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My youngest son is just finishing his freshman year at Laurence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He loves music and plays the flute and also piano. I asked him to comment abut his recent discovery of ‘Coffee as a Weapon’ for college students and here’s what he sent… unedited:
“I always thought I would stay away from coffee. A year ago today, I didn’t know the beauty in bitter. I had never experienced the loyal, reliable friendship that is coffee. Coffee had its influence on me the summer before college. I knew college wouldn’t be easy, so I decided to get a head start and spend the early summer mornings hard at work practicing Russian and flute. The first few days were fine, but there’s always a certain point you reach when you start to question yourself: “Why practice? I could be sleeping, enjoying my summer.” I soon learned two things: that sleeping a summer away does not make it enjoyable, and that motivation often comes in liquid form. And so began the ritual of brewing and adding the world’s most pleasant aroma to my day.
The immediate reward: enjoyment of the daily grind. Previously, waking up to practice flute was a strained exercise. It hurt to be up so early, and being productive at that. Without coffee I thought this activity made me an “over achiever.” With coffee, I realized that this work was actually pretty damn common among the rest of the world’s working population. Besides that, when I was done in the late afternoon, Coffee spurred on another ambition, that is, piano.
From third grade to around my junior year in high school, I was an avid pianist along with my usual flute playing, but the difficulty and rigor of it got to me, and ultimately, I gave up the piano. I continued playing but stopped taking lessons or practicing regularly. Had I never started drinking coffee, I probably would still be a casual piano player. When the strong, smooth reward became a part of daily life, I realized how inexpressible stupid it was to stop piano. I had to be honest with myself: playing the piano made me happy and was the ultimate reward at the end of any day. Even as a flutist, I then knew that piano would be vital part of staying sane. So after I finished flute and Russian, the lazy afternoon sun hung over the my swim suited town, and I decided, “Hey, what say we practice some scales, arpeggios, and see what I remember.”
After that realization, I began taking piano lessons again, and I can’t thank Coffee enough for what it brought back into my life. I was once a lazy teenager that thought he would be better off sleeping than living his life, and coffee gave me the boost I needed to realize otherwise.
So now I’m a full time college student, living a life that, without coffee, would be vastly different. Russian has been a breeze in college because of my avid summer practice, and I gained the foundation I needed to begin the new level of rigor practice at the conservatory. I can’t say for sure, but I doubt my GPA would be nearly as high had coffee not kick started me into adulthood last summer.
Samuel Charles Rolfe “
Great news! The first draft of our new label done. I think it’s nice but would love to see some comments. We’ll make some final adjustments and the final version will be completed soon. Also, the shopping cart will be up and running in a day or two.
Different And Wacky Ways To Brew Coffee
Brewing coffee might seem like a simple task to most people but there are numerous weird and wacky ways to brew one of the most popular beverages in the world. Coffee is enjoyed in nearly every country and they all seem to brew coffee differently. There are a lot of different coffee making devices out there and they all create different tasting, smelling and looking coffee. If you have grown to be addicted to coffee, then you should really learn how different cultures are able to create their own cup of brewed coffee. Here are some of unusual and also wacky ways people grind and brew their own coffee.
• The Press
This popular gadget can be called the Chambord, coffee plunger, the caffetiere or simply the French press. The press is very famous in France and they are tabletop urns that are found throughout Western Europe. The Press is also used in Australia, New Zealand, North and South America and is now regularly showing up in the trendy coffee houses and restaurants in the USA.
How Is The Coffee Prepared With The Press?
Brewing coffee will always start with ground coffee beans and you should use about one tablespoon for every 4 oz of coffee. Put the ground coffee right in the glass carafe. Safely pour boiled water over the coffee grounds and try to get the “bloom” starting. This is where the surface will slowly bubble and it will look like an opening flower.
Wait for about three minutes and then place to top on and just slowly press the plunger down until it stops at the bottom. The coffee grounds are compacted under the screen bottom and you are now ready to enjoy your ‘grounds free’ delicious cup of coffee.
How Does Coffee From The Press Taste?
The press actually will extract more oils from the coffee beans and this causes the flavor to be clearer and also creates a thicker texture. A press will also create the “purest taste” because there will be no paper filters. The press is perfect for mild coffees and is one of the least wacky methods for brewing coffee.
• The Ibrik
The Ibrik is also known as a Cezve and it is a ladle that makes some of the strongest and thickest brew around. This is mainly known as Turkish coffee and it is surely a delight to try. This is actually one of the older methods for brewing coffee and it is usually found in Greece, Turkey, Russia and also in the Middle East. The pots are usually made of brass or copper and come with a wooden handle.
The first step is to use a fine grind of coffee bean. Make sure that it is finer than the typical espresso and might even be close to baby powder. For one serving, stir about 4 oz of cold water and 1 tsp of coffee with 1/2 a tsp of sugar. Simply heat the Ibrik to a frothy boil and remove the pot to let the coffee mixture settle. You will then boil and cool the mixture two more times to create a cup of coffee that will still have some grounds at the bottom of your cup and also a frothy head near the top.
(The Russians tip the cup over onto a saucer when finished and let the fine grounds drip out. They then turn the cup over and many swear they can read their ‘fortune’ in the patterns left on the side and bottom of the cup)
How Does Coffee From The Ibrik Taste?
There is a local saying in Turkey that states that the coffee is “black as hell” and “strong as death” but “sweet as love.” That statement surely summarizes the potent taste and the overall flavor.
This is arguably one of the wackiest methods for brewing coffee but it truly works. Though it is not really a sock, it is a filter that is made of muslin or cotton but can often look like a sock. The device is mainly found in South and Central America and it works as a drip filter. In Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia, the device will actually cover the pot and the grounds will be immersed in the water.
This device is perfect for a medium to almost coarse type of coffee or else the grind will actually sneak through the weave and you will end up with sludge coffee. The sock is thinner than usual in Southeast Asia and the preparation can be compared to loose-leaf tea. Simply pour the coffee grounds into the device and then let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes.
The method is actually different in South and Central America as the device is actually suspended over the coffee pot while on a wooden frame. The coffee drips through much like a regular filter. To clean the device, all you need to do is rinse with water and this will make sure that the oils and the residue will add taste to the next batch of coffee.
How Does This Method Taste?
The first few cups of coffee with this method might deliver a cottony taste but will soon disappear. Once you have been able to make a few cups, you will be able to taste the clear flavors that will be fruity and almost floral.
• The Flat Drip
Brewing coffee with a flat drip is most famous in Vietnam and one of the more famous models will look like a small metal hat that sits on the coffee cup.
The popular method of making coffee with this device is to place the container on top of your coffee cup. Then place finely ground coffee in the metal cup/container. I use about two tea spoons for a small cup… it’s very strong.
There may be a threaded rod in the bottom and a screw-on filter device that tightens down on top of the grounds. I never us this because it seems to slow the dripping process down too much.
Pour boiling water in to the container and put the lid on and wait. The coffee will drip down through the small holes in the bottom of the container into the cup below.
Locals will usually put a spoon or two of sweetened condensed milk in the cup and when the coffee drips down they stir it into a very sweet and tasty drink.
How Does The Coffee Taste?
The flavor of the coffee from a flat drip is very intense and it can almost be compared to an espresso. If you prepare it correctly, you can have very little acidity.
If you are into brewing coffee with different methods, then these are some of the wacky and unusual techniques that you can try to get different flavored coffee. Why not try a few? Experiment. Have fun!