Thursday, February 25, 2010

5 Ways to Quickly Make a Halfway Decent cup of Coffee

Its never That early
This cartoon continues my campaign against instant coffee. I understand instant coffee has a loyal fan base, but I just cannot get on board, and I will not apologize for it. I am not saying I get up every morning and make a gourmet cup of coffee from scratch. There are times when coffee is drank out of necessity rather than for the experience, but there are better ways to make a quick cup of coffee without stirring in the flavor crystals.
Hmmm… that may actually make a good blog post.

5 Ways to Quickly Make a Halfway Decent Cup of Coffee

1. Prepare everything the night before. You may or may not lay your clothes out at night before you go to bed, but it is amazing how a few seconds of preparation the night before can save minutes in the morning. Apply this same principal to your coffee; by taking out the filter from the morning before (don’t act like it isn’t still in the coffee brewer). Pre grind your coffee and place it in a filter in your coffee brewer, Fill the brewer’s reservoir with water, place your mug with a spoon in it next to the coffee brewer.

2. Go through a coffee shop drive through. The key is ordering something simple. If you order some crazy double mocha, caramel, cappuccino, with whip cream and butterfly shaped chocolate drizzle on top it may take a little longer than a single origin dark roast.

3. Use coffee pods. I have never been a huge fan of pods, mainly because they infringe on the coffee experience. However, we are going for speed without sacrificing too much quality here, and coffee pods are probably the quickest alternative to instant coffee. They offer a wide variety of roasts and flavors, and honestly there are several brands that do not taste half bad. Certainly, better than the "left over coffee grounds taste" of instant coffee.

4. Invest in an auto drip brewer with a timer. I would recommend getting a single serve brewer so you can place your travel mug right under the brewer. If you are going to use coffee pods this would be a good time to get a machine that accepts them. Look for a coffee brewer that has an alarm type timer, so you can set the coffee brewer to start a few minutes before you will be ready for your cup of coffee in the morning. This way you just walk and grab your freshly made cup of coffee and you are out the door.

5. Don't do these things to save time making coffee. Do not use instant. Do not make a full pot of coffee and place your mug under the drip (It will taste nasty). Don’t microwave yesterday’s coffee (I’ve seen it done). Do not reuse yesterday’s grounds.

Some techniques, like pre -grinding coffee 8 hours in advance are not ideal for making great coffee, but the intention is to give you some ideas to make your coffee quicker while minimally sacrificing coffee quality.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coffee and Humor

latte art cartoon
Originally uploaded by Sir_Dydimus

One of my favorite things when I still had my coffee shop the Bean Counter, was to draw cartoons on a dry erase board. They would usually incorporate daily specials, and customers really responded well to them. Something I love about coffee is that it goes well with so many things: Milk, pastries, chocolate, and humor.

Anyone who frequents independent coffee shops knows that humor is an integral part of many coffee shops, even some of the chains coffee shops get in on the action.

Cartoons, puns, and witty quotes often adorn chalk boards; it must have something to do with coffee’s ability to awaken our creative mind. Since this blog is all about bringing the coffee shop experience into your home, I encourage readers to incorporate humor into their coffee drinking at home.

I have invested in a few tools to help me transfer my cartoons to the computer. Unfortunately, I was unable to transfer my copy of Corel painter to my new computer, so for no I am will have to make do with Microsoft paint. I thought I would kick off my return to coffee shop cartooning with this one about latte art and the perils of training new baristas.

I love coffee and I love illustrating cartoons, and I love writing. Turns out this blog lets me do all three. Whether I am any good at these things has yet to be determined.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Space Coffee

Alright, it has been awhile since I have posted anything. I have been pretty busy the last few months. I logged in today for the first time in quite some time. I was surprised to see traffic has actually increased significantly. I don’t think it’s fair to leave tens of people waiting for new coffee content.

First a few updates. My Sonofresco coffee roaster refurbishing project has been on the same hiatus my blogging has been on and because of a few technical issues probably will stay that way for a bit. Actually, that may be my only coffee related update.

Since I have been away awhile I thought I would put up a quirky coffee video. I came across this video on youtube the other day. Okay so maybe I haven't been that busy if I have time to watch videos of astronauts drinking space coffee, but I am glad to see that our astronauts have found a way to drink coffee in space. However, I think I will put off career as an astronaut until they figure out how to pull a decent shot of espresso in micro gravity.