Coffee: Intermediate to Advanced

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jim_F, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I can easily tell that the espresso I pull from my $2000 dual boiler machine is superior in taste and consistency to what I could pull from my $700 machine. I can tell that the $800 burr grinder I now have yields more finely ground espresso for my shot, yielding a smoother extraction, than my old $300 grinder.

    However I can also tell that the drink made from $2,000 titan grinder and a $20,000 two-group espresso machine from Intelligentsia and Blue Bottle are better than the drinks I make at home. But on an absolute scale, the jump from my entry-level to enthusiast-level home setup yielded a vast, dramatic improvement. The jump in taste quality from my enthusiast-level setup to truly professional level setup is not as pronounced. Certainly not enough to warrant spending nearly 10X as much (unless I win the Powerball, of course).

    I think it's wise to spend as much as you can, within reason, if it's for something you care passionately about. For brew/pourover coffee, my palette is much less refined, so yeah, I do tend to agree with the marco.org article. My french press and toddy (for iced coffee) suit me just fine, no need for that crazy goose-necked, pourover system with strictly timed concentric pours of hot water over...eh never mind. :D
     
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  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Tonx and Blue Bottle are merging!
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Wow, I guess Blue Bottle is starting to really use up that venture capital money. They also acquired Handsome Coffee (and I have been loving their Dapper espresso blend recently).

    http://la.eater.com/archives/2014/04/07/blue_bottle_seizing_handsome_coffee_in_arts_district.php

    If they discontinue the Handsome brand I'll be a little sad. Ironic, though, since Handsome was started by three ex-Intelligentsia employees. I guess Blue Bottle really is trying to be the Apple to Bucks' Microsoft...
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Haha I saw that on Coffeegeek. If they ever get a model that can also steam, I might be interested in maybe a second machine for the office.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    ^^^^

    It's a temporary stop, I'll give it that...

    ...but in time, as with everything else, pirates look at the mechanisms
    in place and find new ways to get around them.

    On another note...

    Bought my second bag of Rook coffee.

    The first was months ago. It was Sumatra, their darkest blend. Surprisingly,
    it was nowhere as overpowering as my regular Starbucks bean coffee is. Much
    smoother. I was really afraid to go that dark -- but it was a walk in the park.

    This time out I tried their Costa Rican coffee. Again, very smooth. Kind of a
    sweet finish to it.

    It's expensive coffee -- even compared to the Starbucks beans I buy at the local
    price club. However, I do find it to be a more soothing cup of coffee that isn't
    overpowered.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    If you like Sumatra you are gonna LOVE Flores!
     
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    This past Saturday was personal vindication for my investment! I had a few friends and colleagues over for the second World Cup game. I met a few people for the first time (boyfriends of female coworkers) who were into coffee. Like way into coffee. They were recent L.A. transplants from elsewhere and knew of roasters I'd never heard of. Furthermore they preferred to drink espresso straight, whereas I make lattes and mochas personally, so I was not at all confident in my ability to make what espresso connoisseurs would appreciate.

    Anyway, long story short, I made a half-dozen drinks, all of which were met with glowing reviews and several asked for seconds by the end of the match. The Vetrano V2B kept up with demand and was able to recharge between drinks just fine. I made the first six in about 10 minutes (two were lattes, one americano, three double shot ristrettos) and the coffee gods were kind, the amount of crema was beautiful, and the shots tasted fantastic according to those who had them.

    Now a few want to come back for a future "coffee date" where they offered to order and bring in different roasts for all of us to sample! It's always good to see an investment pay off! It's akin to the feeling I had when I first built my home theater, and the response it garnered from friends who were amazed at what they saw and heard.
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm dying for a HTF meet just to get a taste! =)
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Why is adding butter all that different than adding cream?
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Salt?
     
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    The recipe said to use unsalted butter.
     
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  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Got my nomad in a few weeks ago and finally got an electric kettle (Cuisinart) capable of getting the water temperature just right. Made my first portable espresso at work and built it into an unflavored latte just now. Tasted pretty damn good to me!
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm out of beans and 150 miles from Rook, gotta order something, thinking of another batch of Klatch's World's best. Got any better recs before I do Carlo? I don't mind shipping if the beans are worth while. Keep in mind I like chocolately tastes over fruity and I am all about big Crema.
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    You know I love me the Direct Trade Black Cat Espresso from Intelligentsia (note: NOT the Organic Black Cat). The standard Black Cat has those chocolatey/sweet notes you're looking for. Not sure what they charge for shipping. I've had Klatch WB, Handlebar, and a bunch of other internet-only companies that places like coffeegeek and home-barista recommend. But I always find myself returning to Intelligentsia Black Cat (even over the organic and their single-origin varieties). The only other espresso blend I've thought gave Black Cat a run for its money is a seasonal offering from Intelligentsia called Sugar Glider (not currently offered).


    I have not had the opportunity to try Intelligentsia's Analog Espresso, which they say is "full bodied dark chocolate balanced". It's like the Yeti of Intelligentsia blends. Rumored to exist, but rarely seen.
     
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  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Regarding crema, I find that to be a combination of making optimal grind, dose and tamp settings, as well as age of bean. I find I get the most/best crema starting about 3-4 days after the roast date, and lasting about one week past that. Then it tapers off and anything that's really 2+ weeks past roast date won't get you the same crema as during that sweet spot. Anything after a month is really stale tasting to me.
     
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  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yeah well since I have at most 3-5 espressos per week it is hard for me to use good beans that quickly. Ordered a 12oz Black Cat classic. If it stinks I'm blaming you =p
     

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