How I Make Coffee




Pot, with pour-sides. I fill my carafe to the 4 cup mark, and pour that amount into the pot. High heat, because you’re boiling, silly.


Carafe, with plastic filter-top. $12 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Rinse your filter with hot water before you put coffee in it; nobody likes the taste of paper. Note: pay no mind to the soy sauce in this picture.

Coffee, ground, in can. Cans are far manlier than bags in any scenario, and the sort of coffee that comes in a can is cheaper than the bagged stuff. Plus, the cans are reusable. And grinding coffee is for snobs. I use three generous scoops with a regular spoon, not a coffee scoop. Your goal should be to minimize the coffee-specific you have laying about.


My aim is to create the best possible tasting single cup of coffee, from the least-expensive coffee I can find. So I use some methods that are a bit fussy and certainly in contrast to my rather minimalist setup, but they go a long way toward making a decent cup.

Once the water is boiling, pour about a tablespoon of water over all the grounds. This, I’m told, allows the grounds to soak up some water slowly and “bloom”. You may remark to yourself at this point at the silliness of the word “bloom” in the context of coffee. … Onward! Put the water back on the heat and let it get hot again.


Now, pour about 1/3 of the remaining water over all the grounds. Pour it quickly; coffee snobs would have you stir the mix at this point, but if you pour with a bit of vigor, the water will stir the grounds for you.


Wait a few beats and then pour 1/3 of the water, very slowly, into the center of the grounds. This will push the grounds away from the deep part of the cone, which I’m told will prevent something called “over-extraction”, which will make your coffee taste shittier.

Take this moment to marvel at your creation. Delicious coffee awaits.


See what the pouring in the middle did? It worked!

3. WHY?

You might be thinking… “Yeah, Clay, but the coffee I make in my fancy machine(s) is better.” To you, Thomas the Doubter, I say… “Perhaps?” It may be true that a better cup of coffee than this exists, but at what price? The overall investment required to achieve this cup is significantly lower than that of a typical setup, and the general “quality” is not that far off. And this method can be used when in the field, with nothing but a heat source and a 2-oz cone. And water and coffee and a receptacle. So: victory is mine.


4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Nice coffee work. Two suggestions. First, you should always heat the water over an open fire, second you need to use an old paper towel in a funnel for the coffee filter.


  2. 1) I love Cafe Bustelo.
    2) Uh oh, I guess I’m a snob :B but then again I’m not a manly man, either.
    3) I want to see a video of this process.

  3. I see you’ve forgotten to include the aftermath:

    4. Infographic containing 24 alcoholic beverages in a 12 hr period (also, wine product), and the resulting 48 hrs of jitters and sleeplessness.

  4. Donna,

    and all I’m concerned about is the fact that you don’t have the a potholder under that pot. cold counter + hot liquid can make the coffee pot break = no coffee.

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