I have bought a new percolator, and can't seem to make a decent cup of coffee. Do you have any suggestions that would help?
Mary C. from Newark, CA
Always always always start with COLD water. Then add your coffee and you will get good coffee.
That Cold Water BS is a total waste of time. Originally that BS got started from some company trying to save people from burning their hands with hot water. Remember, the water DOES need to get heated up to near boiling to perc up in a percolator or filter machine. It makes absolutely no difference whether you start with hot or cold water.
What DOES make a difference is adding a bit of salt to fine ground coffee if you have a filter machine or to medium ground coffee in a percolator.
If your coffee grounds are old and stale, you can freshen them up in a clean, very hot cast iron frying pan. Don't try it in a teflon pan.
This is for percolated coffee. I recently came across an old recipe book named "Seems Like I Done It This-a-way" by Cleo Stiles Bryan. She writes:
1/2 cup coffee
3 cups boiling water
Put coffee in the strainer and the water in the bottom of the percolator. Set strainer in place, cover and put over a slow fire. After water begins to bubble up, percolate 3 to 5 minutes.
I read somewhere to never clean a coffee pot with dishsoap because you can't get it all out. Use the vinegar / water combination instead. I can really tell in difference in my pot toward the end of the month...coffee starts getting bitter. The vinegar-cleaning sweetens it back up! If you Goggle "good coffee," you'll find many websites and almost as many different suggestions as below! Personally, I think the water temp. is a very important issue.
I occasionally test it with a candy thermometer to make sure it's good and hot...about 180 degrees. Even though your coffeepot is new, perhaps it's defective in this area. One other idea: I read somewhere that if possible, purchase and use a copper, reusable filter. It will let the coffee oils though that are traditionally "caught" by paper filters, affecting the taste. If you must use them, neither white or brown "natural" filters appear to make a difference in taste.
P.S. SAVE those used coffee grounds! Put a few (cooled) tablespoons of them in your geranium pots about once a month and you will have glorious blooms and healthy plants!
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