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Old 09-06-2012, 11:40 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 40,023,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Nahhh, not angry, not in the least. You must have me confused with someone else. Tongue in cheek humor is hard to pull off online, but I keep trying...

Of course COFFEE matters. Coffee is a life or death topic! And it matters very much to this discussion that it was Germany that you were talking about, and 20 years ago. Some of the worst coffee I have ever endured was German, in that time frame, but in their defense the strudel was magnificent. That generally awful state of their coffee could be a clue as to why Taster's Choice made a good impression in the experience you shared.



Nor will you find me there either. Are you sure you don't have me confused with someone else?



Don't be silly, it's a public forum, and now I'm intrigued. It's a puzzle, and I love puzzles. Ok, so what we know so far is that it was a powder, it was a common pantry item, and it wasn't a flavoring. And the inference is that it was an acceptable practice to caterers. Hmmmmmmm

OK, my next guess is salt. Salt neutralizes bitterness. You can literally neutralize the bitter taste in a glass of quinine water simply by adding enough salt. Less bitterness in coffee could be perceived as a richer taste. And I've known people who add a little salt to their coffee for just that reason. It seems to be fairly common practice among Scandinavians.

Another possibility could be baking soda. What that does is buffer acidity. A pinch of baking soda in a pot makes makes the taste less sharp, a little rounder in the mouth, and less likely to cause indigestion. And I've also known people to do this.

Ring any bells?
I've heard about the salt trick but have yet to use it because I never heard an actual amount to use per cup since I make coffee using a one cup black and decker, I have not heard of the baking soda though, interesting concept, I'll have to try it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
I've heard about the salt trick but have yet to use it because I never heard an actual amount to use per cup since I make coffee using a one cup black and decker..
Try a very small pinch, on top of the grounds. It doesn't take much. I used to live in a Scandinavian neighborhood in Seattle where the restaurants and coffee bars did this.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:53 AM
 
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I doubt it was instant coffee as the profit margins would be to low.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,184,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Nahhh, not angry, not in the least. You must have me confused with someone else. Tongue in cheek humor is hard to pull off online, but I keep trying...
No, didn't confuse you with someone else, OD. I was commenting on what seemed like immense aggitation over the question & wondering why you'd immerse yourself if feeling so. If I misread that, my apologies.

Quote:
OK, my next guess is salt. Salt neutralizes bitterness. You can literally neutralize the bitter taste in a glass of quinine water simply by adding enough salt. Less bitterness in coffee could be perceived as a richer taste. And I've known people who add a little salt to their coffee for just that reason. It seems to be fairly common practice among Scandinavians.

Another possibility could be baking soda. What that does is buffer acidity. A pinch of baking soda in a pot makes makes the taste less sharp, a little rounder in the mouth, and less likely to cause indigestion. And I've also known people to do this.

Ring any bells?
Thank you for this... I believe you may have gotten it. I thought about it last night to see if it jogged my memory & I want to say yes, but I don't recall which... I will test it out this weekend. Mum left a whole container of TC here after her recent visit (I'm a hardcore espresso drinker so instant isn't something I've had since a kid), which is what prompted me to think of how to use it, then I recalled the cooking show. I will let you know how it works out... if not, I guess everyone this year shall receive a box of coffee flavored Christmas sugar cookies.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,184,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
I doubt it was instant coffee as the profit margins would be to low.
It was instant. T Choice. Really. I aien't fibbin'... I watched her make it. Really. Honestly. <Insert scout's honor emoticon>

It was a long time ago, so perhaps such a practice today is a huge no-no & what is ruffling so many feathers. I didn't report an alien sighting... I merely asked about a coffee additive, people.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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Before I tackle complex AT&T and possibly Amex mistakes . . . (lol -- surely such corporate giants don't make mistakes!) I want to add a MHO about instant coffee.

I actually like instant coffee and drink it when I don't want to brew an entire pot or if I run out of the other.

Back in the dark age 60s my parents and their friends went through a few years of having people over sometimes on late Sunday winter afternoons for cake and coffee. My parents always drank instant coffee and mother would pull her famous "little trick."

Mother fixed coffee every morning in a blue and white cornflower Corning Ware teapot. We also had the same brand of percolator. Before the company came, Mother would take the percolator part out, hide it in the bottom cabinet and proceed to add the instant Maxwell House coffee and water. We had an electric stove and she would heat this on low for several minutes. The coffee aroma was heavenly.

I can remember one guest always proclaiming loudly as she entered, "Marilyn (pronounced Meh -- short e lun short u, southeastern Georgia accent) that coffee smells devine. You can tell that it's not instant." My mother would just smile and graciously thank her. I'll confess -- I've pulled that trick a time or two when caught in a pinch and no one was the wiser.

After all -- isn't hospitality all about making guests feel welcome and comfortable?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,184,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antiquesmountainapache View Post
Mother fixed coffee every morning in a blue and white cornflower Corning Ware teapot. We also had the same brand of percolator. Before the company came, Mother would take the percolator part out, hide it in the bottom cabinet and proceed to add the instant Maxwell House coffee and water. We had an electric stove and she would heat this on low for several minutes. The coffee aroma was heavenly.

I can remember one guest always proclaiming loudly as she entered, "Marilyn (pronounced Meh -- short e lun short u, southeastern Georgia accent) that coffee smells devine. You can tell that it's not instant." My mother would just smile and graciously thank her. I'll confess -- I've pulled that trick a time or two when caught in a pinch and no one was the wiser.
Nice story, AMA. My mum still has 2 of those Corningware pots & did something similar, but to save $. Apparently, my da' loudly professed he didn't like the cheaper brand of canned coffee she was serving in the morning, so mum just kept refilling the 'good' can with the 'cheap' ground beans. Over the years, occasionally, he'd take a sip & exclaim, 'See how much better the good coffee tastes!' There was always a 'You're so right' from mum. I wonder where she hid all those 'cheap' bean cans?? Someone must have dug up a truckload in the cellar years down the line.

Like you, she likes instant. Prefers it actually. When she visited recently, she didn't even like the smell of my morning espresso (affectionately called 'boot glue' by one of my brothers). She said it smelled like something one would use to strip paint from a car. Hahaha. Not like your dear mum's, yeah? Admittedly, I do like it as strong as is humanly possible to achieve. Mum's convinced it will make me bald & toothless one day.

Quote:
After all -- isn't hospitality all about making guests feel welcome and comfortable?
Indeed.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,184,515 times
Reputation: 3424
Default Update for OpenD...

Just wanted to post an update since several were so kind to offer suggestions & OD hit it squarely on the jaw.

It turns out that a slight pinch of either salt or baking soda work wonders & subtly but noticeably improve the coffee's flavor! I prefer salt (I'm using kosher, if that matters), but I'll still keep testing both. To my palette, the coffee tastes slightly sweeter & the flavor rounds out throughout the entire mouth, if that makes sense. I also only drink black, whether espresso or coffee, so slight variations in taste are far more noticeable than for those who use cream/sugar.

I ended up mailing the instant coffee to my mum, since I had an unexpected pkg going out to her anyway & she only drinks instant... easy & light when poured into a zip lock bag. I've been doing this with my espresso maker, love it & prefer it this way now. Took me a week or so to remember to use an additive, but now it's automatic.

This morning the SO wandered into the kitchen to see me sprinkling a touch of white powder to the espresso. His eyes widened a bit. I told him not to worry, we both like a nice demmitasse to wake us up in the morning & my new secret recipe will surely do the trick... haha. I guess if he asks for tea tomorrow, I'll need to reveal the origins of my white powder.

The only con is in my machine either additive prevents crema from forming on the espresso, which is an espresso lover's dream. I guess that means I'll need to wander into Little Italy a couple of times/wk for a genuine double espresso with a lovely crema. It's a nice 1-mi walk, so all the more pleasant.

So, thank you again, OpenD. You've made an espresso lover very happy!
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,548,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatanjaliTwist View Post
So, thank you again, OpenD. You've made an espresso lover very happy!
My pleasure. I love to help. Glad it worked for you.
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