no more band-aids
For the last few weeks, I’ve been making a “hammerhead” on weekend mornings. It’s probably the best cup of coffee I’ve had. Anywhere. Here’s how…
Basically, a hammerhead (or High Test, or Shot in the Dark) is just a good, strong cup of coffee, with a shot or two of espresso added for good measure.
Start by getting the espresso going. I got a little 2-cup Moka Express1. It ain’t no fancy schmancy push-a-button-and-insert-disposable-plastic-pod thing. It was designed in the 1930’s, is made of solid aluminum, and goes on your stove top. It takes about 10 minutes to make, so get that started first. I’ve been using illy medium roast espresso, pre-ground. 1 big scoop into the hopper of the Moka Express, and it’s set.
You’ve now got almost 10 minutes, so get the water for your french press boiling.
Now, grind the coffee beans you’ll put in the french press. I use 2 big scoops of medium- or light-roast beans. How they’re ground makes a big difference. I used to think that was pretentious hoo-ha. But if I grind the beans in my electric rotary mill, there is noticeably less flavour in the coffee. So I pull out the old-timey German Trösser manual mill.
Give the beans a good grind, and you wind up with this:
It’s a coarse grind, which works perfectly for a french press. Dump the ground coffee into the empty french press. Make sure to get all of the dregs…
By now, the water’s probably boiling for the french press, and the Moka Express is starting to get a head of steam going. Put the ground coffee into the french press, and pour the boiling water in. It should foam up nicely:
All that yummy foam? It’s usually not there if I use my electric rotary grinder.
Give it a stir with a plastic or wooden spoon. Set a timer for 4 minutes. Go relax, or start a blog post about making coffee or something.
Beep. 4 minutes. If you haven’t already, turn off the heat to the Moka Express. It’ll be done.
Stir the french press again. Let it sit for a few seconds and then slowly press the plunger down. Let it sit for a few more seconds.
Grab a nice big mug, and fill it about 3/4 full from the french press. Then, pour the espresso shots into the centre of the mug.
It doesn’t get much better than that. Drink it black. It’s good coffee, so won’t need any foo-foo crap in it. So good…
It’s a little strong, though. Some internet searching suggests that by the time you’ve finished the whole thing, you’re looking at up to 450mg of caffeine. A typical cup of coffee has something like 80-135mg of caffeine.
fresh ground coffee beans, steeping in the french press, before pushing the plunger to strain the goodness. best. coffee. evar.
the only morning beverage.
2010/04/30: TGIF! To celebrate the end of the week, make an artistic shot of your favorite beverage or libation today. #ds166
I’ve taken similar photos before, but wanted to try something different to see how it turned out. I used the 75-300mm lens (macro at 4.5 feet), put the coffee cup on the floor in the sun, and stood on a chair leaning directly above it to get the shot. 300mm at 4.5′ is very zoomy.
the first cuppa the day. likely only one of many, many more to follow.
the antique coffee mill does a much nicer job of grinding the beans – big chunks, all neatly ground, with no burning or dust.