Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Tag: French press

Chicory: History, Blending, and New Orleans Style Coffee

Coffee culture has a long history with coffee alternatives and additives. It seems that nearly since it’s discovery, people have been trying to replace, alter and enhance it. In Mark Pendergrast’s book Uncommon Grounds, he names more than 65 things that have been used for coffee additives. Some of my favorites are brewery waste, burnt rags, and dog biscuits.

“The list of coffee adulterants indeed is amazing: almonds, arrowhead, asparagus seeds and stalks, baked horse liver, barberries, barley, beechmast, beetroot, box seeds, bracken, bran, bread crusts, brewery waste, brick dust, burnt rags, burrs, carob beans, carrot, chickpeas, chicory, chrysanthemum seeds, coal ashes, cocoa shells, comfrey roots, cranberries, currants, dahlia tubers…” (Uncommon Grounds, 60) You get the picture.

Of all the things that have been added to coffee over the years, chicory, a blue flowered plant native to Europe, is probably the most familiar and successful. The leaves of the plant are sometimes use as salad greens. The root is roasted, ground and used to produce a bitter “coffee substitute.” It is probably most well known in New Orleans style coffee which can be up to 40 percent chicory.

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French Press Coffee- An Intro to Immersion Brewing

A simple yet delicious manually brewed coffee

Using a French press is a very popular manual coffee brewing method that most people are at least vaguely familiar with. French press or coffee press brewing is a relatively straight forward method. Like drip brewing, there are lots of variables to tinker with if you are a tinkerer.

While drip brewing is in the pour over brewing category, French press brewing is an immersion brew method. Immersion brewing methods generally utilize a larger grind size and longer brewing times. The result is typically a cup of coffee with a lot more body, but less brightness in the cup flavors.

The French press brewing method, is widely considered to be a little more simple of a brewing method. It is a little easier than most pour over techniques to control your variables and get a consistent cup of coffee. There are also far less variations and techniques associated with brewing with a coffee press.

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