I’m experiencing a strange, Twilight Zone-like state of mind where I want strange, unattainable things, like a job and the ability to self-motivate before 9AM. Oh, look at that. Sorry, before 12PM. This eating-writing-renovating-binge-Community-watching habit is very, very fun, but I’m just about ready to get back to my daily schedule of heavy textbook lifting. This semester’s winner is the 2013-2014 Federal Income Tax Codes and Regulations, clocking in at 15.2 lbs, or a total of $2,500 in non-deductible therapeutic massages over the course of three months. Wow!
Instead of working, or working out, or working in, or twerking, I’m applying to fellowships in sunny, snow-free places, and eating frozen Indian food in bed. Is break over yet? Thankfully, my house does have a new amenity that has been a blast to play with over break- a new coffee station! I’m in the midst of doing a basic, but life-saving kitchen renovation, the kind that doesn’t violate the lease but still allows me to remain sane without benzodiazepines. One of the aspects of this renovation involves a heightened focus on coffee, under the hopeful guise of being able to retain a semblance of consciousness during my 8AM moot court class. The Bedfellow contributed a grinder, and I went on the hunt for some killer coffee beans. One of the brands I found was 1000 Faces, and they sent over a few bags of beans for our groggy perusal.
I’m not as experienced with coffee as I am with chocolate or wine, but the three are known for their varietal character, so I figured my palate would be up for the challenge. I tried the coffee in three different applications– pour-over, at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, with the Aeropress coffee press (more on that later), dripped with the Keurig at 180, and the French fashion- brewed on the stove and filtered into a mug. Each application used 2 tablespoons of ground beans and 6 oz. of hot water. Try as I might, I couldn’t resist reading the tasting notes of the Suke Quto- silky milk chocolate, wild raw honey, juicy ripe apricot, and tangerines had me pumped, objective as I tried to be.The brewing results were stark. I judged based on richness, ease of usage, flavor nuances, time, and clean-up. As much as I love the Keurig for easy, fumble-free prep in the morning, it doesn’t know what to do with coffee like this. It works too quickly and strains through the coffee rather than extracting it. The coffee made with this was watery and burnt-tasting. I’m not sure why, when all the water was at the same temperature, this tasted particularly burnt, but it wasn’t suitable at all. The reusable cup is annoying to clean.The Aeropress provided the best results, but the preparation can be a pain. It’s so intricate that it seems impractical for the early morning. That being said, it produced a fine cup of coffee- the true definition of black as midnight on a moonless night. This is a very fruity coffee- heavy on the citrus flavors, with a caramely milk chocolate creaminess to its body. The apricot came through on the nose- jammy and acidic, and I detected notes of almonds throughout each sip. It’s a gentle, accessible coffee, and might be even better with less water. I was hoping for something a little stronger based on the brilliant scent of the whole beans.The drip method is impractical, but allows for the most multi-tasking, and had the easiest cleanup- two pieces to wash, and a simple rinse did the trick. It’s the true set it and forget it method, but is ridiculously messy. I suddenly remembered why I liked this in Paris- because my apartment was a mess. Here, it’s annoying to have to clean out the glasses and the filter, and an imprecise pour spills it all over the place. The coffee wasn’t great with this one, either, and tasted too watery. Overall, this is nuanced, but not unapproachable- a great bean for a burgeoning coffee geek, like me, and makes for a wonderful gift or addition to your next brunch party.