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D'kian

Coffee

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I'm one to talk....

Anyway, I drink coffe every day and it's my favorite hot beverage. I drink it for two reasons: flavor and caffeine. Since I mostly drink it in the morning I'll admit caffeine may be more important.

But flavor matters, so I take care in how to make it. Currently I have a drip machine at the office which uses about a measuring scoop of coffee grounds per cup brewed (the scoop came with the machine). The same machine has an espresso/cappuccino maker. It makes pretty fair espresso, but frothing milk for cappuccino, latte or machiato is more problematic. All the equipment is well cleaned after each use.

At home I'll usually have a single cup of instant coffee (quick! duck!) with breakfast. The reason is I preffer to sleep a few more minutes than to have better coffe, and it's too much of a hassle to do the coffee ritual for one cup only (ritual includes cleaning everything). On weekends I use a one-cup plastic cone with a paper filter.

The cone is the best for making coffee, second is the drip machine. I don't much care for french press (I don't like permanent filters) or percolators (the brewed coffee does go back to the grounds, it's a mess). Ideally the cone should be glass with a paper or cloth filter (I only use paper, though) and the full measure of water should mix with the full amount of coffee. A drip machine is the next best thing, plus it's automated.

I'm not a coffee purist (if I were I'd have to turn myself in for taking instant), so I freely add sweetener and powdered cream. Truthfully I preffer liquid cream, but it's hard to get (real cream, not the partially hydrogenated, vegetable oil based white stuff you can get anywhere; not half and half either). Sometimes I'll use flavored creamers (sacrilege!), and when buying made coffee I like mocha in any variety (hot, cold, iced frappee, etc); mocha is the name of a mix of coffee and chocolate.

I'm self-taught in coffee, too. I commonly buy any of a few economical Mexican brands readily available, grown in Veracruz or Chiapas, which are both good enough. If I can find Colombian I'll buy it, too, if it's not too expensive (the Costco-brand Colombian isn't as good). I've tried real Kona coffee once, and I liked it, but I haven't been able to find it locally. I've never tried Jamaican or Asian coffees as far as I know. I tasted a Cuban Coffee once, it was pretty bad.

I like all styles of coffee I've tried. The comon cone/drip/percolator/etc variety (which is known here as American Coffee), the many Italian varieties (cappuccino, latte, machiato, espresso, etc, all of which require complex machinery, so it's high-tech coffee), Turkish coffee (with little sweetener, not ultra-sweet), even Mexican style coffee every now and then (it is also very sweet and is brewed with cinnamon). I like cold, iced and frappe coffee when it's well made (hint: it's better when reall espresso is made hot and mixed with ice and milk in a blender).

Outside Italian-style coffee I never mix it with milk. When using milk, the coffee should be poured into it. When you do this the coffee sinks to the bottom and the frothed milk stays on top. You can then mix it or not as you see fit. I mix it if I drink it alone, don't mix it if I drink it with desert. Traditionally espresso is served in a tiny cup (I have one, which isn't really an espresso cup but a miniature mug, emblazoned with a picture of Hoover Dam and the words "Little Dam Mug;" but it is the size for an espresso shot). Cappuccino, latte, etc are served in a tall glass in a metal holder, though lately some places use a tall glass with a built-in handle. Of course these days you're as likely to get it in a paper cup <sigh>

As to made coffee sellers I don't much care for Starbucks because they roast their cofee too dark to my taste. My favorite is a local I've seen at Walmart stores called "Cafe Diletto."

Lately I've been looking into cold-brewed coffee. The idea is to mix a large amount of coffee grounds with realtively little water, about 2 1/3 cups of coffee with 3 cups of water is memory serves (it's all in the web). You let it stand from 12 to 24 hours, then strain the coffee through a filter. The result isn't coffee, but coffe concentrate. To have it hot, you mix some of it with a cup of hot water. To ahve it iced, you mix some of it with cold water and some ice cubes.

Why? The claim is that brewing the coffe cold makes it less bitter and acidic, menaing not everything that's normally brewed out the grounds makes it out. I've yet to try because 2.3 cups of coffee grounds is a massive mount of coffee. I'm reading up on it and then I'll decide whether to get cheap coffee to try it, or to splurge in better coffee.

Oh, I also love coffe ice cream, coffee liquor (Kahlua) coffe-flavored cake (not cofee cake, which is something different. I even tried amking coffee Jell-O once. Take unflavored gelatin (which Jell-O doesn't sell, so it's not coffee Jell-O strictly speaking), and make it per the directions on the box, only add brewed hot cofee and sweetener (and cream if you like) instead of hot water and fruit juice. The result tasted ok, but the texture is all wrong for coffee. I'm researching using vanilla or coffe ice cream in the mix to make a creamier Jell-O. I'm also thinking of making coffee marshmallows.

(edited to correct a few typos)

Edited by D'kian

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Bitter, acidic coffee is usually caused by the use of too little coffee and too much hot water. The good stuff comes out easy - the bad stuff takes longer, and when you don't use enough coffee, the good stuff gets all used up too fast.

BTW if you do gourmet coffee - these guys are awesome and ship:

http://www.baltcoffee.com/catalog/

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Bitter, acidic coffee is usually caused by the use of too little coffee and too much hot water. The good stuff comes out easy - the bad stuff takes longer, and when you don't use enough coffee, the good stuff gets all used up too fast.

I didn't know that. But that's the same explanation for over-brewing and cleanign the equipment. Regardless fo how well you filter cofee, some solids will wind up in the pot. The longer the coffee stays hot, the longer the remaining solids keep brewing, therefore it gets more bitter and acidic. Partially brewd solids also remain in the equipment, along with bitter oils. That's why cleaning the cone, machine, press, whatever is very important.

Coffee is an adaptable brew. It mixes well with many other things, which makes it perfect for mocha, ice cream, liquor, etc. It's flavor is not too dependent on temperature, so it can be had hot or cold (the flavor varies with temperature, of course, but it's always recognizable as coffee). Therefore I think trying various brewing techniques is worth it to find the one I like best. The cold coffee concentrate can keep for a week or so, too, making brewing a weekly ocurrence, and perhaps I can substitute that for the instant in the morning.

BTW if you do gourmet coffee - these guys are awesome and ship:

http://www.baltcoffee.com/catalog/

Thanks, I'll look them up.

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I actually like french presses best; they're certainly better than any drip coffee I've ever tasted =) It just gives the coffee a much fuller flavor, and it tends to be less acidic in my experience. It is kind of a pain to clean them all the time, but that's a small price to pay for a cup of good coffee =)

I usually use Tanzanian Peaberry for my coffee; it's got a very nice, fruity flavor.

Also, I made a coffee mug that says: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem on the sides =P It's pretty awesome.

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I actually like french presses best; they're certainly better than any drip coffee I've ever tasted =)

On the plus side you can precisely control brew time in a french press. On the minus side you have to make the coffee, presses are hard to clean, solids tend to slip by the ring around the filter, if you don't pour all the coffee at once it keeps brewing the same mass of grounds with less water, and they are expensive for such simple devices.

A cone keeps solids to aminnimum, has a long brewing time and mixes all the water at once with all the coffee. A drip does the same, except it portions the water into the brewing cone a little at a time. On the plus side it's automated, easy to clean and keeps the coffee hot. Some models can even be programed to turn on at a set time.

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If you ever drink decaf, be advised - don't buy decaf that costs the same as regular. You can only get decaf that's the same as or cheaper than regular by using poor quality beans to begin with.

You CAN get good decaf - it just costs more. (Baltimore Coffee & Tea decaf costs more ;) )

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If you ever drink decaf,

If you drink decaf, what's the point? ;)

I do keep some decaf around, but I drink it rarely. If I don't want to or shouldn't get caffeine I'll either drink decaf coke, flavored water or some form of herbal tea (like apple-cinnamon or mint).

You CAN get good decaf - it just costs more. (Baltimore Coffee & Tea decaf costs more ;) )

Old Mad Magazine joke: "If you want to do without, you have to pay for it."

Seriously, decaf has to be processed more than regular coffee, therefore it is more expensive. Until and unless someone invents a GM coffee that grows decaf beans, assuming that's possible (I suppose the coffee plant makes caffeine for its own needs).

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Ill chime in since i consider myself a Purist.

The ONLY way to brew is French Press. Dripping it is a waste of good beans. Whole bean is the only way to buy it. The only way to drink it is straight black.

I have found that, as far as grocery store selection goes, 8 o'clock is the best, followed by Peets. Starbucks honestly tastes like burnt feet. I can not stand it! Most of the "Gourmet" coffees ive seen commercially available are stump water and are not fit to be called coffee.

My favorite roasts so far are Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain (which are, unfortunately, usually the most expensive beans in the store). I really want to try some Kopi Luwak (remember, im a coffee snob!) but i cant seem to have the money when i remember to order some.

An interesting tidbit not many seem to know; Lighter roasted beans have more caffeine as opposed to the darker roasted beans. This is because, as the beans are roasted, the oils and other compounds, including caffeine, are dried up. This is why breakfast blends are always lighter roasts; people need more caffeine in the morning ;)

Another Tidbit; Most coffee is stale. The bitterness and musty flavors that a lot of coffee (STARBUCKS!!!! I cant believe people drink that crap!) is caused by it sitting in a warehouse ofr a month or two before being brewed. Fresh coffee is supposedly sweet (though ive never had it). I wish i lived in a climate that supported my own plant.

Has anyone here ever tried coffee brewed Turkish style? I cant find a place around here that serves it.

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(I suppose the coffee plant makes caffeine for its own needs).

Caffeine is a natural insecticide. It is a neurotoxin far more dangerous to insect than mammals.

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I am also a coffee lover!

Here is my Only Way, otherwise I don't bother because it doesn't taste good enough:

Whole bean, grind yourself with a burr grinder (more consistent grind than a chopper, fuller taste). Either use an espresso machine and make an "Americano," or any other good espresso-based drink, or use the Aeropress. It's similar to a French press (very good, too, if you don't burn the coffee via water temperature and seeping it too long), but with a filter. After the water cools enough, it takes about 20 seconds to make one cup, and it's delicious! Cheap, too.

I do not like light roasts, and I concur that Starbucks coffee tastes burnt or bitter (or both), in the cafes or in a grocery store. FYI, if you're in a pinch and Starbucks really is the best pound you can buy at the grocer, know that the dates printed are for six months (!) after the beans have been roasted (according to a Starbucks "barista" I know). Further FYI, the local roaster in Canton, Ohio (whose coffee is the best I've had so far), doesn't keep his beans for more than 10 days. After that he discounts by 50%.

There are MANY roasters and MANY MANY places in the world from which they buy an enormous variety of coffee (it is, after all, the second highest-traded commodity in the world next to oil). The roast changes how the same coffee will taste, too. Just here in suburban Columbus, Ohio there is a large local roaster with its own variety to choose from.

So, if one is interested, there are basically endless flavors of coffee to choose from. Many roasters sell online, too!

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Has anyone here ever tried coffee brewed Turkish style? I cant find a place around here that serves it.

I had plenty of it when I last visited Israel in 1985. Israelis actually have regular coffee, when they don't have tea, but at the time Turkish was popular in trendy restaurants and among young adults.

I've no idea how it's suposed to be rbewed, but mostly it was served already sweetened. Usually it was too sweet. In restaurants they did serve it unsweetened. It's a more concentrated brew, kind of like espresso, but it feels more viscous. It has a lot of solids, too. In fact you're supposed to quit drinking while there is about one tenth of a cup still remaining.

Have you ever had Mexican style coffee? The traditional variety is called "Cafe de olla." It's brewed in an earthenware pot with cinammon and a kind of crystalized sugar bar called "piloncillo" (don't ask, I've no idea what it is). I don't particularly care for it, but I have it every now and then when there is nothing else available. It's rather rare these days, too. Usually it's served at very traditional restaurants and some people make it for celebrations or parties.

Another Mexican variety is "mixed coffee." That's rather more common, and it's coffe grounds mixed with sugar. Of course the sugar dissolves in whatever water you use. Since the same proportion of grounds to water is used as with regular coffee, the mixed variety yields a thin, weak brew that's too sweet. there really must be nothing else available, not even water, for me to drink that vile brew.

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Whole bean, grind yourself with a burr grinder (more consistent grind than a chopper, fuller taste). Either use an espresso machine and make an "Americano," or any other good espresso-based drink, or use the Aeropress. It's similar to a French press (very good, too, if you don't burn the coffee via water temperature and seeping it too long), but with a filter. After the water cools enough, it takes about 20 seconds to make one cup, and it's delicious! Cheap, too.

I understood "espresso." :P

Further FYI, the local roaster in Canton, Ohio (whose coffee is the best I've had so far), doesn't keep his beans for more than 10 days. After that he discounts by 50%.

Small roasters lack the means for preserving their beans in dry, cool environments for months. I sometimes buy my coffee from such roasters. Not often because it's more expensive than grocery store coffee, and the bags they use for grounds neither seal nor keep air out. I don't have a good coffee mill, so I always buy it grounded.

Some years ago a wholesale coffee supplier let us have an automated cappuccino machine for our office (because of the massive amounts of coffee we bought from them). You fed the machine whole beans and water in separate containers. it ground the coffee, steamed the water and turned out espresso of any color you wanted (light to dark). It also made regular coffee from the espresso shot. It had a hose attachement for milk to steam the milk automatically, too. It even cleaned itself, moving out used grounds to a waste container (you only had to remove the metal filters for cleaning once each day). I loved it.

Then we changed suppliers and they took the machine away. In case you're interested, it costs about $1,200 US. That's way too expensive even for a great cup of coffee each morning.

So, if one is interested, there are basically endless flavors of coffee to choose from. Many roasters sell online, too!

I want to clarify your statement, if I may be so rpesumptous. You naturally mean many coffee varieties, each with its own peculiar coffee flavor. I say this because a lot of people seem to think "flavored" coffee is a legitimate drink choice (well, it is, but even for non-purists like me it's too far removed from coffee). I undertsand flavored creamers, after all cream adds its flavor to coffee. But "flavoring" coffee is ridiculous and unnecessary. Cofee already has a flavor: it tastes liek coffee.

That said, coffee mixes well with other flavors. Therefore it is ok to add other thing to brewed coffee: cream, sweeteners, chocolate, vanilla, nutmeg and so on. Some Italian coffee places have flavored syrups for coffee. I've tried some and a few are good enough to add to coffee.

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I had plenty of it when I last visited Israel in 1985. Israelis actually have regular coffee, when they don't have tea, but at the time Turkish was popular in trendy restaurants and among young adults.

I've no idea how it's suposed to be rbewed, but mostly it was served already sweetened. Usually it was too sweet. In restaurants they did serve it unsweetened. It's a more concentrated brew, kind of like espresso, but it feels more viscous. It has a lot of solids, too. In fact you're supposed to quit drinking while there is about one tenth of a cup still remaining.

Have you ever had Mexican style coffee? The traditional variety is called "Cafe de olla." It's brewed in an earthenware pot with cinammon and a kind of crystalized sugar bar called "piloncillo" (don't ask, I've no idea what it is). I don't particularly care for it, but I have it every now and then when there is nothing else available. It's rather rare these days, too. Usually it's served at very traditional restaurants and some people make it for celebrations or parties.

Another Mexican variety is "mixed coffee." That's rather more common, and it's coffe grounds mixed with sugar. Of course the sugar dissolves in whatever water you use. Since the same proportion of grounds to water is used as with regular coffee, the mixed variety yields a thin, weak brew that's too sweet. there really must be nothing else available, not even water, for me to drink that vile brew.

I wasnt aware that Turkish was brewed sweet.

And i have not had Mexican style. Sounds interesting though.

I forgot to mention that i have had Vietnamese coffee. It is basically just Coffee and condensed sweetened milk over ice. Its cheap to make and it absolutely destroys all the diabetic nightmares Starbucks makes. It is absolutely perfect for a hot summer day when a traditional cup is a bit much. Its also the only coffee i will drink sweet.

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Small roasters lack the means for preserving their beans in dry, cool environments for months.

[...]

I want to clarify your statement, if I may be so rpesumptous. You naturally mean many coffee varieties, each with its own peculiar coffee flavor. I say this because a lot of people seem to think "flavored" coffee is a legitimate drink choice (well, it is, but even for non-purists like me it's too far removed from coffee).

(An "Americano" is just espresso with hot water added to it, until it is to the taste/concentration of the drinker.)

I'm not an expert on roasting coffee, but the roaster in Canton vacuum seals his beans individually to sell, and his place isn't kept at oven temperature or anything :P .

And no, I wasn't talking about "flavored coffee," as in added flavor amaretto or fruit or whatever. The flavor is only the coffee's own, depending on region grown and roast taken to... and time after roast and temperature brewed/made.

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I wasnt aware that Turkish was brewed sweet.

Maybe it was the fad at the time. But I looked it up recently, and most references say the coffee is brewed with sugar.

And i have not had Mexican style. Sounds interesting though.

Mixed coffee is easily available at any grocery store in Mexico. Try looking up importers of Mexican stuff, there are plenty in the US. Failing that the usual mix ratio is 30% sugar and 70% coffee. I've seen cafe de olla sold in stores, too, but have never tried it.

I forgot to mention that i have had Vietnamese coffee. It is basically just Coffee and condensed sweetened milk over ice. Its cheap to make and it absolutely destroys all the diabetic nightmares Starbucks makes. It is absolutely perfect for a hot summer day when a traditional cup is a bit much. Its also the only coffee i will drink sweet.

Hm. What do you call condensed sweetened milk? The kind we get here is sooo sweet it will make your teeth ache B) Seriously, when used in cookie recipes sugar is reduced or outright omitted.

I once tried making frappe coffee at home. It was adequate. I tried brewing coffee stronger than usual, then I mixed it with ice cubes in a blender with a little milk (I wonder if freezing the milk would help), no sugar, no whipped cream. Of course let the coffee cool before adding it to the ice.

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I'm not an expert on roasting coffee, but the roaster in Canton vacuum seals his beans individually to sell, and his place isn't kept at oven temperature or anything B) .

Each bean comes in a separate airtight container?

Some foodstuffs are amazingly dependent on temperature for either keeping or making. Some spices will last nearly forever if stored in a cool, dry place, but will spoil if kept at room temperature. Sugar and honey will last forever under any conditions (sugar may get eaten and honey will get crystalized, but neither will ever spoil). Coffee spoils with moisture, and may spoil at high room temps.

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On Turkish coffee, I talked with a guy at work of Lebanese descent whose father only drank Turkish. he told me when brewing it one should use only a little sugar or, to taste, none at all. But he concedes some poeple like it very sweet and will bre it with more sugar. He also confirmed one should not drink all the cup, as Turksih is unfiltered and the bottom of the cup is all dregs.

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Hm. What do you call condensed sweetened milk? The kind we get here is sooo sweet it will make your teeth ache :) Seriously, when used in cookie recipes sugar is reduced or outright omitted.

I once tried making frappe coffee at home. It was adequate. I tried brewing coffee stronger than usual, then I mixed it with ice cubes in a blender with a little milk (I wonder if freezing the milk would help), no sugar, no whipped cream. Of course let the coffee cool before adding it to the ice.

I just use regular off the shelf condensed milk. The coffee counterbalances a lot of the sweetness (though i do agree... that stuff is canned diabetic coma!) so its actually quite smooth. You should try it. Just mix in the milk until it tastes right, let it chill and pour it over ice. You can drink it hot too, of course.

I tried that once too. It wasn't half bad, but i wish i would have mixed at least a little sugar as it was basically a coffee-slushy.

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I just use regular off the shelf condensed milk. The coffee counterbalances a lot of the sweetness (though i do agree... that stuff is canned diabetic coma!) so its actually quite smooth. You should try it. Just mix in the milk until it tastes right, let it chill and pour it over ice. You can drink it hot too, of course.

The stuff should come with a warning label with big red letters :)

I may try it someday.

Oh, sometimes I've bene offered evaporated milk in lieu of cream. It's not bad, but I preffer a powdered creamer or nothing at all over it. We don't get half and half in Mexico.

I tried that once too. It wasn't half bad, but i wish i would have mixed at least a little sugar as it was basically a coffee-slushy.

That's the point. Why do you think they call them "frappe" or "colatta," or all those otehr fancy names? Because if they called it coffee milkshake or coffee slushy no one would buy them :)

I like the frozen coffee a lot when it's hot and I feel like having coffee.

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Indeed, that was why i tried it. Ill try and perfect it next summer. This summer went by so fast i didnt even give it a second though.

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Indeed, that was why i tried it. Ill try and perfect it next summer. This summer went by so fast i didnt even give it a second though.

Move to a warmer climate, it lasts longer :thumbsup:

I've had the idea to make coffee soda for some time now. I tried adding instant to fizzy mineral water and the results were as vile as you might expect. Long ago one could buy plain carbonated water (seltzer) in throw-away containers that spritzed it, or in containers that used replaceable CO2 cartridges, but no more.

There's a company that sells a carbonation device (using cartridges) and syrups for making one's own soda (just add water!). But the device is expensive. I've also been told any liquid can be carbonated by adding dry ice to it. The problem with that is 1) obtainign dry ice at a reasonable cost, 2) handling dry ice safely (it's cold enough to cause frostbite instantly), and keeping it long enough to experiment on (it sublimates in home freezers and even in industrial meat freezers).

By January, assuming I have some free time then, I might look up restaurant supply comapnies. Restaurant sodas are carbonated on site by the serving machine.

Back when there were soda fountains there was a concoction known as an egg-cream or chocolate soda, which contained seltzer, chocolate and a little milk. That sounds like a great combo for a cappuccino or latte soda. I should try to develop something along those lines and sell it to a coffee chain :dough:

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Good. I get to be the first to breakup this orgy of coffee praising. :lol: I hate the way coffee tastes; it's very bitter to me, and I don't like extremely hot things. Despite my opinion of its taste, I've used coffee many times to stay awake, only in cases of extreme fatigue, for example staying awake for days, etc... Flavorful coffees (diluted with some sweet ingredient), like mocha and heavy french vanilla, taste good, even iced; however, I only consume these--including all caffeine products in general--as an infrequent treat. Caffeine is not good for bone health. I run a lot and I'm susceptible to bone injuries like stress fractures, so I tend to keep it out of my diet.

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I hate the way coffee tastes; it's very bitter to me, and I don't like extremely hot things.

I'm sorry to hear about your handicap. Unfortunately there is no known treatment for it (in fact I don't even think it has been named by the medical profession). But if I find one I'll let you know.

BTW, coffee doesn't have to be extremely hot. Very hot drinks are bad for the esophagus anyway. I let mine cool a bit before drinking it. When I make instant I use hot but not boiling water.

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I'm sorry to hear about your handicap. Unfortunately there is no known treatment for it (in fact I don't even think it has been named by the medical profession). But if I find one I'll let you know.

BTW, coffee doesn't have to be extremely hot. Very hot drinks are bad for the esophagus anyway. I let mine cool a bit before drinking it. When I make instant I use hot but not boiling water.

haha. Which handicap is that? My predisposition to nagging bone injuries, or the weakness of my mouth and palate?

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Dry ice isn't that expensive. We used to order something like 50 pounds for the lab for maybe 15 dollars? the only problem is that even in a -80 degree C freezer it sublimates fairly quickly and after a few weeks it's gone... And that was in styrofoam boxes that probably do a fairly good job of insulating it.

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