The Coffee Corner

All about how to make good coffee and what makes coffee good.

June 2009 - Posts

How to Cold Brew Iced Coffee - Brewing Ice coffee the right way!

 

 


photo credit :http://baristamagazine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/icedCoffee.JPG

Ice coffee is a great escape on a hot day. If you don’t feel like drinking hot coffee in the morning you can pour some coffee goodness in a cup with some ice, milk, and sugar and your off to the races. Many people when they want to brew ice coffee make it in a coffee pot double strength and then put it on ice.  Starbucks brews it’s ice coffee stronger and then dilutes with a little ice to chill it down and is then served over ice. There is nothing wrong with brewing ice coffee this way but there is a better way.

Cold brewing your iced coffee is an easy and delicious way of creating an iced coffee drink. When you cold brew coffee you get all the caffeine and taste out of your coffee with less oil and bitterness. Cold brewing takes longer so if you only have a couple of minutes to make an iced beverage this is not for you. If you are the kind of person that can plan ahead then this could be just the ticket.

How to Brew

Cold brewing ice coffee is easy all you have to do is maintain a 4:1 ratio of water to coffee. 4 parts water 1 part coffee. Easy right? Mix the amount of water with the appropriate amount of coffee and let it sit on the counter for 3 – 4 hours. Yes this delicious drink takes time but it will be worth it, trust me. After brewing pour the coffee through a strainer to get all the grinds out. You can even use a regular coffee machine and pour it right through your coffee filter. Pretty good idea huh? Make sure it’s clean before using. Open the top and pour your ice coffee right in the top and the filter metal or paper will trap all the coffee grind and the coffee will go into the coffee urn. Once you get all the grinds out you can washout the container and pour the coffee back in. Store your iced coffee in the fridge to help keep it fresh and delicious.

There you have it great cold brewed iced coffee. The mixture might be a little strong so if you want to you can dilute it with some water until it tastes right to you. You can add some sugar and milk to make it sweet and creamy. You can also buy simple syrups to put in it because liquid sweeteners work better than granulated ones. You can make your own syrup by heating water with sugar in it and reducing it. Keep it in a air tight container however because it will evaporate and harden.

 

Posted: Jun 30 2009, 04:30 PM by willburns1 | with 2 comment(s)
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Facts about Tea – A little Tea History

 



Did you know that the four most common tea varieties all come from the same plant? That’s right black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea all come from the Camellia sinensis plant. So what makes these teas different in flavor? The teas all taste different because they are prepared in different ways.

Let’s start with the ever so popular black tea. Black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant as does the other three but what makes this tea different from the others? Black tea is first withered by blowing air over it and then oxidized. After it has been oxidized the leaf is then dried to stop the oxidation process. For this reasons black tea is dark in color and bitter. The Chinese call black tea crimson tea which seems to make more since considering the color of the drink, but black tea got it’s name because the leaves are black after they are processed. One advantage to black tea is that it holds its flavor for years. Green tea will loose its flavor after a year or so. For this reason black tea was easily shipped, exported, and traded around the world.

Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is a cross between black and green tea. Black tea is considered to be highly oxidized, whereas Oolong tea is anywhere from 10% - 70% oxidized. Oolong tea is rolled and bruised to break open the cell walls. It is then dry roasted which makes the tea less bitter and easy on the stomach.

Green Tea is different from black and Oolong tea because it is steamed to seal in the color and flavor. It has very low levels of oxidation and is known to have lots of antioxidants in it. Green tea also has EGCG, which was found to prevent HIV from attacking T-Cells. It’s has not been confirmed however that it does this in humans. Green tea is prepared in many different ways and is mixed and brewed in different ways. Something I thought was really interesting about green tea is that the longer you brew it the more the caffeine dissipates.  After 15 minutes of brewing green tea will contain less than 4 mg of caffeine per serving.
 
White tea is similar to green tea in the way it’s prepared but white tea consists of leaf buds and young tealeaves. These young tealeaves are known from having more caffeine than green tea. Studies have shown that white tea has more anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities than green tea.
 
I know what you are thinking; “there are many other kinds of teas, Ones that you didn’t mention.” Yes, you are right there are, these teas are considered herbal teas and are made from just about anything that tastes good in hot water. Herbal teas can be made with leaves, flowers, fruit, herbs or other plant materials. Many herbal teas are made with a mix of these ingredients and can be very delicious in deed.  

Posted: Jun 22 2009, 11:19 AM by willburns1 | with no comments
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How to Make Turkish Coffee

Photo via Coffee Geek


Turkish Coffee is one of the few ways I have never brewed coffee. I have brewed coffee in just about every other way but never in an ibrik as known as a Cezve. An ibrik is a copper pot that is wide at the bottom and is narrow at the top. It has a spout for pouring and a long wooden or metal handle.

Turkish coffee is one of the few brewing methods that doesn’t involve filtering out the coffee grinds. For this reason to make Turkish coffee you need to grind the coffee as fine as you can get it.

To achieve this you need a Turkish mill. It looks like a salt or pepper mill but it’s designed to grind coffee really fine. If you have a nice bur grinder that will grind fine enough for Turkish coffee this will work too.

How to Brew it

You want to add some cold water to your ibrik and add your finely ground coffee to it. 1 heaping teaspoon (aka a standard spoon not the measuring cup) per coffee cup of water ( 5-6 oz not the standard measurement).  Time to add the sugar. Traditionally Turkish coffee is made with sugar so put 1 teaspoon of sugar per 2 teaspoons of coffee. Stir that in while the water is still cold.

Bring on the heat! You want the mixture to boil up to the top to the ibrik. When it does remove it from the heat. Once the bubbles go down you can place it back on the burner. Let it boil up again and remove it before it goes over the top. Do this a third time and after you remove it you can serve it. If you want a cleaner cup you can stir the mixture up to knock the grind out of the bubbles and boil it a fourth time. Once you remove it don’t stir it and pour your coffee into your mugs. Pour a little in each cup and alternate so that the strength of the coffee is distributed.

There you go a great an exotic way of brewing coffee.

Posted: Jun 18 2009, 02:54 PM by willburns1 | with no comments
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Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker


Yesterday I talked about the nespresso a capsule based espresso machine. Well today I am going to talk about the Keurig Single cup coffee maker that is built of the same concept.

I think that Keurig machines are basically that same as the nespresso machines based on general principle. Espresso is made by forcing hot water quickly through finely ground and packed coffee, which is basically how both these machines work. Nespresso is a little bit more of an espresso machine whereas the Keurig is an espresso machine that just produces more liquid and perhaps not as fast making it a really watered down espresso AKA Coffee.

I have tried the coffee from the Keurig machine and I have to say that it’s not bad. I would say though if you were accustomed to drinking poorly brewed coffee that you will probably love this machine. It takes all the guesswork out of making coffee. The proportions are all set for you all you have to do is hit the button.

One thing the bugs me about this machine is that you can set it for different sizes of cups. I wonder how that works with the amount of coffee used. Normally you would use more coffee beans to make more coffee but it seems that if you use a little cup it will taste stronger and if you use a bigger cup it will taste weaker. If they wanted to do it right they should really offer capsules that have more coffee in them to facilitate the larger cups of coffee.

I think this machine is great for people who don’t want the mess of cleaning up coffee grounds. Or for people that suck at making coffee and don’t want to deal with it. I have also seen these machines in offices and I think it’s a great idea. No one wants to come into your office and drink coffee that has been sitting on the burner for who knows how long. This offers a fresh cup to people who want it.

Posted: Jun 12 2009, 10:43 AM by Alexgreene | with 3 comment(s)
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Nespresso espresso coffee makers - What I think

 

 Every bone in my body wants to hate this little machine. I worked at a coffee shop and the fact that all you have to do is put a little plastic capsule into this little machine bugs me. Making good espresso usually means having a big machine where you pack the espresso into the portafilter paying attention to how fine the grind is and how hard it was packed, making sure the shot is not under extracted or over extracted. Making a good espresso shot is an art and a craft. This little machine can make some really good espresso in a little tabletop machine that uses little disposable capsules.

Now don’t get me wrong there is a big difference between coffee house espresso and the nespresso. That and there is more to a good espresso shot than good crema on top. nespresso has good crema but that does not make it a good shot.  If you were going to make espresso at your house I think that it can’t get any easier than the nespresso. No only can you get one of these things for about $200 buck but you can also get refillable capsules from a 3rd party company that will allow you to use your own coffee. The capsules are about 55 cents apiece. Which is not that be if you were going to buy your own coffee and you could do it for about 25 cents or less.

If you were going to do it the traditional way you would have to get an espresso machine a descent one will cost you at least $200 bucks. Then you need a good grinder, which will cost you $100 bucks or more. Don’t skimp on your grinder it’s important. Then of course you have all the clean up of cleaning out the portafilter and the machine try.

If you want an easy and clean way to make espresso at home check out the nespresso machines.

find the refillable pods here http://www.nexpod.ch/?l=en

 

Posted: Jun 11 2009, 01:09 PM by willburns1 | with no comments
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The Clover Coffee Maker

 

 For people who love coffee there’s nothing quite like the perfect cup. Once you start making your own coffee you discover that there are many ways that you can make it. Post people use a drip coffee makers and have never tried coffee brewed in other ways such as the French press. You can also brew coffee in a percolator, also referred to as a vacuum pot, as well as in a cezve (pronounced: chehz-vuh) which is designed to make Turkish coffee.

    Well most people have never heard of a Clover. Clover is a special machine designed by Stanford engineers. The machine is known for making the best single cup of coffee in the world. What makes it so great is that you can individually craft each cup of coffee. You can control the temperature of the water was well as the brew time. It really brings in the best of both a French press and vacuum pot.

    As the guy in the video will mention Starbucks has bought Clover and has placed them in some select stores. As of yet there are only in the four corners of the US, Washington, New York, Miami, and California. So if you want to try a cup of Clover coffee you will have to go to one of those stores.

If you are thinking that you would just buy one of theses machines well you can’t because Starbucks won’t sell them to you and they also cost $11,000. So you’re better off just trying to get really good at making French press coffee or working on your vacuum pot skills.

 

Posted: Jun 10 2009, 11:43 AM by Alexgreene | with no comments
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New Starbucks Ad Campaign - New York Times

 

Starbucks is trying to revamp it's image by getting back to its roots and remind people why they Love Starbucks. Starbucks wants to let people know that they aren't just about making coffee but making relationships and making people happy. They want to create that perfect cup of Starbucks coffee in an environment that is enjoyable to the customer. I think that this campaign will be good for Starbucks especially if they follow through with it all. I have been watching as Starbucks has been trying to turn their focus back on making good coffee and less on how much merchandise they can sell.

I have been watching as mugs and glasses and stuffed animals start to disappear from Starbucks shelves. I couldn't be happier with Starbucks decision to bring back what I think is the heart of Starbucks. Good Coffee, Good friendly people, who love serving and perfect cup of coffee. Here is a video that Starbucks has posted on youtube that explains their new Ad campaign. 

 

I have to say that this makes me happy and proud to have worked at Starbucks. Because when you put your everything into making good coffee it's nice to see your company backing that up. 

Posted: Jun 08 2009, 11:13 AM by willburns1 | with no comments
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