Power Outage Equals the Best Cup of Coffee
This is a situation that has happened to all of us: you wake up in a warm bed having had an amazing nights sleep. You feel unusually refreshed. It is at that moment that anxiety sets in. Something is not right. There is just a little bit too much light coming through the windows. You look over at the clock on the night stand and it looks back at you with no read out. Power’s out. You jump out of bed, find your watch and it reads 45 minutes past your wake up time. First stop, cell phone to call work to let them know your going to be late because the powers out. Next stop, coffee.
Wait, the powers out. No coffee maker and no coffee bean grinder. Yikes!!! Things just are not going to get cracking without a cup o’ joe. What to do? Do you run your emergency generator? Go instant? Your mind thinks “I know I have a packet of instant somewhere”. Maybe I should just run out to Starbucks. Nope, they don’t have power either. What other option is left. I’m glad you asked. What’s next is the best cup of coffee you have ever had.
All it takes is a little for thought and some equipment that will payoff the first time you use it. Here is what you need:
- A french press
- A manual coffee grinder
- A camp stove
- Filtered water
Now there are levels to the power being out. First, just electricity. All you need is the press and the grinder. That is IF you have a gas stove. You can use the grinder to fill the french press and heat your water on the stove. However, if you have an electric stove, your out of luck and need to go the escalated option. That is, you need a camp stove to heat your water up. With that said, let me initiate the uninitiated.
I like my coffee fresh, strong and hot. All three conditions must be met in order to have a decent cup of coffee. Fresh ground beans are best along with boiling water that is not from the tap. I don’t like my coffee tasting like a swimming pool and my water company uses just a bit to much chlorine (and fluoride) for my taste. I prefer the water out of my Berkey water filterfor any and all coffee preparations. While the water is boiling, I set to grinding my beans in the coffee grinder.
This is a hand powered grinder that can be set for the type of grind that suits me. I keep it coarse for the french press. By the time I’m done grinding, the water is boiled. I add the coffee to the french press and then slowly pour in the water. I let the coffee steep for a few minutes, give it a stir and begin pressing. Press your coffee slowly. Don’t force it.
Now for the pour. You will notice the coffee will look a bit turbid. This is normal. You’re filtering through a wire mesh screen not a paper filter. If you like, you can pour your brew through a paper filter but that kills the flavor. Give the poured coffee a gentle nose (sniff). You’ll notice that the coffee has a nutty smell. The nutty smell will translate into the taste. If you have never had french press coffee have a small sip that will just coat your tongue. Get used to it. It’s different. Now it’s time to wake up. Please enjoy your coffee as you normally would adding milk, creams and sugar as desired.
While the above seems a bit much the point is is that you made a fantastic bit of coffee with no power from the grid. All hand ground and filtered through a unpowered system. You also made the freshest coffee possible. By just owning a coffee press and manual grinder, your day is saved. The strength of the coffee is something you will have to experiment with. How much beans to add and the grind. In the end it is better to make a stronger brew of coffee as you can just add more hot water to thin it out or add milk. You can buy manual grinders on ebay for about 20 bucks and the same for french presses. Cheaper than a brewer/grinder combo that is powered by electricity. Plus, you never have to worry about the power being out. They even make french presses for camping that are made out of high impact plastic. They work great.
In any case, being able to make a cup of coffee in any situation is a huge moral booster and a great start to the day. If you really want to earn some hero points, brew an additional batch of coffee, dump it in a thermos and take it to work with you. If the power is still out, fill up the zombies that didn’t get coffee with some of your awesome brew. Now we’re talking prepared.
Stay thirsty my friends.~ Adam, Modern Bushman >