I Am Impressed

UPDATE:  We just posted some video on the history of coffee.  Check out Part 2, which specifically addresses the French Press.

The first time I saw a French Press coffeemaker, it was at a B&B some years ago.  I thought it was a quaint way to serve coffee, a sort of casual way to serve a few cups.  At first, I didn’t even realize that it was the coffeemaker itself.  What I eventually learned is that it brews coffee that tastes more flavorful than just about any other brewing method.

When I first started working at Enjoy Better Coffee, Inc., it was, and is, the preferred method for brewing exceptional coffee.  By then, I had seen and enjoyed coffee prepared in the French Press, but I had never made it myself.  I always thought it would be too fussy, that there might be grounds swirling in your cup, and that it would be a messy ordeal to clean the French Press after use, none of which appealed to me. 

Along comes my youngest brother who has long been a French Press brewer, as it were.  He claimed it wasn’t messy and that the coffee has great flavor.  I thought he was fibbing to get me to the dark side.  (He also prefers medium to dark roasts, and holds a quiet disdain for “flavored” brews.)  I was suspicious of his agenda, but eventually relented.  When I did finally brew my favorite roast in a French Press, I immediately saw the advantages.

I started with my favorite roast, Davidoff Fine Aroma, so that I would have a baseline for the flavor differences, if there were going to be any. It is a medium roast, but now I found the flavor to be much more complex, more nuanced.  The subtle cocoa notes seemed intensified, but not overpowering.  I love this coffee, but now I felt as if I was getting a better sense of it!

In addition to the new, balance of flavors, I like that the French Press brews a small, manageable amount of hot coffee, something that you might drink as you are scanning the paper or gulping down as you run out the door!  And, most importantly, there wasn’t a trail of coffee grounds in my cup or my countertop.  I am not saying you won’t find a stray ground here or there, but overall, the sludge stays together and that helps keep it more manageable.

Now I own a beautiful La Cafetiere French Press (they are as beautiful as they are functional).  I prefer brewing my top 5 or so favorites in my French Press, but I know that any coffee will have the full flavor notes and tones the roaster intended.

To use a French press, follow these easy directions: 

  1. Water should be heated to around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, just before it comes to a boil. 
  2. Use a medium grind coffee.  Measure up to 2 rounded tablespoons of coffee into the main pot.
  3. Pour the water slowly into the pot.  Give it a few gentle stirs with a spoon.  Place the top on the pot, filter up and brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Use the plunger to slowly push down the grounds to the bottom.  If you find the filter is askew and grinds are escaping, remove the lid and filter, rinse in hot water and try again. 
  5. Remember that the coffee that remains in the pot after pouring continues to brew. 

What do you think of the French Press?  Do you find it convenient?  Is the coffee better made in a French Press?

Regardless of how you brew, as always, enjoy better coffee!

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Coffee: Restaurant Brewing vs Home Brewing

The question our customer support gets most often is along the line of this: “I was in a restaurant and had the best coffee I ever tasted in my life. They told me It was Douwe Egberts. I had the decaf and it was equally as tasty. What coffee I should buy that is similar to the one I had in the restaurant?”

Unfortunately the answer is not as simple as you would think.  Restaurants use liquid coffee concentrate that is diluted in special commercial coffee makers. Neither the machine nor the coffee concentrate is available for home use. Moreover, there is no coffee like the food service version in the retail variety options.  We always suggest trying the Douwe Egberts Excellent Aroma or Select Aroma as they both are similar to the restaurant version. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee its similarity with restaurant coffees, but it is delicious!

Have you had this dilemma?  What do you think?  Please comment on this post.
Share your knowledge – help others!  And, as always, enjoy better coffee!

Skating on the Canals in Holland

We often write about Holland in our newsletters because it is the home of Douwe Egberts.  In addition, I have had a personal interest in Dutch culture after my husband and I lived in Amsterdam for a couple years in the early 90’s.  One of the many things about The Netherlands (another name for Holland) that I liked was the maze of canals that ran through so many of the streets.  The winters, while  cold with occasional dustings of snow, never seemed to cause the canals to freeze (which I thought was odd, since they weren’t very deep–sometimes just a couple feet, even if it did look deep).  From the locals, I would hear about skating on the canals long ago when the canals used to freeze.  I assumed it was mostly racing on the canals, as the country does produce a fair number of Olympic speed skaters.  When I ran across this video on a WordPress blog, I was immediately taken in by the view as the cameraman skates along great sections of canal.  The other skaters, and the spectators, are worth seeing.  The music fits perfectly too!   Check it out here.

Hello, my name is Victor…

Hello, my name is Victor Borsukevich and I am the manager here at Enjoy Better Coffee, Inc. Welcome to our new blog!

First of all I would like to congratulate Katie Rowswell, our main contributor and blog editor for doing a great job with putting together this blog. Thank you Katie, and I think you enjoy doing this.

I love European coffee – that was a main trigger and my motivation to start this company. I hope we will find a lot of people sharing our same passion for coffee and who will want to share with us their experiences on our blog.  

Again, welcome!  I am looking forward to your questions and comments.

In a meantime, please visit our website  to see the large variety of coffee we have to offer.

Douwe Egberts Introduces BeMoved

Douwe Egberts has developed its own interactive beverage dispensing machine, named BeMoved.  Douwe Egberts Research and Development staff have created this as a sort of “concept car”–an experiment with technology and interactive design to dispense hot beverages.  The machine is modeled on video games, with interactive functions like drag-and-drop for choosing desired coffee flavors and components; an option to save preferred beverages and choose them again in the future; there is even an interactive game that requires a user to jump around in order to earn a beverage.  You can also select a celebrity listed to see what that person likes to drink, and have BeMoved make you the same drink!  Click here to for a short article and a video demonstration of the BeMoved‘s abilities.  Is it the future of coffee?

Video From Inside a Coffee Factory

If you know us, you know we are huge fans of Douwe Egberts from Holland, now part of the Sara Lee family.  They have this factory in Joure, the Netherlands. This short YouTube video goes inside the factory and shows you coffee production, and the few screens of text are in English. The purpose of the video is to show Cafitesse (an automated coffee maker on the commercial market since the 60’s), but the highlights of the coffee production process are worth seeing!

Welcome To Our New Blog!

Hi everyone!

This is our first post in our new Enjoy Better Coffee blog!

Let’s start with a little about ourselves.  We love coffee.  We especially love fine, imported European coffees, ones that have a long history and tradition of careful and thoughtful roasting and blending to create superb coffee.  We admire those companies that started as small family businesses that have since grown into well-respected enterprises, some large and some still very small.  It is the spirit of these traditons that we really like!

We are a small company that believes good coffee can be available to everyone.  We would like to use this blog to share information on coffee, things like coffee preparation and the benefits of drinking coffee.  We will review coffees and coffee makers, share our thoughts and pictures on the coffee experience, and we want you to share yours.  Most of all, we want to hear from you – your coffee stories, your experiences with us as a business and with this blog.  If you would like to be a guest blogger, we would love to hear from you!

So, please leave a comment, let us know what you want to read about here and share anything else on your mind about enjoying better coffee!

Thanks!  As always, Enjoy Better Coffee!