Brewing the perfect coffee organically vs. systematically

Cuisinart and Bodum side by side
Coffee Taste Test

Bodum empty cup and filter

Coffee Taste Test

Cuisinart empty cup and filter

Coffee Taste Test

When it comes to coffee I’m very much for it. It’s what powers this blog for the most part. I write early in the morning and there’s always some warm goodness beside my keyboard. For the last couple of years I’ve been making coffee with one of those classic Bodum’s that sucks the water from the bottom to the top and brews itself naturally above, only to come back down as something good. The thing is, the bottom of the pot is starting to look like the ground outside in NYC. There’s a layer of sludge that probably isn’t that healthy.

While I love how the Bodum tastes because it keeps a lot of the impurities of the bean in liquid form, others have described the taste as unpleasant at best. Over the weekend I was subjected to a blind coffee taste test with my first love and a metal Cuisinart. Within one sip I could point out which was the better coffee. The difference was quite clear—literally. While the Bodum looked like a natural brew, the Cuisinart was pure black, no inconsistencies. Most people would see this as a plus but for me it felt like it sucked out some of the flavour.

It wasn’t until I had finished both cups that things got really interesting. The bottom residue reflected how things tasted. The Bodum’s bottom was very organic looking while the Cuisinart was very clean, systematic and predictable. Those bottoms reflected how the coffee tasted. Is it a cultural thing? Impurities make the flavour vs. the clean but loss of taste? I’m not sure, but I took it one step further. I was curious to see how the two filters compare to each other. No surprises, the filters reflected how the bottom of each cup looked and in turn influenced how things were tasting. While I don’t have much choice as the Bodum is going to be making an exit soon. I’m going to give the Cuisinart a week, taste the Bodum after seven days to see if my taste has adjusted or not. I don’t think my taste will adjust, I guess it will be mind of matter…

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  • Bryan Roman

    French Press FTW.

  • Andrew

    Try the Aero Press.

  • Joel

    I'm not sure I would classify an increased amount of sediment and sludge as a positive thing in non-caffetiere coffee through descriptions such as 'natural', 'impure taste' or 'organic'. I would have expected the filter to remove that unless you are using an overly fine ground or a filter which is letting too many grounds through.

  • Brenda

    If you want to try a natural way to clean your Bodum and maybe save it, try soaking it in a mild acid such as white vinegar or water with lemon juice added. This will help dissolve those organic deposits that have build up and allow you to scrub them away with a dish sponge or small brush.

  • michaelsurtees

    thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to try that