Robin's FYI

Rumors and Tips about Coffee
If you look up the word rumor in the dictionary you will find a definition like: 
 "Unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth; hearsay." 

While many rumors are fact some aren't. The rumors listed on this page are most likely fact, however because of their "uncertain origin", I call them rumors. 

Now fill-up your mug and enjoy! 
Rumors - Know thy roast - Making a good cup of coffee - Brewing espresso - Ice coffee - Poor Man's tricks to coffee 


  Rumor has it is really harvested by hand. In Brazil, from April to September the "pickers" are at it. 

    ...that the coffee beans actually start off as little red cherries. 

    .. that green beans (un-roasted beans) can stay fresh for years. 

    ...more than 75% of Americans use the filter (drip style coffee makers) method to make coffee 

    ... that cappuccino is one third espresso, one third frothed milk, and one third foam 

    ... if express is a little to bitter for your taste, that other coffee beans of a lighter roast, can make a delightful drink 

    ...if you use flavored coffee, you need to clean you machine more often than usual. 

    ...that in the mid 17th century there were more than 2,000 coffee houses in England 

    ...that in 1674 in England, the "Women's Petition Against  Coffee" which clammed that coffee made men "unfruitful" and threatened the English race. Found support from King Charles II, he issued a proclamation that coffee houses were "seminaries for sedition" and closed down all the coffee houses. However politics hasn't changed much, because of the up roar from the men he rescinded his order two days later. 

    ... that nobody really knows who, or even  where made the first cup of coffee. 

Know thy roast (some of the terms the big boys use) 

Light roasts - Half City or Cinnamon 
Medium roasts - Full City, Breakfast, Regular, or American 
Dark roasts - Continental, Vienna, New Orleans 
The darkest - Italian, French, Espresso 

Making a good cup of coffee 

The coffee 

    Grind the beans as you need them. Once ground they can become stale within hours. a whole bean may remain fresh up to 3 weeks.
    Many people will freeze their beans to keep them fresh. The works better with the lighter roasts, however the darker roast and Espresso do not fair as well.
The Right amount of grounds 
    One of the most common errors made is not using enough grounds. The basic guide lines is two tablespoons per cup.
    Remember the term "cup" refers to the measuring unit, not the thing you drink out of. Most coffee cups, better know as "coffee mugs" are MUCH larger than the 6oz. cup.
The main ingredient - Water 
    Since most tap water has additives, or natural impurities bottled or filtered water makes a better tasting coffee.
The brewing 
    No mater which method you use, the water should never be boiling. Most coffee is brewed a 200 F. 

    Keep you coffee brewing equipment (coffee pot) clean! Coffee releases oils when brewed, this after a time will affect the quality of your brewing.

Brewing espresso 
    Coffee beans should be finely ground. 
    Use 2 teaspoons per 2oz. 
    Remember to tap the grounds, as a rule once if very fine, twice if a little courser grounds.
Ice coffee 

The coffee should be fresh, less than a couple of hours old. 
Coffee ice cube are make from regular brewed coffee, while the drink its self is made a little stronger 2 tablespoon to 4 oz. water. 

Poor Man's tricks to coffee 

Flavored coffees many times cost more, and have the same short shelf life as any other coffee. Use bottle flavorings, they are cheap, come in different sizes, many different flavors, and have a longer shelf live then coffee. You can have caramel one day, with chocolate mint the next. 

If you can't afford the commercial coffee flavorings, use a drop or two of your cooking flavorings. Flavors like vanilla, rum, or even orange, can make interesting cups. Remember they won't be as good as the commercial, but what the heck, if you can't afford it! 


    Can't afford fresh beans, your idea of buying coffee is the cheapest can on the grocery store's shelf.  Buy a cheap grinder ($10 at Wal-mart) place the grounds from your can and grind for about 10 to 15 seconds. Than load your machine that you bought at Wal-mart or other discount store (under $35). 
    It won't be as good, but trust me not half bad either. Also if you like cappuccino, only the true "sipper" will know the difference. After all by the time you add the flavoring, milk, and foam, it's only one third coffee.
Grocery store vs fresh 
    Since fresh coffee costs much more than grocery store coffees. (Here I pay about $9.95 lb. for fresh, and $5.99 for a three pound can). Try using the cheaper coffee in the morning when everything is crazy, and you drink it to get a jump start on the day. Saving the fresh, for that afternoon, or after dinner cup when you have time to enjoy the true difference in the taste.
Cheating on guests 
    Many people drink espresso and cappuccino, because it became a fad. They really don't know or care about the differences in the qualities of coffees. 
    I you have some of those types of friends coming over: 
      1. Buy a few ounces of fresh beans for the ones who say they like espresso, or may really know the difference. 

      2. Since most of these people always ask for a cappuccino, grind some regular coffee up just before they are to arrive. Place the grounds in a special cute little jar. They will never know the difference, after you add the flavoring, milk, and foam