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Please help me make good coffee at home


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#91 nickrey

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

Matt, I thought you must have misplaced the decimal in your post. Most likely you are talking about French Press rather than espresso but I thought you used a Rancilio so I'm confused. When I make coffee with my Miss Silvia, I always use a double basket which when properly filled takes around 30g (or 1 oz). This makes two espresso shots of around 30g each. So a traditional espresso uses 15g coffee per oz, not 1.5. My personal favourite is to use the double basket and pull a ristretto (around 20g) which means 30g of coffee to make a 20g (2/3 oz) coffee. The main reason for drinking ristretto is that you can avoid sugar as the bulk of the bitterness comes in the second part of the pour (check it by pouring 20g in one cup and the last 10g in another and comparing taste).

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#92 mkayahara

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

mkayahara -
Where does it come from? It's what I use. It's what we serve. And people like it.

Oh, I don't doubt that at all! I'm just wondering whether it's been empirically shown that people like 2g/oz better than, say, 1.7g/oz or 2.2g/oz?

Bear in mind that weight is only one variable. Grind is just as important, as is water temp and brew time. On top of all that, coffee freshness and roast profile are important factors.

Your best bet is to experiment with a baseline standard. Find some really great, quality coffee that's fresh and give it a try. Make sure your water temp is proper and the grind is right and you're on your way.

Sure, this is certainly the case. For what it's worth, I'm roasting my own coffee once or twice a week (from Sweet Maria's, lately), grinding immediately before brewing in a Baratza Maestro Plus, using just-off-the-boil water (I've measured it at about 205F, though sometimes I stop it as low as 195F, before it reaches the boil), and brewing for 4 minutes in a French press.

And is 24 grams really that much more expensive? Let's presume you're buying coffee at $17/lb. The cost difference between 19g v. 24g is nineteen cents. The yield difference between the two is 24 cups v. 19 cups per pound.

Wait, what? What I'm saying is that I currently use about 1 gram per oz of finished coffee, so the price difference of going from there to 2 grams per ounce is approximately double. My standard morning routine consists of making a 1.5-litre French press which, at $17/lb, would cost about $1.87 a day the way I make it now, but $3.74 a day if I doubled the amount of ground coffee going into it. To me, that's a pretty substantial difference, though maybe I would end up just cutting back on my consumption.

But really, the most important thing is taste. Find the ratio that works for you. It's that simple.

And I'm pretty comfortable enjoying the ratio that I use. I was just curious as to why it's so far off what appears to be a "standard" ratio.

Matt, I thought you must have misplaced the decimal in your post. Most likely you are talking about French Press rather than espresso but I thought you used a Rancilio so I'm confused. When I make coffee with my Miss Silvia, I always use a double basket which when properly filled takes around 30g (or 1 oz). This makes two espresso shots of around 30g each. So a traditional espresso uses 15g coffee per oz, not 1.5. My personal favourite is to use the double basket and pull a ristretto (around 20g) which means 30g of coffee to make a 20g (2/3 oz) coffee. The main reason for drinking ristretto is that you can avoid sugar as the bulk of the bitterness comes in the second part of the pour (check it by pouring 20g in one cup and the last 10g in another and comparing taste).

Yeah, I was talking about French press. Sadly, my espresso machine is sub-par (it's a Saeco Aroma, sold in the US as a Classico, I think), so I'm not really working with standard dosages for it. I just play with the ratios that work for the equipment I've got.
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#93 abooja

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:38 AM

I've owned a French press for years, but haven't used it since I lived in Queens six years and four moves ago. I wanted to give it another shot, since my drip and pourover experiments have been lackluster, but discovered a minor fracture in its base. Instead, I repurposed an Adagio ingenuiTEA 16 ounce teapot, purchased during a brief flirtation with loose tea. I must say, it works pretty darn well as a makeshift French press. I grind more coarsely (the finest of the Capresso's coarse settings), and use about 23 grams of coffee and 14 ounces of water. Four minute steep. The resulting cup has a lot more body and flavor than what I've been getting out of the Technivorm. I don't think I'll bother again with drip unless I'm brewing for more than one.

#94 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

After a few half-arsed attempts at using a French press and a 'coffee/tea pot' from the supermarket I've quickly achieved success with the AeroPress, a burr grinder and a pid-controlled kettle (prior to getting the kettle I was using my induction cooktop to quickly and reliably bring the water to 80C without me needing to stand there with a probe, something that's just not any fun at all early in the morning).
  • Measure 20 grams of coffee beans (of late I've been trying different varieties of single origin from Jasper's, purely because one of their larger outlets is close to home. Once I exhaust their range of single origins I'll look into ordering coffee from elsewhere.
  • Grind in Sunbeam conical burr grinder. I tend to grind it coarsely, altho' I'm yet to settle on a specific setting. At some point I might make a few cups, each ground on a different setting (there are 24 or 25 settings all up, iirc) and see if one is noticeably superior to the others.
  • Spoon into Aeropress and operate according to the instructions (which are exactly the same as the Modernist Cuisine ones: it's just that the MC guys measure their coffee by weight and the Aeropress booklet speaks in terms of volume).
  • Compost the grounds. Consume coffee. You are now ready to fight gorillas. Or teach grade ones.
For me this meets, exactly, the requirements I had when I wanted to make my own coffee at home. Namely I wanted it to be very good (equal, in my eyes, to what I'd get at my old regular) but not involve too much fucking around, either when brewing or cleaning up. The Aeropress basically cleans itself. The burr grinder, which is easily disassembled, is also very easy to clean. You hit a button to drop the burrs out and then the rest of the unit can be washed normally.

Edited by ChrisTaylor, 16 January 2013 - 03:13 PM.

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#95 weinoo

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

Chris,
Welcome to nerd coffee land.

I think you get better results from an aero with a finer grind, but to each his own. That said, and this is from someone who has been "brewing" my own coffee at home for a long time, I'm not a huge fan of the aeropress.

I can understand your frustation with the French press, but I suggest you get and try a pour-over set up, just to see how you like it compared to the aero. You can probably pick up a Melitta for $25 or a Chemex for $50, and imo either is well worth the price - especially since you seem to have a grinder dialed in as well as a kettle. If you really want to join the hipster coffee generation, you'd best move to the Hario world...because, you know, Japanese people have been brewing coffee forever.

As for the aeropress "cleaning itself," I find that anything that comes into contact with coffee in any way, shape or form (i.e grounds or brewed) eventually needs to be cleaned by someone other than itself! My aeropress has gotten mucky over the years at the plunger and is virtually uncleanable.

And really, do we need MC to teach us how to brew coffee at this point in our existence?
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#96 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

I'll try a finer grind then. I simply went with the advice I'd received elsewhere. Very fine?

When I say that it cleans itself it means that I can just rinse it and leave it on the counter to dry.

If I was to get another toy, tho', well, I've been coveting a siphon setup ...

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#97 weinoo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:55 AM

I'll try a finer grind then. I simply went with the advice I'd received elsewhere. Very fine?

When I say that it cleans itself it means that I can just rinse it and leave it on the counter to dry.

If I was to get another toy, tho', well, I've been coveting a siphon setup ...


As for fineness of the grind, I go somewhere between espresso grind and fine-drip grind.

I totally understand that the aeropress claims it cleans itself - but even with plain rinsing, coffee oils will eventually build up on the inside of the unit and all over the black/rubber end of the plunger.

As far as the siphon setup goes, well, I've got no problem with that either...
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#98 mkayahara

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:20 AM

I just got a coffee siphon recently, and I love it. I don't use it every morning, because it's more of a hassle than my French press, but I do love the coffee it produces.

I'm curious about cleaning coffee oils, though: what do people use? Do we just accept that anything made out of plastic is a lost cause after a period of time?
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#99 rotuts

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

I've referenced this vid somewhere, cant recall. here it is again:



Tom from Sweet Maria's is always fun to watch. pay attention as he can be quite droll !

#100 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:55 AM


I recommend 2 grams of ground coffee per finished ounce. Meaning: if you are brewing a 12 ounce cup you use 24 grams of coffee.


Where does this number come from? This isn't the first place I've heard it, but it's about twice the strength I've been making my coffee at. When I tried a cup the other day at this ratio (20 grams of ground coffee for a 10-ounce cup), I found it to be unpleasantly intense. (Not bitter, just very strong.) Not to mention how expensive it is! Even the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends only 1.6 grams per ounce in the cupping guidelines. So what gives?


This seems to be the new thing in North American coffee brewing -- using way more coffee/cup than in the past. I find most coffees now much too strong. It drives me crazy.

#101 weinoo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:46 AM

I just got a coffee siphon recently, and I love it. I don't use it every morning, because it's more of a hassle than my French press, but I do love the coffee it produces.

I'm curious about cleaning coffee oils, though: what do people use? Do we just accept that anything made out of plastic is a lost cause after a period of time?


I use Cafiza, by Urnex. I love using it in a glass thermos, which sparkles afterwards.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
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#102 Baselerd

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

Regardless of what method you use to brew your coffee, you must get good quality beans (not ground). I like the brand Ruta Maya if you can get your hands on it.

#103 weinoo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

Regardless of what method you use to brew your coffee, you must get good quality beans (not ground). I like the brand Ruta Maya if you can get your hands on it.


You also need good quality water, but I think those points have been established.

As far as "brands" of beans, I'm sure that's based on where one is located, who the local roasters and what their standards are.

Or, get good green beans and roast 'em at home.
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#104 henry.hernandez45

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:02 AM

The best way is to buy a good coffee maker instead of making it yourself. It reduces efforts and time and tastes really good!



#105 donaldosborne78

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:26 AM

Coffee maker it's the must have if you are a coffee fan.


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#106 Allura

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 06:40 AM

I've gone to a very simple but tasty setup: french press + medium-dark roast coarse ground in a hand grinder. I don't have the counter space for a fancy machine and don't really like espresso anyway. Lately my coffee of choice is TJ's Tarazzo. I used to get Kona but decided it's too sweet and light. Oh, and have to have a bit of milk in there.


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#107 dcarch

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:33 AM

I have a convection rotisserie roaster oven, so I use two inexpensive sieves and make myself a very nice green bean roaster. Can roast up to a pound. 

 

dcarch

 

coffeeroaster.jpg

 

 



#108 rotuts

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

outside?   :biggrin:



#109 dcarch

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:15 AM

Inside.

 

Nothing flying around like using a pop corn popper.

 

dcarch



#110 rotuts

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:28 PM

nothing beets home roast with good quality green beans



#111 weinoo

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:01 PM

The best way is to buy a good coffee maker instead of making it yourself. It reduces efforts and time and tastes really good!

 

What?

 

Coffee maker it's the must have if you are a coffee fan.

 

What?


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#112 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:49 AM

I finally bought a French press ($5 at the thrift!) and love the coffee. It really does make a difference over my old drip method.

But how do you all dispose of the used grounds? Just down the drain? I used to compost the grounds but getting them dry enough now to go in my pail seems like an annoying extra step.

#113 redolivemartini

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:12 AM

If you're feeling lazy sometimes (which I often do), a travel French press mug is the way to go!

 

  1. Heat your water to boiling (take it off the heat and wait 30 seconds before pouring over your coffee)
  2. Grind your beans using any kind of grinder, burr might be best on a coarse grind
  3. Dump the ground coffee into your travel mug (~$20), something like this: http://www.zappos.co...s&zfcTest=fcl:3
  4. Pour the slightly cooled hot water over the ground coffee- at this point you cover the mug and you can be on your merry way to work
  5. Wait 4 minutes, then press the coffee grinds down


#114 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:12 AM

I finally bought a French press ($5 at the thrift!) and love the coffee. It really does make a difference over my old drip method.

But how do you all dispose of the used grounds? Just down the drain? I used to compost the grounds but getting them dry enough now to go in my pail seems like an annoying extra step.

 

We just pour them down the drain. So far it hasn't clogged either our drain pipes or our septic tank.



#115 rotuts

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:17 AM

they don't need to be dry to hit the pail.



#116 scubadoo97

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:18 AM

nothing beets home roast with good quality green beans



Totally agree
I've been home roasting for over 10 yrs now. Still using my stircazy/turbo oven combo

#117 NewFoodie

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:29 AM

• Make sure your coffee making equipment is as clean as possible.

• Use Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans (preferably from the Mavis Bank Coffee

  Factory).

• Use a medium-light roast.  (Preferably buy the beans green and roast them yourself.)

• Use 2 tablespoons of unground beans per 6-ounce cup.

• Use a rough grind.  (Preferably grind the beans yourself, using a burr grinder, rather

  than a blade grinder.)

• Make sure the beans are roasted, ground, brewed and consumed in as rapid succes-

  sion as possible.

• Use distilled water heated to 205ºF.

• Steep the grinds for 4 or 5 minutes.

• Extract the coffee from the grinds using a French press or the SoftBrew method.

• Stir the coffee, but leave it “black”.  (Don’t add cream, sugar, or anything else to it.)

• Serve immediately in a preheated glass or porcelain mug.

 

I've been doing this for about two months (except roasting the beans myself), and in my experience, this is as good as it gets.



#118 weinoo

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:15 AM

It's nice that that's the best coffee you've ever had.

 

But there are plenty of other methods to brew great coffee.  And plenty of other great beans to be had.

 

And I take issue with this statement:

Make sure the beans are roasted, ground, brewed and consumed in as rapid succession as possible.

 

 

Since roasted coffee should be gassed out for a day or two, in m opinion.


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#119 Shel_B

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 06:31 AM

There are many, many roasters, beans, and roasting techniques, as well as a variety of palates and brewing techniques.  Personally, for example, I find Jamaican Blue Mountain rather insipid.

 

Here's a site that may be helpful on your "quest for the best,"  http://www.sweetmarias.com/store/ which is only one of many similar sites.  I am familiar with the company and many of the bean varieties they sell.  The site is well worth a visit if you're a coffee drinker and aficionado.


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.... Shel


#120 NewFoodie

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 06:52 AM

...roasted coffee should be gassed out for a day or two, in m opinion.

 

I don't know anything about this.  What can you tell me about it?