Coffee is a $30 billion dollar a year industry in the US alone.  You’d be hard pressed to go anywhere in this country and not be able to find a cup of coffee, the shit is seriously everywhere.  I really love good coffee; it is one of my most favorite things.  It gets me going in the morning, it picks me up when I’m feeling a little sluggish, and it might be the only way I can function when hungover.  Bad coffee is a different story altogether, and it is one of the nastiest vilest liquids that have ever existed.  You know you’ve had it, that stuff you get at gas stations, vending machines, airplanes, and anything out of a can at the grocery store. Shit is gross. 

It is hard to believe that a drink that originated over 500 years ago in Muslim monasteries in Yemen is now one of the world’s most popular beverages.  I wonder if Sarah Palin’s dumb ass knows that she’s drinking a traditional Muslim beverage every morning, I’d wager not.  Despite the fact that this ‘healing’ liquid had to be smuggled out of the Middle East for the first 100 years or so, it eventually made its way to India, Italy, the rest of Europe, and the Americas thanks, in part, to the efforts world’s first corporation, The Dutch East India Trading Company.  Figures the corporate world would have been on this train since the get-go.

The appeal of coffee for most people is its use as a stimulant.  I know that’s the primary reason I started drinking it (choking down Folgers in a dorm room while cramming for finals).  I’ve been so buzzed on coffee before that my eye started twitching (not recommended). There are a lot of choices when it comes to consuming this bitter brown liquid, but they are mostly derivations of 3 methods: Brewed, Drip, or Espresso*.  Brewed and drip coffee usually have between 80-175mg of caffeine per 7oz depending on the roast and method, while Espresso has about 100mg per 2 oz.  For those of you who can’t do math that means espresso is WAY stronger, about 350mg per 7oz.  So next time you want to have your skin start tingling, order a triple espresso, slam it, and brace for impact.

French Press

French Press

My go-to coffee is the French Press.  I like it because it is easy to use, easy to clean, and you can steep the coffee for longer for stronger flavor.  The key to the press system is the grind.  If you have a shitty grinder or the grind isn’t course enough, you’re screwed. You’ll be enjoying your java with some grounds.  I don’t use cheap coffee either, $20/lb, I order it special online.  I want it to come from a trusted source as well as be high quality.  If I am in a coffee shop I generally go with an Americano, one shot of Espresso and add boiling water:  simple, good, and easy.  There are a few other special drinks I order on specific occasions, try them sometime!

  • The Triple Espresso, when I know it’s go time. No better way to get your heart going fast in a short amount of time. I would not recommend if you have heart problems.
  • The Foo Foo, calories, period. These are reserved for days when I’m going to be burning lots and lots of calories.  You can get these drinks over 1000 calories.  Not for people on a diet.
  • The Cold Press, and no, not iced coffee, this is COLD PRESS, hangover cure of champions.  This stuff is crack.  It has to be. No other possible explanation from being able to take me from steaming-pile-of-worthless status to I-feel-like-I-just-got-laid that quickly.

There are a few things I need to have on the regular, and coffee is definitely one of them.  Probably why I keep a French, press, hand coffee grinder, and a jet boil in my car, you never know when you need to get that fix! 

*Please note there is no fucking ‘X’ in Espresso, so remember that the next time you pronounce it.