I love a good cup of coffee! I mean L-O-V-E! If you are a coffee lover you know what I’m talking about! That perfect cup, perfect strength and roast (I like medium or dark roast), at just the right temperature, with just enough cream and sugar….hold please…I need to make a cup right now! I’ve had several good coffee makers including a Braun and a Cuisinart, but eventually I broke something, they stopped working, or decalcifying them with vinegar no longer got rid of that funky taste. This past May it was time for a new one. So, I did a little research and decided to try a “pour over” coffee maker.
I purchased an 8 Cup Chemex Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker for $43.22. I recommend buying the 8 cup over the 4 or 6 cup because a “cup”, as defined by Chemex, is only 5oz. So, an 8 cup only brews 40 oz of coffee (which is about 3 large cups in Kate’s kitchen). I’ve been using this coffee maker for seven months now and can give an honest review – I totally love it!
Of course there are pro’s and cons. First the pros- it’s beyond simple. You can see it brew, so there’s no doubt if when it’s done, and cleaning is a breeze! I literally put some water in, squirt two pumps of Dawn and swish. Rinse until the bubbles are gone. Clean! The cons, it takes a little more active time on your part, about 10 minutes total, and you need to use course ground coffee (which I never saw in the grocery store until recently). And it is made of glass, which is not a con in my opinion, but if you have granite countertops just be careful. You will still need coffee filters. I absolutely recommend the ones made by Chemex. They are much thicker than a regular filter and fit perfectly. I found the best deal on them at my local Crate and Barrel (100 filters for $8.95).
It had been years since I ground my own coffee but since I was switching things up I decided I was going to go all in. So I researched and bought a Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder for $29.99 on Amazon. I don’t usually buy one of the cheapest anything, but it had great reviews. I’ve been using it for 7 months now and so far I am very happy with it. (Except it is loud…I mean…exceptionally loud. It doesn’t wake up my husband in the morning, but then he can sleep through a tornado.)
Here is where I will save you money on the whole pour over thing. Everything I read said you needed a long neck kettle. I looked online at at stores and had settled on the Hario 1.2 Liter (40oz) kettle I saw on Amazon for $34.42. I hated to spend more money at that point, and thought it was just another thing I needed to store in the cabinet or leave on the stove when I wasn’t using it. (This mom already has enough clutter!) So I decided to just use a glass measuring cup with a spout to start and if I liked the coffee maker I would buy a kettle. I quickly realized you didn’t really need a long neck kettle, what you actually needed was the thin stream of hot water provided by the neck. The only downside with my measuring cup was that it was 2 Cups – only 16 oz. I was filling twice, but it was a little annoying. So one day at Ikea I stumbled across a 32 oz measuring cup! Vardagen $4.99. It works perfectly and I also use it when making rice, baking or cooking. Better than the kettle for my needs. If you decide to try a pour over buy whatever makes you happy. You will have it a long time!
Kate’s recipe for the perfect cup of coffee – Makes 40 oz
Put a clean filter into the neck of your 8 cup Chemex Coffee Maker
Fill your Burr Mr. Coffee Burr Grinder with whatever whole bean coffee you like. Set to “Coarse Grind” (all the way on the right) and set the number of cups to 6.
Pour the ground coffee into the filter
Boil water in your long neck kettle or pour boiling water into a 32 oz glass measuring cup:)
Pour water in a stream around the edge of the inside of the filter to wet it, just touching the edge of the coffee that is in the filter. Using a constant stream (not critical) pour in circles, making your way to the middle of the coffee and ensuring all the grounds are wet. (At this point you will see the water looks foamy. Great! CO2 is being released from the beans..smells fab!). Now wait 30 seconds as the water filters through. Then pour the rest of the water over the beans as you began..outside in..making sure all the beans are covered in water (just don’t over flow the filter/coffee maker!). It should just take a few minutes to go through. Then just discard the filter and pour! Voila! the perfect cup of coffee!
My current favorite coffee is Kenya Peaberry sold at The Fresh Market for $11/lb. I usually buy just over a half pound of beans a week so $7 for about 20 cups of coffee!