One of the most fulfilling things you can have when done right, the unique flavor and of coffee has been filling souls for centuries. As coffee as part of a culture continues its evolution, there is a new focus on making good coffee accessible thanks to a growing number of local roasters sourcing beans directly from farmers and pursuing transparency from the industry overall.
The way we make coffee keeps evolving over the years. Vending machines and capsule ma-chines have replaced the old filter coffee.
How has this change reflected on the taste of coffee? Has it improved? Or has it just gotten more expensive? 1 kg Nespresso coffee costs around €60! Luckily, the filter coffee is currently seeing a much-welcome recovery.
The overtake of expensive machines not only in households, but also in bakeries, cafés, hotels and other public spaces in has resulted in what I want to call a pitiful standard of coffee culture. Since a good filter coffee typically is a perfect match for breakfast and brunch, then why is such a coffee-like substitute offered in so many places?
At older and simpler times, only the taste result of filtering was of importance. Hand-brewed coffee just tastes better. Now, over time, people’s concerns for the environment and changing of habits has affected the scene.
The capsule coffee, the coffee vending machine and the coffee pad have reduced the market share of coffee makers and hand filters for coffee to a niche, rare existence.
There is a number of articles describing the divide between ecologically harmful behavior and the simple desire for a good cup of coffee in a modern household.How to turn things around
The solution for those choosing a good cup of coffee at home is plain simple. By simply using proper judgment and making small changes, you can make excellent coffee without creating a pile of waste in the process, (zero-waste coffee).
With time, this can once again become a wonderful, aromatic coffee-making ritual that awakens the senses and improves your quality of life. Slow coffee is sustainable, making good coffee at home in the brewing pot or hand filter is surprisingly easy.How did the slow coffee come to be?
The term slow coffee first appeared with the third wave coffee movement. To many, slow coffee means a good cup of coffee for breakfast, a break in between work, or to go with a pastry in the afternoon.
In truth, the slow coffee movement is part of a wider movement originating in Italy. At some point in the 80s, a political activist initiated the slow food movement. The reason this movement sparked was the opening of a fast-food shop near a historical square.
Slow coffee is an easy, convenient, more sustainable part on the path towards an improved quality of life. The effort it takes to make it is low and once you get used to the new process, it is quite fast. Of course, a good espresso is ever so delightful. However, it most certainly cannot be made with a hand filter.
However, I am of the opinion that it is near impossible to make an ecologically safe and enjoy-able espresso at home. If you do not wish to use capsules or coffee pods, you can buy a coffee vending machine or a portafilter.
I, too, have often though about buying one of the expensive espresso machines. The following points have kept me from making such an investment for my home or the office:
You have to turn on the machine much earlier to reach the right temperature. You frequently need to replace the water inside the machine with clean hot water. This process can be too much of a bother for me.
Amateur baristas can waste between 5 and 10 cups of espresso when using a portafilter. Rigorous training is necessary. For the amount of personal consumption of cups of espresso or cappuccino per day, buying a machine is simply too expensive. According to some feedback collected from friends, the training does not truly help either, and the success stories were a long time in the making.
The amount of work that goes into it and the effort put in cleaning the machine and the grinder are not worth it. The service life of the machine is not long if improper water is used. Service or repair work is also bothersome and quite expensive.
Whenever I want to enjoy a good cup of espresso, I simply go to the coffee bar around the corner. The machine runs for the whole day and is therefore always hot. You should find a good coffee bar that you can trust. Coffee shop chains with mass-produced coffee and fancy interiors aren’t always the best choice.
Only professionals can make truly good espresso. Everything else is just a substitute with decent results at best.
The only real alternative for having similar results at home is slow coffee. You can also use a milk frother here. You’ll end up with a bigger cup of good coffee and will be impressed by the taste. You can have it with breakfast, brunch, cake and pastries. And that too, at just a tiny portion of the cost of a capsule machine or any coffee machine on that matter.My take on slow coffee
Personally, I believe that slow coffee should be made without filter paper(#nopaper) or plastic (#lessplastic). The discussion regarding heated aluminum should be kept in mind too. Opinions on this subject differ greatly.
Slow Coffee at its best
What to keep in mind if you want good coffee:
Boil fresh water and allow it to cool slightly.
They say 92° to 95° is ideal.
Good quality coffee. This is where sustainable consumption of coffee has the greatest scope. One good option is coffee from a trustworthy source marked as “fair trade”. Some supermarkets have also picked up on to the trend and sell good coffee, which is traded at fair conditions for farmers.
The freshness of coffee. It is important to know that the coffee quality deteriorates fast after roasting and even faster after grinding. There are many types of coffee bags, which of course have to be tested to make sure that they are eco-friendly. I personally recommend using the coffee within four weeks of the date of roasting. The indicated three months is too long. Ideally, the coffee should be used when it is freshly ground.
Coffee needs about three or four minutes to release the oils and fats that give the coffee its taste. There are a few opinions on how clear the coffee should be. I believe it to be a matter of trial and error. By my observations, the solid parts in coffee are important for a good round taste.
You can use a French press made of stainless steel to brew good coffee without the need for filter paper. It’s also serves perfectly for coffee making when you’re camping or travelling. Bear in mind, the filter needs to be cleaned properly very often. The coffee dribbler fits on most pots. So now you can take out your vintage porcelain pot again and make the perfect filter coffee.
The whole apartment will be filled with the aroma, your coffee will be fresh and hot and your coffee-making ritual will become a more pleasant experience. Your morning won't have to begin with the noise of a coffee machine but with a large, steaming-hot cup of coffee or latte. This goes very well with every breakfast. You won’t have made any unnecessary waste in the process except for some residual coffee grounds, which can be composted. Washing it is also a quick and easy process. Simply rinse out the parts under running water. Once in a while, clean thoroughly by hand or in the dishwasher.The slow coffee experience
The Slow Coffee movement believes only time gives us the best. The slow coffee refers to all those moments that are so rich because they are tasted slowly. Moments that must be pre-served, savored and respected. If you have never tasted a cup of third-wave coffee, you’re missing out. To me, the biggest benefit to making pour-over coffee is the ability to disconnect from a problem you can’t figure out, or anything heavy on your mind. This is about coffee as an experience, with the coffee being the journey rather than just the fuel to get you out the door. It is about quality, not convenience. Slowly, manually brewed coffee allows you to play a more important role in the brewing, and lets you create a more memorable flavor.