Coffee Brewing Methods: Is Your Coffee Brewer Just a Drip?

For most of us, brewing up our morning cup of coffee is more than just a necessity, it is a matter of convenience. Each night, millions of us coffee lovers pile heaping tablespoons of our favorite gourmet coffees into those paper filters, fill the tank of our coffee makers with water and set the timer so that our coffee is ready and waiting first thing in the morning.

So if you are like me and you enjoy the finest gourmet and specialty coffees available, then you must also believe that they deserve the best and most reliable coffee brewing equipment available.

Here is a quick list of the most popular coffee brewing methods & equipment starting from the best:

French Press
The French press coffee maker (or press pot) is universally recognized as the best brewing method, allowing for the truest coffee taste and aroma. This method actually brews the coffee in the hot water (as opposed to drip machines which only pass the water through the coffee and a filter). After a few minutes of brewing, a metal filter is pressed through the brew catching the coffee grinds and then trapping them at the bottom of the carafe. What is left over is full-bodied coffee with all its aroma and essences.

One of the main advantages to using a French press, other than great coffee taste, is the amount of control you have. You can control the water temperature (which incidentally should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers do not achieve), you can control the amount of coffee you want to add, and you can control the brew time. Four minutes of brew time and 30 seconds of “plunging” time is considered best.

Another great feature about the French press is that it is extremely portable and only requires hot water. You can take it camping or use it in places with limited kitchen space, like a boat or an RV. Some press pots can also be used to brew loose leaf teas in the same manner.

As an aside, you shouldn’t leave your brewed coffee in the press-pot with the grounds after you brew it! Either consume it or transfer it to a carafe, preferably a thermal carafe.

Vacuum Brewer
Vacuum brewers aren’t very common, but they make coffee just about as well as a French press since the coffee and water are brewing together. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a tube with a small filter inside. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower chamber. As the lower chamber is heated, the water rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber where the brewing begins. After brewing, the water (now coffee) cools and seeps back down into the lower chamber leaving the used coffee grinds behind in the upper chamber. Ideally, the upper chamber is removed and the lower chamber is used as a decanter for the finished coffee.

Vacuum brewers can be electric, stovetop, or even used over a sterno can for dramatic tabletop brewing!

The Toddy Maker
The toddy maker or Cold-Brew Coffee

Fasting Your Way to Better Health and Fitness

When I was younger, I used to sing a great deal in public and earn from it. A bad cold, therefore, meant harmed voice, equals no income. In those days, I believed a great deal in the curative powers of medicines and so every time a cold attacks, I did the usual “stuff a cold and starve a fever”. What was worse was that it usually took me too long to recover from a single attack that left me unable to perform and earn a living. There was this very important concert then that I had to perform in along with others. I was so excited because this was no small-time concert. All forms of advertisements were exhausted for the event and the venue had been long prepared. Suddenly, three days before the anticipated performance, I caught an awful cold.

I went to the manager of the affair and reported my sad predicament. Fortunately, the manager was a doctor who was not overly convinced by the curative powers of medicines. And he was the one who introduced me to the “fasting cure” which he, himself practices when he’s afflicted with one. I was advised to starve and eat nothing but I can drink all the water I can until my pulse and body temperature returned to normal. I was also advised to rest in bed for about three days and he promised me I’d be as good as new after that. I was told not to listen to my family, relatives and doctor if they tell me to eat to gain my strength back. He assured me that I would not grow weak for lack of nourishment in a three-day fasting. I also learned about not being able to digest food well if the person has a fever, so it is advisable, really to fast.

I took his advice and the results were exactly as he had stated. After the end of the three-day fast, I was able to join a last rehearsal in the afternoon of the big event. And that night, I sang my numbers without a trace of the bad cold! In three days I was able to recover fully well from a bout of cold through fasting, which would have normally taken me much longer if I had succumbed to purely medical solutions.

Digestive disorders are caused by many factors. Eating a lot and eating more than what is required is quite a common cause. Other factors include hurried and improper eating. These two alone cause about 80% of digestive disorders. Then there’s the tobacco or after-meal cigar, “treats” and the business-first-before-meal attitude.

I have a very good appetite or digestion though some things could cause it to falter once in a while. In those cases, I eventually resort to fasting to give my stomach a few days’ rest. For my fever, catarrhal problems and bad cold and glandular disorders, fasting never fails to restore me up. Fasting can help clean the digestive system. It can be done through the supervision of a capable nurse without inducing any other commercial medicine. Under these conditions a satisfactory cure is almost certain.

My summary of the matter is, as I have stated, that the difference between starving and fasting lies in the mental attitude. The beneficial effect of fasting is that it

Are You Cooking Meals from a Broken Cookbook

Burn your recipes!” If youve been following me for any amount of time now, youve heard me utter that statement time and time again. Its not that Im entirely against using recipes for home cooking, its more because I see cooking meals as a personal art form or your kitchen culinary expression.

In fact, home cooking recipes are especially useful if youre looking for new ideas and flavor combinations. Recipes are useful for cooking meals if you want to try to duplicate something exactly.

Here are some of the things that recipes will tell you:

The ingredients to use
The correct weights and measures for the ingredients
The temperatures and degrees to use
How much time you should cook
What steps to take and when

But, you cant expect recipes to tell you everything that you need to know to make the meal come to life. I like to make analogies between cooking and music. Lets take sheet music for example. There are things that sheet music doesnt tell the piano player. There are variations in tone, pace, and interpretation. The musician has to bring the music to life through his or her own interpretation of the music that they are reading.

Here are some of the things that recipes dont tell you:

Variations in ingredients/substitutions
Variations in measurements/ mistakes in measuring
Variations in oven temps/stove temps
Variations in time
Why you are taking the steps you are taking

There are very few celebrity chefs that I enjoy. An exception is Alton Brown. I enjoy Alton Browns show because he also explains why hes taking the steps hes taking as well as how different ingredients, temperatures, etc. affect the food that you cook. One day when I was watching Alton, he was cooking a popover recipe that looked great. As I was watching, I thought that the amount of salt he used would make it too salty for me. But, when I tried to make the recipe, I used his exact measurements because, well, hes Alton Brown. Turns out the popovers were WAY too salty!

Next time, Ill take out some of my own recipe books I use for inspiration and point out some of the ways that I know the recipe book is broken. My goal is to help you to increase your kitchen culinary skills by using your home cooking recipes to cook meals that you can be proud of again and again.

Here’s a typical French taste grilled salmon

WHEN lunchtime arrived, most delicious eating a heavy meal. If you are in the area of ​​Mega Kuningan, Jakarta, it is better tasting grilled Atlantic salmon in Oh La La Maison Cafe.

Grilled Atlantic salmon served at Oh La La Maison Cafe is quite different, authentic sauce spray from France. Since the famous delicious, sweet and creamy, even this menu a favorite Oh La La Maison Cafe, and if you are curious worth a try.
grilled salmon
The process of making grilled Atlantic salmon somewhat complicated, especially the sauce. The fish are also treated separately, but the end result still served alongside. For white butter sauce, Ronny Nugroho, Chef de Cuisine, Oh La La Maison Cafe, divulge confidential process.

Materials required, is white wine, white wine vinegar, chopped onion, cream, butter, lemon, and mango salsa. All the ingredients, except the butter, lemon, and mango salsa boiled until cooked, then filtered. Cook returned the materials that have been screened with butter, lemon, and mango salsa. Set aside.

Meanwhile, grilled salmon for 3 minutes on each side. “Grilling salmon is quite six minutes total, but depending the thickness of the fish,” he told Okezone in Jakarta, Thursday (02/07/2013).

To reduce the fishy smell of salmon, put lemon juice, pepper powder, and salt. Well, the grilled salmon is ready to be served with white butter sauce, and if you want, can be mashed potatoes.

Fitness and Health

For most of us from the government schools, PE (physical education) was in the school curriculum. So we had no choice but to comply and treat it as one of the school subjects. For the outdoor initiated, the PE lessons were great as it gave many an outlet for all the youthful hormones to exert themselves. For those of us who dread PE (including myself), our main thoughts were more like “what is the use of PE when it doesn’t improve our exam scores.” We were so wrong then. Continue reading