Coffee

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Rubirosa
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:30 pm

Re: Coffee

Post by Rubirosa » Tue May 29, 2012 10:19 pm

Here's a book coffee lovers might like -- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... +of+coffee

k-slice
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Coffee

Post by k-slice » Wed May 30, 2012 2:33 am

I don't understand why, but I like both kinds of coffee: the maxwell house or similar made in a mr. coffee machine, or the fancy peets coffee made with a single plastic cone with paper cone filters.
The plastic single cup plastic cone is made by Filtropa.
Here's the Filtropa thing:
http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooki ... fee?page=7
I knew some people who bought green coffee and roasted it on a cookie sheet in their oven. Who knew?
I'm not that wild about Trader Joes coffee.

blastoff
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Re: Coffee

Post by blastoff » Wed May 30, 2012 10:47 am

I like the taste of coffee and often make it just for the taste but not to stay awake. Got into roasting my own beans for awhile and also have a couple different brewing things (french press, regular drip maker, aeropress, etc). My opinions and unorganized comments below.

1. Clean. Clean. Clean. Whatever the method, find one that is easy enough that you'll use it and keep things reasonably clean. I'll drink tap water anywhere in the USA but I wouldn't drink the water from 90% of people's coffee makers if they just brewed a pot of water with no coffee grounds. It's often piss yellow which should tell you something. I also find them hard to clean and I am lazy. So I like brewing methods which are easy to keep clean.

2. Beans. Try fresh roasted coffee (roasted within the previous month, preferably a week or two). Any good coffee place will put the roast date on their beans. Try it once. You'll notice the smell the second you grind it, and you'll see the coffee kind of bubble up when you pour water over. Fresh matters. I wouldn't fret as much over the exact type of bean. I'd much rather drink freshly roasted beans of OK quality and high end beans that were roasted a year ago. Grinding fresh matters too. That said, grinding the night before isn't the biggest sin in the world and I think in the scheme of things it probably matters less than a dirty coffee maker, crappy old beans, etc. Just experiment and see if you notice.

3. Grinder. Blade grinder is fine in my opinion for drip coffee. Maybe a Burr grinder will be 0.5% better taste for drip, but everything else (beans, clean, water temp, etc) are much more important to fix first IMO. Stupid to buy a burr grinder but then use a dirty coffee maker with too low a water temp... If you want to make espresso where grind is crucial, a burr is needed. But outside of that, I'd focus on the other variables first. You can get some hand crank burr grinders (as opposed to electric) for reasonable prices if you do want a burr grinder for not too much money. With respect to blade grinders, DO make sure to get one that is fairly high powered. I have an old bruan blade grinder that pulverizes the beans in 5 seconds. My friend had a grinder that broke once, ran to store to buy a proctor silex one from CVS and it was noticably weaker..... it took 20-30 seconds to get a fine enough grind.....long enough that the beans were warm to the touch at the end from all the friction....not ideal for the beans. Bodum makes a nice blade grinder. I'd imagine the bruan and krups ones are OK too.

4. Brewing method. I'd go simple pour over method (with a nice thermos if making a lot) or an aeropress if you're interested in single cups. If you want to try pour over and already have a mr. coffee style drip maker......just put grounds in the filter and heat up some water in a kettle and pour it over the coffee when it is just off a boil. You can even control how long the coffee and grounds mix if you have one of those spring loaded dispensers. Many drip makers don't get the water hot enough to extract most of the flavors from the beans. So a method that simply involves pouring water from a kettle over the grounds will probably be the easiest/cheapest/best way to get good results. French press is good, but honestly, I really don't enjoy cleaning the grounds out of the bottom (lazy!) so I prefer the aeropress which is almost self cleaning.

5. Roast your own beans. Not needed, but a way to save $$$$ and might be fun if that's the kind of thing you're into. You can buy top quality unroasted green beans for 4-7 dollars a pound. These keep for a long time and don't really go bad until you roast them. You can buy a special coffee roaster machine for a $$$$, but you can also just take a cast iron pan and put in on a bbq grill and experiment for no start up cost. It won't be a perfectly even roast, but you'll get good at it with time. I'd much rather drink coffee that I roasted myself a week ago, with some unevenness in the roast b/c of the crude method, as opposed to something perfectly professionally roasted half a year ago. So if you want good beans and a hobby.....roasting your own can be a cheap way. I'd only do it if it sounds fun though. Probably not worth the time unless you really really like good coffee or have an interest.

6. If you have a hipster coffee shop nearby that offers "pour-over" or other methods and has good beans. Spend the 2-3 dollars it costs for a coffee from the place. If the flavors excite you and you like it....it might be worth pursuing the above things. But if you honestly don't care at all, notice a difference from folgers, than I see little reason to spend more money. Keep being happy w/ folgers/maxwell/etc while saving more money!!!!

7. Beans revisted. All the beans from different places do taste different. But worry about fresh first. And country in general doesn't matter. Sure there are regional differences in taste. But, there is shitty coffee from every country in the world, kenya, columbia, ethiopia included. So just find something freshly roasted and if you get into it you can explore further. Statements like "Columbian coffee is best" have no meaning or basis.

In summary. I think freshly roasted beans, a cleanish coffee maker (one that you would at least drink water from if ran through it!), and the appropriate water temperature matter the most. If brewing a single cup, I'd highly recommend the aeropress which is very easy to clean up and simple to get a good cup of coffee from, or a basic pour over brewer. Both are much cheaper than a drip machine and produce much better coffee.

Just my two cents from experimenting with various coffee things .....

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GregLee
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Location: Waimanalo, HI

Re: Coffee

Post by GregLee » Wed May 30, 2012 11:48 am

blastoff wrote:5. Roast your own beans. Not needed, but a way to save $$$$ and might be fun if that's the kind of thing you're into. You can buy top quality unroasted green beans for 4-7 dollars a pound. These keep for a long time and don't really go bad until you roast them. You can buy a special coffee roaster machine for a $$$$, but you can also just take a cast iron pan and put in on a bbq grill and experiment for no start up cost.
I tried and tried to roast my own beans, and never got any better results than with buying pre-roasted beans, so I gave it up. Still, it was a fun experiment, and here are some notes about things I learned.

Anyone here in Hawaii who wants to buy green coffee to roast has a special problem. It's illegal to ship in green coffee beans from out of state unless the shipper can treat the beans to make sure they don't harbor molds or insect eggs that could infect Hawaii coffee raised here on plantations -- mainly on the Big Island. And no shipper that sells to hobby roasters is set up to do this. Some sellers on the Mainland honor this law (Sweet Maria's, e.g.), but others don't know about it, or don't care. The Atlanta seller that I mentioned previously, Black Gold coffee, will ship green beans to Hawaii.

In addition to the cast iron pan method for roasting (which I haven't tried, personally), the cheap little hot air popcorn poppers for $10-$20 work pretty well. The expensive machines for roasting give you control over the roasting profile -- that is, how the roasting temperature differs in the initial, mid, and final part of the roast -- but with some extra trouble, you can also control the profile using a popcorn popper, either by modding the popper (google to find directions) or by using a variac, a variable transformer, to supply power to the popper.
Greg, retired 8/10.

k-slice
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Coffee

Post by k-slice » Wed May 30, 2012 12:12 pm

McDonalds, the girl gives me the "senior" price, 66cents. She adds the cream and sugar for me. I'm lovin it. p.s. I'm not a senior yet.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Coffee

Post by tadamsmar » Wed May 30, 2012 12:46 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Those in the know: there is a sourness in coffee, sometimes, especially as it cools down. Is that what is called acidity? I detect the same thing in some red wines.
I think the sourness that comes as it cools down is actually due to heat/cooking. Coffemakers have a built in hotplate often with a timer that eventually turns off the hot plate. The coffee will stay fresh longer if you turn off the coffeemaker right after it brews. You can heat it up later in a microwave.

If you brew it strong and ice it immediate after brewing, then it will stay fresh for hours.

In red wine, I think it's the tannins and alcohol that cause the sourness at room temperature. The sourness goes away if you cool the wine to 55-65 degrees, higher for the wines with the least aroma:

http://www.basic-wine-knowledge.com/win ... ature.html

Too cool is better than two warm. But the cooler they are the blander they are, typically.

In fact, wines don't just taste one way. The have a spectrum of flavors as you cool them down from room temperature.

I sometime just put a small ice cube in a glass of red, easy but not PC I guess.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Coffee

Post by texasdiver » Wed May 30, 2012 12:59 pm

k-slice wrote:McDonalds, the girl gives me the "senior" price, 66cents. She adds the cream and sugar for me. I'm lovin it. p.s. I'm not a senior yet.
McDonalds is actually surprisingly good coffee. I won't touch anything else there for breakfast. But if I need a cup of coffee on the road in the morning I'll take McDonalds over Starbucks any day. It's better coffee and a heck of a lot cheaper. I'm talking about the actual coffee, not the coffee flavored sugar and milk drinks they all sell now with all the -atte and -ino names.

I suppose we could start a whole new thread on which morning fast food places have the best coffee. But McDonalds would have to be up there along with some of the donut shops.

Sam I Am
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Re: Coffee

Post by Sam I Am » Wed May 30, 2012 1:40 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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aja8888
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Coffee

Post by aja8888 » Wed May 30, 2012 2:31 pm

+3 for McDonalds....$0.50 for a "senior" black coffee! :)

Easy Rhino
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Location: San Diego

Re: Coffee

Post by Easy Rhino » Wed May 30, 2012 5:05 pm

Sam I Am wrote: Now it is oatmeal almost every day, with a bagel every once in awhile. Gotta watch the carbs.
Well, they both have a lot of carbs to watch. :D

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interplanetjanet
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Location: the wilds of central California

Re: Coffee

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed May 30, 2012 6:33 pm

Coffee makes me awfully jittery, so I don't drink it much, but I do love the taste of a good cup.

I'd like to make another recommendation for the Aeropress. It's quite clever, produces results that are definitely not the same as a french press, seems nigh-indestructable (seriously, I think it might survive gunfire) and cleanup is trivial. It produces some of the best coffee I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, without going crazy with a high priced grinder. A good kettle that can heat water to a certain temperature is a nice addition (I love my Pino).

Downside: it can only make a couple cups at a time. As an upside, it's also useful for making herbal teas or other infusions if you don't want any particulates to come through.

-janet

rocket
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Re: Coffee

Post by rocket » Wed May 30, 2012 7:32 pm

I have tried many coffees. Martinson (in the blue can) is my favorite.

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rdmayo21
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Re: Coffee

Post by rdmayo21 » Wed May 30, 2012 7:35 pm

You haven't had real coffee until you've tried this: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Coffee

Post by texasdiver » Wed May 30, 2012 8:44 pm

rdmayo21 wrote:You haven't had real coffee until you've tried this: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/
Wow.....over $25/lb for mail order Guatemala Antigua that's already been roasted? And they don't even tell you which farm it is from?

You can buy the very best Guatemalan Antigua coffees for $6.60/lb unroasted: http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.centr ... ource=side At that price you'll pay for the cost of a home roaster in about a month. And once you get your home roaster you can continue to buy unroasted coffees from anywhere in the world and know exactly what you are getting.

Basically you are paying $19/lb for them to roast your coffee for you when doing it at home with a simple home roaster produces much fresher roasts and can be tailored to your exact taste in terms of darkness. I roast my own beans for the week every Saturday morning over a cup of coffee and my morning newspaper. It takes about 2 minutes of actual work, the rest is just waiting for the roast to run its course (about 15 minutes).
Last edited by texasdiver on Thu May 31, 2012 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rowdy
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Re: Coffee

Post by Rowdy » Wed May 30, 2012 9:35 pm

Trader Joe's Hawaiian Coffee (currently not available at my local TJ), whole bean - blade grinder, French press for brewing. The best!

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