COFFEE

I love coffee. If you know me well, then you knew that already. People often act surprised that I am able to drink coffee as a vegan. I am sure that there are plenty of vegans out there who avoid caffeine, but I am not one of them. What is the opposite of “avoid”? 

There is nothing about coffee that a vegan cannot consume. A good cup of coffee doesn’t need milk in it. If you’re really hung up on that though, most cafes offer non-dairy alternatives. So you can still enjoy those fancy lattes and cappuccinos. 

 

 

I am going to show you how to make a delicious cup of coffee using the French Press method. You can buy a french press practically anywhere these days. I recommend the Bodum brand for their sturdiness and nice design. However since I break presses all the time, I just bought my no-name press at Zellers for 10 bucks. Throughout this tutorial you’ll see mine, kept warm by the awesome blue cozy that Crystal gave me.

  Check out the amazing selection of handmade coffee-press cozies at Etsy.

 

 

 

The french press method provides the best flavour by preserving the oils that are typically absorbed by a conventional paper filter in a drip machine. A well-made cup of coffee shouldn’t require any milk/whiteners or sugar, however if you insist on those I would recommend turbinado or muscovado sugar, or even agave syrup if you’re feeling adventurous. Plain white sugar is plain white b

oring. As for milk, you could use your favorite non-dairy milk, or one of the variety of vegan whiteners on the market like this

Now, a good cup of coffee starts with good beans. Coffee beans aren’t really beans at all, they’re actually the pit of a fruit, but that’s irrelevant. Try to find fair-trade organic beans at your local market. There are a few good brands you might find in your grocery store as well, like Kicking Horse or Ethical Bean. It will make you feel a little better knowing where your beans came from, who made them, and how the industry effects those people. Check out this video for a better idea of what “fair trade” means.

 

 

Take your new bag of amazingly aromatic beans home and store them in an air-tight, light-proof container like the one you see below. Keep them out of the fridge or freezer.

Air-tight, no light.

While you wait for your water to boil it is a good time to grind your beans. You’ll want to grind them right before using them for optimal freshness. Remember, don’t grind them too fine. You’ll want a course grind for this, otherwise you’ll end up with a really gritty cup of coffee. Most grinders have different settings for course and fine grind. I prefer to use a burr grinder like this, but there are a lot of different options out there. Find the one you like the best. You don’t need to invest much in this. Just remember that the really cheap ones are likely to break and need replacement. 
Put your grinds in the clean carafe, using about 2 scoops per 3/4 cup of water. Pour your hot (not boiling) water over top and give it a quick stir. Now throw the top on and let it sit for about 4 minutes. While you wait, you should have enough time to read a few pages of whatever book or magazine you’re reading. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll use that time to get dressed or pack a lunch to take to work. 
 
When you’re done waiting, slowly press the plunger down, pushing all the beans you so lovingly prepared down to the bottom of the carafe. Then pour your coffee into a mug (or bowl, or plate, or trough, or whatever it is you drink out of.) Enjoy!

-trevor

Breakfast in Bed

We celebrated Valentines Day this year with breakfast in bed, as is generally our custom. Coffee, juice, and blueberry pancakes topped with strawberries. The recipe is from Vegan Brunch, which also features other things such as cinnamon buns, waffles (gingerbread!  peanut butter!), tofu omelets (!), frittatas, scones, sausages, and more.  You really just need to buy it already.  Most of the pictures turned out horribly, but there were a few worth sharing.