This is terribly long. If you don’t drink coffee or make it for guests, move on to another post.
Confession: I am a coffee snob. I like well made coffee and lots of it. And I refuse to pay through the nose for it.
Three times a day, everyday, I take really lousy medication that exhausts me for hours after. There must be coffee. I have no desire to debate its controversial benefits, such as reduction in plaque build up. I just need to stay awake while my six year old contemplates little boy activities like whether or not to electrify his day by jammimg a giant penny into a light socket.
Grab a calculator. If you didn’t buy any coffee from the donut shop, how much would you save a day? a week? a month? a year? Really? that much? Oh, you are a kindred spirit. Let’s save that money for something else.
One of these days try this:
Next time you are at the store grab the cheapest no name coffee you can find in the brew you prefer (regular, french roast, columbian, whatever.) Yes, I know that you had it at so and so’s house and it was aweful, but indulge me. If you pay more than 6.99 for a 33-39 ounce container, you are paying way too much. We will work on that later.
Properly brewed coffee… the way a CIA (Culinary Institute of America) trained chef taught me
1. Use fresh coffee.
Grind it yourself with each use or do what I do and store the airtight container in the refrigerator.
2. Use the right proportions.
Always measure. A leveled 1/2 cup will make 10 cups in a home drip coffee maker. Obviously, a leveled 1/4c. will make 5c. I know that seems like a massive amount of coffee to be scooping into your coffee maker. Your thinking…I hate really strong coffee and it’s just not for me. I, too, like my stomache lining so keep reading. Weaken coffee to taste after brewing by adding hot water. Never add boiling water as it can scorch the coffee.
My drip coffee maker has a 15 or 16 cup pot. I fill it to the very top. Then pour only 10 cups of water through the machine and let the rest of the water sit in the pot while the fresh, hot coffee drips down into it. Toy with it. Find what’s just right for you.
3. Use fresh, cold water.
Fresh, cold tap water is best. If your tap water is less than lovely, filter it to remove chlorine, etc. Do not use chemically softened water. It just tastes weird.
4. Use the right brewing temperature.
Proper brewing temp is between 195 and 200 degrees F (90 and 93 degrees C.) I have no idea how you figure out if you pot does that other than tasting it. I have owned bad coffee makers. It happens. Anyway, too hot extracts the bitter solids. Too cold doesn’t extract enough flavor.
5. Only use the grounds once.
Other penny pinching writers will encourage you to rebrew the same grounds. Don’t. It strips horrid flavors from the lovely bean. Let’s hear some comments on how you repurpose your coffee grounds. (I save them for the tomato patch or rebrew them not to drink but to make cleaner for my hardwood floors. More on this another day.)
6. Clean your equipment.
About once a month, dump any grounds and run some white vinegar through. Do it a couple of times at least. Not only will this remove any mysterious build up in your machine and keep your coffee delicious but it will clear your sinuses. Open a window now that your home smells like a burnt coffee/salad food fight. Finally, run a few pots of fresh water though till the vinegar is cleared.
7. Hold no more than one hour.
I make it, pour a cup and turn off the machine. I rewarm carefully in the microwave. Never let it boil. Ever. The microwave uses less energy and doesn’t burn the coffee.
Taking it with you:
A quality, insulated container should keep you coffee fresh and hot all day. It is an investment that will keep you out of the coffee house and more money in your pocket in the long run. There are stylish ones, but one like mine can be seen at any construction site. Sturdy, greenish and works.
Begin by preheating your insulated container. Pour boiling water into it and leave it there for about five minutes. Dump out the water. Pour in your delicous coffee. If you take cream and sugar you could add them now if you want. It does make a long drive easier. If you have a long day ahead, the coffee will stay piping hot longer without them. Your choice.
Occasionally, I will buy a pound of flavored coffee, if it’s on sale. Flavored coffee can be a bit much for your wallet and your tastebuds to drink all the time. However, what if you remix it? Mix 1/4c. of the noneconomical flavored coffee with the enitre big can of cheap coffee. Now you can afford special coffee that isn’t overwhelming all day. Seal the flovored coffee the best you can and freeze until you are ready to mix your next batch.
Whew! that was alot of typing. I gotta go get more java.