Unusual gifts

Presents from my kids.

My son, his girlfriend and my daughter spoiled me with a pile of gifts for my birthday. The packages arrived all week and I was instructed not to touch or open anything. On my birthday morning, my husband stacked the gifts on the counter in our casita.

This whole pile is to make a cup of coffee. That’s right. All these items are used for “Pour Over” coffee. When I last went to Berkeley to help my son post foot surgery, I learned the arduous task of pour overs. The first time I made coffee my son said to me, “You didn’t let this bloom long enough.”

It did taste bitter, a side effect of not enough “bloom.”

If you’re curious what was in all the packages, the big bag held the grinder. The smaller packages included Ethiopian beans, a scale, a bowl to put on the scale to weigh the beans, a glass carafe to make and hold the coffee, coffee filters, a platter to put under the grinder (from a Finnish artist — since I’m of Finnish descent) and a special kettle with a thermometer on it to get hot water at the exactly correct temperature.

Here are the presents unwrapped — the Pour Over paraphernalia.

Why did they choose to give me pour over coffee equipment? It’s because at my son’s house, I began to enjoy the process of making coffee every morning. When I returned home, I called my son and said that my Keurig coffee — even the special Starbuck’s Holiday Blend — was tasteless. I could have been drinking water.

Here’s the secret recipe to making a good cup of pour over coffee:

Fill the kettle with water and turn on the burner.

Weigh 30 grams of beans in the small bowl.

Put a filter on the Chemex carafe.

Place the carafe on the scale.

Grind the beans right before the water is at the correct temperature.

Pour hot water into the filter to get it wet.

Pour water out of the carafe.

Place ground coffee into the wet filter.

Pour 60 grams of hot water from the kettle over the coffee grinds — making sure it’s all wet.

Let it “bloom” for several minutes. Bubbles will appear on the surface of the grinds.

Pour 100 grams of hot water onto the filter holding the ground coffee beans.

Wait for the coffee to drip.

Repeat three more times.

The result is an excellent, bold, full flavored cup of coffee! There’s something about the process that is relaxing and satisfying. Otherwise, it would be too much work — even for superior tasting coffee.

A friend from Palm Springs called with birthday wishes. I asked her if she knew about “Pour Over” coffee. She said, “Yes. My two son-in-laws have all that stuff. The glass carafe, the coffee grinder. I have to get to work in the morning. I drink a cup of instant.”

We met friends at a restaurant for my birthday dinner. They walked in with a huge wrapped gift. It reminded me of when I was a child and I’d get a large doll in a big box! I was so excited.

What was in the box? Pink flamingos. Now I need to find a home for them in the yard!

Have you heard of Pour Over coffee? Have you tried it? What are your thoughts of pink flamingos?

59 thoughts on “Unusual gifts

  1. Any cup off coffee that requires a step by step, 2 page instruction manual to complete is no longer coffee, it is a pain in the ass. Cupcake just adds coffee flavoring (Caramel Salt is her favorite) to her Keurig brewed cup.

  2. A very happy birthday to you and may you have many more happy returns of the day. Iโ€™ve heard of pour over coffee because my younger brother was given almost identical stuff by his son.

  3. Happy Birthday EA! I too went to pour over after finding coffee in general had no flavor anymore. However I don’t do half of the steps you list! Mine is a simple 1 cup at a time process using french roast grounds with a slow, multi pour of water (your blooming step) in mini version. I’m quite happy so far, plus the grounds go in the compost. The flamingos are so fun and vibrant. I wonder if they’ll scare the birds and wildlife away?

    • I do enjoy pour over because of the flavor. I like the process too. I put the flamingos in the backyard last night. It may take a while for our quail and animals to get used to them.

  4. At home, I have an espresso machine. It makes a great cup! I do have a French press for regular coffee. Does pour over coffee taste different than French press?

    • We were given an espresso machine 30 years ago, but never replaced it when it quit working. Pour over does taste different than French press. I think the pour over is bolder in flavor.

      • Interesting! I asked for a dark roast at Starbucks one time but they didn’t have any brewed. They offered to do a pour over for me and I had no idea what it was. I liked it, but didn’t know to pay special attention, lol. I hope you enjoy all your new apparatus and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

      • Thank you! A year ago taking care of my son, he asked me to go every morning to a coffee shop to buy a pour over for him. I couldnโ€™t figure out why I had to wait so long!

  5. Happy Birthday! Beautiful flamingos. I tend to go out for the more involved types of coffee. If we are doing a road trip or if I have an extra challenging day, I like stopping at a small store for Cuban Coffee which is delicious and very strong. For many years, I did use a French press but I do prefer my keurig.

    • I’ve liked my Keurig for years. It’s when I came back from my son’s that it didn’t taste as good. We had a lifeguard from Cuba at our Palm Springs city pool. He brought me back a pound of Cuban coffee when he finally got to go home for a visit. It was really strong!

  6. Happy birthday! Wishing you a wonderful year – I love the idea of coffee as a gift, it’ll be with you every day. I haven’t tried pour over, it looks like it would make for a good cup of coffee.

  7. Happy Birthday! Way too much work for me. I drink several cups (large mugs) of coffee every morning and that procedure would never work for me. Cute flamingos.

    • The flamingos took me by surprise. Definitely not something I would have gotten for myself! I put birdseed out by them in the backyard, because the birds were afraid of them. Not anymore.

  8. I’m laughing about the pour over process because I don’t drink coffee but had a recent house guest over who I served Keurig coffee too. He asked if I had any beans so he could do a pour over instead and I had to sadly tell him that I didn’t. Now I know that is coffee likely just tasted like hot water to him. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy birthday! Wishing you an excellent and flavorful year ahead!

  9. I like to have coffee options: 1) there are only 2 or 3 Keurig coffees I like. The newer machine has greatly improved the flavors (I miss their Black Tiger), 2) there is the Nespresso machine – I’ve gotten good at making Americanos with it then there is 3) the Moka Pot – I bought it to make Cafe Cubano, then there is 4) the French Press. My general practioner wants me to cut back on my coffee – not happening, I have too much invested.

    • You have a lot of options! We have two Keurigs. We brought one when we moved in and the prior owners left one in the casita (we bought the casita furnished). We also have a French press and now our pour over set up.

  10. Happy Birthday! I was vaguely aware of pour over coffee…but I think I confused it with french press, though, until I read your details, LOL! Love the flamingo pair – so cute! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • You’re welcome – for the birthday wishes…I’ll have ask my twenty-something…I bet she has all the details about pour over coffee! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • I talked with a friend who has two daughters who grew up with my kids. She said the son-in-laws are into the pour over coffee. So is my son but not my daughter. Iโ€™ll be curious to hear what yours say.

      • ๐Ÿ˜˜ just talked with our daughter and she laughed and said she is exclusively a Nespresso girl, LOL! You might be right!

  11. How thoughtful of your kids! I have had pour over coffee at a coffee shop before and it really was some of the best coffee I had, but I am too lazy to go through all of that. LOL!
    Happy Birthday!!!

    • At first I felt stressed out lying in bed thinking about the hard work to get a cup of coffee! Then I discovered itโ€™s relaxing and part of getting grounded and focused. It was so thoughtful of my kids. Love them! Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  12. Happy birthday, EA! What a thoughtful gift for everyone to coordinate on (how often does that happen?!).
    I have done pour-over coffee off and on. That was what first got me off of cream and sugar to black. Just started again recently, but not quite so many steps.

    I love the flamingos! My neighbors have the old plastic kind and Iโ€™m always joking about putting them in our Spring and Christmas bird counts.

  13. Happy Birthday!! Nice gifts. Iโ€™ve tried the pour over method, it takes too long. Like making tea, Iโ€™m always overly anxious and donโ€™t wait for it to steep long enough. Itโ€™s nice to try NEW ways to make coffee, so ENJOY!

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