Wayne Coyne’s Coffee Recipe and Philosophy (Arthur, 2004)

Come On In My Kitchen

This issue’s chef: Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips

Originally published in Arthur No. 12 (Sept. 2004)


Wayne Coyne’s Coffee Recipe and Philosophy

To begin with, I have not willingly become a “coffee snob.” It was not something I ever aspired to. Christ, we used to drink coffee at Denny’s…and we liked it!!! But it’s not simply a matter of flavor. The process of preparing it seems to have become significant as well… Like any addiction there is a sense of pride associated with being so enslaved.

1. First: my choice of apparatus is the “french press” that holds about six cup-size cups…about 50 ounces….

2. Use freshly roasted beans, if this can be done. If not, roast some, say, on Monday and use them through, oh maybe, Friday…

3. I like to use a lot of coffee, you know, to get more flavor. But the unfortunate side-effect is absorbing too much caffeine…this is easily fixable by mixing de-caf with regular beans. This, to some coffee snobs, may seem like poor judgement…they will claim de-caf’s flavor is inferior. But this argument is only valid in a purists’ agenda-type debate, kind of like trying to hear the difference between analog and digital. If you know what you are doing, it’s imperceptible; in other words the regular and the de-caf taste virtually the same. Anyway, like I said, I like to use a lot of coffee. So in a “french press” that holds about five or six cups, use about a cup’s worth of coffee.

4. Grind these beans as fine as they can be ground, making it appear like black Kool-Aid. Plus you can wash these down the kitchen sink without worrying too much about clogging.

5. Part of what is enjoyable about making coffee is the smell of it. Freshly ground beans are a wonderful pleasure trigger. So try not to have too many other smells competing with it, stuff like bacon…wait till the coffee’s done, then cook it. Nail polish, wet dogs and potent perfumes can collide with the coffees’ aroma creating a horrible combination. Kind of like playing a Belle and Sebastian CD and a Miles Davis CD at the same time—both are great on their own—but together, probably unpleasant.

6. Pour the boiling water over the black powder. DO NOT POUR TOO MUCH, for the beans will expand quite a bit…so pour ‘til about half full. Wait a couple of minutes…shake and wiggle the “french press”…this will gently blend the water and coffee together. DO NOT STIR. Once it has settled pour some more water—do some more wiggling.

7. Use wide-mouthed coffee cups, so the smell can go more easily into the nostrils. Small cups are better, not little espresso cups, but small enough that the coffee stays hot for the duration of the drinking.

8. Use dark brown sugar and thick half and half mixture at your liking.

9. Drink five to ten cups… be close to a bathroom…enjoy life…..