A cup of coffee is a delicious end to a delicious meal

Ending a delicious meal with this delicious drink is a tradition in North America. But even if you don’t drink it yourself, don’t worry. Just follow a few guidelines and you can satisfy your java-drinking guests without any worries.

  • First, because you are entertaining in the evening, be prepared to offer regular or decaffeinated.
  • Remember that you are not a restaurant. There is no need to offer specialty choices like the ones you get at Starbucks or other java houses.
  • A “safe” ratio of grounds to water is about one to one and a half tablespoons for every cup.
  • Always wash pots after each use because oils can leave a rancid film.
  • Prepare your brew as close to serving time as possible
  • Use fresh cold water
  • Avoid using instant types since they doesn’t seem to deliver the same robust good taste.

What kind of coffee brewer should you use?
If you already drink coffee, then you probably have your favourite style. If you don't drink it, you may need to buy a coffee maker. They all come with instructions so you won’t have any problem figuring out how to use them.

Go for the kind that you find simplest. This will probably be an electric drip type. You just put the grounds in a filter, pour in the water and turn on the button.

Press pots or French Press pots are simple in a different way. You don’t need a filter. Just put the required amount of grounds right into the glass pot, heat the water and add it to the pot. Then you push the plunger down and your brew is ready.

What kind of beans should you buy?
If you can, go to a shop in your neighbourhood and splurge on a half pound of fresh-ground beans. If you don’t have a favourite, ask the servers to suggest a good dinner choice. They will ask you what kind of grind you want. If you’re not sure, just tell them what kind of brewer you are using. They will suggest the best grind, whether course or fine.

Serving your coffee
Invest in a carafe and you can keep coffee warm at the table instead of jumping up and down to offer seconds. Carafes are also good if you need to make both regular and decaffeinated. You can just pour the first one you make into the carafe and free up your brewer to make the other.

I often choose cups with a built in base. Mugs can seem a little informal for a special dinner party. China cups and saucers are a pleasure to use, but sometimes I want simplicity at the end of dinner. So I compromise with the built in base.

If you have some lovely china cups and saucers you want to use, bring them on out!

Put out some cream or milk and some sugar and that's it.

Enjoy this time-honoured finish to your meal.

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  • How to set the table, how many courses to serve, how to seat your guests, how to handle awkward situations
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Gather your friends and family around a sizzling steak that you can enjoy too, because you followed my stress-free steak dinner directions. You'll bring a smile to everyone's face, including your own!

If the weather is nice you can barbecue your steak, if it is not so nice, just move the dinner inside. Click here to find out more about hosting a stress-free steak dinner

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