Off Grid Living

GET GREEN WITH THE COFFEE QUEEN

If you’re not using a French press to brew your coffee and or tea, you are wasting energy and money.

Today, we are getting advice straight from The Coffee Queen. She will share with us her formula for making the greatest tasting coffee available. At the same time you will “get green” by reducing your energy use, cutting your carbon footprint, saving money and enjoying the best cup of joe that there is.

First, lets talk about conventional coffee makers. Most people don’t realize how much power these machines use. Think about it. First it has to heat the water to a steaming point, pump it through the system while the warming burner is on constantly. This is a huge power drain for just a pot of coffee.

Also, conventional coffee makers harbor fungi and bacteria in dark, moist areas that you cannot reach to properly clean. Running white vinegar through the system can certainly help, but it takes time, effort, and a lot of power with no sense of real accomplishment. A French press can be washed completely with soap and water.

Don’t forget the fact that these coffee makers require filters. Yes, they are inexpensive, but that is one expense you can completely cut out. When you use a French press, all you need is hot water and a quality coffee bean. Now you’re helping to save resources too!

First, pick your press. The most common size carafe is 32 oz.. This is one half pot of conventional coffee maker pots. They vary in price from $20 on up. No need to spend a lot of money on a fancy model since they all produce the same outcome. Take your pick here.

Next, you need a good coffee grinder. I myself have gone through many brands and models and have come to the conclusion that the grinders with the more simple functions, less bells and whistles, are more durable, longer lasting and less expensive. Also watch out for how many parts there are to clean. Keep it simple. The price range on grinders is overwhelming. Some are very expensive and do nothing more than grind exactly like the less expensive models. So I suggest you go with a simple model that averages around $20.

So, if you’re going to use the French press how are you going to keep your coffee warm? No problem. Today’s variety of hydro flasks and/or coffee warmers are perfect. If you like cream in your coffee, it’s best to add it before you put the coffee in the warmer. This way, your coffee stays warmer, longer by not adding the cold cream to each cup once poured.

So, lets get started!

Always grind your favorite beans fresh for each pot that you make. Quality beans are dark brown with a slight hint of oil. I prefer a dark roast. My perfect pot uses a 1/3 cup measuring spoon, slightly heaping. You want to grind the beans for about 15 seconds. If they are not ground fine enough, your coffee will be weak. If you grind them too fine, you will have a harder time pushing down your press and your coffee could be cloudy with a lot of dredge at the bottom. Trial and error with your beans and grinder will pay off in the end. So grind your beans to your desire and place in the empty carafe of your new French press.

Heat your water in your everyday tea kettle. Quality water is a must. Reverse osmosis or an ultraviolet purifying system is preferred. If the water tastes funky, so will the coffee and or tea that you brew with it. The temperature of the water is very important to the quality of your brew. You do not want the water to be boiling. If it is too hot, you take the chance of bursting your glass carafe. When steam starts coming from the vent of the kettle, before it whistles, this is the perfect heating point. Pour the steaming water into the carafe with your favorite ground beans. At this point, you need to gently stir with a plastic or wooden utensil. Do not use metal as this can also break your carafe with the steaming hot water in it. Place the plunger and lid on top of the carafe to capture the heat. Make sure the plunger is all the way at the top with the lid. Let your brew steep for at least 4-5 minutes. After steeping, gently push the plunger all the way to the bottom of the carafe or until the top knob reaches the top of the lid and can go no farther.

Pour yourself a perfect cup and put the rest in a warmer/hydro flask. This step right here is gong to save you energy which saves you money. No need to leave the coffee maker warmer on. After coffee has sat on a warmer for 30 minutes the tastes becomes tinged with bitterness. But when you use a warmer, it remains perfect to the last cup. Enjoy!

You can feel good about this and consider it to be another baby step on your way to getting green!

If you are on solar power, using a French press is the only way to go. Chances are you have a gas or propane stove. It takes very little gas or propane to heat a kettle of water. This is the only energy you will be using when you switch to making a better brew with advice from the Coffee Queen. 1-2-3, you’re getting green!

Overall, you have much better coffee and you have done a great job at conserving energy and money. You have used very little power, much, much less than if you used an electric model. Water heats fast in a tea kettle. No need to wait for the maker to create steam, pump it through the system, slowly drip onto the heated plate, and sit there cooking your once fresh brew. Congratulations! You have reduced your carbon footprint!

No more filters! You can actually feel good about helping save the trees and a few bucks too!

Cleanup is a breeze. Remove the plunger/lid and rinse. The carafe is easily washed out with soap and water. No bacteria build up, no fungi. A clean apparatus every time. You won’t need vinegar, water to waste and a lot of electricity to clean your French press.

What to do with those left over grounds? If you compost, and you should, the grounds can be a great addition for breaking down food in your bin. Used coffee grounds are also good for gardening and enriching the soil by gently turning the grounds within your soil. You can also spread them around your flower beds or surrounding the premises of your home to keep pests at bay. Just don’t throw them in a garbage can to be hauled to a landfill. Reduce, reuse, recycle! You’ll be glad you did.

Everyone needs to take care of the planet! We need to learn to change our ways and improve our habits. Use less energy, less resources and give back to Mother Earth.

It can be as easy as 1-2-3 get green!

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