Monday, March 2, 2015

Coffee without a coffee budget, without soup kitchen times...

Oh shit, it's another article about dumpster diving. Sort of.

Basically, used espresso grounds make good coffee. You boil them. When espresso is made, the waste product is like... these puck-shaped things of coffee. It's finely-ground, and if you boil it, it makes great coffee. Better coffee than you're going to find at soup kitchens.

So what you need is a pot and maybe some cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is this stuff that people at the grocery store pretend doesn't exist and often put along with the cleaning supplies. But it's for making cheese (and pot butter), and straining stuff. It's like... a re-usable coffee filter that won't break.

So you go into a cafe that makes espresso and pretend you're collecting it to put it in your compost. Or you just tell them, yeah, I have no food budget and this is how I make my coffee. It tastes great. Just be like "hi can I grab your used espresso grounds please?" and yeah most working people need whatever opportunity they can get to treat an unemployed person like shit, but other than that, they'll probably give you the fucking coffee. Or just search their dumpsters for it. Which might be illegal. It's hard to find out. You'll find out when you're in jail for it. Toronto police have told the public that they don't tend to interrupt dumpster divers unless it seems like they're stealing documents, making a mess, or have some kind of malicious intent. Anyway, you'll be surprised how many places will just give you the fucking coffee, especially if you show up at the end of the work day. Then you just gotta make sure to keep it cold, which during the winter isn't super hard, or use it up before it goes off. Because it being wet will make it go off. Or you can actually dry it out. But whatever. Just refrigerate it and drop it into your water either once the water's started boiling or right at the beginning. You need maybe twice or three times the amount of espresso grounds that you'd use if it were just straight-up outta-the-package coffee grounds. It's garbage, right? There's no such thing as coffee that's too strong; you can just water it down if it's too serious for you. So... maybe a handful of coffee for two mugs of water? Then you boil it 'til it stops foaming, and then if you can't wait for your coffee buzz, pour it through your cheesecloth right away, and if you have no cheesecloth, just wait for the coffee grounds to settle, and then pour the coffee off the top.

So that's the basic catch: it's not normal coffee grounds, so just pouring hot water through it won't work. You have to boil it. And it's because all that's been done to it is it's had hot water poured through it, that it still has loads of coffee-ness left.

After you're done, the used-twice espresso grounds are great for washing yourself with, or washing anything, actually. As long as it's something that you can rinse them off of. It's better for washing your body and your hair than soap or shampoo. Leaves your skin feeling motherfucking smooth. Partially because it exfoliates, partially because it's got a wonderful acid in there so it's kind of like using vinegar, and it's got a wonderful oil in there so it's kind of like using olive oil. But yeah, it makes awesome coffee too.

Apart from allowing you to have coffee at home when otherwise you'd have to go to some sketchy soup kitchen for it, this is kind of a good thing to do anyway. You're reducing someone else's waste. And you can get higher-quality coffee because you don't have to buy it. So pick a cafe that uses actual good stuff. You might even be able to find awesome organic coffee.

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