The challenges of office coffee

As the challenges of living with a young child have tested my daily endurance, I have become increasingly reliant on supplements to my usual one cup coffee habit to make it through the day. There is a maxim about lemons and lemonade, but I don’t particularly like lemonade, so I’ve applied to rule to coffee. If I’m going to consume northwards of three cups, they might as well be good ones. And I might as well learn something along the way. I’ve ordered up a large variety of beans from Sweet Marias. The remaining challenge is how to brew the stuff.

The French press (or should it be “freedom press” now) has been touted as a way to fully extract the range of flavor from the bean, but my initial experiments have come up a bit short. One particularly unsatisfying aspect of the experience has been the rate at which the coffee seems to go from drinkable temperature to uncomfortably lukewarm with the accompanying blandness that seems to emerge when coffee has been sitting around too long.

As there’s no stove in the office, I’ve used the hot water tap from our water dispenser to brew the coffee. I hoped, though in the back of my mind I suspected it was a foolish hope, that it would be perfectly calibrated for brewing coffee (200 degree Fahrenheit). I realized that there is only one way to know for sure, so today, I came to work prepared:

Just as I had suspected: 46 degrees too cold. Now the only question is: how crazy will my coworkers think I am if I bring in an electric kettle just to get the right temperature hot water?

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