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        Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years we have been asked certain coffee and tea related questions repeatedly.                
Below are some of the best.

How do I brew good tasting coffee?
1. You must have fresh, clean, good tasting water. Since coffee brew is mostly water (about 98%) it is imperative that this component is not tainted in anyway. If your water has "funny" tastes, consider a water filter having activated charcoal plus a micro filter to take out excess chlorine and micro-particles including micro spores. These are available in home centers and at water treatment specialists like Culligan. Water processed in this way will improve the taste of everything you prepare using water.
2. It is impossible to make good coffee without good coffee!  Coffee Classics coffee is our recommendation.

A. Coffee must be fresh. A fresh coffee bean can generally be broken between your forefinger and thumb with fair pressure. Ground coffee in a can is rarely fresh.

B. If possible grind your coffee just before brewing it.

C. Don't grind it too finely. Very finely ground coffee will produce bitter coffee. It is best to err toward grinding too coarse, then using more coffee to obtain the strength brew you want. Burr grinders are better than blade grinders.

Q. What about my brewer?
CC. Your equipment plays an important role. Keep it clean. Always use a fresh filter. Do not reuse coffee grounds. If you are using a conical filter (Melitta, Krups etc.) be sure to turn the crimped edges over so the filter fits the cone. In flat basket filter machines use a good high quality filter like Melitta. Brew temperature is very important and yet a matter of personal preference. We suggest you try for a temperature of about 190 degrees, not over 200 degrees, for the water temperature as it touches the grounds.

Q. I use the ones sold for $1.49 for 500, what about those?.
CC. They will often collapse, allowing grounds and oil to go right into your coffee brew. The higher quality filters are structurally stronger and absorb more coffee oils. Coffee oils, abundant in low priced coffee, may be the major cause for "acid upset" after drinking coffee.

Q. How much coffee should I use?
CC. Since coffee strength is a matter of personal preference, I can't tell you how much coffee to use. A good starting point is one tablespoon for each two COFFEE MAKER (5 oz.) cups. So, put in five tablespoons for a 10 cup machine. See what it tastes like to you, adjust accordingly.
Remember, you are an expert on what you like.

Q. My machine seems to take a long time to brew, longer than when it was new, what causes this?
CC. If it takes a long time for your coffee maker to brew 10 cups (over 6 min) it is probably time to run a cleaner like BETTER BREW through your machine to remove mineral deposits.
Q. I notice many coffee shops brewing into those thermal servers, why is that?

CC. We always suggest brewing into a thermal carafe or pouring your brew into a thermal carafe after brewing. The fastest way to ruin coffee is to leave it in a glass carafe on the brewer's heating pad. After about 15 minutes it will have oxidized enough to start tasting bad.

Q. I see and hear about coffee called "arabica", what are they talking about?

CC.Coffea arabica is the botanical variety of coffee plant which produces the world's greatest coffees. There are sub-types of this variety which also produce great coffee. Some good examples are the Central and South American "milds" from Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala and from Eastern Africa, like Kenya and Ethiopia or Sumatra Mandheling from the Indonesian archipelago. Arabica coffee is difficult to produce. It is subject to pest and disease damage, grows best in high mountainous areas with volcanic soil and specific weather conditions, making it rare and more expensive than other types. When arabica coffee is produced in an ideal location and weather conditions, is properly tended, processed and roasted, it is unequaled by any other type for great flavor and aroma. Now, we hasten to add that all arabica coffees are not the same. They too can be low grown, picked immature, improperly processed, roasted and so on. So just saying "this is arabica" does not magically confer upon a coffee the title of "great coffee". Truly great arabica and its sub-types account for a small fraction of all coffee produced and are the basis for all true Specialty Coffee. Coffee Classics coffee is all Specialty Coffee, all high grade arabica.

Coffea robusta is the most common botanical variety of coffee. Robusta is disease and freeze resistant, produces vast quantities of low cost coffee, grows well at lower altitudes and is the primary coffee in most low cost coffee blends. Robusta, unfortunately, lacks good flavor characteristics. It contains a lot of not so great tasting oil which may cause stomach upset in some users. Robusta is not used in Coffee Classics coffee.  

Q. How do you suggest making good iced tea?
What you need:
32 ounce Pyrex or other heat resistant ceramic measuring cup
4 inch strainer
minute timer
1/2 gallon tea pitcher
saucepan or kettle
1/2 cup of Coffee Classics Ceylon Dimbula loose leaf tea
64 ounces of fresh, clean good tasting water
Using a 32 ounce Pyrex measuring cup, pour 32 ounces of fresh room temperature water into a one half gallon tea pitcher.
Pour another 32 ounces of your water into your kettle or saucepan and heat to near boiling. While your water is heating,
measure 1/2 cup of Coffee Classics CEYLON DIMBULA loose leaf tea into the Pyrex cup.
Place your 4 inch strainer on your tea pitcher.
Set your timer for 4 minutes.
When your water is just at the boiling point, carefully pour the hot water over your tea leaves and start your timer.
When the timer goes off, strain the tea concentrate into the room temperature water.
Now you have strong tea that will resist clouding and will maintain it's taste when poured over ice.
Put ice cubes in tall glasses, pour your tea, add a lemon twist or sweetener if desired.
Note: don't store your tea brew overnight or try saving it for the next day. Enjoy it while it is fresh.


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