A long and pointless post about coffee

Just before the lockdown went in place in California, I had brunch with Julie at Farmer’s Table. The coffee was excellent, so much so that I asked the waitress about it. She said they got the coffee from a place in Barrio Logan (and now I see on Google there is more than one coffee place in Barrio Logan. I think Cafe Virtuoso was the one she said.)

I asked the waitress what equipment they use to make the coffee, and she said just a restaurant coffee machine. Not a fancy pourover. Just a drip coffee machine.

So I remembered that and a while later I was Googling about coffee, and came across an article – which I now cannot locate – about how baristas make coffee for themselves, at home. One of the respondents said he used a Mr. Coffee. Just a Mr. Coffee.

And that intrigued me because the Aeropress, which is how I’ve been making coffee for a couple of years, is a bit more fuss than I like in the morning. Same for a French press. And with a Mr. Coffee you assemble the ingredients, press a button and you’ve got coffee a few minutes later.

I thought about that for a couple of weeks and priced a Mr. Coffee on Amazon and it was $22 for a four-cup version. I discussed it with Julie and we said sure why not and I ordered.

While I was waiting for the delivery, I read the reviews – really should have done that before I ordered, right? I had just looked at the overall rating. But now that I read the reviews, I saw that the four-cup machine didn’t actually make four cups. Mr. Coffee measures a cup at 5 ounces. WTF, I thought to myself. That’s 20 ounces of coffee. I like to have about 24 ounces in the morning. Three cups. Three real cups.

Plus, I realized that, although Julie and I make coffee separately, the reason we do it is because the Aeropress only makes three cups, and even that is pushing it. However, if we had a drip machine I could make coffee for both of us in the morning.

So I’d bought the wrong size.

Or had I? Yesterday, I thought to myself that three cups of coffee is really too much. The caffeine doesn’t bother me (or I don’t think it does – I do sometimes have trouble sleeping, but I do not attribute that to coffee. I attribute that to the world, which was a troubling place even before COVID-19). However, I just don’t enjoy that third cup as much as the first two. Plus, drinking three cups of coffee takes a lot of time. That doesn’t matter when I’m just working at my desk, but it’s annoying when I want to be out and about in the morning and I have to wait to finish my morning caffeine fix.

So fine, I said to myself. I’ll cut down to two cups. And Julie said she’s fine making her own coffee in the morning. So we decided to keep the four-cup Mr. Coffee.

But wait, there’s more to this.

Last night I remembered something. We have a third spigot on our kitchen sink. We have the normal hot and cold, and a third one that dispenses even hotter water, for coffee and tea. And that spigot dispenses water at the perfect temperature for brewing with the Aeropress.

Except I remembered that a few weeks ago I accidentally splashed myself with the spigot and it didn’t hurt. And I said to myself at the time, that should have hurt more. I wonder if the spigot is set hot enough? And I promptly forgot.

I mentioned this to Julie last night and she said she runs the water a few seconds before filling the Aeropress. She waits until she sees steam coming up. I said I used to do that too – why on Earth did I stop? No idea.

So I decided to make myself one more Aeropress this morning before I try the Mr. Coffee tomorrow, just to have a proper baseline for comparison. I made a three-cup pressing this morning because I only got about five hours' sleep last night. I don’t know if I taste much difference in the flavor but it’s hotter than it has been, which I like.

I may make a two-cup batch in the Aeropress tomorrow, just to be comparing like amounts with the Aeropress and Mr. Coffee.

Mitch W @MitchW