House Into a Home Hacks – Adding the Right Amount of Cream and Sugar to Your Coffee

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

I recently did a hack on making the perfect cup of coffee.  But what good is it to make a perfect cup of coffee if you ruin it with the creamer and sugar?  That is why I decided to share with you all how to add the right amount of sugar and creamer every time.

When I get coffee on the go, I usually get it from Dunkin’ Donuts and I’d say 95 percent of the time that I visit, they seem to get my coffee right.  I want to be able to add the right amount of cream and sugar every time when I’m at home because you should know by now how much I hate wasting coffee.  Hey, coffee is expensive, especially if you get a special blend; so, I avoid wasting it at all cost.  I’m sure you probably feel the same or you wouldn’t be reading this article.  Here’s how I blend the right amount of cream and sugar into my perfect cup of coffee, every time.

If you don’t like cream and sugar in your coffee and prefer your coffee black, then my previous article on making the perfect cup of coffee will suffice for you.  But if you are like me and you love cream and/or sugar in your coffee, then read on.

I start with the cream that I like.  I prefer Hazelnut creamer by International Delight.  I don’t care for sugar free but this was the only one in stock. Ugh!  If you are not a fan of the flavored creamers, then use the traditional creamer.  I don’t like powdered creamers unless it is an emergency but if that is your thing, use that.  This hack is for those who use the kind of creamer that is found in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  These taste better to me.

As the perfect cup of coffee is brewing in the coffee maker, you can work on preparing the perfect amount of cream and sugar.  Remember, the story that I told in my last blog article about the advice that my co-worker gave me about adding cream and sugar first.  If you haven’t read that post, click here to see it.  As I said before, I buy refrigerated creamer.  The problem with it is that it can make your coffee too cool to drink.  So, I warm it up before it mix it with the coffee.  I usually grab my favorite over-sized coffee mug and add the cream to it.  Trial-and-error made me realize that six teaspoons of creamer works best for me.

I use a spoon like the one above and add six spoonfuls of the creamer to the mug.  I then warm it up for about 18 seconds in the microwave.  You don’t want to warm it for too long because it may curdle the creamer.

If you only add creamer and don’t add sugar, then you can skip the rest of these instructions.  But for those that like both, read on.

After warming the creamer, I add the sugar.  I do it in this order because heating sugar changes the composition and flavor to me.  It’s as if heat carmelizes the sugar and I’m not fond of that taste.  So, I add the sugar after I warm the cream.  Through trial and error, I discovered that 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 teaspoons of sugar work for me.  If I weren’t using the sugar free creamer, I would probably use 1 1/2 teaspoon.

 

 

The coffee should be ready to pour by the time that you prepare the cream and sugar.  I then add the coffee making sure that as I pour that it visually looks as if the cream and coffee are incorporating well.  This keeps me from having to add more sugar and cream and thus packing on unnecessary pounds from excessive sugar and cream.

 

And that’s how I make the perfect cup of coffee every time.  Thus, eliminating waste and ensuring good flavor every cup.  Happy morning!

Don’t forget to follow this blog and follow me on Facebook and Instagram @movemetoATL

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House Into a Home Hacks – Making A Cup of Coffee

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

There is something about making a pot of coffee that makes you feel like you own your own place.  Whether you live in a house, apartment or condo, making a pot of coffee is like declaring your space.  Unless, of course, you don’t drink coffee.  In that case, I may do a future home hack post for tea, water, red bull, or juice drinkers.  But for now, I’m addressing my fellow coffee drinkers.

A virtual show of hands – who really knows how to make coffee?  It seems to me that those who know how to make it have the Midas touch because they can just eyeball the right amount of coffee and water to add to the coffeepot. A little of this and a little of that and BAM! – they have made the perfect pot of coffee.  When it comes to making coffee, I put a little of this and that together and it either tastes like diluted water or cigarette ashes.  Ugh!

I’m the only coffee drinker in my house, so I hate to waste coffee.  Some of you may be thinking, “why don’t you just buy a Keurig and be done with it?”  Honestly, Keurig can get the job done for me when I am on the go at the doctor’s office or the bank and I’m feigning for coffee, but something about the flavor of Keurig-brewed coffee doesn’t do it for me.  I don’t know if it’s because the places that I get the coffee from don’t clean the brewer enough or at all, but it just doesn’t hit the spot for me like coffee brewed in a coffee pot.

Keep in mind that my favorite places to buy coffee are Dunkin’ Donuts, Waffle House, or IHOP and this may be because they brew their coffee on traditional coffee pots as opposed to large industrial machines. Or, it may be the coffee blend.  But whatever the case may be, these places make some tasty coffee to me.

 

small coffee pot

Anyway, since I’m the only one who drinks coffee, I went to the store to buy a teeny, tiny coffee maker for about $8 bucks.  If you need multiple cups, then you may want to invest in a bigger one, but I’m a one-and-done type of gal.  And like I said before, I hate wasting coffee because this is an expensive commodity.

This isn’t my first coffee pot. I have had a coffee pot in the past, but I had considered giving up coffee, so I got rid of my old one.  Now, I own another one because I realize that I’m an addict and this is a weakness that calls me whether I want it to or not.  I’m not necessarily addicted to the effects of coffee, however.  I think it’s the ritual of making it every morning that makes me feel like a grown ass woman going off to work in the big wondrous world of the hustle and bustle or as some like to say “the daily grind.”

I noticed in the packaging for the coffee maker that instructions on making coffee aren’t really a big help.  Coffee packaging isn’t a big help, either.  So, I threw up both my hands and turned to the internet knowing full and well that someone has to be suffering from what I’m suffering from: lack of precise knowledge on how to make coffee.  Nope.  Just more information on coffee making that confuses the hell out of me.

So, I decided to come up with this hack because I’m sure there are others like me out there who just don’t understand all of this hullabaloo when it comes to making a cup of coffee.  As I said before and I reiterate, I don’t have the Midas touch when it comes to making coffee, and though I consider myself a pretty decent cook, I just don’t know how to make freaking coffee!

So I started with simple items in my kitchen because I don’t know what the heck the lines on the coffee pot measure.  I really think those are there for decoration and have no real purpose because when I use those lines as a guide, I either get the diluted water or cigarette ash tasting coffee that I mentioned earlier. So, I decided to use actual measuring tools.  I grabbed my measuring cup, and I used the cup metric because “cups” makes more sense to me than fl ounces.  Yeah, needless to say, I didn’t do well in biology or math classes when it came to measuring things.

a measuring cup

Then, I whipped out a tablespoon measuring spoon because that’s what most instructions call for – and that’s the only part of packaging instructions that makes some sense to me.

a tablespoon measuring spoon

I poured one cup of water into the measuring cup and dumped that into my favorite big coffee mug.  That didn’t fill up the mug, so I added another 1/2 cup to the mug which filled the mug to the rim.  I did this to make sure that the water that I was using was commensurate with the mug I intended to drink from.  Since some water evaporates when brewing, I added that extra half cup to make sure that my one cup had some overflow.

I dumped the water from the mug back into the measuring cup which measured about 1 1/2 cup, and I poured this into the back of the coffee pot.  (You can also pour this water directly from the mug into the coffee well if you like.  I did it this way because I didn’t want to spill the water all over the place because my coffee mug doesn’t have a spout)

coffee to water demonstration

I usually buy Dunkin Donuts or Folgers coffee from the grocery store and in this case, I had some Folgers coffee handy.  I like to buy medium brew because I feel like the other darker ones taste too strong for me.  If you like stronger coffee, aim for the darker brews.

Folgers coffee

I then inserted a coffee filter and added the coffee in tablespoons.  First, I tried 2 1/2 tablespoons, but that brew came out too watery.  Then 3 1/2 table spoons and that brew came out too strong.  So, I settled on three tablespoons for 1 1/2 cup of water ratio.  This ratio seems to work for me.  You may have to experiment a bit until you have it down to a science.

While the coffee was brewing, I prepared my mug.  If you don’t use cream or sugar, you can skip this step but I use cream and sugar.  One thing that a coworker taught me is to add the sugar and creamer to the cup first rather than the other way around because if you are like me, I get out of control with adding sugar and creamer.  Also, when I add sugar and creamer after the fact, that packs on unnecessary pounds.  So, to avoid weight gain, I use her method of adding the cream and sugar to the cup first.

coffee cup with cream inside

Once the coffee is ready, I pour in the coffee and pay close attention to how much the coffee is blending with the cream and sugar, so I won’t have to add more cream and sugar.

And that’s that.  One cup of coffee down to a science.  What are some of your tips and techniques for making the perfect pot or cup of coffee?

Share in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @movemetoATL

 

Photos courtesy of Mel.

Mel Around the ATL – Barber Bistro

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ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Hey, it’s me, Mel!  Yall should know by now how I roll.  I love exploring what’s going on around Atlanta because there always seems to be something new popping up around town that I want to know about or try.

One such place that is new in metro Atlanta is a place called Barber Bistro in Marietta, Georgia.  I visited a few weeks ago with a friend and we got a chance to get in before the crowd started coming in so I had a chance to get some awesome photos of the place.  The ambiance is very nice and I simply love the concept.  Next door to the restaurant is a barber shop and the restaurant is a bistro, hence, the title Barber Bistro.  I heard a rumor that they are expanding to include a spa for the ladies but I’m not certain when this will occur.

I will say that what they are working with right now is cool.  The place is aestetically pleasing and the food was delicious.  I love caribbean food so I opted for the curry and coconut chicken platter seen in the photos above.  They didn’t let me down.  This platter was quite delectable and my friend enjoyed her chicken wing platter also displayed above.

If you are looking for a cool place to chill or pick up a bite to eat for the evening after geting a haircut,  this place just might be a place to add to your bucket list.

See you on my next outing!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @movmetoATL

Photos courtesy of Mel.

 

Mel Around the ATL – Movie Night in the Park

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Hey, its Mel! You all should know by now that I get around – around town that is.  There are a lot of things to do in metro Atlanta if you set your mind to it.  Open your mind and expand your horizons and you will find the fun and excitement that you secretly crave.  If you are new to Georgia, or just plain bored, follow me on this blog and on social media and I will help you find ways to enjoy yourself.

Anyway, one nifty little place that I visited this weekend was Movie Night in the park in Woodstock, Georgia.  This is sponsored by Georgia Movies in the Park and they have been doing free movies on the green for quite a few years now.  The movie they were playing for the evening was Beauty and the Beast.  I admit that I wasn’t there for the movie.  I was enticed by the thought of relaxing in the park and enjoying the fresh air for a change.

In order to make this an enjoyable experience, you have to come equipped with some of your own accessories.  Here are a few of the tools that I brought:

I got this chair for about $6 bucks.

They had fresh popcorn but I can’t live without Doritos.  Bring your favorite snack if you like.

And just in case the weather was too hot, I came equipped with my Fiji water.  You can bring whatever you need to make your own fun and get comfortable.

Downtown Woodstock is a neat little place.  I saw a lot of old-fashioned buildings and even saw the little trolly rolling through the neighborhood.  I’m a historian so little towns like this just thrill me.

The crowd was pleasant and everyone seemed to be having a great time enjoying the beautiful breeze and clear skies.  Toddlers were enjoying walking up to strangers and waving.  Kids were having a joyous time tumbling down the hill. Young adults were enjoying the romance in the air.  All the rest of us were just enjoying the ambiance of the evening, munching on snacks that we brought or those that were offered by the vendor.

Then, nightfall approached and the movie started playing.  This was an extraordinary site to see.

 

I really enjoyed myself and I think you will too if you get the chance to participate in this family-friendly event.

 

See you on my next outing!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @movmetoATL

Photos courtesy of Mel.

Mel Around the ATL – Andretti’s Indoor Karting and Games Marietta

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ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Hey it’s Mel again.  I’ve been out on my usual urban explorations of metro Atlanta and I discovered a place in my own backyard that I didn’t realize was near me.  If you are visiting Atlanta or have become a permanent resident, this is a fabulously fun place for the whole family.

The building is tucked off on Roswell road on the stretch of road near the Big Chicken.  I pass by here quite frequently but I wasn’t aware that there was an Andretti’s in my neck of the woods.  I walked in and was completely amazed by the bright light and bustling activity in the place.  I went on a Saturday so you know it was full of action.  But for those that don’t like crowds, I assure you that this place wasn’t crowded at all.  It had a good volume of people and wait times seemed to be minimal.

They have bowling alley, lots of freestanding arcade games, skee ball, go karts, several simulated rides and a variety of other stimulating activities.  There are a lot of fun things to do but one of my favorite activities involved exploring the food options.  My, my, my their food is delicious and dessert – what a treat!  I had the salmon entree and the apple and ice cream dessert seen in the images above and let me tell you this was some good eating.  Hands down, that dessert tasted like something straight out of grandma’s kitchen – yum!

One of the rides that I decided to try was the race car simulation game and it was quite intense!  I really felt like I was spinning around in a real car.  Notice I said spinning and not driving because I couldn’t seem to keep control of the make-believe vehicle.

All-in-all I enjoyed myself and I’m sure you will too.  If you are looking for something to do this weekend, then this could be the place for you.   See you again on my next outing!