Tags: coffee

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Coffee Time!

After a bit of a hiatus, I bring to you some great coffee.

You may remember a previous post about my friend Marion at the Hualalai Mauka estate in Hawaii and the wonderful Kona that is grown there. The coffee shop where my friend works has teamed up with them for some really great java. The green coffee beans are shipped to the shop directly where they are artsianally roasted. The result is something that you might not drink every day.

So I found myself at the coffee shop:

...staring at one of these:

What is this thing? It's a CONA extractor. Vacuum-extracted coffee has a completely different flavour than your run-of-the-mill auto-drip units. Some consider it to be the best method to make coffee. Click the link to see how it works.

It was pretty fabulous. I don't think I've ever been able to discern the flavours in beans like that before. I highly, highly recommend. Take a trip down to Lambertville, NJ and check it out for yourself!
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I received a box from Hawaii today!

My friend Marian at the Hualalai Mauka Coffee Company sent me a few pounds of freshly roasted Kona from her estate on the Big Island. I definitely recommend their coffee to everyone that appreciates a good brew in the morning.

What are some of your favourite coffee varieties? I happen to like Kona, Sumatran, and Jamaican Blue.
Just like wines, coffee flavours are also affected by growing conditions such as climate, rainfall, soil quality, and sunlight, to name a few. I've found that different regional varieties have subtle nuances in the taste, as with any fine wine. It's fun to try different kinds!

How do you make your coffee? Expert barristas may argue that the best method is the vacuum extraction to achieve full flavour.

I have three different coffee-brew systems that I use, depending on my mood and the kind of coffee I'm making. For the first cup as I dash out the door, I use my Melitta javapod machine. This is one of those pod-brewers that makes one cup at a time. I really hate cleaning the thing, but it's kind of space-age looking and green, so it goes well in my monochromatic kitchen, where many things are green! (Note, the green colour has been discontinued for a number of years, I think they only make black and white now -maybe red if you're lucky. Senseo makes royal blue and red pod machines that are also quite good.) It's real good for a quick cup if you're only one person. I find the quality to be about mid-range, and it fits my needs in the morning.

When I have multiple people over (as in leftovers from a party the night before), I use my Farberware electric percolator. It keeps the coffee nice and hot, while at the same time brewing about as fast as an auto-drip machine would. It is a somewhat traditional method of brewing.

Finally, I have a little green French press unit that I use for special blends, or when I'm feeling classy. This one is also a royal pain to clean, but you have more precise control over the brewing. My friend penthilisea says that the optimal time for French press brewing is 2 minutes, 38 seconds. I am interested to hear more by way of the press, as I'm certainly no expert in this area.

Please share any information or experiences you've had with specialty coffees. I'm interested to hear them.
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