Update: Time for Making Coffee - Unputdownables 48 Hour Read-a-Thon

Need Some Caffeine to Boost Your Reading Energy?

Let me preface this by saying that one of my Shelfari friends is attempting to teach me to brew a great cup of coffee thereby turning me into a coffee snob. He has already succeeded in teaching me that some coffee just tastes like dirt. I happen to have a bag of tasteless coffee now (no offense Whole Foods, but I don't like your Guatemalen or Rainforest Blend coffees) that I am using to make iced coffee to help keep my energy up through Wallace's Unputdownables.net 48 Hour Read-a-Thon. I'm still a novice and have a lot to learn--I'm still refining my coffee palette. :)
For those of you that asked how I make my coffee, here it goes:

The Tools of the Trade
Boiled Water
Coffee Grinder (the burr kind)
Whole coffee beans
A glass filled to the top with ice
Filter and filter cone
Pyrex measuring cup (optional--you can use whatever container you want to brew it in)

  • After your water is hot, run some hot water through the filter to get the paper taste out of the paper cone. It doesn't matter really if you use the brown or white filters unless you can really tell the difference. I run my water from the filter straight into the sink.
  • While doing this, grind some fresh beans (I use 3 to 3.5 tablespoons of coffee beans)
  • After the water is run through, pour your grinds in and and pour some hot water in the grinds. Stir it around a bit with a spoon. I've actually learned that the bubbles (see above, right picture) is carbon dioxide being released from the beans which is a good thing. It means it's fresher I guess and I think is called "blooming" (but don't quote me on that--I have to get back to reading so I'm too lazy to look it up today).
  •  Continue pouring water in until you get the desired amount of coffee you want to make.

  • I brew about 400 mL or about 3/4 cup of coffee with 3.5 scoops of beans (I don't like sludge I guess, but I don't like it too watery either)
  • After I finish, if I feel like a little flavor, I put in some flavored coffee creamer. this one is International Delights Caramel Macchiato (the low-fat kind...I do not like it very much--I will buy the fatty stuff next time). Most of the time I drink my coffee black, but I'm masking the "meh" taste of this coffee with some flavor!
  • Pour over a full glass of ice (mine is a 20 oz. and I have enough for seconds), stick a straw in, and enjoy!

Update on the Read-a-Thon

I have finished Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews and will be starting The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley. I'll also listen to a bit of Middlemarch by George Eliot today.

Finished! It was fantastic!

Reading these two next!


Lily said...

Ah, the paper filter is going to kill your coffee taste! Even lousy coffee tastes better in a French press, the oils from the coffee get filtered out with the paper. The French press keeps all those oils (where the real flavor is) in tact, and makes for a yummier cup, even of the cheap stuff :) I've become a coffee snob, lol. But budgetary restrictions have forced me to loosen my standards for the type of beans...for now...

Carin B. said...

I know, but the oils tend to upset my stomach so I'm good with the paper for now. I might try a french press eventually, but I want someone to make me a cup before I buy one. Thanks for the advice though!

Scrabblequeen said...

That was fun! Personally, I'm a tea snob...and from what I hear, the real answer for both hot beverages is to begin with good water. Out tap water is terrible! So hard it could crack the sink...therefore, I never use it for coffee or tea.

Wallace said...

Yay, Carin thanks! I was so excited to get on Twitter for a break and see the link to this post. I have to run out and get some more cat food in just a bit, so I might run by the store for some coffee now, too. I am craving it after all of your yummy pictures today.

Am drinking tea now but still almost fell asleep a little bit ago. I've been curled up on the couch under a blanket with a warm kitty sleeping on me, so it was hard to stay awake, haha. Iced coffee might do the trick.

Kemendraugh said...

Huzzah for tea snobs! I happen to not like coffee at all.
And then tonight, something magical happened. My father came home and made me a Vietnamese iced coffee. The major difference between this and your iced coffee version is that the Vietnamese put sweetened condensed milk in theirs. So sweet, and so good. I may become addicted, which is odd, since I a) don't like coffee, and b) don't like sugar even in my tea.
Also, you read so much faster than me! I think I'm going to switch books for a bit. Is that allowed? *worries about rules*

Wallace said...

Kemendraugh -- yes, totally allowed to switch books whenever you want. :)

I will have to try the sweetened condensed milk, sounds yummy!

Carin B. said...

@Wallace and Kemendraugh - I love tea too but I'm too lazy to make it. It's too hot for hot tea and it takes too long to make iced tea (yup...REALLY lazy). I have some green tea I need to brew for iced tea, but I don't really have a good way to brew it and with three crazy dogs this weekend I need simplicity. I also don't like sweetener in my tea (or milk...ruins it!) and I mostly drink herbal or green tea. Vietnamese iced coffee is AWESOME!!! You can also buy it canned at the grocery store and it's pretty good too!

@Kemendraugh - I love you and am going to keep you just for saying that I read fast. Oh gosh...I'm a slow reader! Magic Bites was in the 260 page range. I've only read 56 pages on The Tricking of Freya and two chapters from Middlemarch so far. We'll see how far I get. :)

@Scrabblequeen - I have heard that too about the water. I'm too cheap to buy water and I also don't like all the plastic it wastes so I just use my tap water. Bottled water I've also heard is not regulated well, but I agree...it tastes better!

Constance Reader said...

This has been educational as well as entertaining! Glad the readathon is going better than yesterday. :)

Chachic said...

That looks complicated! I'm not much of a coffee drinker because I like tea better. Glad you finished Magic Bites and I can't wait to see your review.

Rikki said...

Great instructions and photos. I'm having a coffee right now made in one of those Italian coffee makers.

Good progress, too. I have to read your second update to see where you are now.

Kemendraugh said...

Well okay! *is kept* ^_^ And I BELIEVE in your reading skillz!
I also believe in Vietnamese iced coffee. It comes in CANS? I'm getting some!

Carin B. said...

@Constance Reader - I'm a novice when it comes to coffee making, but I am learning. There are a lot of great videos out there on how to brew a great cup.

@Chachic - I like tea a lot too. I just don't drink it in the summer unless it's iced and brewing iced tea is better done in large batches I think!

@Kemendraugh - It's either Thai or Vietnamese coffee that comes in cans. I buy it in the Asian section of my grocery store every once in awhile. Any Asian store will have it. If you really want to blow your mind, try some coffee flavored mochi ice cream!!! Hollaaaa! That stuff is so good (but expensive). I'm going to buy some Thai beans someday and see if I can make some Thai or Vietnamese style coffee soon because you have inspired me!

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