Coffee is pretty crucial at the Homestead. With a baby and slew of chores it's pretty much our lifeline.
(^ain't that the truth...)
So, what gets the job done?
For a long time we were Chuck Full o' Nuts religiously. Then I found a coffee grinder ($12 at TJ Maxx) and our eyes finally opened. We began buying whole bean and freshly brewed took on a whole new meaning.
Now there's nothing wrong with the garden variety tin can of pre-ground coffee - for the day to day it works just fine. However, once you pick out your beans, grind to your desired consistency, and brew fresh - it's a game changer.
Beans We Love (so far):
Wicked Joe (Italian, French)
Katahdin Coffee Company (French)
Black Rifle Coffee Co.
And recently, Market Basket's whole bean French or House Blend - really, they are better than some of the more expensive bags we've bought!
We're also looking to pay a visit to the local coffee roasters, Carpe Diem Coffee Company in North Berwick, ME.
We, at the Harper Homestead, also love all things Jack Daniels - including their JD whiskey coffee. At a pretty penny for a sample size bag though, we just don't have the regular spare change for it. I also like other flavored coffees like blueberry or hazelnut (as long as the Homestead Hubby has already consumed his black tar version of coffee - the flavored doesn't fly for him, unless it's whiskey). This all got me thinking... How can I do it myself? Coffee beans don't exactly grow in places like Maine with our climate, so adding coffee plants to my garden was out. DIYing the infusion though, was definitely still a possibility and met my Homesteading definition well enough...
Harper Homestead Infused Coffee Blends
Using an air tight container (mason jar) I filled it with my beans of choice, and then doused them in our favorite elixir or spice (vanilla, cinnamon). For a few days, I rotate the beans so that they are infused equally. After the beans have picked up on the flavor character, they must be dried. If not, they won't grind well and then you'll just have a pile of soggy bean bits. Drying must be done carefully though, because they could easily be burned.
The dehydrator has quickly become one of my favorite appliances. The beans are transferred from the jar, and then dehydrated, lifting the alcoholic properties from the beans, but leaving the flavor profile.
Our coffee infusions add just the right extra kick to start the day, beating the roosters to crowing at the morning sunrise, and carrying us through the day until it's time to open up that homemade wine. It's also a fun twist to offer guests.
Interested in trying some yourself? Send us a message for local pick-up/delivery orders (click here)!