Your Friends in Miami Have the Solution to the Keurig Kerfuffle

by | Nov 13, 2017

Viewers of Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program are breaking their Keurig coffee machines in protest of the company’s decision to stop advertising on Hannity’s show, but a better solution to everyone’s caffeine needs can be found at the southern end of I-95.

After Hannity interviewed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore on his show and urged his listeners not to rush to judgment about the accusations against Moore, Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal Media Matters for America, tweeted at the company to ask them to stop advertising on Hannity’s show. Keurig tweeted back to thank Carusone for bringing the matter to their attention and said that they would indeed pull the ad.

Hannity’s viewers replied by posting videos of themselves smashing their Keurig machines, and Hannity encouraged them. The company has since backed down a bit, with Keurig CEO Bob Gamgort releasing a statement saying he regretted how the company had communicated about this issue and wished they hadn’t appeared to be “taking sides.”

Destroying a kitchen appliance you already paid for doesn’t really hurt the company, but there is a better reason to move on from Keurig’s pod-based coffee system:

You’re paying too much for coffee that isn’t that great.

Regardless of whether you’re Sean Hannity’s biggest fan or have never watched one minute of his show, you deserve to treat yourself to decent coffee.

Fortunately, our friends in Miami have the solution for you.

As I tweeted yesterday, the traditional way Cuban-Americans make coffee at home is a far better way to get your daily caffeine fix. Besides the superior taste, it’s cheaper, better for the environment, and takes far less time and effort than you might think.

As Babalú Blog managing editor Alberto de la Cruz tweeted, “Everything else is just dirty water.”

Ideally, ask one of your Cuban friends to teach you how to make the coffee. There’s nothing quite like a personal lesson, and camaraderie benefits from having a great cup of coffee together.

Thanks to the internet, this is something you can teach yourself. The blog My Big Fat Cuban Family has a great write up here with photos and instructions.

Here’s what you need:

1. A Bialetti “Moka Express” stovetop espresso pot. You can get them at most stores that sell coffee pots or Amazon. The 3-cup size is great if you’re just making coffee for yourself, or the 6-cup size is perfect for a couple or small family. I’ve tried other brands and they are not as consistent as the Bialetti. This is a design that has been made in Italy for more than 80 years, and it’s a classic for good reason. Depending on what version you get, it won’t cost more than $30 or so and with simple care will last for decades.

Note: You really do need to follow the instructions to “season” these pots before use. Straight from the factory, the pots will have a metallic taste unless you do this. It’s easy; just make two or three pots using some cheap coffee grounds and throw away the results.

Also, never put these pots in the dishwasher. Simply wait for it to cool, disassemble, rinse with piping hot water, and set the pieces out to dry so it will be ready the next morning. No soap needed (remember, nothing goes in it except water and coffee). Definitely easier to keep clean than a Keurig.

2. Good Cuban Espresso. I prefer Cafe La Llave. Other popular brands are Cafe Bustelo and Pilon. These are easily found in many grocery stores around Florida, or again on Amazon. A 10-oz. package of ground espresso is usually around $2 or $3, so for the price of about 4 K-cups, you will have a month’s supply of far superior coffee.

3. Seasonings. Definitely sugar (I prefer raw cane sugar but plain white sugar is fine). I also add a dash of cardamom and two dashes of cinnamon.

4. Small metal pitcher. While the espresso is brewing, add the sugar (and other spices if you prefer) into the pitcher. When the first drops of espresso appear (leave the lid up at first so you can see), pour them into the pitcher and stir like mad. It takes a little trial and error to get the proportions right but you want to end up with something that looks like peanut butter. Then, when the espresso finishes, pour it into the pitcher and stir into the sugar mixture. The goal is to create the “espumita” — the frothy foam on the top of the espresso.

Here’s a helpful video:

You can even dance around while you stir the sugar like this guy:

That’s it. You can add a little milk or creamer (or heated evaporated milk if you want that traditional cafe con leche taste).

And an added benefit to this method in hurricane-prone Florida: these pots don’t need electricity, and you can heat them over a fire or camp stove. While we were still without power after Hurricane Irma, I made coffee just as easily as ever on a friend’s Coleman stove.

Forget the politics. You owe it to yourself to drink great coffee!

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker

(Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links, which will not cost you any extra or disclose your purchases, but may return a small percentage as a referral fee for the sale to me. I have no other financial arrangement or connection with any of the companies mentioned above. I just really love coffee and want you to have great coffee too. Enjoy!)


%d bloggers like this: