Today’s topic is usually a culinary joke: hotel coffee. One of the most common and accurate complaints is that hotel room coffee sucks, and if you use the coffeemaker as designed, it does indeed. Coffee needs 3 things to work well: time to brew, water close to boiling temperature, and sufficient quantity of coffee grinds. Hotel room coffeemakers generally fail at all 3.
To remedy this, there’s a relatively easy set of fixes that can remedy this situation. First, if you can, double up the individual serving packets of coffee. Typically hotels provide one regular and one decaf. If you’re going for flavor, use both. If there isn’t room, wait for the next step.
When you fill the water reserve, start with hot tap water from the faucet. Don’t use cold – these little coffee makers don’t heat the water all that well and it will never get close to temperature. Instead, start with water that’s hot to the touch. Put the decaf packet in the empty cup before you start the brewing.
Process the coffee like normal. Then after it’s done brewing, remove the filter packet and put it in the cup or carafe like a teabag. Let it steep for another 2 minutes, then pull both packets. Voila! You’ll have coffee that tastes like coffee. It may lack the double strength caffeine boost you’re looking for, but at least the flavor will be there.
Bonus tip: if you get a chance during your travels to scoop up a couple of the little individual serving size salt packets, grab a few. Take the barest punch of salt and add it to your hotel coffee and it will dramatically reduce any of the bitter flavors. The reason for this is simple: salt partially blocks the neuroreceptors on your tongue that detect bitterness, making a bitter coffee a little more palatable.
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