Coffee and Booze

The first two things on your packing list, non? I actually felt all 90-year old complainy (seriously, I HATE LIVING IN A COLLEGE TOWN. I want to take a blow torch to every stupid boy in a polo shirt and flip-flops*, smirking under this oh-so “worn” baseball cap) but let’s talk about coffee, instead. I got that French press for Christmas, then the boyf gave me a grinder for our 6 mos. anniversary. At first I was all, “…oh, um, cool.” Being neither a coffee snob (no, seriously – I like it thick and with a splash of cream, but that’s about it) nor a gadgethead – and being someone with a teeny tiny to the point I’ve cried kitchen – I didn’t quite get it. I used to buy cheap coffee, because I was poor. And a French press helps shitty coffee taste better. At the flea market I traded two god-awful couch pillows for a  

and it’s just fine. Also useful for nuts and grinding other similar things. But it’s not really a grinder:

However, the blade “grinder” actually is not a grinder at all! To grind something means to reduce it to small particles by pounding or crushing, where the blade “grinder” is simply spinning its blade to chop the coffee into bits.

So? Still makes coffee, don’t it? My more well-informed lovah read this review and decided it just wasn’t good enough for his flower (that’s ME!). So now I have a HARIO!

In Japanese, HARIO means “The King of Glass”. Since its founding in 1921, this Japanese company has been manufacturing glassware of the highest quality for general consumers and for industrial uses. This hand grinder has been designed by Hario to provide coffee lovers with an inexpensive means to have freshly-ground coffee, even while traveling with a light load. Small, lightweight, and portable, the Skerton is the ideal hand grinder for the traveling coffee enthusiast, or the home enthusiast on a limited budget.

He’d printed out the above-linked review which explains how the Hario has ceramic burrs and is basically what anybody who gives half a shit about coffee should be using.

Viva la diffronce!

…a coffee’s grind, or particle size, is one of the more important parts in brewing good coffee. How quickly coffee will be extracted by hot water is completely contingent on the particle size. Meaning, small coffee particles extract quickly, and begin to over-extract, while a large particle may never fully extract in the given time.

Translation: coffee made with Hario tastes like a basket of kittens, while grinder coffee is “Not entirely undrinkable, this great coffee was masked by harsh metallic flavors, like wet pennies green with rust! That bangin’ citrus had all become too sour, like unripe fruit, and the stewed tomatoes had turned to gamy meat.”

Some other remarks:

You cannot buy a better grinder for espresso. ZERO grind retention, very low static, and the glass catch bin fits a portafilter perfectly for mess free dosing.

I’m from Washington (State not D.C.) and I believe that life is to short to drink bad coffee. This little grinder made it possible to grind up the super-kind organic, fair-trade, humanely treated, shade-massaged beans that I love, while on a two week road trip to the sw desert. If you want good coffee when the power goes out, when camping out, or at home. Just spend a few minutes twisting this fine machine and you won’t be dissapointed.

Pros: Even my gosh-darned plebian palate can tell the difference; is somewhat meditative/offers a brief repaste from the drudgery of life  – except the drudgery of having to grind your own coffee; small and simple enough to toss in your camping gear, requires no washing or electricity

Cons: takes longer; requires you to stand there and grind coffee; occupies space

Speaking of non-electricity and ways to make coffee (this is a blog about Burning Man and camping, I swear) Gimme! Coffee also recommends the Clever Coffee Brewer:

“…put your filter and coffee in the Clever and pour the water over it. When the timer dings, just set the Clever on top of your mug and voila! The valve opens and lets your coffee out.”

From what I can tell it’s a one-cupper, like my travel French press. You wouldn’t have to wash the Clever, like you would the French press screen. And you’d just toss the filter+grounds in the fire, instead of having to dump them in the trash and then wash the mug (though by “wash” I mean wipe with a paper towel that gets burned, or wiped out with my finger. I don’t do much washing with water when I camp.). So for a single-camper it might be a nifty thing. Me, I camp with a coffee whore and her cuckold sparkle mule of a husband cowers over the coffee pot all day, making sure she doesn’t run out, so I’m set.

*sorry boyf, but it’s true.

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9 Responses to “Coffee and Booze”

  1. N Says:

    “Being neither a coffee snob (no, seriously – I like it thick and with a splash of cream, but that’s about it) nor a gadgethead ” you are too. a gadgethead.

  2. Risky Says:

    My husband just picked up the Hario and the Gimmel and loves it. And I can really taste the difference in the flavor. I’m a coffee whore, aren’t I?

  3. lazerfox Says:

    my boyfriend has me searching for a good grinder for him to start using and this post was just in time. Thanks!!

    • J Says:

      Awesome! Let me know if you’re ever looking for anything else…now that I’m the perfect burner and have everything I need, I don’t post useful shit like that as often as I used to! 😛

      • lazerfox Says:

        we’ve had to pause our BM gadget acquiring endeavors for a bit but I think we are gearing back up so I will keep you posted.

        I really need to get my crafting back on so I can finish my Tron robe. I was browsing some cosplay sites bookmarked long ago and so many people are already done with theirs so it has fueled my fire!!

  4. Kendall Says:

    Ahhh, catching up on my reading and all is revealed! Luckily I had coffee to snort of our my nose.

  5. N Says:

    I decided to try the burr grinding as well. electric please. Wow, that much? Found Toastmaster makes a small burr grinder… under $30. It’s very clean which I like. The ground coffee drops into a plastic dish/bin/bowl that you can remove from the machine to measure out the coffee. I modded it a bit with a shim under the burr so it could get fine to espresso size. I miss the longing look on the grocery check out clerk’s face when they ring up the freshly ground coffee though.

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