We decided it would be great fun to offer refreshments to those who visit us at our Seattle Factory Showroom and company headquarters: coffee, tea, and cookies or biscotti when one of us (Tom, Darcy, or Cyndi, for example) has the time and inspiration to bake.
We had figured a Keurig would be the most time-efficient and tidiest way to offer coffee, though we weren't too excited about the waste produced and the lack of shade grown, organic coffee and tea options.
Then maverick (of the TOM BIHN Forums) came to the rescue. He surprised us with a gourmet coffee set-up for the Factory Showroom: two French presses, a bean grinder, and an electric kettle—everything we needed to offer perfectly brewed hot coffee (or loose leaf tea) to Showroom visitors. He even sent us his favorite brand of coffee (yum!).
Next time you visit the showroom, ask us to get the French press going and we'll have a cup of coffee together, thanks to maverick.
The cookies in the photo? They’re a new recipe we’ve come up with just for the Factory Showroom. These cookies are gluten-free, vegan, nut-free (though not made in a dedicated gluten-free/nut-free/vegan kitchen) and they’re good. Really! We made a big batch for our company meeting yesterday and everyone liked them.
If you’re not local and don’t plan to visit Seattle anytime soon, you can still have cookies and coffee with us—the recipes and instructions are below.
maverick’s perfect coffee instructions
Let's start by heating filtered water in our kettle. Some kettles have a French press setting, and we can simply use that. If the kettle has a temperature setting, we can set it to 200˚ Fahrenheit (that's approximately 93˚ Celsius). Otherwise, we can bring the water to a boil and let it cool for one minute before adding it to our carafe.
While the water is heating in the kettle, let's measure and grind one tablespoon of coffee beans for each 4 ounces of water we plan to add. The ideal grind for a French press is a coarse grind from a burr grinder.
You may adjust the coarseness to your liking.
Side note: Unroasted coffee beans may be stored for an extended period of times. After roasting, coffee beans will remain fresh for about 8 to 11 days. This freshness time may be extended by storing the package of roasted coffee in the freezer, inside a ziplock freezer bag with all of the air removed. Each week, we can pull out enough coffee for that week and store it in an air tight container. And each time we make coffee, we can put the quantity of beans we want to use into our grinder.
In a 12 ounce French press, we place 2 tablespoons of ground coffee into the carafe (that's two tablespoons of beans, measured before they are ground). Once the water is heated, let's very slowly pour 4 ounces of water in a circular motion into the carafe. As we slowly pour, we will see this lovely crema develop on top.
After one minute, let's "break the bloom"—let's break the crust of coffee at the top with a wooden (or bamboo) spoon and gently stir. And then let's add just over 4 ounces more of water, and cover the carafe with the lid. Let's let our coffee brew for another 3 minutes (for a total of 4 minutes)—the time may be adjusted for the coffee we are brewing as well as for personal taste.
Side note: We may preheat our coffee cup with hot water while the coffee is brewing. I don't need to do this if I were to have black coffee, or if I were to add cream to my coffee. But I do preheat my cup if I am adding milk.
After the brew time has passed, let's slowly push down the plunger in the French press.
Let's empty our cup of hot water if we preheated our cup. We can pour the hot water back into the kettle if we haven't already drank from our cup.
Then let's pour our coffee from the carafe into our cup. And let's add cream or milk, as well as sugar, to our liking.
Side Note: If we have brewed more coffee than we are drinking immediately, we can pour it into a serving vessel so that we don't over-brew our coffee.
Another Side Note: A great coffee bean properly roasted will yield coffee that is flavorful and not bitter. Especially when I add cream to a great cup of coffee, I find that I don't want to add sugar.
Factory Showroom Cookies Recipe
Factory Showroom Cookies
Vegan; Gluten-Free; Nut-Free (note: these cookies are baked in a kitchen that also handles wheat, dairy, and nuts)
Yields eleven 2.5-inch cookies
1 cup of gluten-free oats
1/2 cup Tigernut flour (available for order here or here; totally worth it—and Tigernuts aren't real nuts)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
Dash of cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon of flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚ F /178˚ C / Gas Mark 4.
Put 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a oven-safe container and put it in the warming oven to melt; remove after it becomes clear liquid.
Mix the flax meal in the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
Prefer a chunky, oatmeal style cookie texture? Blend the 1 cup of gluten-free oats into flour in a food processor.
Prefer a melty, chocolate chip style cookie texture? Blend the 1 cup of gluten-free oats into flour in a high speed blender.
Add the Tigernut flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon to the food processor and blend until combined.
Add the melted coconut oil, flax meal/water, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and blend until combined. When fully combined, the dough will be evenly moist and ball up in the food processor or blender.
Put the dough into a bowl and add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Or, go with the less dirty dishes method by skipping to the next step and placing the chocolate on top of the dough.
Make a 1" ball of dough with a scoop, spoon, or your hands, and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until cookies look slightly golden/brown on the edges. Let cookies cool for five minutes before eating. Optional: put the cookies on the cookie sheet outside or in a cold room. It seems to make them fall faster and result in a cookie with crispier edges and a softer middle.