Blog with Friends - Gratitude

Photo by Sonny Ravesteijn on Unsplash


Welcome back to another episode of Blog with Friends - this month's theme is Gratitude.


What I'm sharing here with you is sort of a running gag between my husband and me early in the morning:

Person 1, somewhat cheerful: *Good morning!"

Person 2, sleepy, grumpy and in desperate need of coffee: "What's so good about it?" 

Person 1: "You're able to get up and go to the bathroom on your own. That's what's good about it."

True.

So many things to be grateful about in just that little moment of getting up:

  • A comfortable bed in a heated house. Sometimes when I can't sleep I think of the pour homeless souls who are trying to keep warm in their sleeping bag if they even have one.
  • My own sink in the bathroom. I'm following a YouTuber who spent three years in Florida's state prison. She says 100 women share about 10 stalls and sinks. Also there is no privacy. I don't know how they cope.
  • A warm shower with decent water pressure. I could write books about lame-ass showers in hotel rooms ruining my first world's mornings.
  • Food in our fridge and pantry. If we run low it's because I didn't have time to go grocery shopping - or because one pre-teenager eats faster than I can restock.
  • Electricity. It's all fun and games until you want to make coffee without power. Plus we get up at a time that it's still dark outside, good luck, getting stuff done without lights.
  • A job as in a purpose, a reason to leave the house, a place to go and spend time with people you mostly like, and lastly a means to make a living. Meet Russel, a man with Down Syndrome who just retired from this job at McD after 32 years. He certainly emphazises what I just said about a job providing a purpose.

In today's post I want to focus on a small but important detail that makes getting up from your warm and nice bed a little more pleasant: 

How to make a good cup of coffee.

Whaaaat? We need an entire blog post about how to make coffee? 

Well, yeah! 

In my humble opinion (which may have been influenced during the years I spent at the BUX) there are better ways than to operate a Nespresso machine, (even though I do admit, it is convenient), which almost 40% of my fellow Swiss citizen do. 

While choosing a whole bean variety, a single origin or a blend, and the degree of roasting (light, medium, bold) is up to your individual taste, here are some criteria that will help make your coffee a good one, either way.

It's called the four fundamentals of coffee: 
  • Water
  • Grind
  • Proportion
  • Freshness

Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash

Water
If you think coffee tastes exceptionally better at a certain location, it may be due to the water of that particular place. Do you have a descaling plant at your house? An experiment will prove my point: use a cup of decalcified water and a cup of regular one to make your coffee. You will taste the difference, I promise. I even had (without my prior knowledge) an esoteric guy pendulum dowsing one cup of coffee, and it tasted cleaner than the regular one, I'm not saying you need a pendulum, though. It was just an interesting thing to experience. 
What yo can and should do is to observe the water temperature. Don't scald your coffee. 195 - 200°F (90 - 96°C) is ideal. After boiling, just let your water sit for a minute.

Grind
As coffee is a highly perishable product whose "natural enemies" are moisture, light and oxygen, don't grind too much at a time, and for the amount you do, use an airtight container to store. Someone once thought the refrigerator was a good place to store whole beans. It isn't for the following reason; coffee works as a deodorizer and will absorb all the aromas in your fridge. Unless you like roasted chicken flavoured coffee, don't do it. Also don't leave your coffee beans behind in your car. Temperature changes, sunlight and humidity will ruin them. 
Depending on the method you use to make make your coffee, the coarser the grind should be. Coffee brewed using a French press is steeped in water for four minutes and needs the coarsest grind (number nine on a regular grinder). Espresso on the other hand requires just 20 seconds and therefore a very medium to fine grind. 

Proportion
A general recommendation is to use a 1:16 ratio of coffee and water. Here's a chart with very detailed measurements and ratios for your convenience. Personally I use 1/8 cup of ground coffee for 6 ounces of water, and I use my simplified French press method. It includes a spouty cup and a sieve, just the right size for one person. I only use the French rest when several people are having coffee. 

Freshness
What applies to ground coffee applies even more for brewed coffee: immediately enjoy it, don't let it sit around, except if you pour it into an insulated thermo to go. 


I am aware you are dying for a cuppa right now. Plus you love checking items off your to-do list.

Please don't leave without visiting my friends' posts, though:


Karen of Baking in a Tornado prepared a hearty crockpot meal for you: Kielbasa soup.

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments has come up with nice cards to write to your family and friends for Thanksgiving (or any other time of the year, I guess)

Tamara of Part-time working Hockey Mom is grateful for her morning coffee and has a few tips on how to make it an excellent one.

Dawn from Spatulas on Parade is making a list (and checking it twice..?)

Lydia of Cluttered Genius has a whole lot of festivities planned out for us.


Epilogue: I know that I come across as a brainwashed Starbucks fanatic. Right now I am certainly not. Twice within one week I am not happy about their service and their so-called loyalty program. Don't get me started on the customer card / app. I know it's beyond the store people's control, but it's annoying, and it's holding up the line. I'll spare you the rants.




Comments

  1. No talking to me before coffee too. And I learned something too . . . heading into the kitchen to take my coffee beans out of the fridge. Thanks!

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  2. There are too many things I take for granted. Thank you for these reminders. And I don't love coffee, but now that I'm used to having it I can sure be a booger without it!

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  3. Look back 5 years ago and I didn't drink coffee but always loved the smell. I found in doing research that it was the burnt over cooked sit too long in the store coffee that I actually didn't like. We have a French press, an espresso pot, a coffee brewing pot, a Keurig, a cold brew pitcher and....well let's just say we LOVE coffee! LOL

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  4. Life is too short for lousy coffee!

    ReplyDelete

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