Pandemic reveals continued existence of Taster's Choice

I am currently sequestered with my parents.

I live on coffee.

The drip coffee maker died.

It will take several days for a new one to arrive, due to Trump's mismanagement of the United States response to the pandemic.

My mother and I are drinking Angel City from Groundwork, perhaps the last good pound of coffee in the house, via a French Press. It is wonderful.

My father prefers Taster's Choice. I had no idea you could still buy Taster's Choice.

Taster's Choice. Read the rest

People perceive coffee to taste differently in different sizes and shapes of cups

The size and shape of a coffee cup has a factor in how people think the coffee in it tastes, reports Mental Floss.

[R]esearchers showed 309 online participants images of eight different coffee mugs and asked them to rank the mugs on how aromatic, bitter, or sweet they would expect the coffee inside it to be. Participants hailed from China, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. Across the board, they said they expected that coffee in narrower cups would be more aromatic and taste more bitter, and they agreed that coffee in mugs with a wider diameter would taste sweeter.

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash Read the rest

The Moka Express coffee maker will last forever

Kitchen appliances wear out. When they do, it usually means it's time to toss it and buy a new one. But in recent years, it's become easier to buy replacement parts, thanks to eBay and Amazon. This trend has kept my Bialetti Moka Express stovetop coffee maker alive and well.

My Moka is one of my favorite possessions. I use it a couple of times a day. I have the 6-cup Moka, which I bought in December 2014. (I use it to make one-regular sized cup of coffee, not six espresso sized cups.) I've made over 2,000 cups of coffee with it. I get excited every time I use it.

The handle melted off a few years ago when my daughter left the burner on. A replacement handle kit is available, but I opted to make one from a bamboo cutting board. You can buy 3 replacement rubber seals and an aluminum filter.

It's harder to find a replacement safety valve. I have one, scavenged from another Moka, if I need it. But they rarely wear out. When I find it acting up, it's because it's dirty and needs cleaning. Here's a good troubleshooting guide.

If you want a coffee maker that outlives you, it's hard to beat this one.

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This Bodum pour-over coffee maker works great and looks pretty cool

This Bodum pour-over coffee maker with a permanent stainless steel filter works great and is one of the cheapest I found.

This thing works to make pour-over coffee and costs less than $20. If you want pour-over coffee this is a pretty good way to get there. I started drinking pour-over a few weeks back and prefer the smooth taste.

I also prefer hot coffee to cold so there is that.

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter, 1 Liter, 34 Ounce, Black Band via Amazon Read the rest

Espresso is better with fewer beans, more coarsely ground

Going against conventional wisdom, researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK say the way to consistently make better espresso is by using fewer beans and grinding them more coarsely, reports Interesting Engineering:

"When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing," Dr. Foster said in a press release announcing the research. "These clogged sections of the bed are wasted because the water cannot flow through them and access that tasty coffee that you want in your cup. If we grind a bit coarser, we can access the whole bed and have a more efficient extraction. It's also cheaper, because when the grind setting is changed, we can use fewer beans and be kinder to the environment. Once we found a way to make shots efficiently, we realised that as well as making coffee shots that stayed reliably the same, we were using less coffee."

Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash Read the rest

Watch this fantastic coffee ad

How did Dad rescue those glasses? Read the rest

Incredibly groovy TV commercial for "Good Strong Coffee" (1968)

That's quite a scene, man. No wonder I'm addicted to the stuff. According to the Sweet Jane blog, a young Bruce Robinson is one of the hep cats. From British Film Institute:

Little is known about this kaleidoscopic cinema short advocating the use of coffee as a stimulant, other than that it was produced by advertising agency Battey, Barton, Durstine and Osborne. Intriguingly, it does not promote a specific brand of coffee.

Far fucking out.

Read the rest

Starbucks adds oat milk to vegan non-dairy options

If you can't or won't or just don't drink cow milk, Starbucks has a new option for you. Read the rest

Review: Aeropress Go, the best travel coffee you'll ever brew

I've been writing about the Aeropress coffee maker for years, an ingenious, compact, low-cost way of brewing outstanding coffee with vastly less fuss and variation than any other method. For a decade, I've kept an Aeropress in my travel bag, even adding a collapsible silicone kettle for those hotel rooms lacking even a standard coffee-maker to heat water with.

Starbucks apologizes after two cops claimed they were ignored by the baristas

Starbucks has apologized after two Riverside County sheriff's deputies reported that baristas ignored them when they waited to place an order. This comes just a couple weeks after an Oklahoma Starbucks employee was fired for printing the word "PIG" on a police officer's hot chocolate order label (above). And back in July, a Starbucks barista in Tempe, Arizona requested that six cops leave the store because their presence made a customer "not feel safe." From CNN:

(Of the Riverside County incident,) Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNN the deputies were ignored for nearly five minutes -- and there's no excuse for that.

"We are deeply sorry and reached out to apologize directly to them. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend every day to keep our stores and communities safe," Borges said.

The deputies were "laughed at" and "completely ignored," (Riverside County Sheriff Chad) Bianco said in a video. "They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them," he said.

Eventually, they left, Bianco said.

Read the rest

Watch 12-week-old kitten take 'coffee break'

This adorable 12-week-old kitten needed a snooze during their little 'coffee break.' Read the rest

Folgers and Arnaud's apparently engage in fraud, swap out expensive coffee for crap

I never understood how they got away with this. Read the rest

Coffee cups made from coffee grounds

Back in 2011, I bought a new countertop made from "Curface," a composite material made from a mix of melted down used coffee cups and coffee grounds; we still have it and it's wearing beautifully -- you can treat it like solid wood, sanding off imperfections and oiling it back up to a shine; or you can treat it like a polymer and treat it with waxes like Turtle Wax for a durable finish. Read the rest

A mysterious nonprofit made millions suing companies to put California cancer warnings on coffee

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is a nonprofit that kicked off its mysterious existence by filing a string of lawsuits against restaurant chains and coffee roasters for not posting California Proposition 65 notices (the notices are mandatory warnings about the presence of "chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity") despite the disputed science behind their demands. Read the rest

Unique coffee drink features melting ball of cotton candy dripping into cup

Shanghai-based cafe chain Mellower Coffee offers a unique drink called Sweet Little Rain in which cotton candy positioned over an Americano is melted by the steam and drips sugar into the cup.

Read the rest

Swiss government declares that coffee is not essential for survival

At their own peril, the Swiss government has decided that coffee is "not essential" for human survival. After World War I, Switzerland built an emergency reserve of human necessities for use in the event of war, disease, or other catastrophic events. They've now declared that the emergency food supply doesn't need to include coffee. From BBC News:

It currently has 15,300 tonnes saved up - that's enough to last the country three months.

"Coffee contains almost no calories and therefore does not contribute, from the physiological perspective, to safeguarding nutrition," the Federal Office for National Economic Supply said (in German).

image: Julius Schorzman/CC BY-SA 2.0 Read the rest

Power outage coffee: using Stanley's camping French Press at home

During a recent power outage, deprived of espresso, I was lucky to have a Stanley French Press on hand. Read the rest

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