The good people of San Francisco take their coffee very seriously. The idea of enjoying coffee, however, is not a new concept. By the 15th Century, coffee cultivation and trade had already begun on the Arabian peninsula. By the 17th Century, coffee had made its way to Europe. Coffee came to New York (then “New Amsterdam”) in the mid 1600s, but at that point tea was still preferred by most. It appears that we have our neighbors across the pond to thank for our current coffee obsession because it was not until after our revolt against King George’s unfair tea tax a.k.a. the Boston Tea Party in 1773 that coffee became the preferred drink of Americans. (Source)
Since then, we have not looked back. In 1971, Starbucks paved the way for the west coast’s coffee obsession when it opened its first store in Seattle. Perhaps as backlash to having a Starbucks on every corner we are in the midst of the slow coffee movement. “Pour over” coffee and cold-brewed coffee have taken center stage for the past couple of years. While I appreciate the idea of slow coffee, I generally do not have extra time to wait for slow coffee if I am picking it up on my way to the office.
When I am at home, however, it is a different story. I do not mind waiting a few extra minutes. Coffee can brew as I am making breakfast, going through my email, and getting the day started. As a result, I have rediscovered my French Press. I am finding that I love the results – I like the flavor and texture much better than when I make coffee using an electric coffee maker or single cup system. But, I bought my press in the 1990s. It is old, a little worn, and definitely not as stylish as it could be. So, I decided to take a look around. As it turns out, there are a number of beautiful choices out there. Here are some of my favorites.
My only complaint about using a French Press is that I find that the coffee gets cool before I am able to move on to my second cup. My current version is glass so I think I am going to give one of the ceramic or stoneware versions a try in the hopes of resolving that issue.
Now that we have covered making the coffee, let’s turn to drinking the coffee. I am very specific about the type of mug that I like (surprised?). It has to be hearty, not too fragile, but also has to make me smile. Typically, a simple mug with clean lines is exactly what I am looking for. The first two options below are perfect for that. But, there are some days when I would like something with a little whimsy. When that is the case, the next few choices below offer a little change of pace. In all events, I love the experience of wrapping my hands around the mug and warming them on a foggy morning.
If you are a coffee-lover and you have not given a French Press a try, I highly recommend it. And, p.s., they work great with loose tea, too.