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#301269 - 04/10/10 04:40 PM Any coffee geeks here?
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder

Over the past ten years or so, Iíve progressed from drinking two pots of disgustingly dark and thick military brew, to better drip, to a French press, to super-automatic machines to my latest over the top purchase of a semi-auto machine and grinder. I am officially a coffee geek now. I have a new found respect for baristas that can pull a good shot, shot after shot. I canítÖ..yet.

Anyone else taken this path who has a pallet for a really good cup of espresso? If so, a thread for sharing tips, advice and bean recommendations may be in order.
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#301271 - 04/10/10 04:45 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Can't help you there Mike, after all of these years I just did start drinking coffee a month or so ago and I'm trying to figure if I like straight black or with cream and sugar.
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Rick
Our Room

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#301294 - 04/10/10 07:27 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: RickF]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
I'm too cheap to buy a semi-automatic machine and too lazy to pull shots manually.

I drink about a quart of good drip coffee (black) a day.

I keep trying to find coffee I like better than good Columbian, but I haven't found it, yet.
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bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#301296 - 04/10/10 07:35 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10876
Loc: Central NH
Ditto Tom on his last two counts.
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#301299 - 04/10/10 08:18 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11192
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I never seem to drink coffee in its pure form, but I do like coffee-flavored things. I like a good coffee ice cream. I'm sure this makes me a coffee blasphemer.

Mark, I'm glad the sig is lasting as long as it is. It still cracks me up.

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#301304 - 04/10/10 09:01 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: CV]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I've turned into quite the coffee connoisseur. I was actually perusing web sites yesterday looking for some fair trade organic whole beans.

Although nothing to special, this is what I have for a coffee maker. Freshly ground whole bean coffee sure does make a difference. The aroma alone is something to desire.

As far as beans go, I've been buying my coffee from Costco, and it's actually really good.


Edited by wheelz999 (04/10/10 09:02 PM)
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#301306 - 04/10/10 09:13 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
We tend to drink what I refer to as "hot coffee ice cream." Lots of cream, lots of sugar, weak coffee. However, the better the coffee is, the better this tastes. We tend to buy Caribou coffees, light to medium roast.
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#301307 - 04/10/10 09:21 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Kirkland is a real a good brand imo Cam. For every day drinking I don't bother to buy anything special. On occasion we get a gourmet brand. Last time we bought some from Traders Joes house brand, it was quite good.

Our coffee machine is a Bunn. That's the only brand we have had in the past 20 years or so. They seem to last a lot longer than the others.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#301310 - 04/10/10 09:33 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Wid]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I just came across this web site. I haven't checked it out to see what it has to offer, as I've literally just stumbled across it, but it looks like it has a wealth of information.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#301320 - 04/10/10 10:47 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
If you are interested in getting into making quality espresso, it takes a commitment. First you need to be willing to spend a little cash. Trying to get a quality espresso out of a $100 investment is just not going to cut it. Research, research and do more research.

1) Source good quality beans - online shopping comes in very handy here.

2) Espresso Machine - There are a few entry level models by Saeco, Rancilio Silvia that are quality machines but do have a learning curve and require practice.

3) Grinder - often the most overlooked area and one of the most important steps to making a quality shot.

4) Trial, Error and Patience - Mistakes are good. In the end your hard work will be paid of with very high quality coffee but this part requires commitment.

If your not willing to do the work or get bored of new things quickly I wouldn't recommend investing money into espresso.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#301321 - 04/10/10 11:45 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Coffee geek here. I've graduated to a Silvia machine (from a Krups then Gaggia Evolution) and a Rocky grinder. I agree, the grinder is definitely NOT the place to skimp. If you have to, get a manual Zassenhaus to tide you over. I got the Silvia just in case I wanted to hack it w/ PID control. Haven't gone that far yet.

As far as beans, I'm also in the fair trade side. For Ken in SF, I'd HIGHLY recommend Ritual Roasters on Valencia. Their Sweet Tooth Espresso can be heavenly. So complex with tons of flavor. They do mail as well. Barefoot in the South Bay is my fav. They do mail order and I'd recommend the Element 114 or Sweetness if you have patience to get the draw just right.

For canned, you can't beat Illy. I always liked that.

And for the newbies, you could always start w/ a stove top Moka pot. The French have used it for years, and it's one thing I'd agree w/ them on. ;\) Great for traveling and camping.

I also do Arabic coffee (with the cardamum). I get it when I or my friends go to Israel. I have an iBrick and it takes some practices (and mess) to get it right but it's a strong coffee that puts hair on your chest.


Edited by oldskoolboarder (04/10/10 11:46 PM)

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#301328 - 04/11/10 02:14 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I stopped drinking coffee for the most part, because I've come to prefer tea. But the best beans I ever had came from CoffeeFool.

I get my tea from The Republic of Tea, if anyone else has that preference.
_________________________
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Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
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#301385 - 04/11/10 01:34 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
If you are interested in getting into making quality espresso, it takes a commitment. First you need to be willing to spend a little cash. Trying to get a quality espresso out of a $100 investment is just not going to cut it. Research, research and do more research.

1) Source good quality beans - online shopping comes in very handy here.

2) Espresso Machine - There are a few entry level models by Saeco, Rancilio Silvia that are quality machines but do have a learning curve and require practice.

3) Grinder - often the most overlooked area and one of the most important steps to making a quality shot.

4) Trial, Error and Patience - Mistakes are good. In the end your hard work will be paid of with very high quality coffee but this part requires commitment.

If your not willing to do the work or get bored of new things quickly I wouldn't recommend investing money into espresso.


I bought a LaSpaziale Vivaldi II and a Barista Vario grinder. A lot more than I was planning to spend. The quality of my shots is vastly superior to the shots I was getting from a super automatic.
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#301387 - 04/11/10 01:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
 Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder

As far as beans, I'm also in the fair trade side. For Ken in SF, I'd HIGHLY recommend Ritual Roasters on Valencia. Their Sweet Tooth Espresso can be heavenly. So complex with tons of flavor. They do mail as well. Barefoot in the South Bay is my fav. They do mail order and I'd recommend the Element 114 or Sweetness if you have patience to get the draw just right.

I also do Arabic coffee (with the cardamum). I get it when I or my friends go to Israel. I have an iBrick and it takes some practices (and mess) to get it right but it's a strong coffee that puts hair on your chest.


The only fresh roasted beans I've tried so far are from Paridise. Great stuff. I'll try your recomendations above.

What exactly is an Arabic coffee?
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#301416 - 04/11/10 03:59 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
It's also known as Turkish coffee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_coffee

My Israeli friend went to Greece and ordered Turkish coffee. I'm not from that side of the world but I know BETTER than to ask that. He got the 'look' and they told him he should just call it 'coffee'.

It's a strong cup of coffee that can be sweetened by 'cooking' it w/ sugar. It ends up w/ a muddy residue (which you don't drink). It's espresso on acid. I LOVE strong coffee and this is what I drink when I can afford staying awake.

I say strong because I know lots of people that go to Peet's for strong coffee because they think Starbuck's is too 'light'. Peet's barely has even any taste for me. I definitely prefer my own coffee and miss it when I'm on vacation.

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#301418 - 04/11/10 04:15 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I consider myself a bit of an espresso geek.

Gaggia Classic + Gaggia MDF Grider for me. Got 'em both on sale from WholeLatteLove.com about four years ago. Debated between those and the Rancillio Silvia + Rocky combo, but went with the Gaggia's because they were a little less $$$. I've used them to make at least a pair of double/triple-shot lattes every working day since I've owned them. One for me, one for my wife. It was about $700 for the machines. No, not inexpensive, but compared to what we would have spent on Starbucks or at other coffee shops, they've actually paid for themselves two or three times over by now.

I'm pretty good at consistently banging out shots that are nearly entirely thick & rich tiger-striped crema. Thought it took about 3 months of daily practice to hone in on the right grind & tamp pressure settings.

It's all up to the quality of the beans & roast. I'm pretty picky about my beans these days. I've got about four specialty roasters from whom I order beans; Northwest Coffee Roasting and Kaldi Coffee Company from St. Louis, MO, Metropolis Coffee Roasting from Chicago, IL, or Kind Coffee in Estes Park, CO. All four offer, IMHO, exquisite and flavorful beans roasted absolutely perfectly at reasonable prices.
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
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#301427 - 04/11/10 05:51 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
 Originally Posted By: michael_d

I bought a LaSpaziale Vivaldi II and a Barista Vario grinder. A lot more than I was planning to spend. The quality of my shots is vastly superior to the shots I was getting from a super automatic.


Jeezus, I hope so. For that kind of money, the thing should dispense something ending in "-job".

We have a Solis conical burr grinder that we've been using every day for many years. Good little machine.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#301432 - 04/11/10 06:47 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Wholelattelove is a great site. I got my Evolution as a refurb. If you keep an eye out on the site, you can get some good deals if you don't mind the refurbs.

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#301538 - 04/12/10 01:22 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6807
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'm no connoisseur but I do enjoy a dark blend that isn't to bitter. I've perfected this match up at a local farmers market where they allow you to mix the beans. Every coffee roaster is different but with him I blend a Sumatran roast(on the dark side of medium dark) that has some secret squirrel spices mixed in with a much lighter Caribbean roast that takes some of the bitterness away leaving a strong but smooth coffee drink.

All fair trade beans as well.

Curious,
Has anyone ever smelled the aroma that comes from large scale bean roasting. It is not at all pleasant like the smell of the final product. All I can say is that it reminds me of when I used to work at a hospital on the days they used to superheat the giant boiler plant and burners were rigged to dispose of....well.... leftovers.... of a hospital type nature.


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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#301548 - 04/12/10 02:03 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Murph]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Many years ago, I used to vacation in Venezuela. The fresh coffee there was incredible, so much better than anything I've had before or since, strong pure flavour with little/no bitterness and pennies a cup.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#301550 - 04/12/10 02:06 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
Best cappucino I've had was in Holland. I had no idea those could be so tasty. The American ones tend to be so bitter and burnt tasting.


Edited by kcarlile (04/12/10 02:16 PM)
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#301561 - 04/12/10 03:38 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6807
Loc: PEI, Canada
It must have been the copper pennies in the cup that reduced the bitterness. <grin>

_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#301570 - 04/12/10 04:26 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Murph]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Actually Bolivars \:\)

BTW, gas was the equivalent of about $0.05 per gallon in Venezuela, at that time.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#301599 - 04/12/10 07:56 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
I'm gonna sound like a coffee newbie, but I've taken a liking to the Cracker Barrel offerings. Creamy and smooth. The flavored offerings aren't too bad either. Yeah, I know it's preground and not exotic, but it's tasty!
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"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#301602 - 04/12/10 08:22 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: St_PatGuy]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Hawaiian Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain.

Those will spin your propellers hard and taste great.
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Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#301620 - 04/12/10 10:47 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: 2x6spds]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Blue Mountain claims to be produce the finest coffee beans in the world.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#301654 - 04/13/10 01:25 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
There are some crazy ways to brew coffee.

From familiar, yet geeky: http://vimeo.com/6161817

to way out there: http://www.vimeo.com/8977253

Many more here: http://www.brewmethods.com/
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#301658 - 04/13/10 04:35 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: St_PatGuy]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10876
Loc: Central NH
 Originally Posted By: St_PatGuy
I'm gonna sound like a coffee newbie

Sean, you got me beat. I've never set foot in a Starbucks or similar.

I do have one of those Cuisinart Grind and Brew into the carafe things, but I just put Sam's Club-brand beans into it.

Hey, wait:

I do mix it half and half between regular and decaf beans. Does that make me a barista? \:\)
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#301659 - 04/13/10 04:51 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Never been in a Starbucks or the like either. Canít stand coffee not even the smell of it.
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#301660 - 04/13/10 04:56 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: grunt]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11192
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
What about tea, or are you breaking Chris's heart, too?

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#301662 - 04/13/10 05:23 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: CV]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Love tea of all kinds. Have a couple cups of green tea every day. Drink anywhere from a quart to a gallon and a half or so of sun tea every day. Usually several other kinds of tea every day also.
_________________________
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#301777 - 04/13/10 06:32 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: grunt]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
I like the green tea as well, prefer the flavour of it over black tea, actually. I've found white tea to be too mild, although on the health-o-meter it's much better than any of the other teas apparently. Also like the peppermint tea, good for your digestion.


Edited by Adrian (04/13/10 06:45 PM)
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#301780 - 04/13/10 06:53 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Anise flavoured alchoholic beverages like chilled black Sambuca (yummy!) and Absinthe are excellent digestives. The great thing about tea is that it goes down so well no matter how you are feeling.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#301807 - 04/13/10 10:42 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
The great thing about tea is that it goes down so well no matter how you are feeling.

Unless it's Chai Tea. That stuff makes me want to hurl tea bags.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#301814 - 04/13/10 11:14 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
I like Chai Tea on occasion - not a everyday tea for sure. My least favorite is Rooibos and Earl Grey. Not too fond of regular green tea either.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#301815 - 04/13/10 11:15 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: grunt]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Yeah, tea here too.
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#301822 - 04/14/10 12:14 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: JohnK]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
All pinkies extended, I presume.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#301825 - 04/14/10 12:35 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I'm a fan of rooibos, myself. I was introduced to it with this lovely tea:
http://www.republicoftea.com/templates/detail.asp?navID=313
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#301847 - 04/14/10 08:52 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
I love chais. Not so fond of herbal teas or standard black teas, in general.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#301861 - 04/14/10 10:16 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6390
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
When you come on down to Medic8r Manor, I'll get you hooked on sweet tea.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#301864 - 04/14/10 10:20 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: medic8r]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
No doubt, especially if it is mixed with some Stoli.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#301866 - 04/14/10 10:32 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Oh dear, the sleeping pedant has awoken again. "Chai" is the Indian word for tea. In the Western world we've taken it to mean tea with spices, sugar and milk. Still there's no need to say "chai tea", as that means "tea tea".

Peter, did you find the Republic before or after I first mentioned it here? They do have such excellent tea though, I've tried other brands since discovering them, but have always come back. I'm done exploring now, and will just stay with them.

The Republic's Green Chai is one of my favorites, but I make it without milk (I simply will not tolerate lactose). Still add sugar, though, that seems to bring out the spices even more.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#301871 - 04/14/10 10:37 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
Yeah, I've noticed that the sweeter I make it, the more spiced it is. I shall avoid calling it "chai tea" in the future.
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#301872 - 04/14/10 10:39 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10876
Loc: Central NH
I only get the urge to drink chai tea while I'm wiring with plenum cable.... Anyone else?
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#301874 - 04/14/10 10:57 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
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I once ordered chai tea from the cafe at the La Brea Tar Pits. I paid by entering my ATM PIN number on the keypad.
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#301875 - 04/14/10 10:58 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
Ken.C Offline
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Good thing the NIC card on this ATM machine PIN number keypad was functionally operational.
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#301876 - 04/14/10 11:00 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
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People say these kinds of verbal mistakes on a regular daily basis.
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#301877 - 04/14/10 11:04 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
Ken.C Offline
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Naturally while they're speaking, of course.


Edited by kcarlile (04/14/10 11:05 AM)
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#301879 - 04/14/10 11:16 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
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 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth


I'm pretty good at consistently banging out shots that are nearly entirely thick & rich tiger-striped crema. Thought it took about 3 months of daily practice to hone in on the right grind & tamp pressure settings.

It's all up to the quality of the beans & roast. I'm pretty picky about my beans these days. I've got about four specialty roasters from whom I order beans; Northwest Coffee Roasting and Kaldi Coffee Company from St. Louis, MO, Metropolis Coffee Roasting from Chicago, IL, or Kind Coffee in Estes Park, CO. All four offer, IMHO, exquisite and flavorful beans roasted absolutely perfectly at reasonable prices.


Thanks Peter.

Have any tips to share for pulling a consistent shot? Iím just learning and my shots are all over the board. I am using between 16-18 grams of coffee, attempting to use 30 pounds of tamping pressure and shooting for 30 seconds to get a 2.5 oz double, which includes the cap of crema.

I had a hell of time with the tamp. I ended up buying one of those tamping mats that clicks when you reach your adjust pressure. I had to take the silly thing to the gym and use dumbbells to set it for 30 pounds, but it does help some. I still manage to screw up the tamps thoughÖ.

Iíll have to try your sources of beans. Any particular roasts I should try first? Iím really not sure exactly what characteristics I prefer yet. My morning drink is a 16 oz latte. Two double shots of espresso and some combination of flavoring. I usually throw a scoop of white chocolate powder in. On my days off or evenings, I drink latteís without any flavoring or just straight espresso. The one thing I do not like, is a bitter finish.

You tea toddling, crumpet munching, doily making sissies start your own threadÖ. .
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#301880 - 04/14/10 11:18 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Now, that was awesome. \:D Thanks guys.

In my car forum I recently came across someone saying "manual brakes". While I can almost accept manual steering (how else are you going to do it?), but manually operating the brakes makes is pretty hard to see out of the windshield.
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#301882 - 04/14/10 11:32 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
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Well, at the end of the day, when it comes down to it, they are being manually operated via the foot pedal, one assumes without the power enhancement of the engine motor vacuum pressure system.
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#301885 - 04/14/10 11:43 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
ClubNeon Offline
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Did you do that on purpose, "manually operated via the foot pedal"? That's another head exploder there. \:\)
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#301886 - 04/14/10 11:45 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
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Nope, not quite. Glad I did it by accident, though. I figure foot pedal is fairly redundant, but I missed the "manually" bit.
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#301887 - 04/14/10 11:47 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
medic8r Offline
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Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I'm late to the party. Actually saw a patient.

Also from the Department of Redundancy Department: The patient's past history is negative for the HIV virus. She could possibly have PTSD from being held hostage by an armed gunman who was a member of the GOP party. I just finished typing her note on my LCD display. At twelve noon, I break for lunch. Should I have the pizza pie or the tuna fish?
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#301888 - 04/14/10 11:48 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: medic8r]
Ken.C Offline
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Hurray bravo!
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#301891 - 04/14/10 12:06 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
medic8r Offline
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I hope Obama gets re-elected for another term.
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#301892 - 04/14/10 12:09 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: medic8r]
medic8r Offline
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I'm almost done with my research on a universal panacea.

When it hits the market, I'll let you know the UPC code.
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#301894 - 04/14/10 12:28 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: medic8r]
ClubNeon Offline
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Why is it redundant can't it just be dundant?
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#301895 - 04/14/10 12:35 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Wait.







JP saw a patient?
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#301897 - 04/14/10 12:47 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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It was accidental. He ran into him in the hall while he was trying to go to the Olive Garden restaurant.
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#301904 - 04/14/10 01:15 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
medic8r Offline
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Jack, I need to borrow one of your "smileys".

:p
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#301907 - 04/14/10 01:28 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline
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There's a difference between "saw" and "treated"
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#301910 - 04/14/10 01:34 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
Adrian Offline
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I heard JP "sawed" a patient.
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#301916 - 04/14/10 02:36 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
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No. The patient told him to sod off, though.
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#301920 - 04/14/10 02:43 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
medic8r Offline
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And we both thought Superman II was the best of the lot because of General Zod.
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#301946 - 04/14/10 08:21 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
St_PatGuy Offline
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Registered: 03/07/05
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 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

Peter, did you find the Republic before or after I first mentioned it here? They do have such excellent tea though, I've tried other brands since discovering them, but have always come back. I'm done exploring now, and will just stay with them.

The Republic's Green Chai is one of my favorites, but I make it without milk (I simply will not tolerate lactose). Still add sugar, though, that seems to bring out the spices even more.


Well, Chris, I did pick up some Republic of Tea Earl Greyer at my local World Market out here due to your post. I really like it! I need to make a trip back and see what other flavors they have available.
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#301957 - 04/14/10 09:57 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: St_PatGuy]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
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Loc: Canada
All this coffee talk reminds me of my first 'real' coffee in Italy. I was in a business meeting and was offered a coffee. Being a little jet lagged I figured I needed the pick me up.

They brought me an espresso. By the end of the meeting I was so buzzed on caffeine I could hardly concentrate.

I like a good strong American coffee, but I leave the rocket fuel to others.
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#301961 - 04/14/10 10:55 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: fredk]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
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Not a fan of expresso. Not only is it too strong, but it gives you Mega-coffee-breath afterwards.
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#302006 - 04/15/10 10:13 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
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That's why everyone in Europe smokes. It masks the coffee breath.
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#302009 - 04/15/10 10:16 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
Murph Offline
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And why in the Netherlands, everyone smoke weed. It masks the tobacco smell.
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#302076 - 04/15/10 04:49 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
framer2180 Offline
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Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 98
Loc: West Kelowna, BC
A couple things I have discovered. Very important to have a high end grinder. And I have also noticed quite a difference in my grind when I change coffee type. I usually recalibrate when opening a new bag. I use about 14g of ground coffee and should get about 2oz of esspresso in a 23 second pull. If I get more than 2oz my grind is to coarse and less too fine. My experience is there is more tolerance in the tamp than there is in the grind. The 23 seconds is something I read on coffeegeek.com and it has worked well. Pulling longer seems to make the coffee a little bitter. Coffeegeek is a great source and they wont bore you with a bunch a tea talk......

Most good coffee roasters have an espresso blend whick is a dark roast of aribica beans. I try many different roasts and have some personal favorites (Back Cat is very good, Cafe Artigiano in Calgary/Vancouver) but also find Starbucks Espresso blend to be very acceptable.

Hope that helps a bit.

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#302131 - 04/16/10 10:49 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: framer2180]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
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Thanks. I've playing with pull times a bit. I think I like 25 seconds more than 30. Like you mention, the longer extraction time tends to make the shot bitter. Iím not nearly skilled enough with the tamper to target 23. Iím pretty happy if I can get the same grind within 5 seconds.

I'm hesitant to sign up with another forum. I waste way too much time at this one already.

Tea talk is boring, but these guys just need to derail a thread topic. It's a ritual that has to occur for the real discussion to continue. I think it's ran its course.

Iíve been playing around with the idea of roasting my own beans. Looks as if I can get into that without shelling out a bunch of money. Has anyone tried roasting their own beans?
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#302160 - 04/16/10 12:21 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
CV Offline
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 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Has anyone tried roasting their own beans?


That's a bit personal. Of course, it's not as bad as asking about teabagging.

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#302185 - 04/16/10 02:32 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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 Originally Posted By: michael_d
I've playing with pull times a bit.


And I thought THAT was a bit personal.
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#302186 - 04/16/10 02:33 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Iím pretty happy if I can get the same grind within 5 seconds.


Do I really need to say it?
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#302188 - 04/16/10 02:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Offline
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Mike drew a big red target on himself, huh?

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#302194 - 04/16/10 02:59 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
SatKartr Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 608
Loc: Dallas
Roasting beans is easy and the coffee tastes great. You can just roast a few in a fry pan without especially timing them as my wife has to make enough for a pot, although for more precision for your espresso machine and consistent batches you'd want a coffee roaster. We have a coffee roaster and it worked well but I never got around to putting together a proper ventilation system so we haven't used it in a while, you need to vent the smoke out the window with something like a dryer hose, not hard to do, or you can just roast your coffee in the garage with the door open in the summer.

All of the best coffee shops use fresh roasted beans, it makes quite a difference.
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#302197 - 04/16/10 03:11 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: SatKartr]
Adrian Offline
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Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Never tried roasting coffee beans before, but it sounds like a propane/gas barbecue might be usefull there. Keep any smoke outside the house too.
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#302229 - 04/16/10 09:18 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Adrian]
michael_d Offline
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LOL..!! Thanks for the laugh fellas, I needed one doday. Ya, I totally set myself up with this group...
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#302233 - 04/16/10 10:33 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
Adrian Offline
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Registered: 12/27/08
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 Originally Posted By: michael_d
LOL..!! Thanks for the laugh fellas, I needed one doday

I want to laugh too. Does anyone have a doday I can borrow?
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#302396 - 04/19/10 01:26 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
No problem.

As far as getting consistent shots, the best thing to do is just practice.

A good grinder is essential. You can have the best machine, perfectly aged and roasted beans, a precise tamp, and the ghost of Achille Gaggia himself watching over your shoulder, but if the grind is inconsistent, it's all for naught. Get something solid that's a burr grinder. For heaven's sake, no blade grinders. I'm really happy with my Gaggia MDF. I know the Rancillio Rocky is very highly praised as well. I've heard it on a lot of espresso forums - you're better off with a "great" grinder and a mediocre machine than a "great" machine and a mediocre grinder. Don't skimp on the grinder.

Always make sure the machine is hot. Let it heat up all the way (on the "espresso" setting, NOT the "steam" setting) then run at least double-shot's worth of hot water through the brew head before you do any espresso-making.

Assuming you have a good grinder, the best way is to just play. Buy a decent bag of recently roasted (<2 weeks) beans. I actually like my roasts to be a little darker than most "espresso" roasts. French roast is way too dark & oily. I like a "full city +" roast or a "light French roast". The easiest thing to do is to find a local coffee shop and buy a bag of their "house" espresso. It may not be your perfect bean/roast in the end, but it's a good place to start.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.php

Set the grinder to super-fine, and tamp it down hard. Then try to pull a shot. Your espresso machine will choke; pumps straining, but nothing (or just a few drops) of a motor-oil like substance coming from the brewhead. Ick. Too much. Shut it down, throw out the sludge, & dump out the grinds from the portafilter. Now back it way off; loosen the grind up several settings and tamp lightly. Brew again, and you'll get "espresso" that flows like drip coffee, with no crema. Ick. Toss & clean. That's too little.

Somewhere between those extremes lies the key.

Now start adjusting the grind. You want the grind to be pretty fine, but not powdery. If you really want to know, go to a good local espresso shop and buy a bag of beans, and tell them you want them to grind it for you - Espresso grind. When you get home, open it up and feel the grind. Rub it between your fingers and get a feel for it. Now try to duplicate that with your grinder.

When you get something that's like a decent espresso grind, just tamp it. I'm not scientific; I just loosly overfill the double-shot portafilter with grinds (as in, it's heaping above the level of the portafilter, but it's a loose pile of grounds), then level it off with an offset cake-icing knife, then I tamp it down. I give it a good solid press & twist. Just enough to make a nice puck. That's what works for my machine - every machine is different in how they respond to the amount of grounds, pressure, grind, etc.

With some practice, you'll get pulls that are thick, rich, and almost entirely crema. Perfect.

As you pull more shots over the months, you'll key in on more nuances. It becomes easy to tell when your beans are getting old (weaker crema). Or when your roast is too light/dark. And you'll learn that shots quality differs depending on how long the machine's been hot. Stuff like that. But just give it time and lots of practice.

And if you want a specific recomendation for beans... Right now, my #1 pick is the "Red Line Espresso" from Metropolis Coffee:

http://www.metropoliscoffee.com/shop/category/coffee/blends/view/redline-espresso-p1/

Absolutely killer beans, IMHO.

Good luck!

 Originally Posted By: michael_d

Thanks Peter.

Have any tips to share for pulling a consistent shot? Iím just learning and my shots are all over the board. I am using between 16-18 grams of coffee, attempting to use 30 pounds of tamping pressure and shooting for 30 seconds to get a 2.5 oz double, which includes the cap of crema.



Edited by PeterChenoweth (04/19/10 01:35 PM)
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#302401 - 04/19/10 01:56 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
oldskoolboarder Offline
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Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
All good advice from Peter. Get some practice beans before committing to the good stuff. Get your technique down first.

A hot, primed boiler is best to work with. Never pull shots from a cold start. It'll damage your boiler and you won't have the right temp anyways.

A good grinder is key. You'll need to play w/ grind setting, tamper force, and pull timing to get the shot you want. A lot of that is feel (and taste). I started from the Golden Rule (20 to 25 seconds) for the timing. I find that more than 25 seconds means the pull is too bitter, grind is too fine (leading to a longer time), or the tamp is too hard. I have bought some beans that instructed me to a pull of 28 seconds but that's not common.

If you get some beans from a local roaster (or online) ask their recommendation for the time. That should give you a sense.

Happy drinking.

Another tip. It helps to warm up your demitasse cups before pulling the shot into them. You can use the water from the prime cycle too. By preheating the cups, you ensure that you keep the shot warm, rather than letting that heat warm up the cup. Makes a big diff. I learned when I went to Barefoot. They give you a free shot w/ your bean order. I asked for it to go and you would've thought I shot somebody w/ a gun. You never order that to go. You drink it in a piping hot, real cup, just like the Italians.

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#302404 - 04/19/10 02:20 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Peter - I think I have a pretty good grinder. It's a Barista Vario. I bought it after reading this review. http://www.home-barista.com/reviews/baratza-vario-grinder-second-look-t10195.html


Do you guys buy a pound at a time or buy more adn freeze it?
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#302409 - 04/19/10 02:31 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
oldskoolboarder Offline
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Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Whoa, that's fancy. Should be WAY more than fine.

I usually get under a pound, I only do a double shot a day. You never really want to freeze it, it kills the taste and you don't want the defrost moisture getting into the dry beans.

My roaster also recommends grinding a few days after roast, hence why the roast date is on the package. If it sits too long, the taste diminishes. I usually store my beans in a vacuum sealed container and then only grind what I drink, maybe a 1/3 or 1/4 cup of beans.


Edited by oldskoolboarder (04/19/10 02:31 PM)

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#302502 - 04/19/10 08:59 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: pmbuko]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
the La Brea Tar Pits.

EyjafjallajŲkull glacier.
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#302511 - 04/19/10 09:48 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: ClubNeon]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Shipping to Alaska kills me. I went to order a five pound bag of that Red Line and they wanted $47 to ship it to me.

I have a commercial vacuum sealer (for game and fish). Do you think that would help if I froze a few pounds?
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#302572 - 04/20/10 09:42 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Shipping to Alaska kills me. I went to order a five pound bag of that Red Line and they wanted $47 to ship it to me.

I have a commercial vacuum sealer (for game and fish). Do you think that would help if I froze a few pounds?


Didn't know you lived in Alaska. Cool. Yeah, you're probably going to want to focus on local roasters up there. If you live near civilization, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find a good roaster, these days. Perhaps try Anchorage. Shipping at least should be less than from down here in the 48. That Red Line is wonderful, but I don't think I'd pay $50-in-shipping costs either. ;-)

Yes indeed, that looks like a great grinder, as far as I know. I'd be happy with that. :-)

Don't freeze coffee. It freezes the oils in the beans. When those oils thaw, the flavor & brew quality doesn't recover to what it should be. I don't think thawed great beans aren't any better than a tin can of Folgers.

A one-pound bag of beans lasts us about two weeks. So at most, I'll buy two pounds at a time because that's about much as we can drink through before the beans really start to degrade. I keep them in an air-tight glass container, in a cool & dry cubbard. Ideally, I like to just buy one pound at a time so that the bean quality is always near peak.

However, depending on where you live in Alaska, buying frequently might not be an option. And in that case, I really don't know what to tell you in terms of how to store beans long-term. I'd think in that case, your only real option would be to roast them yourself. There's bound to be a thread or two or twelve on some coffee geek forum about this topic. I'd try to find that and see what they say.
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#400886 - 02/11/14 09:24 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Had a great coffee the other day... It was at a little Italian deli that a friend recommended.

I walked in and went to order my usual, quad shot, non-fat latte with a touch of flavoring. I did not notice the words in big letters on the board directly above the order station when I ordered it: "WHOLE MILK ONLY, NO FLAVORING". The young Italian gal first said "WHOLE MILK ONLY".... "OK, I'll try it, but put some vanilla in it". "NO FLAVORING"...."OK, I'll try it". I felt like a real idiot later when I finally saw what was written on the board....

So anyway, embarrassment aside, that was probably the best damn latte I've ever had. I did a little research, and they use some beans imported from Italy, "Intenso" beans. Between the beans and that whole milk, and just a wee bit of raw sugar, wonderful.
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#400891 - 02/11/14 12:27 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406
A good cup of coffee starts with a good brewer.. time it takes to make the brew vs temp... see some of the greatest brewers tested here I have the bonavita... and never looking back
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#400904 - 02/11/14 09:56 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
1sweetspot Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
That could have bean Lavazza Intenso coffee they serve. That brand is one of Italy's most popular.

Not sure if any of you have tried using an Aeropress, but man I'm loving it. I have brewers ranging from Bialetti Mocha Express to French press, to a Rancilio Silvia, even a Tehnivorm Moccamaster, but I use that Aeropress every morning. Best $30 investment I've made in a long time!

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#400905 - 02/11/14 10:50 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
A year ago I researched coffee brewers & grinders for way too long, ha!

The Technivorm seemed to be the one that was universally well liked. It is built like a tank for longevity; however, I chose this one (that had just come to the marketplace) as it was $100 less. It had a lot of neat brewing controls & features that most brewers do not have. Read about it here:

http://www.behmor.com/brazen.php

I run it at 204F with a 1:30 minute pre-soak. It has a 2 year warranty that might be handy as it is processor controlled & it doesn't like really hard water so frequent cleaning is required. Fortunately the water from our glacier here on Vancouver Island is extremely soft so it is happy.

From my research, coffee grinders seem to be problematic; however, I came across this burr grinder at Costco.ca online that has been working flawlessly for over a year:

http://www.costco.ca/Espressione-Professional-Conical-Burr-Coffee-Grinder.product.10338549.html

I generally buy coffee beans from Costco as they have many different varieties & roasts from all over the world at a reasonable price - especially when they go on sale. I mix beans for my own blends that gives a different character every time.

For those who like cappuccino, it's hard to beat this little wonder (uses capsules) that makes a fine exotic after-supper coffee. It's available milk frother is simply superb (it's best to buy it as a combo):

http://www.nespresso.com/pixie/?l=en_US

Great fun...

TAM

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#400909 - 02/12/14 05:14 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: exlabdriver]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406

see the taste test on coffee brewers

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#400933 - 02/12/14 11:45 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: 1sweetspot]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Originally Posted By: 1sweetspot
That could have bean Lavazza Intenso coffee they serve. That brand is one of Italy's most popular.

Not sure if any of you have tried using an Aeropress, but man I'm loving it. I have brewers ranging from Bialetti Mocha Express to French press, to a Rancilio Silvia, even a Tehnivormn Moccamaster, but I use that Aeropress every morning. Best $30 investment I've made in a long time!


No it is Intenso. They have a few different roasts. I found them on Amazon, and plan to try them.

I LOVE the Aeropress. That is what I use if i do not want espresso
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#400939 - 02/12/14 12:43 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
I saw that video some time ago. I use the supplied metal filter with my Brazen & it don't feel that I'm missing anything. Makes me happy in the morning.

It seems that the Technivorm was brewing much hotter than the rest. What is nice with the Brazen, is that one can choose from 190 to 210F. If my Brazen blew up tomorrow, I think that the Technivorm would be my choice despite its odd appearance & higher price.

Coffee taste of course is like taste in speakers - totally subjective. One thing that I found when researching coffee brewing, there is a certain 'coffee snobbery' out there that rivals 'wine snobbery' or 'audio gear snobbery'.

Gives me a headache just reading some of that stuff....

TAM

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#400949 - 02/12/14 03:25 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
I like the look of the Brazen, but lots of people seem to have trouble with it. Thanks for the referral!

I've got an aeropress and I like it, but I feel like it's just a glorified pour-over. By the time you stir it and wait a couple seconds, half of the liquor has already flowed through the filter. I'd like to be able to control the contact time a little better, like with a french press. Suggestions?
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#400951 - 02/12/14 04:18 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
The initial 'A' models had some issues & I had to have mine replaced last fall because the processor seemed to lose its mind.

Behmor's Customer Service was absolutely wonderful (just like Axiom's) & after I had done some troubleshooting with them online, they sent me a brand new 'B' model with shipping included from the US. It has been flawless.

Hard water areas might be problematic though unless cleaning is done regularly...

TAM

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#400952 - 02/12/14 04:29 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Regarding coffee snobery, I know what you are saying. My friends think I'm nuts because of my machines and that I get beans mailed to me, but I am far from being a coffee snob. When I was in Kona last fall, I went to many farms and coffee roasters. Love that Kona coffee, but there's no freeking way I'm spending $40-80 for a pound of beans. And as hard as I tried to taste a diff between peabody beans and regular, I could not.
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#400966 - 02/12/14 06:58 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
A couple of snobbery examples from a coffee review site:

Rich, deep, dark chocolaty. Hints of cedar and perhaps lemon. The mouthfeel is full, perhaps a bit heavy. Clean, simple, rather deep finish. Imparts a sweet, wood-toned chocolate and syrupy mouthfeel to three parts whole milk.

or

Sweet-toned, with distinct floral and fruit Ė mango, apricot Ė notes in aroma and small cup. Very lightly syrupy mouthfeel; the finish is sweet, clean, simple. Fades a bit in three parts milk, though a delicate floral-toned chocolate persists.

Arrgh, I can't stand it.

BTW - 'mouthfeel' is not in the spell checker, ha!...

TAM

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#400973 - 02/12/14 08:14 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
In grappling with this issue among BEER snobs, I have concluded that it is possible that some people have more highly developed palates than I do. I actually think it's pretty likely that some people are able to perceive certain compounds more readily than other people.

But, yeah, I don't get it. And I will not allow that type of language to compromise my enjoyment or the enjoyment of others around me.
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#400974 - 02/12/14 08:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
1sweetspot Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
I usually have to top up the Aeropress with water before the stirring and pressing process as the grounds absord a good portion of the liquid, but I don't think there has ever been more than a 1/2 oz of liquor in my cup when brewing from the "4" mark. Does that happen with the standard issue paper filters or one of the aftermarket metal ones?

on the Technivorm: it works great, but I can see one clear advantage with the Brazen is the shower head. If the coffee is not stirred while brewing with the Techivorm, the coffee is unevenly extracted unfortunately. I would like to try the brew from a Brazen - looks very customizable!

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#400977 - 02/12/14 10:01 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
The standard paper filters. I even tried doubling them.

How about the Bonavita? It seems to be SCAA certified, also. Not customizable like the Brazen, but seems to do about the same thing as the Technivorm for about half the price. America's Test Kitchen liked it. Yes, I'd rather have something built by hand in the Netherlands than something built in China; just not sure how much of a premium I'm willing to pay in this instance. I like the idea of the glass-lined carafe.
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#400983 - 02/12/14 10:31 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
The standard paper filters. I even tried doubling them.

How about the Bonavita? It seems to be SCAA certified, also. Not customizable like the Brazen, but seems to do about the same thing as the Technivorm for about half the price. America's Test Kitchen liked it. Yes, I'd rather have something built by hand in the Netherlands than something built in China; just not sure how much of a premium I'm willing to pay in this instance. I like the idea of the glass-lined carafe.


Have the Bonavita for a over year now, best coffee brewer I ever had, options.. well It takes less than 8 mins to brew so don't really need or miss any digital options, best thing coffee is still hot even after 4 hrs.

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#401005 - 02/13/14 01:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
The SCAA parameters require water temps at the coffee grounds to be 197F/92C to 205F/98C. This is where lesser brewers fail - they just are not hot enough at most altitudes.

The Brazen preheats the water in the top reservoir to the desired/set temp, opens the valve for 15 secs, closes for the set pre-soak time & then opens the valve again until it empties through the coffee & turns itself off. This morning, just for laughs, I cranked up my Brazen from 204F to 206F. No difference in taste but it was slightly hotter to the tongue (mouthfeel?)...

TAM


Edited by exlabdriver (02/13/14 01:38 PM)

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#401012 - 02/13/14 07:28 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
1sweetspot Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
What type of water do you use for the Aeropress? Is it distilled? RO? Filtered tap? It may make a difference in how fast it passes through the filter.

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#401013 - 02/13/14 07:36 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
Filtered tap water. Like Tom, our water is very soft and quite good.
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#401014 - 02/13/14 08:42 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I like the look of the Brazen, but lots of people seem to have trouble with it. Thanks for the referral!

I've got an aeropress and I like it, but I feel like it's just a glorified pour-over. By the time you stir it and wait a couple seconds, half of the liquor has already flowed through the filter. I'd like to be able to control the contact time a little better, like with a french press. Suggestions?

Tom. I use a poor mans French press: my trusty 2 cup pyrex measuring cup and a permanent (metal) filter. Paper absorbs a lot of the oils that give a good coffee its flavour and texture.

I boil the water in the measuring cup (microwave) giving it a quick stir to bring the temp down below boiling before dumping in the ground coffee. I stir in the grounds and let it steep for about 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Pour through the filter and enjoy!

There are two key things in my coffee: fresh roast beans a (between 4 and 7 days post roast and consumed within a week) and a good grinder.

For a grinder you want something that does not make a lot of fines or you end up with a lot of crud in the bottom of the cup. The best hand grinder out there is the Lido by Orphan Espresso, but it may be more than you want to spend to work at grinding coffee. You can get recommendations for a good electric burr grinder, but expect to pay in the $300+ range to get something that does not make a mess of the coffee.

Being in Seattle, you are in the Mecca of fresh roast beans. You can probably wander into at least a dozen places that roast their own and sample various beans and roasts.

I have found a local source of an Ethiopian Yergacheffe that makes a stunningly good light roast. I get a strong black current flavour from it. No shit!! I'm not one for high brow descriptions of things, but there is no doubt in my mind what I taste.

Its a lot more than your local grocery store coffee, but to me its worth that amazing flavour.
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#401021 - 02/13/14 10:38 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
I usually get my beans from Paradise Roasters. They have flat rate shipping of $3.49 priority mail for any order under 15 pounds, and I get them within a week of placing the order. Good price on many of their roasts. As I pull shots of espresso, I usually just get their Espresso Nuevo. http://www.paradiseroasters.com/espresso-nuevo/

They have several other roasts too. Their medium roast Sumatra Danau Toba is excellent for drip coffee, and pretty good for espresso too.

I've ordered some different roasts from Stumptown Roasters (down there is Tom's area), and they were quite good too, but the shipping costs made it prohibitive.
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#401027 - 02/14/14 01:20 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
1sweetspot Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
That might be the difference. The water here is quite hard. My machines need to be descaled fairly often. Maybe try using spring water with more minerals than your tap water to see if that gives you more contact time?

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#401530 - 02/28/14 01:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
I'm not a coffee drinker but i did have this once in my hotel room one morning because i was thirsty.
Does that count?


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#401618 - 03/03/14 09:29 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
For the Aeropress guys.... Stumptown Roasters just posted an article on their blog with usage tips. http://stumptowncoffee.com/news/
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#402729 - 04/09/14 11:46 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
I figured out my aeropress process problem - turn it upside down for the steep portion of the program like in this article from Serious Eats



ALSO, repurchased a french press and have been using that a lot lately. Previous versions suffered from unfortunate fates, usually involving loud noises, swearing and hazardous cleanup.

I've really been enjoying the french press a lot. Our instant hot water thing puts out "only" about 190F, so I've become convinced that controlling the steep time is more important than higher temperature. In my kitchen, anyway.
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#402735 - 04/09/14 12:44 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1269
Loc: Quebec, Canada
Nespresso has recently come out with a new system, the "VertuoLine".

anyone here tried it yet?
what do you think about it, compared to their "OriginalLine" machines or by itself.

i have one of their "OriginalLine" machines;
the coffee is excellent, but sometimes the same coffee grind
gives varying results.
maybe the new machines have more consistency...
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#402737 - 04/09/14 12:53 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Our instant hot water thing puts out "only" about 190F, so I've become convinced that controlling the steep time is more important than higher temperature. In my kitchen, anyway.

Stop being so ignorant, Tom. I've been brewing coffee for decades and everything I've ever read on the subject says that your brewing water should first touch your grounds at 205 degrees F. I can provide a table with conversions for different altitudes if anyone needs it.
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#402742 - 04/09/14 01:13 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6390
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
But, I like my coffee different than most people. I looked at the specs and everything, but they don't seem to apply to my personal situation. I live in a castle with very damp walls that greatly affect the ambient humidity of water. Can't I just enjoy my coffee the way I like it?
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#402743 - 04/09/14 01:14 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10876
Loc: Central NH
No.


No you can't.


Ignorant Bastard.
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#402746 - 04/09/14 01:31 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
JB:

I've been using my Nespresso Pixie for over a year now & until it blows up, I can't see any reason to upgrade. My daughter has 1 also & we both luv the simplicity & quality of the Pixie - made in Switzerland of course.

The new model looks much more complicated with it reading bar codes on the capsules, so that seems to have a bit too much technology for me.

Just ordered 30 sleeves of capsules (Ristretto, Intensity 10, 10/sleeve) that should last me a year of nightly cappuccinos...

TAM

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#402747 - 04/09/14 02:06 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1269
Loc: Quebec, Canada
300 will last you a year !!!
i use up around 6 a day: 4 for me, and 2 for the GF; sometimes a bit more.

maybe you'll call me an extremist, ha!
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or: Axiom Gallery

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#402750 - 04/09/14 02:31 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
I drink regular coffee during the day - my own blends, freshly ground, from a variety of Costco's interesting imports.

I normally have only 1 cappuccino after supper every evening...

TAM

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#402760 - 04/09/14 07:36 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
1sweetspot Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Funny...I was just going to mention inverting the Aeropress! When I was in Colombia that was how it was used. I never thought of using it that way before though.

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#402761 - 04/09/14 07:54 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: medic8r]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: medic8r
But, I like my coffee different than most people...

As long as you know its not normal to eat instant coffee by the tablespoon...
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#402770 - 04/09/14 08:59 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
It's normal for me!
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