Monday, January 28, 2008

Pressed Coffee In 10 Easy Steps!

Kay asked about how to make pressed coffee, so I thought I would share my "recipe" with you. This certainly isn't the only way to do it, but it seems to be working for me.


STEP 1: Purchase a coffee press. I enjoy my Starbucks press that also serves as a stainless steel carafe. That way when I'm finished pressing it stays nice and hot!

STEP 2: Select your coffee. I mentioned in my last post that right now I am very fond of Starbuck's Sumatra. There are many great companies and websites that have phenomenal coffee. I'll talk about those sites and different types of coffee in a future post. MOST IMPORTANTLY - Always use fresh beans - never pre-ground!

STEP 3: Grind beans. I am currently using a regular blade grinder, but I'm hoping to get a nice burr grinder some day. Burr grinders make a coarser ground which makes for better pressed coffee (smaller grounds may get pushed through the press screen). Here's one example of a burr grinder.

STEP 4: Pour ground coffee into bottom of press. I use slightly more coffee than your average bear. I stopped "measuring" many moons ago, but you'll want to end up with two heaping tablespoons when finished grinding (for 8 cups of water).

STEP 5: Boil water. I use a typical tea kettle on the stove. You could also microwave your water, but this can lead to inconsistent temperatures. Boiling in a kettle is my preferred method. Remove the water just before it reaches a complete boil - this is a great temperature!

STEP 6: Pour water over grounds. Once filled, stir the water/grounds mixture to ensure complete coverage. You'll start to smell that wonderful coffee aroma!!

STEP 7: Cover your press (but don't press yet!!) and let the grounds steep for 4-5 minutes. NOTE: this is the step that can vary depending on your taste. If you like a lighter coffee - steep for 3-4 minutes. If you like a stronger, bold taste, then stick closer to the five minute mark.

STEP 8: PRESS! Start pressing your coffee by pushing the plunger/screen downward in a VERY SLOW and VERY STEADY motion. Make sure your plunger stays perpendicular to your counter top.

STEP 9: Pour your coffee and ENJOY!! You'll notice a bit of "chaff" (not grounds) in the bottom of your cup. This is normal and by the way, it doesn't have a bad taste at all!

STEP 10: Repeat every day!! You'll have to settle for brewed coffee at some point, but when you can get it, pressed coffee will forever be your favorite!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Own "Sagging Hulk"

I apologize once again for the lack of posts - only three in 2008!! After averaging nearly 5 posts a week in 2007, I'm going to have to get back on the writing trail to catch up! I'm also nearing the 500 post mark which I'm looking forward to as well.

Why the lack of posts? Besides the dreaded "B" word (busyness!) my trusty laptop is finding old age to be quite the problem. My battery has been going out for some time, and this week my fan started making noises reminiscent of the men's restroom at Wal Mart. On the very same day my power cord decided to bite the dust which led to my hard drive acting up and nearly complete failure. After three and a half years, my beloved Sony (and yes, I LOVE SONY machines!) and Windows XP Pro are slowly winding the path towards retirement.

By the way, I am rapidly becoming a MAC fan. After swearing most of my adult life that I would NEVER touch, let alone own a Mac, I am hooked. We are using two MacBook Pros in the Creative Arts department and they ROCK! So...if God allows, I hope to replace my "sagging hulk" of a laptop with a shiny new MacBook Pro! (NOTE: The MacBook Air looks awesome, but early reports put it well behind the MacBook in performance!)

So here's to a plethora of posts in the future - may they be well written and well read!

Monday, January 21, 2008

My New Best Friend

My wife gave me a coffee press for Christmas and is the bomb!! Anyone that knows me realizes that I am a coffee freak, but pressed coffee is by far the best type of coffee I have ever consumed. I've had pressed coffee at a restaurant before, but to make it in my own house is incredibly awesome. If you like coffee and haven't tasted pressed coffee before, give me a shout and we'll brew some together!!

Special props to my buddy "Pipstah" for turning me on to the "home press!"

By the way, my favorite type of coffee to press? Starbucks Sumatra. Anyone else recommend some coffee?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Manifesting Your 2008

As we start the new year, many of us are thinking about goals for 2008. I'm working on a list of "Bucket Goals" (inspired by this blog and the movie "The Bucket List") as well as updating my 2008 Life Plan. The new year is a natural time to celebrate your accomplishments in 2007 and then to take a look forward and develop and establish goals for 2008.

Before you finalize those plans however, I want to challenge you to read this manifesto from Mark Batterson. This manifesto was developed for his book "In a Pit With a Lion On A Snowy Day" (which I highly recommend) and is great food for thought. Here's to an incredible 2008!

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Success Comes In "Cans"

One of the favorite quotes from my good friend John is this, "Success comes in cans, not can'ts!" How true this is! A positive mindset can truly make a difference.

There were many people who said we couldn't do it. Some who called us crazy. Some who even doubted God. But in the end, God worked through some ordinary people to build His dream called Meadow Heights Arcadia Valley. As of this past Sunday, we are now one church in two locations!

You can check out several photos here.

Thank you to so many of you who dedicated countless hours towards the completion of this project. A special thanks to Greg and Ragen Amelung for leading this project and giving their all to fulfill God's mission.

And finally a special thanks to Bryan for leading all of us as we enjoy this dream turned reality. We have taken the first step to impacting our world and I know it is only the beginning. I know that God has designed the plan, but He also needed a great leader to empower the rest of us. He made the right choice.

Meadow Heights stands upon a new day. We will never be the same and yet, we haven't changed. We will always continue to love God, love people and do our best to impact the world. We'll do our part and we'll let God take care of the rest. After all, He can do far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams!