Judging Java: Homemade Espresso

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

As I’m writing this, Pittsburgh is getting hit hard with snow. One might even go so far as to use the term “snowpocalypse.” Because that’s what it is—so much snow that society is going to literally collapse. Jokes aside, it’s looking like I’ll be spending the next day and a half inside, so I wanted to write about coffee that you can make in your own home.

So right off the bat I’d like to talk about what has easily become the most popular and widespread homemade coffee—K-cups. K-cups are like the Point Cafe chicken tenders and fries of coffee. It’s fine, but it’s nothing to write home about. K-cups are very much a product of late stage capitalism, a mass produced plastic product that suffers in the quality department so that the product can appear trendy and easier. The overall design of a Keurig is peak modern appliance design; it’s set the standard for so many underwhelming products that unnecessarily followed (something that rhymes with “Yoda Meme”). Just buy soda from the store! The point of the Keurig is that to make a cup of coffee (an inherently hot beverage) you require some sort of machinery to make it. But soda isn’t hot, you can just drink a Doctor Pepper. You don’t need to make Doctor Pepper in your house! You can just buy a Doctor Pepper! This concludes my tangent about the SodaStream as a concept.

I was going to talk about making coffee with a French Press now, but let’s be honest none of you know how to do that. But if you plan on doing it anytime, I want to give a few tips for making coffee in a French Press. The biggest thing is: don’t. It’s an unnecessarily long process that will end with you thinking “that was a waste of time, even though the coffee was pretty good I am dissatisfied with the length of the process and would have preferred to substantially lower quality coffee from the Keurig.” Like I said,the Keurig is the perfect invention for college kids living in late stage capitalism—we all have very short attention spans, and we all love coffee.

The last thing I’m going to talk about (and this is the important one) is making your own espresso-based drinks at home (I’m talking about cappuccinos, lattes, anything you could possibly want). My girlfriend (who, for the record, is very cool [I hope that this doesn’t imply that I’m going to say that she’s not cool because she is very cool, and I just want to make sure that everyone can have an accurate picture of the situation]) got an espresso machine for Christmas, and she has been making me cappuccinos lately. The biggest thing that I have been impressed by is the quality of what she’s been making, and she’s only a beginner. What I’m saying is, if you spend a lot of money at coffee shops, maybe consider making stuff at home. Target has Mr. Coffee espresso machines for $50, which sounds like a lot of money at first until you realize how much money you would potentially be saving in the long run.

I’ll end with one last tip for making good coffee before the snowpocalypse collapses society completely: always grind your beans at home. They’ll taste better and be fresher. If that tip isn’t good enough for you, then I’m sorry, but that’s the last tip you’re getting this week.