Holly said...

Such a cozy post,
my friend....makes
me want to brew up
a pot right now, at
1:45 in the afternoon : )

I think you are absolutely
right: great coffee is in
the tastebuds of the sipper!

Can you believe how
corny the old ads used
to be?? Thanks for the
smile and the cuppa.....

xo Suzanne

PS: Hope your 2013
is off to a wonderful start!

Linda @ DesignInMyView said...

We (Hubby just became a coffee "monster") are enjoying "Killer Dana" from JC's Beans in Dana Point, CA.

Fortunately, just north on Pacific Coast Hwy from our home. They don't vacuum pack. They don't ship.

We fresh grind each morning and drip one cup at a time using Beyond Gourmet unbleached coffee filters. Twice filtered water and a slow pour kettle. (I know) FREAKS!


P.S. Found you today via your comment on ....hmm can't recall either someones bedroom or patron bottle as vase. :-)

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