How to Make a Great Cup of Coffee

Talk Cover Page

I presented a two hour talk called “How to Make a Great Cup of Coffee.”

Here is the slide deck I used. I also published it for the attendees as a chapbook.How to Make a Great Cup of Coffee

The talk focused on basics:

  • Cold brewing coffee, plunge frother
  • Arabica vs robusta
  • Coffee maker types: gravity, immersion, steam pressure, vacuum and pump espresso
  • Paper vs screen filters
  • Burr vs blade grinders
  • Growing coffee
  • Coffee pods

Coffee Smoothie II

In Coffee Smoothie ONE I showed how to make a coffee smoothie with freshly ground coffee. Since writing that post I have probably made a hundred of them and have perfected the recipe.

First I purchased a few bottles of Lorina Lemonade at the grocery store. The drink is amazing but what I really wanted was the resealable bottles.

Lorina Lemonade bottles
Lorina Lemonade bottles

The bottles are strong and the seal is both interesting and functional.

Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup
Next rather than making small batches of coffee syrup I moved to a 12 cup French Press. I put in 150 grams of coffee and fill with water. After sitting 24 hours in the fridge I get a full bottle of syrup. This is basically triple strength.

The other bottle is sugar syrup. I tried cocoa rather than Quik and really liked the result. You have to change the amount of sugar syrup as cocoa has no sugar or sweetener in it.

The last change was adding a banana. One issue with the original recipe is the drink tends to separate into the ice on top and the fluid below. The banana adds a pulp that keeps the drink from separating. It also is more creamy.

Here is the revised recipe.
 
Iced Coffee Smoothie
1/2 cup Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup
1/4 cup cold Sugar Syrup
1 tbsp cocoa
1 peeled banana
1 1/4 cup cold milk
1 1/2 cup ice cubes

  1. In a blender place Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup, milk, Simple Sugar Syrup, banana and cocoa
  2. Add last ice cubes last to avoid melting
  3. Whip and pour

Coffee Smoothie

Coffee Smoothies
Coffee Smoothies
Recently I bought a commercial blender to make fruit smoothies. Being a coffee junkie I wanted a coffee smoothie recipe. Most recipes I found started with instant coffee – not going to happen. I tried making strong hot coffee, adding milk, sugar and ice and blending. The result was a bland cool drink. Yuch.

Then I found an article on making strong coffee base with a french press and cold brewing. Normal hot coffee uses 10-15 grams to a cup of water so this is 2 to 3 times stronger. Cold brewing also reduces bitterness. I have been working on this recipe for months and here is my result. It is interesting how the type of coffee bean and roast changes the taste. A full city roast of Sumatra is one of my favorites.

Since releasing the recipe I had found an improvement. By adding two tablespoons of powered milk the smoothie stays creamier longer and tastes more milk shake like.

Continue reading “Coffee Smoothie”

Maria Biscuits

When Matias and I were at the old plantation, Roberto’s wife would serve us coffee and Maria biscuits. They were wonderful to dunk in the local rich coffee. I was so pleased when I returned to Canada and found them in my local grocery store. Now our nightly coffee includes a few Maria cookies with our coffee.

Galleta María Biscuit

Old Hand Crank Coffee Mill

At yesterday’s WCDR meeting, Maureen Curry gave me an old crank coffee grinder that her son found at a Salvation Army store. The unit actually works, but grinding coffee for a pot would take time. The coarseness adjustment is behind the crank. Quite an ingenious unit.

Thanks, Maureen. I love how it looks in my coffee office.

Old Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
Coffee Grinder mounted by the roasting station