Good Morning Costa Rica!

I submit that there is nothing that a cup of coffee and some cinnamon buns will not fix. Coffee is a good deal like wine. Certain cups blend themselves well to certain foods. One of the Ethiopian varieties that we’ve tried, for example, does very good with blueberry muffins because the blueberries in the muffins make the hint of blueberry in the coffee so much more noticeable and enjoyable… [Read More at monroepostcoffee.com]

Coffee Brewers

Erica and I love our coffee and we frequently get asked what type of coffee equipment to get, so here are a few good ones. A few recommendations if you will.

Pour Over (~$15 on Amazon, retail ~$20)

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a coffee brewer to make good coffee. This is my defacto recommendation for most people: Get a pour over! They make great coffee, are inexpensive, and you are in total control.

Amazon: An example pour over

Bonavita 8 cup coffee brewer with thermal carafe (~$135 on Amazon, retail $180)

Certified by the Special Coffee Association of America (SCAA), quick to start, brews at just the right temperature, and so simple to even my four year old daughter can use it. It is more expensive than a Black and Decker, but if your looking in that price range stick with a pour over. This has been our trusty brewer for two years now and we love it. Highly recommended.

Amazon: Bonavita 8 cup coffee brewer with thermal carafe

They sell another model without the thermal carafe, but I absolutely recommend the thermal carafe! A good insulated carafe (like this one) allows you to brew the coffee and keep it warm without burning it on a hot plate. Granted, if you immediately brew and serve it right away this feature may be of little benefit and you can save a few bucks on the glass carafe, but I’ll stand by my recommendation of the thermal carafe for most folks.

 

Technivorm Moccamaster (~$300 on Amazon, retail $320)

The Technivorm is a great unit certified by the SCAA. When we are in the market two years ago it was a top contender. It was one of the first quality brewers in the US market and from personal experience it brews a solid cup of coffee. Just like the Bonavita, it also brews at just the right temperature and starts up quickly. I didn’t find the Technivorm terribly intuitive, however, as it had a number of parts and pieces that had to be aligned just right. It was cool, don’t get me wrong, it made me feel like I was making something extra special, but I wouldn’t trust my four year old barista in training with it just yet. You are reading this blog post, so I assume you are older than four and therefore feel confident that if you prefer the Technivorm you will find this a minor drawback.

Amazon: Technivorm Moccamaster with Thermo Carafe

Brazen Plus ($200 retail)

This is a brand new brewer certified by the SCAA’s home brewer program. I read an article about it here recently, but haven’t gotten a chance to try one (anyone want buy us one!?). The specs look great, but what really caught my attention was the ability to customize the water temperature, add a pre-soak cycle for the grounds, calibration for higher altitudes, and more tweaks. Brew wise I am confident that this will product a great cup of coffee along the lines of the Technivorm and the Bonavita, but with the added benefit of being able to customize things to your taste for that geeky-coffee-artistic-touch. It is more expensive than the Bonavita, but it is less expensive than the Technivorm. Did I mention it has a thermal carafe?

Amazon: Brazen Plus

Conclusion / Suggestions

Until you are ready to invest in a coffee maker, go with a pour over. Even after you invest in a coffee maker, buy a pour over if you don’t already have one. Never get rid of your pour over, he will be your stalwart companion until one of your children knocks him off a shelf and you hold a funeral and maybe have a little cry.

Still reading? OK. If you are ready to invest in a brewer because *maybe* you need something to handle the dangerous aspects of handling near-boiling water in the morning before that first cup of coffee has fully awaken you to the danger of second degree burns… What then?… What would we recommend for your health, safety, and sanity?

If I was in the shoes that I imagine many of you wearing, first I would hope they were at least size 10 and 1/2 or I would be uncomfortable, second I would lean heavily toward the Bonavita for its simplicity, price, and ability to make a great cup of coffee. If was in my shoes, the shoes of a coffee geek, I would seriously consider the new Brazen Plus for those same features and it’s tweakability (thats a word right?).

Mac Book Air and a cup of Coffee

Chocolate biscuit soufflé tart gummies marshmallow ice cream. Gummies sesame snaps oat cake sugar plum pie dessert brownie ice cream. Candy canes pie jujubes sweet roll cupcake gummies pastry. Fruitcake marshmallow sesame snaps dessert tootsie roll gummies tiramisu soufflé. Pudding croissant jelly sweet tiramisu pastry cookie jelly. Toffee ice cream toffee tiramisu.

Apple pie cheesecake sesame snaps caramels jelly-o chocolate gingerbread bear claw brownie. Dragée pudding candy canes jelly-o lollipop. Marzipan gummies gingerbread oat cake liquorice candy canes. Pie gingerbread unerdwear.com jelly-o jelly. Cotton candy biscuit brownie gummies sweet roll sugar plum. Gingerbread caramels caramels dragée danish cupcake lemon drops. Wafer dessert jelly-o gummies.

Old wooden wall and green bicycle

Fruitcake marzipan topping tootsie roll cheesecake jelly-o topping. Fruitcake brownie muffin soufflé chocolate cake jelly-o chocolate cake cheesecake. Bear claw bear claw pie liquorice jelly beans tart. Tart candy pastry chocolate bar sweet. Topping unerdwear.com tootsie roll gingerbread chocolate danish cupcake. Halvah macaroon candy canes jelly-o halvah. Dragée marshmallow fruitcake powder lemon drops. Jujubes liquorice cotton candy danish muffin pastry marshmallow cupcake apple pie. Cupcake oat cake liquorice chupa chups jelly apple pie donut.

Macaroon cake fruitcake jelly beans caramels bonbon gummi bears. Biscuit unerdwear.com apple pie wafer bear claw cookie gummies. Gummies oat cake apple pie dragée marshmallow. Lemon drops halvah jelly beans. Carrot cake bear claw gummi bears tart cake jelly beans toffee muffin. Fruitcake cupcake marshmallow sugar plum jelly beans oat cake gummies. Bear claw tootsie roll sugar plum jujubes chocolate cake. Tart unerdwear.com gummi bears jelly beans sweet roll jelly-o macaroon pastry.

A boy leaning on the Wall

Wafer croissant sweet marzipan. Sesame snaps sweet gingerbread pie jelly tiramisu oat cake. Biscuit caramels fruitcake chupa chups. Pie ice cream marzipan danish bonbon jelly chocolate cake applicake. Ice cream ice cream muffin cookie apple pie biscuit toffee applicake. Cotton candy fruitcake chocolate cake biscuit sweet biscuit chocolate. Lemon drops cupcake pie tiramisu. Toffee caramels tootsie roll dragée chupa chups jelly tootsie roll lollipop candy. Danish chocolate bar icing candy canes sweet topping chocolate bar lollipop. Bear claw candy tart chupa chups candy canes lollipop cake. Gingerbread chocolate cake pudding icing. Icing caramels oat cake toffee. Bear claw soufflé cake.
Wafer croissant sweet marzipan. Sesame snaps sweet gingerbread pie jelly tiramisu oat cake. Biscuit caramels fruitcake chupa chups. Pie ice cream marzipan danish bonbon jelly chocolate cake applicake. Ice cream ice cream muffin cookie apple pie biscuit toffee applicake. Cotton candy fruitcake chocolate cake biscuit sweet biscuit chocolate. Lemon drops cupcake pie tiramisu. Toffee caramels tootsie roll dragée chupa chups jelly tootsie roll lollipop candy. Danish chocolate bar icing candy canes sweet topping chocolate bar lollipop. Bear claw candy tart chupa chups candy canes lollipop cake. Gingerbread chocolate cake pudding icing. Icing caramels oat cake toffee. Bear claw soufflé cake.

Closing and Moving [Weekly House Update]


We’ve almost reached the end of the journey that has been buying the land and having a house built! We got word on Friday that our closing date has been scheduled for this coming Tuesday. We opted not to go down to the property this weekend and instead started our final packing. It felt like we were never going to make it to this point, but we are finally here!! We are planning on doing the final walk-through on Tuesday morning before closing. The water is getting connected on Monday so we are going to try to get the filtration system in place ASAP!!

Also, we are having some gravel for the driveway delivered this week! A wonderful and gracious friend offered to help us level all the gravel with his machinery. What a huge blessing!! We are in the process of building a mailbox stand and plan to have a mailbox “planting” event! Pretty soon yah’ll can come on down and check it all out!

Moving day is this Saturday!! All are invited, welcome, and appreciated!!

Phew! We made it!! Now for the work to begin!!

 

Pump House Begins and a New Dilemma [Weekly House Update]

We went down to the property yesterday, although we didn’t expect much to have changed since Alex just went down on Thursday. The house was locked up so we couldn’t go inside, but it looks complete. The outside looks great and the pump house construction has started. The big news of the day, however, had nothing to do with the pump house.

We found out that the bit of gravel that we have at the very front of the driveway is all that we get.

IMG_0505

The poor weather lead to bringing in a LOT of sand to keep the construction going. The result being, the driveway is way over budget (luckily the builder is absorbing this), but it also means there isn’t money for two full loads of gravel as we had originally hoped.

We are not really sure what to do at this point. There is somewhat of a driveway now that consists of sand/clay that was brought in during construction. We are concerned that our two-wheel drive vehicles stand a good chance of getting stuck at least until the sand and clay gets more compacted. Three truck loads of gravel would do it, but that is three truck loads of gravel that eat into the budget for the workshop.

We got some figuring to do… But enough blabbing, below are several pictures of the pump house beginnings.

 

It's alive! [House Update]

I had to go down to the property to meet a contractor and while I was there I poked around and saw the work in progress. We are really, really, close (house wise – no idea with the bank). The transformer is in, the power connected, and the heat is on! Most of the finishing touches are done or were being worked on today. I stared in amazement as I flipped the light switch for the first time, watching the light come on and off. So stinking exciting!

Check out the pictures!

-Alex