Ah, portability and convenience, two characteristics that usually command steep prices and unnecessary complexity. But what if both were affordable? The AeroPress GO is to coffee as the Instant Pot is for food; that is, it is high in utility while also being portable and simple to use. The most obvious usage of the AeroPress is to brew coffee while traveling, that way you’re no longer at the mercy of potentially bad hotel coffee (or have to go out just for some coffee). You might be thinking the French press already accomplishes this; it does, but the AeroPress appears to do it better. Brew times are a mere 10 seconds (for hot water), or just one minute for cold/room temperature water (seems to me like a very quick cold brew).
Being able to use room temperature water definitely makes it seem great for travel. By default, the AeroPress uses paper filters, which should make cleanup hassle free, since you just have to toss the filter, and get to making another round. There are variety of modifications and usage cases for the AeroPress that seem to make it ideal for everyone (such as a metal strainer, for those that don’t like paper filters). Bear in mind, I don’t actually own the AeroPress GO (yet), so I’m mostly paraphrasing what its users have experienced thus far. With the pandemic and all, I don’t see myself needing this product for now, either.
We’ve talked about the various types of coffee beans, their pests, and methods they’re brewed, so it’s time to share some coffee beverages. My focus will be on some Asian coffees, specifically Vietnamese coffee for now. Surely you’ve encounted some sort of Vietnamese coffee if you’ve had a craving for [Vietnamese] Pho or Bánh mì (Vietnamese sub).
Vietnamese egg coffee
Vietnamese egg coffee is a dense, sweet, and creamy coffee beverage. It is made of egg yolk, coffee powder, and condensed milk. Legend has it that during the Vietnam war, this beverage was made when milk was in short supply, using whipped egg instead. Not to be confused with Swedish egg coffee, which uses eggs only in the brewing process.
Dalgona (South Korean whipped coffee)
This is a coffee you can easily make. Dalgona is a very new coffee beverage that was born out of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. It is made of instant coffee powder, sugar, and hot water that is whipped until it has a creamy consistency, then poured on milk. Quite similar to the Vietnamese egg coffee, just without egg.
Kopi Luwak (civet poop coffee)
Unlike the other coffee beverages, this one is not Vietnamese, but Indonesian, and one that many will find revolting and cruel. Kopi Luwak coffee is literally feces of a civet. The reason for this is the civet’s digestive system, which supposedly makes coffee less bitter. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive “coffee”, and has led to civets increasignly being held captive. Sure, civet poop coffee can be obtained from wild civets, but it’s impossible to tell whether or not civet poop coffee is wild or not. You’re better off saving your wallet, dignity, and civets.
I know there are various methods in which coffee is brewed – French press, espresso, and pour over. However, this article brought to my attention even more methods of brewing coffee, each possibly having their own advantages, history, or aesthetic properties. Out of all the methods shown, two have piqued my interest, which I will talk about below.
Vacuum pot/Siphon coffee
This method of brewing coffee highlights the complex chemistry that is coffee. Resembling science lab equipment, it has an industrial aesthetic that would make it sutable at Starbucks (whose architecture is industrial modern). This method of coffee does more than look sciency; it results in a stronger, smoother brew. I leave it to this Wikipedia page (or the article I initially read) to describe its workings.
Kyoto slow drip coffee
Slow drop coffee is much more aesthetically pleasing take on the very familiar and traditional drip coffee. This method is just a little more than looks; its method is a mix between drip coffee and French press. Unlike normal drip coffee, Kyoto slow drip uses cold/cool water, and unlike a French press, there is no pressing, just really slow dripping, with the process taking 12-24 hours! Ultimately, the end result is just a cold brew, but the device sure doing the work sure is pretty.
I really enjoy trying new things, be it beer, wine, or coffee. I previously enjoyed Folgers Dark Roast coffee, so this time I tried Folgers Medium Roast. Unlike the dark roast, the medium roast was surprisingly very mild, tasting similarly to a mild tea, as it lacked the toasty and pungency characteristics of darker roast coffees. Sipped black, I think you can actually taste the water, making it too easy to tell if the coffee was brewed with filtered or tap water.
The medium dark from Great Value is an interesting specimen. You would think that its roast level being close to the dark roasted Folgers should make it quite similar in taste, but it does not. It has a sweet, pungent in both smell and taste. It somehow resembles a strong tea, in that it has a rich taste profile that is fruity and vibrant (as claimed on the container) and acidic. It is probably my least favorite to drink black. I should cold brew and see how that goes (cold brews tend to leave coffee less bitter and acidic than a hot brew).
Seeing that both of these coffees are very affordable, I seriously do wonder what a higher end brand would be like. Unfortunately, I have very little familiarity with coffee brands that are not mainstream. Thankfully, a little bit of reading here and there has pointed me to a medium dark roast from Cafe Don Pablo. I’ll eventually see for myself if artisan, organic and fair trade coffee is worth it! Meanwhile, I really should try the Walmart and Folgers coffee brewed cold (which is supposed to be less acidic and bitter than hot brewed coffee.)