How To Make Coffee With The AeroPress :: Inverted AeroPress Video Tutorial

how to use the aeropress inverted method
Aeropress video tutorial :: How to Aeropress :: Aeropress Coffee

How to Use the AeroPress (Inverted Method)

When I started this blog, the first two videos were How To Brew Coffee With The French Press, and How To Brew Coffee With The AeroPress.  Admittedly, I was not on my game yet.  I have learned much since that time, and I have previously updated the French Press Tutorial, and now it’s time to set the record straight on how to PROPERLY use the AeroPress coffee brewer.  There are several techniques out there, but the one that I employ is easy for any Joe Schmoe to duplicate.  It produces a rich, flavorful cup of coffee, and does not involve any crazy tactics that will discourage you from using it on a daily basis.

When I first tried the AeroPress, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about.  People were, and still are, going crazy over this brewer.  I mean, how good can a coffee maker that is manufactured by Aerobie be?  These guys got famous by inventing a super duper frisbee for crying out loud.  Well, I was kind of disappointed when it was all said and done.  I strongly suggest chucking the included instructions into [Read more…]

Nate’s Top 5 Misused & Abused #Coffee Terms

misused coffee terms

Misused Coffee Terms

Have a coffee question…ASK COFFEENATE!

Strong coffee“…”Bold coffee” These as well as other coffee related terms have been misused and abused over and over, making it very [Read more…]

How Do Espresso Machines Work? : Don’t Buy Until You Read This


How Espresso Machines Work

By Melanie Rose

It wasn’t that long ago that I bought my first espresso maker — a small semi-automatic that was a good machine in it’s price range, but not the best espresso machine to be had. I made the decision to craft my own espresso at home due to the fact that I was spending anywhere from $8 to $20 a day at local cafés. I would haul in my trusty laptop and camp for the better part of a day while savoring ambient conversation, sipping rich espresso and taste-testing scrumptious pastries. Between my pocketbook and my waistline it’s hard to say which was suffering the most.

I do have great fondness for a good coffee house. The place I will always love the most usually has the front and back doors open and brave pigeons waddle in to pick crumbs from the floor. The fragrance of brewing coffee and baking delectables permeate the air, mixing with the sounds of people coming and going. Ahhhhh, so sweet. Once or twice a week I still visit the local coffee house and relax or do some work so that I can sunbathe in the warmth and glow of a great café.

But whether you partake at home or at the local café, espresso has a way of pulling you into its rich world. It wasn’t long after buying that first little machine that I was grinding my own beans and experimenting with different blends of coffee. I began conducting all types of research on how to illicit the flawless shot from a machine with understandable limitations.

Along the way I’ve learned a lot, but creating a great shot of espresso is like living the Tao. Elusive, slippery, and an ongoing process. It’s an art form that you can play with for a lifetime, and I guess that appeals to me.

In my search for espresso perfection I’ve run across so much terminology that I found confusing, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned about how espresso machines work, what all that lingo means, and why it’s important if you are a true seeker as I am.

I’ve included some diagrams so that you can have a visual, too. These are very basic because there is so much variation between machines and manufacturers, but they give you a general idea of the workings of an espresso machine.

First Things First

Before I get into describing the inner workings of the machine, I want to run through the process of extracting (aka pulling) a shot. The term “pulling” comes from the old time baristas using their lever machines.

Essentially, the shot is produced by propelling between 1 and 2 ounces of hot, pressurized water through a firm bed of finely ground espresso coffee.

In order to extract the shot from your espresso machine, the first thing you need to do is to check the reservoir tank and make sure that it’s full. Some of the pricier espresso machines can be plumbed into the home, in which case this step won’t be necessary.

Next, you place the ground espresso into the portafilter and tamp it down in order to produce a tightly packed bed of coffee. The portafilter is attached to the machine by twisting it into a unit that contains the gouphead, a component which attempts to evenly distribute the water onto the coffee. The portafilter sits just below the grouphead.

Now you will turn on the machine and [Read more…]

Improve Your Garden With Used Coffee Grounds

amazing uses for coffee grounds
used coffee grounds garden fertilizer

Improve Your Garden With Coffee Grounds

You’ve enjoyed your pot(s) of coffee, and now you’re left with a clump of coffee grounds to dispose of.  Don’t throw them out, or worse yet, rinse them down the drain! You’ll be happy to hear that your used coffee grounds make an excellent organic fertilizer for your garden or lawn. Many cities, including mine, have outlawed the use of chemical fertilizers. Misuse of these chemical fertilizers can negatively impact the water supply, as well as the condition of your soil. You’ll also save money! We’re already drinking coffee every day, why not take advantage of this added benefit from the coffee beans? There are a couple of ways that you can use coffee in your garden;

  • Collect the spent grounds in a large bowl or bag, and add them directly to your garden soil on a weekly basis. Coffee is one of the few things that you can add right away, without having to compost it.  Coffee adds Nitrogen to your soil, and helps it to retain moisture for a longer period of time. I don’t have a compost pile, so this is the method that I use.
  • Add the coffee into your compost pile. Coffee adds much needed Nitrogen to your compost, and retains moisture.  Mix the coffee into your compost pile to evenly distribute it throughout your compost. This will boost the effectiveness of your composting efforts.

Even if you don’t drink coffee, or you only drink a small amount, you can still benefit from this natural organic fertilizer. Just visit your local coffee shops, and let them know that you will be happy to take their grinds off of their hands. Starbucks, and other shops, will automatically store their used grounds in a large bag. The best part is…IT’S FREE! Starbucks puts out large bags of grounds and they are marked “Grounds For Your Garden”. If you haven’t seen this at your local shop, ask the employees when they usually put them out. Another idea is to ask them to store a couple of bags for you to pick up at a scheduled time.

buy bodum coffee online grinder french press

Coffee Ground Fertilizer BONUS…Goodbye Snails & Slugs!

You will also be pleased to learn that coffee in your garden will naturally repel unwanted pests, such as snails and slugs! Apparently, these creatures do not appreciate caffeine as much as we humanoids do! Place a mount of spent grounds around each plant to create an impenetrable barrier, and block the creepy crawlies from your flora.

Coffee Filter BONUS Tip

Keeping soil in your planters can be a challenge. Many times when you water your planter, you lose soil through the drainage holes in the bottom. To eliminate the soil loss, while allowing them to properly drain, place a coffee filter in the bottom prior to adding your soil. The filter will keep the soil in, and let the excess water out.

What are YOUR tips for using coffee in unique ways?


Win a FREE #Bodum Bistro Burr #Coffee Grinder!

Pinterest contest win a free bodum bistro coffee grinder

Win a FREE Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder! Bodum USA has graciously offered to reward the visitors of with this special prize. You can gain several entries, and a random person will be drawn on Wednesday, January 30th. There are several ways to gain entries, and the more you enter, the better your chances of getting selected as the winner!

Here’s how you can win

  • Enter the promotion on Facebook (You will gain bonus entries for posting to your wall or inviting friends to join)
  • Click the Pin button on the above image, and pin the image on Pinterest (Must not edit description, so I can find it)
  • Click the RETWEET on the tweet below this list.
  • Join the email list (if you already are on it, you’re good to go!)

Be sure to visit the Bodum Facebook page, and Twitter accounts, to thank them for this great opportunity!

The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder is an excellent, entry level coffee grinder for general brewing needs. It does a great job of grinding coffee for French Press to Moka Pot. I would not recommend using the Bodum Bistro for espresso grinding. At this price point, the grinder is a solid performer for the home brewer.