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Easy way to make good coffee

November 11, 2010

In college my coffee-making went something like this: put coffee into a mesh basket and put the basket into a Pyrex measuring cup. Pour hot water over that. Wait. Then remove the basket-of-grounds and filter the liquid through paper. Really good stuff--essentially a filtered total immersion process. Nowadays I do something similar, if more streamlined, with a "driver" or valve basket. Mine's called a Clever Coffee Dripper. Not my favorite way to make coffee, but it's by far the easiest and therefore the method that I use most often. Here's how I do it.

1) Put a paper filter into the Dripper and rinse it with hot water. I'm partial to the thick Chemex filters.

2) Measure out your coffee. I like the golden ratio for this (60g/L), so for 340mL/12 oz. of brewing water I'll use 21 g of coffee. The mug ends up with around 10 oz. of coffee.

Grind is really difficult to communicate. I use the same grind that I used to use with my auto-drip machine (Technivorm, which I only specific to say, in passing, be careful; it's the most overrated coffee device around). Hopefully  these pictures won't be totally useless.

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http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j425/musilly/th_clever001.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket" />

3) Put mesh basket into the Dripper. I use a cheap Medelco (sp?) mesh basket, no use springing for the pricey Swiss Gold stuff. You'll be filtering again with paper anyway, and there's no need to worry about imparted tastes here so long as you keep your metal basket clean. 

http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j425/musilly/th_clever002.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket" />

4) Put coffee in, level it out. I like using scales (faster!), so tare that thing out.

5) Your hot water should be just off the boil. Maybe 15 seconds off? My water's about ~207 at this point, so when it hits the coffee it's at around ~201. This is a declining temp brew, similar to cupping, so don't sweat this too much. Just don't pour when your water's still boiling.

6) I like to pour just enough to wet all the coffee, at first. Around 60 mL for my dose. I'll let the coffee expand for 30-45 seconds, then slowly pour in my rest, making sure to get everything wet.

7) For my particular grind, and seeing as how I like to keep the Dripper uncovered, I take it up until about 3:30. I might stir gently at 2:30 if there's a crust. To end the brew just lift the mesh basket out, then set the Dripper over your mug. There's probably a lot of fines in the basket which will clog things up, so you don't need to let all the liquid brew out. I usually just stop the process a minute later. Looks something like this:

http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j425/musilly/th_clever006.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket" />

Annnd that's it. The yummy-to-effort ratio here is absurdly high. I prefer vac pot and a quality pourover, but those involve more work.





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