It’s anti-social media not to let people embed your video. If you care to click through, you will get to a 13 minute video of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David going to lunch. Moments that make it worth your time are fleeting, but hey, Larry David.
Why does Jerry do the thing where he’s DYING laughing at a semi-funny joke? So irritating.
Coffee’s crime then was not so much the consumption of it, but the manner of its consumption—the coffee houses where men would gather and gossip, often about politics. The Enlightenment was not the only revolution to have been born out of coffee shops, and rulers were wise to try clamp down on them—so were wives concerned about their husbands misconduct, as evidenced by an English society formed in 1674 called “Women Against Coffee,” which organized petitions to ban the drink in the attempt to get their errant husbands to come back home.
With the pour over, the barista can now control all aspects of the extraction process; the precise timing and distribution of the water can ensure that the grounds are evenly extracted in both time and space. The set up is roughly the same as any filter or drip coffee machine; the difference lies in scale and technique.
Guest Blog: Science in the neighborhood: How to make really good coffee
Scientific American jumps into the pour-over coffee fray. Two things I disagree with this article. One, coffee grounds don’t “dissolve” into the water like sugar dissolves in water to make syrup or salts dissolve into water to make seawater. Flavor, scent and other molecules dissolve into and are suspended in water but coffee grounds do not dissolve like instant coffee granules. Two, water temperature for extraction is more important than water distribution in the grounds. Eventually from gravity and capillary action, the water will soak through the grounds.
Anyway, this pour-over thing is getting so fussy. The appeal of it is that you can use a $4 Melitta to make a good cup of coffee relatively fast. Making coffee can be a ritual, but sometimes you just need that caffeine in your bloodstream immediatemente.
Chatei Hatou, a Tokyo coffee shop where brewing coffee isn’t exactly a ceremony but is ceremonious. They said beans were weighed, ground, emptied into a filter and preinfused with a little bit of water that let the coffee bloom and release carbon dioxide. Cups and saucers were warmed, a slice of chiffon cake was set in the fridge to firm up. Only then was the coffee brewed, slowly.
Japan’s Pour-Over Coffee Wins Converts - NYTimes.com
I’m a Melitta user, and I go back and forth between using the meticulous “pour over” (ugh) instructions and wanting to kick it in the nuts for being pretentious and fussy. I was considering getting a big hole Hario drip cone, but it seems indulgent. Melitta works fine and I wonder if I’ll even taste the difference. My personal preference is French press but I can’t afford a new pot now.
In addition to caffeine, tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine. “Several studies from Japan and the UK have shown that consumption of 50mg of L-theanine increases alpha wave activity in the brain, with the maximum effect occurring about 80 minutes after consumption. This amount is equivalent to approximately three cups of tea. Alpha waves correspond to a relaxed-but-alert mental state, and believed to be an important part of selective attention (the ability to choose to pay attention to something and avoid distraction by other stimuli)” [source: http://www.teageek.net]. L-theanine in tea produces a type of “mindful awareness” not evident in coffee. This is what prevents the 3pm “coffee crash.
The Hacker’s Guide to Tea
I am a tea drinker, mostly. As with any subculture, the tea/coffee culture can get so myopic and uppity that it scares away newcomers. So, read this article if you want a primer on tea nerdism. As someone who is way into tea, I think there is something sublime about being at a 24 hour diner after a night out, getting a Lipton teabag and a stainless teapot of not-hot-enough water with a lemon slice and a packet of honey. It perks you up for the slog home. It’s a Marcel Prousty moment in which you reflect on all the fun you had that night.
If you just want a cup of Red Zinger with honey on a cold night, there is nothing wrong with that either.