Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Plunger Is Back

Reading through 5 Senses' latest newsletter and they have a great article on plunger coffee. I'm a regular plunger user at work - it's the best way for me to get real good coffee during my work day without setting up an expresso machine on my desk (though always an option :-P).

So here's a bit of the article - the last coffee I purchased from 5 Senses was that Batch #004113 blend, simply the best plunger coffee I've had.

Folks, it’s time to delve into the recesses of the kitchen cupboards. Push past the long forgotten bread maker, the pasta machine that you used once before relegating to the back of the cupboard and dust off the trusty plunger that served you so well before it was replaced by the shiny espresso machine...

...Just about any coffee can be enjoyed through a plunger but it’s the livelier coffees that seem to shine the brightest. Think a fine Kenyan AA, a Colombian, lemon juicy Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or one of the greatest all rounders ever (apologies to Andrew Symonds!), our very own direct trade P.N.G. Or … if a blend’s more you style, we’ve combined a few classics to create
Batch number #004113 especially for the plunger.

Here’s what you need;

  • Grinder (no blade grinders);
  • Plunger (squeaky clean — try our Incasa Stainless Steel Plungers if you are plungerless);
  • Electric kettle;
  • Timer (oven or microwave will do nicely); and
  • Quality water.
The Preamble — Take the time to prepare your coffee with a relaxed frame of mind. Allow yourself ten minutes to get it right and show respect for the people who grew your coffee and the people who roasted it for you. Most importantly, make it an enjoyable routine that rewards you with a quality coffee that you can sit and savour.

  1. Flick on a kettleful of good quality water while you prepare to grind the coffee beans. It will need to be quite a bit coarser than your espresso setting. Enjoy the aroma but don’t dilly dally. The quicker you get your coffee brewing the more flavour you capture in the plunger instead of allowing the gas to escape into the atmosphere.
  2. When the kettle has boiled, throw some water into the plunger to pre warm the glass. Cold glass will suck all the warmth out of the brewing water. This also allows the water to cool to just below boiling point. A maximum of 45 seconds off the boil is what we recommend.
  3. Pour out the water in the plunger, give it a quick wipe dry then add a heaped tablespoon per cup of coffee required. (This is a rough guide; you may need more or less depending upon personal preference.) Pour the water in immediately with a bit of vigour. Use the stream of water to mix the coffee and thoroughly wet the grounds. You should notice a nice bloom if you are using fresh coffee. This indicates some carbon dioxide is still present and will look like a creamy mousse like substance. If you don’t have a nice bloom your coffee is a bit long in the tooth and you need to get on the net and order some fresh stuff from the good people at Five Senses!
  4. Give it a quick stir to ensure the grounds are wet, pop your plunger top on, and lower it enough to submerge the bloom and bring the coffee into contact with the water. Hit the timer and wait for 4 minutes. If you have some hot water remaining you can use this to pre-warm your cups as the clock counts down …
  5. Bing! Immediately depress the plunger all the way. A little finesse may be required here. Nice and steady will ensure a clean bench top! Pour the coffee into the cup. Any coffee left in the plunger and still in contact with the grounds will continue to extract flavour and will get increasingly bitter. Pour any leftover into a thermos pot for later use.
  6. Drink the coffee as you like but give it a go black or just ease up on the milk and sugar a little to let the coffee shine through. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  7. Relax in your favourite chair and really TASTE the coffee. Roll it around in your mouth and allow it to coat every taste bud you have. Ponder the flavours and mouth feel, see if you can pick out anything from the flavour library in your head. See how the coffee evolves as it cools and new flavours start to emerge.

So there you go - I'm not quite that studious in my coffee making exercise, but I can attest to the quality starting to wain if left after that magical 4 minute mark. Sometimes I make a coffee and get caught up with some work - 10 minutes later I plunge, and pay the price for not putting my coffee before my work.

Oh and here are some photos of the amazing fresh 5 Senses coffee at work in my plunger...



No comments:

Twitter Facebook Favorites

Powered by Blogger | Printable Coupons