Alton Brown on What Makes a Perfectly Brewed Cup of Coffee, Starbucks’ ‘Daring Move’ in Italy

Alton Brown Perfect Coffee
Alton Brown attends Atlanta Premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s “LUZIA – A Waking Dream of Mexico” at Big Top at Atlantic Station on September 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Paras Griffin/Getty Images

As a self-described “coffee addict” Alton Brown has more than a few thoughts when it comes to the caffeinated beverage. For starters, the Cutthroat Kitchen host is regularly changes up his coffee order. “I don’t know that there’s a perfect brewed cup of coffee for anybody,” he tells Us Weekly exclusively. “I mix it up constantly.”

These days, Brown, who recently debuted Good Eats: Reloaded on the Cooking Channel, uses an AeroPress for his first cup of joe, but also has a “pretty jazzy espresso machine” he enlists to whip up various beverages. “Some people swear by drips, some people swear by French press, but for me I like espresso grind, I like more of an extracted coffee, which is why I use something like an AeroPress.”

And since Brown is admittedly a “three cup a day person,” he can enjoy his daily java multiple ways. “I used to do even more than that, but I got to where my eyes kind of vibrated so I’ve cut back a lot,” he explains.

Given Brown’s coffee habit, the newlywed, 56, has also had to find a toothpaste that keeps his teeth shiny and white. He settled on Colgate Optic White, which he currently has a partnership with. “When you get into the real science of this most people don’t even realize that teeth are porous,” he notes. “The crystal that makes up the enamel of a tooth forms these little tubes, and it’s super simple, especially for adults who eat a lot of darkly colored things, for staining molecules to get up inside these tubes. To break this apart we need to use something that’s an oxidizer, like hydrogen peroxide, which can go in there and literally peel electrons away from these molecules to make them fall apart, which is how Optic White works over time.”


Brown says it took him about a week to see “real change” in the color of his teeth, meaning he’s now free to drink as much coffee as he’d like. One store he probably won’t be hitting up for a caffeine fix, however, is the new Starbucks outpost in Milan, which opened its doors amid some controversy in September.

“I think it’s an interesting thing to watch culturally as coffee moves around the planet and changes around the planet. The sheer idea of having to-go cups is completely alien to both French and Italian coffee culture,” the Iron Chef America host admits. “It’s a daring move, and I guess what Starbucks is trying to say is that their coffee is good enough to win over the people that invented espresso. Will just have to see what happens. I’ve had a lot of coffee, and I’ve had a good bit of coffee in Italy, and I think it’s probably an uphill battle, but good for them.”

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