Coping: Perc, Drip, or Press?

Tired of “snowpocalyse” and other (hopelessly trite) MSM nonsense?  Yup, me too.  So let’s talk about something important:  coffee…

Been doing some experimenting with making coffee here lately.

The reason is fairly simple: I’ve never had coffee as good as what I get in Seattle. Maybe it’s the water up there, or when my Mom made it (years and years back) it was a stainless steel percolator and Mrs. Olson’s brand.

Never been particularly pleased with the coffee here at the ranch. East Texas Outback rural water is OK…and seems to have lower chemical levels than what passes for water along the Mississippi, but not as “crisp” as fresh Seattle water from the Cedar River Reservoir.

So I bought a $23 stainless percolator and began my experiments. Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator.

Finding #1: Percolator coffee takes longer than Drip. Anywhere from 3-6 minutes longer for approximately the same finish color/density.

Finding #2: Percolator coffee does have a slightly better (to me, this is subjective stuff, right) taste to it.

Finding #3: Percolator coffee stays warm a LOT longer. This is because the whole pot comes up to 212°F while in the Drip machine, the pot is warm, but doesn’t get up to anywhere near that. I reckon about 185°F.

The good news on this point is that Drip coffee has a longer “holding time” but when fresh-perked coffee is poured immediately into an old-school Thermos bottle, it seems to last very well and retain more of that “fresh perked taste.” Always wondered if this was due to surface oxidation…but haven’t researched the point.

Try a Thermos Stainless Steel King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle, Midnight Blue about $26.

A word about French presses and “cold coffee” systems: I think they generally suck.

The French press is a feeble effort to take the coffee-making process and make it complicated. Turns out you need to boil water – so you are into percolator time-scales. Then you actually have to do work – which I try not to do unless I am being paid or there’s a worthy pay-off. And the French press is more effort to clean.

The cold coffee system I tried (soak the coffee 24-hours or longer, make an extract, mix with water) has all the taste and flavor of a second-rate instant coffee to me. Pass.

Coffee Health Issue?

A good article on the health risks of getting too much of the poison dioxin from coffee filters over here. Dioxin is a by-product of bleaching pulp to make paper.

No, I have no idea why there is nothing serious about dioxin levels of paper used in coffee filters to be found in the government’s database, but maybe it’s because there’s no money in it for research.

Still, we don’t use paper filters. Instead we’ve gone with one of those “lifetime” filters. This gets to be an easier bet to make at our ages, lol. Get a gold-plated on and Ure good to go.

May not be a major risk of dioxins in filters but if you live as long as we have, and I do 2-3 cups per day, that’s, uh, 43,800 cups of coffee, plus or minus a warm-up.

Needed: Legal Advice

Here’s a dandy one: I like to think about things that define the frontiers of modern life. And one of the items that fired off in the brain Thursday was this:

If a person has a Facebook or Twitter (or Pinterest, or whatever) does that make them a public figure?

It used to be one thing to be a “private person” because if someone said something damaging about you, or something libelous/damaging, you could sue.

But with the advent of Social Media, has the ENTIRE STUPID PUBLIC lost a legal standing position without realizing it?

The reason this came up was partly because I was wondering how long before Donald Trump will be able to turn loose a whole pack of lawyers on some of the mainstream media outfits which have been doing the “daily bashing” ever since the presumed high-bidder (Hillary) lost.

I’m reminded of NY Times v. Sullivan:

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that established the actual malice standard, which has to be met before press reports about public officials can be considered to be defamation and libel.”

Just watching some of the media slams, we have to wonder when the “actual malice” threshold is passed…

In the meantime, for those who think I’m a total Trumperian supporter, please refer to Thursday’s news section where I listed major Trump screw-ups that we don’t agree with. That’s support for civil asset forfeiture, Ajit Pai’s nomination to chair the FCC, and please STFU about family business. He’s on your duty and mine for another 47-months during which please let Ivanka worry about her own clothing line issues.

We would still like to know how Hillary’s Foundation wasn’t out of bounds with foreign donations…and a probe of actual voter fraud would be nice follow through…just saying.

Life in the Outback

From a lawyerly reader of ours:

A Texas Bobcat sighting:

“That’s right. We are just a few hundred yards from the wild lands of the mountains and the Cleveland National Forest. We have coyotes walking over our property all of the time, sometimes in pairs. And, of course, deer come on the property as well. We also are paid visits by cougars of the four legged variety, according to the neighbors. Our next door neighbor (the proud owner of the two yappers) told us she had a cougar in her back yard, inside the swimming pool fence. Where there are deer, there are cougars, I am told. Nice. I thought of introducing our unrewarding Dolly the Cat to her bob-tailed cousin, but she was unavailable for introductions at the time.”

Friend of ours out here…uh…terminated one a while back. Coming after their cats.

So they are still around.

We expect any day the environmentalists to show up in their inflatables in the creek to protect ‘em. If the wild hogs don’t solve that problem for us, first.

Have a great weekend….zillions of project going on here, not the least of which is getting our taxes in order. Most of the brokerage firms will have their downloads for the year ready by the 15th if they aren’t ready already…

Here’s hoping we have to pay – because that might indicate we made more than I planned for last year…

Write when you get rich (or get a refund).

27 thoughts on “Coping: Perc, Drip, or Press?”

    • I can see rebar in the pictures, but it appears to be just a monolayer. If it was wired rather than welded, it would never hold in tension after the concrete itself let go.

  1. A good water filter makes a big difference also. I use a Big Berky filter for all of my drinking water and for making coffee.

  2. RE: Metal screen coffee filters vs. paper – My cholesterol was consistently in the 225 range (over three years), but HDL was good. Before prescribing statins, my family doctor asked me a few questions about diet, etc. and coffee use (I drink 6-8 coffee pot cups daily of black java, no sweetner). He then asked me if I brewed my coffee with a metal screen filter or paper filter. Crazy question, thought I. At that time I used the metal screen. I thought my doc was off the deep end when he advised me to start using paper, as it traps oils that can raise cholesterol levels. I did some research on my own, and sure ‘nough, paper filters are better in this regard. Some barista sites advise ‘rinsing’ paper filters before use, which cuts down on paper dust, the real culprit for dioxin contamination. Bottom line: My total cholesterol dropped to 207 six months later and I remain statin free. Who knew? Anyway, check out the latter part of this linked article or just do your own google search:

  3. Ever hear of Gods’ Blessing (Irish Coffee) from Callahan’s Pub by Spider Robinson? My favorite author!

  4. stainless still stovetop espresso unit is all that I use! Was looking a few years ago for a good solution to get rid of the paper and plastic in the coffee brewing process, and this has been my favorite so far.

    • Well sure, a still, stainless or otherwise, would be my favorite too! Which leads right into the note about Irish Coffee.

  5. Girls bought a Keurig. Steam presses the coffee through. You can use your coffee through a metalfilter. Amazing coffee, a single or a whole pot. Don’t buy the premade cups though, too expensive.

  6. George,

    ALthough I’m not much of a coffee-drnker these days, at one time I was quite the snob. Roasted my own green beans [still the ONLY way to go!] which I then ground to perfection and hand-poured through unbleached paper filters using DISTILLED water. Trust me on this: if you want the purest form of brewed coffee this is the only route that will deliver. It’s only after you eliminate all the variables such as trace minerals in the water that you will get the purest of flavor. Same thing goes for iced Tea -try distilled water in a taste test vs. tap/well/bottled spring water and you’ll see what I mean. But, the key is freshly-roasted beans!

    BTW: green coffee beans are not only CHEAPER than pre-roasted they also have an indefinite shelf-life since they only start to lose potency once they’ve had high heat applied. I’m very lucky to have a local firm called THE SPICE MERCHANT where I’ve shopped for about 20 years. They accept mail orders. They are located in the historic 1908 building where Mentholatum [remember THAT product from your youth??] was manufactured here in Wichita.

    When you walk through those doors and see their towering red cast-iron antique roaster and take in the heady aroma of fresh coffee… it’s damned-near intoxicating! And: home-roasting is EASY! A simple cast-iron skillet will do, while many use an old hot-air popcorn popper that will also deliver fine results.

    • Oh Gregory, you are so right! I have had the good fortune of doing the exact same thing you talk about, including home roasting beans as big as the joint of my little finger. I hadn’t thought of trying to buy some green beans, but shall now. Thanks for the tip, and the nice memories.

  7. I’ve brewed coffee almost every way and now I only use a French press. IMO it results in the best tasting coffee. Yes, you have to boil water, but it’s worth it to me. Cleanup is simply a rinse out in the kitchen sink. The grounds are dumped in the sink or the disposal and actually help clean deposits in the pipes.

    • What a waste of good coffee grounds.
      If you grow veggies and/or flowers they enhance the soil when mixed.
      They are also a fine medium for growing mushrooms!

    • Coffee grounds are best someplace where they can be eaten by worms n other critters and plants. Unless you poison your yard with fertilizer and weed killer and have no worms, and no moles. Grounds also will grow great mushrooms. I used to get bags of spent coffee from bucks and dump it around the poplar log where my citron oysters used to grow out.

  8. I’ve been searching for that wonderful coffee flavor that I once knew for years now. I’m just about at the point that I have to admit I must have burned my tongue a few too many times as many things just don’t taste the way they used to. But there are those stories that the coffee companies have been substituting Robusto beans for the Arabica in years past.

    While doing some experimentation with our Keurig I found that the water temp only makes it to around 170. Descaling only adds a few degrees to that since we use only RO water here in limestone country. I know that the cups have a specifically fine grind to them so putting already ground coffee through an additional grind and then using the E-Z Cup disposable paper filters often brings out more flavor.

    I’ve been wondering if percolation would improve it even more so I may well try it.

  9. Phew… Well we go through a three pound can every week.. The best coffee is cowboy coffee made with filtered water and strained with a french press. Preferably fresh ground. The best beans are in my opinion is Jamaican blue freshly roasted high flavor low acid.

  10. I drink what I like, hence, jug burgundy and and my own blend of two instant coffees. Snobs not wanted at my place.

  11. I got a toy cook set for Christmas before I went to elementary school, and immediately perked my first cup of coffee. Electric percolator coffee was a way of life. I have had coffee made in any number of ways including in a big pot with a raw egg stirred in after boiling to gather up the grounds. I have narrowed the field for brewing, although I will retain my Toddy for making concentrate for various purposes. I have a Coleman percolator for camping and have, with due care, produced excellent coffee. I do however prefer my Bunn with unbleached filters.

    I have tried all types of coffee. I would be happy to go back to Paris just for the coffee. Only in desperation would I ever ingest Turkish coffee or field military issue coffee.

    I have narrowed my choices to 100% Arabica as my final flavor. Daily standard is Yuban Gold, but given easy access, I have another favorite.

    Pleasant Hill Farms Arabica Ground Coffee

    In a pinch MacDonald’s, Sam’s Choice, or (sigh) Dunkin Donuts — all 100% Arabica.

    A percolator makes excellent coffee, but I would definitely force a paper filter into the drip cup for long term use.

    Just sayin’…

    • I am really enjoying my Community Coffee, dark roast, I mean I am really loving it. I add local non processed honey and sweet cream…Oh wowzie!!!

  12. I’ve used unbleached paper coffee filters for at least the last 25 years and brew my own coffee (from fresh ground beans) at work as well as home (like to think I’m saving at least $100 a month by not going near the undrinkable-anyway stuff from the coffee bar). Never thought of rinsing them first since it easier to poke holes in them that way, but I’ll give it a try to see if it works. I’ve just ordered some Japanese filters that are supposed to be superior; I’ll let you know. I’ve experimented with home roasting green beans and find it to be messy but rewarding. (Watch out for the bean husks as they go everywhere.) The hot air corn popper doesn’t really get hot enough, but a good cast iron pan over a gas burner does a decent job.

    The risks of dioxins are downplayed because the chemical companies prefer it that way. You think Dow Chemical wants you to know how badly they’ve screwed the environment with their “liquid wastes”?

    The bean sprouter you suggested does not work for me. There isn’t enough in the way of ventilation for the sprouts to grow properly. I’m going to give it one more try and if I don’t have better luck, it goes back. C’est la vie.

  13. A relative sent me a link to a website about making special coffee. I have to tell you it is THE best I have had, and I don’t even use great beans. Sounds disgusting. So do a lot of things. Don’t knock it before you try it.

    Here’s how I do it.

    Get the water boiling.

    Once boiling, put a little into the cheap french press to warm it up.

    Pour about an ounce of the tempered hot water into the Ninja blender cup.

    Put two gelcaps of caprylic acid (not optional) into the Ninja blender cup. Spin it around so the gel doesn’t stick. They will dissolve.

    Make the coffee DOUBLE STRENGTH (not optional for me) . I add extra cinnamon.

    Into the blender cup with the warm water and gelcaps, add 1-2 TBS of UNSALTED grass-fed butter (not optional). Kerrysomething is what I have today. Add maybe some cocoa if you want. Add coconut nectar if you want sweet. Add a little milk if you want that. Heat it in the wave for 11 seconds to warm back up. Optional. I don’t like HOT coffee always. Sometimes.

    Add the strong coffee, whip it on the blender for 30+ seconds. Drink it. Savor it.

    I am too busy to explain every component of this. Best coffee I have ever had. Satisfies fat wishes, MCT benefits, and frothy love.

    • Btw, the original recipe indicates 2 TBS of butter and approx 2-3 TBS of some “special” oil. I deduced that much of their special oil is CAcid, which is an MCT, and which you can buy as large gelcaps for 2 per day (ymmv if eating more) and so I stick with 2 gelcaps.

      I can’t believe this stuff could get much better. I’ve had coffee in Seattle and lots of places. This stuff rocks.

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