Wednesday, July 04, 2018

In The Name Of Science [ And Coffee ] ...

Mom and I were out to breakfast yesterday, talking about coffee.

We don't drink coffee when we go out to breakfast because A) at that point, we've each had our daily allotment of coffee and 2) coffee in most joints sucks, being watery and weak. Blech.

But we were talking about how her mother-in-law – and my crotchety grandmother – would brew a second pot of coffee from the spent grounds from the first.

Which may have been borne out of her frugality, having lived through the Depression, but also may have been borne out of the fact that she was Polish and, therefore, cheap. It's a trait. Thankfully, it's a recessive gene for me.

I wondered, though, if we've been victims of marketing all this time.

Toothpaste commercials depict a brush with a full flourish of bright blue or striped gel and for I don't even know how many years, I presumed that was the proper allocation of toothpaste per brushing.

Nope. A pea-sized amount is recommended. A pea-sized amount is what I use. Now. But how much toothpaste had I wasted over the years? (Note: I am not about to lose any sleep about the extra few tubes I've wasted.)

What if a similar reality was true for coffee?

We realized that it would take next to nothing to find out. I brew the same amount of coffee each morning, so this morning, I let the carafe cool and then poured most of what was left into a glass and then I added my daily amount of water into the reservoir and brewed another cycle.

And later, I did the same thing again, to get first-, second-, and third-brew coffee. Behold:

I purposely photographed the glasses back-lit to play up the differences in the strength but the third glass, as it sits on my counter, looks like really strong iced tea – or slightly weak coffee.

That glassful will end up in a plant but the second glassful is going into an ice-cube tray to make coffee ice cubes for the next time I have iced coffee. I always use regular cubes but diluted iced coffee is sad. The second-brew coffee will spare me from that regret.

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