Give Thanks! - Espresso To Go Go

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Over the next few weeks (as Thanksgiving approaches) I am going to share some personal things that I am thankful to God for supplying in my life. The Scriptures tell us to give thanks in all things. So in an exercise to remind myself of God’s provision, care, and grace towards me, I want to share ten things I am thankful for.

Right in the heart of Wichita there sits a little coffee shop. The shop itself is very unique. A disco ball scatters refracted light around the room, and on occasions out onto the side streets. Techno music grooves through the space functioning like an auditory caffeine that comes with every beverage they sell. Tall bar stools and tables provide a place to sit, chat, and build relationships with others. Espresso drinks are produced from the hands of master craftsmen in infinite varieties. The barista listens to the desires of the customers and their flavor profiles to produce drinks that are as delicious as they are unique. The skill and dedication to producing the best possible drink and atmosphere are palpable.

About a year and-a-half ago this little shop transitioned from a food truck/jet stream trailer to a fixed location in downtown Wichita. In my search for the best coffee I could find I wandered down and gave it a try. Since that day I haven’t longed for any other coffee more than I do for Espresso To Go Go. This place has become a friendly home, office, and social space for me. I regularly order a Flat White, although I can’t find a drink I don’t like here. Warren and Ann produce great espresso drinks, as well as excellent cold-brewed coffee. If you have a day where some extra caffeine is needed, I would recommend the Sid Vicious. It’s seven shots of espresso with sugar and a poke of half and half. It’s awesome.

More than the coffee and the place to enjoy life in Wichita, I’m thankful for the people that make up Espresso to Go Go. Warren and Ann are two genuine caring people that have befriended, and cared for our family. They have shared our ups and downs over the last couple years and have brought us into their lives without any fear. The rest of the staff at ETGG has been just as kind. I am thankful for relationships with these kind people who care not just for the product they are selling, but for the people that come in and out of their shop.

Espresso To Go Go is a place of common grace for me. I am thankful for this place, but more so for these people who call me friend, and show it by their actions. 

The Perfect Cup of Coffee, A Recipe

Transient

I meant to share this earlier in the week but got back to the normal routine of life and work and didn't have a moment to sit down and shape this out for you. 

So how do you make that perfect cup of coffee? Here's my methodology.

Technology - French Press
Beans - yes, fresh roasted (as close as you can get), not frozen, not flavored... DON'T GRIND THEM YET!
Hydration - water, put some in a tea kettle and get it up to temperature, basically get it boiling.

Now the method.

When you tea pot starts screaming or wailing or moaning or whatever your tea pot does pull it off the burner so that it settles down. The ideal temp for your water is going to be 200º. Usually after about thirty seconds off the burner it's ready. 

Now grind those beans. There isn't an exact science to this but I go for 2 tablespoons for every 2 cups of coffee. Don't grind them to a fine sand, but a semi-course texture. You don't want it looking like there are coffee rocks in your French Press, but you don't want super-fine grain either. Somewhere in between. Look at some kosher salt and you'll have a good view of how ground you want to have it.

Immediately after grinding place the grounds in the French Press and pour in enough 200º water to fully immerse the grounds. Don't fill the entire French press yet. Just cover the grounds. Then get a knife or spoon or chopstick and gently stir the grounds. This is the bloom and if your beans are fresh you should get a nice light foamy head of sorts. Once you have done that then you can pour in the rest of the water and stir. 

From this point wait about three minutes and thirty seconds. Then gently press the plunger down in your french press all the way to the bottom. Make it a fluid movement. Don't press too fast, but you shouldn't have to exert too much pressure either. I estimate about 20-30 seconds worth of pressing if you've filled your press full. Your total time brewing from the time you first pour your water in to get a bloom going to the time you start pressing should be no more than four minutes! Start pressing at the four minute mark or you will over-brew your coffee. Trust me, I'm a snob. 

Then pour and enjoy. The perfect cup. Unless you've ground up flavored beans from the freezer.