|A Great Cup of Coffee|
About the Bean
Great coffee beans don't have to be expensive, but they do need to be fresh and well cared for. Coffee grows from a plant, which means it has an expiration date. You want to buy coffee in an airtight bag and check the freshness date on the package, the fresher the better. Check the freshness date even in a pricey coffee shop. I once paid fifteen dollars for a pound of specialty coffee only to find stale beans when I arrived home. You can spot a stale bean very quickly, it will look dry and it won't smell fresh. Good coffee beans should look moist and shiny and smell amazing.
Gold Coast: Gold Coast is an excellent blend that is roasted to extra bold. It is smooth and balanced. Gold Coast is a great morning cup of coffee.
Another important ingredient, to a great cup of coffee, is filtered water. The better the water tastes, the better your coffee will taste. Filtered water not only tastes better, it keeps your machine cleaner and a clean machine is ingredient number one.
I have found that the ratio of coffee to water is much more of a personal preference. Just like you have to try different preparation methods of eggs, you have to try different types and strengths of coffee. Experimenting is part of the fun. Read the directions on the coffee bag for a starting point.
If your coffee maker is dirty, your coffee will taste dirty. If your coffee maker is old, or you suspect that it is dirty, cleaning it is simple. A cup of white vinegar and a gallon of distilled water is all you need to spruce it right up. Run the vinegar through the coffee maker first and follow it up with the distilled water. You may want to run a couple of cycles of clear water before you attempt to put the coffee maker back in use. The vinegar is going to break up the mineral deposits in your machine.
Coffee is something that is important to buy fair trade because much of it is grown in third world countries. Starbucks is an ethical company where you can often find fair trade labels. You can read more about Starbucks ethical practices in Considering frugal Starbucks Ethical Pic.