what's the saturation point of coffee?

I buy the Brother’s coffee from Publix and grind it at the finest setting (turkish.) I use 2 heaping teaspoons per cup in an automatic drip coffeemaker. I’ve found that 3 teaspoons doesn’t taste any stronger to me but 1 teaspoon tastes weaker. I don’t want to waste coffee so I’d like to know how I can determine how much coffee to use to get maximum saturation without waste. Anyone ever experiment with this?

Also, can you cook the coffee into a drinkable sludge? I tried boiling the coffee grinds and drinking them but the coffee didn’t dissolve well enough and I just got a bunch of coffee grinds in my teeth. I wonder if maybe it didn’t get ground fine enough? Why does cocoa dissolve but coffee won’t?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Coffee doesn’t dissolve in water because it’s insoluble in water. How’s that for a recursive answer?

Seriously, the coffee bean isn’t going to dissolve in water any more than a pinto bean or a tea leaf would. When you make coffee, you’re using hot water to wash a bunch of oils and other flavorful stuff out of the bean. Think of the bean as the package which you discard after soaking out the good stuff.

Unfortunately, I have no answer for your main question. I don’t know if there’s a limit on the concentration, because I’m not sure exactly what you’re taking out of the bean when you make coffee. If you’re just trying to mainline caffeine, there are easier ways than using coffee. Caffeine is toxic in really small amounts, so if you get a more concentrated source, a little dab will do ya. I prefer Penguin Mints since they’re tastier than No-Doz, but I still drink coffee for the flavor.

Thanks, micco, it should have been obvious to me that coffee wasn’t soluble in water but I couldn’t get it outta my head that this was the same kind of bean used to derive chocolate and chocolate dissolves just fine.

I’m not really going for a caffeine high, though I do need a certain amount daily to avoid major headaches. I just happen to like my coffee really strong and plain. The only thing I would ever add to it is chocolate but sometimes even that ruins it.

If you want very strong coffee, auto drip is not the way to go. What you want is to get good arabaca beans, grind them to a powder, put them in cold water, and bring the water to just 185 degrees, over a low heat. (don’t let it boil) Turn it off, let it settle for ten minutes, and pour the coffee off through a filter. (the Chemex coffee maker is perfect for this, but you will have to search the thrift stores to find one.)

With this method even the usual proportions of beans to water will produce a very strong brew, extra coffee, extra strong. Dispense with the filters, and add a lot of sugar, sip the stuff off the top in small cups and you might as well be in Turkey, drinking coffee the old fashioned way.


“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” ~ Eric Hoffer ~

From what I’ve understood about coffee making, if you make weak coffee, you actually get worse tasting coffee. A small amount of water would be passing through a smaller amount of grounds and extracting mainly the bitter stuff in the beans. If there is a good ratio of water to beans, you get more of the flavorful part of the bean extracted and the coffee is less bitter.

Strong coffee shouldn’t be bitter.

Thanks, Triskadecamus, Is Chemex a brand name or a model? Also, what kind of grinder do you use? I’ve been looking for one of those too.

I don’t know about Chemex, but a press pot works great for the method Triskadecamus describes. It’s a glass cylindrical pot with a fine mesh screen on a plunger. You make the coffee and then press down the plunger to “filter”. I’ve also seen them called French presses.

In case you care about these things (I don’t, but my mind traps this kind of info anyway), I’ve heard that pressed coffee contains compounds that contribute to heart disease, and that these chemicals are filtered out in drip coffee.

OK, that said, my favorite way to make coffee uses just a plain saucepan and a campfire. (An indoor range will do, but somehow it doesn’t taste as good.)

Boil about three cups of water over the fire. Remove the pan from the fire and dump in a big handful of ground coffee. If you like foam, you can place your pan back on the fire, but watch it, it will soon foam like crazy.

Let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes or so. Most of the grounds will sink to the bottom of the pan. Any grounds that get into your cup will also settle. And it ain’t gonna kill ya if ya eat a few. In fact, if yer bound up, it’s good for ya. Makes 2 cups.

Chemex is a brand, made to the design of a chemist in the sixties, who noticed that his Lab brewed coffee was better than any he could get with a percolator. I used to have one. Imagine an Erlenmeyer flask, with a funnel on top, but all one piece, made of heavy Pyrex. Sort of a pre-historic Melita, only one piece, and made of good glass, with a wooden ring to keep you from burning your fingers. You have to fold your own filter paper, but hey, every good thing requires a sacrifice.

I use a Mr. Coffee brand grinder. It works fine. I happen to like Auto Drip coffee, but it would work fine for kettle brew coffee, too.


“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” ~ Eric Hoffer ~