Young and Hungry

How to Make Better Coffee from Your Home Drip Machine

Y&H broke down last week and bought a Hario V60 coffee dripper. I was tired of buying expensive whole beans and losing their subtle aromatics and sweet, fruity flavors once I ran them through the home drip machine. Most of my home cups ended up tasting like warmed-over cardboard. (I'm sorry but I've given up on my French press and the diarrhea of grounds at the bottom of it.)

As you can read from this obsessive document, buying a Hario V60 alone is not enough. You need some training and discipline — and, really, a Buono kettle — to get the perfect extraction. I'm guessing most of you reading this would rather wrestle wild grizzlies in Alaska than go through this agonizing process to get your morning jolt.

(I mean, just check out this video from Square Mile Coffee Roasters in London for how painfully protracted the process can be with a Chemex coffeemaker. At the very least, check out the video for the cool Stones remix.)

So in the name of convenience and sanity and all things Alton Brown, Y&H passes along this video, with the hopes of helping you extract a better cup of coffee in the future. It has its obsessive moments, too, and it even suggests a pricey burr grinder over your cheap blade model, which may be a bridge too far for many of you.

The interesting thing to me here is the addition of salt in the grounds. I've never done it. It also strikes me as unnecessary if you don't grind your beans too finely. Has anyone else tried the salt method of drip-coffee brewing?

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  • Raul

    In a recent episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown explained that the addition of salt to bitter foods helps to block your taste buds' ability to detect bitterness. He explains that salt is better than sugar for that purpose because your tongue can taste sweet and bitter flavors simultaneously, but salt masks the bitterness.

    I haven't tried it, but it's an interesting application of that principle. But, isn't bitterness the point? I'm not a fan of incredibly bitter coffee myself, so I stay away from dark or bold roasts and stick to mild ones. It seems like an unnecessary step, when one could simply buy different coffee.

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