I love coffee, especially first thing in the morning. I’ve learned to drink it black sometimes, but my preference is still to have a fresh cup of french pressed coffee with cream and slightly sweetened (maple syrup is my go to these days). So what’s the difference between “creamer” and “cream.” It all makes the coffee creamy and tasty right? Well, sure if you want to drink up some corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated oils and other things that you wouldn’t drink if they weren’t artificially flavored and colored to look like milk. So then why do so many people like this stuff? Who knows. It is one of those small switches you can make to change your diet.
Ingredients: water, corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, and less than 2% of sodium caseinate (a milk derivative)**, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides, sodium aluminosilicate, artificial flavor, carrageenan.
If you’re a fan of the flavored varieties of this “creamer” then just add a few extra artificial flavorings and maybe some more colors to the ingredient list above.
My recommendation is if you want cream, use real cream. If you really like flavored creamers, even Coffee Mate has a line of flavored creamers now called “Natural Bliss.” Go for it. Just don’t get the low fat or sugar free. When it’s low fat, it has added sugar. When it’s sugar free they just pump it with artificial sweeteners. Our bodies know how to process fat and real sugar, but they don’t know what to do with the fake, chemical things we put in there.
Below is my pick from Organic Valley and they even have a french vanilla and hazelnut version:
Ingredients: Organic Grade A Milk, Organic Cream.
p.s. For all of us with a Publix nearby, they sell organic Half & Half too.
Good coffee begins with good beans. The owner of Buddy Brew, a local coffee shop in Tampa, taught me the difference between Robusta and Arabica beans. You want to buy and use Arabica beans. Trust me. Guess who uses Robusta? Folgers, Maxwell House and other big, commercial and inexpensive coffee companies. Why? Because the beans are cheaper and they have a higher caffeine content. What’s the biggest downside? 1. It will make you more jittery 2. They’re more acidic, so you’re more prone to stomach aches and 3. You will have a bigger crash after the caffeine wears off. Read the label.
The next important thing is to buy whole beans and grind them yourself. It adds 30 seconds to your process and a lot more flavor. Most coffee websites recommend a burr grinder. You can find an inexpensive one that will last like this one. Blade grinders will work and cost less, but it’s best to grind your beans consistent (and only a burr grinder can do that).
Scoop the ground coffee into your french press. Yes, use a french press. If you’ve never used one before you will thank me. It will taste better than anything you’ve ever had from a drip coffee maker. You can spend a little or a lot. I’d start with one of these from Bodum. You can find them at Target. I have a coffee scoop, but go for about 1 TB spoon per cup of coffee you’re making (8 oz.).
Use filtered water if you can and heat it in a tea kettle. You want it to come to almost boiling, but not quite. Pour over your coffee grounds. Stir a few times around with a long spoon.
Leave cover off while it’s steeping.
Set a timer for 4-5 minutes. Test it it for your preference. Don’t go longer than that or it will get bitter.
Plunge your coffee. Pour into coffee mugs. Enjoy!
And just for fun… if you think this sounds expensive. Let’s pretend you stop by Starbucks at least 3 days a week for coffee. That’s roughly $8 / week x 52= $416. French press = $30. Grinder = $50. Good quality coffee beans = $12 / pound (good for about 14 cups) = $312 / year (you can find less expensive, quality beans too). Total would be $400 / year for more coffee and better tasting than stopping by Starbucks.