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My programmer friends, How are you drinking your coffee?

Coffee and software engineers match made in heaven, right? Well, that might be an overstatement but we have to agree that nothing beats a good cup of coffee to kick start your morning.

We have all read, watched, and talked about our office setup with a cool keyboard, mouse, and expensive headsets but coffee. I feel coffee deserves an article as well since it is an integral part of our dev space, at least for most of us.

I live in Coffee capital, Seattle where rain consumes most of the year. It's the coffee that helps you to get through the gloomy part of the season.

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Being from an Indian background I always used to drink coffee with milk and sugar. Black Coffee isn't quite common back at home. When I started working in the US, I somehow picked up the black coffee and since then we are living happily together.

My journey with black coffee started with the basic drip coffee, you know the one that’s already brewed and boiled. Although I must admit that I always tend to put cream and sugar in my drip coffee mostly because I see cream, sugar, and cinnamon within the proximity of the drip coffee and it’s tough to resist sugar once you see it :P

From drip coffee, I moved to K-Cups, the one where you have crushed beans inside the cup which you throw in a K-cup machine. Machine poke a hole in the cup and pours the hot water through it and ”voila”, your hot cup of coffee is ready.

I remember the day 4-5 years back when after work on Friday, I rushed to Target to get a k-cup brewing machine and walked over 2 miles with rather uncomfortable to carry brewer 📦. All I wanted, coffee the next morning at home instead of going out to a nearby coffee house.

Everything has a journey and so did my K-cup brewer not because it broke but the coffee after a point was just hot brown water. Now, I was longing for a better option something fresh, like coffee beans which I can grind at home.

I decided to move on to an old-style where I can get powdered coffee and pour hot water over it to have a perfect cup of hot coffee.

The problem was: I didn’t have a coffee filter, pour-over mug, kettle, etc. and I didn’t want to spend more money especially when I am in the experimentation phase and more importantly when K-cup brewing machine is witnessing me ignoring her.

But I had a measuring cup that I can use to boil water in a microwave, a strainer that I could use to filter coffee grounds. So I started with that, zero investment other than buying a powdered filtered coffee. My technique was simple, boil the water in the microwave for 2 and half minutes, let it sit for 10 seconds, put coffee grounds on the strainer and pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, and through the strainer, you’ll have the hot cup of coffee into the mug.

Using a bare metal filter is not a good idea. For one, it doesn’t filter out all the coffee and some of the grounds can slip through it. You don’t want to taste the coffee grounds unless you are drinking the ‘Turkish coffee’. Secondly, the taste isn't great unless you use it with a paper filter.

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⚠️ Another problem using the metal filter.

Unlike paper filters, metal filters are incapable of absorbing everything from the coffee grounds. Coffee contains the cafestol which is made up of a chemical compound ‘diterpenes’. Diterpenes are fundamentally an oily compound, Wikipedia says “Diterpenes is the base compound in Retinol”. No wonder all the skin creams contain retinol in them, claim to get rid of skin dryness.

Based on some more research online I found out that cafestol in your coffee can increase your LDL levels. I suffer from high LDL and have been told to stay away from oily food. Well, I didn’t know the oil was sneaking through coffee. If I am drinking a 2-3 cup of coffee daily I want to make sure I am not drinking something unwanted in it.

Is it just the problem with metal filters?

Yes, wherever we use it. Not just pour over but all other means of coffee filtering like the most popular french press which uses metal filter has the most amount of cafestol. To make the matter worse, the process of letting your coffee sit inside the french press jar increases the cafestol further.

If you drink 5 cups of french press a day it can increase your LDL levels from 6% to 8%.

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I have finally switched to using the paper filter and a pour-over mug. The paper filter absorbs the diterpene, the oily compound just because of the nature of paper. The paper absorbs oil, metal doesn’t, makes sense.

Well, this is just my observation. At this point I would ask the ultimate question, How do you take your coffee?

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All the images are taken from Pexels and Unsplash.

TIP: Use a pinch of salt in your coffee. Salt cuts the bitterness in the Coffee and enhances the flavor.

Top comments (3)

matthewbdaly profile image
Matthew Daly

I often make cold brew. There's a smoothie I like which is a shot of cold brew coffee, a banana, and some oat milk, whizzed up with a dash of honey.

I also like it made via a Moka pot, which I have found to be the most consistent method of getting a nice cup of coffee.

s_awdesh profile image

Smoothie idea is interesting. I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

briankephart profile image
Brian Kephart

Black, freshly ground with a burr grinder. Cold brew in the summer, with coffee ice cubes.