Western Kingbird, San Antonio NM, April 15, 2010

How I Brew My Coffee

My friend Carol suggested some time back that I try coffee from Porto Rico Importing Co and what a great suggestion it was. These people have been in business a long time and offer good, fresh, coffees, roasted the day of shipment.

I'm especially fond of their weekly specials. Ordering them gives me a chance to try a blend or roast I might not choose myself.

I'm currently (March 2005) drinking my way through a few pounds of Mocha & Java Blend which Peter describes in their Porto Rico Importing Co. catalog as Originated by my father from his days at Fromme's Coffee Company, this is a blend of Mocha, Java, Colombian, and Brazilian Santos. It's a medium strength brew with excellent flavor and low acidity. Nice and smooth - I like it.

Grind some beans

Krups Coffina grinder

I grind my beans fresh in my old 1970s era Krups "Coffina" type 223 grinder set as coarse as possible.

This futuristic grinder is incorporated into the "Back to the Future" movie's Deloreon as part of the "Mr Fusion" reactor on the car and is becoming a collectors item.

I rescued this old grinder from a customer's trash (thanks A. ;-) and have been using it for several years now. A month or so ago it seized up and I diassembled it to see if I could get it going again. No problem! In typical German fashion for the time, it's designed to be periodically lubricated. Good grief - there must have been a BMW motorcycle engineer on staff! A good cleaning and a little grease on the motor bearings have it working better than ever. In the process I ended up setting the burrs to run at a coarser setting which greatly improved the brewing results - coarse is good for French Press brewing.

For those "Back to the Future" fans who might be interested in making a replica of the Coffina Type 223, I've put a sketch of the Coffina's shape and dimensions {here} in PDF format to download.

Brew a pot

I brew my coffee in my Nissan 1-Quart Vacuum Insulated Coffee Press, an insulated stainless model which will keep the coffee hot a couple of hours. If the plunger on your French Press is hard to push - the grind is too fine. Coarsen up.

Drink it

I drink from my Nissan 11-Ounce Stainless Steel Coffee and Tea Traveler. I absolutely love this thing. I absentmindedly sip my coffee slowly while doing whatever I'm doing, and this travel mug will keep it warm for the duration. A real plus for me is the double lid. Most travel mugs have no way to seal the top. This one does. The outer top screws off to reveal a conventional inner drinking lip. Put the outer top on and the coffee will stay hot for several hours. And it won't leak while rattling around in my tote. Nice.

RV coffee John's way

Let's talk coffee again. On Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo NM I added a description of how I brew my coffee while Traveling with LD. I've been brewing it a little differently to accommodate some restrictions imposed by the RV environment.

I still brew coffee in my trusty Thermos Nissan 1.0 L /34 oz. Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Gourmet Coffee Press but I've modified the press to drip instead of press.

My French press modified to drip

At home I always rinsed the used coffee grounds from the french press into the kitchen sink and flushed them down the drain where they were never heard from again. Now that I have a more intimate relationship with my waste products I've been reluctant to do that. I'm still new at this RVing thing and I'm not sure coffee grounds are a problem but I understand food scraps in the grey tank can be a smelly mess to deal with.

Cleaning coffee grounds out of the bottom of the french press and capturing them so they don't escape down the drain is awkward and messy so I modified my french press into a simple insulated pot - I took the plunger and screen guts out of the lid and stored them. At Wal-Mart I found a knockoff of this Swiss Gold Cone-Shape Coffee Filter meant to replace paper filters. The screen sits nicely atop the press but I don't put my coffee in it directly. I line it with the paper filter it is meant to replace and put my coffee in that. Voila! No mess, no fuss disposal.

My favorite all purpose cup

My favorite all purpose drinking cup, the Nissan 11-Ounce Stainless Steel Coffee and Tea Traveler, is still serving me well. I have yet to see anything on the market that would work better. It keeps drinks hot or cold for a couple of hours, has a driver's drinking lip, and best of all has a reliable sealing lid. It goes everywhere with me. Now it is sold, at least at, as the Nissan 12-Ounce Stainless-Steel Tea Tumbler with Infuser, but, really, it's still ok to put coffee in it.