Over the years, I have made both Coffee and Tea for numerous people who have visited me; most of who said it’s some of the best they’ve ever had. Given the necessity of the “fuel for work” and the art of making it as delicious as possible, I felt it was time to share the secret behind the perfect cup of Coffee and Tea! Of course this is based on my personal opinion and that of others; the focus here isn’t just plain coffee or tea, but the right combination of perfectly heated de-chlorinated water, quality coffee/black tea, sugar and cream.

The Equipment

One must have the right equipment to build the perfect drink! Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s worth every penny; and the core components will last you for years and years. We’re still on our first Zojirushi, and it’s roughly six years old.

Zojirushi CD-LCC50 Instant Hot Water Dispensers (5.0 L) – Black ($168.99)

This unit is absolutely amazing. It de-chlorinates and keeps your water at a constant temperature of 175, 195, or 208. Not only can you use it for your coffee and tea, it also works great for any other “hot water needs” such as instant oatmeal, etc.

 

Bodum Chambord Coffee Press ($35.08)

Not only can you use the french press for your coffee (and IMO it provides the best flavored coffee possible), it works beautifully for any loose leaf tea brewing as well. A warning to those who are half-asleep in the morning. Dropping this will, indeed, cause it to shatter… make sure you are of ample awareness before handling!

 

Rock Sugar Jar (from Teavana) ($26.95)

This will be your storage unit for the second coming of sweetness. Seriously. If you haven’t had this stuff it’s going to require a change of shorts. And not only are you going to use this sugar, you are going to pulverize it to tiny powdered ecstasy!

 

Krups Coffree Grinder ($16.39)

Making your grinding experience an intimate one, grinders like this are excellent because they only produce enough to use for a few days at most, forcing you to constantly grind fresh new goodness of both your coffee and sugar!

 

Teavana Perfect Preset Tea Timer ($8.95)

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to perfectly brewed coffee and tea. Do not trust your brewing to strange forces of nature such as human guesstimation. Embrace the LCD perfection of technology.

 

Pyrex Storage 1-Cup Round Dish with Dark Blue Plastic Cover, Clear x2 ($9.70) (only 1 if doing just Tea)

Oysters can store pearls. Ammo boxes from Fallout can store life saving  flame thrower fuel. This device will store something much more valuable. You freshly ground Kona Coffee and your freshly ground Rock Sugar.

 

Vacu Vin Coffee Saver Starter Set ($26.25) (For Coffee)

Embrace the power of the universe. Embrace the vacuum. This unit allows you to store your coffee properly which results in no diminished flavor. Don’t waste time on the battery-powered storage units. This one will last you for years and seal the tasty freshness that is Kona.

 

Stainless Steel Long Handled Standard Coffee Scoop ($4.80) (For Coffee)

As one must measure time, one must also measure volume for perfection. Enter the Coffee Scoop, designed to deliver the perfect amount of Coffee. Actually, I recommend heaping spoonfulls, so I suppose perfection in this case is moot. It’s silver and shiny. Enough said!

 

Teavana 1lb Tea Storage Tin ($7.00) (For Tea)

Excellent storage units for any loose leaf tea. Please do not put lipton tea bags in here as such an act is in defilement of the laws of tasty storage.avana 1lb Tea Storage Tin ($7.00) (For Tea)

 

 

Teavana Perfect Tea Spoon ($3.99) (For Tea)

Another must have, the tea spoon allows for proper measurement of your tea-drinking experience.

 

 

Total Cost: $317.80 + (Shipping / Tax)

 

The Ingredients

The ingredients for making the perfect cup of Coffee or Tea are crucial. You get what you pay for, and quality means everything. Before we dive into the coffee and tea, let’s dive into the core ingredients which will be used with both: sweetener and smoother.

Teavana German Rock Cane Sugar (1 lb) ($7.95) x3 to fill the whole Sugar Jar

Words cannot describe how amazing this sugar is. Once you get your hands on this sugar, you won’t use normal sugar ever again in your drinks.

 

 

The best half and half you can buy. This is very important as the more natural and raw the cream, the better the cup. Availability varies based on where you live. The best you can find is always at local natural farms. For example, when I lived in Arizona, we would pick up our “weekly drop” of Farmers Market goods from Superstition Farms (if you’re in AZ, you’ve got to visit them!) This included fresh half and half, and believe me, it makes ALL the difference. So, if you want the best half and half, go to your local farm / farmers market and use that. If you are stuck with the store bought solution, get what looks best, but darigold is NOT on this list, nor is anything carried by 7-11. If you must, go with something like Organic Valley Half and Half. Not just due to the organic origins, but also due to the sealing lid, something necessary to keep freshness.

 

For Coffee

There are two places I buy my Coffee from. Both are Kona blends straight from Hawaii. The coffee is simply outstanding. Of course you can choose the right blends for your taste, but I’ll include what I recommend for starters.

Greenwell Farms has amazing Coffee and is a great place to visit. You can purchase from their online store and have the coffee shipped to you via 2-day FedEx.

Medium Roast – Whole Bean – 1 lb. ($26.95)

This is a delicious standard roast that is a very good starting point. If you like this, you can order different roast and flavor types. Greenwell makes amazing flavored Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee.

FedEx 2-day shipping is $10.96

 

Country Samurai Coffee Company is another top choice. While I haven’t been to the farm as I have with Greenwell, this was referred to us by a friend and is held in some circles as the best coffee on the island. There is a taste difference between this and Greenwell, but it’s not any better or worse, it’s just different; in the end, it will depend on your palette.

100% Kona No. 1 – 1 Pound ($29.95)

A smooth and delicious blend, held as the overall “favorite” by all. You won’t be disappointed.

USPS 3-4 day shipping is $4.90.

 

While this may seem expensive, the coffee is so rich and good, you’ll find that you drink fewer cups because what you do drink is so much higher quality!

Note: always order whole bean! Do not order ground!

 

A note for Decaffeinated Drinkers

If you will only drink Decaffeinated Coffee, make 100% sure that the decaffeinated method is through the Swiss Water Process. Other methods include running the coffee through formaldehyde, and I don’t think you want that going through your system…

 

For Tea

Tea is a whole different game from coffee as there are so many more choices (Green, Black, Oolong, White, and Herbal – and those are just the bases, not including flavors of each) people will test and try variations over their life and develop their own taste. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on my favorite Black Teas. If you already know exactly what tea you love, get that instead. However remember the quality of tea makes a huge difference. Lipton and other common teas are simply garbage. If you want real tea, you must order the quality loose leaf version of the tea you love. The information provided herein should help you do exactly that.

For those of you who haven’t been to a mall recently, Teavana is taking the country by storm with its mall-based stores which sell quality loose leaf tea. Most everything they carry is top notch, and I highly recommend visiting a store and getting a whiff of what turns your gears. Of course you can order online, but if you’re not sure of what you like, it’s always good to visit first.

Black Dragon Pearl (8oz) ($60.00)

And you thought coffee was expensive! This is hands down the finest black tea I’ve ever had, and boy, does it cost… but it’s worth it as you can re-seep the tea 2-3 times.

 

Vital Tea Leaf is another tea store, but IMO it’s not as high quality as Teavana as they store their tea in glass containers (which is a big no no). However, they do have good teas, and I am going to share my favorite below. (Note: I’m getting malware warnings when going to the main Vital Tea Leaf site, so I’m using the Seattle one (which is clean). Note the main Vital Tea Leaf site was hacked earlier this year, and it seems some residual of that is still around. Perhaps some IT folks using their product need to help them clean things up!)

Lychee Black (4oz) ($12.00) x2 (Seattle Site Link)

As you can see this is less than 1/2 the cost of the Black Dragon Pearl. One big perk with this tea – you can let it seep for as long as you want! 10 minutes? No problem! It’s more potent, but it doesn’t get bitter like the black dragon pearl will.

 

 

Now THIS is a Mug!

The Delivery Method

I’m a firm believer that our drinking devices should reflect who we are at heart, which is why I love my Stitch Coffee Mug. That and it holds 24oz of seeping hot goodness (20oz if you don’t want to spill). I recommend getting a 24oz mug if you don’t already have one. Remember, girls dig guys with a big flashy mug, and guys get whacked over the head by girls who have a big flashy mug. It all works out!

 

A Word about Storage

Oh Happy day! Your order has arrived! Only Christmas is more exciting than this! Get that Zojirushi set up and the Rock Sugar in its happy Rock Sugar Jar. I recommend storing it in a shelf as I don’t know what putting it in sunlight will do (I’ve always kept it in a cupboard).

For Coffee

Get those beans into the Vacu Vin Coffee Saver immediately and pump that air out. Always keep your beans at room temperature and out of the sunlight. And always keep them in a vacuum. That way they cannot call for help.

For Tea

The storage of Tea is much easier than the Coffee as it only needs to be placed within the tin. As the tin isn’t transparent, as long as you keep it at room temperature, you can pretty much put it anywhere.


Preparing the Ingredients

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to develop the base of your product!

Preparing the Sugar

This is the powder of the gods. Believe me. It’s worth every bit of effort.

  • Step 1: Pour enough Rock Sugar into the Krups Coffee Grinder Lid to fill it ~75%. YES, THE LID (upside down)
  • Step 2: Place the Coffee Grinder on top of the lid, upside down, and START THE GRINDER WHILE UPSIDE DOWN and then Flip it Right Side up. This is critical! Trying to start-grind this sugar with the unit right-side up will result in the chopper getting stuck and burning out the motor – by starting the grind with the sugar upside down (not impeding the grind blade), you are guaranteed to never stick the motor and burn out your unit! (note you don’t have to worry about this with Coffee since it’s far easier to grind than the rock sugar).
  • Step 3: Grind for ~20-30 seconds – until the sugar is such a fine powder that you can’t grind it anymore.
  • Step 4: Store the sugar into the Pyrex Round Dish
  • Step 5: Clean the grinder with water and paper towel

Result: The finest sweetener you will ever have that’s in a powder form which instantly mixes with ANYTHING (including cold beverages)

Preparing the Zojirushi

For the coffee and tea contained herein, you want the water temperature set to 195.

For Coffee

Preparing and storing the Coffee is just as important as making it. Remember to always store your beans in a room temperature the air-tight container, and never have more than a few days of grounds in your Pyrex container.

  • Step 1: Fill the Krups grinder to the top with the whole bean coffee.
  • Step 2: Grind away! Remember; you want the grinds fairly coarse (they don’t need to be super fine)
  • Step 3: Store the grinds in the Pyrex Round Dish
  • Step 4: Clean the grinder with water and paper towel. Make sure ALL grind residue is gone!

Critical note! Many people don’t realize if you have any residue of ground coffee left over in any of your preparation systems, the new coffee WILL GET TAINTED! This is why it’s critical to properly clean the grinder after every grind and also clean the grind holding Pyrex dish after it’s emptied. I can’t stress this enough – just a little residue from old grinds can ruin a new grind batch!

For Tea

No special preparation for Tea is necessary. Just make sure you store it in an air-tight tea tin!

 

Brewing the Perfect Cup

Now for the savory results.

For Coffee

Here we go. I’ve made coffee numerous ways from french press to gold filter drip and even custom mixes of condensed espresso, etc. IMO this is the best way to get the best coffee.

  • Step 1: Make sure your Zojirushi is set to 195.
  • Step 2: Put 2 standard coffee scoops of ground coffee in your Bodum
  • Step 3: Fill the bodum to roughly 1/2″ below the top silver holding area
  • Step 4: Set your timer for 3.5 minutes
  • Step 5: While the Coffee is brewing, pour roughly 1 tablespoon of half and half in the bottom of the mug
  • Step 6: Place roughly one tablespoon of the ground sugar in the bottom of the mug
  • Step 7: When the time is up, pour, mix and ENJOY!

If it’s too sweet, half the sugar. If it’s too strong, half the coffee. Tailor this to your taste and experiment until you get the prefect cup of coffee for you!

For Tea

Yes! It’s Amazing!

Ready for some antioxidant delicious nirvana? I do want to make a note that some people swear by a cast iron since it absorbs the flavor of the coffee over time. I agree with this, and if I was drinking just tea with no sweetener or half and half I would only use cast iron. But when you add sweetener and half and half I believe the benefit of a cast iron is lost; but that’s not a bad thing as the results are still top notch!

  • Step 1: Make sure your Zojirushi is set to 195.
  • Step 2: Put 2 heaping scoops (using the tea scoop) in the Bodum
  • Step 3: Fill the bodum to roughly 1/2″ below the top silver holding area
  • Step 4: For Black Dragon Pearl: Set your timer for 3 minutes, For Lychee Black: Set your timer to 5-10 minutes
  • Step 5: While the Tea is brewing, pour roughly 1 tablespoon of half and half in the bottom of the mug
  • Step 6: Place roughly one tablespoon of the ground sugar in the bottom of the mug
  • Step 7: Mix the sugar and half and half
  • Step 8: when the time is up, pour, mix and ENJOY!

NOTE: Remember! You can re-seep the Black Dragon Pearl another 1-2 times before it really starts losing its flavor. I do not recommend re-seeping the Lychee Black.

If it’s too sweet, half the sugar. If it’s too strong, half the coffee. Tailor this to your taste and experiment until you get the prefect cup of coffee for you!

And there you have it! The perfect cup of Coffee or Tea! Enjoy!


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About The Author

Mr. Allen has an extensive background in technology spanning 20 years including software architecture, design and development, project management and leadership. He specializes in corporate planning, productivity and collaboration, and is the creator of the games Mordor, Demise, Horizons, and Alganon.

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