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Information about GREAT Coffee!!!

GREAT COFFEE Tips!: FAQ

I use a Keurig coffee maker. Can I use Lake Michigan Coffee in it?

The Keurig System is convenient and makes a "reasonably good" cup of coffee.  It is, however, more expensive per cup than other systems, particularly if you buy the prepackaged pods.  You can buy reusable K-cups to load your own coffee and save money in the process.  The reusable K-cups are available on Amazon for about $1.50 per cup.  You can fill the cup with LMC reground coffee for less than $.40 per cup.  Starbucks pods cost $.89 (over TWICE the cost!!!) per pod.  Save money and get a better cup of coffee.  How can you beat that???

How can I get a GREAT cup of coffee?

Rule 1: Buy Fresh Beans.  Without question, coffee is best when used within days of being roasted. Buying from a local roaster is the surest way to get the absolute freshest beans. Be wary of buying bulk coffee from supermarket display bins. Oxygen and bright light are the worst flavor busters for roasted beans, so unless the store is conscientious about selling fresh coffee, the storage tubes get coated with coffee oils, which turn rancid. Coffee beans packaged by quality-conscious roasters and sold in sealed bags are often a better bet.

Rule 2: Keep Coffee Beans Fresh.  Always store opened coffee beans in an airtight container. Glass canning jars or ceramic storage crocks with rubber-gasket seals are great choices. Never refrigerate. Do not freezing coffee, especially dark roasts. Optimally, buy a five- to seven-day supply of fresh beans at a time and keep them at room temperature.

Rule 3: Choose Good Coffee.  Choose coffee like you choose wine.  There are only two types of beans on the market:  Arabica and Robusta.  Arabica is considered the better choice and that is the only type that I roast.  Never just buy whatever is available at the grocery store.  It probably has been sitting there for awhile.  

Rule 4:  Grind Your Own.  Coffee begins to lose its flavor quickly as soon as it is ground.  The best option is to grind what you need then brew it immediately.  You will be able to taste the difference.

Rule 5:  Use Good Water.  Nothing can ruin a pot of coffee more surely than tap water with chlorine or off-flavors. Serious coffee lovers use bottled spring water or activated charcoal/carbon filters on their taps. Softened or distilled water makes terrible coffee–the minerals in good water are essential.

Rule 6:  Avoid Cheap Filters. Bargain-priced paper coffee filters yield inferior coffee.  Look for "oxygen-bleached" or "dioxin-free" paper filters (I prefer Melitta). 

Rule 7. Don't Skimp on the Coffee. The standard measure for brewing coffee of proper strength is 2 level tablespoons (that's about 10 grams) per 6-ounce cup. 

Rule 8. Use The Right Temperature Water.  Water that is too hot will extract compounds in the coffee that are bitter rather than pleasant. The proper water temperature for brewing is 200°F, or about 45 seconds off a full boil. (Most good coffee makers regulate this automatically.) Once brewed, don't expect coffee to hold its best flavors for long. Reheating, boiling or prolonged holding on a warming platform will turn even the best coffee bitter and foul-tasting.

Rule 9. Keep Your Equipment Clean. Clean storage containers and grinders every few weeks to remove any oily buildup. At least monthly, run a strong solution of vinegar through your coffee maker to dissolve away any mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly before reuse.

(from eating well.com)

How dark should my coffee be roasted?

This is an age old question.  Is there a healthier roast?  What are the advantages to a darker roast coffee?  or a lighter roast coffee?  What are the differences?

It really is all about taste.  There are more intense coffee flavors that are developed in the darker roast and there is a perception of a stronger cup of coffee.  Actually, the process of roasting does slightly reduce the caffeine content.  So, the darker the roast, the less caffeine that remains.  It doesn't vary a great amount but somewhat.  

Some people prefer the bolder taste of a dark roast.  Some people believe that a darker roast has a smoky and slightly bitter taste.  The darker roast brings more oil to the surface of the bean.  The oxidation of those oils seems to produce a bitter (rancid) taste after a short time.

I personally prefer the taste of a medium roast coffee.  The darker the roast, the more difficult it is to appreciate the variations of the different sources of coffee bean.  Roast it dark and you can make every bean taste like the traditional Colombian bean.   I prefer the smoothness of the light roast, the complex flavors present in the light roast and the perceived health benefits of the light roast due to the presence of more antioxidants.

Most of us are familiar with the taste of Starbucks coffee and Starbucks has made a fortune roasting their beans to an excess level.  So, why do they do that?  With a bean roasted to the extreme, it is impossible to detect a lower quality bean from a great quality bean.  They do it to use cheaper beans and roast them to a level that hides the characteristics of the lower quality bean.  Hmmmm.... Its all about the margin.  Makes sense, right?

Bottom line, all coffee has health benefits. Check out the other posts about the health benefits and keep drinking that wonderfully healthy brew!

Is coffee good or bad for you?

We all know the benefits of a great cup of coffee in the morning, right?  It perks us up and soothes our ruffled morning.  But is it healthy?

Actually, research has shown that a cup of black coffee IS healthy!  Studies have shown that drinking less than 3 cups of coffee each morning may help guard against many conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and heart disease. 

Coffee contains antioxidants and other substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease according to nutrition experts from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Here are a few health benefits of drinking coffee.

1.  You are less likely to die from some of the leading causes of death:  coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

2.  You are less likely to get type 2 diabetes.

3.  You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease.  (and it may help those with the condition better control their movements!)

4.  Coffee has a protective effect on your liver.  

5.  Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop colorectal cancer.  (26% less likely!!!!!)

6.  Coffee drinkers are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease.  

7.  Dark roast coffee drinkers has seen a decrease in the breakage of their DNA strands.  

8.  Coffee drinkers have a lower stroke risk.  This is a big deal and stroke is one of the leading causes of death.

9.  Coffee drinkers have lower rates of heart failure.  

When you think about the leading causes of death, which include heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and kidney diseases, drinking coffee is one of the most healthy things you can do!!!  With over 400 million cups of coffee consumed daily in the US, we are well on our way to improving our health.


And, what other type of healthy ritual is as pleasurable?   

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