Thomas Jefferson once referred to coffee as “the favourite drink of the civilised world” and to that, I raise my cup in agreement. Nectar of the gods, ambrosia for the zombie-fied first thing in the morning, coffee is one of the most treasured beverages the world over. Without it, most of us would show far less civility in the early hours, and pass out at our desks sometime around 3pm. There are countless varieties to choose from, and as many ways to create heinous acts of coffee bean abuse as there are ways to elevate coffee-making to an art form.
How then, can one brew the perfect cup of coffee? One that is neither too dark nor too weak, and leaves no charred “goodness, I think I just licked an ashtray” aftertaste? There are arguments from all areas of the coffee-making spectrum: some swear by percolation, others by slow-brewing in a French press… and while some purists will swear by the little Neapolitan flip little pots passed down by their great-grandparents, others will only drink espresso. Those of us who have spent far too much of our time working in offices are familiar with the ubiquitous slow-drip coffee makers that lurk in lunchroom corners, but they’re quickly being replaced by those little single-serve coffee makers with the disposable cuppy things.
“Without my morning coffee, I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat.” – Johann Sebastian Bach
Of course, there’s also instant coffee, but drinkers of that dreck aren’t part of this conversation—hie thyselves to a decent cafe to find out what you’ve been missing, and then thank me.
So then—which brewing method (and machine) is best for you? There are several factors to consider before getting oneself a coffee maker. If you’re the type of person who needs a quick fix first thing in the morning (and several times during the day), then the best option would be something quick and simple that you can operate whilst comatose. If you’re a connoisseur of the brew and have no qualms grinding your own beans and taking several minutes to prepare a proper cup, steer clear of percolators and slow-drip machines, otherwise, you’ll just end up in tears. The bottom line might be to get the best quality coffee maker that you can afford; with proper care and maintenance, it could easily last a lifetime… and life is far too short for bad coffee.