A Late Bloomer
I did not discover the joy of a cup of a coffee in the morning until I was about 31years old. My parents drank it as I was growing up and I sure thought it smelled good. They drank it black and I sure thought it tasted bad! I was having brunch at someones house and she served Lion’s brand coffee from Hawaii that had a hint of cinnamon and she offered me a cup with a little bit of sugar and cream and I was immediately hooked! I had no idea that coffee could taste so wonderful. Hubby Tom was delighted when I joined him in his morning ritual of sipping coffee as he started his day. For us, it is a nice way to start our day together. We pour our morning cup and chat about the day ahead, planning out our week and catching up in general. It is my favorite part of the day.
I ordered that Lion coffee by the case from Hawaii until the company had the nerve to discontinue my favorite flavor. From there we found a store brand that was good for a while but we grew tired of it and went in search of more flavor. We tried Peets, Eight O’Clock, Seattle’s Best and Dunkin Donuts just to mention a few. We finally settled on Starbucks Colombia. At Winco Foods where we live it is sold for just under $8 per bag. Sometimes Target sells it for less. When I see it at a good price I stock up and put it in the freezer. Now that son David (no worries he is after-all almost 21) has started drinking it every day we are going through a lot more!
We use to have this Braun coffee maker that made the best coffee and although it was still working it looked terrible. What was once an all white coffee maker had started to yellow from age and it no longer looked great on my kitchen counter against my white tile back splash. It was also making a lot of sputtering noises during the brewing process! Hubby Tom did his research and discovered that Braun was no longer in the coffee maker business. We settled on a new Cuisinart coffee maker that was highly rated by Consumer Reports and various other on line resources.
The timing was perfect as we had a load of donations to take to charity so I put that Braun coffee maker in the back of my van and gave it away. The next morning we made coffee in our shiny new Cuisinart. It was the worse cup of coffee we had at home, ever! Hubby Tom threatened to go to the thrift shop and buy back our discarded Braun!
For weeks we tried many different ways to make our coffee with the hopes of getting a good cup. Mostly we turned out what would be considered hotel coffee, you know the kind that you make in that little pot in your hotel room using that little packet they give you. ICK! By the way we no longer use that little coffee maker in hotel rooms, more about that later.
A Good Cup
We finally have our method down, we start with hot water even though we know you aren’t suppose to, we don’t think the coffee maker heats the water up enough to make a good brew. We use more coffee grounds than the instructions say and we pack it down firmly in the filter like you do for making espresso. Lastly we run it on the slower 1-4 cup setting even if we are making a pot full which is usually the case. It actually does taste like good coffee now, thank goodness!
Fat Free Creamers
We have tried a number of creamers. I use to use half and half but that is just too many calories and way to easy to go overboard with what appears to be a simple pour. Fat free milk makes the coffee a strange color and appearance is important you know, after all it is the first thing I drink in the morning! Almond milk was also a no, it made the coffee taste strange. Land O Lakes has a good fat free creamer but I sometimes have a hard time finding it in a larger container.
Trader Joe’s carries this Shamrock Farms fat free half and half that is one of our favorites. The flavor is good, it makes the coffee the right color and it clocks in at just 20 calories for 2 tablespoons. It does contain corn syrup but it does not say high fructose corn syrup so I am still uncertain if Dr Oz would approve! You know that HFCS is on his list of no-no’s.
I recently found So Delicious coconut milk creamer at Whole Foods and gave it a try. This product is soy free, fat free and dairy free.It is made with organic coconut milk and a few other ingredients to make it thicker. It has a great flavor and strangely it does not taste like coconut. It does not have a lot of weird ingredients in it either. I like it enough to buy another container the next time I am in Whole Foods which will most likely be today. So Delicious also makes this incredible frozen dessert bar that I reviewed earlier in the summer. Check out that post here. I like every product of theirs that I have tried so far.
Sometimes a good cup of coffee is hard to find when you are traveling. I found the Starbucks instant microground coffee packets at Costco. We took these on vacation with us and found them to be excellent. Now hubby Tom takes them with him when he travels for business. This is the best instant coffee around. If you don’t have a Costco look at Target or your regular grocery store for these.
I only drink 1 1/2 cups of coffee a day and only in the morning. Caffeine anytime past noon is a no – no for me as it will surely keep me from sleeping at night! Some studies say coffee drinkers get some health benefits when it is consumed in moderation. Coffee in moderation works for me.
Enjoy A Hot Beverage Instead of Dessert
I sometimes like a cup of decaf coffee after dinner and if we are eating out I find that it can be a nice substitute if others are having dessert but I don’t want to have the extra calories. A cup of herbal tea also works well. It keeps my hands busy and there is something satisfying and filling about a warm beverage.
Which do you choose coffee or tea?
Black or with a little something extra?
What brand of Coffee maker do you use?