Caffeine energizes me and gives me a heightened level of creativity and productivity in almost every environment. For years, I tried to find the perfect way to brew coffee.
Weekly coffee adventures with a friend made me yearn for a way to recreate the drinks I was buying on a regular basis. The idea of achieving the perfect balance of full-bodied roast and a hint of sweetness was something my entire body craved.
But every time I tried to concoct an at-home brew, I was ultimately disappointed.
My Journey To Brew Coffee The Right Way
I Didn’t Like To Brew Coffee in a Pot
It started with your run-of-the-mill 4-cup coffee maker. I would make the coffee, then add in my creamer or milk and sugar combination. Every time I did this, the taste of the coffee overruled any of the flavors I added, and it ended up delivering a flat taste that was underwhelming at best. The only joy I got out of the process was making coffee ice cubes out of what leftovers I didn’t have the capacity to consume.
The same rang true when I upgraded to a higher quality 12-cup brewing pot. While it had more bells and whistles on it – and a timer – I was still never able to truly perfect a simple cup of sweetened coffee that didn’t enact my gag reflex.
A Latte Machine is A No-Go For Me
Often, I would get my stepstool out and climb to the top of my pantry to pull down my latte machine. This contraption allowed you to pour pre-made coffee and other ingredients into it, and it heated and frothed them together to make blended drinks. I made many homemade pumpkin spice chai tea lattes in it very successfully, but my ratios with regular cups of coffee or true lattes always felt way off.
What was I doing wrong?
The Keurig Conundrums I Went Through
One day, my aunt reached out to me and offered to give me her Keurig machine. I had had some luck with them at various office jobs and thought this was the perfect opportunity to master the one-cup coffee situation. Not only that, but Keurig felt like a streamlined opportunity. Thinking back, you could find a Keurig on Facebook Marketplace too. I picked up the machine and ordered some eco pods and a drawer setup from Amazon.
The first cup I made was too watered down. But there was no way to adjust it, so I changed the way I doctored it with creamer and sweeteners. After 3 months of trying it on and off, I was more bummed out by the machine than anything.
I posted on my Facebook wall about the issues I was having trying to concoct my perfect at-home brew setup. I got a lot of feedback, and overwhelmingly Keurig was still everyone’s favorite option. So, I decided to try my hand at another approach.
Since it was used and this was the time of year things were on sale (in the lead-up to the holidays), I decided to try my hand at a newer Keurig model. I gifted the machine to another cousin and ordered a more compact option that was on sale.
The first cup tasted like plastic, even though I had washed the machine and run some water through it a few times, as instructed. So, I tossed it and tried again. This, too, tasted off. I wondered if it was the type of coffee I had purchased, so I tried multiple other brew types. I ordered K-cups, asked to try a couple of my cousin’s, and filled my eco pods more often than I could track. Every time, it felt like I was doing something wrong.
So, I consulted the internet again. This time, I voiced my very strong opinion that this version of Keurig was fated to make everything taste like plastic. When multiple people agreed, I determined that the higher quality Keurig models were the way to go if I was going to continue on this rat race.
Unfortunately, the kind that we had at my place of work wasn’t within my budget.
How I Learned To Brew Coffee With The Pourover Method
I continued to half-heartedly use a French press I had procured at a discount shop years prior to all of this, choosing to stop into local coffee shops more often than brewing at home. This was not great for my wallet, but it was the only option I had.
That is, until a recent trip to Austin. In March, my sister met me there for SXSW. She brought her pourover device and filters. Within minutes, I had an amazing cup of coffee that was just as enjoyable black as it was when I added a little cookie butter. (Cookie butter is her go-to move for a delightful hint of sweetness in an otherwise basic cup of joe.)
Not only was the flavor something I had been after for literal years, but I found that my energy was different. I had more energy after one cup of coffee than I had had in a long time, and it was sustainable throughout the day. When I talked to my sister about this, she admitted that once she experienced pourover coffee, she didn’t see the point in having bulky machines lining her kitchen counters anymore.
Everything You Need To Brew Coffee With Your Own Pourover Setup
My sister ordered me a great pourover option that is durable on the go and as a kitchen staple. After the first few tries and some feedback from friends, I got one final bit of incredible advice.
So, I ordered a gooseneck tea kettle. The narrow nozzle allows you to pour the heated water more slowly into the pourover funnel, which gives the coffee more time to brew as the water drips through. The flavor is absolutely amazing.
I have been successfully brewing delectable cups of coffee for months now, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Why complicate your setup, when you can accomplish lattes and macchiatos quickly and with minimal contraptions?
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