5/28/10

learning to make good coffee

my coffee maker died a few weeks ago (first thing in the morning). in order to guarantee my family's safety until a replacement could be found, i had to find another way to make coffee. i did some inquiring on facebook and someone shared with me the term 'cowboy coffee'.

i decided to give it a whirl. the recipe i found online seemed a bit strong to me, so i improvised.





RECIPE for COWBOY COFFEE 1 quart of water in stainless steel saucepan 4 Tablespoons of dark roast Folgers 1 eggshell (i actually added 1 teaspoon of powdered shells from a jar i'd been saving for fertilizer) 1 heaping teaspoon of stevia leaf (real leaves, not the extracted or powdered stuff) bring all ingredients to a boil. allow to boil for 1 minute. turn off the heat. allow to sit for another 2-3 minutes. throw in an icecube to help the grounds settle to the bottom of the pan (also helps to cool it a bit as this is much hotter than drip coffee). pour into coffee cup through a strainer or ladle off the top into cup. add cream if desired.


this is some good stuff maynard.

been a coffee drinker for about 22 years and i thought i'd been drinking good coffee. apparently, i'd never had good coffee, because this cowboy coffee is some good stuff and it made the other stuff taste like brown water. funny thing is that noone ever complained, so i guess my friends are all just polite or they've never had good coffee either (except you, BJohnson LOL).

anyway, my last drip maker gave up the ghost way too early and after burning through 3 drip makers in less than 3 years, i thought maybe it was time to try something new. i decided that this pan coffee was so good, i should really look into getting a stove-top percolator. it took me awhile to find what i wanted, but i figured if i was gonna shell out the $ i was going to make sure i didn't purchase any more aluminum or plastic cookware.

i settled on a stainless percolator called the Classic Yosemite by Farberware. the advertisement on every website didn't mention the materials used to construct the inside parts, so i really had to dig for customer reviews to find anything. i finally found a couple of customer reviews on some obscure website that said that the basket and stem were indeed made of stainless steel, so i jumped on amazon and ordered me one. it arrived express and i was very excited when i opened the box, only to find that the basket and stem were missing from the package. needless to say, i was a bit deflated. my husband who was napping on the couch sleepily asked 'well can you at least tell if the insides are made of stainless like you wanted?' um...hubs, they didn't SEND THE INSIDES.

anyway, i digress. i ordered a replacement and it was here in 2 business days. i was very impressed with amazon's turnaround on this whole deal. so here, i've got my fancy, shiny new percolator and it makes outstanding coffee. the weird thing is that it takes more grounds ( i settled on 1/3 cup coffee grounds and 2 teaspoons of stevia to a full pot--8 cups) than it did just making the cowboy coffee in the pot, but it gives a nice rich full bodied flavor that i can totally get used to. apparently being spoiled by good coffee doesn't take long, because a few days after i got it, i had some drip coffee and i was not impressed enough to even finish the cup. i guess, i now am a coffee snob and loving every minute of it.

so for anyone looking for a stainless stovetop percolator, i thought i'd give you all the details about my find so that it would make it easier to decide if you want one too. while shopping i found many complaints and many compliments about certain features and i'll try to address all of these.

the entire pot inside and out and all of it's parts, except for the handle and the see-through perk handle are stainless steel 18/10. the parts consist of a pot with attached heat resistant handle, a lid with a removable (screw in) transparent plastic perk lid (handle), a stem with attached spring and base, a basket and a lid to the basket--called a spreader.

there are markings for the water both inside and outside the pot, a feature that some pots did not have.

the instructions say that if you wet the basket before adding grounds, they will not leak through. i have followed this instruction every time, and the only time grounds get in my coffee is if i forget to put the spreader lid on or if i try to pour the coffee while the basket is still in the pot.

once removed from the heat, it does take about 5-10 minutes for the water/coffee remaining in the basket to drain into the pot.

the instructions say to bring to boil and perk for 5-7 minutes, but after a few tries, i've settled on a 10-minute perk and i'm pretty happy with it.

there is one feature that i think is not well designed but i don't think it's a deal breaker. in most coffee pots, the spout is attached at the base of the pot with a built in funnel shape which directs the liquids towards the spout. for some strange reason the spout is attached rather high and it's wrapped around or attached over a plain hole in the side of the pot. the normal funnel shape is absent and so the coffee will pour well when it's full but when trying to empty the pot completely it's near impossible not only because you're trying to hit a flat hole, but also because the upper rim is curled under (presumably to prevent spraying while perking) and won't allow any liquid to flow freely from the top of the pot no matter which direction you turn it. i've found this to be odd and even a bit annoying, but not so much that i wouldn't recommend the pot to others for it's features and it's low price and my great tasting coffee!

anyway, if you're in the market for a great, inexpensive new stove-top percolator, this one is not a bad find.

click on any photo below to enlarge.













2 remarks: on "learning to make good coffee"

Brandt said...

That was a pretty good write-up! I must say, Good job! I think that there are many people who do not allow coffee to live up to it's potential.

Respectfully,
BJohnson
(The aforementioned- coffee snob)

:)

cowgal jazzy said...

I had a chance to buy one of these at a real estate sale almost 2 years ago , I kicked myself when I didn't buy it!

disclaimer:  caution must be taken when reading my blog.  i'm a new creature and the Lord continues to mold and shape me through his will.  older entries may seem to contradict the newer ones.  there's a pretty good chance that they do for two reasons.  first, because of my nature, as i strive for perfection, i will continue to fall short of the mark and should therefore be thankful for his grace and should seek his (and your) forgiveness for having been so foolish in the past.   second, i continue to grow in him; and as changes are made, i have made attempts to change my blog to reflect those changes. in this event, please refer to #1.   if you're interested in perfection, my blog isn't the place to be.  pick up a king james bible (yup, i'm one of THOSE people) and read his PERFECT word.