Trying 'Proper' Coffee

I’m not a fussy eater, I’ll eat pretty much whatever is put in front of me. I used to quip that the only thing I wouldn’t eat is celery, but even that now features on my plate now and then. It’s an especially good vehicle for getting melted cheese into my gob. Being an unfussy eater means I’m also a pretty unfussy drinker.

I fancy a coffee!” at home usually results in a spoon of instant coffee granules, sugar or sweetener, milk and hot water being mixed in a cup and guzzled shortly after. I have, of course had a fair amount of ‘proper’ coffee over the years. Mostly in restaurants or while travelling for work. I also really like McDonald’s coffee 🤷‍♂️

We have both large and small cafetieres at home which only really come out at Christmas or when the in-laws come over. I’ve also had a cheap filter coffee machine which I was never really happy with. The jug was poorly designed and would leak. I found it a faff to setup, and it was physically large, taking up quite a bit of kitchen space.

More recently we bought a De’Longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine, which takes small disposable pods of coffee. The coffee it made was okay at best, and I became increasingly uncomfortable with the environmentally unfreindly pod system. So that’s been relegated to the shelf of unused kitchen devices along with the pasta roller and fondue set.

A few weeks or so ago I stumbled on James Hoffmann’s YouTube channel via a video titled “The Best Espresso Machine Under £500”. This came about after a conversation in the Ubuntu Podcast Telegram Channel where I’d mentioned I wanted a new kettle because our current one was pretty bashed up and furry thanks to the hard water in our area.

The topic moved to coffee machines, and I spent a little time researching them. This was a mix of browsing Amazon reviews and watching a few videos on YouTube. I watched a bunch of James Hoffmann’s videos, and decided I wasn’t prepared to spend a fortune on a machine, but instead plumped for the AeroPress (affiliate link). I also picked up a simple burr grinder (affiliate link) and some Lavazza (affiliate link) coffee beans, total spend £56.33 including delivery. That seemed like a reasonable investment, at least initially.

So I’ve had the AeroPress for about a week, and I love it. Spending a little time away from my desk during the day to grind some beans (not a euphemism) and press some coffee is a great use of my time. I did buy a new kettle too, and have been filtering the water I put in it, which I wasn’t previously. While the water boils I’ll stand and grind my beans (still not a euphemism) and prepare the AeroPress with a filter, and get my mug ready. After a few minutes I have a freshly brewed, delicious cup of coffee.

It didn’t take long before I added to the kit. I very quickly got bored of manually grinding beans, so bought a Krups Coffee Mill (affiliate link) for twenty quid. I’ve seen some suggestions that this is not optimal, as it slices the beans, and apparently a burr mill (like the hand-crank one I have) is preferred. I haven’t noticed the difference yet, remember, I’m not that fussy.

I can see myself getting into this a little deeper, especially if I keep watching James Hoffmann’s videos - they’re rather well done! But at the moment, a simple AeroPress and a big ole' bag o' beans is enough for me.

Come back to me in a year though, and ask if I’ve invested in any more coffee paraphernalia. I can’t imagine I won’t. We’ll see.