Brewing methods for the traveler
Traveling to new places brings a new experience to coffee consumption. If you go to Italy and London the café experience will be substantially different than if you were to go to a café in Atlanta, Georgia. Yet, regardless of where you are in the world, there are a few brewing methods available for getting the coffee bean into your cup. Here are four ways to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee.
1. The French Press
Travelers that want to get their breakfast and coffee in their room before taking on the day, but do not want to use the instant mixes which are typically available, can opt for the French Press. By far, the French press is one of the best methods for capturing the robust flavors of the coffee. To use simply place your grinds (coarsely ground for the French Press) into the device. Add hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Place the top on the French press and slowly press down for that perfect cup of coffee. Typically, cafes do not use the French press method as it takes too long for customers. Most places do, however, allow for you to purchase the mug for your own purposes.
2. Coffee Brewing Mug
If you do not mind the instantaneous coffee and just want to have some Joe on the go, then a coffee brewing mug is an option. Created with the basic functionality of the Keurig coffee maker but a great deal smaller, the coffee brewing mug allows for the individual to brew a pod on the go. As you would expect with an instant coffee, it is pod based. To use put the pod into the coffee mug, press the button once for a light brew and twice for a strong brew and enjoy.
In terms of an authentic cup of coffee, this is not the method in which to obtain such. This method is mainly attractive to those which need a quick fix of caffeine to see them through the morning until they can get to their real café and get a cup.
3. Expresso machine
Perhaps one of the most universal methods for brewing coffee is the expresso machine. Available for both the commercial café and the personal size for the traveler or the home owner, the expresso machine takes coffee and turns it into an art form. For travelers who are visiting the UK or other European countries, the expresso machine is the standard for creating coffee beverages. And where there are a few variations the basic concept of the machine is the same. Fine ground coffee is added to a dedicated holder. This holder is attached to the machine. A wand is usually located on the device to allow for the steaming of milk. Depending on the type of machine, when engaged the machine brews either a single or double shot size of coffee ideal for lattés, mochas, and other coffee concoctions.
Chemex is a bit different from other coffee makers. It is more scientific. The Chemex requires a special filter which needs to be watered down before you start. Use about 20 ounces of fresh coffee and grind the beads on medium coarse grind. Once ground you need to add boiling water from the center and apply the water in circles around the grinds. The brew will slowly drip down. You will want to avoid too much water as this will cause a dirty flavor to the coffee.
This method of brewing is a bit more labor intensive and requires attention to what is going on. However, reviews of the Chemex state that it produces one of the best cups of coffee in terms of not losing its flavor or acidity.
Keep in mind when you are traveling that each culture has its own preferred method of roasting and grinding their coffee. To ensure that you get the best cup of coffee see where the coffee beans are acquired from. If local, ask what method is commonly used by that region. If you have a specific method of brewing that you prefer, buy the beans whole and grind them yourself for your specific device.
Personally, I enjoy a quick cup of coffee in the morning in the comforts of my room, but when I get out and start enjoying the travel spots and the towns that I visit, I want to get the coffee as everyone else does. It helps me to feel more in tune with the area that I am visiting and the culture. Be sure that you know the terminology for the drinks and the sizes. They are not universal. Yes, the words are universal, but the creation is a bit different from place to place.