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Enter the vacuum bowl coffee maker. Or rather, allow it to make a reentry. The stainless steel percolators nearly eliminated the fragile glass-bowl vacuum style coffee makers from the market. But they're making a comeback. And the coffee is fantastic.
First off, they look really cool [espressozone.com], sort of like alchemist equipment. But it's the way they work that makes them the perfect instrument of coffee creation. Add water to the bottom bowl and set it to boil. Add coffee to the top bowl and set the glass filter/bowl arrangement on top of the bottom bowl. Allow the pressure to push water to the upper chamber until it gurgles. Remove from heat. This creates a vacuum that draws the freshly brewed coffee back into the lower chamber. Remove the top chamber and pour.
The coffee is perfect. Jamaican Blue Mountain tastes so much better than in a drip maker and I can grind the beans a little coarser.
You can drink distilled and deionized water. Read the lables on bottled water - that's what you're drinking oftentimes.
Because it lacks ions it is thought to have an effect of removing salts from you body. But you'd probably have to drink a lot of it and eat virtually nothing.
Earlier claims were made that spring water tastes better than the "flat" taste of distilled and deionized water. That might be true, but we're talking coffee here - I'd doubt anyone could taste minerals in coffee.
Pour a glass of water in a tall glass - about half full. Put your nose over the glass and take a sniff. If it has an order, use a charcoal filter and perhaps even a sediment filter.
Taste the water too, it should have virtually no taste at all. Older pipes made of iron will impart an iron taste into your water. This is not removed by charcoal. If you taste iron, try a sediment filter but you'll likely not remove all the taste of iron.
As mentioned, I did work in a chemistry lab testing water. That said, I'm not very particular about coffee - the darker the roast, the better.
Drinking less than one cup of coffee a day was found to reduce the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 30%; one to three cups by 40%; and four or more cups by 80%.
Tea was not found to be associated with a decreased risk of cirrhosis suggesting that an ingredient other than caffeine is responsible for the drop.
- a couple of large Bodum cafetieres
- a Lavazza pump driven espresso machine
- a stove top espresso maker
- a single cup with built in cafetiere style plunger
- a jar of Rocketfuel brand instant coffee
Different coffee for different moods.
But what do you have with your coffee? I'm a chocolate chip cantuccini man myself...
The hard part is trying not to use up all the foam on a latte by scooping it up on the biscuit. Hmmmm, delicious!
I've tasted espresso in a lot of small coffee cafes and in France and Italy (and throughout the world since I've traveled all over and always order espresso) and my roomate who made it his specialty in life and had the fancy expensive espresso maker and special espresso grinder and micro roast...
Despite all that, Starbucks is among the highest quality...bonus that it is convenient and cheap ($2.15 where I live).
My brother has worked with coffee farmers in Mexico (Chiapas) and they have to meet the most stringent guidelines about how their crop is produced in order to sell to Starbucks.
When I order triple-espresso some people in line often make a comment like I'm ordering crack.
fyi, A triple espresso has the same caffeine as a large coffee.
Now I regret not asking for a triple-expresso so I could have had them both at the same time!
I start with a large tin of supermarket sludge, whatever is on sale, preferably French roast.
To that I add a full small can (15 ounces weight) of Cafe du Monde Coffee & Chicory from Louisiana.
(Brand is the same as the famous Cajun coffee stand there. Another brand is Luziane I think.)
Thoroughly mixed, the grounds nearly fill two large cans.
Into a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup, I dump in 2 very heaping tablespoons of hot tap water.
Stir thoroughly to wet the grounds. Nuke for another minute in microwave.
Now this is WAY too strong to sip. Instead I pour maybe 2 ounces into a large cup.
Add milk to fill, maybe 75-80% milk. Nuke THAT for two minutes, Bingo! No sugar needed.
The pyrex measuring cup cools and stays cold. Its almost as good 2 or 3 days later,
which is about as long as one 'batch' lasts for me.
Unusual if not unique. May sound terrible, but try it before you knock it.
Good coffee just cries out for loads of milk here.
One big plus: Its easy to make, all things considered.
I do the big blending maybe once a month. Nuke the Pyrex 2-3 times a week.
The rest of the time I pour a few ounces, add milk and nuke it hot. -Larry