It seems like we waste lots of coffee in this home. This is mainly because whenever we want coffee we must brew a new pot, even if plenty is left over from the last batch. When we try to microwave the remnants, the coffee doesn’t have the same taste. It’s even worse when trying to add creamer, since it doesn’t seem to mix well at all; end up with awful clumps floating in the coffee cup.
Any suggestions / scientific explanations regarding these observations?
Coffee has dozens of aromatic hydrocarbons of varying miscibility and volatility. In just seventeen minutes after it has brewed significant amounts of these compounds have separated from the original brew, and begin to evaporate, and oxidize. Reheating the unhomogeneous remnant only makes it worse.
Freshly ground beans, 190 degree water in a controlled stream, immediatly filtered, provides you with the flavor and aroma that are the reason that people drink coffee. Other than that, it’s just a drug, and you can get it cheaper in a pill.
I find that if I add half-and-half to the old coffee before I reheat it in the microwave, and don’t overheat it, just to my favored drinking temperature, it tastes fairly good - certainly not as good as fresh-brewed, but still acceptable. It doesn’t get that overcooked taste. I don’t ever refrigerate it. I’m talking good fresh-ground beans, though, not Folger’s-type cans of coffee, which nothing will help taste better.
Make cold-brewed coffee instead of hot. Cold-brewed coffee retains its flavor and can be drunk either cold or heated without any problems with changes in flavor. It’s a very simple process of dumping ground coffee into a bowl or container of cold water and letting it sit overnight. In the morning, strain out the grounds through a fine sieve or other means. Great coffee that lasts for at least a couple of days.
Microwaving coffee is something only heathens, like my husband, do.
Buy a single cup brewer if you regularly find you can’t/don’t drink full pots. It’s more expensive this way only if you use the single serving cups; better yet, get an insert that allows you to use loose coffee grounds.
I may get flamed/pitted for this, but… a spoonful of freeze-dried instant never killed anyone (at least no one I’ve met). Being the only coffee drinker in the house growing up, it’s what I lived on (we didn’t even own a coffee maker).
I know it doesn’t taste like “the good stuff,” but it certainly cuts down on waste. Or encourages the other coffee drinkers to drink what they make.
Damn, I miss having coffee; if you’re ever in Hoboken, the coffee at La Isla is flippin’ fliptastic!
A full pot of coffee made with expensive real coffee costs about 50 cents per pot. I don’t get too worked up about making a second pot if the first is stale. A pot made from Folger’s finest floor sweepings costs even less.
If your fake creamer is separating when added to microwaved coffee, that’s a clue that you’ve overheated the coffee. Nuke it half as long & stir it a bit before adding the creamer. You’ll find that works better. Not overheating the coffee also reduces that distinctive microwaved flavor.
In Tim Cahill’s book,Road Fever, he and a friend drove from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay in 23 days. They only had instant coffee to keep them awake; as the trip progressed they used less and less water in their “brew”. They eventually ended up scarfing down handfuls of barely-moistened granules. Yum!
coffee slurry, as long as it can move into your mouth then ‘its all good’.
there is medicinal coffee and enjoyment coffee and all the in between. for some being productive and/or staying alive requires medicinal coffee. enjoyment coffee could work as medicinal coffee sometimes but it can be too dilute and too hot to serve as medicinal coffee. some times all you can afford for time and volume is to take a couple shots of coffee.
each has its place and time. caffeine tablets can substitute for medicinal coffee when you have no water, though even that super strength coffee slurry taste can be a welcome sensation when you have been on your feet for hours.
Refrigerate the leftover coffee…it will be good for a few days. Then when you want some, nuke it until it’s good and hot and then add the powdered creamer and it will dissolve easily (no need to nuke the creamer). It won’t dissolve easily if the coffee isn’t hot enough.
I have this coffee disability, where I am only able to make a full pot drinkable. If I make a full pot, it comes out great. If I try to make anything less, it’s always awful. I’m the only one that drinks it, so I waste a lot of coffee. Agreed that the ones that brew directly into a thermos, or even the fancy one I had once that held the coffee in like a warming thingy and you dispensed it by the cup, don’t keep it warm enough at all.
I drink it black, so microwaving it is out of the question, it just tastes so horrid.
(ETA: Err, I just noticed this is GQ and I posted a totally MPSIMS or IMHO response, sorry!)