*Preparing a coffee on Shabbos The use of instant coffee presents no problem. However, the use of grounded coffee beans presents two challenges: 1) Cooking. 2) Borer.
The coffee beans being roasted, brewing them in hot water is considered cooking and is forbidden on Shabbos. Hence, the proper way to brew a coffee on Shabbos; is to pour the hot water from the water urn in an empty [and dry] cup, to pour it from there into another empty cup, then to pour it into the cup with the coffee. The challenge then is how to remove the grains from the cup as it is clearly infringing the prohibition of Borer.
• The use of a French press is forbidden as its purpose is to separate the grains from the liquid, which is the perfect example of sorting/Borer. Since, this is its main function, it is therefore considered Mukse.
• The only permissible way to prepare that coffee on Shabbos, without having to have a cup of coffee full of grains, based on Shulchan Aruch 319:9, one may place the grounded coffee in a coffee filter on Friday and would then be allowed to pour on it the hot water, prepared as described above.
Preparing a Tea on Shabbos
The preparation of a tea drink presents the same challenges as above, but with additional difficulties:
• The hot water from the second cup should not be poured over the tea bag, rather the tea bag should be placed in the cup after the water was poured in. This technic is acceptable by most opinions and avoids much controversy.
• Removing the tea bag from the cup is, according to some opinions, an infraction to the prohibition of Borer. Hence, it is recommended not to remove the tea bag by hand, rather with the help of a spoon, in order to prevent the tea bag to drain into the cup.
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