Everyday gourmet: Our arts editor’s office coffee ritual

The Brooklyn Paper
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Grind it on a medium-to-coarse setting in a burr grinder. Do not use a blade grinder — they are garbage. This $30 hand-grinder is better than the “best” blade grinder.
Grind that coffee!
I call it ground coffee in disassembled grinder with tools of the trrade.
Insert a number 4 filter.
Completely wet the filter with warm water, then pour all the excess liquid out. This helps get rid of the papery taste the filter can sometimes impart.
Pour in the grounds.
There they go.
Add 100 grams (about a third of the filter) of water that is about 200 degrees (just under boiling), fully saturating the grounds, and give it a stir. This helps release some of the gas in the coffee and improves extraction. Add another 250 grams of water, filling almost to the top.
Cover and leave to steep for three and a half minutes.
Put the Clever Dripper on top of a cup or carafe, releasing the stopper in the bottom and allowing the coffee to start dripping out.
Give the liquid a gentle stir to aid in draining the brewer.
Take a good look, because it’s time to throw this filter out.
Remove the filter and enjoy your drink while the aroma of freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee sends your workmates into fits of jealousy. Or linger in the break-room with an engaging book like the one I just wrote.

Brooklyn Paper arts editor Ruth Brown has a book coming out. “Coffee Nerd” breaks down the latest developments in high-end coffee culture so that even the most hopeless Keurig-cup user can understand them. For an introduction into that world that proves you don’t have to have to go to a laboratory-style cafe to get gourmet, we figured we would share Ruth’s own office coffee ritual.

Click through the slideshow above to see her whole morning process.

A note from Ruth on the equipment being used: The brewer I am using is called a Clever Coffee Dripper, which is a hybrid of an immersion brewer (like a French press) and a manual drip brewer (like a Melitta), combining the fuller body and flavor of the former with the clarity of the latter. It is made by a Taiwanese company with the amazing name of Absolutely Best Idea Development. It has a simple but clever mechanism in the bottom that allows the liquid to drip out when you place the brewer on a cup, but plugs it back up again when you take it off. I think it is an ideal brewer for the office because it is much easier to clean than a French press and much simpler to use than a regular pour-over (you don’t need a special kettle and you don’t need to stand there slowly pouring in water for minutes). It is also a great conversation-starter with mysterious workmates from other departments. You can buy one for $18–$22.

Nathan Tempey is a Deputy Editor at the Community Newspaper Group. Reach him at or by calling (718) 260–4504. Follow him at
Updated 8:30 am, January 16, 2015
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