A Word About Coffee

Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About
I hated the taste of coffee until I was well into my twenties; only as I began to eat in good restaurants did I realize what I’d been missing. Gradually coffee has become one of the major pleasures of my life.
I’m always amazed, though, at how few Americans insist on drinking really good coffee (although that certainly has changed in many cities with the spread of coffee bars dispensing everything from a cup of the simple brew to double decaffeinated caffe latte with skim milk). There’s really nothing difficult about making good coffee at home: Just insist on beans that are freshly roasted and ground (many of us do this at home ourselves). When you’re having your beans ground, specify whether you’re using a drip, percolator, or other type of pot. The standard for measuring ground coffee is 2 level tablespoons to one 8-ounce cup. Never let coffee boil and once made drink as soon as possible. A good thermos will keep it warm for a bit, but don’t let it sit around too long or it will develop a bitter taste. And don’t reheat it. Whether using an electric coffeemaker or a simple drip, be sure your coffee-making equipment is always sparkling clean.