new coffee making technique: trying out a pour-over

We often write about our quest for the perfect cup of coffee. We have tried cold brew, stove top, espresso machines, and good old fashion drip. In our house, a new gizmo has found its way into our kitchen, a pour-coffee maker that has been getting some attention in the press. We chose the Hario Woodneck Coffee Drip Pot. Enthusiasts claim that by slowing pouring extremely hot water you create a smoother cup than one that is done by drip makers, which don’t reach boiling temperature. My husband, who cares more deeply about his coffee than I do, says it does taste better. The down side is that it only makes two-mugs worth — and if you don’t drink it right away it cools down fast. The good news is less waste — Hario comes with a reusable filter — and at about $50 it’s not too expensive. It’s also a rather lovely design and the wooden neck makes it easy to pour.

What’s your favorite way to make coffee?

Click through to the next page to see a how-to video!

From our partners

stock up now: trader joe candy cane green tea


There are lots wonderful seasonal things filling grocery store shelves right now: Egg nog, peppermint bark, cheese logs. One thing that gives me great joy is Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Green Tea. It is the perfect way to end any meal. Did you know that green tea is a great breath freshener? And, because it’s decaffeinated I can sip it on the couch while I watch Boardwalk Empire. Which I’m about to do right now.

If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I seriously suggest you stock up. (I have enough to get me through the next season of Downton Abbey — starting in January.) What is your favorite holiday-only grocery store gem? Please share! — Angela M.

From our partners

real life test kitchen: home roasted coffee, in the oven!

finished beans

It’s no secret that we’re java junkies here at Shelterrific, but who else can claim that coffee is literally in their blood? (My grandmother’s maiden name? Coffee. No joke.) My birthright coffee geekdom previously consisted of meticulously pulled shots, seplaceing for the perfect foam, and even visiting a coffee plantation. But after being gifted a ziplock bag full of tiny, sage-green tinted beans — Kenya, Grade A — I was going to the next level.

I had seen a post about popcorn-popper home roasting a while back at Not Without Salt, but being without the means or inclination to purchase more equipment, I consulted my friend and polymath Solange, who has been playing with home roasting herself. She had been using her oven with great results. She pointed me to this basic how-to and off I went.
Click to read how to roast your own, after the jump!

From our partners

easy diy: homemade sugar cubes


I came across a beginner level do-it-yourself on the adorable blog Nifty Thrifty Things: homemade sugar cubes. All you need is a little bit of time, sugar, water, and a cute candy mold or ice cube tray. Nifty Thrifty Things’ Vanessa used a heart shaped tray and was so pleased with the results, she promised to experiment with food coloring on her next go! Custom made sugar cubes are an easy, great looking addition to all those prim and proper wedding and baby showers you’ll have to throw this summer. Happy crafting! — Katie D.

From our partners

collection obsession: vintage vacuum flasks


I love thermoses and carafes — vacuum flasks as they’re technically known. Maybe it hearkens back to my Snoopy thermos in first grade, filled with perfectly piping hot tomato soup for lunch, or to my first date with my now husband, who poured me a sip of syrupy espresso from his trusty Nissan stainless thermos (still in action to this day). But now, I find myself snatching vintage thermoses up on every thrifting trip I’ve been on of late. I’m pretty choosy about which ones I buy, so I’m careful to inspect them for (1) gross odors (2) shattered or cracked glass liners (yes many of the vintage varieties were glass, which makes them fragile) and (3) the condition of the seals. Most of what I’ve bought has been pristine — hardly, if ever used — which helps seal the deal. If you’re willing to risk it, eBay is a treasure trove of vintage vacuum flasks: this beauty is $9.99, BIN (with returns accepted).

My favorite? That heavy, unbreakable stainless Uno-Vac in the back. That bad boy has seen some life — and is still, amazingly, spotless and funk-free inside. Later this week, Ol’ Ironsides (as I’ve dubbed it) will be filled with 24 oz. of something delicious (which, depending on the weather, will be either hot or cold) and brought along on our hike into the forest as part of our five year wedding anniversary celebration! — Megan B.

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