Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Celtic Coffee Break

We did another coffee exploration field trip today to the city of Redmond, WA. A friend of mine had recommended Victor's Celtic Coffee Co. After attempting to find another recommended roaster, Lusso Coffee Roasters, and discovering it apparently was not a walk in coffee shop, we put in our GPS coordinates for Victor's and after driving a bit, we found it! The coffee was very smooth and not bitter at all. We really enjoyed it. Though no "latte art" on top...and for that I was disappointed. They offered many Irish sounding coffee flavors as well as breakfast sandwiches and soup of the day. We had an egg/ham/cheese sandwich. Very nice!
The best part of all was when my husband discovered a wall of handknit sweaters, I kid you not!, right in the middle of the store near the restroom! I about knocked him over getting up to go look. Sure enough, a fellow knitter has her lovely handknit sweaters on the wall and posted next to them is her name, her email and her etsy shop site for all to see and order custom sweaters! I have always believed that knitting and coffee go hand in hand. This is proof for all to see!:

Sorry I don't have her name to include here, you will have to go see for yourself! :)
It was truly a great adventure getting a great latte, AND seeing handknit sweaters all in one fell swoop!
To top off our coffee "snob" experience for the day, my husband had his glass Chemex brewer arrive in the mail from Sweet Maria's Coffee Roasters. He ordered this along with the filters. It provides an "old style" purist form of brewing. Similar to the french press method, however different in a few ways. Allow me to demonstrate, for all you coffee lovers out there. First, you take the Chemex filter and fold it so one side has 3 layers and that is the side toward the spout:

Next you grind your coffee, which we are going to experiment with. You don't want it so fine that the coffee just sludges through too slowly, nor do you want it so coarse it runs too quickly.
We are going to try it out on a pretty coarse "french press" grind. About 1 rounded Tablespoon scoop per 5 oz. of water.

While that is getting ground, heat your water to boiling.

Important: You want to "wet" your filter with hot water, prior to brewing, which you can do over the sink and pour the water back into the sink. Your filter sticks to the glass and will not come back off when you pour off the water.

Here's our grind in the wet filter, ready to brew:

Once your water boils, take it off the heat for 30 sec. to let the temp. arrive at the recommended heat. Somewhere between 195-205 degrees F, the perfect brewing temperature.

Pour a small amount of coffee over the grinds, to let them swell or "bloom".

Fill the filter about 1/2 way, getting all the grinds wet in the process. After the first "wetting", pour slowly in a circular motion, keeping the coffee inward as compact as possible.
You can see how the coffee has "bloomed" in this photo:

Keep pouring in coffee at intervals until the desired amount of water has passed through the grounds. This took about 4 minutes, same amount of time as a french press method.

Dispose of the spent grounds by lifting the filter out of the coffeemaker (use for compost if desired).

We poured our brewed coffee into a stainless steel carafe so that it was kept hot, but not kept in the glass carafe. Keeping your coffee warm, but not on a burner will avoid the burned flavor.

And voila! A perfect cup of brewed coffee without the residue of old coffee oils, and cleaner than an auto-brewed cup. Apparently auto drip makers will brew at lower and lower temperatures over time, not being capable of brewing at the desired temperature consistently. Best of all, with this method, there is no "off" or bitter taste.

Aaahhhhhhhhh....Just makes you want to have a cup and knit, doesn't it?


Sandee said...

Yes it does! I want a cup of that amazing looking coffee!!!!!!

Jeannine said...

Sandee, wish you could've smelled it brewing!

Delaney's Duds said...

you are making me drool for more coffee! yum!

Beatriz said...

The professor who I used to babysit for in college was definitely a coffee purist. He and his wife had a similar morning coffee routine evident by the teapot, unbleached coffe filters, and simple filter holder that fit on top of their coffee mugs. I love the glass carafe. What is driving me to tears though, is the handknit sweater is being stretched from its weight by being hung on that clothes hanger...what a waste.

Jeannine said...

Bea, I love it that they had these handknits there. They are her samples,...oh so sad they hang there like that unworn and so pretty! We went back there again today :)