Back in November, my friend Steph and I went to Starbucks to try their new Chestnut Praline Latte, their first new holiday drink in years. We went for two reasons:
1. Steph and I have forged our friendship over countless cups of coffee 
2. We figured chestnut AND praline? This we have to see!

When I mentioned to the twitterverse that I was about to let them know my thoughts on the new drink, I got this from a tweep whose name I won't tell you {but it rhymes with mason}.

That's when the twitter brawl started. Folks debated whether lattes, mochas, frappuccinos and the like are indeed coffee, or merely just 'liquid candy bars'. I believe we all agreed to disagree and my verdict on the new chestnut praline latte was: Meh. I've had better. 

But I ended up thinking WHAT IF jason MASON IS RIGHT? What if all the flavors, and fancy gadgets are just ruining the perfect bean? So what did I do? I put aside the Keurig, unearthed my french press, and proceeded to make some coffee. Just pure, ol' regular, french pressed coffee, and OMG it was way, WAY, WAY better than any Keurig pod I've had in the last year. Richer, denser, more flavorful, wake-me-up-I-haven't-slept-in-six-months-because-of-my-baby good.

That's saying something!

So for the last couple weeks I've been polling people, and most, though not all of them,  say they have a latte on occasion, they still have the Keurig for visitors, but they like their drip, french press, or chemex coffee much better.

Chemex? I said.

Chemex, they said. So I googled and this came up:

A vessel that claims to brew "clear, pure, flavorful coffee".

Now I have 2 questions for you:
1. On a scale 1 to I love coffee more than Taylor Swift, how much of a coffee snob are you? Do you subscribe to the #respectthebean principle, and therefore drink it in its purest form? Do you love yourself a salted caramel latte? Do you care as long it has coffee?
2. How do you brew your coffee? Have you tried a chemex? Does it live up to its hype?

I need answers. Go!


  1. 1. I DO love coffee more than Taylor Swift and the Olsen twins combined. Factual. I can't start my day without it, and I've grown to have a sensitive nose & palette for the flavor and aroma profiles. It's a lot like wine tasting, but not! It's an acquired taste. To achieve the full flavor, most people recommend going for the French press and drinking it black. Or maybe a smidge of sugar to elevate those bold flavors. I don't subscribe to the #respectthebean mantra because I think the bean is a multifaceted product of nature and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. I go for bolder, mouthier textures/flavors so french press really has my heart. I do bust out the Bialetti Italian Moka for some homemade espresso, too. Sometimes I drink it Italiano Classico out of the tiny cup, sometimes I make my own cinnamon lattes. Either way, I always grind my own beans. Packaged coffee grounds do NOT have that element of freshness, as ground beans tend to lose those locked in oils & flavors within just several hours of grinding. Look it up! Facts. If you see some frothy orange goodness steaming at the top of your brew, you've got guaranteed freshness. I love getting dirty chais and caramel brûlée lattes at Starbucks like any other sassy white girl on a mission. I also love the experience of producing my own carefully brewed mud in the morning, I think the coffee bean is such a dynamic ingredient and we shouldn't act like poser bean snobs because people like to dress the ingredient up. If you want to broaden your horizons & learn the art of coffee making - invest in a bean grinder, a french press, a chemex even, two or three bags of BEANS (not grounds) with vastly different flavor profiles and make some espresso. Try it black. Experiment with additives. See what works for you, what wakes you up, what wakes up your taste buds. Seriously. It's so fun.

    2. If I'm in the mood for a flavorful cup of joe, I bust out the French press. You MUST get your measurements and timings down accurately, though! Else it turns out the way it shouldn't. But this is hands down the best way to drink coffee. I've never owned a chemex, but I have tasted a drip brew. NOTE: using filters changes the flavor and texture of your brew. The paper absorbs a lot of those important, luxuriously complex oils and your coffee will taste different. This is the only downside, and why a lot of people tend to lean towards french press if that element of flavor matters to them. Seriously - it's an art form! YouTube search for methods on how to use a chemex and french press. There's a lot to it! Cheers. LAKENDRUS

  2. I LOVE you recommend Kendra! And you are absolutely right about the whole beans.
    I am getting the Chemed for sure.

  3. Fernanda ConradDecember 18, 2014

    I love your recommendation Kendra! I am getting the Chemed for sure.


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