1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Coffee: Intermediate to Advanced

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

  1. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are a lot of tangents between the existing coffee threads, so I thought I'd try this instead of starting just a home roasting thread.
    I've looked at alt.coffee, but it seems like almost all discussions go better among this group than in that jungle which is Usenet.
    My gadget addiction has merged with my caffeine addiction to form a superaddiction of sorts. I'm progressing through grinders, roasters and coffeemakers to feed my habits. In an alarmingly short time, I've gone from canned coffee and an automatic drip machine to a delightful array of toys to produce a decadent brew.
    My present armamentum:
    Roasters:
    Zach & Dani's roaster for small batches. It's nice in that it doesn't produce much smoke, so I can use it under the range hood without even opening a window.
    Gene Cafe roaster for larger batches and when I can manage a bit more smoke. It's faster and more adjustable than the Z&D. I just got it and I'm really early in the learning curve.
    My roasts are slowly improving. The freshness of home roasting is nice, the control over numerous variables is cool, but mostly it's just fun.
    Grinder:
    Refurb Solis Maestro Plus. It does a good job for my occasional serving of drip coffee, and to grind beans for my fix at work. Awfully messy though, due to a lot of static.
    Coffeemaker:
    (drumroll) Jura-Capresso S7 Avantgarde superautomatic. OK, now I've gone too far, but sometimes I just have to treat myself to a small taste of how the other half lives. It took a 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and all of my Discover points to bring the price down to "insane", but I really like this contraption.
    Beans:
    I'm feeling my way on blending beans. I haven't yet hit on a blend to rival Intelligentsia Black Cat (or a fresh bag Starbucks House Blend for that matter) My base beans have usually been Columbia Huila Especial and Sumatra Mandheling. I'm developing a taste for the fine Arabicas, but wouldn't mind keeping a little bit of the bite of cheaper coffees, so I'm starting to mix in some Robusta beans.
    So, how about it? Do we have enough caffeine freaks to support a thread about roasting, grinding and preparing coffee at the next level?
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    No roasting for me, but I do own a Saeco Italia Superauto and grind my own for the ocasional pot of drip. Have tried a few types of beans, but always come back to the Trader Joe's Italian Roast. It's smooth, strong and has character (plus it's not extremely expensive). For drip, I go with my old standby - Dunkin' Donuts whole bean. Nothing I've tasted is a better drip coffee (YMMV), and I've tried them all. Though admittedly, I'm in no way an "advanced" type; my consumption is gastronomic only, not hobbyist. Kind of like the difference between a beer drinker and a beer brewer.[​IMG]
     
  3. EugeneR

    EugeneR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2000
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    For coffee, you're going to be hard-pressed to find better than Peete's, any type, if it is around in your town. As far as the static with the Solis Maestro, let the grinder sit for a couple of minutes after you grind instead of taking out the coffee compartment right away. The static electricity seems to dissipate considerably.
     
  4. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool, I've got a few more beans to try.
    I've only been able to pay and read my way to what I'd call an "intermediate" level so far. I've never handcrafted a "real" espresso (not that I really want to, the less work and mess the better, as far as I'm concerned) I've learned quite a bit about roasting just recently, but I've got a lot of reading, practicing, and drinking my mistakes ahead.
     
  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    I've drawn a "real" espresso from a few different manual machines, and while the quality difference is there (you can't get a true mahogany tinged crema from a superauto), the learning curve is steep and it is time consuming and messy. My superauto takes 2 minutes to heat up and one button to push - My kind of machine for close to 80% of a manual's quality draw. I'll take that for the time saved. Plus, my Saeco froths milk like a professional (no "EZ Froth" tip, just a straight tube), so if I want milk, I'm good to go.
    As far as the static in the grinder, I've read that the KitchenAid I listed in the other thread has no static because the hopper and receiver are glass (the more I think about it, the more I'm convincing myself to get that KitchenAid instead of my Cuisinart cheapie[​IMG] ).
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Central Market (major Texas cities) has an outstanding selection of beans from various places and roasted to different degrees. You can create your own blends from these(as you could anywhere) and they also have several of their own blends).
    Illy is considered by many (well many Italians) to have the best espresso available. Not owning an espresso machine, I am content to sip this at a couple of my local Italian restaurants.
     
  7. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    My previous experience with espresso was with a cheap steam machine or murky, bitter (almost) crunchy style from a local cafe. I never thought I'd like straight espresso and figured I'd use it from the S7 to make Americanos, lattes, and caps. That and homemade coffee ice cream.
    Much to my surprise, I'm really enjoying the espresso from this thing. I get plenty of authentic, mottled crema. Nothing close to a 25(ish) second pull, but once in a while it jumps from its usual 10(ish) seconds to the low 20s.
    I really like Black Cat. I've also roasted green beans of Malabar Gold from Coffee Wholesalers and Liquid Amber from SweetMarias.com (lots of good info there) These roasts came out pretty good. I went a little darker on the MG than I intended, but it's good in the cup. I've got some roasted MG on order to see how it should look when it's done.
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    5,778
    Likes Received:
    508
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    I was wondering if you use the Black Cat for regular coffee or just for expresso. I was taking a look at the Inteligentsia site and they do have a variety of coffee to choose from. That El Diablo Dark Roast looked interesting too.
     
  9. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    5,778
    Likes Received:
    508
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    "Holy Mr. Coffee it's not, Batman!" I just did a search on your machine, looks wonderful.
    I kinda looks like the Inteligensia site is selling beans whose primary purpose is expresso. Maybe we'll try the house blend.
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,945
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Rise, RISE from the GRAVE thread!
    With my new home I'm gearing up for some new coffee experimentation.
    I settled on my new brew pot, the Technivorm MoccaMaster:
    http://www.amazon.com/Technivorm-Moccamaster-Coffee-Brewer-Thermo/dp/B002S4DI2S/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1335549287&sr=1-1
    This thing ROCKS. It is so cool to watch it in operation, like a work of tech art, AND it brews some of the best tasting drip coffee I've ever had.
    Today tho, I take it to a new level. I have had my eye on getting a home Espresso machine for a while and finally bit on the one I really wanted to try, the Breville Dual Boiler:
    http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BES900XL-Automatic-Espresso-Machine/dp/B005I722YC/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1335549406&sr=1-1
    CRAZY expensive but should last me a lifetime.
    I've got my conical burr grinder set to go as soon as I get home and will make my first batch. Going to go with a local NJ bean for the first run, Rook Roasters Flores:
    http://www.rookcoffeeroasters.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=flores
    Got a few other varieties to try out (even a few bags of whole bean Starbucks! :cool: ) and experiment with this weekend, will report back how it goes.
     
  12. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,281
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    My coffee wonk friend swears by his AeroPress.
     
  13. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    5,372
    Likes Received:
    467
    I love my AeroPress. Inexpensive, easy to clean, and it doesn't take up much room.
    I have a small electric kettle that I use to heat the water, and since I brew a single cup - water temperature isn't an issue.
    - Walter...
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I used a French Press and an inexpensive grinder for several years, for my morning coffee. And for a while, I kept it at work, taking in ground coffee. I could make a good coffee with the break room microwave in the afternoon. But last Fall I switched to a Keurig. It is so much easier and faster. And I can make a decaf on a Saturday afternoon; or a nice Camimille tea in the evening before going to bed. But I'm concerned about the build quality of the Keurig.

    A friend also swears by his Aeropress. He's explained to me that he makes a week's worth of Aeropress pre-coffee, and then dilutes a cup at a time each day, reheating before leaving for work.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,945
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    First run last night was tasty but no crema to be seen. Dialed in the Espresso perfectly on 2nd shot, iced latte it is this AM!
    http://thebestcamera.com/DSCwT
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I misread your post, and didn't realize you actually bought the $1000 expresso machine!

    I now have to visit, see your house, enjoy a latte. :)
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,945
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    C'mon over! And we don't mess around, this is a $1_6_00 dollar espresso machine, but yeah, I got a major discount so close to $1k ;) Felt like a dumbass ordering it but I figure if it saves me on 2 starbucks a week it pays for itself in 2 years =p
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I've got a Keurig and like the occasional White Chocoloate Mochas at Starbucks. I'm not going to critique per-cup coffee costs ;)
     
  19. Jim_F

    Jim_F Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im still enjoying the Jura. I am seriously hooked on the Espresso Toscano from Counter Culture Coffee. At work, I've joined the (Keurig) Pod People. So far my favorite K-cups are the Newman's Own Organics Special Blend (Extra Bold)
    I still roast some coffee, but not very often.
    Very nice looking machine there, Sam!
     
  20. MrsMac

    MrsMac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    We buy Peet's coffee (already ground) and use it in our AeroPress. Wonderful coffee. I also have a Krup's 12C brewer that we use when we have company, and hubby prefers to use it on the mornings when he's first up. If he's making the coffee and toast, I don't complain - just enjoy. :D
     

Share This Page