Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Weird Floaties in my Coffee

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! I have been having a problem with my at-home coffee for a while now and I figured you could put it to rest.

I live with my boyfriend and he has a regular 12-cup Proctor-Silex coffeemaker, the kind you have to put a filter in. It is nothing special but it gets the job done. He just bought it last year and we use it pretty much every day. We grind our own coffee that's roasted weekly for us by a friend of ours.

Now, I usually put on about 4 or 5 cups of coffee and drink them over a period of an hour or so while looking at eGullet :raz: My boyfriend, who gets up early for his 1st shift job, makes a whole pot and takes it to the newspaper with him in a big carafe to share with the people who work there.

By the time I have reached my 3rd or 4th cup, I have a weird SCUM floating on my coffee. It does not affect the taste of the coffee (I am heathen, and don't mind slightly "burned" coffee flavor). If I stick my finger in the cup, the scum doesn't separate, it just moves off to one side to make room for my finger. After a while, the scum will start to break up into little floaties which disperse themselves throughout the cup. It is very disturbing.

Is it because of the continued heat applied to the coffee? Or is it this particular coffee? The first time I noticed it, I cleaned the coffee maker, and I have cleaned it regularly since, but the scum doesn't go away. My boyfriend doesn't get the scum when he takes the coffee to work in the carafe, and I have noticed that when we run out of good beans and have to buy something shitty to last a few days :shock: we don't get the scum either.

Or is it something totally unrelated, like I don't know how to wash my coffee mugs correctly?

Sorry for the long post, but I am really sick of the phantom scum.


Noise is music. All else is food.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Describe the "scum" more, please. Does it look fuzzy? Smooth? Is it coffee-colored or a different color? Is it like a glossy hard slick (like what happens to my tea if it sits long enough)? When it breaks up, are the "floaties" little individual particles, or are they little jagged mini-slicks? Finally, does it form in the pot too, or just in your cup?

Mind you, I don't know if I have any answers, but the answers may give someone some clues!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

Soiunds like build up in the glass carafe to me. If your coffee mugs look clean on the inside then they are clean (or clean enough). The glass carafes easily build up a layer of coffee oils that turn into a thin film of solid with heat. I suspect that they're coming off into your cup as the coffee cools down and then being released into the cup where they become those lovable floatie scum thingies.

First suggestion: go to Walmart or target ro some such place and get a cheap (i.e. $6 or $7 glass lined thermal carafe. preheat it with hot tap water while your coffee is brewing. Pour the coffee off into it immediately when the brewing cycle completes. You'll be amazed at how much better that second, third and beyond cup tastes 20 - 30 minutes later when you take this simple step.

The cthermal carafe should be throughly rinsed with hot water when the coffee is gone and once a week or once a month out hot, hot water and baking soda in it to completely remove the coffee oils (rinse thoroughly when done). The glass carafe that the coffee brews into won't get too mucked up when you're only brewing into it and not leaving it on the warming plate. Just clean it throughly once a week or so with dish detergent and a plastic scrubbie like a Dobie.

The coffee maker itself should require cleaning no more often than once a month or so. Just run a pot full of cheap generic white veinegar through on the brew cycel and then four of five pots of water after that to flush it.

I have a 12 cup Proctor-Silex and it makes great coffee if you make the brew in six cup batches. When you try to brew a full pot the brew cycle takes too long and quality is affected.

Last issue and a very important one: use bottled water or get a Britta or Everpur or some other filter systen for your tap or for a pitcher. It's possible that the floaties are cause by mineral deposits, not to mention that filtered water makes better tasting coffee.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks everybody.  I am drinking tea until I follow Phaelon's suggestions  :shock:

Oh just suck it up and drink the floaties.... how bad could it be? :raz:

I was thinking about this recently (an indication either of hwo excitign my life is at present or perhaps a telling commentary on my prediliction for all things coffee related). I used to get little floatie scum thigns exactly like those you describe when I was regularly using a stainless steel thermos. I rinsed it our with hot tap water upon arriving home ach day but after a few weeks the floaties would start to appear and not until I'd already had a few cup's of coffee from that day's thermos batch (which was a full quart - about five 6 oz cups). I started cleaning it once a week with a bit of boiling water and some baking soda. It was amazing what crap would come streaming out when I rinsed it.

You can buy Urnex to do the same thing but baking soda works just fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried drinking your coffee with your eyes closed, or in the dark?

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Objective Foodie
      During the past year, our coffee consumption at home has increased substantially. We have tried beans from different roasteries from the UK and Europe, but we are constantly in the search of new ones. The speciality coffee market has been rapidly increasing in past years and it is becoming easier to find high quality beans.
      The best roasteries we have tried so far:
      UK based: Round Hill Roastery, Square Mile, Monmouth,  Pharmacie, New Ground, Workshop, James Gourmet, Ozone. Europe based: The Barn (Germany), Gardelli (Italy), Hard Beans (Poland), Calendar (Ireland), Roasted Brown (Ireland), Right Side (Spain), Coffee Collective (Denmark).  
      Have you had any exciting coffee beans lately? Do you have any other recommendations?
    • By Kasia
      After waking up, most of us head towards the kitchen for the most welcome morning drink. Coffee opens our eyes, gets us up and motivates us to act. Today I would like to offer you a healthy alternative to daily morning coffee. I don't want to turn you off coffee completely. After all, it has an excellent aroma and fantastic flavor. There isn't anything more relaxing during a busy day than a coffee break with friends.

      In spite of the weather outside, change your kitchen for a while and try something new. My green cocktail is also an excellent way to wake up and restore energy. Add to it a pinch of curcuma powder, which brings comfort and acts as a buffer against autumn depression.

      Ingredients (for 2 people):
      200ml of green tea
      4 new kale leaves
      1 green cucumber
      half an avocado
      1 pear
      1 banana
      pinch of salt
      pinch of curcuma

      Peel the avocado, pear and banana. Remove the core from the pear. Blend every ingredient very thoroughly. If the drink is too thick, add some green tea. Drink at once.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By Kasia
      My Irish Coffee  
      Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink.

      If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum.
      Ingredients (for 2 drinks)
      300ml of strong, hot coffee
      40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of caster sugar
      4 drops of vanilla essence
      Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Johnhouse
      Hello everyone!
      I have been working in food and beverage industry for almost 10 years in different countries. I am looking forward to learn new things on this forum to expand my food and beverage knowledge as well as sharing my experiences that I gained in my journey!
      Have a good day! ☺️ 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...