Monday, July 06, 2009

How to make coffee #1 Raw ingredients

Kenco promise that they use the same coffee beans for their instant and ground coffee products. That may be true enough, but that's more of an insult to the name of coffee than an enhancement of their instant brand. Instant coffee is to ground coffee what a McDonalds burger is to a steak. It makes a lot of difference.

Once you have binned all your instant coffee the next step is to acquire some ground coffee. This takes a bit of experimenting. To be honest most of the quality of a good cup is to do with the making more than the coffee, but there is some variation in the market.

It's fairly standardly sold by strength of coffee on a scale of 1-5, three is fine though the occasional 4-5 is worth it especially after dinner with some dark chocolate.

I drink for the taste more than the caffeine so you can go for decaf if you want. Grounds like Tesco's own brand are perfectly fine. A bag of Starbuck's Verona will serve you well. A good coffee drinker will get through bags of coffee fairly swiftly so you can afford to experiment a bit, go with the deals, go with what sounds interesting until you find some that you like. It feels more expensive, but compare the price at home with the price in a coffee shop and it's bargainous to drink good coffee at home (not to mention business-genius by Mr Starbucks and co to get us paying so much per cup in their shops... ).

update: I overlooked the question of Fair Trade coffee, see comment from Tom.

The other option is to buy beans and get either a hand grinder or an electric one. This certainly adds freshness but does add effort. With a hand grinder you'll be immersed in coffee aromas before you even boil the water. Once bought, store in the fridge, or in a sealed container - I use a couple of air tight tins, one for decaf and one for caffeinated.