It started with a drop of water. The drop could have come from anywhere. Someone being a bit careless when refilling the water tank, a bit of condensatin or a minor spill. But when the first drop was joined by a second, then a third and soon by what felt like a litre of water it became glaringly obvious: the most important piece of technology of any start up had broken – our coffee maker.

But we did not despair – oh no – when high tech breaks true geeks turn to low tech.

I remembered the old coffee grinder my grandma used to use.

coffeegrinder_300x210Back in the old days coffee was hand ground and the poured using a ceramic filter. Based on my observations of hipster coffee shops in London, Berlin and San Francisco lately, hand poured coffee is making a big come back anyway.

After much experimenting with far too strong and way too weak coffee we figured out the perfect amounts of beans and water. The coffee when hand poured is however, notably stronger than anything a fully automated machine produces – but also much more tasty. You actually enjoy all the little nuances the roaster meant to bring out (unless of course you are buying cheap pre-ground coffee from a local discounter, then this all won’t matter much anyhow).

Now we had to tackle a second problem. How do we make espresso? At least to me, no lunch is ever perfect without a good strong cup of espresso afterwards. That’s why at home I am operating a traditional Italian Gaccia espresso maker along with a professional grinder and a scale to ensure we get exactly 8 grams of beans per cup. My wife thinks I am nuts, but she still enjoys the perfect espresso.

Remembering my Italian roots, we added another piece of low tech – a stove top espresso cooker.

Very easy to use and let me tell you that the coffee from this little thing tastes absolutely delicious. My Italian relatives still use them instead of high tech machines and now I know why. You won’t get the perfect crema you get from a high end machine but you get all the flavor from the espresso beans and after all that is what really matters.

Now that we have gone completely low tech, I don’t think anyone wants to go back to the fully automated high tech machine. Granted, making coffee by hand takes quite a bit longer but instead of a quick press of a button you get to enjoy the process of making coffee, which makes the drinking so much more enjoyable. To me its like cooking a nice meal vs. take out. The more work you put in, the more you appreciate the food and the work that has gone into the production of the ingredients.

If this was a post about hand brewed beer I would end it with cheers. Not sure what you say when you drink coffee with friends. If you have a ritual, leave it in the comments. I just tend to say “Could you pass the milk please?”.

2017-10-19T17:21:50+00:00