We like coffee. By which I mean, I enjoy a wake-up cup every now and then, while the Raccoon seems to think he can’t live without it. So I thought I’d do a round-up of my favourite ways to brew, mix, drink, and enjoy one of the world’s most popular beverages.
I’d like to start by pointing out that we are in no way coffee snobs. We’ll drink just about anything, and most of the time we enjoy it – though my taste buds seem to be less fussy than my husband’s. And I’m under strict instructions to never make him drink Turkish style coffee again…
It has to be beans. We used to drink instant (Moccona Medium or Dark Roast, Nescafe when it was a screaming deal), but I eventually got us both onto real coffee. I pretty much only buy Fairtrade beans, but other than that it’s fun to experiment (by which I mean, what’s cheapest this week?) The Central Markets in the Adelaide CBD has a wonderful stall called The Coffee Bean Shop where I like to buy different beans. Their Fairtrade coffee is all around the $40/kg mark, and they grind it free.
For the tighter budgeting weeks, the Coles brand or Woolworths Select brand coffee beans are pretty drinkable – and only $15/kg. They only come in whole beans though, so I grind them in the Bellini. 200g of beans on Speed 9 for two minutes produces a decent French press-style grind. (UPDATE: This is far too long a grind time in the Thermomix. 20 seconds on Speed 9 will get you a good enough grind.)
We’ve used a few different brewing solutions, but far and away my favourite is the Aeropress. It’s heaps easier to clean than a French press or a drip filter, both of which we used before the Aeropress. I bought ours from the Coffee Bean Shop, and so far it’s been the absolute best coffee-related investment I’ve made – well worth the $50 RRP. (You can find it on Amazon here.) Normally we just drink long black type coffees with regular milk added. Every now and then though, when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll use my Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master (it’s a Thermomix knock-off, a post is in the works) to heat and froth milk for a cafe-style brew. Use about 100mL of milk per mug and heat on 70°C, Speed 1, for a few minutes. Once the “temperature reached” noise goes off, blend on Speed 8 for 20 seconds – start at Speed 4 and slowly increase over the first few seconds so you don’t have hot milk spray out the top.
The original Bulletproof Coffee is a surprisingly tasty concoction involving fresh brewed coffee, butter (preferably grass-fed) and MCT oil. I used to make it with just butter and coffee in a mug, beating the crap out of the two with a fork or tiny whisk to make it frothy. This Thermomix version is much easier, and works great in the Bellini. This is one just for me – despite my best efforts, the Raccoon just doesn’t appreciate butter like I do. 😛
I haven’t actually tried making iced coffee yet – I’m not a huge fan – but come summer, some friends and I have a standing date to sample the Polish Chef’s Thermomix iced coffee, using my Aeropress instead of the espresso machine.
How I Brew my “Everyday” Coffee
Put 500mL of water into the Bellini. Heat on 90°C, Speed 1, 4 ½ minutes. Meanwhile, put a scoop of cocoa powder into a coffee mug.
Set up the Aeropress over the mug and add 1 scoop of ground coffee (I generally drink half strength mochas because too much caffeine messes with me. According to the Aeropress designer, normally you would use 2 scoops of grounds for a mug-sized coffee). Sweetener is optional – honestly, since I started drinking properly brewed coffee, I haven’t needed it. Even the Raccoon has cut way down on the sugar.
When the water is done, pour it in the Aeropress up to the number 2. Stir for a few seconds and then put the plunger section in the top to create a seal and stop the coffee dripping through. Leave for about four minutes. Leaving it longer than that brings out more of the bitter flavours, which I don’t really like.
Press the plunger down to filter the coffee into the mug. Stir vigorously with a fork to mix in the cocoa powder (works better than a spoon, trust me). Top with hot water and milk, and enjoy.