Coffee Notes, by Jay Spencer Seiler

Using the Bialetti Style Coffee maker.
December 28, 2009, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Coffee | Tags: , , , ,

Ever wish you could make a cup of espresso or cappuccino at home like you get at a coffee shop? Well now you can by using a stovetop espresso maker known as a Bialetti coffee maker. I bought one of these puppies yesterday and tried it out that afternoon. It was Great!

The Bialetti coffee maker was invented nearly a hundred years ago. The water is put into the bottom compartment and a rubber gasket makes an airtight seal when the bottom is attached to the top section.

The coffee grounds are put into a compartment between the top and bottom sections. It looks similar to a percolator basket. By the same principle when the water in the bottom boils, it is forced up by pressure through the grounds and then through a pipe into the top chamber.
Coffee from a Bialetti coffee maker is a cross between espresso from an espresso machine and coffee from an electric drip coffeemaker. This is by far the best coffee you can make at home without going out and buying an expensive espresso machine. And really who needs that?

Here are step by step instructions
Step 1
Disassemble the coffee maker into its three parts: bottom, filter basket and top.

Step 2
Fill the bottom part of the Bialetti coffee maker with filtered water. DON”T overfill. Fill it to just below the pressure valve on the side.

Step 3
Insert the filter basket into bottom of Bialetti coffee maker. If the bottom of the filter basket gets flooded, You have probably added too much water. Remove it and empty a little water out of the bottom of the coffee maker.

Step 4
Place 1 tbsp. of ground coffee in the filter basket for every espresso-size cup of coffee you’re making.

Step 5
Firm down the coffee grounds very lightly using the back of a spoon.

Step 6
Run your finger along the rim of the filter basket to remove any stray coffee grounds.

Step 7
Screw on the top part of the Bialetti coffee maker.

Step 8
Put coffee maker on the stove burner. If you are using a gas stove, adjust the flame so it is directly underneath the pot and does not crawl up the side of the coffee maker. If you are using an electric stove, place the coffee maker near the edge of the burner so that the handle is not above the heating element. This step is only necessary if you don’t want to melt the handle of your Bialetti coffee maker. And who wants to do that?

Step 9
Open the top of the coffee maker (it will stay up by itself). Stay by the stove and watch your pot. Hey this is the exciting part.

Step 10
When you see the coffee start to come out of the inner spout in the top of the Bialetti coffee maker, close the cover and stand by. We are almost done! It will start to make hissing and gurgling noises.

Step 11
When the coffee maker stops hissing and gurgling, the coffee is done. Remove it from the heat immediately. Now you have espresso! Drink it straight or make a cappucino or latte with it.
REMEMBER the bottom of the coffee make is likely under pressure. WAIT until it is cooled before attempt to open it up and clean it.

Step 12


Best way to brew coffee
December 20, 2009, 2:09 am
Filed under: Coffee | Tags: , ,

There really is no best way to brew coffee. Coffee is such a drink that is used all over the world and every region has its own way of making it. Good choice of brewing equipment is essential to have a good flavor and aroma from a cup of coffee. It is essential that this brewing equipment is clean. There are a large number of brewing devices available on the market. Most of them make coffee in one of the seven brewing principles. There is no single correct or best way to brew a cup of coffee. The selection of coffee brewing method depends upon one choice and interest. For brewing coffee, one out of two features are used.
First either, put the coffee in boiling water, wait for at least five minutes, and then filter it, or boiling water is made to flow through ground coffee (and a filter) forcibly either by its own weight, by a little steam pressure, or by high pressure.
The easiest and the most popular in the USA is the drip brewing method. Water at a close to boiling temperature is poured gradually through the grounds at once. The resulting cup is clear and smooth. The hotter the water within the stated range, the brighter the coffee. Medium ground coffee is used. The filtering devices can be wedges or baskets made from paper, cloth, metal, plastic, or coated plastic. Paper filters are also vary widely. Drip makers come either in manual or electric versions.
I personally prefer the Bunn that we use. Though the Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker has got to be the most popular in the US. The drip method makes a great cup of coffee and by using freshly ground coffee and a clean brewing device and fresh water, you can get one helluva good cuppa. So far we discussed percolating, french press, and now the drip process. Next we can spend a little time talking about vacuum coffee makers.
Now all that said go here and take advantage of a chance to buy good coffee at great prices. See you next week.

The Writings of James Allen.
December 15, 2009, 9:22 pm
Filed under: etc.

I am a fan of James T. Allen. Now I realize this isn’t about coffee. But you could say it is, indirectly, since what a better thing to do than read an essay by James Allen while sipping your favorite coffee. He is probably most famous for his book, As a Man Thinketh. And a great book it is, but he has also written much much more than that. He retired from active employment at age 38 and only lived for about 10 more years after, publishing 19 works during that time. He was also the Editor and Publisher of a magazine called, The Light of Reason. Most of his work is now in the public domain, if not all of it. I personally have bookmarked this URL which has a list of his work online. I have published below the first chapter of his essay, All These Things Added. Enjoy, I know I do.

1. The Soul’s Great Need

I sought the world, but Peace was not there;
I courted learning, but Truth was not revealed;
I sojourned with philosophy, but my heart was sore with vanity.
And I cried, Where is Peace to be found!
And where is the hiding place of truth!

Filius Lucis

EVERY HUMAN SOUL IS IN NEED. The expression of that need varies with individuals, but there is not one soul that does not feel it in some degree. It is a spiritual and casual need which takes the form, in souls of a particular development, of a deep and inexpressible hunger which the outward things of life, however abundantly they may be possessed, can never satisfy. Yet the majority, imperfect in knowledge and misled by appearances, seek to satisfy this hunger by striving for material possessions, believing that these will satisfy their need, and bring them peace.

Every soul, consciously or unconsciously, hungers for righteousness, and every soul seeks to gratify that hunger in its own particular way, and in accordance with its own particular state of knowledge. The hunger is one, and the righteousness is one, but the pathways by which righteousness is sought are many.

They who seek consciously are blessed, and shall shortly find that final and permanent satisfaction of soul which righteousness alone can give, for they have come into a knowledge of the true path.

They who seek unconsciously, although for a time they may bathe in a sea of pleasure, are not blessed, for they are carving out for themselves pathways of suffering over which they must walk with torn and wounded feet, and their hunger will increase, and the soul will cry out for its lost heritage—the eternal heritage of righteousness.

Not in any of the three worlds (waking, dream and sleep) can the soul find lasting satisfaction, apart from the realization of righteousness. Bodied or disembodied, it is ceaselessly driven on by the discipline of suffering, until at last, in its extremity, it flies to its only refuge—the refuge of righteousness—and finds that joy, satisfaction, and peace which it had so long and so vainly sought.

The great need of the soul, then, is the need of this permanent principle, called righteousness, on which it may stand securely and restfully amid the tempest of earthly existence, no more bewildered, and whereon it may build the mansion of a beautiful, peaceful, and perfect life.

It is the realization of this principle where the Kingdom of Heaven, the abiding home of the soul, resides, and which is the source and storehouse of every permanent blessing. Finding it, all is found; not finding it, all is lost. It is an attitude of mind, a state of consciousness, an ineffable knowledge, in which the struggle for existence ceases, and the soul finds itself at rest in the midst of plenty, where its great need, yea, its every need, is satisfied, without strife and without fear. Blessed are they who earnestly and intelligently seek, for it is impossible that such should seek in vain.