Coffee has had some good press lately: the beneficial aspects of coffee have typically been ignored, but think about the many accidents coffee has prevented or the many exams that could have been failed without a good pot of coffee!  A quick cup twenty minutes before your workout will improve your performance and help to increase health benefits from cardio conditioning.
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Brewing coffee is quick and easy, but a few points to keep in mind when shopping for your next coffee maker will make your experience more rewarding.  The most important fact about your coffee maker is how quickly it brews the coffee.  The reason for this is that the longer the hot water sits on the coffee grounds, the more bitter oils will be incorporated into your beverage.  A fast coffee maker is important, and also having a permanent filter rather than paper filters speeds the water on its way.  Permanent filters are not expensive (usually under $10) and contribute less waste to landfill than disposable filters.
The best way to buy coffee is in the form of fresh whole beans that have just been roasted at your local coffee specialty house or ordered from a top-notch online retailer.  Fragrant, oily beans can be ground in your blender in a mini-blender container or in a coffee grinder.  Grind the beans only for 8-10 seconds to reduce the chance of bitterness.  The grinds do not have to be fine or even to get good flavour.  You may use more coffee for the richness you desire, but the quality will make it worthwhile.  A special brush is available for removing the last of the grounds from your grinder. Coffee Clocks
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Don’t underestimate the importance of the water you use to brew your coffee.  Filtered water will help give the coffee a clean taste, and will also prevent your coffee maker from becoming clogged with minerals.  You may wish to use two Brita filters for double-filtered water when making coffee or tea.

Once you have your freshly brewed coffee in hand, the fun begins!  There’s no limit to the variations you can make when you serve coffee, beyond the usual liqueurs.  Honey, chocolate syrup or shavings, a cinnamon stir stick, vanilla sugar sprinkled on top . . . or, try adding coconut milk to your coffee instead of or in addition to cows’ milk.  If you wish to reduce fat content, use evaporated skim milk.  The flavor of non-fat evaporated milk is better than 2% or whole.

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Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of regular cleaning of your equipment.  A fifty-percent solution of vinegar and soft water cycled through twice, then followed by clean water, will remove any mineral buildup in the tubes and add to the life of your coffee maker, and to the clean flavor of your beverage.  Use baking soda to clean your carafe and filter, and don’t forget to wipe the underside of the top surface of your coffee maker, and to dry the water receptical after use.

Happy brewing!


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