These are A Few of My Favorite Things, an on-going, once-a-month series that sheds some light on, well, my favorite items throughout my home. (To read through all posts in the series, click here.)
In this Coffee-Making Edition, I'll be looking at five of the tools that are necessities for my (almost) daily cup o' joe. (And even if you don't like to actually drink coffee, here's a recipe for using it to make a relaxing foot soak at home!)
1 Chemex: This an old-school era, pour-over coffee maker that is supposed to give your coffee a "fuller flavor." I'm not the coffee purist in this household, that's my husband. But I do like it because it's all glass, which eliminates the worry about making coffee in a plastic container. (For the same reason why folks make a fuss about not microwaving things in plastic or leaving water bottles in hot cars.) It does take a bit more work (you boil the water yourself and pour it over the grounds which sit in a filter in the top of the carafe), but I think it's worth it! Plus, it just looks cooler.
2. My Charley Harper Mug: I picked this mug up at a thrift store a few years ago because I've always been a little smitten by cute birds. Little did I know that this was by the Charley Harper, a Cincinnati-based artist known for his wildlife images (such as this cardinal) that were popular throughout the 1950s and on. One of my favorite things about this mug (besides the hippie-skippie illustration) is that it's smaller than your average mug, which keeps my gulps in check. (I can't locate any outlets for buying an authentic Charley Harper mug online, but here's a cute one of similar size available on Etsy.)
3. Naturally Decaffeinated Coffee: I cut back on my caffeine last year when I decided I didn't want to have to have a cup of coffee just to avoid getting a headache later in the day. So I switched to decaf, and elected to only use ones that have been "naturally decaffeinated." What this means is that instead of be decaffeinated using chemicals, the coffee is decaffeinated using water. They'll mention something along these lines on the back of the bag, if it has been decaffeinated this way. Currently, we live really close to a local coffee shop that roasts its own beans in-house, so we buy ours there. But I have also used varieties from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and been pleased!
4. Stirring Spoons: I'm not one to buy special-use gadgets and gizmos for the kitchen. I don't see the need for an avocado pitter or a tupperware specially for my sliced tomato. However, when I found myself using up spoon after spoon to stir my cream and homemade syrup into my coffee, I decided to get stirrers specially suited for this use which frees up my spoons for more spoon-worthy uses, like, uh, scooping out the avocado pit.
5. Kettle: While you certainly can boil water in a sauce pan on the stove, it's a lot easier with a kettle that tells you when it's ready. We like this one because you can easily open the spigot by pressing the button on the handle and then close it again by pressing a different spot on the handle. Plus, it's got a pretty silhouette and that whole stainless steel look going that has been the stealing the stage for some time now.