I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. You could blame it on a lack of exposure growing up. None of the adults in my household drank it. Or you could also blame it on my childhood aversion to all things bitter. I avoided coffee and abhorred licorice. I also detested the weird cacao candies that were all the rage in the 90s. Health nuts were trying to pass it off as chocolate. But I knew better.

For all or none of these reasons, during the vast majority of my life, I could not be bothered to drink coffee. Thankfully, I never really needed to. Save for a few all nighters in college when I was trying to finish a paper, I never touched the stuff. Until I moved to Europe.

AmericaNO

In Europe, it seemed almost illegal not to have a coffee. At nearly every restaurant, at every meal, at any and every time of day, people offered me a cup of coffee. And to be polite, I obliged. I was wonderfully surprised at the taste. This coffee was good–delicious even. It wasn’t the weird tasting bitter stuff found in the kitchen at the office. Nor was it the stuff I gulped down as I pulled down the drive through in a furious attempt to stay awake. This coffee was good to drink just…because.

I had no idea what had made the difference. Perhaps, I assumed, it was better beans or maybe even the water. I had no idea that it was the maker that made all the difference. 

When I moved into my last apartment in Menorca, I found a strange little contraption. I was smart enough to realize that it was a coffee maker, not I wasn’t bright enough to figure out how it worked. But as I was juggling three jobs, I needed to stay awake.

coffee photo
Photo by Vaughanoblapski!

So for weeks, I drank campfire coffee filled with grinds. It was nothing like the elegant coffee I enjoyed in cafes. Finally, it dawned on me to look how to properly make coffee with this contraption. A youtube video showed me the impossibly simple solution–unscrew the top.

First Good Taste   

Inside, I found a metal filter and a container to place the water. I filled the compartments and placed it on the stove. Less than five minutes later, I had my coffee. My perfect delicious cup of coffee; made in the simplest way possible.    

Over the passing months, I made cup after cup of amazing coffee. Each brew had the perfect ratio of grinds to water. When added to milk or creamer, the bitterness subsided. Perfectly marrying to the sweetness of the milk and sugar.  

Homemade

When I returned home, the first thing I did was buy an old fashioned percolator. Well, actually, I tried to make coffee with my mother’s electric drip pot. But I was soon put off by the horrendous results. I stressed to her how much better and easier it would be to make coffee with what Amazon called a stovetop “espresso maker.”

To me, it was simply a percolator, but I would allow for the fancy name. While I am still not a coffee connoisseur, I am happy that I’ve learned to make a great cup of joe. 

On my return, I may try a french press coffee maker. I have no idea how it works, or what makes it different from the kind I pour out of my stovetop espresso maker. But it might be worth trying anyway. I may not be ready for all it, frankly, it seems a bit pretentious. But it is nice to know that I’ve graduated from needing to stay awake, to enjoying coffee just for fun.  

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