February 12, 2014

I would hardly consider myself a coffee aficionado. I can't even consider myself a real coffee snob... if I need caffeine, I'm going to very seriously consider drinking the burnt sludge at the bottom of the pot brewed 3 hours ago. It is what it is. But for the most part I stick with my French press: I like my coffee black, and regardless of how often I pour without discernment, I can distinguish a good cup from a mediocre cup. And I say that gives me enough authority to give a shout out to a couple of products that both an enthusiastic, but sometimes questionable, coffee lover (me) and the complete coffee aficionado I am not can enjoy. Here we go.

I present a match made in full-bodied flavor heaven: Bonavita's Gooseneck Variable Temperature Electric Kettle and Porcelain Immersion Dripper.

The sleek and chic kettle allows for pinpoint precision with ease. Simply fill the stainless steel body with water and use the intuitive digital control panel on the base to select a temperature. Your water heats quickly and remains at that exact temperature for up to an hour. Being able to pinpoint the correct temperature for whatever your brewing (the kettle also comes in handy for whipping up tea or hot cocoa) is key for robust flavor without burning. So you have hot water and now, you're ready to pour.

Bonavita's Porcelain Immersion Dripper is a pour-over meets French press situation. Lock the base over a mug, and gently pour in your preheated hot water (recommended: 200 degrees F) through the kettle's slender gooseneck spout. Let the coffee steep for a few minutes as you would for an immersion brewer, then draw back the lever and release the results: about 16 oz of grade-A coffee. Full flavor and simple to prepare... you get the best of both worlds.

I gave the kettle and dripper a go for the first time with a group including both folks who have a deeper appreciation for the beverage than I and a couple who might enjoy it a smidge less. All unanimously agreed that the coffee we shared that day was some of the best we'd ever had the joy of sipping. While there's definitely a bit more time/active effort involved than a dedicated Keurig user is accustomed to, for the mornings/afternoons/evenings you need that extra high-quality boost, it's worth going the extra mile.

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