Coffee-Bean Banjo Boy  

A friend of ours asked the other day what process we use to make "Bluegrass Coffee"

So, here's a small diagram and instructions on how we do it.

Thanks for asking, 


Step 1.
Start with the best Coffee Beans (whole beans) that you can buy.  Fresh-Roasted is always better than stale beans.  Whether you like 100% Columbian, French Roast or any others, always start with the freshest you can get.  Store beans in an air-tight container in the freezer until ready to use them.

Step 2.
Grind only as much as you want for immediate use.  Small home grinders cost anywhere from $12.00 to $50.00.   Frozen beans grind better because the oils are cold and frozen beans chip better than warm beans.  Coffee gets more acidic as it stands around.  If it's maintained under heat, the process quickens.  So make-it, drink-it is the motto.

Step 3.
Use the "Finest Grind" you can get.  The process of making coffee is allowing hot water to flow over the edge of the chipped bean.  It stands to reason then that you want as many chipped edges as you can get....hence, the finer the grind, the better.    Also remember that you started out getting the best coffee beans you could find and they are generally more expensive than your average grocery market variety.  Finer Grind means you'll need less coffee beans which equals a savings to you.

Step 4.
The diagram (right) shows a simple 1-cup brewing process.  You can alter this if you need to make a larger amount for more than one person.

Step 5.
Whether you use the One-Cup, low-tech method shown here, or use an automatic drip machine, you're always better off if you can use a metal basket rather than a plastic basket.   Plastic holds the oils and acids from the coffee.  The longer the basket sits without being washed allows the acid and oils to embed themselves into the plastic.  The rancidity greatly reduces the quality of the next brew.  The One-Cup makers come in plastic at every grocery store, but you can go to a better kitchen gadget place and find either a metal or porcelain One-Cup Coffee Maker.  

Step 6.
A word about cleaning your coffee maker.  You always want to start out with clean apparatus but the way you clean and the soaps, chemicals and detergents you use can seriously impair, diminish and/or destroy the flavor of your next brew.  Hazelnut, Cinnamon, Irish Cream and hundreds more are all flavors liked by someone somewhere, but we've yet to find anyone asking for "Soap-Flavored" Coffee.   There are products sold that will help you to clean your coffee maker or you can use a little baking soda with a white vinegar rinse.  Either way, when finished cleaning, rinse well several times with plain water.

Step 7.
Our chart above shows a three-step filtration.  There are three reasons for this.  1) It allows the water to flow slower which creates a longer brew-time.   2) The longer brew-time allows you to use less coffee for increased savings.   3) The second paper filter helps to trap more of the oils from the coffee beans, resulting in a better flavor and paper is cheaper than coffee so why not use an extra filter rather than more expensive coffee.

Step 8.
If you haven't already, turn on CD player with Bluegrass disc in tray.

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