Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Rush

I really thought we had gotten up with plenty of time for getting ready, you know what I'm talking about. Woke up about 7:30am and took my time showering, shaving, and the like. My wife, Micalah made the family a nice breakfast, too. BUT, there was a lurking problem hiding in my morning routine. I forgot the coffee. I know, blasphemer, right? Yeah, well, I did forget it and I admit my mistake.

I realized we only had 20 minutes left before church and still no coffee! Rushing into action, I ground my whole bean coffee in my new burr grinder (discussed yesterday) and boiled water for the Chemex 8 cup coffee brewer. When the Chemex and the coffee met, it was magical. The hot water, the fresh grounds, and the chemex unified to make a beautiful sight, a sight that slowed down time in my Sunday morning, a sight which I will now describe.

The Chemex I used was an 8 cup size, the exact same as any other chemex, just larger. The most common size offered is the 6 cup, but I was needing mine for entertaining purposes just as much as personal use, so the larger size fit my need. It is easily adjustable for your need for the situation though- an 8 cup can brew as little as 4 cups given less ground and less water. The Chemex coffee maker operates using gravity to draw the hot water through the steeping coffee grounds in a cone-shaped filter funnel; this effectively produces a solution of well brewed coffee, each all grounds being extracted evenly. Other flat-bottomed filters cannot guarantee even extraction due to their shape. They also often produce uneven distribution of hot water from inside the brewers.

The process: grind desired amount of coffee, fold circle shaped filter in half twice and open into cone shape, put side of cone filter with double side toward the pour spout to maintain air vent, pour coffee grounds into cone, pour small amount of not quite boiling water over grounds getting them all wet, allow all water to drain through (now your grounds have "flowered"), finish pouring hot water over grounds around the sides of the funnel, pour desired amount of water over grounds for optimum level of coffee concentration. FYI- from my experience, the "full" amount in a Chemex is about an inch above the glass knob on the front of the item.

The end result was a fantastic coffee, nearly semi-sweet when brewed properly. I chatted with my mom about this a bit this morning, describing this in terms of foods: people who have only eaten bad peaches their entire lives cannot possibly be as excited about eating peaches as those who have tasted a truly delicious fruit. Once you've tasted a delicious fruit, you know it because it is nothing like anything you have ever had before. Good coffees are like that- nothing like anything you've had previously. My coffee was so good I even took some to church with me and it was still good cold! This reminds me of another coffee phrase that rings true, "good hot coffee will make good iced coffee". Simple, but true.

A quick note for cleaning: rinsing with hot soapy water only does part of the job of cleaning. Oil and other residues often stay behind. To eliminate these residues, drop in a effervescent tablet into standing water for an hour or so. This will micro-scrub any left over unwanted oils. The tablet may leave behind a white powder on the sides of the Chemex; simply rinse them out- no problem.

Lord, Your Word is as true today as it was before time. I thank you for giving the Minister the words to speak, convicting me of sin, and helping me continue to repent. Thank you for the great coffee. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Amen.

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