Because I enjoy a good coffee, even though I generally only sup one cup a day, I like to make it the very best coffee that I can, within the constraints of the simplicity of plain black coffee. That means, generally speaking, making it myself.
I buy what I consider to be the best pre-roasted beans from Jasper Coffee of Melbourne. My favourite is their Cafe Feminino, produced by an all female co-operative in Peru, but I recently tried a couple of their latest blends, ‘Isabel’, named for the founder of the Cafe Feminino co-op, and ‘Mexican Peaberry’. All good, but sadly, the Cafe Feminino ‘brand’, like all enterprises that start off good and pure, the sniff of success tends to draw in the ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘helpers’ and it appears to be being taken in directions that will not do anything to enhance the purity of the concept. In any case, getting coffee or anything else from far-flung places is not sustainable and will, with the impending failure of globalization, cease to be an option.
But, for now…
Out of necessity I recently equipped myself with a rather special hand coffee grinder, my previous one having passed its useful life some time ago. My new grinder comes from the stable of one of the finest lineages of manual coffee grinding equipment there is, the German company of Zassenhaus.
The model I purchased is the ‘La Paz’. Just look at the solid, cast iron and brass build of the thing. Should last a lifetime and all of their models come with a 25 year guarantee on the mechanism. The company began production in the late 19th century and original vintage models are now being sold as antiques.
They are not easy to find in Australia (I got mine on eBay) and are priced around five times what would be asked for a run-of-the-mill grinder in shops.
I am always looking for good quality, relatively low-tech, practical, stuff that will still work when all of the fancy electrical equipment is sitting, unusable, or acting as doorstops, after our modern slick, oil dependent society has ground to a complete standstill.
Of course I will still need a supply of coffee beans to grind, and possibly even to pre-roast at that stage. I haven’t successfully grown any yet, but I intend to work on it.