Beans, for instants ....

caffe biscotto

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Temporarily, I’ve resorted back to instant coffee at work. I use a manual grinder and have been slacking off due to new developments at home.

Now, aside from the obvious taste difference, I have to say there is another major difference I’ve been noticing lately. I’ve been feeling especially tired around noon and for the rest of the day.

There must be something about instant coffee, or the beans they use to make it (robusta), that has been making me so tired during the day. I haven’t experienced that in the last eight months that I’ve been on the good stuff. Nothing else has changed in my diet or lifestyle to cause this, other than the recent switch back to instant.

So needless to say, I will be spending more quality time in the evenings on the grinding wheel, whilst watching Seinfeld reruns (or whatever is good on the tube). One of these days, I may decide to finally acquire a good electric grinder, just to make it quicker.

This could be either a "beans" topic or a "drinks"..... but I'm pretty sure there's something to the "beans" they typically use... for instants. :D
 
Could be in the process. It takes roughly 2.4kg of robusta green to produce 1kg of instant coffee. There is a producer here that uses 5kg to make 1kg of instant- even buying grade 6 robusta, its hard to see how they make money on that 1! Anyway, I would recommend a visit to a instant plant to see how the process works. Its pretty interesting. In general terms it involves boiling coffee away until its gooey then spraying it up into huge freeze drying towers where it is scrapped off the walls and put into packaging. I am lucky, "Instant" in Indonesia for me is still fresh(ish) robusta served up at 1 of the millions of roadside stalls selling "Kopi Tobruk" to commuters, truckers, farmers, housewives, students and lost tourists. The several spoons of robusta fine grounds in the bottom of the cup sure gives you a mules kick compared to Arabica- and suprisingly if the robusta is fairly fresh, it is palatable. :shock:
 
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caffe biscotto

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You're right Mako, that is another thing that has changed recently. Women do seem to wear me down, emotionally, financially and all in between, ha ha. "Ladonna" can be quite demanding at times.

What prompted my post was, after being on instants during the days for a few weeks, I finally brewed a pot of a turkish ground espresso blend I use as an ingredient. During my first cup, I immediately got a charge that I hadn't remembered since I started back on the instants.

Alun, you clearly explained the process by which instant coffee is made. Some instant coffees here now claim to use arabica (100% even), so maybe it's not the bean, but the process, like you said. Perhaps, because it's not as fresh, the caffeine in the beans eventually undergo a chemical change? I never experienced an extreme high, followed by an extreme low, with fresh ground coffees. Just an even level of alertness throughout the day.
 

MakoShark

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"The way life should be"
Perhaps it's the way you metabolize instant, as opposed to brewed. I don't know how it would be different. Learning about how the instant is made doesn't make me want to experiment.

If you're the only one in the bakery drinking American coffee, maybe you should get one of those Sensio brewers, or maybe a K-Cup from Green Mountain or Timothy's. You can brew one at a time that way.

By the way, has your business partner made Ecuadorian coffee the way the people there drink it? It's boiled milk with Nescafe and lots of sugar. Yum!

Mako
 
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caffe biscotto

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Yes! That's just how my ex wife makes it. It's nice for an evening treat after dinner. Instead of water, they boil milk, then add the instant Nescafe & sugar. It is yummy, but I'm trying to get Byron on the good stuff from Africa and Indonesia. I add a little sugar and cream to his and he sucks it up. Not eight cups per day like me, but he likes it. :D

I consider the sugary milky coffee drinks as a treat now and again, versus an all day necessity like my pure black gourmet coffees.

Metabolism is a tricky thing, it could be that the switch in itself triggered something in my system. Maybe it wasn't the caffeine or the bean, but my own system. I've felt great since I cut out the instant yesterday.

(cafe con leche es mmm mmm bueno)
 
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caffe biscotto

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Still more on instant versus fresh -

My business partner (Byron), came in the other day and excitedly asked me for some coffee. He knew I wouldn’t make instant, but would have the good stuff. Not being big on coffee himself, except for an occasional instant, I was surprised he gulped down two full cups of this fresh roasted espresso blend I had just brewed.

Whilst drinking, he mentioned that he’d just seen a program on tv that explained the health benefits of drinking coffee. More so, he highlighted that he learned it helps to prevent cancer in women (men too I would think).

He went on to recall a trip he once took to his wife’s uncle’s coffee farm in Ecuador, many years ago. She is from Guayaquil, along the Pacific coastline of Ecuador. I imagine that’s where her uncle’s coffee farm is. He recounted all of the things he’d seen there, including the harvesting, pulping, drying and even the roasting of the coffee beans.

Byron has always assumed that coffee was bad for your health, despite admitting that his wife averages three cups a day and she is never sick herself. I reminded him that it’s a natural drink, made simply from water and the fruit seed of a tree, just as pure and natural as any fruit juice really. Of course it would provide health benefits. He never thought much about his trip to the coffee farm again until he saw the show on tv the other day.

Why do so many people assume it must be bad for your health? Even more surprisingly, how could someone from a coffee producing country think it must be bad for you? My friends from Ecuador are otherwise very health conscious and often remind me how much processed and refined foods we consume here in the states. It was very odd that I had to help him to realize how natural coffee is. He used to think of coffee as being in line with sodas as far as being just colored sugar water.

My wife was always of the same mindset, she also being from Ecuador. I prepared some drinks yesterday, using my French press at home and she enjoyed it thoroughly. I even let her see and grind some beans, fresh, before dumping the grounds into the beaker. She didn’t sleep very well last night and blamed the coffee, but I slept like a rock for eight hours, even though I drank more than she did. I told her it’s probably due to her metabolism not being accustomed to drinking real coffee. As I mentioned before, she’s always drank Colombian instant coffees, made with milk and sugar. I dunno...
 
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