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So coffee has become an essential part of our lives. I’m sure many parents can relate to having a “go-to” that helps keep them sane and gets them through the day. Our go-to is coffee. Cath and I have always enjoyed a cup or two, in fact at the very beginning of our relationship we spent a lot of time going on coffee dates. It was a very chilled time in our lives, before the business and demands of parenting set in. Coffee has since become our lifeline. We are not necessarily saying that this is a good thing, but this is where we find ourselves at this point. In the morning when we are not quite able to function optimally and the kids have woken up on a natural buzz, we need to get our coffee brewing!

We need a good quality, strong, filter coffee. Before we had kids it used to be instant coffee, but it just doesn’t cut it for us anymore… It is not quite the “kick” that we want. We have tried a cup of instant coffee in-between, but it tends to give us the j.i.t.t.e.r.s!! Yes, instant coffee is quick and easy to make, and with the business of our day, scoring time is always a bonus. But chattering teeth doesn’t help anyone ever. So if we don’t plan ahead we end up being instant coffee victims.

Nowadays we have so many amazing filter coffee options that can easily be made at home. Organic is our preference as there is no synthetic fertilisers or chemicals used in growing or production. When it comes to strength we enjoy a level 4 or 5 and opt for beans instead of pre-ground as it holds its freshness for longer. As Phoenix said to me the other morning, “This grinder is a very important machine when making coffee, huh!” and how true that is, especially for us, because without it we wouldn’t be able to grind our coffee beans! As we use this “very important machine” daily, we have come to realise the benefit of having a grinder with different settings, as opposed to a regular blade grinder with no settings. As you’ll read below, we’ve learnt that different grinds work better with different coffee makers.

Just to set the record straight, we are in no way coffee experts, and the information shared in this blog is purely based on our own personal experiences. The reviews shared are not directed at any specific brand, they are merely why certain methods of making coffee work for us, and why other methods don’t. It is a personal preference. Any brand of coffee machine that is affiliated here is based on thorough research.

We made use of a pod machine but this phase was short-lived. The upside was quick coffee on demand. It was very easy to clean and could deliver a good strong cup. But you need to find the pod with the right strength and flavour – something that works for you. The varieties of pod options are endless. Pods are efficient when time is against you but then you have to take the carbon footprint into account. We still have a bag of used pods in our kitchen on standby to be recycled – but recycling points are out of our way. Yes, you can use the refillable/reusable pods, but we just don’t have the time to fill, use, clean, repeat.

We also made use of the stove top espresso maker. Back when we had a gas stove and no kids it worked pretty well. It’s not easy to use when you have a kid on your hip and you need both your hands to use it. And besides that, if you’ve got a hot pot of coffee brewing on the stove with kids running around, it cannot be left unattended. We are currently using an electric stove, so using this type of pot on an electric plate seems like such a waste of electricity. This method gave us good, strong coffee and despite its look, it was easy to use. We also had hardly any sediment at the bottom of our cups. You only manage to get two good cups of coffee out of each brew though… So you’ll need to make a few brews a day to get your coffee fix. This method suited us best when it was just Cath and I and we needed a cup before heading out for the day.

We also tried to combine a bit of old and new school coffee making methods by using a dual coffee maker. It allowed you to make a traditional pot of filter coffee via the regular drip method while also having an espresso function as well. The drip option felt like a waste of coffee as it resulted in below average filtered coffee. I guess water literally gets poured over the coffee in the filter housing and it drips into the pot. It also leaves quite a bit of sediment at the bottom. It makes enough coffee for more than one serving – but we found ourselves being dissatisfied with the result. The espresso option worked much better for a strong cup with minimal sediment… But once again, try to fill, compact, and turn in an espresso “fitting” with one hand and a kid on your hip… Needless to say, neither one of these methods worked for us.

Our go to at the moment is the french press method (a coffee plunger). Even though it may not be the best method it is quick, simple, can be done with one hand and therefore suits our lifestyle. It is also easy to clean and you can get four decent sized mugs out of one jug – but make sure you purchase a big one! Sediment is a problem though. A grind that is too fine makes its way through the mesh filter so best you do use coarsely ground bean. Be sure not to drink the last sip though, unless you want a mouthful of sediment!

We have yet to try a cold drip brew. This takes takes time…10 hours and more sadly. I believe it’s made by slowly dripping cold filtered water through your freshly ground beans over a long period. Is it just like hot coffee but iced? Oh hell no! It’s a unique tasting brew with a smooth finish and no bitterness. Cold drip coffee gives you the caffeine high without the crash, keeping you mentally alert, yet calm. Isn’t that just beautiful? This one ticks off all the boxes with the exception of time and patience required.

Cath finds the The Vacuum Pot or Siphon Coffee option intriguing. A vacuum coffee maker is a full immersion brew system that uses a heat source to create a vacuum by forcing water up into another chamber, where the coffee grounds are steeped, and then allows the brew to drain back down into the bottom chamber. It takes about 10 mins to brew. You will have to follow the steps to get this process right as it’s quite an advanced brewing method. This method seems quite scientific, and that’s probably the intriguing part. It doesn’t really appeal to me, but if you’re making it, I won’t say no to enjoying a cup! To clean the pot is a bastard though, so I would only recommend it for special occasions.

So there you go, the options are endless and there are many other methods, besides the ones I’ve mentioned, which might suit your lifestyle. I do miss the old stove top espresso maker but for now we’ll stick to plunging it!

– Farrell