I am not a coffee snob, as my dear friend Terri (04/28/1952–06/09/2021) used to jokingly describe herself. I like, perhaps need, a cup of coffee in the morning, sometimes two in fact. But I make my coffee at home.
I order 2 lb. bags of whole beans from a fair trade coffee company (if I were trying to make money from this blog, I guess I’d add a link here and hope to make a few pennies if you ordered, but that’s not what I’m about). I grind about a cup of beans every few days and store the grounds in an airtight container until I’m ready to use them. In the past, I have placed an unbleached paper filter in a plastic cone and poured just-boiled water into the cone to make my coffee. I then added a mix of soy and almond milks. And then I drank it.
[To point out what might not be obvious—because I make my coffee at home I have no idea what those various coffee drinks offered at *$, Caffé Nero, and similar spots mean. In other words, I don’t know a cappuccino from a latte, or a flat white from an americano. On the rare occasions when I enter such places (in an airport, for example, where I can’t make my own coffee), you’ll find me anxiously consulting my phone as I wait my turn to order.]
Back to my main point, in Costa Rica (see No Army? No Problem), I noticed that the coffee seemed smoother and sweeter (in an unsweetened way) than any I had tasted. We (my tour group) were offered some accounts as to why (in the view of Ticos, or Costa Ricans, their coffee is among the world’s finest). They grow their coffee on steep hills, so it all has to be harvested by hand, not machines, which greatly decreases the amount of foreign matter (like sticks and bugs and lizards) included in the beans. All the coffee plantations are small family-owned undertakings, not large-scale corporate-run enterprises. Etc.
We bought a bag of coffee beans and brought it home, but because we had other coffee already open, we have not started drinking it. But another thing we bought was a traditional Costa Rican coffee drip stand. Ours is made of wood, with a tropical bird design. Instead of a paper filter in a plastic cone, it uses a cotton sock. Everyone in Costa Rica (it seemed) uses this method of brewing coffee—pouring the grounds into a cotton sock and then pouring the water over the grounds and into a cup.
I tried it this morning with my freshly ground Rainforest Blend (which comes from Central America so might well be Costa Rican). It was smooth, mild, and naturally sweet (in an unsweetened way).
Yum, sounds good! How often do you wash the coffee sock? And does it make the rest of your laundry smell like coffee?
I’ve only used it three times so far. I dump the used grounds in the compost and then rinse it out in the kitchen sink in cold water. It seems to rinse out surprisingly well.