the perfect cuppa

For the last couple of weeks I've been on a mission to make the perfect cup of coffee using our french press. I'm newly back into the coffee scene after a four year hiatus and I'm taking my coffee drinking very seriously. I only have one cup a day so I want it to be a good one. You know?

So after a lot of trial and error and some researching I finally mastered the perfect cup of joe! It's all about the water to coffee ratio, the temp of the water and cream is a must, if you don't drink it black.

Want me to fill you in? Here's how:

  1. Buy good quality beans from your local coffee shop and make sure you store them in an airtight container and in a cupboard. The airtight container keeps the beans fresh and the dark cupboard keeps your beans away from light.
  2. Now comes the water. This is crucial. Fill your kettle with cold water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling turn your kettle off and let it sit while you follow the next few steps. You don't want to scorch your little beans!
  3. Your Bodum french press likely came with a scoop, it looks like a tbsp but it's not, it measures weight and that's what I use to scoop the beans into my grinder. I use four scoops of beans which is approximately one ounce for my 12 oz. french press. Most coffee geeks recommend one rounded tbsp of coffee grounds per 4 oz. of water.
  4. The grinding of the beans is one of the key components to your perfect cup. You want them to be coarsely ground but not too coarse, it's a fine balance. I usually hold the button down on my grinder for about five seconds. If you want to go really crazy, invest in a conical burr grinder. They are the best grinders for french press pots because they uniformly grind the beans every time and that brings out the best coffee taste. The Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is the best and it's a decent price at about $120 (I know, still expensive).
  5. Dump the ground beans into your french press and add the water steadily. I only fill my 12 oz. french press about three quarters full. Give it a stir, this step is not mandatory but it aids in full extraction of the coffee.
  6. Place filter assembly and let steep a few minutes.
  7. Plunge! Be sure to get a good grip on the plunger and slowly press down.
  8. Pour into your favourite mug and that's it. The perfect cup of coffee.

Try it tomorrow morning!

Now to make that french press cozy. Isn't it cute?


ovaltine latte (what?)

Image source

As you know I love Ovaltine so you can imagine how happy I was when I saw Ovaltine latte on the board at Ella's Uncle on Dundas West. The Hubs and I don't often venture in that direction on the weekends for coffee but now that I'm off with L'il E I need new coffee shops and neighborhoods to go to on the weekends. If you're in the Dundas West area check out Ella's Uncle, it's understated but the coffee is deelish and they have Ovaltine lattes (yeah!).

Today I am trying to replicate it at home with our stove top espresso maker. Wish me luck!

coffee talk

Have you been? Finally Queen West West gets a coffee shop worth talking about (I don't mean to offend). I've been waiting for a coffee spot just like this one to pop up and here it is. I'm talking about the newly opened Crafted by Te Aro at 135 Ossington Ave. between Queen and Dundas. I've never been much of an I Deal Coffee fan so this new place makes me happy (smiley face).

Why do I like it? It's quiet, relaxed, clean, airy, bright, the baristas are friendly, the coffee and especially the chai lattes are fab and they offer classes on making a decent cup of Joe (I could go on). What's not to like?

One cool thing they have is this cold drip coffee maker contraption (it looks like a science experiment) that makes a strong/smooth iced coffee. It takes up to 8 hours to brew; every couple of seconds, aĀ  drop of ice water falls from the top jar, soaking through the coffee grounds and winding through a glass tube before dripping into the pot. Not exactly a daily morning ritual but worth the trek to Crafted.

Check them out on Twitter and get all their dish.

August 18, 2010 — Alanna Banks