After I read an article recently on how to make the perfect coffee1 I started to experiment on how to make ‘my’ perfect coffee. Coffee and I have had a troubled relationship for a while now. In my youth, say my 20s to 30s, I regularly drank up to 3 espressos for breakfast. I got into the espresso habit while traveling overseas. In many places cow’s milk was not available.
When middle age hit, I had to cut back on the amount of caffeine everyday as my heart and brain became more and more intolerant of its effects. For about six years, I could only drink green tea2 with only two or three tea-leaves in teapot.
Finally, I entered a time of falling over. Six falls with various injuries such as a broken wrist, and six months later a broken thumb. A General Practitioner stopping by my bed in hospital, told me to drink one cup of coffee a day, to wire me up, he said.
I started that and it works. The only time I have fallen since, was when I was unable to take the cure due to gastric illness. Another big plus is the taste. I love my long black.
However, now that I am in my seventies, I’m becoming intolerant again. It’s so frustrating to have to give up drinking coffee socially. If I have it at 11 AM, when most coffee meet-ups happen, it’ll interfere with my night’s sleep. Like, I don’t sleep that night!
A long black, with between 105 to 240 mgs of caffeine per a 250 mls mugs is way too strong for me now. It’s useless me buying them. A waste of money. I can only drink half or less and have to throw the rest away. At home I used to make myself a plunger coffee daily, with 8 grams of strong ground coffee. And that’s off the menu too now.
So I’m experimenting. Rather than decreasing my intake until I hit the sweet spot, I decided to work up from a lower than necessary level, to also re-establish my sleep pattern.
But, 2.5 grams of coffee does not make a very satisfying cup. [I decided to start with 2.5 purely based on the measuring spoons I have.] Then I read about a coffee and cocoa mix. How the cocoa flavanoids have a good effect on platelets, a blood component, and the caffeine content is lower than in coffee. Since I definitely need more platelets, having lost most of mine during chemo, I was looking for a way to add cocoa to my diet without sugar. So that’s my drink for the present.
2.5 grams ground coffee, 2.5 grams cocoa powder in a mug. Add hot water. Stir. Allow to brew. Don’t stir before drinking. The coffee grounds sink. Very mellow.