The Working Brew

Ever wonder how coffee went from a simple cup of good brew to the lofty, $5-plus cup of latte you drink every morning?

I could go into the costs incurred in making that mocha, but I’d rather not. We have already covered that in previous articles. ?Today I would like to talk about the simplicity of a great cup of drip coffee.

As the lineups at Timmy’s will attest, the majority of coffee drinkers around the world drink drip coffee. Why? Well, typically, because it’s quick and cheap – two things I myself enjoy.

But it must be great. And it can be done, despite the fact that brewing a good cup o’ joe, does require a few solid tips:

1. Good coffee.

2. Boiled water.

3. Freshness.

See? Not so hard, yet it remains a coffee mystery as to why people still use those drip machines that have the coiled heaters on the bottom. Yuck.

You went and bought that great coffee and you went home or to the office and made it in a drip machine from 1978. Silly rabbit.

I most often hear from customers that, although they like drip coffee, they find it hard to make well. When I inquire as to the machine they use, it quite often comes around to those glass (I won’t say brand name here, for fear of lawsuit) carafe machines.

As soon as you make coffee in You-Know-Who’s Finest, you set it down on a heating element that slowly burns the coffee you are drinking. The smell associated with this reminds me of public schools from the 1980s.

Probably, still now, teachers everywhere are forced to consume that sluggish, brackish brew called drip coffee. Ugh.

No wonder Mr. Davies (class of ’94) always looked so haggard: 100 years of burnt Nabob.?I love drip coffee. In fact, it is how I drink most of my coffee. After all, it is the working man’s brew. Not fussy, affordable and quick.

I understand this, as I have spent my working life at jobs that don’t allow for a casual 45-minute coffee break. No sir, I’m talking 12 minutes to find and consume your java before trotting back to your desk, construction site, nursing station, whatever.

The concept of “going out for coffee” never occurred to me until I was making more than $8.50 per hour. Drip coffee is for people who – pardon my French – need to hoof it

This is why, unfortunately, we see those nauseating bubba keg cups: 40 ozs of stomach-churning ,caffeine-laden drip coffee.?The silly notion that quantity over quality will allow you to do things faster and more alertly has given drip coffee a bad rep… I have spent the last 10 years watching people drink coffee, and I can tell you that for most people, time is money and drip coffee serves its purpose for the gal or guy on the go. No long lineups, (usually, these days you pour your own), and off you go.

So here is the part where I remind all you drip coffee drinkers that you can achieve this same style at home by buying a good drip machine (I have heard they exist ), or take a pot and boil some water and make a cup of cowboy coffee.

Coffee may have evolved to its lofty, quite often snobby, take-myself-way-too-seriously status, but quality will always surpass fancy coffee with funny names, (that take more than five minutes to make).

Don’t get me wrong. I may sound curmudgeonly, because I am, by nature. But I love a great product. I just loathe pretentiousness in whatever form it comes in.

There is a time and place for a mocha or latte, etc. but when you have things to do, and you need to do them now, than look no further than those drip carafes.

If made well, and served fresh, drip coffee can be two things at once: affordable and quick. And that almost never happens anywhere else.

If I have not sold you yet on the wonders of drip, let me sock it to you this way… if you want to really taste coffee in all of its various and complex flavours, then sip-a-drip.

A solid tip: even if you are planning to put cream in, try one sip black. You will get a wonderful sense of coffee by tasting drip coffees. And they are in abundance, wherever you go. Just find the good ones. They’re out there. I’ve seen them.

And why not? Remember, “Never be afraid to try something new, for it was amateurs who built the ark, and professionals who built the Titanic.”

Happy coffee swilling.

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