I love coffee. For along time I prided myself on being down with everything from gourmet shop stuff, to quickie mart been-on-the-burner-since-Tuesday stuff. Lately, I find myself longing for the quality that I get from brewing my own at home. That’s not to say that a good bit of coffee shop coffee isn’t excellent. When it comes to day to day brewing and drinking, however, two kinds of coffee stand out for me as the overall best of the bunch.
First is Dean’s Beans Marrakesh Express. http://www.deansbeans.com/ This stuff is AMAZING. It has become my go-to coffee. It has a full flavor, and is considered a dark roast, but has none of the bitter tones or overly acidic strains of some so-called dark roasts. the Dean’s Beans website says that Marrakesh Express is “Ethiopian Sidamo blended with the passionate bite of Timor.” Another thing I love about this stuff is that it’s a fairly traded coffee. I like being able to still have coffee, but know it’s not adding to the problems of economic destruction of workers and environmental destruction of the planet.
My second go-to, if for some reason I can’t get ahold of Marrakesh Express, has to be Illy.
My man Rick turned me on to this stuff and it is wonderful. This is good quality Italian espresso roast. I like to brew it up in a drip coffee pot. It’s flavorful and bold, but smooth and delicious. The best espresso in a cafe that I’ve ever had was Illy. In fact, in both England and in San Francisco, both of the best espressos I’ve had were Illy.
As for brewing, I do like a drip maker. Indeed, I’m still using Old Joe the Eternal. I’ve had Joe since I was in college, and he was old and used before that. He’s outlasted many newer fancier models. Just use cold, filtered water, and a clean re-usable filter. It will taste better.
French Press is also wonderful. I tend to make it less than I used to, but it’s a good brewing method. I find that for non-espresso brews, the simpler the method, the better the coffee. Oh, and of course, always buy whole beans and grind them just before brewing. This will ensure the best flavor.
Pittsburgh cafes of note that make very good coffee:
The 61C in Squirrel Hill http://61ccafe.com/
Tazza D’Oro in Highland Park http://www.tazzadoro.net/
and believe it or not, since they’ve gone to a non-smoking side where the coffee is prepared (I swear…the coffee tastes better there now…) The Beehive on the Southside http://www.beehivebuzz.com/
Go drink some good coffee…