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Mar 26, 2010 10:56 AM

coffee@home for thermos

i take a big thermos full of coffee everyday. realized today that my coffee today was much better than yesterday. i use cafe verona beans from starbucks (which i really like) and usually do it in metal-filtered drip coffee machine. the only variance was that instead of drawing cold water from the tap, i had the water sitting at room temperature for couple hours (from night before) to brew my coffee. is this enough to make such difference?

i used to think unboiled water and plenty of medium ground coffee (right before brewing, stored in the bag i purchase them in) would be the most significant point-
any thoughts?

or how could i make it better?

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  1. I doubt that the water temp had anything to do with it, but is it possible that your tap water is not very good, maybe containing chemicals that would effect the coffee flavor, and they evaporated while setting out over night?

    Did you decalc your machine lately?

    I think if you're using a drip, you should use fine ground. That's what I've always thought was the right grind for drip.

    Not sure what you mean by "unboiled water" - I know what unboiled water is, just why would you use boiled water for coffee, unless the health dept. suggests it for your area?

    Yes, grind beans right before using, or shortly before.

    Some days my coffee is better than other days. I think it has much to do with not being very awake when I make the coffee, and possibly miscounting the scoops.;-)

    EDIT: Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like you're in Canada, I always thought the water was very good up there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      unboiled- cold water, i shouldve said, not the hot water tap.

      canadian water is better (i lived in the midwest for 5 years for school and recently returned), but i live in an old building from 70s and am not all that trustful for my water pipe situation... call me neurotic, but on 32nd floor, i just wonder about all the wear/tear on the water system.

    2. I once was a PA to an exceptionally frugal, coffee fanatic. He would set the tap water out the night before to let the chlorine evaporate as he said it acts as a solvent releasing too much of the bitter acid. He would also run just a pot of water through the coffeemaker to warm it up first, so his regular coffeemaker could hit the desired temp for optimal brew. This first pot of water he would then pour into the carafe to warm it while the coffee brewed. He kept his beans in the freezer in the original package inside a freezer bag. He then ground the beans at set up for the coffee run, not wanting to oxidize the oils through heat transference of the grinding or hanging out ground. As the coffee brewed he would pour some of the warm water from the carafe into however many coffee cups to take the chill off them. When the coffee is done it was not allowed to sit on the hot plate at all to the point he refused to take calls during this crucial transfer of the liquid of the Gods. He didn't use any special bean unless they were given to him or he had gotten them on super sale. His coffee is the best I've ever tasted.

      3 Replies
      1. re: just_M

        No kidding, wow. A true coffee fanatic, whom I'm sure enjoyed his coffee immensely.

        Except he shouldn't have kept the beans in the freezer. Coffee beans are porous, absorb flavors, including bad ones, and the moisture in the freezer causes further deterioration. Freezing also damages the oils and removes flavor.

        I'm going to run a pot of water through first tomorrow if see if it makes a difference. I always use a warmed mug, but I do leave the coffee in the carafe on the burner for an hour, or until it's finished. I guess I'm not so fanatical.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          You think thats fanatical, you should see his filing system ;-} Wherever Mr. Bell is I must thank him for making me stop and think about food. He made lunch almost everyday and sometimes breakfast. Regardless of if he made it or it was drive thru the process was always there. Without having known him food with the exception of holiday stuff might still just be food to me.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Storing coffee beans in the freezer... gee, I don't know. I've heard that before but it just doesn't jive with my experience. I ALWAYS store my coffee beans in the freezer, in their original packaging, sealed tight, in a zip-loc plastic bag. As far as I can tell, it lasts for months that way and always tastes as good as when I first opened the bag. I never notice off-flavors in it.

            I live alone and only drink 1 tiny cup a day, so a pound or half-pound of coffee beans lasts me a looonnggg time. It's been my experience that room temp, opened coffee beans stale within about 2 weeks and lose most of their flavor, almost as quickly as in the refrigerator. For the same reason, bulk coffee beans found in supermarkets generally tastes stale to me, too.

            I like buying a quantity of quality beans that I enjoy. i don't want to be running out of coffee beans every week or two. Isn't it great that in today's world, we have so many options available to us that each of us can do whatever works for us?

        2. Coffee is a ticking time bomb...incredibly volatile and degrades quickly. If you put it in a thermos with a lid on it, you compromise it. Any of the above tactics you describe do not actually matter that much.

          That said, I greatly appreciate your passion for what you are trying to do...have a great cup of joe and not spend a shi%t ton of money doing so.

          (I was the freak that took a small french press to work every day with a bag of grounds prepared that morning...there is no better work cup than this, in my opinion.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

            I've got that beat! I bring in home roasted coffee about once a week, I've got a burr grinder at the office, and we use a clever coffee dripper from Sweet Marias. Geek out!

            1. re: Vetter

              geeky indeed! Anything else you go to that level of freshness with?

          2. I've been using one of these: daily for about 8 years now. Mine holds about 20 oz and is still all original including the french press screen. If I make the coffee at 8 am, it's still very warm and tasty at 1 pm (if it lasts that long). I was a fan of french press coffee before I got this thermal mug and now it's all I use. It's even my favorite road/camping trip coffee method since I can carry a baggie of my favorite grind with me, a jug of water in the car, and a small hot water pot that plugs in to the car lighter with an adapter. Once you have your coffee technique questions answered, I highly recommend this thermal french press mug for coffee anywhere. The one I use is the "boot cut".

            1. Below this thread you will see a link to the thread for cold brewed coffee without special equipment. I tried cold-brewing after reading it, and think it's the best coffee I've made.
              My municipal water is hard and very chlorinated. I use a Pur water filter on the spigot, and let a gallon of filtered water sit uncovered overnight for the next day's drinking water. That's what I use for coffee, or sometimes bottled spring water. Even before I got the filter, I found that just the overnight airing helped a great deal.