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Thread: Making instant coffee

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Making instant coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Id like to try making my own instant coffee, and I dont mean spooning it out of a jar from the supermarket. *Why? *Just for fun and perhaps its just the mad scientist in me trying to get out. ;D

    Has anyone tried doing this? If so (or if not), hearing your experiences and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Basically Im thinking of using the evaporation method. For some reason the idea of starting by just making a regular coffee and allowing it to evaporate doesnt sit well with me. Maybe its because I want it to be different (in a good way). So, Im wondering if I wouldnt be better off starting with a CP brew?

    Your ideas?

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Oh my god. Another forumer going mad...

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by ezralimm link=1221784243/0#1 date=1221786485
    Oh my god. Another forumer going mad...
    I have to say - that I thought it was a very odd post from Dennis. Maybe his account has been hacked or something

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by ezralimm link=1221784243/0#1 date=1221786485
    Oh my god. Another forumer going mad...
    Well, Den self-admittedly has OCCCD as his signature ;D

    How does Nestle do it BTW? Surely some sort of chemical cocktail added to make it soluble ... :P

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    I had a laugh - Went mad a long time ago! This is just for fun, and who knows, maybe Ill come up with something palatable, especially if I start off with CP.

    Tony, I think Nestle just boil the crap out of it, let it evaporate, then drop it down a silo, add hot air and its instant by the time it gets to the bottom. Pretty simple really and no need for any additives.

    Though freeze-dried is said to be preferable as it doesnt tend to destroy as many of the oils, I dont have the equipment or desire to freeze to 40* below zero.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Thought it would be prudent to know how instant coffee was invented and how it came about
    Here is a little light read and an excerpt

    Instant coffee was invented back in 1906 by George C. Washington. He was an Englishman living in Guatemala and a chemist by trade. An avid coffee-drinker, he noticed a powdery buildup on the spout of his favorite silver coffee pot. That prompted his curiosity and further experimentation followed. He eventually produced a dried coffee crystal much like we still have today. His brand was called Red E Coffee.
    Bascially, instant coffee is just regularly brewed coffee with nearly all the water removed. Its not that mysterious a process at all. There is no strange chemical adulteration that goes on. Instant coffee is still pure coffee.

    Read more on the 2 methods used today
    http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/kindsofcoffee/a/instantcoffee.htm


    However
    Instant, or soluble coffee, as it was originally called dates back as early as 1771 when the British government granted a patent for a ‘coffee compound’. There have been many attempts since then to make Instant Coffee more palatable but capturing the essence of freshly roasted, freshly brewed coffee has proven a difficult task


    KK
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/0#0 date=1221784242
    So, Im wondering if I wouldnt be better off starting with a CP brew?
    Hi Dennis,

    Ive often thought that this would be a better way to make instant coffee too. *To me, CP produces a much smoother cup, with less acidic and bitter elements, which is something regular instant, or brewed for that matter, cannot claim... *Starting with a more refined CP coffee can only result in a better instant. *Well, my second crack anyway...

    Will be interesting to see how you go.

    Cheers,

    Michael

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Thanks KK - I actually have already done a fair bit of research. Methinks its time to whip up some CP in the Aeropress!

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    KK, youre a veritable well of knowledge mate! ;)

    Great link ... I google researched once I saw Dens post and just got a whole lot of banal sites instructing me how to scoop a spoon of instant jar crud into a cup, and add boiling water.

    Im a tad cynical that Nestle doesnt add something to speed solubility though Den. ::)

    Dry-freezing at 40 below? Wouldnt that intense cold air flow surely dry granules to a hard kinda stale tasting compound?

    We keep harping on on this forum about the negative effects of exposing beans to oxygen, yet the need to de-gas the CO2.

    I like, & support, your mad quest Dennis - it just seems that the science to achieve it will compromise the freshness. Because basically what youre striving to do is preserve a food product, and at the end of the day the process to achieve it compromises freshness.

    Your thoughts? :-?

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    "Sublimation" (which I dont pretend to understand) is used in the freeze drying process Tony, whereby the ice is removed from the crystals.

    I think that one of the benefits of using CP is that it doesnt allow much extraction of the acids, that are also responsible for the decaying process. I also think that if the end result is dry enough, this could help with preservation.

    It would be nice to be able to speed up the evaporation process without introducing heat into the brew. Im thinking that might be possible with the use of a fan over a large surface area.


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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by GrindOnDemand link=1221784243/0#8 date=1221791788

    Dry-freezing at 40 below? *Wouldnt that intense cold air flow surely dry granules to a hard kinda stale tasting compound?
    Thats what they call International Roast Caters Blend


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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by beanflying link=1221784243/0#10 date=1221801714
    Quote Originally Posted by GrindOnDemand link=1221784243/0#8 date=1221791788

    Dry-freezing at 40 below? *Wouldnt that intense cold air flow surely dry granules to a hard kinda stale tasting compound?
    Thats what they call International Roast Caters Blend
    Not that it matters, but International Roast isnt freeze dried. ;)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/0#9 date=1221792877

    It would be nice to be able to speed up the evaporation process without introducing heat into the brew. *Im thinking that might be possible with the use of a fan over a large surface area.
    Dennis,

    If you have a vacuum pump handy.....and place the CP in a container and reduce the pressure from the nominal 14 psi to about a tenth of that..... the water will "boil off" at about 38C..... (vacuum distillation)

    The only trick would be pumping out the volume of "steam" fast enough to maintain the reduced pressure ::)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Hi Dennis

    it was more the stale (and normally burnt) taste ;) Maybe I should have said Muckona instead :)

    CP seems to be the more quality way to go from what I have read in the US sites. I actually used to like the local chicory flavoured version over warm milk not that I have had any for 20 years or so.

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/0#9 date=1221792877
    "Sublimation" (which I dont pretend to understand) is used in the freeze drying process Tony, whereby the ice is removed from the crystals.

    I think that one of the benefits of using CP is that it doesnt allow much extraction of the acids, that are also responsible for the decaying process. *I also think that if the end result is dry enough, this could help with preservation.

    It would be nice to be able to speed up the evaporation process without introducing heat into the brew. *Im thinking that might be possible with the use of a fan over a large surface area.
    Dennis

    You can evaporate water without introducing heat *by reducing pressure. Pure water boils at 100C at 1 bar, but addition of ions (such as salt) increases the boiling point. As an example, at a pressure of 0.26 bar, water boils at 69C.
    You are right about the fan, it (or anything inducing air movement) will increase mass transfer and reduce evaporation, but it will also depend on the moisture of the air - works until equilibrium is reached. The larger the area, the better.

    Good luck in producing a decent instant, the holy grail of offices worldwide....

    Luis

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    JavaB, the closest thing Ive got is a vacuum cleaner, and I can only begin to imagine the mess I can make with that! ;D

    Thanks for the explanation Luis - Ill probably give the fan a go...after all, what have I got to lose?

    beanflying - I can already hear Muckona trembling in their boots! ;D


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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    That reminds me of the time I saw professor Julius Sumner Miller boil water until it froze, by placing a small dish of water under a bell jar and then reducing the pressure.

    Subsequently, the water bubbled away and then as the pressure reduced further (and the temperature also dropped) it instantly went from bubbling to frozen. :o

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Oooh, that takes me back TG - I used to love that show!

    Have just made a little batch of extra-strong (?) CP (50gm in 500ml). *Well see how it goes. * :-/

    Might need some [s]martyrs[/s] volunteers to try it once its done. :D

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/0#9 date=1221792877
    "Sublimation" (which I dont pretend to understand) is used in the freeze drying process Tony, whereby the ice is removed from the crystals.

    I think that one of the benefits of using CP is that it doesnt allow much extraction of the acids, that are also responsible for the decaying process. *I also think that if the end result is dry enough, this could help with preservation.

    It would be nice to be able to speed up the evaporation process without introducing heat into the brew. *Im thinking that might be possible with the use of a fan over a large surface area.
    Food dehydrator with the heat set to low / off.

    I am interested to give this a go...... but get the feeling that the time and costs, let alone the quality of final product, may not be worth it: except for the satisfaction of saying "I have DONE IT"

    Somthing to ponder.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    I had also considered the dehydrator AngerManagement, and didnt know you could use them without heat. *As I dont have one, but do have a fan, Ill stick with that for now.

    Totally agree about the time and costs. *Like the person who religiously roasts 70-100gm of coffee in a popper, or the nutter (me) who has more than one go at making chocolate, much of what we all do here is simply for the fun and satisfaction of saying and knowing it is a fruit of our own loving labour.

    I find that making chocolate is messy, time consuming and laborious to say the least. *I still do it from time to time and the results are stunning! *So wouldnt it be fantastic to come up with an, "instant cold press" that just might be better than what you can buy on the shelves? *

    I know Im a dreamer. *I like being me. ;)

    EDIT: I looked on the bay and found dehydrators made by none other than Hottop! Theres another brand there that also sell weight loss plans stating you can lose 5kg in 4 days...I wonder if it entails having to get into the dehydrator! ;D

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/0#17 date=1221811803
    Might need some [s]martyrs[/s] volunteers to try it once its done. *:D
    Ill volunteer.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Dennis
    Just thought to bring this up now
    A little pre planning may yield a better taste/flavour in the cup
    What beans are you planning to use
    Single origin or Mix
    Also if it is a mix will you be using robusters?

    KK

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    I made a CP brew using my World Blend KK. No robusta in that.

    Pressed it this morning and had a taste - strong, earthy, and possibly addictive...I had a laugh. It shows promise and looking forward to getting home to start the evaporation process.

    How many times was it that Edison failed before he succeeded? ;)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/20#22 date=1221871993
    looking forward to getting home to start the evaporation process
    Speaking of which, how is the inaugural Cuppacoffee Saturday trading going Den? I would have come myself but had a prior appointment.
    Perhaps if your instant coffee experiment comes off, you can have a CS pre-launch exclusive sneak preview (cant think of any other marketing carrots to add)

    Steve

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Well, I dont think Ill be able to opt for early retirement Steve. ;D

    Thats a fun idea re the tasting - well see how this goes before I try making kilos of the stuff!

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/20#24 date=1221873666
    Well, I dont think Ill be able to opt for early retirement Steve. *;D
    Perhaps not but beats being forced into early retirement ;). Its a busy weekend with other things going on I guess. This is the kind of day when you need a good al fresco venue so people will indulge their hedonism, try a Cuppacoffe and even think wow, that was good. I wonder if he has any for sale....

    Speaking of which, you got any more of that Ethiopian Gambella left? That is the best SO Ive tried so far. Very morish.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    In just over 24 minutes Ill be roasting a batch of the Indian Tiger Mountain and the Gambella Naturals - two of my favourites.

    I dont often have them on my website because they get gobbled up by people who come to the roastery.

    ;)


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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Havent tried the Indian TM before.

    If you are willing, can you put one 250g bag of each aside and Ill come over to Caringbah and pick them up next Saturday.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    So as not to get OT, done in an instant Steve...I had a laugh - pm sent.


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    Re: Making instant coffee

    To up your volume you might like to try one of these :) I have vision of a bank of about 100 with Dennis running from one to the other to compete with Nestles *;D





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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Ive poured the brew into a large, shallow, glass tray and into the oven - fan on...no heat.

    Now we wait :)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/20#30 date=1221885335
    Ive poured the brew into a large, shallow, glass tray and into the oven - fan on...no heat.

    Now we wait :)
    Please send pics and times, including Ambient Temp and size / depth such that *I / Others may be able to perform a test in a manner, that would allow a level of comparative assessment.

    Didnt ask for much did I :-)

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by AngerManagement link=1221784243/20#31 date=1221889422
    Please send pics and times, including Ambient Temp and size / depth such that *I / Others may be able to perform a test in a manner, that would allow a level of comparative assessment.

    Didnt ask for much did I :-)
    Only if its an abysmal failure - otherwise Im making an appointment with Nescafe. ;D

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Does this mean you are going to the dark side. Will it mean a new thread which will detail each nuance or the art of instant coffee making discussing grind and evaporation times along with is it better to use a glass drying dish or stainless steel or an open flame against gas - electric oven or wood fire.

    The possibilities are endless. I shall wait to hear the results of this journey - maybe a new website InstantCoffeeSnobs.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Dark side? Thought I was already there!

    I can see it now - the glass tray will be the equivalent of a popper, then someone will turn a fish tank into a jumbo-sized Toddy,and ultimately, convert that unused swimming pool in the backyard into the mother of all evaporation tanks, because, "a litre just isnt enough".

    Just you wait...people will be leaving their giottos and domobars out for council clean ups and replacing them with a $20 kettle from k-mart.

    Hmm...maybe Im getting a little ahead of myself there. Fan is still on in the oven, power bill is climbing, and I might only end up with just one teaspoon of the stuff.

    ;D

  36. #36
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Yes but it is worth the try - without experimentation there is no advancement. *However considering what you are attempting is that advancement. :-/

    Maybe I should have said the darker side. *I would be one of the first to do kerbside pickup if people were to divest themselves of their Giottos of VBMs. *I am still saving. :(


  37. #37
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    :-? not to derail this increasingly loopy discussion or anything, but what the &*%$* is cp coffee?

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Cold Process Coffee, the glass stuff above is some of the gear used to make a coffee essence or concentrate. If you do a search for Toddyproducts there is a good description there of a plastic version.

  39. #39
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    "Cold Process" or "Cold Press" (CP) or often affectionately called Toddy coffee, after its creator, is a very different, and simple way of making coffee - and you dont need all the gadgetry like the pics above.

    Basically, a strong brew of coffee made with water at room temp and steeped for 12 hours or more. It extracts the flavour without many of the acids commonly extracted by heated water. Makes a great drink base, particularly for iced coffee and adding to foods like cakes.

    Javaphile is a guru with the stuff and you can wiki either of the above terms or read more here...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1141872695/5#5
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1136514307/11#8
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1140901380/0#0
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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Do any of the site sponsors sell anything like to toddy system??? Sounds interesting.

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan link=1221784243/20#39 date=1221978638
    Do any of the site sponsors sell anything like to toddy system??? *Sounds interesting.
    I have a mate in the USa keep an eye out as many have stated... not a bad system, but way over priced..

    I have a 2L jug of a solution of water and ground coffee in the fridge, right now...

    In the morning, I will have to zip out and see if I can pick-up a fine SS gauze / filter or make one up using some material my mum gave me for doing Cheese etc... Some sort of muslin...

    Late tomorrow, I should be able to comment on this method... Simple but may be a bit messy.


  42. #42
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Why not try using a knee-length stocking?

  43. #43
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    AM, you can use an Aeropress. ;)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/40#42 date=1221983771
    AM, you can use an Aeropress. ;)
    Well there are so many different ways...

    I is getting confused / decomposed (puk art) that I am at a loss as to the real difference of some of the systems around...

    I looked at the Aeropress and first thought was "Plunger"... feel free to enlighten me - PM, if it could be offensive... I wont mind but others might...


  45. #45
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    I love a good plunger coffee AM, and Im sure you would have tried it too. Apart from some other distinct differences that I wont go into here, pressing coffee through an aeropress removes the sediment, making it useful for filtering CP coffee.

    With this little experiment, I started by simply steeping coffee ground in room temp water and once that process was over, poured the brew into and through the aeropress, which captured the grinds and sediment.

    Im constantly amazed how the same coffee can taste so totally different depending on the brewing method used. If you havent tried CP, please do - its pretty simple to prepare...you could even drip the brew through some filter papers and into a jug, and the results are brilliant.

    Having sat in the fan-forced oven for most of the day, I now have a slightly tacky film of coffee coating the glass tray. Will allow it to dry out some more before scraping what I think might end up to be just a teaspoon or two. Apart from that, the whole house smells like coffee!

    Maybe we could auction it off with proceeds to faircrack? (I mean the coffee, not the house)

    :)

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1221784243/40#44 date=1221993721
    I love a good plunger coffee AM, and Im sure you would have tried it too. *Apart from some other distinct differences that I wont go into here, pressing coffee through an aeropress removes the sediment, making it useful for filtering CP coffee.

    With this little experiment, I started by simply steeping coffee ground in room temp water and once that process was over, poured the brew into and through the aeropress, which captured the grinds and sediment.

    Im constantly amazed how the same coffee can taste so totally different depending on the brewing method used. *If you havent tried CP, please do - its pretty simple to prepare...you could even drip the brew through some filter papers and into a jug, and the results are brilliant.

    Having sat in the fan-forced oven for most of the day, I now have a slightly tacky film of coffee coating the glass tray. *Will allow it to dry out some more before scraping what I think might end up to be just a teaspoon or two. *Apart from that, the whole house smells like coffee!

    Maybe we could auction it off with proceeds to faircrack? (I mean the coffee, not the house)

    :)
    Well if we look at this..

    Quote Originally Posted by AngerManagement link=1221784243/40#40 date=1221982526
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan link=1221784243/20#39 date=1221978638
    Do any of the site sponsors sell anything like to toddy system??? Sounds interesting.

    I have a 2L jug of a solution of water and ground coffee in the fridge, right now...

    In the morning, I will have to zip out and see if I can pick-up a fine SS gauze / filter or make one up using some material my mum gave me for doing Cheese etc... Some sort of muslin...

    Late tomorrow, I should be able to comment on this method... Simple but may be a bit messy.
    I could place in my plunger and decant to the final container.

    NOTE to ALL: Put a label on it... My son who likes coffee, decided to pour a cup of dads special dark brew and gulp it down, before dad found out....

    Yea like who could scoff a glass of cold watery coffee with lots of lumpy bits, with out making a noise.... and then to blame ME!!!!

    Oh well, that will teach him.... He did say it was bitter ????

    Will find out in the morning after I pour and filter...

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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1221784243/20#36 date=1221932169
    :-? not to derail this increasingly loopy discussion or anything, but what the &*%$* is cp coffee?
    yeah I did it -- sorry Den ::)

    Just had to know -- when I googled "cp" I got nothing useful (google "cold press" on the other other hand is a whole library of info :D)

    CP definitely looks like a goer for summer (or maybe to take to work -- now theres a thought!)

    Yea like who could scoff a glass of cold watery coffee with lots of lumpy bits, with out making a noise.... and then to blame ME!!!!
    giggled like a schoolgirl ;D AM do you booby-trap the OJ as well ;)


    But back O(n)T -- hows the "instant" going?

    My prediction (based on what I found in a cup I left sitting for hours on top of Silvia) is, um, horrible?



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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1221784243/40#46 date=1222006953
    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1221784243/20#36 date=1221932169
    :-? not to derail this increasingly loopy discussion or anything, but what the &*%$* is cp coffee?
    yeah I did it -- sorry Den * ::)

    Just had to know *-- when I googled "cp" I got nothing useful (google "cold press" on the other other hand is a whole library of info :D)

    CP definitely looks like a goer for summer (or maybe to take to work -- now theres a thought!)

    Yea like who could scoff a glass of cold watery coffee with lots of lumpy bits, with out making a noise.... and then to blame ME!!!!
    giggled like a schoolgirl *;D AM do you booby-trap the OJ as well * ;)


    My prediction (based on what I found in a cup I left sitting for hours on top of Silvia) is, um, horrible?

    Part 1: I guess I am using a quick and dirty CP process... Coffee grinds and filtered water and leave 4 about 18hrs in fridge.. Decant into a plunger and then decant the product (minus - lumpy bits) into a bottle, ready to make ices coffee etc.

    Will try one a little later today... however the aroma is great, but that does not always tell the whole story.

    Part 2: My kids have never liked soft drinks, and when I juice fruit and veggies we always leave in ALL the froth and fibe / rough bits... They love it that way. They hate the juice in the shops etc that has no pulp... thus in most cases it is Boost or nothing... Pros and cons with buying boost drinks...

    Part 3: They also love coffee and choc coted coffee beans...

    So with all that in mind... Why did he not like the brew... ????

    I guess it may be cause the only " cold coffee" he likes is when it is with Milk or ice cream...

    His problem not mine....


  49. #49
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Hmm...its still tacky.

    :-/

  50. #50
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Making instant coffee

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I hope you didnt mix some sugar into it??

    Coffey Toffee (soon to be Registered trademark) 8-)



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