Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fun! Coffee makes us smarter...

Coffee makes us smarter. That is our story and we are sticking to it ~ The Langers

I am so excited. Fred has been reading my blog for a couple of years and yesterday, he asked if he could write a post sharing one of our favorite things with you... our coffee.
Welcome Fred to the blogosphere! Hopefully, he will make guest appearances often sharing his favorite food and recipes. He is the chef in the family and loves to cook everyday. I have encouraged him to start his own food blog so maybe this post will help him get his feet wet. :)

Fred and I love our coffee. It smells wonderful and gets our day started off right. We have convinced ourselves that it makes us smarter and here is what we do to make this special brew...

We make the best coffee. Everyone says they like it as much as we do, and we like it a lot. We have our own to-go cups because we would rather take our own coffee with us than get it from Starbucks or any other coffee shop. The thing is, after spending a lot on getting it right, it turns out that the best formula is not the most expensive. So for those who are looking to tune up their coffee, here is how we bring joy to our mornings.

First, a crappy coffee maker is essential. We have several expensive coffee makers. They are in the attic along with the fancy burr grinder. We even had a really expensive Bunn brewer at one point, which made coffee really fast, and really thin. Our a-ha moment came when we realized the best coffee we were getting was from the slowest coffee makers. So while we have had Krups, Braun, Bunn and Melitta coffee makers (and percolators), we now use the one we found at Target at the very the cheap end of the coffee maker row. The cheapest Mr. Coffee was only 15 bucks.

But it makes our world-class coffee every morning, and has been for 3 years. It is a little slower than we’d like, but it is way worth the wait. Next is the coffee. Now this may sound strange, but the secret is that we use half French Market coffee.

No doubt that you have seen it around at the grocery stores. If you can’t find the French Market anywhere, or it is too expensive, you can order 6 cans from their website and get a good deal. (order the City Roast). It is very rich and dark, but not perfect by itself (a bit “tangy”). That is why our magic formula is ½ French Market, and ½ Columbian coffee. Yes – we do order a favorite medium roast Columbian, but there is some flexibility here. Probably any good quality medium roast coffee would be good. Here is the link to what we get. They are good people who make great coffee at a reasonable price!

Note that after all the years of sealing, freezing, and grinding our beans to insure that we always had the freshest coffee, we are proud to say that the Emperor really has no clothes. We now get all of our beans pre-ground, store them on the counter in ordinary canisters, and often go 6 weeks with the same order (when we buy a 5lb bag). Thinking back on upgrading to our fancy grinder and all the mess, the static, and the cleaning that came with that, I can’t believe that now we just scoop in the grinds for superior coffee.
The only other thing is to use a coffee scoop, which I believe is 2 Tbsp. Our formula is 3 scoops French Market and 3 scoops Columbian for 12 cups of coffee. That tides the two of us over the first half of the day, leading to very productive mornings. And then sometimes after lunch we do it all over again.

Thank you Fred for your wonderful post!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


Sherry said...

Well now I know my problem...not enough coffee in my life. Just one cup a week. I think I'll bump it up a few notches and see if that helps the brain cells. Thanks Melissa and Fred for the wonderful tips on the perfect cup of joe.

Manon Doyle said...

Welcome Fred! I'll have to try these wonderful tips out!!
Have a great weekend Melissa, Emmitt and Fred! : )

Leann said...

Man, I wanna come over for a cup of coffee with Fred this morning! Fred, ya gotta do more posts, you're one of my favorite foodies!

Pearl said...

Hi Fred! You really have that down to an art! I am a 1 cup/day coffee drinker, and I regret to say that I make it REALLY girly and weak!

All this coffee talk has me craving a cup. It was nice hearing from ya Fred! Join us again soon!

Laura said...

Hi Fred! Well, the post was great, and it almost convinced me to start drinking coffee! I love the smell, just never acquired a taste for it! And you've got to love Target!

Nancy and the fatties said...

Fred's words of wisdom on coffee - what a great way to start the day. Carlos used to be a Starbucks manager, and I have to agree, the expensive stuff is just awful. ; ) He said they burn the beans on purpose to make it taste stronger (I think it tastes like asphalt, personally). Bravo on your post Fred! can't wait to read more from you in the future.

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Melissa, first of all, Spanky from your below post is super adorable. I love French Bulldogs, they are so cute. I hope you'll be showing more photos of him as he grows...what a cutie.

Now, I'm not a coffee drinker, my husband Chris drinks the coffee in our family and I'm sure he would agree with everything you've said..especially the "gets your day off to a good start" part.

I do however drink tea and that is my favorite beverage...good, strong, black tea. I also make a special chai concoction so I can have chai tea. I have my caffeine about 3 times a day..usually 2 cups in the morning and one in the afternoon as a pick me up.


Puglette said...

hi melissa! hi fred! thanks for the coffee tips, we love coffee too and will agree that is does make you smarter. ok, the fred langer coffee challenge is on! i will have to try that mix and get some of the coffee / chickory blend. i will report our findings soon!
ps-hi emmitt!

Candace Trew Camling said...

now i think maybe fred needs his own blog! Or you guys could do a joint one! It would be fun to read about you guys, and your antics!

Diana Evans said...

yumm!!! coffee....we start our day with some yummy lattes made in our Breville...I love coffee...the smell of it and the yummy taste!!!

Have a wonderful weekend....


Punchbugpug said...

Wow, thanks for the great coffee post! We too have tried different coffee makers and grinding and such. I'll have to try your "recipe" on P. We sure do LOVE our coffee too!!!!

Tara Ross Studios said...

what a great post. I'd love to try some of your coffee. Me,,, I did the whole grinding fresh thing for a while too, but now I just go with Peet's, Major Dickinson's brand. It's ground and I keep it in an air tight container. I do have a Cuisinart coffee pot, but that is what Costco had at the time!

Smarter,,,,hmmm I need to drink more!

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

You have me craving some now! Thanks Fred for sharing your recipe. I will experiment with that in the future. My daughter works at Starbucks and treats me to some coffees like their Thanskgiving and Christmas special blends.

Nevis said...

Great post, Fred! Soon you'll have your own blog. It's addictive!

Rachel said...

wow - what a great post, Fred! I recently have gone through a similar coffee de-evolution. I used to grind the beans fresh, had a very expensive grind-in-the-maker brewer, had to buy the most expensive coffee in the store, etc etc....then one day, the grinder in the coffee maker broke....and so until I could get it fixed I started buying the cheaper Folger's gourmet pre-ground blends....well, it tasted so good, I decided not to get the coffee maker fixed and just go back to regular pre-ground, average price, slow brewed coffee! It makes my life easier and it tastes good. What's not to like?!
I hope I'll be seeing more Foodie Fred posts soon!!

TooCutePugs said...

Fun post, Fred! I don't drink coffee but I do love the smell of it. My hubby is the big coffee drinker in the house. He just recently bought a "bottomless" cup at a local coffee shop - that's where he buys a travel mug and then gets to fill up on FREE coffee all year. He's in heaven.

Fannie said...

The smell of coffee brewing reminds me of home. Delightful post. Thanks Melissa and Fred! Can't wait to read Fred's next post. ;-D

Candace Trew Camling said...

does that mean you found it!!! what a relief!
I didn't receive the e-mail...which is odd. usually gmail is good about that. hmm?!
anyways, I really hope you have a wonderful weekend! thanks for looking for me!
I'm off to my husband's work christmas party...most people dread these, but I enjoy them!

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a great posting, Fred! Our mom lives for her cup of coffee first thing in the morning! You gave us lots of tips! Thank you!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Karine said...

Fred, you are a fine blogger!
I can't believe the two of you drink so much coffee!!! Do your hands shake? You have developed an immunity to it, maybe. I drank so much coffee in college, that I ruined my stomach. So now I am a tea drinker.

PS...that Spanky is so cute, I emailed the link to my husband, hoping that he would be as enamored as I am, and buy a puppy just like him. It didn't work! Darn.

Peng Peng said...

wow, you are a coffee scientist!

personally the Bodum French Press does the trick for me. I have 3 diff sizes!

I think your coffee tastes so good cos you have the magic touch :)
And anytime you can avoid Starbucks the better!! Good for you!

Paula said...

Thanks Fred, I am not a coffee drinker, but my husband surely is. I will pass on the tips to him.