Are we all getting a little too caffeinated? In the wake of my column last week about buying a coffee grinder, readers' comments and suggestions continue to pour in. To summarize, a number of readers have suggested online sources for buying high-quality beans, among them Blair Estate Coffee for organic coffee from Kauai, the Red Line blend from Metropolis Coffee in Chicago and Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco.
I got an earful about brewing and roasting techniques from Michael, who wrote, "It's amusing to see what people say about what makes 'good' coffee. Pouring boiling water over coffee grounds (and tea) is the surest way to extract bitterness. The extraction temperature of espresso machines is mid-180s to 202 F. Tea steeps at 205 F. The vast majority of coffee I've tasted, including that from Starbucks and tons of anti-Starbucks local places, is over-roasted."
And then there was Marshall, who wrote to say there's more to life than coffee: "Me? I'll stick with my Melitta Cone (about $4), my Braun grinder, my 8 o'clock Columbia Supreme supermarket coffee, pour the boiling water over the cone with paper filter and ground coffee, and waste my money on the Patagonia and other high price outdoor stuff. Don't they make beautiful catalogs? Jacque Ellul, the French philosopher, in his book, Propaganda, claimed the the more educated you are, the more susceptible
you are to propaganda."
As for me? I'm off to Peet's for a dry half-and-half smarge.