I’m a BIG fan of coffee. There, I said it.
It’s dark, rich, addictive, and exciting. What more could a girl ask for?
Alllll the good stuff, for cheap, that’s what. I may not always be proud of what I eat, but I’m almost always proud of what I buy when I go shopping. But this weekend, I somehow managed to do both.
Introducing my new, state-of-the-art Bodum 1.5 liter Hot and Iced Coffee French Press……..fa $12.99. (How? You might ask, TJMaxx, I reply. Century 21 had them for $29, which is still less than the $65 you’ll pay at Macy’s.)
The instruction pamphlet was missing, but thanks to a zealous reviewer on Amazon, I have the suggested recipes for both hot and iced, and am enjoying my new toy as we speak…what a naughty girl I am.
What does this have to do with being food friendly? you might ask. (You are inquisitive tonight!)
The truth is, I’ve had a long and luxurious affair with the french press. I used to be a drip gal. When my husband bought me a french press a few years ago, I didn’t use it for months. When my dripper needed a cleaning, I decided to take Jacques (I’ve named my press Jacques, because he’s French) for a spin. Let me tell you: once you go Jack, you’ll NEVER GO BACK!
Simply said, French press coffee simply has a bolder, more robust, more authentic taste – even with decaf, which I drink at a 75/25 ratio! It’s not the bitter strength that one finds at Starbucks, but mild, thick nuttiness. Me likey.
If you fine grind your coffee (and if you’re not, you probably should do), the drinkable silt that gets caught (and thrown away) in drip filters stays in the press and enters your cup, providing a much richer, more satisfying cup. Silt is not the same as grinds – what I’m referring to is more like a powder that makes the coffee thick and decadent. Drip coffee now tastes to me like water – unless I use much a higher ratio of grinds (what a waste!). Even then, there’s the inevitable “burned” overtone.
Now for the tip: if you use a quality flavored (read: chocolate or hazelnut arabica) coffee, and sweeten with Truvia, it makes for a sinfully sweet, very, very guilt-free, satisfying after-dinner or late night dessert. Chuck the cheesecake flavored yogurt cups that barely hold a spoonful. Trust me, this one keeps going and going and going…until YOU’RE done. No faking required.
Here are the recommended steps:
- Choose a delectable, aromatic flavored bean, or just your favorite unflavored roast if you’re not a flavor fan. I recommend going with decaf for desert substitutes – no need to go berserk at 11pm. If you like your coffee strong, go with decaf espresso beans. They’ll give you the kick you’re seeking.
- Grind it yourself. Fresh is where it’s at. You’ll thank me – and thank yourself, for taking that one extra step in self-pampering.
- Play with the ratio of water to grounds, and then again with the amount of time you let it sit until you find the right strength for your taste. I find that sometimes the longer it sits, the richer it is.
- Sweeten with Truvia and a rich non-dairy creamer (unless you just love skim in your coffee). Truvia is natural and calorie free AND really good tasting (unlike the pink, yellow, and blue packets). The non-dairy creamer has less buck for the bang – it’ll get you a rich cream taste, without loading you up with calories like 1/2 & 1/2 or whole milk. (But, still be sure to measure how much you’re using – just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s free.)
- Drink up! Take small sips so that it lasts longer. But don’t skimp: make a whole pot if that’s what it takes. Why not? No harm. More and more studies show that we get a lot of our minerals and other benefits from coffee. As long as you’re not overloading on caffeine, all’s well.
I recommend doing this during the 3pm slump at work, or after dinner when the human vacuum you call a husband goes for the chocolate you don’t want to be tempted to eat. The flavor and sweetness will calm your cravings, while the liquid fills you up, leaving you with more will power when the hubby starts in on Round 2.