We all know that grinding your own coffee beans usually results in better tasting coffee but what do you do with the used grind when you’re done with it? Do you throw it directly into the trash like most people? Do you save it for the garden like some avid composters and gardeners? Do you rinse it down the sink?
When I use my drip coffee maker it’s super easy to pull the filter out of the machine and toss it all in the trash (or the compost if I’m feeling ambitious) but most of the time I make coffee from a french press or a moka pot. These are far more difficult to clean than just pulling out a filter and tossing it.
The first couple times I cleaned my french press I just rinsed it out in the sink and let all the grounds go down but after doing some research on whether this was good for the disposal or not I found that it really can be a problem for your pipes. Not so much for the disposal but the pipes further down the system.
Coffee grind is basically a gritty mud that can slowly start or exacerbate clogs. If you don’t rinse it away very slowly or run the water for a long period of time during the cleaning the grind can slowly build up in the pipes.
I’ve started rinsing the grind out into a paper towel in the sink and then throwing that away. It makes things easier and is safer for the pipes. For my french press I basically lay the paper towel over the drain and then put a bit of water in the pot and swish it around. I then slowly pour the water with all the spent grounds in it into the paper towel. The towel holds the grind while the water passes through into the pipes. This keeps the vast majority of my mess away from my plumping and should prolong the healthy life of my pipes.
Here is a video that shows other things that you can’t or shouldn’t run through the disposal.
OK, so you may not want to put your grind down the sink but how do you get your grind in the first place?
One extremely common question people have when buying coffee beans is if they can use espresso beans for their drip coffee machine in the home. They also wonder what beans are appropriate for making espresso.
The short answer to any version of these questions is that the beans are exactly the same in every way. Espresso roasts are no different than other roasts either – it’s just a really dark roast which is fine to use for any other coffee brewing method.
The long answer is that espresso is frequently brewed with a bean that is dark roasted and drip coffee is usually quite balanced. It’s frequently a blend meaning some beans in the roast are better light while others may be better darker roasted. To balance it all out a medium roast is quite common.
Many espresso blends are simple blends or even single origin coffees. Because brewing espresso is such an art form a lot of precision goes into selecting the right beans for the job at hand. Beans destined for the espresso can be used for any particular brewing technique but the roaster, channeling all his experience, has found these particular beans to be particularly good for espresso machines.
This is not to say this is what they are only good for but it is what they were selected for.
If you are in a store and looking at the selection of whole bean coffee on the shelf and see an espresso blend know that it may be a great option for espresso machines but that it will work just fine for other brewing techniques such as drip or french press methods. You can usually assume the espresso beans will be a bit darker than other coffees and if the beans are preground they the grind itself may be a little finer than you are used to.
For espresso machines you need a fine grind to make a good shot of espresso and most pre-ground coffee is set to medium before packaging. Medium is best for drip coffee makers and since they are the most commonly used coffee makers in America this grind size is the most common options on store shelves.
Good coffee bean suppliers or roasters will grind beans to whatever size you need them at but in a store setting you should assume coffee beans will be roasted medium (unless otherwise stated) and espresso beans only may be ground to a finer particle size. Your mileage may vary of course.
The following video covers all you need to know about coffee versus espresso. The best quote from the video is when he says the word espresso is not a type of coffee but a brewing method. Any kind of coffee used in an espresso machine will make espresso and vice-versa.
So if espresso beans are really the same thing as coffee beans just ground into a smaller particle size you will want to learn about grinding them. I’d encourage you to see this article on grinding coffee beans without a grinder as many people simply don’t own a nice burr coffee grinder.
Both French press coffee and stove top espresso coffee are usually brewed wonderfully so that the resultant coffee will possess full extraction of oils and flavor from the beans. Both these methods offer excellent quality coffee with which you will be able to rise and shine in each new dawn. These two types of coffee are considered better than drip coffee because the drip coffee makers engage paper filters which separate coffee oils from the coffee and limit the flavor profile of your drink significantly.
A French Press coffee maker brews coffee as you do for your tea whereas a Stovetop espresso coffee maker brews coffee just as the reverse process of drip coffee making under high pressure. The process will earn you coffee which potent and much closer to espresso
The stovetop espresso coffee can be consumed as it is or it can be mixed with water to create an americano sort of drink. Like other espresso types it can also be mixed to make variety drinks like cappuccinos, lattes etc.
For those who prefer to have straight coffee, French press coffee is the ideal one. Coffee experts in general consider French press coffee as the best brewing process but people who look for versatility the stovetop espresso can provide the best option.
Stovetop espresso Coffee makers are also called machinetta or moka pot, and French press are known as coffee press or cafetiere.
Methods of Preparation
There is huge difference in the method of preparation of these two types of coffee.
A French press requires coarsely ground coffee because finer grounds will escape through the filter and final product will contain the traces of it. Go for coffee ground uniformly because very coarse grounds may clog the filter.
Ground coffee is placed in an empty beaker and adding hot water having a temperature between 93-96 degree Celsius in a proportion of 28 grams coffee to 450 ml water. Add about 1/3 of the water in the beginning and give a light stirring. After 30 seconds, add the remaining water by pouring gradually over this. Cover it and brew so that the total time for brewing should be four minutes. By pressing the plunger the grounds can be separated and holding them at the bottom of the beaker the coffee can be poured into the serving vessel. Decanting the coffee into a serving vessel is not a good option, and if you let the brewed coffee to remain in the beaker along with the used coffee grounds, the taste of your drink may change and it may become bitter. The optimum time accepted by experts for brewing is about 4 minutes. It is believed that the coffee will be spoiled after brewing about 20 minutes.
Espresso coffee pots use pressurized vapor to force water up into a reservoir through finely ground coffee. This method will give you an extremely flavored espresso which can be consumed by adding milk or hot water. For brewing stovetop espresso coffee, water is filled in the boiler nearly up to the safety valve and a funnel shaped metallic filter is placed. After adding finely ground coffee to the filter, the upper part of the pot having the second metallic filter is tightly screwed to the base. The water is then heated to reach the boiling point, and steam is created inside the boiler.
The tightly closed unit with a gasket lets pressure build up in the lower part, and the safety valve ensures pressure release in case the pressure gets too high.
When the steam attains a high pressure, it will force the boiling water up the funnel through the ground coffee and to the pot’s upper section, where the coffee will be collected. When the lower part of the pot becomes almost empty, steam bubbles will mix with the boiling water creating a distinguishing gurgling sound.
Stovetop Espresso and French Press Coffee
French press coffee is thick and strong compared to the espresso. Properly prepared French Press coffee is quite pure though it may sometimes get criticized as chalky. One thing to careful about is that French press is highly susceptible to over-extraction. Because of this problem, the entire contents of the preparation pot are to be transferred to a cup or serving vessel immediately after brewing.
If you compare the moka pot with a French press you can see that a French press is a simple coffeepot with an attached plunger. You can add a measured amount of ground coffee into the press, simply add hot water and you can steep the coffee. Then push the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container and serve.
Espresso coffee pots require a heat source to heat the pot. Extreme care is needed to prepare the espresso coffee because otherwise the pot may get burned. But in the case of French press only ground coffee and hot water is required for brewing coffee within a few minutes. Espresso coffee brewed in an espresso pot is really strong but it cannot be treated as ready to drink. On the other hand, the French press will fetch you a drinkable beverage which is milder and acidic than the espresso.
The coffee prepared in a French press will be similar to traditional American coffee, definitely not strong like European coffee. The stovetop espresso will give you traditional Italian type coffee which is quite rich and dark. So if you want to have a longer shot coffee with more water and less espresso, go for the French press. Or if you to prefer to have a shorter, more stronger shot, just best option is the stovetop espresso.
Cafestol, a potent stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels found is high in French press coffee. So for people with high cholesterol levels it is better to avoid this boiled coffee. Stovetop espresso is found to have lesser content of cafestol than French press coffee and more advisable than French press coffee.
Ever notice the difference between the taste of coffee from a gas station and from a cafe? The cafe is almost always better. That’s because they use better grind and usually a better coffee maker.
In much the same way our coffee is better than our competitors because we take the time to not only use better coffee but we buy the best coffee possible from award winning coffee roasters to ensure our customers get the best beans possible.
We also make our coffee with water that has gone through a reverse osmosis filtration system so that the purity and flavor is unmatched.
Our coffee bean grinders are the best in the business too. This is an area that many cafes don’t go the extra mile because grinders can get very expensive very fast, especially in commercial settings. When making good coffee you need a very consistent grind to get the best flavor and that consistent grind only comes from the best equipment possible.
Lastly, we make better coffee because we care – a lot. Our baristas care too and they really know their stuff. Instead of just hiring random people looking to work a register we hire only people who have a passion for coffee and for improving their barista skills. Our employees all know how to operate a machine and they all have the skill to produce good espresso on a fully manual machine.
It is our opinion that fully automatic espresso machines are fine for the average shop but for us we want to show off our skills as artisans. Making good coffee is an art form after all and it is a skill that only experienced and passionate people can do well.