I’m not a coffee snob. As a matter of fact, I HATE Starbucks. I’m sorry. Their coffee SUCKS. I’ve had a couple of their weird macchacappafrappfuckachino’s that weren’t bad, but they are just piles of sugar I try to stay away from. Moreover, their sugar free sweetener tastes like burnt carrots.
I actually prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. It’s really good. Really really good. I can’t even imagine WHAT the do it to make it good, and I don’t care. I’m allowed some bad habits.
The BEST coffee I can remember is my grandmothers. I think she used a stove top percolator. She’d dry egg shells, washed, and put them in there to make the coffee mild. It did. Now that she’s gone, the Polish diner a few towns over has absolutely THE best coffee I’ve had save my Grandma’s. They say they use Stewarts, I don’t buy it. I think they do the egg shell thing because it’s wonderful and mild and just *drool*.
I prefer my coffee with cream. I like my coffee with lots of cream. No sugar, cream. That’s how I take it. Funny, that’s how my mom took it too, must be genetic.
And I LOVE flavored creamers. Again, it’s a franken-food, not to be classified as ACTUAL food, but they are fun and spruce things up a little bit.
I also generally drink decaf, organic so that it doesn’t have the god knows what it is chemical in it. I’m one of those super sensitive caffeine people. I’ve also found that I don’t LIKE the type of energy caffeine gives me, and no matter how early I drink it, it makes me tense, unable to sleep and grinding my teeth at night. I don’t like the crash either. The crash is awful. I find as long as I have something “hot” in the morning, it picks me up. Though I still prefer that “hot” to be coffee.
I have a Keurig. They are great little machines. We don’t go through a huge amount of coffee everyday, not enough to facilitate a whole pot of it most times. Plus I’ve always found coffee pot coffee to be kind of gross. My preferred way to make coffee is a french press. If you haven’t tried one of these, do it. You’ll never go back. It’s SO good.
Anyhow, I do use K-cups. But sometimes the buggers are just too expensive. So I have a “my K-cup” thing for my Keurig. Yep, gadget alert. It’s basically a cup where you can put in your own coffee. Which I do. I also find, for those of you in the same boat, that if you open the machine up (the little level you pull up to put the k cup in) WHILE it’s brewing using the my K-cup thing, it’ll give you a stronger cup of coffee. Just lift it while it’s brewing and let the water sit in there a couple seconds, then push it back down. Works great.
Anyhow, for those of you looking for a little make-your-own delight when it comes to coffee, here are some ideas I use frequently to kind of give my morning boost a kick.
Supposedly, flavored coffees are made using a sort of special flavoring on the beans before they are roasted. Or so that’s what I hear. I’ve done it a little differently cause well, I’m lazy, and I don’t want to roast my own beans.
1-2 pounds of coffee, ground
1 bottle (1 oz) of extract
Use any extract you like, though I caution against some funky ones like lemon. Lemon coffee. No.
All you have to do, essentially, is slowly drizzle the extract into the coffee grounds and use a pastry cutter to work it in. You can make super short work of this by just using a food processor and dumping half the bottle of extract in. Pulse it a few times. Dump the other half. Pulse again. It’ll smell wonderful. Will be sweet? No. Will it be exactly like store bought? No. But with a little sugar or cream to bring out the flavor, it’s pretty damn good.
Some of my favorite extracts to use are: Vanilla, Almond, Mint, Chocolate and Coconut. Mix them up. Add Vanilla AND Almond and you’ve got Hazelnut. You can get pretty damn creative. Don’t add TOO much extract though because it’ll make the coffee all funky, taste real bitter, and be almost wet and greasy and go rancid fast. If you can, store it in the freezer once you’ve done this.
What about creamers? Ahhh, yes. I LOVE making flavored creamers. Whenever I talk about “creamer” here, I’m talking about the powdered creamer, non dairy stuff. Cheap, easy, works great. I’m not going to give you hard and fast recipes here because sincerely it’s a matter of taste:
Half creamer and half brown sugar= a sweet creamer than tastes something like toffee
Creamer with some cinnamon and nutmeg will give you an unsweetened pumpkin pie type creamer, add sugar if you want it sweet
Creamer with some hot chocolate drink mix will give you chocolate creamer. Hmmmmmm.
Creamer with some Tang (yes, tang, I swear it) and some non fat dry milk powder will give you Orange Cream creamer.
You get the idea! Get creative!
Someone brought to my attention once the use of hot instant tea mix. Now, I AM a tea snob. I’m NOT a huge fan of instant tea mix. But, I have played with the unsweetened variety and I’ve gotten some cool variations out of it. I’m talking about UNsweetened instant tea powder here, not the sweetened kind. These all can be used hot or cold. For your instant tea pleasure:
Half instant tea and half tang. Oh yes, orange tea.
3 parts instant tea to 1 part flavored, sweetened jello. The consistency is a bit weird but it’s a HUGE amount of flavor.
3 containers of instant tea mix mix to half a bottle of lemon, orange, or lime extract. Do it the same way you’d do the flavored coffee.
Instant tea with sweetened, flavored koolaid, like the ones that come in the tubs. Or mix your kool aid and sugar together then add the instant tea. Do this to taste depending on how sweet you want your tea.
Really, there are endless possibilities here. Experiment using what you’ve got or what’s on sale or whatever.
It’s kind of fun having endless amounts of choices when it comes to drinks. For me, mostly, I can’t drink them what with the diabetes, however, other people can and do and love it. These things shouldn’t replace water, but it’s nice for a little change. And then, of course, you can go apesh*t like me and decide there are TOO many things in the cabinet in the way of options and force everyone in the house to drink your creations until they are gone.
HEY! That’s the power of being this crafty!