A Great Cup of Coffee

In Search of a Great Cup of Coffee

I started drinking coffee very late in life at the age of 50.  By this time I had given up sodas and I don’t do drugs or smoke so I needed a vice and decided on coffee.  I started with baby steps and my daughter told me that McDonald’s had nice cup of coffee for a fair price and I should start there.  So every day for a month or so I went through the drive through and built up a tolerance to coffee.  Of course I needed Splenda and creamer to make it palatable to my delicate taste buds.

I am not the type of guy to spend $3.00 on a cup of coffee.  I do not like lattes or specialty drinks that are the price of a good used car.  My daughter loves this stuff but I do not need the calories or the hit to the wallet.  Coffee should not break your bank account.  However, in the interest of science I have found that Starbucks and Caribou have tasty coffee for a couple bucks a cup and that Caribou will refill the thing for free if you sit in the coffee shop to drink it.  I like both of these coffees but I also have no issue with McDonald’s coffee either.  I will drink anything by these three entities.

Cheap Coffee

This leads me to my quest in search of a goof cup of coffee.  My wife has always been a coffee drinker and we have had a Cuisinart coffee maker for decades.  The model we have grinds the beans for you just before you brew it which results in a fresh cup of coffee.  I have become great at making coffee and can disassemble all the pieces, wash them, and make another pot quicker than my wife can.  I buy the Costco brand roasted coffee that is roasted by Starbucks.  $10 for two pounds is cheap and it is great tasting.

I then did more reading and discovered that a clean machine helps with the taste of coffee.  Over time the oils of the beans build up in the machine and that results in a more bitter taste.  The trick, I learned, is to clean the machine with vinegar every month or so.  I also found a product on line which works well, Dezcal.  This product helps remove all the mineral build up.  I like it but may have found a better product, Brew Rite.  The reviews are phenomenal.

Anyway, yesterday was spent cleaning my coffee pot.  I ran through one package of Dezcal and followed that by running through three pots of vinegar.  I buy it at Costco and do not dilute it so it smells like vinegar after I use it.  I then run through three pots of clean water until the vinegar smell is gone and the water going through ends up clear.  I could never get the inside of my aluminum pot cleaned, however.  I tried baking soda and vinegar and nothing.  I tried this several times.  Nothing.  Then I read an article by Mary Hunt and got the greatest piece of advice on cleaning a coffee pot.

Salt and ice.  Yes, salt and Ice.  I poured a generous amount of course kosher salt in the pot.  Enough to cover the bottom.  I then added ice to about 1/3 full in the pot.  You put on the top and then shake the hell out of the pot.  Empty the pot and rinse it and repeat.  I did this five times.  The black sludge that came out of my pot looked nasty.  I have heard that Brew Rite cleans the pot witch it why I put it in this article.

Results of my coffee oddesy

After doing all of the above I had a coffee pot that was 90% clean.  I had a muscle spasm in my arm from shaking the pot so long because each round of cleaning took about three minutes of shaking.  My pot sparkled and there was no dirty coffee water coming out the last time I ran the water through the machine.  I then replaced the filter (I would take the filter out or replace it after cleaning if your machine has a charcoal water filter for the water tank).  I prepped the machine for the next morning’s coffee and went to bed.

Results?  This morning I woke up and had the best and smoothest cup of coffee I have ever made at home.  Cleaning all the components of your machine (I could never get the pot clean in the past) results in a coffee that is so smooth and rich that it could come from any coffee house.  It was fantastic.  My wife even threw a compliment my way and that was completely worth it.

Do yourself a favor.  Clean you coffee machine and save hundreds of dollars a year on expensive coffee house coffee.



I started drinking coffee

Coffee:  It is not just for breakfast anymore!

I decided that at the age of 50 I was going to start drinking coffee.  Not only is getting a coffee a euphemism for going to meet someone to possibly engage in sex, but it seems there is a Starbucks on every corner competing with the Caribou across the street.  A man should have a habit that he can quench without having to travel more than 500 feet.

I have always liked the smell of coffee.  It was the taste that made my face pucker.  My wife drinks it, hell…my daughter drinks it…but I was always a Diet Pepsi man myself.  I used to go through three 24 packs in a week.  I was so addicted to soda that I should have bought stock in Pepsi.  I would be rich today.

One day I decided it wasn’t right.  I quit.  Cold turkey.  I had a pounding headache for a couple of weeks but soon I got to the point where I did not miss it anymore.  I especially did not miss paying $1.25 for a liter bottle.  I did miss the caffeine, as demonstrated by the killer headaches, but I did not miss the rituals.  It is to the point now where the taste of soda is not even remotely appealing.  I conquered my addiction!  Yeah me!

My new Coffee addiction

I went to the greatest source of all knowledge in my house when I decided I wanted to drink coffee.   I went to my daughter.  She suggested I go to McDonalds to get my fix because it was cheap there and they made a great cup of coffee.  So that is what I did.  I went through the drive through and all sizes of coffee were $1.00.  OK, $1.07 after Caesar was rendered what belonged to Caesar.  I got a medium with cream and Splenda figuring I needed to dilute the bitterness that made my face wretch in the past.  I took the coffee home (I know enough not to drink hot coffee in a moving car) and drank the whole cup.  It wasn’t bad.  It is akin to eating dark chocolate…it is bitter at first but once you acquire the taste it appeals to you.

For the past couple of weeks I drop my daughter off at Marching Band practice and then I go off to my local McDonalds and I order a large coffee with two creams and two Splendas.  I am in heaven.  I look forward to the wonderful taste, I look forward to the caffeine high that coffee give me.  I have grown to love the taste and I look forward to demolishing a cup.  I recommend it to anyone.

My Coffee Future

My coffee future is not filled with fancy coffee houses and patchouli oils while wearing sandals.  I can’t see spending more than a buck for a cup of good coffee.  I can’t see getting frapachinos, lattes, exotic blends that travel through bird intestines, or visiting a shop that sells only coffee and coffee related products.  It is just not me.

I do see me making coffee with my wife and drinking a cup every morning.  I look forward to the taste and the jolt of energy.  I may venture into coffee flavored kisses and sing Monkees songs.  I see myself going to a café and ordering a breakfast with coffee.  I see myself writing, smoking heaters and trying to beat a deadline.  If I smoked, that is.  I would take up that hobby but it is too damn expensive.