Lifestyle, Canadian brands: coffee: Best Gourmet Coffee Company, Kona Blend, ground

The tutor discusses more lifestyle self-tutoring: maintaining coffee quality when you’re living from a suitcase.

My wife says that my taste buds aren’t very refined – I can’t tell the difference between good food and great food. Likely, she tells a true story.

With coffee, however, we change roles: I’m the picky one, while she’s less discriminating. The truth is, I think I’m a discerning coffee connoisseur. Even though I drink two pots a day, if I can’t have a really good cup of coffee, I’ll usually pass altogether.

Having the coffee I appreciate is typically easy, since I’m a homebody: I just wait until the coffee I like is reasonable, then buy a lot. Good quality coffee is always reasonable, somewhere.

For freshness, beans have a distinct advantage over ground. At home, it’s convenient to grind the beans for each pot.

When you’re traveling, however, having tasty coffee isn’t necessarily so easy. Coffee needs to be drunk from porcelain, in my opinion, for the best flavour. Therefore, simply getting take-out coffee isn’t my best option, no matter how high-quality the coffee they serve.

Right now I’m living out of town, and have left my grinder at the workplace, along with the coffee pot I also brought down. Where I’m staying, I don’t have a grinder, but only a coffee maker. What to do?

My solution is to buy ground coffee, but to make sure I get good stuff. I don’t buy much ground coffee, so I’m not well educated about it.

Last night, at Country Grocer, I searched the shelves and found Kona Blend ground coffee, by the Best Gourmet Coffee Company. This morning I opened it and brewed some up.

I imagined some sort of foil peel-back closure. However, this coffee comes in a can; the only way I can figure to open it is with a can opener. (There happens to be one where I’m staying, but if you’re in a motel room or camping, you mightn’t have one.)

I brewed up a pot; I’m impressed. The flavour is agreeable, and I can taste the mellow sweetness of Kona. Being pre-ground, it’s not what I’d drink regularly at home, but for on the road, I recommend it. If I notice whole-bean coffee from Best Gourmet Coffee Company, I will definitely want to try it at home.

From the label, Best Gourmet Coffee Wholesalers, Ltd, is based in Maple Ridge, BC.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Coffee: caffeine content, light roast vs dark

Tutoring, I consume a cup of coffee every hour. The tutor shares a fact about caffeine content vs roast.

About twenty five years ago I was told that roasting coffee beans destroys caffeine. Therefore, the logic continued, the darker the roast, the less caffeine would remain. Hence, a cup of dark roast is less caffeinated than a cup of light.

The person who told me that seemed knowledgeable, so I believed them. However, I’ve read today that, in fact, caffeine content is changed little by roast, because at the temperature coffee is roasted, caffeine is durable.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: microwaving coffee or tea: a safety precaution

Tutoring, I drink coffee. (What academic doesn’t?) The tutor gives a hint for those who microwave coffee but drink it black.

I’ve been told that, when you microwave a cup of liquid, an air bubble can develop beneath the surface. Then, if the drink remains undisturbed, it can pop into your face when you take a sip.

For decades I didn’t worry about that, since I took cream in my coffee. However, last summer, I stopped using cream; now I just drink it black. As a precaution, I always dip a spoon or stir stick into freshly-microwaved coffee, just to release any air bubble that might be waiting.

The other day I was in such a situation, but there was no stir stick or spoon handy. Wondering what to do, I put the cup of microwaved coffee under the tap, then let a few drips of cold water fall in. It broke the surface tension well enough.

I believe the air bubble phenomenon can happen, but rarely. I think I’ve seen microwaved liquid “jump” up from the cup a few times over the last fifteen years.

PS: Only four months ’til Christmas!

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Coffee: reheat temperature

Coffee appreciation involves self-tutoring. The tutor brings up a couple of observations about reheating coffee.

I’m a coffee drinker, to be sure. I make a pot at a time, then reheat it later, cup by cup.

I would say that the best cup of coffee isn’t when it’s freshly made, but the next morning, reheated.

When I used cream in my coffee, I had to reheat it fairly hot so the addition of the cream afterwards wouldn’t make it cold. I gave up cream last August for health reasons (see my post here).

Drinking coffee black was tough to get used to, but ten months later, I am. Of course, the coffee doesn’t have to be so hot as before. What I’m noticing in particular is the different flavour profile depending on the degree of reheat. Ten seconds less in the microwave can reveal delicate flavours that won’t be present after that last ten seconds. I’d say it’s because the flavour molecules in coffee can be fragile, so easily changed by overcooking.

Drinking black coffee, the reheat can be much cooler than if you take cream. I’m experimenting with lower heat to discover those flavours that were lost before, when I used to cook the coffee to a higher temperature.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.