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How To Make Good Coffee, No Burnt Taste, Coffee Concentrate
How To Make Good Coffee
In the break-room at my office, every morning someone puts two pots of coffee on. A few people drink some fresh, and the rest of it sits all day on the burner, getting that burnt metallic flavor. It doesn't get drunk, just thrown away every evening.
There are two problems with this coffee that make it so poor. The first is the pre-packed filters. The coffee used in these is the worst coffee, made from the cheapest beans. Okay, I don't expect my company to buy the top-quality coffee, so I don't expect great coffee. It is nice that they supply us with free coffee, even cheap coffee.
The second problem is the way the coffee is treated after it is made. It is just left on the hot burners, hour after hour. No coffee, even the very best, tastes good treated like that. But coffee can be kept fresh tasting, not just for a few hours, but for a few days.
Making good tasting coffee is easy. Most of us have filter coffee machines in our kitchens, and make a pot every morning. And it's good, hot and fresh. But inevitably half the pot stays on the burner too long, and gets that nasty burnt taste. You can drink it, but it isn't as satisfying as real fresh coffee. You don't want to throw it away, coffee is expensive, so you add some creamer, some sugar, some milk, anything to mask that old, stale burnt flavor.
The secret is to take the coffee off of the burner as soon as it is done brewing! Don't let the coffee stay hot.
Just taking the pot off the burner and letting it cool down slowly will leave you with decent, fresh-tasting coffee. Much better is to chill the coffee quickly, and put it in the fridge. Then it will still taste great for several days. When you want a good cup of coffee, just put a cup in the microwave and heat it back up. It still tastes great.
Microwaved coffee has a bad reputation, but that isn't because the microwave hurts the coffee. It's because the coffee put into the microwave wasn't any good to begin with. It you take a cup of old, overheated, stale coffee and heat it up, it's still old, burnt and stale. Heat up a cup of good, unburnt coffee, and it's almost as good as fresh-made.
Home Made Instant Coffee:
Another way to make really great tasting coffee, without taking a lot of time, is to make your own coffee concentrate.
Pour boiling water through the coffee grounds, a little water and a lot of grounds, making the strongest possible coffee, so strong it makes espresso look weak. Chill this, put it in a tight container and keep it in the fridge. Then just add this concentrate to boiling water and you get good coffee. This is a trick I learned from Bolivian friend, who told me this is a common method in Bolivia.
Coffee Additives, Good And Bad:
The other thing to avoid is adding fake junk to your coffee. Creamer, which has nothing to do with cream. Look at the label. Creamer is nothing but vegetable oil, tricked up to make it look white. It does NOT taste like cream, nor like any other natural food. It tastes bad and is bad for you.
Buy some real cream, or the closest thing you can get to it, heavy whipping cream. If you must add something to your coffee, add this. It tastes great and gives the coffee a delectable texture. The best coffee I ever had was made the old fashioned way, grounds thrown in a pan of boiling water, and allowed to steep. When the grounds settle, it means the coffee is ready to drink. Then, I added a large slug of fresh, unpasteurized full cream milk, taken from the cow just an hour before. You will never drink better coffee than that. Of course, this is illegal in the USA. Fresh milk can't be bought. I was fortunate in living on a dairy farm.
Milk, even 'whole' milk is a poor substitute. Whole milk actually isn't. Real, fresh milk has a lot more fat in it than so-called whole milk. Skim milk is, of course, only worth mentioning as a bad joke. You use it only to dilute the flavor of bad, burnt coffee.
Old Fashioned Coffee Is Best:
Try making old fashioned coffee. It is so easy and tastes so good. You can make a whole pot or just a single cup just as easily. First, boil some water. I put a mug of water in the microwave and bring it to a boil. Then simply place a heaping spoonful of fresh coffee grounds in the cup and let it sit for a few minutes. Then stir it and the grounds will sink to the bottom. Some will remain floating on top, an annoyance. If this bothers you use a strainer or filter to get the grounds out. Use the most finely ground coffee with this method.
Or you can make coffee the way it is made in many countries, from Sweden to Latin American to South Asia. Bring the water to a boil in a pan, add the grounds and actually boil it for a minute or two. Very fine ground coffee works best for this, as little is left floating on top. You still might want to use a strainer, but it isn't necessary. Again, the coffee tastes great.
Modern filtered coffee isn't the best tasting. As long as the pot and equipment are kept clean, old fashioned percolators still taste better, or pan-boiled coffee. Just don't keep the heat on too long!