The Week We Began Weighing the Beans
Mike: Meaghan, I think I’ve become one of those coffee people.
Meaghan: Like a coffee snob?
Mike: I just made a cup of coffee by weighing a specific number of coffee beans and grinding them in a fancy grinder. And then before putting the grounds in the filter, I ran hot water through the paper filter first so I could get the “paper taste” out of it. This process took me about 10 minutes. I was taught by Matt Buchanan, who is now editing over at The Awl and wrote this guide to buying coffee products.
Meaghan: WOW. Okay, you lost me at rinsing the paper taste out of the filter.
Mike: Basically, you run some hot water through the filter before using it, or else your coffee will have a hint of paper taste to it. I mean, maybe? Matt can tell. I’ve never thought about it.
Meaghan: I mean, I will say I have never sipped a cup of coffee and thought it tasted like paper. But I will grant you, or Matt, that there is a definite difference between bad coffee and good coffee. But also what are you using to brew this coffee? Some kind of commoner’s coffee maker?
Mike: Currently we are using a … I don’t even know what to call it, but it is a simple thing that holds a filter to make “pourover” coffee. Okay I just found an image. It’s like this.
Meaghan: Oh yeah those things. A CHEMEX? Is that what they’re called? I just Googled “Aeropress” because I thought that’s what Aeropresses were but nope. Which makes sense because “press” is in the name. Oh wait.
Mike: I think it’s just a coffee dripper.
Meaghan: Ha, okay maybe there is no name. True coffee snobs the world over are shaking their heads right now. I have been drinking coffee from a stove top Bialetti lately and I will say that IT SUCKS and tastes like burnt coffee. I feel like I have discerning coffee tastes but lack the motivation to do any of the work, i.e., paper rinsing. Or pouring things over things.
Mike: I know, I know, I’m just learning. But also, in my head and heart I was thinking, “Please taste like every other cup of coffee I’ve ever made, PLEASE.” But no. It tasted better. I was kind of upset that it tasted better. Because now I will continue to weigh the beans and rinse the filter.
Meaghan: Dammit. See, this is why I don’t come to the office. I don’t want to be lured over to the dark side and spend the rest of my days WEIGHING BEANS. Soon you know you will be counting them out individually. And you will be so satisfied.
Mike: Hah, does this make me a “bean counter” (sorry bad joke). I wonder if this week will mark a shift in my life: The day Matt showed me how to weigh the beans. There was my life before I weighed beans, and my life after I weighed beans. Also please come to the office—especially after you have the baby. Bring the baby. We need an office baby.
Meaghan: Ha, okay but you have to promise not to try to rinse the paper taste out of him.
Mike: And on that final note…
Photo: Ree Klein