By , November 30, 2007 5:33 pm

Key Secret:

It is weak coffee that is bitter! It is exactly putting too much water through too few grounds that sucks out the bitter acids in the coffee.

So, while intuitively, you might think you have to make your coffee weaker to get rid of bitter taste, exactly the opposite is the case.

It is always better to start with too strong coffee and add water than to make weak, and therefore full of bitter acids, coffee.

Coffee making is about the only place where I measure exactly instead of intuitively. It took me over 50 years to get it right, and I’m sticking with the formula.

Basic Formula (And Julia Child in Joy of Cooking reiterates it on page 26, 1964 edition!): 2 US Tablespoons of regular or fine ground coffee to 3/4 to 1 8-ounce cup of fresh water.

Me, I use a small Mr. Coffee, fill it to the metal band (they call this “4 cups,” but it is only about 2 1/2  8-ounce cups of water), and use 2 1/8 cup (2T) scoops of fine ground coffee of the darker, stronger kind, like French Roast.

I started with Starbuck’s coffee I bought at the supermarket, to get the recipe down (“good as Starbuck’s” was my goal. Yours may be higher, like freshly ground beans, fancy extracting pots…that is not me).

And, me, I use decaf coffee only, because the real thing can keep me awake for 36 hours straight. But that is another story about “highly sensitive people” and food allergies.

It is very hard to find interesting decaf coffees. Starbuck’s has only one House Blend. Walmart has a pretty good Java Express decaf French Vanilla. Natural food stores may have some good organic ones.

But I have found the most interesting decafs and bargain prices at discount stores like Tuesday Morning and TJMax in the gourmet food sections, like, recently, Godiva decaf Special Roast and decaf Vanilla. And lots of other little-known brands, even, when lucky, decaf Chocolate Raspberry, Creme Brulee, Irish Creme. You just have to keep checking. I buy six or more if I find them. Whether kept in the freezer or on the shelf (I do put the original bag inside a ziplock bag), they taste “good as Starbuck’s” to me after several months!

So, don’t skimp on the coffee and ruin the flavor!

While Intuitive Cooking is only an off-shoot, learn the self-help skills that really matter to me, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, at my website for Creative Edge Focusing (TM). See how the skills apply to personal growth, creativity, spirituality, parenting, as well as creative, innovative problem solving and interpersonal conflict resolution in work-oriented settings. Two self-help skills as “emotional and social intelligence” for every part of life.

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


  1. french press says:

    french press…

    A French press, also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger or cafetière, is a coffee brewing device popularized by the French….

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