Until now, it is likely that you have been getting your regular dose of caffeine from three sources – instant coffee, home single serve coffee (Nespresso, Keurig, etc.) or espresso coffee at your local café. Whatever your source, you’ll be surprised to find out that you’ve not been actually drinking real coffee, or you are being served coffee made in such a way that it doesn’t taste like what Real Coffee should.
Home Single Serve Coffee Pod Machines
About the home and office use single serves, the less said the better. Buy an expensive machine that produces low quality coffee. Add the cleaning, descaling and the repairs, maintenance & breakdowns. Hardly coffee heaven
Without getting into intricate science, the problems here are simple: The extraction is usually at a pressure level that results in under-extraction. And with time, deposits build up in the entire machine piping that keeps degrading the coffee that pours out. What’s even more shocking is that some major recent studies have shown (University of Valencia, Spain, 2015, for example), that coffee machines are an absolute favourite hangout for germs (including E.coli), algae and mold....in fact, they have been termed as "The Germiest Place in the House" (click here).
The other thing you may want to know; all coffee machines degrade over time. Why? Because coffee oils keep coating, layer upon layer, the internal pipes of a coffee machine. As we all know, oils become rancid. And this rancid oil residue then keeps getting mixed with every shot of coffee produced (since the coffee is very hot, the oils melt and mix with the fresh shot being made). That’s why the coffee made by machines starts deteriorating in taste over time. What’s worse, this coffee plus rancid oil mix gives you acidity and gastric irritation. So if you thought that coffee gave you gastric problems, the trouble lay not in the coffee, but in the machine used to make it.
It gets worse. As several independent coffee tests have shown, the coffee powder in the pod is almost always stale as much as 6-12 months old. This takes away the key to great coffee (or any food for that matter): freshness.
Why would you ever want to drink stale, under-extracted coffee made by an industrial machine, when you can drink luxury, artisanal coffee from Caffè di Artisan, that’s roasted, ground and extracted fresh? And without any machines. Without any hassles.
Espresso Coffee… Mindless Machines At Work
The beast in the machine - If you think the espresso served at your local café is a better choice, think again. The mechanical element involved in making espresso coffee creates two problems: over-extraction (passing or ‘espressing’ too much water through the coffee grounds) and using water that is too hot, which burns up the delicate flavours of coffee.
Coffee that doesn’t taste like... well, coffee - Allowing the espresso machine to continue passing even slightly more water after the shot of coffee has been extracted draws various bitter compounds that you should not be drinking. Similarly, using water that is too hot reaches too deeply into the coffee grounds and leeches unwanted compounds into the coffee. The fluctuations in extraction and water temperature, not to mention the skill of the barista, alter the taste of the coffee and make every cup taste and feel different each time you drink an espresso.
Out of control - There are some other factors at play in making an espresso that are almost impossible to control and get right every time, such as achieving the right grinding levels, maintaining freshness (the most prized aromas in coffee are lost soon after the grinding process if not used within 15 minutes), working out the correct pressure on the machine's pump, and completely removing all the bitter residues left inside the machine after each cup is served. So what you get from your espresso is poor quality, over-extracted bitter coffee which can taste like lemon peel, rubber, metal or sour, depending on which one of the above factors has played spoil sport.
Instant Coffee… Is It Really Coffee?
Instant Coffee, as anybody who knows coffee will tell you, isn’t really coffee at all. It is a whole lot of wood husk, powdered with some low quality Robusta powder, artificially infused coffee aroma, and then spray dried, killing whatever soul remained in it upto then
Killing the coffee - Instant coffee is a coffee that has already been made, thanks to its extraction process. Instant coffee is usually made by subjecting the cheapest Robusta coffee beans available to 370°F water for up to three hours. This extremely harsh process destroys almost all the flavours and fragrances inherent in even this cheap, less flavoursome coffee. The solution is then either freeze-dried or spray-dried, creating crystals or a powdery substance that you know as instant coffee. This is the process for the manufacture of even 'premium quality' instant coffee.
More wood, less coffee - To make up for the coffee’s properties lost due to the manufacturing process, wood husk is mixed with artificially infused coffee aroma. Is it surprising that instant coffee tastes a little woody and not much like real coffee at all?
Cancer health alert - What is downright scary about instant coffee is that it is high in acrylamide, a chemical compound that has been shown, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to cause cancer and nerve damage in animals. Instant coffee is made from light-roasted beans, which are subject to a roasting temperature of more than 220°C for less than five minutes. Researchers have found higher levels of acrylamide in instant coffee because the chemical compound forms at high roasting temperature during the first few minutes of roasting and then degrades as the roasting process continues. Since instant coffee is roasted for only a short time, the chemical remains in the final product.