I am a huge fan of coffee and over the years I have tried a lot of
different means of preparing it. I currently own a french press, a drip
maker, and a stovetop espresso pot. All of these make good coffee, with
each having its own set of pros and cons. Last year, however, I
discovered the best method for brewing coffee:
It makes delicious coffee, takes up almost no space in your kitchen, and
cleanup is easy.
The Aeropress works kind of like an espresso maker, though at a much
lower pressure. The coffee it produces is espresso strength. This means
you can drink it like an espresso or use it to create espresso-based
drinks like Cafe Au Lait or Capuccino. I add hot water to mine to make
Since getting the Aeropress, it’s been the only method I’ve used to brew
coffee. It’s replaced the drip machine in our kitchen. It takes up
almost no space, travels well, and produces consistently great coffee.
Perhaps the greatest feature is the one I haven’t mentioned yet: price.
It will set you back a little more than \$20, much lower than a decent
home espresso machine or even a drip coffee maker. It’s great for
traveling or camping. Any place you can make hot water, you can make
coffee with the Aeropress.
One caveat: you will need a coffee grinder, or a place to buy beans that
will grind them for you. Coffee ground for a drip coffee maker won’t
work (which rules out pretty much all pre-ground coffee you would get at
the store). You need grounds that are somewhere between espresso and
drip. You’re really going to want a conical burr grinder, similar to
this one: I suspect if you’ve read this far than you either have one or
are willing to buy one.
In summary: If you enjoy great coffee, you need an
To get an even better idea of how it works, check out this short video:
Like Marco Arment I’m
not qualified to eulogize Steve Jobs, but I owe a lot to him so I need
to say something.
My first computer was an Apple //c. 1985. I spent a lot of time on that
computer. A lot. Probably an unhealthy amount.
I was a nerdy kid to begin with, and I instantly fell in love with it. I
spent endless hours on that computer. Playing games, writing programs in
BASIC, and generally just exploring the new world that it opened up for
me. Those hours spent in front of the computer paid off. I went on,
years later, to write code professionally. It’s not an exaggeration to
say that owning that Apple //c shaped who I became.
I’ve admired Steve Jobs since I was old enough to know who he was. When
he founded NEXT, I desperately wanted one of those beautiful (and
expensive) systems. I’ve seen every movie Pixar has put out. I’ve been
inspired by his business sense, his design savvy, and his drive. He’s
accomplished more in his abbreviated lifetime than most people could
accomplish in ten. His Stanford commencement
stands as one of the most inspiring things I’ve heard.
My latest computer is a MacBook Air. I spend a lot of time on that
computer. A lot. Probably an unhealthy amount.
Godspeed, Steve Jobs.
In my time as a developer, and now managing a team of developers, I have
come to realize that there are two kinds of programmers: the Journeyman
and the Craftsman. These terms aren’t mine - I’ve seen them used other
places - but they describe the developers I’ve worked with pretty well.
…knows one programming language.
…knows one operating system.
…can’t be bothered to learn something on their own.
…doesn’t know anything about the operating system or hardware their
applications run on: “Someone else takes care of that”.
…never masters his tools. “I know my way around my IDE, that’s good
…doesn’t refactor: “It’s ugly, but it works. Leave it alone!”
…only learns about the part of the system they are working on. No need
to learn the rest of the system: “That’s not my job”.
…doesn’t want to take on an unfamiliar technology: “I haven’t had any
training on x”.
…knows a handful of programming languages, and is always on the
lookout for the next one he should learn. He knows that learning any new
language will stretch his mind and make him a better programmer in the
language he uses day to day.
…devotes time to learning about new technologies, and helps to make
others aware of them.
…understands the platform and operating system his applications run
on, because he knows that’s the only way to diagnose many problems.
…masters his tools. He can perform magic in his chosen editor, and is
always looking for ways to make himself more efficient.
…rarely passes up an opportunity to broaden his knowledge of the
system he is working on.
…is always willing to take on something he’s unfamiliar with. He can
pick up most things pretty easily, and enjoys the challenge of learning
One craftsman is worth three or four journeymen. Easily.
It’s the journeymen whose jobs often end up moving overseas (and
rightfully so, they add little, if any, value).
The longer I manage development projects, the more I value the craftsmen
I have around me.