April 14, 2010

The best part of waking up

Now whether Folgers could, in fact, be the best part of anyone's morning is debatable. First of all, it's pre ground robusta. Second of all, if one makes their cup using the suggested ratio -- one tablespoon of grounds per six ounces of water -- the result will be half strength. Now given the flavor, maybe that's a good thing.   

But then, maybe I'm being harsh. Is there really a discernible difference between, say a bright, crisp cup of fresh roasted Kenyan coffee and good ol' Folgers? Well, of course there is. But does that imply that Folgers is without merit? To those who view coffee as nothing more than a means to an end, certainly not. Folgers supplies caffeine enough to make waking up, at the very least, tolerable. 

But for those among us who fancy our palates more educated? I set out to answer that very question this morning.

The ingredients: My Melitta one cup manual drip cone, using Melitta paper filters
Four tablespoons Folgers Classic Roast
12 ounces of water, just off the boil
One chopstick, to stir the slurry while it brews
My smiley face mug

The result: A decidedly weak cup, which didn't taste like much of anything. Certainly neither offensive or bitter, as I expected it might be. Still, I won't bother trying to pick apart flavor profiles, note aromas, or wax on the body. There simply isn't much to say in regards to that sort of thing. 

The why is actually fairly obvious, and not the fault of the coffee itself. A manual drip cone requires a grind somewhere between automatic drip and espresso, what one would call "fine". Folgers is, of course, pre ground for an automatic drip. Given that, it's too course to provide much in the way of extraction via a manual drip cone. Basically, the water runs through the grounds too fast to brew properly.

Of course, I saw this coming. An improper grind will always yield a sub optimal cup, regardless of the quality of beans used.


  1. Try Folgers instant coffee next time- the ones in tea bags that you microwave in the cup, and not the brewing type. You might notice a different taste and yield of strength.

  2. I've given those a look before. The idea is, at least, interesting. On one hand, you can guarantee quality steep time was complete immersion. But, of course, there is the issue of freshness. But what the heck? I'll give it a shot.

  3. I always found it to be relatively rich and predominately decent black coffee- that is before I put my creamer in it. Also, if you enjoy it enough you could take it onto campus with you, be a lot cheaper than buying HawkShop coffee.