Saturday, May 4, 2013

How to Use a French Coffee Press as a Means of Grace

I love a good rich cup of coffee.  I hate spending a painful sum of cash to get that cup though.  I don't want to settle for the Folgers at the convenience store  so I needed a better way.  I am blessed with two options.  First is the Keurig that my family bought me for Christmas.  It is clean, convenient and gives a great cup for about 75 cents US.  However, in our rural area, the selection is weak, especially in the dark roasts.

I did buy a two different refillable cups but they make a mess each time I use them and the results with this model aren't very good.  The Keurig brand cup works better but clogs the machine.  The Store-bought cups create a lot of trash too as well as costing more.  I have another option.

 I found a French press at a Target store and get a great cup made from any premium ground coffee for about 20 cents-10% of a Starbucks small.  This is how to use one.

I have a "2-cup" and a "6-cup".  They make 1 or 3 medium sized coffees.  I use two scoops in the small and 6 in the large.  Measure your water and coffee with the intensity of a chemistry experiment and write down your "formula.  I have a piece of tape on the press to mark the level of water.

The water should be just short of boiling when you pour it onto the grounds.  let it set for a minute or so and a crust of grounds will form on top.  Give it a good stir and then put the top on with strainer at the top

Then you wait.  The formula has three basic parts:  grounds, water and time.  When all three come together it is a beautiful thing.  Each brand of coffee is different and each coffee drinker has a different idea of perfection. It will take a couple of tries to find your "perfect".   This cup is 2 scoops of Starbucks Verona-ground, about 10 oz. of near boiling water and five minute to steep.  The world won't end if you get busy and go over. The usual Folgers, Maxwell House etc. don't do well in the press.  It is drinkable but they tend to be bitter.  I like it strong but smooth.  The $7-8 a pound stuff is expensive but it goes a long way.

At the right time, slowly push the plunger down and then pour it all into your cup or cups.  A press does not make a pot of coffee but a cup of coffee.  As you can see, I slopped a little on the counter and you will have a bit of solids at the bottom of the cup.  It is worth wiping the counter and stirring the cup for this quality of Joe. 

There are spiritual lessons here.  First, to enjoy this I have to get up earlier and think about what I am doing.  My cup goes from the press to either my prayer garden bench or the front porch.  This process creates time and slows me down.  Second lesson, a really great CUP of coffee is better than a POT of brown liquid.  My Dr. doesn't really want me drinking any of it and if I only get one, it should be a good one.  Third, all of this takes a cup of coffee and makes it an event. Your coffee may be the only thing you have any control over all day.   Coffee becomes a means of grace that speaks to my heart of the process that God is working on me.  This cup is part of my morning prayer time and is a treat rather than it being just a common something to gulp down all day. 

Enjoy your perfect cup and I pray for a deeper moment for your life as you do.