I am often reminded by the actions of my customers how kind and thoughtful they are and at times I am taken by surprise when I am at the receiving end of unsolicited acts of kindness from people I know only from afar. They usually touch me with their words and their personality through the phone and emails but this time the surprise came in a small box.
I opened an unexpected box at the store that was addressed to me and smelled suspiciously familiar, which contained a bag of coffee beans and the sender (I learned later), was Hilary.
Hilary sent a bag of Italian dark roast (originating from Il Fornaio in CA – a restaurant with which I have no affiliation financial or otherwise). At a first sniff the roast smelled like Turkish coffee and the beans, while bigger, have the pale roasted look of Turkish coffee beans. Dunking my nose into this bag became a hourly pleasure and I kept asking the others in the store to do the same.
I decided to take the beans home for testing and found that my faithful coffee maker of 4 years had given up on me. The plate was not heating. I was sad but I though the $30 investment for this coffee maker was well returned and started looking for a new one. After a little bit of research I decided to try a Cuisinart 12 cup coffee maker - warning, a frank product evaluation is about to follow.
If you find this coffee maker by Cuisinart on a substantial sale I would suggest you walk the other way. I for one would not take it if it was given to me free (and it was, I used credit card points and therefore, I am stuck with it). It makes by far the most hideous-rank cup of coffee I have drank and I have drank a large selection of not-so-good cups of coffee. I think if there was a punishment-by-coffee it would most definitely be made with this drip coffee maker – what a waste of good coffee beans!
This coffee maker by Cuisinart fails to heat the water to a degree that is necessary to brew a good cup of coffee leaving the drinker with a sour and odd tasting concoction that is barely warm even immediately after brewing. If you leave the coffee in the carafe long enough the plate may heat it up a little bit but I found that the coffee starts smelling almost moldy-sour-burnt after 15 mins on the plate.
Here is an analogy, think of your sink full of dirty dish-water from night before. Then imagine pouring coffee from previous morning into the sink and dipping a mug into that water and drinking it. For me the experience of drinking a cup of coffee from Cuisinart’s coffee maker is exactly the same. Long story short – I now have a useless coffee machine. Do you guys have any suggestions for an alternate use for this contraption?
So I decided to try my beans in a French press by Bodum instead. French presses in general make a pretty stiff cup of coffee, much more so than drip coffee makers so I was cautious when I ground my beans and measured them with a shy hand. I found that this was a smart move on my part as the Il Fornaio Italian roast makes one strong brew.
I picked my cup and went for my first sip (one must have the right cup for the brew – this was a Japanese made mug that I scored at Uwajiyama, a major Asian grocery store at Seattle’s International District).
Il Forniao’s Italian roast is not a coffee for the light hearted coffee drinker. This is the true coffee drinker’s brew. It is earthy (I mean that, really earthy!), with a definite aroma of the darkest chocolate, coffee liquor and may be a hint of Turkish coffee’s nutmeg. If coffee could be rated as sweet and dry (similar to wine), this is the driest end of the spectrum. I found no after taste or burned coffee smell even after 30 mins in my carafe tho it did sour a tiny bit. Still, I went for a second cup after 30 mins and drank with a smile. No major caffeine rush but a great zip for the morning.
Thank you Hilary for your kindness and for introducing me to Il Forniao’s Italian roast.
I am now in the market for a new drip coffee maker. Any and all suggestion would be appreciated.
Wishing you a great Labor Day week.