brew a cup of coffee

cappuccino and chocolate covered espresso beans

Who does not feel ahhhh……

When they smell a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

I did not grow up in a coffee-drinking home; however, my grandparents daily stirred instant coffee into boiling water. As a child, the coffee smelled bitter and I had no interest in tasting.

Many years later, I learned to appreciate coffee enhanced chocolate brownies (thanks to the Barefoot Contessa), a small cup of espresso with a chocolate croissant (thanks to CIA in Hyde Park, NY), and a Starbucks creation (thanks to My Friend A).

Inspired by my coffee-loving sister-in-law, V, today I ground coffee beans!


Visiting Niece A in St Louis, we strolled through her neighborhood market – Soulard Farmers Market (visit this market if you are in the area!!!). Our first stop was the Soulard Spice Shop, a local business since 1914.  As I walked through the coffee section (buying beans for Brother R) and absorbed the aromas, I knew I had to try brewing the coffee.

The baker in me wants to measure everything!

coffee beans



  • 15 grams Chocolate Fudge coffee beans from Soulard Spice Shop, Soulard Farmers Market, St Louis, MO, freshly ground; medium grind
  • 200 grams of 200 degree F water, not allowed to boil
  • 1/3 cup of 2% milk, heated and frothed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cacao nibs, optional (as they sink to the bottom of the cup, they will flavor the drink)
  • sprinkle of cocoa, optional
  • 3 chocolate covered espresso beans (surely you don’t want these to be optional!)


  1. Moisten paper filter and fit inside top of 2-cup drip coffee pot
  2. Heat water to almost boiling
  3. Add ground coffee to moist filter
  4. Pour 50 grams water over coffee grounds and allow to bloom for one minute
  5. Pour remaining 150 grams of water over grounds and allow to steep for about a minute
  6. ENJOY!
  7. Or…….
  8. Heat 1/3 cup 2% milk and froth with Nespresso Aeroccino machine,  whisk or hand held mixer.
  9. Pour hot milk into freshly brewed coffee
  10. Sprinkle with cacao nibs
  11. Dust with cocoa
  12. Serve with chocolate covered espresso beans on the side

It all seems rather simple, and actually it is.  But, I had a few ‘trial and error’ moments

moisten the filter:

drip coffee

coffee beans

Conical burr coffee grinder

water at 200 degrees fahrenheit

medium grind

coffee grinder

freshly ground coffee beans

ground coffee beans bloom ground coffee one minute

bloom coffee grounds

add remainder of water

drip coffee


(Leave the coffee grounds sitting on the counter for a while; the aroma will drift through your kitchen!)

fresh cup of coffee

cappuccino & cacao nibs


(iPhone 4 photos)


fall spice coffee

Let me begin by saying I am not a coffee drinker.  Coffee, with it’s many roasts and blends can be as intoxicating (or confusing) as chocolate, wine or cheese.  They all offer varied colors, tastes, textures and aromas.

During a class at CIA, I did taste a wonderful French Press coffee along with a rich, buttery, chocolate croissant.  At that point, I decided that maybe I do like coffee…

Crisp morning air, cloudy days, and leaves falling – who could resist a drink named ‘fall spice coffee?’

I wasn’t sure about the coffee, but the spices and zest……yes!

stir dry ingredients and add zest

waiting for 200 degree water
dripping for 6 minutes

 waiting for the 6 minutes to pass
(The coffee mug belonged to my Grandfather; remembering him on Veteran’s day weekend.)

reflecting the morning sunlight

 cream or sugar?


The spices added depth to the warm morning mug of fall spice coffee.  I think the water dripped to quickly, leaving behind some of the flavorful oils of the coffee bean.  Also, even though the water boiled in the tea kettle, it only registered about 170 degrees on the instant read thermometer.  And, since the mug is not heated, the coffee cooled somewhat quickly.

Thus…opportunities to improve upon the drink when I brew my next cup of fall spice coffee.

Fall Spice Coffee
(adapted from Dessert First)

(yield: one 6 oz cup of coffee)

  • 2T ground coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 ounces boiling water
  • sugar and cream as desired (or sweetened whipped cream topped with a dusting of cinnamon and a spiral of orange rind-how festive that sounds!)


  1. I used the unscientific/’what I had in the kitchen’ method of brewing this cup of coffee.
  2. I doubled the coffee filter, hoping to slow the drip
  3. My antique funnel had too large of an opening; a smaller opening would have slowed the drip.
  4. Stir together all ingredients except water
  5. Pour into coffee filter
  6. Add boiling water and allow to drip brew.
  7. I added 1 teaspoon of cream and no sugar. (For variation/research, next time, I’ll skip the cream and add raw sugar-smokey, brown crystals of sweetness.)
I found a funnel with a smaller opening that I will use in the future.
The picture below is simply comparing the variety of funnels….really….