My Quest for the Perfect Cup of Coffee

By yurself / 7 years ago

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How much does a cup of coffee cost these days?

What was the saying years ago? “Hey Mister can you spare a dime for a cup of coffee?”

Hi! My name is Mike and I am a “coffeeholic”  I drink coffee from the time I get out of bed in the morning until an hour or two before I go to bed.  I love it!  I have been addicted since I was 12.  I am an authority on all the convenience stores in the metro area.  I can tell you which of them pay attention to the fact that the coffee on the burner has been there for over an hour and the ones that never make a fresh pot after 12 pm.  I even know which clerks to look for and which ones to avoid.

The story goes that 7-11 got creamed (pun intended) several years ago when an upstart store came to town and started making fresh coffee every hour with lots of choices as to condiments and flavorings. The independent literally chased 7-11 out of that market.  This little attention to quality caused 7-11 to change their behavior and it became a company wide policy that coffee would be an hour or less old or it was free.  Now, not all stores honor that, but most of them make an attempt at keeping the coffee fresh.  Are all you little independents listening?

I am not a big fan of “barista” coffee, you can keep your “latte’s”  (why pay $3.50 for steamed milk).  Starbucks and Einstein’s make me feel guilty that I forgot to bring my laptop.  Just a nice fresh cup of coffee ma’am.  Oh, and by the way if you made it two hours ago… and put it into a thermal pot… the stuff is not only old, its cold… the coffee salesman lied to you, it looses 20 degrees per hour and more if the pot is half full.

Thirty years ago I went over the deep end and purchased a home model espresso machine.  I was so excited the first day I got it that I just had to try 10 different styles of coffee.  At three am the following morning my eyeballs were still glued open.  Okay, so it is possible to ingest too much caffeine at one sitting, I have now settled down to a cup every hour of a milder variety.

Antique Coffee Grinder

Things have certainly changed today.  A casual search of the Internet will turn up several brands of coffee makers. With the high end models running into hundreds.  From simple pour through models to grind and brew models the methods you can use to brew coffee at home are endless.  A few years back I purchased a Cuisinart “grind and brew model”  It was a 10 cup grind and brew model and it worked great until I clogged the pipes with calcium.  I then went and purchased the 12 cup model in Fire-engine red.  Guess what, the hopper for the 12 is the same size as the 10 cup hopper.  So let me get this straight… if I add 2 more cups of water to the same amount of coffee beans… I get what??

That is the drawback to grind and brew coffee makers, you cannot set the fineness of the grind.   But, the fineness of grind can also cause problems… if you put an espresso blend into a standard pour through maker the water may come through the pot too quickly to pass through the coffee… Oh you have tried that too? Fun cleaning up the flood wasn’t it?  My worst was the time I set the brew and forgot the carafe, the poor machine had an internal hemorrhage and I had grounds inside the fresh water well; Oy what a mess.

So what is the solution to a perfect cup of coffee? Get a grinder that lets you adjust the exact fineness that you want for your coffee grounds.  Find the beans that you like that yield the taste that appeals to you.  I like it strong, full flavored with a hint of nut and no bitter or burnt taste. The fact that there are so many flavors out there is proof that there is no one best flavor, so that is individual.

Next treat the beans right… that great smell you get when you open up the bag for the first time will quickly go away by the third pot.  Get an airtight storage container with a good rubber gasket, put your beans into the container and store them in the cupboard.  This slows oxidation which is the enemy of coffee as much as any other food.  To freeze or not to freeze is not a question for me anymore.  Even in that short amount of time you take it out of the freezer the beans loose moisture and dry out more loosing more flavor. They don’t call it freeze-dried for nothing!  The airtight container is the way to go.

Do dit do dit dit, do dit do dit dit!  Remember that?  The sound effect behind a Folgers coffee commercial from the 60’s imitating the sound of a percolator coffee maker.  Most people under 30 have never seen one except for maybe in the camping gear.  The style today is flow hot water over the beans/grounds one time only so the fineness so the grind is critical.  If it is too coarse you will have no flavor.  So, (here comes the sales pitch) get a good conical burr grinder that has adjustable grinding.  Get at good pour through coffee maker that brews the amount of coffee you and other VIP’s will consume in less than an hour. AND Buy great beans that you store in an airtight container.  You can do all that at SpicesForLess which delivers rich, bold PREMIUM COFFEE. Shop here today! with out spending a fortune.

Solis Maestro GrinderSolis Maestro Grinder

SpicesForLess delivers rich, bold PREMIUM COFFEE. Shop here today!

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