But for the most part my rules on a good cup of coffee are simple;
1. HOT (unless I'm drinking Iced Coffee of course)
3. Fresh Fat Free Cream
You'd think with these simple requirements getting a decent cup of coffee would be simple eh?
Not so. In fact pouring boiling water through the fresh ground beans seems to be the thing places that have Coffee in their name can't seem to do right. I realized I spend close to $1000/year buying cups of coffee on the road and probably 2/3 of them are undrinkable and of the other 1/3 maybe 1/3 of those are what I'd call good.
Let me explain the rules a bit further.
1. HOT should be MMmmm HOT! Not AAGGGHH! Hot! That means the water SHOULDN'T be boiling-- it should be just shy of boiling. I bought a cup of coffee at Burger King once (ONCE!) and drove from Massachusetts to the New York border before I could take my first sip.
2. FRESH-- that means it has to have a rich, somewhat nutty smell and taste. Like these beans fell off the tree (or came out of the ground-- wherever the hell coffee comes from I don't care) raced to a sack on a high speed donkey to a charter plane and dropped on my doorstep fresh. Coffee cannot be brewed and then allowed to sit. It has 10 minutes of life-- after that dump out the pot.
3. The Cream is an important element. Skim Milk makes the coffee turn puke brown. Cream should be added either first or slowly so it doesn't burn and it should not curdle!! Is that so hard?
I've had some great coffee experiences that eventually go bad: Culpepper's on Southbridge Street makes the best cup as long as you get there at a busy time. When it slows down the girls start pouring old pots into new ones and that is a HUGE no no. Dunkin Donuts everywhere is a mixed bag. I had a girl put my coffee lid on after she'd rubbed her hand with some kind of cream and the lid smelled flowery. Dunkin's is NOTORIOUS for letting the coffee sit.
Enter the Melitta Single Cup Coffee Brewer and a simple recipe I learned from a diner and I give you the perfect cup of coffee, ladies and gentlemen.
You grind the beans fresh-- or as I do so I'm not making that much noise first thing-- I grind them the night before and put them in a vacuum container. I have a coffee measuring devise that specifically scoops the grounds (2 scoops for every cup) placed in a #2 filter in that Melitta Cone now placed on your mug of choice-- add a half an eggshell into the grounds (learned from a great diner that eventually had to stop because the board of health said no, but you're pouring 200 degree water over it so what's the harm?) to reduce the acid content.
You boil your water in a teapot but you stop JUST before it whistles-- you'll hear it. There's a change in the sound of the water. You want to grab it just before boiling. Pour water on top of the beans just to wet them. Let that sit for 30 seconds, it releases the aroma and unlocks the grounds. Then add water to fill the cone and let it drip through.
When it's done, remove the cone, add your cream (or you can put the cream in the coffee cup before for richer results) and enjoy. You have an amazing cup of coffee.
Should you need to make more than one cup, CHEMIX makes this beautiful coffee decanter that works the same way.
So there you have it. Toss out your Mister Coffee, your K-Cups (sorry-- tried it-- overrated) and get yourself the absolute best way to make coffee anywhere.