Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Best Coffee

I love my coffee. Nowadays it seems that everyone is buying these fancy, glitzy stainless steel electric coffee makers that you see in coffee shops. I don't have one of those for two reasons. The first being that they're expensive and I simply cannot afford one on my student budget (of zero in and lots out) and because, well.... I like my on- the- fire one. So, I'm going to be writing about this type.
The type that sits on gas fire and slowly makes the coffee.
I like to think that I'm pretty good at making this sort of coffee, and I have learnt a few tricks that make it really the best.

1. Read any/all of the instructions that come with the pot. I'm pretty sure that my current pot didn't come with any, but if there is then it's best if you follow it rather than guess.

2. Keep everything hot. Pour a little boiling water into each mug that you're going to use. (Don't use tea cups- they'll cool down too quickly)This warms the cup so when hot liquid is poured in it won't cool as much. Oh, and don't waste time pouring the coffee.

3. Learn you proportions properly. The 'ideal' cup of coffee varies from person to person so the exact amount of water and coffee in the pot is subjective to preferences. Generally, fill the water up fully (There may be a mark, bolt or some indicator) and add the coffee to your liking. If water fills the metal coffee holding part (I don't know if there are real names for each of the parts. There may be...) then there's too much water. For more people, you'll need more coffee.
Also it's good to establish the proper amount of milk for each person. Again this is largely a personal opinion, but I find that half a cup of milk is good for one person coupled with half a cup of strong coffee. Milky AND strong!

4. Take it slow. Keep the gas on a cool as possible. The coffee will take considerably longer to be ready but there's less chance of it burning and the coffee grains will have had more time to infuse. By the way, when you hear that whisteling sound, turn off the gas. That is the sound of air, not coffee, running through the pot and greatly affects the flavour (it can even burn) and almost no more coffee will run through.

5. Understand the temperatures and times. I've breifly mentioned this earlier, but you want the coffee to be as hot as possible. It's easy to let a cup of coffee cool to the right temperature, but it won't heat up at all. I find that on my microwave, 1 minute per half cup of milk in a microwave safe glass jug (enough for one person) works well to get good, steaming hot milk, but it depends on the sort of microwave. Also, keep the hot freshly brewed coffee in the coffee pot. The metal of the pot will stay nice and hot and keep the coffee hot.

6. Whisk the milk. I've seen fancy milk whiskers that are battery operated, but I find that a good whisk is far more effective.
The sort shown is the best. I've tried using other types of whisks and it just doesn't work. If the jug is small you can hold the whisk between you palms and run them back and fourth (as if you're cold) and that works a treat. If the jug is bigger then whisk as if you're beating eggs. Quite a bit of force is required to get a nice, dense froth. Full cream milk is best for frothing. Low fat or fat free milk just doesn't work as well. All the bubbles pop. I believe it's better to have less cups of coffee made with full cream milk that more cups made with low fat milk. Quality over quantity, I say. Pour the hot coffee into the pre heated cups and then top with hot milk, spooning on the foam. Add sugar if you desire, but remember that I would be rolling my eyes at you as you do. XD

You would have noticed that I've been repeating myselfa lot, saying 'It's mainly personal taste'. It's true that for this sort of coffee making there are no exact formulas or recipes to work from. Instead, just spend time experimenting to work out the best proportions, don't burn yourself, and enjoy.

xxx Lilly


  1. This is a great article! I love coffee.

    I tend to take my coffee with no water, just boiled milk and coffee. Yummm.

  2. No water??? So, what just milk with a bit of coffee sprinkled in the top???
    Nah, you really do need the water. I'm NOT saying dilute it in any way, I never do, but the maker really will burn out if there's no water in it and the coffee will eventually catch on fire if there is no water.

  3. A good article about how to make a good coffee with personal touch. I would like to add up flavours to make it more tasteful.

    i love fresh roasted coffee

  4. I know that you can buy special coffee syrups that are quite nice, as well as using flavoured beans but often the coffee is far too sweet for me then. Great for someone who likes sweet coffee. It can also be flavoured with liqueurs and spirts if you like. =)