Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April Topic

Tips for the Best coffee & Best dessert choices :

#1- Pair more acidic, lighter roast coffees with berry and fruit dishes. Light Roasts such as a snappy but balanced Mocha Java or a medium light Kenyan AA with Fruit torte, Fruit plate, or Blueberry pie

#2- Medium bodied coffees, with a reduced acidity and lesser roast time work well with similarly textured desserts. Medium Roasts, such as a Costa Rican, Guatemalan, or Vienna blends go with Lemon tarts, Custards, Tiramisu, Cheesecake or Cheese plates.

#3- Heavy, full-bodied coffees are best with decadent chocolate or heavy cream desserts. Dark roasts, including French and Italian roasts/blends work with Tortes, Dark chocolate, Vanilla & chocolate ice creams, Rich chocolate cakes, and Mousses.

Check back next month for Mays topic...

Recipe of the Month

It's a little past St. Patty's Day, but this is a great drink all year round.

8oz. 100% Aribica coffee (I like a nice Costa Rican)
1 tsp. Your Favorite Crème De Menthe Syrup
1 tsp. Your Favorite Thick Chocolate Syrup
Combine coffee and syrups. Garnish with whipped cream and drizzle with Crème De Menthe Syrup and a fresh mint leaf.

For all of you in warmer climates-Next month we go ICED!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

How to find the best coffee makers for home, among a wide variety of choices.

The best coffee makers are not necessarily the most sophisticated or expensive.

You can make a great cup of coffee with some of the simplest coffee makers – like a French press or $10 manual drip coffee cone.

In this post we’ll look at some of the best coffee makers available – and some that are not so great.

The French Press

The French press is essentially a glass jar with vertical sides and a plunger with a mesh filter on it. You put the coffee grounds in the jar, pour in the hot water, put the lid on and press down the plunger after 3 – 4 minutes.

Presto. You have a wonderful, rich cup of coffee.

It's one of the best coffee makers you'll ever use.

Coffee Percolators

I suggest that you don’t make your coffee with a percolator. Those are the pots you put on the stove and leave for hours. It’s not a good way to make the most of your carefully selected coffee beans.

When you brew coffee, whatever the coffee maker, the water temperature should be slightly below boiling point, 200 degree's F. Percolators just boil the flavor out of your beans. If you are completely indifferent to the flavor of your coffee, by all means keep that old percolator. But if you want to enjoy the flavor you paid for when you bought those coffee beans, use a different kind of coffee maker.

Coffee Drip Brewers

This is the most common and one of the best coffee makers, if the right model is chosen. You probably have one at work, and maybe at home too. You just put ground coffee in a paper filter, fill a reservoir with water, turn the brewer on and watch the glass carafe fill with coffee.

So long as you have a good model, and the water hits the coffee grounds at the right temperature, 200 degree's F, and hold that temperature throughout the brew cycle, drip brewers can make a great cup of coffee. Most retail models do not do this!

But they do have one disadvantage. And if you have ever poured yourself a cup of coffee an hour or two after it was made in a drip brewer, you know what that problem tastes like.

Here’s what happens...these glass carafes are on a hotplate, to keep the coffee hot. The trouble is, after a while, the heat from the hotplate starts “cooking” the coffee.

What can you do? Use a thermal carafe to hold your coffee. A good thermal will hold the coffee at the proper serving temperature, 180 degrees F, for a couple of hours without changing the flavor profile by evaporation and cooking.

My personal recommendation for the best home brewer is a Bunn model A-8 or A10 either brewer has a built in water tank that keeps the water hot all the way through the brew cycle....Just like the ones at your favorite restaurant or coffeehouse.

Brewing your coffee at home.

Buyer beware!
I have been reading that single cup brewers sale are up 100's% due to the fact that coffee is so expensive to purchase at your local Starbucks or coffeehouse. My question to all of you is....Is it really? I say NO! I have been selling coffee for over 15 years and I've always tried to sell coffee to end-users....Restaurants, coffeehouses...etc. By the serving, when customers always want the coffee they are looking at priced out by the pound. I say always price your coffee by the serving. If you purchase an average cup on the go you'll pay, depending on size, $1.00-$2.00 MAX. If a $2.00 cup is 24oz. that's $.08 per oz. To really get technical that would equate to about $5.12 per pot. If this is a cup you like I would recommend between 3 & 4 oz of fresh ground coffee be used for a great flavor profile. What does that equate to per pound? $27.30 WOW I can tell you now that person selling you that coffee paid no more than $6.00-$8.00 per pound...What a profit margin. 337%
When brewing at home in a single cup brewer, you know the ones that use little single serve cups or pods. The cost per pound works out to at least that much. Not only that, but because of the fact the brewer you bought only works with the pods, or cups that are made for it, your stuck, until you purchase another way to brew. Listed on the manufacturers web site these portions sell for $13.95 for a pack of 24. That's $.58 per 6-8oz cup. Lets break that down just like we did earlier....$.07-$.08 per ounce. (look familiar?) Price per pound of fresh ground product @ .5oz per brew $18.58lb @.25oz per brew $37.12lb. I don't know about you, but I can buy coffee in any store for $5-$10lb, depending on quality and roaster, and brew it at home with the taste I enjoy for about $1.88 per pot /$.62 per 20oz / $.20 per 6-8oz cup.
If your trying to save money in these difficult times check back into this blog for ways to change your enjoyment of brewing and saving at home.