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April 8, 2017 / thegirlwiththedinotattoo

home brews

Coffee gets it’s own dedicated post because, it’s coffee. I’ve garnered a lot of interest over my interesting “contraptions” so I figured I’d give them more than just a quick shout out, cramped into another post.

Before I even started obsessing over reducing my waste output, I was realizing how much money I was spending on k-cups for my Keurig (a sweet gift from my husband years ago for Christmas). The Keurig had been a nice addition for a few years, but honestly the coffee wasn’t that great, and my local grocery store had only one option of fair trade and organic k-cups, and it just wasn’t cutting it for me. I’m not that sensitive to flavors, but I think the taste of coffee brewed in plastic was getting to me (never mind the fact that it wasn’t fresh). I thanked my husband for the thoughtful gift that had served me well for years, sold it on Craig’s List, and I bought the supplies for a single-brew cone.

Just a note though that there are inserts for Keurigs that can be filled with your own grinds, so you’re not throwing away pods and can use whatever amazing coffee of your preference and freshness. I’ve heard though that it’s hard the find the right size inset for the updated Keurig model though, and it sounds like a scheme to just keep people buying the k-cups (like a perfect example from my marketing class of “creating loyalty” through limiting consumer’s options. Yes, I have an MBA. No, my classmates didn’t know what to do with me).

Anyways, my equipment of choice was a ceramic cone that sits over my cup (from Amazon) and a 2-pack of organic cloth filters from CoffeeSock (also available on Amazon). I love them.

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The Dream Team: glass electric kettle, pour-over brew, and my diesel Zojirushi travel mug (with my reusable baggie drying in the background)

At first I was hesitant that it would take so long (I have to boil water? and then slowly pour it over the grinds? but that takes minutes!) though I actually really enjoy either the slow wake-up as I watch the grinds steep (weekends), or I multi-task and pack my lunch

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This is what they call the “bloom” while brewing

in between pours (weekdays). Every other month or so I boil the cloth filter, along with my dish sponge and scrubber – though each individually, to remove the build up of the oils so the filter still brews a mean cup, and the sponges aren’t harboring too much bacteria. I don’t find this extra step to be a bother, I just boil away and forget about each one as I’m doing other stuff in the kitchen, and swap them out as I remember them and usually before the water evaporates. The fact that each of those items last long enough to be cleaned many times before tossing is wonderful: the first coffee filter lasted me probably a year and a half, and while it was probably still a little more money than paper filters would have been, it’s still saving me a lot of money from all those friggin k-cups, and the quality of coffee is so much better. I can splurge on the good stuff with all the good “labels” (fair-trade, organic, non-GMO, bird safe…) and even I can taste the difference. And coffee is one of the few products that many stores sell in bulk, so you probably don’t even have to find a “green grocer” who will allow you to tare out your glass containers before filling up or let you use your own bags (though the woman at my local grocer remembers the tare weight of my container that I bring in, so clearly I’m there frequently).

My husband got all into it, too, with figuring out the right coarseness of grinds specifically for this pour-over method, and the percolator. He wanted a manual grinder so we could finely-tune the coarseness of each batch of coffee. I told him one click to the left of “auto-drip” at the in-store grinders was good enough for me, but I guess we each have the items we’re willing to spend time on.

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Hand grinder with storage vessel, decaf grinds, percolator grinds, pour-over grinds, and measuring spoon (i.e. vintage soup spoon), and the box that stores all coffee and tea items. No minimalism here.

And yes, we have a percolator, a vintage, glass, brew-it-on-the-stove percolator. The

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Just like your grandma’s

pour-over cone is good for one or two cups, but after that the filter needs a good rinsing and is better after it’s dried, and not to mention the time it takes to brew 3 or more cups that way. So when I saw this sweet thing at a market I nabbed it for when we have guests over. There’s no filter needed, the aluminum basket serves that function as well, and it’s fun to watch it brew on the stove. I was initially concerned about using glass on the stove, even though that’s how the percolator is made to be used, but after the first use I got over my fears and now have no problem gently tossing it on.

When we’re done brewing, the grinds get scraped into the compost bin (or in the summer I’ll mix them into the soil for my tomato plants since they love it!) and everything gets a rinse. Easy as pie!

Also, I totally forgot to mention in my last post about my produce that I store at room temperature! I probably forgot because it’s so boring, but here it is. Everything goes into the bowl, except onions and garlic which go into the basket, to keep them separate and in a dark but ventilated space. Squash goes on the counter when that’s in season. Thrilling, aren’t you glad I made sure to put that in here?

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The produce gets stored with other important things on the sideboard, like my paper to-do pile and wine.

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