I’m pretty sure that I haven’t figured out how to make the perfect cup of coffee yet, but I have figured out how to make a plastic-free cup of coffee. As part of my monthly promise, I have tried to remove as much plastic from my diet as possible. I’m not getting rid of the plastic food containers or appliances that I already own, but I am trying to limit my further consumption of food-related plastics.
For the last 18 months, I have been using a plastic drip holder with a #2 paper filter every morning to make a quick cup of black coffee. The result largely depended on the coffee that I was using and ranged from passable to quite delightful. There was, however, an ever-present, chemical taste that I could not quite place. Now, I am sure that it was flavor leaching from the super-heated plastic as the water was passing through the filter. Needless to say, plastic is a flavor I try to avoid as often as possible.
The end of February coincided perfectly with the last of my #2 paper filters for my coffee set up. I took it as a sign and decided to upgrade. I scored a ceramic dripper and a pair of cotton filters to put inside it. Having just gotten back from Guatemala, I know also had pounds of premium coffee to replace my quickly disappearing Hawaiian coffee. March was going to be a good month.
When the filters and dripper arrived, I began experimenting. Upon reading the instructions, I learned that I had been nowhere near patient enough with my previous coffee dripper. Initially wetting the grounds to let them breath was foreign to me, as was pouring slowly over all the grounds to achieve the fullest flavor. Whoops! I started taking 3-5 minutes to brew my coffee every morning, and the results have been magical. I am currently using a Hawaiian espresso blend. At full strength, its almost more than I can handle. Keyword: almost.
My take home from all of this is that I should have been more cognizant of my coffee practices from the very beginning. Taking more time is almost always a good idea. In this case, it took me from a bland, acceptable cup of coffee to one that adds a little hair to my chest each morning and wakes me up just by smelling it. On a final note, I no longer taste that chemically flavor in my coffee each morning. Neither the ceramic drips nor the cotton filters leach any flavor, leaving each cup of coffee unadulterated and pure.