Cat’s gotta have her coffee
Despite being extremely sensitive to caffeine, I have come to love the buzz of this chemical as it surges through my veins during its 9-to-5 workday. – “I don’t have a caffeine problem, and neither do you”
I wrote that article over a year ago, and my coffee taste has changed drastically since then. While I still can’t really drink black coffee, I can now completely forego sweetener in my caffeine drinks, and I’m really proud of that.
Though I’m technically addicted to caffeine, I’ve learned to avoid the awful headaches and acid burn I used to experience in the past.
It starts to become routine, and soon you can’t go without it without losing concentration or productivity, and your dependency crosses the line to addiction. – “Life as a recovering drug addict”
Because I have a busy schedule, I’ve accumulated an arsenal of tips and tricks as well as different variations on the classic cup.
Basic coffee hacks:
1) Drink your coffee with a straw to prevent it from staining your teeth.
2) Sweeten your coffee with honey, maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, stevia and more. Plain sugar is…well, plain. And it doesn’t dissolve as easily as other sweeteners do.
3) If you’ve run out of coffee filters, a cheese cloth or even a paper towel works in a pinch. Just make sure to dampen them first! And you may have to go with double layers.
4) Make your coffee drink fancy at home by adding different extracts and syrups. Think: peppermint extract, vanilla extract, almond extract, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, etc. Be careful though, a little often goes a long way!
Basic coffee – 1 min – “Desperation mode”
The bare minimum expectation I have for coffee is for it to wake me up and not taste completely awful. Maybe I deserve better, but not so much so on mornings when I leave myself with about a minute to make a caffeinated drink in the morning.
I mix a teaspoon of instant coffee with half a mug of hot water. This is enough for me to be awake and functioning for most of the day, but still able to get to sleep easily at night.
The other half of the cup I fill with cold milk, because I can’t stand waiting for my coffee to cool. I need my fix, and I need it now.
Basic coffee – 3 min – “I deserve better”
When I have time to make a proper breakfast, I use ground coffee to make a perfect one-person serving. I place a damp coffee filter over the top of a coffee mug, and make sure that there’s a large enough well to hold my ground coffee (1+1/2 teaspoon). I pour approximately 2/3 of a cup of hot water over the grounds and let it drip through.
Wetting the coffee filter helps to not waste coffee. Otherwise, a decent amount of coffee would be absorbed into the filter and not go into your cup.
Overnight cold-brew/lukewarm brew coffee – “All the rage”
Take about 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of ground coffee in a cup and pour about a quarter cup of lukewarm water over it, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Something about letting it sit for a while before adding the rest of your water helps the flavors absorb just a little better.
Add enough water to fill it up to whatever point you’d like. Let it sit overnight, either in the fridge or in a cool, dark place (like your pantry).
In the morning, do the damp coffee filter thing and strain your coffee into another cup. Before you add milk and/or sweetener, taste your coffee first.
The great thing about cold brew/lukewarm brew is that since there’s no hot water involved, the resulting flavor is mellower in acidity but more naturally sweet. Oftentimes, I can do with adding just a dash of milk and no sweetener.
Iced coffee – “NOT half ice, half watery coffee”
Freeze milk in an ice cube tray and keep the milk cubes on hand in your freezer. Throw a few cubes into your hot coffee. Depending on your ratio, your milk will melt into the coffee and cool the whole drink down. By using milk, you forego the disappointing feeling when your regular ice waters down your drink.
For a delicious but simple coffee slush type drink aka a Frappe, throw some cooled down coffee and some cubes of milk into a blender and whirrrrrrrrr.
Mocha – “Plebeian mocha”
Here’s how to make an actual mocha drink:
Here’s how I make my own college, dumbed down version:
Dissolve a teaspoon of cocoa powder into a bit of hot water to make a syrup/slurry. Then add your coffee/hot water and milk and sweetener if you’d like. Making the slurry first helps the cocoa dissolve more easily into everything, lest you’d like to end up with lumps in your coffee drink!
I find this method to be easier than using melted chocolate because it doesn’t mix as easily. There are often little clumps and tendrils still swirling around…