Making good coffee isnt as simple as just setting your coffee machine. Making bad coffee is much easier to make, but if you want the best cup of coffee then you need to take care of certain things before you pour the first drop.If you want the best brew then make sure you have cold water in your machine. Dont use water that is hot or has been boiled already, if you want even superior results than use cold water that has been filtered or is bottled. If your home has old pipes and nasty tasting water than this can further affect the taste of your coffee. If your town has a lot of chlorine in the water or if it is very hard this can also affect the taste of your coffee.The temperature of the water is key to the brewing process. 195 to 205 degrees is the best temperature to make sure that your coffee is brewed properly. If the water is too hot it can cause the coffee to be bitter, but if it is too cold then it wont absorb the flavor properly from the coffee grounds. Try Bunn Coffee Makers for a product that has great temperature levels.If you are pressing your coffee then wait until the second after it boils to use your water. If you pre-heat your coffee pot this can also help in terms of using an automatic machine to get the same effect. Pour hot water into the pot and the dump out the water before you start brewing to get the temperature just right.Make sure the grind you are using is right using your coffee maker. There is no one coffee bean grind that is good for everything. You should choose a grind based on whether you are using a press pot or an automatic coffee pot. You want to grind your beans for 10 seconds for a press pot, but for an electric machine you will want to grind the beans for 15-20 seconds. Try Bunn Coffee Makers if you are looking for that just right machine for a great brew.
Each year at Thanksgiving, my family discusses what we will make for Thanksgiving dinner. Some of us are traditionalists, who shudder at the thought of anything but turkey with all the trimmings. Others are more adventurous -- especially me, since I did not grow up in the United States and I am not beholden to memories of Thanksgiving Past. I am always ready to try something new, and I believe (much to the fury of the traditionalists) that Thanksgiving is a great time to experiment with the menu.And so it came to pass, last year, that I won the fight about the Thanksgiving menu, and, with the reluctant approval of the traditional family members, was given a free rein in the kitchen. And that's how the "turducken" Thanksgiving began.What's a "turducken" you say? It was quite a task but well worth the trouble. I started the Wednesday before Thanksgiving by purchasing a 12 pound organic turkey, a 6 pound duck and a 3 pound fresh chicken. I carefully boned each one leaving their structure intact. You must cut carefully, especially the turkey, if it is to look natural.I made a stuffing from the giblets of all three, adding some sage, thyme, dried apricots, and Grand Marnier. I had a little Grand Marnier too... (not recommended if you're under 21!). The first thing you do is lay the turkey out, skin-side down, open. You then put down an even layer of the stuffing, careful to not go too close to the edges. Next, you lay open the duck skin-side down right on top of the layer of stuffing. It is smaller so you can put a good layer of stuffing on it. Simply repeat the process with the chicken.Now, the tricky part... You carefully wrap the turkey back up into its original shape, tying the drumsticks, breast, and rear together. You cover it and bake it slow and low until theinnermost temperature is 165F. Be sure to baste often and remove fat as well. The duck is quite fatty. Leave it covered until the last half hour or so. You can remove the foil and itwill turn a nice golden brown. Let it rest for a half hour before carving. You may want to rest a little bit yourself,also.The big surprise comes at the table when you proudly stand to carve the 'turkey.' Using a serrated knife you slice through it like a loaf of bread. Your guests gasp, wondering what has happened. What is this thing laid before them? Then, they are treated to a meal that they have never imagined before, and a new Thanksgiving memory that will last a lifetime. (And maybe become a tradition of its own!)
If you are trying to find the expresso machine that is best for you, you will first have to decide which are the features that are the most important to you. With all of the expresso models out there, even many models from the same manufacturer, it will be hard to choose among all of them. Even for the experts who own fancy coffee houses, with all of their knowledge about what should be the best expresso machine and the ability to compare notes with others in the field, it is difficult to have to understand what they want since so many new models come out all the time. If they have a hard time, what about us poor ordinary consumers?One of the most important things you want to consider in an expresso machine is the built in grinder. Freshly ground coffee is important to good expresso. Many of these machines will have a grind dial that will allow you to fine-tune the density of the grind. If you machine does not have a built in grinder, you will have to make sure you grind your coffee to match the expresso machine. If your machine is set too low, for a mocha or drip brewing grind, you will have to keep experimenting until you find the right consistency for your expresso machine. The recommended ratio is w ounces of expresso from the beaker in about 27 seconds.A good machine should be able to stand a grind that is a little too thick, so don;t be afraid to experiment. A good expresso machine will not jam if the grinds are too coarse or too fine. The really high quality machines will have a check valve. This allows the the machine to have a higher tolerance for finer grinds that require higher pressure. Until you find the right grind for your machine, you may not get the best results. There is a certain pressure necessary for the best extraction, and if it is too high, you will have a bitter cup of coffee. Sound levels are another good barometer of a fine expresso machine. The best machines are quiet, as low as a whisper. If you can't carry on a normal conversation near the machine, it is too loud, and consequently not of good quality. This will let you tell your friends about your great new expresso machine.
There are those among us who have an addiction. Its an all-encompassing fever that holds us hostage until we answer its call. Its coffee; and hot or cold, black or light, sweet or bitter, we love it all. But sometimes an ordinary coffee just wont do. When espresso is your caffeine fix of choice, it can be inconvenient and pricey to visit to a specialty coffee store every time you need a fix. For these moments and for those who want to enjoy espresso at any time a home espresso machine is the answer.There are several different definitions of a home espresso machine; they generally fit into three categories.The manual home espresso machine requires full operator participation; the user adds water and coffee grinds and maintains control over the beverage until it is completely brewed. The semi-automatic home espresso machine is a combination of user and machine. The user actually starts the machine, the machine takes over to brew the coffee, and the user turns the machine off.The full automatic home espresso machine requires no operator participation. The machine goes through the entire brewing process from start to finish. Finding the perfect home espresso machine for you is as easy as visiting your local home goods retailer. There, you will find a variety of machines that vary in components, color, and price. Online shopping can also be a great alternative for finding that home espresso machine that works best for your space restrictions and lifestyle. You can also find a variety of consumer reports that can alert you to those brands that have performed well in the marketplace.A home espresso machine means a new world of coffee self-sufficiency where the lines at the local coffee house need no longer call your name. Now, the perfect brew can be yours at any time of day, right in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
If you enjoy wine and your friends enjoy wine, a casual wine tasting can be a great way to enjoy wine together and test each others palates. You can hold blind tastings if you really want to test your skills and the skills of your friends, or you can just get together and try out the different types of wines that you and your friends enjoy.Many formal wine tastings do not allow you to swallow the wine. The tasting is simply to get the taste, smell the bouquet and enjoy the overall experience of the wine. At your casual tasting you can feel free to allow your guests to drink the wine, but there may be sobriety issues if you do this. It is also important to realize that you may not get the full flavor and effect of the wine as you get deeper into the tastings.Either way that you perform your tasting you will want to have clean glasses for each person and each bottle. You will also need a clean white tablecloth. The white tablecloth will allow you to get a good view of the wine. The tablecloth allows you to see the wines body and any sediment that may be in the glass from an aged wine. Candlelight will also allow you to see the wine clearly and any sediment that may be in the bottle or decanter. Clean glasses are extremely important, as any residue in the glass will cause your wine to have an impure taste.To help keep the event easy, ask your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine. You may also need them to bring their own glasses if you do not have enough. You will also need some crackers or bread to help cleanse the palate as well as room temperature water. Cold water will shock your taste buds.You will want to decant your red wines. If you cannot decant them all at once, you may want to pour a small amount in each glass and allow them to breathe a bit. The more air contact the wine has, the better they will taste. You may also choose to explore the difference that decanting makes. Taste the wine at ten and fifteen minute intervals. White and blush wine should be chilled slightly before serving.When you taste your wines, it is a good idea to have a paper and pencil available so that your guests can take notes and rank their wines. You will also want to start with lighter and simpler wines and then move on to the drier and heavier wines. You will not taste your white wines as well as if you drink the heavier and dry wines first. If you must reuse a glass, swirl some water around in it and dry it with a clean cloth so that the water does not dilute the wine.Begin by looking at the wine and observing its clarity and color. A wine is judged on its color, aroma and taste. Hold the wine up to a light and note the color of the wine. The wine should also appear to be clear and cloudy. Next, tip the glass slightly and swirl it gently. The wine flows around the glass and if the wine clings and dribbles down the side in legs or stripes, this mean that the wine is a medium bodied wine. If the wine forms a sheet, it is a full-bodied wine.Next, tip the glass and swirl the wine around while holding it a little bit away from your nose. This helps to increase the amount of scent that is available for your nose to smell. Inhale the wine deeply and then move it away, this will keep you from becoming overwhelmed by the aroma. You may be able to smell fruit, yeast, grass, or earth in the wine.The last step is to taste the wine. Take a small sip and push it up in front of your mouth and then inhale through your teeth. Slosh the wine around in your mouth and cover your tongue with it. You are going to want to taste the predominant tastes at first and then the secondary tastes that appear. Is the wines taste complex? Does it have a wood-taste?Take a moment between wines to rinse your mouth and take a bite of unsalted crackers or bread. This will help to clear the taste from the previous wines. If you hold a blind tasting, place the bottles in brown bags or remove the labels. Have your guests make notes and guess what the varietals and brands are.Wine tastings dont have to be formal affairs. They can be very casual and you can have a lot of fun with it. There are even wine tasting kits that you can buy to supply you with the necessary bags, tags and other wine information that you may need.