How do you start your mornings?
Yes; I heard it right, my dear reader: with a fresh cup of joe. Coffee, Kapi, Filter Coffee…whatever the name, it smells and tastes great; isn’t it?
Coffee…the elixir of life…the best drink known to the humankind…
For me, brewing coffee is kind of religious experience; a ritual that I have (sort of) perfected over the years. I am so obsessed with my coffee that I carried sufficient amount of my favorite brand of coffee and a coffee maker with me when I spent some time in the land of opportunities, aka USA.
I was introduced to coffee at a very young age. I didn’t take much time to graduate from Amul to filter coffee. The frothing, mesmerizing filter coffee made my school and college days. During those days, we could get the freshest cow’s milk from the milk cooperative society. I still remember the days when I would wake up early at around 4:30 and sprint to the society just in time to get the lukewarm milk from my favorite cow. The fresh milk and freshly ground coffee brewed using the traditional coffee filter made the best coffee in our neighborhood.
After marriage, I became the barista of our home. I am fortunate that my wife also likes coffee as much as I do. Now, we do not get the milk direct from the cow’s udder served to us the same day; instead, what we get is the packaged concoction called milk, so I have to settle for the best of what is available: Aavin. Over a period, I reduced the milk content and enjoy coffee in its bitter-sweet glory.
How to Make a Good Filter Coffee?
Here’s my recipe:
Note these things down:
- Aavin milk, preferably full-cream milk
- Freshly ground Arabica coffee; not very fine or very coarse. If it is very fine, water will stay for a longer time making a very bitter coffee. If it is coarse, water will drain through very quickly, making the coffee very light. If you can get a coffee grinder, buy roasted coffee beans and grind them daily. If you lack the time, get the ground coffee in small quantity such as 100 or 200 grams, which would only last four or five days. Krishna Sweets (you read it right) stocks pure coffee powder in 200gm pack, which is very good. Keep your coffee powder in a ceramic jar used by your grandma and now kept in the attic. Or, get a good airtight, food-grade plastic or glass container.
- Coffee maker or coffee filter. Coffee makers are good as the water is boiled at the optimum temperature and dripped into the coffee powder, the result of which is evenly brewed coffee. On the other hand, coffee filters may not yield evenly brewed coffee as the water may drain through the filter sooner than you like. But filters, especially the ones made of brass add the tangy brass flavor to the coffee. I have a small brash filter used for more than 50 years in my family.
- Fresh water. This is important as the water makes or breaks your coffee, believe me.
How you make your filter coffee is very important, as not only the ingredients but also the procedure that makes or breaks your coffee.
- Add the required amount of coffee powder to the coffee maker or coffee filter.
For two cups of coffee (around 100ml each), I add four heaped teaspoons of coffee powder. If you use a coffee maker, spread the coffee powder evenly. If you brew using a coffee filter, spread the coffee powder and add little thrust using your knuckles. This will make the coffee powder stay firm when you pour boiling water, so there won’t be any weak spots for the boiling water to drain through quickly.
- Add sufficient amount of water to the coffee maker. Or boil sufficient amount of water if use you coffee filter.
I add 125ml for two cups.
- If you use coffee maker, wait for the water to boil and drip through the coffee powder. Wait for the sweet sound of coffee being brewed to stop and promptly switch off the coffee maker and take the carafe (the container where brewed coffee is collected) from the coffee maker.. Don’t wait for the coffee maker to trigger the auto-shut off mechanism and keep the carafe in the hot plate. This will make your coffee boil over 90 degree Celsius, where it will lose the aroma and flavor.
- If you use coffee filter, pour the water in a container and keep it in a gas burner in low flame. Wait for the bubbles to spring up. When you see a lot of bubbles (where the temperature would be around 90 degree Celsius), remove the container and slowly pour the water in the coffee filter and wait for the coffee to brew. Don’t wait for the water to boil beyond the bubbles stage and reach 100 degree Celsius. This is important for making good coffee.
- Boil milk in a container in low flame. Don’t add water to the milk.
For two cups of coffee (100ml each), I use 75ml of milk.
- Mix the milk and decoction and add sugar to your taste.
Yummy filter coffee is ready.
Now, don’t gulp it down. Go to a serene place such as balcony or rooftop, sit in a relaxed position, and slowly enjoy the coffee. As they say, let the world wait when you enjoy your coffee.