Tuesday, 24 January 2017

How I make coffee in the microwave

Hello. It's been ages since I made a video, thought it was about time for another one. It has been reported in various newspaper articles, and I might have mentioned it on here, that I heat the water for my morning mug of coffee in a microwave. This declaration usually brings comments on how dangerous the practice is, and that it should never be attempted. Something about the microwave blowing up, or the mug breaking and boiling water gushing everywhere. 
I should explain the reason why I do it this way. My electric kettle has an element in the bottom. It takes two mugs of water to cover it. I only want one mug of coffee, it is the only one I have all day, so I don't want to save a mug of hot water in a flask because it will not get used. I understand that a maximum of two minutes in a microwave is cheaper than boiling a kettle. There is also an added bonus that the mug gets heated as well as the water, so the drink will not cool down as quickly as pouring it in a cold mug. 
My instructions for making coffee of the instant variety in a microwave. 
Check that the mug is microwavable, label on the bottom. Fill mug with cold water, not quite to the top, about an inch short.
Place in microwave and turn on. Don't bother with the timer, you need to estimate how long it needs, around 30-40 seconds. Do not walk away, wait for it.

Remove from microwave, it will be luke warm. Add instant coffee, sugar, and powdered milk. That's not tea by the way, it's where I keep the Coffee Mate. I have one spoon of each. If you want to use fresh milk put slightly less water in it and top up with milk. stir it, sip it to see how warm it is and put it back in the microwave.

Give it another 30-40 seconds, stay with it, you don't want it to boil over. Count to ten if you like. Remove from microwave and check it is the right temperature by sipping it. If it is still not hot enough give it another 10 seconds. Notice that the microwave hasn't blown up, and the mug is not broken. Perfect mug of hot coffee.

A video I made earlier. Oooops, don't laugh when I drop the container. I have been doing it this way for a long time, and I reckon over the years it has saved me a bit of money on the electricity bill. Please excuse the echoey sound, my kitchen is quite big and I don't have any clutter in it.



Anyone else do it like this? Or are you going to have a go? Thanks for popping in' we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

41 comments:

  1. I like your video and I like that you only use exactly the amount of water you need, plus you don't need boiling water for coffee (someone once told me that boiling water scorched coffee and spoiled its taste). However, not convinced it saves electricity in a microwave - would be interested in doing this if it does though. Also, I think I would have to clean the microwave out each time as coffee can be very aromatic and leaves a lingering smell. Well I ought to try it before rejecting your idea shouldn't I? I am amazed you have had the same mug for 23 years, I think we must be very clumsy when washing up!

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    1. Hi Debs, I don't think I said 23 years, maybe 2 - 3 years of using this mug to make coffee in the microwave. I have actually had the mug for about ten years. I have never broken a mug while washing up.

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  2. I am a tea girl first thing in the morning but at 11:00 am I have my cup if coffee. I fill my mug half way up with milk and top it with milk. Set time for 1.10 seconds on high and perfect temperature. Remove from microwave and add 1 heaping tespoon of instant coffee. Stir and drink. Many years ago when I worked in a small office in the UK the morning coffee was made by adding a combination of hot milk and hot water to a mug. We heated the milk in a saucepan and boiled the kettle. Gosh how things have changed!

    Sandy

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  3. i think the problem may lie in some mugs having metal on the mug in the glaze. this can be affected by a microwave causing a problem even destroying the instrument itself.

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  4. I do microwave drinks too but also use the kettle. I don't seem to have to use as much water as you though to cover the element. I will fill a flask. I have used a camping stove to heat also. Will drink cold drinks at any time. The electricity people always think that my bill is wrong if I contact them for any reason as it is super low. I hate putting money in their pockets for their inflated rates. Natalie

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  5. I always make my mid morning coffee in the microwave but do it a lot quicker than you, I make it half water and half milk spoonful of
    coffee mixed and put in the microwave for 1min 40 seconds which is hot enough for me. I guess your microwave has not got a timer, you can buy little timers quite cheaply. BTW my microwave pings when time us up.

    I enjoyed your video,
    Hazel c uk

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    1. Hi, My microwave pings as well. It does have a timer, but it's not very accurate, so I prefer to use my own judgement. I'm hanging on to it because it's a decent size. Looking at the modern ones they seem quite a bit smaller.

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  6. I have my morning cup of tea every morning by placing the tea bag into a cup of cold water and into the microwave for 1 min 31 seconds. Came up with the exact time so that the cup handle was facing me when I opened the door. Perfect every time.

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    1. That's cute! Made me smile about the cup handle facing the right way. JanF

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  7. For me, the kettle is 25% more efficient than the microwave. Modern kettles are actually very efficient these days!

    Its interesting as it is possible for it to be different for you as I believe you have mentioned before that most of your electricals are quite old and Im not sure if kettles have always been more efficient than the microwave. You will probably find that if most of your electricals are old, they aren't very efficient compared to today's standards. Although, I guess you have to ask yourself if the investment of upgrading is worth the energy savings!

    I'd would advise people to look at the energy consumption of their old fridge or freezers though. From my calculations, my upgraded ones will have paid for themselves in energy savings in just over a year. I couldn't believe how inefficient my old fridge was! Top tip!

    You can buy very cheap plug in energy monitors to check how efficient your electricals are. I found the results very alarming. Particularly with standard light bulbs!!!

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  8. Haha, I love you, Ilona. Thanks for being informative and patient. Of course micro coffee isn't deadly. I even re-heat left over cold coffee in the micro.

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  9. I have a breville hot cup, dispenses a cup of boiling water in seconds, got it in BM. Love it blurb says I can have 50 cups of boiling water for the cost of boiling 1 kettle.

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  10. Good idea. I put all sorts in my microwave. Nothing's blown up yet - however I once put a jacket potato in to cook and as i'd run out of kitchen roll, I wrapped it in a towelling baby's bib to make do - yes it caught fire!! I was young and naive!!

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    1. When my daughter was 13 she put a leftover roll in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it a bit but walked away before it was done, and got distracted. Turned out she'd put it in for 10 MINUTES. We threw it in the backyard, still on fire.

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    2. Oh dear, Anon, that made me laugh. I defrost bread in the microwave, for literally five seconds.

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    3. Hi Mrs. Toilet paper does the job just as well.

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  11. I think your method is very time consuming and must use as much electric as boiling a kettle...

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    1. Hi. I can spare two minutes a day, and I haven't checked the exact figures.

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  12. Here in the USA, instant coffee is much much more expensive than buying coffee and brewing it at home. 2 of us here have 1 cup/day and I may have a second cup on a Sunday. I buy the generic "value brand" at Aldi's, 35 oz of regular coffee ($5.29) as well as one small bag of flavored coffee (usually $4 or less, I try to use coupons, buy when on sale, BOGo deals, etc) as our Sunday treat coffee. Under $10/month for coffee is awesome, considering that many folks here don't bat an eye at dropping in to the coffee shop on a daily basis for a cup of Joe. There are also many exclusive coffee boutiques that charge $10 OR MORE! per cup. My ways work well for me. : )

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  13. If the water isn't getting that hot you're not in danger of being scalded when you insert the coffee, sugar, spoon... But if it's getting to boiling or close to it, just put the sugar in the mug before heating. The bumpy surface of the sugar will allow nucleation sites and prevent all the "bubble" erupting at once and hurting you. That said, while I heat a lot of things in the microwave, I wish sometimes for a kettle (it's just something I don't wish for so hard that I've hit the "buy" button, LOL), just for the charm of it. : )
    Sandi in Oklahoma

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    1. Hi. There must be a hundred and one gadgets available to buy which aim to make life easier. While my system works for me, I will not be spending money just for the sake of keeping up. Things get replaced when they are broken here.

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  14. I make tea by boiling the water in the microwave for 2m. 10sec. When it gets cold, I add more water, heat for 1m. 20sec. And add the tea each time so the strength of it doesn't go down. Hot chocoAte is made the way you make your coffee. I have had it boil over when putting the chocolate into the water and boiling all at once. As someone else mentioned, it does stain the inside walls of the microwave. The steam must be very potent! W

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  15. I like milky coffee made in the microwave. I also use the microwave to warm up my tea and coffee as I often wander off to do something (have to do it while I remember!), and come back some time later to find it stone cold.

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  16. Hi Ilona,
    I too was going to tell you about the instant hot water boilers such as the Breville hot cup but Kirrie has already mentioned them. They are excellent that they just boil one cup or mug of water and it is instant, no waiting for the kettle to boil (or microwave). I have had a number of these over the years and cant recommend them highly enough.
    take care jane xx

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    1. Thank you Jane. I will hold off buying a new gadget for the time being, others might like to try them though.

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  17. The fear some folk have of using the microwave to make cups of tea dates back to warnings on the TV program Watchdog, in the 80's or thereabouts. I can still recall Esther Rantzen going on and on about the awful dangers of this, mugs exploding, boiling tea in the mug due to lack of awareness as to how fast a microwave worked. Times have moved on a bit, there's few of us who don't use a microwave regularly or understand they can overheat food and drink to boiling point. But the old myths die hard.

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  18. Well! I love your blog Iona,but writing AND taking photos of making a cup of coffee!!! Really!! Your others stuff is much more interesting:) please don't get like these kids!,

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    1. Thank you for your comment. There will always be posts which will not appeal to everyone. Sometimes I don't have a new idea in my head, I sit looking at the screen and think, now what? Just skip by the ones you don't like. xxx

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    2. PS, I have never read a 'kids' blog so I don't know what you mean.

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    3. Well, I thought it was just a bit of fun, but helpful, too. Some of you contributors take themselves very seriously, if I may say!
      Valerie

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    4. I thought it was great fun too. Keep up the good work Ilona!

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  19. My Grandparents make milk coffee in the microwave every morning, they've never had any problems with it yet.

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  20. I did a little maths to see how much I could potentially save if I used this to make a hot drink once a day like you do. Assuming a typical unit price of £0.15/kWh and using my 3kw kettle to boil the minimum amount of water, which takes about 90 seconds to boil:

    (£0.15 x 3) = £0.45/Kwh
    (£0.45 / 60) * 1.5 = £0.01125
    £0.01125 * 365 = £4.11/year

    With my 800kW microwave using heating time per drink of 90 seconds:

    (£0.15/1000) x 800 = £0.12
    (£0.12/60) * 1.5 = £0.003
    £0.003 * 365 = £1.095/year

    Total saving/year £4.11 - £1.095 = £3.02

    Not a huge saving, but if you're someone who drinks a lot of hot drinks at home then the saving will of course be higher.

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    1. Thank you - clever person.

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    2. Yes, thank you Steve. I can't work things out precisely like that, numbers confuse me.

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  21. Thanks for sharing I felt it was a bit of fun, and I love your mug. I rarely drink coffee, usually tea for me. However, I love seeing how others do things even making a cup of coffee if it"s done differently. Have a blessed day!

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    1. Hi Barbara. All my money saving tips are a bit of fun, they are geared to make people think about the cost of everything they buy.

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  22. I put a medium size plate under the mug when making tea or chocolate, so I don't have to wash the bottom glass microwave plate so often...

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    1. Hi Kay. I put a plate of food in the microwave for warming up, didn't check the label on the bottom, and it broke in three pieces. Oooops.

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  23. Ilona you made laugh, I love your sense of humour. Just at you saying 'notice the microwave has not blown up and the mug is not broken'.
    :-)

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