Happy Friday – The Art of Coffee

As well as experimenting with art and Just Pudding (formerly know as Bread and Butter Pudding) I am now experimenting with coffee. As I’m on holidays I have been indulging in my coffee joy. That is, one coffee per day on holidays. It’s easy enough to keep off coffee at home because although I always like the smell I don’t always love the taste. But France (and Italy) have amazing coffee that both smells and tastes great. So, on holidays I get coffee every day at a café or bar.

But, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know we are in the middle of the countryside – no café. So our kitchen has had to become the café. Denis was prepared for this… I was not. He brought along a coffee grinder (I kid you not) and a coffee-for-one plunger type thingy called an aeropress. He willingly made me coffee with this for the first two days and then he taught me how to use it myself… but it was such a palaver I was doing his washing up duties just to get him to continue making it for me.

Then I was reading a book called Homeland and the character was talking about cold brew coffee. He made it sound very interesting and I thought I’d give it a go. My resident internet investigator looked up the How to… while I gathered the tools. We were missing some tools so a few days passed before we could begin. But now I can tell you the experiment is well on its way and we are discovering how to make the best cold brew coffee in all of France (because I bet no one else in France is bothering.) I helpfully took pictures so you can experiment along with me if you like.

Here we go….. (Oh by the way, if you start to think that cold brew is also a bit of a palaver… you might be right, but sure I’m having fun!)

1. Buy ground coffee (so much cheaper here)

2. Get a big jug (there was a 2 pint one in our china press)

Coffee 1

3. Fill the jug up to a quarter with the coffee (yes, it’s a lot of coffee – remember I said how cheap the coffee was here?)

Coffee 2

4. Pour water – cold water – into the jug, filling up to top

5. Stir, carefully.

Coffee 3

6. Cover jug with cling film and leave for at least 12 hours in a quiet corner (don’t know if the quiet corner is important but it’s been working for me)

Coffee 4

7. Photography some flowers, do some crafts and go to sleep

8. Come back when more than 12 hours have passed

Coffee 5

9. Take one large bottle (we used one from a jus de pomme (apple not potato) drink)

10. Take one coffee filter holder (we could hardly contain our excitement when we saw one of these in the Hyper U – up until then we were draping the coffee filter over the rim of the bottle)

11. Put one coffee filter (we used size 4 – more excitement when we realised the coffee filter holder was size 4 also) into the coffee filter holder (as you would)

12. Put coffee filter holder on top of bottle (we would have been ecstatic if the coffee filter holder had fit neatly into the bottle, but we made it work….)

Coffee 6

13. Take a roll of masking tape (yes I brought masking tape to France) and tape the coffee filter holder to the bottle

Coffee 9

14. Using a sieve (if you have one bigger than ours, that’s nice for you) pour the jug of coffee and water mixture into the coffee filter (which is in the coffee filter holder on top of the bottle) slowly taking care not to disturb the coffee grinds too much

15. When the sieve gets clogged up, stop to empty it, then continue pouring until there is only coffee grinds in the jug

16. Is there anyone still reading?

Coffee 10

17. Wait until all the water has dripped into your bottle and then put the cap on and put it in the fridge.

18. Clean up.

Coffee 12

19. Have a lovely cup of coffee – by pouring a quarter (or one-third) cup of the liquid from the bottle and adding boiling water – yum. Or you could heat a cup full (strong) in the microwave. Or you could have it on ice, if you like iced coffee (yuck, yuck, splutter, splutter.) If I was on my own here (just saying) the bottle would probably last a week but now Denis has stopped making his plunger stuff and we’re sharing mine.

There you go… hmmm… just nineteen short steps to a lovely cup of coffee… Mairead.

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