Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When trial and error pay off: Spiced Coffeemaker Cubano

Despite being rather reliant on coffee since my first year of law school, which I started over seven years ago, and despite receiving a rather nice coffeemaker as a wedding shower gift even before the law school debacle started, I never knew how to brew hot coffee for myself until last fall. I'd mastered the art of cold brewed coffee (v. popular in Minnesota) and I broke my French press once trying to brew hot coffee. But this food-processing, Vita-mixing, dough-hook-loving, ice cream maker just couldn't face her fear of the common coffeemaker until she was really faced with no other options.

You see, last fall marked my first encounter with cold weather as a mother of two. And while I could justify a walk to the coffee shop with the children when it was nice out - they need their Vitamin D after all - and even a trip in the car when there was just the one baby - I couldn't put them or myself through that on a regular basis once jackets and boots for three were required. So I sucked it up and learned how to use my coffee maker. Who knew It's totally easy. And as much as I like supporting my local businesses, I like figuring out how much money I didn't spend since fall even more.

The best part - which brings us to this post - is that, after about four months of experimentation, I've finally mastered the perfect brew. Perfect for me, that is: a strong-brewed light roast just mildly, Cubano-style sweetened and with a teeny amount of cinnamon. Is it for everyone? Lord no, my mom would be horrified by this, especially with the amount of cream I add.

(I've been asked probably a million times if I'd like some coffee with my cream. "Yes please. Just a little. Good one!")

I'm betting someone out there will like this a lot however. So this is for you. Whoever you are.

It's brewed strong enough to hold its own over ice. So I drink half of it hot and then store the rest in a mason jar in the refrigerator until the next morning. I drink the saved portion over ice with a lot of milk or a little cream, depending on what we've got.

Spiced Coffeemaker Cubano
From me. Finally.
Yield: 5-6 cups

In the drip part of my 10-cup capacity coffeemaker, I place the following in a filter:

8 tablespoons finely ground Colombian coffee (that's half a cup, folks)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or brown sugar or regular sugar)

Then I put 5-6 cups filtered water in the water part. This is "8 cups" according to my coffee maker, because I think they consider a cup of coffee 6 ounces rather than 8 (or 12 or 16 or 20).

Then I turn the nob to "on." (Seriously. This was daunting to me for years?)

It's done in like three minutes, it's delicious, and it makes me a better mother. I'm not proud of that. But I am proud of how tasty this is.

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