JF Bites – Coffee Coffee Coffee10 Min.
It’s National Caffeine Awareness Month – did you know?
I’d say that I’m pretty aware of coffee year round. But, in honor of caffeine awareness month, I will happily pay tribute to my favorite vice.
Vice or Nice?
I’ll fully admit to being a coffee addict. It’s a well-known fact in our house that I should probably be avoided until the first sip of morning coffee has been consumed – and save all requests until the cup is half empty. According to the Mayo Clinic Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee – or one Starbucks Grande Pikes Place (true story). The benefits of caffeine use by endurance athletes have been proven in numerous studies – as have the dangers of caffeine consumption in children. It’s a double edged sword and deserves respect and moderation. But when used with both the joys of coffee are pretty great.
How do You Brew?
Everyone has a favorite brewing method, and there are many great ones out there. From the classic French Press to the Italian Stallion La Marzocca to the humble yet hip pour over, great coffee can be created just about anywhere. So what are the secrets to a great cup of joe?
1. Good beans. You may need to do some testing to find the beans that work best for your taste. While traditionally beans were grown and roasted in the tropics, more countries and growers are jumping on the coffee train. You can find local roasters and maybe even local growers if you look hard enough. Be aware of the environmental factors too, look for organic or sustainability certifications as well as fair trade and rainforest approved.
Some of the most exciting progress in coffee sustainability is happening with small and medium size roasters and boutique exporters and importers working to improve traceability and better prices for producers based around quality. For a newer generation of microroasters and sophisticated coffee farmers, meeting face to face and doing business more directly is paying dividends for everyone in the supply chain and resulting in the extraordinary leaps in cup quality that underly some of the current hype around high end coffee. Tony Konecny and Ryan Brown, Lifehacker.com
2. Fresh is key. Store your beans in an airtight container in a dark place, don’t keep them in the fridge or freezer, this will ruin the oils in the beans. Don’t let those fabulous beans get stale by grinding them too early! Grind for each cup using a good quality grinder.
3. Quality H2O. The experts recommend purified water – pour from the filter if you don’t have great tap water. Fresh cold tap water will work and is preferable to hot water, let tap water run for a minute before you fill your pot. Avoid distilled water or softened water.
4. Perfect the ratio. A general guideline is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences.
5. Drink it up. Coffee is best enjoyed freshly made – never a problem in my house! Avoid reheating your coffee (unless you have toddlers – in that case do anything you can to actually finish a cup).
Our Favorite Things. Jewett Farms + Co. and Miele have a great partnership; we are in fact a Miele dealer. Miele is a leader in technologically advanced and aesthetically beautiful appliances, including coffee systems. In the JF Boston Design Center showroom we have a Miele built in Coffee System – aka the Coffee Robot. This machine is outstanding – Miele has done all the research so that the beans are stored airtight in the machine, water is heated to the perfect temperature (which can be adjusted warmer or cooler within the optimal range for coffee), the grind is automatically adjusted for your drink of choice and each cup is individually made without those nasty, environment polluting pods. Next time you’re in the BDC pop by and we’ll make you a cup.
On the odd occasion that we leave the showroom for coffee we are so lucky to have Triangle Coffee in a container on Drydock Ave – the Triangle folks are coffee geeks in the best possible way and their coffee is smooth and beautiful.
The JF Cycling team has a favorite coffee spot too – Lils in Kittery, Maine is a shining example of the way a local coffee shop should be (see what I did there Mainers?). While the cold brew and espresso are great… it might be the hand made crullers that are the biggest draw to Lils.
However you wish to celebrate National Caffeine Month know that you’re not alone – we’re celebrating along with you – during the other months too!