Coffee without the pot?
We're having company tomorrow night for dinner, so I'm roasting a chicken (for the first time--ack!) with root vegetables, making butternut squash soup, haricots verts, and finishing with a cheese course.
Here's the thing. I want some sort of dessert -- chocolate, preferably -- that's simple, as well as the option to serve coffee.
We have no coffee pot.
Suggestions? I have Bodum tea press and several tea balls.
Should I just make tea? Would that be weird with the cheese plate?
Indeed, pouring hot water gradualy through a coffee filter filled with coffee over cup is a common way to make coffee in some part of Europe.
If you have a coffee service, you can make it directly over the porcelain? coffee pot that comes with your coffee cups. Just remember to pour boiling water into it and leave it there for 5-10 minutes until the pot is nice and hot. Then set the filter over the top and manually drip hot water through a coffee filter filled with coffee. A sturdy mesh filter is what they would use in Europe, you can set paper filter over a mesh strainer of suitable size.
> Should I just make tea? Would that be weird with the cheese plate?
No more bizarre than serving coffee with the cheese course.
If you have a funnel, then just buy a box of coffee filters, fold to fit, and then pour boiling water bit by bit through the grounds. It will take you at least ten minutes of constant topping off to get a few cups. Avoid the temptation to pour alot of water in at once because the filter can break.
A MUCH easier option is to strain through a double layer of cheese cloth. This is about as cheap as it gets. Produces good quality coffee as well (better than a percolator style coffee maker), the major downside being that it kills the frothy head you get from a French press.
Heat the water in a pan to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit.
Add the ground coffee - two heaping tablespoons per 6 - 8 ounces of water ... or to your taste. It should be ground as coarse as you would for a french press. Stir briefly to make sure the grounds are wet.
Let steep for 3 minutes.
Carefully pour the coffee through a double layer of cheesecloth.
If you like a thick, sweet, somewhat exotic coffee, check the link for Mexican Cafe de Olla.
If you're going to serve a hot drink with the cheese course, I think the tea makes a much better pairing. Oolong tea goes deliciously with stilton, for example. And you could serve pretty much any tea with the chocolate dessert. Alternatively, you could go with port for the cheese course and tea or makeshift coffee with the dessert.
re: peppermint pate
Hi! I agree with Peppermint Pate about tea and port with cheese, rather than coffee. However I will like to recommend that you try a smoky tea known as lapsang souchong. It's flavour of smokiness pleasantly matches well with cheese. You can get this in most specialty tea and coffee shops. Twinings package it in tea bags as well.
re: Sally Doodah
I also agree. Tea will go better with cheese. Even better would be some interesting beers. We often share 2 beers (2 bottles each) among 4-6 people during cheese. Stay wtih ales (not lagers) and consider finding them from where the cheese comes from.
Magic Hat No 9 and Grafton Cheddar or even better Constant Bliss
Pyramid or Redhook with Sally Jackson Goat.
Whatever you do, just do something that's low stress. You'll have enough stress pushing the soup through a china cap and roasting a chicken.
Actually, your tea press would probably work, unless the mesh isn't fine enough, which you could solve by adding a coffee filter.
Or run out and buy a french press for coffee, they can be had for 10-20 bucks (especially if you have a TJMaxx or Marshalls near you), store easily, and make a fine cup of coffee.
Just remember with coffee, you want to add a small amount of hot water to the grounds and swish it around until it "blooms" -- all the grounds are wet, and you get a creamy foam, and then add the rest of the hot water. 2 T. of grounds per cup of water.