Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I got a new Chemex coffeemaker.

New Chemex

I picked one up at a garage sale like 15 years ago, but let it get thrown away when my parents moved. Recently I got the hankerin to use one again, so I picked one up at Intelligentsia. I don't really use it, though.

I should explain my afternoon coffee routine.

After lunch, I measure out enough beans for 6 cups of coffee, put them in my Solis Maestro Plus grinder, and head out into the hall.

grinder in the hall

There is an outlet there, and I used to feel self-conscious that my grinding noise would disturb those around me. I am much more relaxed grinding in the hall. Keith (the guy with the desk next to mine) brings the melitta express kettle to the pantry and fills it with water. I use a melitta cone brewer to brew the coffee. I pour myself a cup , then pass the coffee pot to Keith. He pours himself a cup and passes the pot along to his brother, who finishes off the pot. The person who finishes the pot then brings it to the pantry to rinse it out.

Which brings me back to my new Chemex. It took me a long time to rationalize buying the new brewer, and breakage was one of my main concerns. I mean, it's one thing to break a garage sale find, but I thought it would be too painful to break one that I bought new.

Enter the Improvised Chemex.

Improvised chemex

I just took a big funnel and cut off the bottom. I found the flow rate depends on how much of the tip of the cone is exposed, so I tried to match the opening of the Chemex as close as I could. It sits pretty securely in the melitta pot. I am really liking the coffee, and I don’t mind the cheap coffee pot being passed through 3 or 4 sets of hands each day.

I have come to realize I really enjoy the ritual of sharing good coffee with my friends at work each day, and I didn't want to have any reason to be uptight about it.

I still have the real Chemex, maybe I will bring it home for special (non-espresso) occasions.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Superbowl Fever, Chicago Public Radio style.

The other morning on WBEZ I heard a short essay about the upcoming superbowl. As the peice ended, "The Superbowl Shuffle" was the transition music. The CPR host (Jason Derose, I believe) remarked, "Ah, the Superbowl Shuffle. I'm sure we will be hearing that ad infinitum and ad nauseum before Sunday."