The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home

Over the years I have either purchased or received as a gift nearly every coffee device known to man. My “coffee cabinet” is like the island of misfit toys, and with every passing year something gets added to the pile. Drip, Plunge, K-Cup, Espresso, etc. All of them a symbol of my coffee life past, wasting space in my coffee cabinet waiting to be played with. It’s like Toy Story 3 but with talking coffee apparatus’ instead of talking toys. Talking toys? That’s ridiculous.

Since I became adult enough to drink coffee, I have owned:

  • 2 Coffee Grinders
  • 3 Drip Coffee Makers
  • An Espresso Machine
  • A French Press
  • A Keurig K-Cup Brewer
  • Multiple storage mechanisms
  • More scoops than Raisin bran

And almost all of them sit in my coffee cabinet, wasted, because I don’t need them anymore. Because I have found the best way to make coffee at home.

The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home

It’s a two step process and it will cost you around $25 to get started.

1) Sign Up for a Free Trial of Tonx Coffee

Tonx Coffee Free Trial

I discovered Tonx coffee a few months back and have been a big fan of their product ever since receiving their free coffee sample in the mail. The coffee is sourced, roasted ands shipped by Tonx to your house every two weeks. When you receive the coffee from Tonx in the mail in an elegant package, that coffee is less than two weeks old. That’s some fresh coffee!

Tonx Coffee

Each time they ship coffee it’s from a different source. So far I have received coffee from all over the world! If I were to have any issue with their coffee is that it’s not quite enough for two people to last two weeks. A large package will generally last us around 8-10 days.

Cost is around $40 a month for some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste. While that may sound like a lot, it’s really only around $1 per cup you brew. That’s much cheaper than the $3.00 burnt tasting coffee you receive at most chain coffee shops.

2) Purchase an Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker

Aeropress

The second step of the process is to purchase an Aerobie Aeropress, which can be purchased for around $25 on Amazon.com. Similar to a french press coffee maker, the Aeropress uses gravity and a filter to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee you are drinking.

There are so many advantages of this brewing method over other classical methods of brewing that it’s best to make a list.

  • Easy clean up. Take off the black end cap from the apparatus and the coffee shoots out of the bottom of the Aeropress and into your garbage. Wipe down the rest and rinse off and you are ready for another brew! Also dishwasher safe.
  • The taste is better. I think that the coffee coming out of an Aeropress tastes better than any other method I have tried for brewing.
  • It’s a space saver. You don’t need a coffee cabinet to store the Aerpress (although I still use my coffee cabinet for storage).
  • Nothing to plug in. You can heat water on your stove, microwave or an electric kettle, but the Aeropress itself doesn’t need to be plugged in.
The lone disadvantage of this method is that it really only meant for brewing one cup at a time.

The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home: Tonx and Aeropress

Step 1: Get great coffee from Tonx Coffee
Step 2: Use an Aerobie Aeropress to brew it up!

Disclosure: Both of these product links give me referral credit if you sign up. I did not write this post because of the referral credit, but if this post inspired you to give this a try, credit is appreciated. You can also sign up for the products directly at their websites.

The 35 Layer Super Bowl Dip

35 Layer Dip is Complete!

I didn’t invent the idea of taking a traditional 7 layer dip, injecting steroids, adding a multiplier to the number and creating a terrine of taco, but the following step by step guide to creating an 35 layer dip is a true original.

While I was originally inspired by the 47 layer dip, I settled on 35 layers for two reasons: 1) Many of the items in the 47 layer dip were gross and 2) I wanted to make a dip that would taste good and include items I would consider to be normally welcomed in a Mexican dish. Sure, some things are a stretch (like the addition of pulled pork and Feta Cheese), but they are also deliciously welcomed by those with an open mind and empty stomach.

Math Wizards will appreciate that 35 is easily divisible by 7, resulting in the number 5. One could say that this dip will have 5x the impact of your standard 7 layer dip. Pragmatists understand that the maximum that something can be better than something else is 5x, so why waste our cycles considering a number of more grandeur? [Read more…]

The Myth of Good Wine and Price

Grapes Ripening in Napa ValleyIn the past several years I have seen an exponential increase in the amount of wine I consume.  It started when I joined the Four Seasons Wine Club (no longer a member, but it was a great place to start) and graduated into wine pilgrimages to Napa and Sonoma valleys in 2009 and 2010.

Over this time I have had the opportunity to taste a lot of wine.  Some I have liked immensely, and others have been merely OK.  Fortunately, wine is like Pizza and even when it’s bad it’s good enough.

In the past few years I have started to evangelize the glory of red wine to my friends and family through proximity (I’m drinking it, they ask about it) and probably the most common question is around price: “is a $5 bottle of wine that much worse than a $10 bottle?  Is a $25 bottle that much better than a $10” and so on.

As I become more experienced and store perceived “value” of wines in my mental abacus, I have started to notice some trends and formulate some rules for future wine drinking.  Follow these simple rules and you may find yourself enjoying wine even more:

  • Price of wine doesn’t really matter for everyday drinking
  • You will never have a transcendant bottle of wine for $5, but you can certainly have a really good bottle for $10
  • Expensive wine can be bad.  Really bad at times.  Price does not guarantee success
  • Your chances of having a truly great bottle of wine go up with the price you pay
  • Buy a few bottles of nice wine when they are on sale at you local retail outlet or on a site like wine.woot.com.  Drink them on weekends and for special occasions

Based on my current knowledge level and taste, the above rules work great for determining what wine to drink.  Having said that, I am guessing that in 1-2 years these rules will sound very silly and naive.

If you are thinking about trying more wine, let me know and I can give you some advice on where to begin.  For starters, I suggest joining a club like the four seasons wine club or buying bottles on wine.woot.com.

How the Sausage is Made

As promised in my Porkapalooza V invite, I have been experimenting with making homemade sausage.  Today I made Spicy Chipotle and Cheese sausages and smoked them on my cabinet smoker for a few hours.  They were very good!  Tender, tasty and fresh!

Hopefully with this success I can start to make sausage more often.  It’s a great use of the meat grinder and sausage stuffer Amanda got me for Christmas.