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  1. This week I read Rebecca and watched the Goods Eats episode on tea. Between the two, I am seriously wanting to begin a daily tea ritual. I find the idea of 'afternoon tea' very smart. I am generally a coffee drinker. I need the pick me up 3-4 times a day. I am a little sensitive to caffeine though. I find that my very strong cups in the afternoon make me too jittery. I also get very hungry around 3-4. This makes it difficult to do all my cooking for supper. So...I would love the slow gentle lift of tea that Alton discussed. As well as a scone or cake to pick me up everyday. I would love suggestions on tea pots, water kettles, as well as online sites to buy good loose leaf tea. Are cast iron pots like Staub the best? I am headed to the Austin/San Marcos area in a couple of weeks. I plan to go to the high tea at Keria Teas in Round Rock. I can't wait. Thank you for any help.
  2. I'm trying to make this coffee geletin and creme, and the coffee flavor is too harsh. I am using a Pasquini espresso machine and Starbucks/Costco beans, fresh ground. Is there a way to make strong coffee that is smoother, more suitable for a dessert like this? Maybe instant coffee/espresso?
  3. There is a little coffee shop in Tulsa called Doubleshot Coffee where they roast their own beans and have developed a loyal local clientel. Now, they are being told that they have to cease and desist using doubleshot in their name and on any of their materials. Apparently, Starbucks has decided that they own the name Doubleshot. A local television station is following the story closely. The lawyer for Doubleshot replies that According to Starbucks So does Starbucks really own title to a generic term like this? Does this mean we can only use the term doubleshot when we are ordering that particular can of product and not when ordering a 'doubleshot' at a Starbucks? Will Starbucks get out the coffee cops to stop us from using the term loosely so as to delute their proprietary product? I didn't know if this was the appropriate place to post this story, it can be moved if deemed proper. Thank you.
  4. An article over at MSNBC talks about how ... As far as what kind of "coffee" they would use in the vending machines... It should be interesting to see how this turns out. Obviously this can't be a drop in replacement for their existing vending machines as they obviously will need a water supply line. Unless of course they make the units totally self contained in which it has a supply of brewing water, along with a drain bin and waste canister for the "spent" pods. I would hasten to guess this machines will require quite a lot of service and maintenance. The cleanliness factor of these machines worries me as well. Granted the pods in theory wont be leaving grinds around, but there we definately be some residual brewed coffee in the mechanisms that will turn bitter quickly.
  5. Hi All, My wife and I had a pretty amazing tea experience at WD-50. Up until that point I've only been an very occasional tea drinker and then only earl grey or green tea in bags. I have always been a cocktail before a meal, wine during and expresso/coffee afterwards but I am toning that bit down. After some initial looking around it just seems like the flavor/paring combinations are awesome. Can someone point me to an site that can help educate me on pot types ect? What types of pots do you all use? Anyone know what kind of pot that was at WD, it had the loose tea in a cylinder in the middle? It was like a french press in a tea pot. Thanks, -Mike
  6. Just read the article at Gizmag about The AeroPress Coffee Machine: a new concept in an ancient art. Is this something anyone has bought and tried? Can you tell us about it?
  7. article in Slate For extremely interesting economic details, do read the actual article ...
  8. I have had a Francis Francis X1 for about 3 years making espresso and lattes every day. I have nearly always used pre-ground coffee, usually Lavazza - or Illy when I'm feeling flush. I have usually been fairly pleased with the results. However the X1 is getting a bit tired and leaky and it seems a good excuse to upgrade. I may get an Isomac Giada or splash out for a Millenium. Everyone that writes about machines like these on sites like coffeegeek (a good title from the posts that are there) are grinding there own coffee fresh each time. So my questions: i) For very good quality machines do you think I will notice a big difference if I start grinding my own coffee? ii) If so are there any recommendation for where I can buy good beans in the UK? iii) Are Isomac machines the way to go? Thanks
  9. As part of my kitchen renovation, I am thinking of installing a Miele coffee system. Here's the thing: I am not a coffee connoisseur. I'd be lucky if I can tell you the difference between coffee and espresso on any given day. So, the question for all you guys who knows about coffee out there is, is it worth it? Does it really make better coffee? The whole thing comes in at $2000.
  10. I build small semi luxury townhomes near downtown Houston. I have a little plan that has a small room behind the kitchen. As an upgrade I was thinking about putting in either a wet bar area or a built in coffee bar area. Does anyone have any ideas for an area like this? Should the coffee maker be one of those built ins? Should I just include a good coffee machine? Thoughts...
  11. article here from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration req'd) Your opinions? Will you drink more coffee based upon these new findings?
  12. Here's a fascinating article I stumbled across that offers some insight into Yemeni Coffee Although popular myth suggests that Ethiopia is the "birthplace of coffee" the coffee bushes themselves appear to have originated in Yemen. Consumption of brewed coffee may well have first begun there as well. But it's so far back in the fog of early recorded history that the evidence isn't clear enough to confrim this. Have you tried a real Yemeni coffee on its own? Most people have unknowingly tried some either as a small component of a good espresso blend or as one half of the world's most famous and most classic blend: Mocha-Java. The "mocha" portion that makes up 50% of this blend is actually Yemeni "Moka" and described as such because the flavor profile has some subtle hints of chocolate. Drink a good Yemeni coffee as a straight varietal and you're more likley to find yourself using terms such as "wild... winey.... earthy". It's not for the faint hearted who look for a mellow, smooth and well balanced flavor profile but it's a fascinating coffee. The high cost of making a true classic Mocha Java blend (50% Yemeni and 50% Indonesian Sulawesi or Sumatran) often leads roasters and retailers to use 50% each of the cheapest Ethiopian and Indonesian beans they can source. But try the '"real thing" you'll taste the difference.
  13. I've been a French press (cafetière) girl ever since I started making my own coffee. I've always had the "three cup" model (which really serves one) and never minded about the brand. I've only needed two of these in the last 12+ years (and I'm pretty hard on my coffee maker) - the only thing I've ever changed are mesh filter, and of course the carafe when it breaks. But the 'stem' bit has lasted. I should mention that I also have a large Bodum brand model, given to me as a gift - with the chrome 'exoskeleton' which I use when I have a larger crowd. It looks and works exactly the same as the small, no-name brand. Recently, the carafe broke on the little one, and I went to buy a replacement: I looked and looked, and all I could find were Bodum brand carafes for their own three cup model, which are taller and thinner (for the same volume) such that the stem & filter ensemble that I have will not fit. After four days of looking, I broke down and bought a brand new Bodum 'Chambord' three cup model (same volume). I brought it home, and next morning made coffee - noticing that the stem-and-filter bit do not reach down to the bottom of the carafe when fully pressed, in fact they only go about 5/6 of the way, leaving a large liquid-and-grounds-filled gap. It may be my imagination that it yielded a weaker coffee..but it was still odd. I figured my model might be defective, and went back to the shop - took a look at the others, and in fact they're all like this. The stem-and-filter on my old one definitely went all the way to the bottom, totally crushing the grounds and maximising the coffee-ness of the coffee. I feel as if this one is going to make a weaker coffee, meaning I'll have to put more grounds in order to get the same strength of coffee. Why are Bodums different from all other French presses? So I broke down
  14. My group is moving to new offices in Toronto at the end of the year, and for my sins I’ve been put in charge of the coffee committee, charged to find some system that makes drinkable coffee instead of the usual swill. We have about 50-60 people, not all of whom are coffee drinkers. My hope is to come up with something good enough and inexpensive enough to keep our staff in the office and not spending half an hour twice a day putting on their coats, boots and mittens and trekking down the block to Starbucks. Has anyone ever had decent office coffee? Any recommendations?
  15. Hi all, I have a paranoid question for your experiences. My local coffee roaster is fantastic. He's spectacular. In my opinion, he roasts to the level of Intelligentsia. But, that's all he does. He roasts, and he sells some small coffee making supplies. Filters, Chemex carafes, melitta one-cups, and very very good coffee. He's going to start offering actual coffee drinks at his store, and open a second one in our town. What have been your experiences of your roasters branching out? On the plus side, my roaster will be opening a coffee shop within two miles of my house, which is tres magnifique, but I'm still concerned that my quality of coffee will drop. Am I just being Chicken Little?
  16. Hello fellow caffeine addicts. First time over here on the board, so please bare with me. Now, in my little hometown in this corner of the world, I've noticed that most cafes, coffee shops, restaurants are increasingly offering only brown/raw sugar for sweetening purposes. Personally, I find that refined sugar works best. It doesn't alter the taste of the coffee, but rather, simply sweetens it. Raw and brown are good for cooking, glazing, etc, but in coffee, I'm not too keen on it. There's too much residual flavouring from the cane used to extract the sugar. The coffee becomes tinged. The beverage is... tainted. Just me? Insights appreciated.
  17. PCL

    Arab Coffee

    Greetings. On behalf of a friend, I have the following query to put forward: How is traditional cardamom flavoured coffee, popular amongst Arabs, prepared? We live in Australia, and Melbourne is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world (well, to us 'natives' anyway ) so access to ingredients, types thereof and bits and pieces is not a problem. Specifically, I think the following questions are pertinent: - ratios - brewing technique - serving etiquette - to sweeten or not Basically, we are looking to preparing a treat for a special guest to remind him of home and hope to make it as well as possible. Thanks in advance!! Pein
  18. There's a long tradition of good cooks in my family. Stories of and recipies from my great Grandmother, Grandmother, Great Aunts, Aunts, and a couple of cousins fill holidays and weddings. Unfortunately coffee has never been significantly considered. True, my parents like most had a perculator until drip machines came about and made the process easier. However, their coffee is terrible and I finally had to say something. Granted, my sister and I decided that a first measure without saying anything would be a thermal carafe which was a Christmas present this year. But after dinner on Sunday, I realized that didn't really help much. My question is: What can I do/tell them to do to improve the taste of their coffee. There are a few constraints: 1. Convenience/cost is more important than taste. 2. They will not grind their own beans or buy whole beans. 3. They store coffee in the cupboard. 4. They will not use filtered water. 5. They clean the machine regularly. Any thoughts?
  19. I have been getting more into tea lately. Today, while trying to kill some time at the mall, I wandered into the Coffee Beanery and discovered they have a nice setup of 'Republic of Tea' teas, which I have heard good things about. Well, most were pretty plain and boring looking, earl grey, green tea, honey and ginger, etc, stuff you can find anywhere. Well, one then caught my eye, a tea called 'Lapsang Souchong' which is apparently fermented and smoked over pine wood according to the blurb on the back. I also had to pick up a tea-ball as this didn't seem to come in bags. I just had a glass, and my first impression is I really like it. It has a fully, smokey, tangy taste. I added a bit of splenda to it, but I had a few sips without and it was almost as good that way. Has anyone else had this stuff before? Are there other similar teas out there?
  20. About ten days ago I spotted 2 lb bags of Jamaican Blue Mountain beans at my local Costco. It was a new item, packed in Michigan. I bought a bag, at $12.79 Can., and have used it every morning since in a Cuisinart grinder/dripper. Tomorrow, I'll use the Boda, even though I'm usually too groggy in the morning to bother. The reason for taking more care, is that the supply is going to end soon. The coffee is mellow, aromatic, fresh, with good length. I can't find any fault, and I trust the buyers at Costco to provide an authentic non-blended product. It appears as though they have made an exceptional one-time purchase, and when I went back today for more, it was still there, but with an asterisk on the price sign. A product coming to the end of sale period in the warehouse. I bought two more bags, but I will have to freeze or refrigerate them. Any suggestions for best keeping?
  21. Experimenting lately with a couple old vacuum pots, I've learned something about myself. And that is that I'm pretty limited in my appreciation of coffee. My first truly great experience with coffee was 30 years ago in the Canary Islands, where I was first exposed to the variety and intensity of espresso drinks to be had in Spain. The taste of this coffee became my "mother" and I've been seeking her out ever since (to no avail, by the way). I suspect, however, that over time I have been looking more for the nose-punching thrill and have missed the subtleties to be enjoyed in the world's wonderful varieties of coffees. As it turns out, vac pots are great for those lighter roasts and flavors, while I have been seeking out smoky, French-roast experiences. Now that I have these two old pots, I want to not only enjoy the great show watching the coffee go "north" and "south," I want to enjoy the results. So my question is two-fold: 1) What gentle steps might I take away from the nose-punching in order to teach my palate the finer things in coffee? 2) What beans and roasts, specifically, should I try, in what order, to wean myself from my current addiction? Thank you! Lonnie
  22. It's not really a trick question (at least I don't think so). I think I know the answer but hope there's a fix. It's also worth noting that not one single geek over at Coffeegeek Forums replied with an answer when I posted. Surely there's an eGulleteer with the expertise to help me I've been using the smaller version of the glass manual Bodum vac pot for about six months and absolutely love the results. I typically use about 40 grams of coffee to 25 ounces of water and allow the grounds to steep in the water for about 3:00 to 3:30 minutes after the water has moved north to the top of the pot. It then takes about another 00:30 to 1:00 minute for the water to return south to the serving vessel after heat is removed. A friend just gave me a Bodum Mini-Santos electric vac pot - the orange one that's made of Lexan or some such thing. It has the same capacity as the manual pot and I use the same amount of grounds and water. The water heats up more quickly, moves north faster and then it automatically shuts off and allows the water to return south after no more than two minutes or so of steeping. The result has very consistently been slightly underextracted and weak tasting coffee. I even tried bumping up the weight of the grounds to 50 grams but with little improvement. I love the convenience of the electric pot - I can just set it up and walk away until the coffee is done but I'm unhappy with the quality of the results. Is there a way to tweak/hack the automatic timing feature to lengthen the steeeping/brewing time? Yes I've read the directions and no mention is made of such an adjustment option.
  23. article from USA Today McDonald's eyes premium coffee market Think it will be something beneficial? Think it is worth premium prices at a fast food outlet?? For you? For McDonald's?
  24. This article in today's New Orleans Times-Picayune breaks down some interesting facts and figures in the world of coffee importation. New Orleans has long been the leading coffee port in the world and one of the world's great centers of coffee roasting. While the roasting business is still doing well, New York has supplanted NO as the leader in coffee importation. This is due primarily to shipping rates and duties levied by the ports. New Orleans still roasts more coffee than anyone else, thanks to a couple of huge facilities, Reilly Foods and Folgers being the largest, with a number of smaller roasters making up the rest. We also are the home (all of 5 miles from my house) of the largest coffee handling facility in the world, The Folger's Warehousing Facility-located in St Tammany Parish just off of I-10 near Folsom, LA. This is a good article involving a pretty good description of how the world coffee trade works and I thought that a few of you might find it interesting. It's a shame that the Picayune, along with a number of other papers around the country use this website though, as photos and graphs are difficult to find (if they are available at all) and the articles are usually synopsized (as this one is).
  25. I was told by a barista that Cimbali is better. This seems contrary to other advice I've been given. Is it a fair question to ask which one's better? I'm talking 1 or 2 group machines. I've decided to hold off for now on serving espresso at my cafe (assuming all the i's get dotted and the deal goes through.) I'll have enough to keep me occupied with my primary items, grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes. And it will give me a chance to judge whether or not my store will bring enough interest in espresso drinks to justify the zillion dollars it costs. Instead, I've decided that I wanna get the coffee thing right. I'd love to hear opinions on the best way to approach this. This same barista told me it wasn't necessary to get a double hopper grinder for coffee. Again, this runs contrary to other advice I was given. He recommended a Bunn G3. No? AS for brewers, everyone seems to agree on the plumbed Fetco. Yes? Finding the right company for a coffee roaster is another issue I need to tackle. It's tough not being a connoisseur, and I'm the first to admit that is not my strongpoint. While I know a good cup of joe when I have it, I'm really no good in discerning the fine intricacies - acidity and body and all that good stuff. It's a small place - 20 seats - and my business plan projects about 150 covers/day. Thanks for any advice.
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