Why your French Press Plunger is Stuck

Why your French Press Plunger is Stuck

Knowing my coffee craziness, my friend Barron asked me why he sometimes has difficulty pushing down the plunger on his French press coffee maker. I was glad to help out. I told him that there are really only three reasons your French press might be hard to push down: You might have a clogged plunger screen, you might be grinding your coffee too fine, or, most likely, you need to brew it the patient way. Let’s look into what each…

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The Importance of the Coffee Bloom

The Importance of the Coffee Bloom

bloom: key step in the brewing process where the coffee grounds are initially wetted so carbon dioxide (CO2) trapped in the beans can be released, allowing the brewing water to make better contact with the coffee resulting in more complete flavor extraction Originally, that’s what I was going to write – short and sweet (just like me). Then I got into the research and found that coffee bloom is much more interesting and a bit more complex. As you may know,…

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Vietnamese Coffee and Coffee Culture

Vietnamese Coffee and Coffee Culture

Recently, I posted about coffee adulteration, spurred in part by a story out of Vietnam. A company was caught taking dirt, rock dust, and black carbon powder from the innards of used batteries and adding it to rejected coffee and then selling (literally) tons of it on the open market. Definitely yucky but it might give the reader an unfair view of the rich Vietnamese coffee culture one can find there. For over a century-and-a-half, coffee has been grown in…

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Coffee When It Isn’t

Coffee When It Isn’t

genuine: authentic, real, actual, original, bona fide, true, unadulterated   This story is about “coffee” that is anything but. People want – and, okay, sometimes need – their morning cup so badly that for at least two centuries it has been the target of unscrupulous conmen and frauds in search of an easy buck. Sometimes the fraud can be rather innocuous, such as by artificially increasing the weight of a package. Sometimes it is more egregious: substituting one coffee for another….

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Why I Have Cream in My Coffee

Why I Have Cream in My Coffee

Obviously, cream with coffee tastes great. As far as I’m concerned that’s reason enough but there are other good reasons to put cream in your coffee and that’s not how I originally came to making it a mainstay of my morning cup. I have never really done well with black coffee, although that’s the way I drank it for a long time due to perpetually watching my caloric intake. Black coffee was always a little rough on my stomach. In retrospect,…

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