Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coffee with ground cinnamon

Once upon a time, I saw the idea that allowed Really Good Coffee to be brewed from reasonable beans, by adding ground cinnamon to the grounds. Since I like Really Good Coffee, and I drink a pot of it every day, this struck home as a thing to do.

The hardware: A standard Mr. Coffee drip pot. Someday, maybe, I'll write about all the coffee pots and brewing methods I've tried. For now, for me, I've settled on a $20 maker from WalMart. It uses the 10000 for a dollar filters. Along with the coffee pot story, I'll write about filters too. Maybe, but not now.

There's also a grinder for the beans, a Mr. Coffee coffee grinder, stock off the shelf from Target. There are at least 4 of them associated with my life / friends / family, and it just works.

The coffee: Sam's Club sells whole beans in multi-pound bags. My choice is Columbian Supremo, a medium roast, dark, rather oily bean. I've tried a lot of coffee beans too, and probably my favorite is from Kona, at only 5x the cost of these. Other 2x and 3x variants are available locally, but I just can't see spending up.

The cinnamon: My favorite place to buy spices is The Spice House. My favorite cinnamons are 'Saigon' and Indonesian. Highly, highly recommended. I have used retail ground cinnamon (just, don't. Take my word for it), and Sam's Club Cinnamon Sticks, which actually cost more than the stuff from The Spice House (!!) and are nowhere close to as good. Not in the same Universe.

The process: Clean and prep the coffee pot. Put cinnamon pieces in the bottom of the filter. Put cinnamon pieces and coffee beans in the grinder. Grind. Dump grind into filter, put water ito the system, hit the happy button and wait. Coffee happens. Pour into my big cappuccino cup, add Fresh Heavy Cream, and it's just magic.

The things I do wrong: Put too many beans in the grinder, and some won't grind. Wasted beans. Put too many grounds in the pot, and the filter will overflow, putting solids in your brew, and an interesting cleaning problem in your future. Carelessly put stick cinnamon in the grinder, and it will jam the blade. Do that enough, and you'll need a new grinder. Put too much cinnamon into the filter, or into the grinder, and you'll have coffee flavored cinnamon tea. Which is interesting, but not what I have in mind.

My favorite uncontrolled variable is how finely the cinnamon grinds with the beans. Believe me, it varies. If it grinds finely enough, it will plug the paper filter, causing the overflow above.

But, most times it works just perfectly. The results are incredible. Stop over, I'll pour you a cup.


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