Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hotel Room Coffee

We've all experienced the disappointment of hotel room coffee. I don't mean instant coffee, the sort that they have in hotel rooms in most countries other than America. I'm talking about coffee that you brew yourself in the in-room percolator.

I'm not a coffee aficionado. I don't grind my own coffee beans freshly before brewing, don't own a French press, and don't see why anyone pays $5 for a latte. So when I say that hotel room coffee often doesn't measure up to my standards, understand that my standards are quite reasonable.

Yet hotel room coffee often does fail to meet those standards. Why?

Now, thanks to WikiHow, I've learned the answer--and what can be done to make hotel coffee taste better!

Here's the "scoop:" coffee will taste lousy if it is either brewed too long (six minutes is the ideal) or if it isn't brewed hot enough. How can you cope? Try these ideas:
  • Run water through the pot first to heat it, then pour the hot water back in to brew the coffee.
  • Add a few grains of salt to the ground coffee before brewing to decrease bitterness.
  • Let the coffee brew for just six minutes, then use what's done and toss the rest.
  • Use a ceramic or hard plastic mug, not styrofoam; ideally, bring your own.

For those staying in low-budget hotels, WikiHow also offers this less-than-encouraging tip: "If the coffee pot has a dark, reddish-orange stain, it might've been used to brew ethamphetamine, and the resulting coffee could be hazardous to your health. If there's a chemical smell in the room, that's another red flag."

Yikes. Let's hope that doesn't apply to your particular trip. But happy brewing.

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