Learn how to roast your own coffee beans.
Tip # 1:
Roasting is a process that can take up to 12 hours and it's not always easy, but the rewards are worth it: fresh-roasted beans will taste better than anything you buy in stores--and they'll keep their flavor for months if properly stored at cool temperatures.*
Tip # 2:
Roast all of your coffee yourself. This way you know how old each batch is, how much caffeine there is per cup (because roasters use different amounts), and how many calories per serving. Plus when we have friends over for dinner (this usually happens on Saturdays or Sundays) I love having freshly roasted mocha available as an after dinner drink instead of buying some from our favorite store around the corner.
Tip # 3:
Don't use tap water in our coffee maker. Tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that will just become concentrated when brewing coffee (and the flavor of good beans can be destroyed). The best way to make sure you're using high-quality, clean tasting water is by installing a charcoal filter on your kitchen faucet or shower head. They are inexpensive and last for up to six months before needing replacement! We have one installed at our home because we drink so much filtered water but it's easy enough to switch back and forth between running hot tap water through my French press every morning or heating some up if I need something colder.
Tip # 4:
Get yourself an electric kettle with temperature settings*. If you like tea then you know how to use this because it's the same idea.
Tip # 5:
Use your coffee grinder as a spice grinder.* If you're anything like me, then chances are you have a lot of spices that are sitting in jars and not being used enough. It might be time to put them away for good or find somebody who wants them! But before we get rid of our old friends--don't forget how useful they can also be as an addition to dishes where salt is needed but isn't called for (think: iced oatmeal). So remember those spices when roasting coffee beans at home and grind some up with brown sugar, cacao powder, cinnamon sticks etc into dark roast grounds if desired. The mixture will taste delicious on cold mornings and it's a perfect way to get some extra antioxidants in your diet (because how often do you drink black coffee?).
Tip # 6:
Buy bulk packages of ground coffee. To make the most of our beans, we grind them all at once. Buying in larger quantities means that they will stay fresh longer because there is less air exposure on each individual bag than if you were buying smaller amounts over time--plus this method saves money! And last but not least:
Tip # 7:
Use quality filters for the best tasting coffee. The filter paper used for brewing can greatly affect how flavorful your morning cup o'joe tastes. Try switching up types or brands until you find one that suits your taste buds just right. Some people prefer really finely ground coffee, others like the coarse grind. In any case, make sure you're using filters that are durable and will not impart too much paper taste to your drink--another reason why we love our French press!
Now it's time for some coffee-related recipes:
1. Coffee & Coconut Milk Ice Cream
How do I resist? All this talk about caffeine has made me thirsty so how about a cold treat on these hot summer days (or nights!). And with only four ingredients needed to whip up this recipe there really is no better way of ending my post than by telling you how easy it can be to enjoy an ice cream cone or two. Just combine heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, sugar then add vanilla extract or any other flavor you like. Now we're talking!
2. Thyme Roasted Coffee Potatoes
How do I resist? These potatoes are a delicious, hearty side dish that goes great with anything on the grill and make for an easy dinner to whip up if you find yourself staring into your freezer at night (or morning) wondering what's in there. The thyme gives them a slightly earthy flavor while also making them really aromatic--a perfect match for coffee lovers everywhere. Recipe: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, peel baby potatoes then cut each one into quarters before sprinkling lightly with salt, pepper and thymer sprigs--seasoning as desired after roasting in the preheated oven until crispy around the edges.
3. Coffee Roast Beef
how do I resist? When you're in the mood for something a little more filling, then this is just what your taste buds have been craving! This recipe calls for about six-eight pounds of beef and will take some time to make but it's totally worth it--just ask my dad who makes these every year as part of our Christmas holiday meal (along with all the side dishes). Recipe: Combine coffee grounds with enough water to moisten them well; place roast on top of mixture then cover completely before cooking on low heat until done. Remove from the oven when desired temperature has been reached--and enjoy!
4. Chocolate Coffee Avocado Pudding
How does that sound? Recipes are always a good way to get creative in the kitchen and this pudding is no exception--especially when it has chocolate, avocado and coffee all mixed together. Recipe: Blend avocado with sugar or honey until smooth then add cocoa powder (or any other type of flavoring), vanilla extract before finally adding the brewed black coffee; stir well until combined heat oven then allow mixture to simmer on low heat for at least five minutes. Now how does that sound?