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  1. I'm sure this group have some informed opinions of where to get the best tasting beans to brew coffee at home. I'm referring to morning coffee, not expresso. I prefer a rich, "winey" coffee with some acidic sharpness. I use either a French press or the new Bodum Santos coffee maker (which can make an excellent brew, almost as good as the press). I am tempted by the site offering Fresh Kona I found somewhere in this forum. I can get to most Manhattan retailers easily. Awaiting you, java mavens.
  2. Which brand of coffee do you like and why? Also, do you think that restaurants should list the brand of coffee they serve? You are told for ex. that they serve Pellegrino water, certain brands of tea and brands of liquor. Couldn't a restaurant offer you Kona coffee, Blue Mountain coffee, Starbucks coffee etc? Each could be appropriately priced. And I wish more restaurants would serve French pressed coffee. What are your thoughts?
  3. This is the third tea tasting of 2009 thanks to eGullet Society member Greg Glancy of Norbutea.com. This time around we will be tasting and discussing a 2008 shu (ripe) pu-erh, a classic 7572 recipe from Menghai Tea Factory in China. The samples were taken from a 357 gram beeng. Greg has provided five samples of 10 grams each that I will mail to the five eG Society members participating in this tasting. While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least five substantive posts in the Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight next Tuesday to those who did not participate in either of the two previous tastings of TGY Oolong and Imperial Dian Hong. Everyone is welcome to participate in the discussion, of course. So, please PM me if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion. Here is some background information on this Menghai shu pu-ehr from Norbutea.com. (Copyright Norbutea. Used with permission.)
  4. Has anyone experimented with this? I've been adding very small amounts of salt to all kinds of recipes (particularly desserts, like ice creams and anything with chocolate) and finding that it often opens up and adds dimension to the flavors, without asserting any actual saltiness. Some experiments that Hervé This reports on confirm this effect. Salt both increases the ion density of solutions, speeding the release of aromatic compounds, and influences our perception of flavors through complex physiological effects. I'm curious to know if anyone has exploited these effects with coffee (beyond the old lore that it removes bitterness from bad coffee ... which may be true, but I'm more interested in good coffee!)
  5. The next Tea Tasting Discussion features an Indian black tea, an Assam Sree Sibari Estate . Bill Waddington at teasource.com is providing free 10 gram samples for three eG Society members and me. Each sample is enough to make about four cups of first infusion tea. I thought of Tea Source for a Tea Tasting Discussion due to two stunning Indian teas I ordered last year. Here is some background information from the Teasource site: The tasting is open to all members who have posted at least ten (10) substantive posts in the Coffee and Tea forum, and preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Monday June 1, 2009 to those who have not yet participated in any of the three previous tastings. As always, everyone is welcome to participate in the discussion, whether or not you receive a sample. So, please PM me now if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion.
  6. My local fine teashop, The Cultured Cup, has created a couple of personal blends for me and I have been very pleased with them, especially the one called "Richard's Three Mountain Blend". (I get nothing out of this, but you can call them and order it with a minimum 6 - 8 ounces). But I am interested in learning more about how to do this myself. It appears to be similar to blending coffee beans - you select one solid, smooth tea for the body of the blend and then something for more of a bass note and then a little of something more distinctive. Or something like that. Has anyone else experimented with creating your own blends? What has worked well for you?
  7. Moderator's Note: There have been other topics about home coffee brewers, which have been merged and closed. To review those posts, please click here. After 8-9 years of every day service, our Cuisinart coffeemaker is not likely to last too much longer. I have not been able to find a source to replace just the one broken part, and my limited repair skills are exhausted. We have a good espresso machine, and I am not too sure about the single cup thing-ies -- so I need something like this: a standalone electric, with an advance set timer that can make 5-6 decent mugs of coffee in the wee hours of the morning. There is plenty of room for anything. I would prefer NOT to have it also grind (that I can manage to do) since I worry that two appliances in one is twice the chance for something to go wrong and break. They still sell this particular Cuisinart (it is a DCC-12 or close to that number). But the reviews on Amazon indicate a lot of people have trouble with them breaking down. If I have already used up my luck with this Cuisinart, I am going to need a good recommendation. Thanks!
  8. This is the second tea tasting of 2009 thanks to eGullet Society member Greg Glancy of Norbutea.com. This time we will be tasting and discussing an Imperial Dian Hong -- a Chinese red tea. Greg has provided five samples of 10 grams each that I will mail to the five eG Society members participating in this tasting. While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least five substantive posts in the Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight next Monday to those who did not participate in the last tasting of TGY Oolong. Please PM me if you would like to participate in the tasting and discussion. Here is some background information on Imperial Dian Hong from Norbutea.com. (Copyright Norbutea. Used with permission.)
  9. http://www.andiamnotlying.com/2008/murky-c...een-your-knees/ Interesting conflict. On the one hand, I applaud the coffee shop for insisting on high standards. On the other hand, it's a coffee shop, not Le Bernadin, and this is an order that they could reasonably predict would be made. It's a bit like a high-end cocktail bar refusing to mix a Cosmopolitan. Maybe you don't like it, but suck it up and figure out a way to make an iced espresso (Cosmo, etc.) that's up to your standards. Thoughts?
  10. Being a Chef, Coffee is one of the most important elements of the day, it is generally the relaxed time at the beginning of the day where ideas are discussed and the time in the middle of the day when you need that boost get you to the end of the day. There are times when I have been so busy, stressed and exhausted that I have been known to consume up to 20 double shot coffees in a day! One of my most fond memories of living in Shanghai and generally of my career is arriving in the mornings and discussing Food, Chefs and life in general with Paul Pairet (who is still one of the most knowledgeable Chefs I have ever known (I would say Genius but I am sure it would go to his head)), during this time we would plan the days testing and production plus I would soak in his wealth of experience. We would be talking and drinking coffee until we realized how much time had passed then we would get back in the kitchen, but in this time we could drink many double espressos without a problem. I guess what I am trying to say is Coffee is an important part of any Chefs daily routine. Now back to the topic of “The technique of Coffee”. Many years ago when I was living in London I was fortunate enough to recieve an invitation from the owner of the only Organic Coffee company in London to come and learn the art of coffee roasting. So we spent the day going through every process of history, growing, harvesting, shipping, roasting, grinding, and brewing. So basically everything! As a Chef it is interesting to know where it comes from etc. but for me the most interest was in the different types of beans and even the variance of flavor of the same bean which has been produced in a different climate. When it comes time for roasting there are many things to look or even listen for to see when the beans are ready. The roaster reminded me of a fancy cement mixer as it is a copper drum which is heated from the outside and is constantly spinning, when it is almost done the roaster will remove a few beans every 20 seconds to see if it is done, what they are looking for is a line of white to appear on the split in the bean, if you listen carefully you can actually hear them pop when the white appears. The first reason I wanted to write about this is because Baristas seem to have a very strong passion for there product as do Chefs. There are a very few elements involved in making a coffee so bad technique cannot be hidden like a plate which has only a few ingredients. Starting from the grind of the coffee each step has its Critical control point, if the grind is too fine it will be too hard for the water to pass through therefore the coffee will be bitter and burnt. on the flip side if the grind is too coarse the water will pass through too fast and not allow enough time to extract the Crema (oil). Next we have how much coffee to put in the group head and how tight to pack it with the same results as point 1. The milk is a very interesting topic, I have been taught by many people in Australia (where I still claim you can get one of the best cups of coffee in the world from almost everywhere and it is purely down to how silky the milk froth is), on my last trip to Copenhagen I met with a man who was conducting a 6 month study all the aspects of milk foaming for coffee in the University of Copenhagen. The best kind of milk to use is Homogenized and it should be started from around 2-4 degrees, the smaller the bubbles in milk makes it appear silky on your tongue and ensure you coffee does not drop an inch like when you have big bubbles. To get the best bubble pattern you need a vertical rotation so the bubbles are constantly being split into smaller bubbles. My last point is one I hope you share with others, you do not need to boil the milk for coffee. I cant tell you how many times I have burnt my mouth trying to drink a coffee, any good barista will tell you the milk should only reach a maximum of 65 - 70 degrees as it will hold the air better and it also blends with the coffee without disturbing the beautiful crema on top. You may be asking (if you didnt give up reading before this point)why has he got so much to say about coffee? A bad coffee at the end of a meal can leave a bad taste in your mouth and over shadow the experience of your dinner. The most ironic point of this whole story is I am sitting here writing this drinking a camomile tea as I am on a 3 week detox diet (maybe thats why I am dreaming of coffee).
  11. Anybody else notice that over the last couple of months coffee companies have cut the weight if their product yet again. I buy three or so 'pounds' at a time. The last coffee I bought weighed 12 ounces. The bags before that were 13 ounces. Today the bags weighed 11 ounces. What is going on????? Coffee is not the only thing this is happening to. We've had several threads in shrinking packages.
  12. 2009 Spring Norbu - Lao Mansa 250g Sheng Pu-Erh Tea Cake -Producer: Norbu Enterprises Private Production -Vintage: Spring 2009 (late March) -Compression Date: 4/13/09 -Growing Region: Lao Mansa tea mountain, Mengla County, Xishuangbanna -Size: 250 grams This Tea Tasting & Discussion features a young raw pu-erh cake. eGullet Society member Greg Glancy at norbutea.com is providing free 10 g samples for three society members and myself. (Image used with permission of Norbutea/Greg Glancy.) Here's some background on this pu-erh from the norbutea website. (Used with permission.)The three free samples are available to members who 1) will do at least two brewing sessions from the sample, 2) will report on their experience and participate in the discussion, and 3) who have previously posted at least ten (10) substantive posts (questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the Coffee and Tea forum. The 10 g sample is enough to brew four first infusion cups western style (2.5 g to 6 - 8 ounces of water), or it may be brewed as gong fu cha with 1.5 - 2.0 g per ounce of water in a gaiwan or Yixing teapot. Preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Thursday, October 15, 2009 to those who have not participated in the last two tastings. As always, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion, whether or not you receive a sample. So, please PM me now if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion.
  13. I have been going to a local coffee shop once a week since they opened in December: last week, the guy at the counter sees me and gets all excited. "We've started pulling triples!" he exclaims. "Great!" I say. My internal monologue is more like this: What the $%^& is a triple? Your espressos were awesome, you bettter not have ^&*(ed them up!! Well, the espresso was still awesome, thankfully. But what was the guy talking about? I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he said, or at least, it included the word "triple" and related to espresso.
  14. Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, has contributed samples of two interesting red/black teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. The first is a Nepal Chiyabari Estate Black, and the second is a Yunnan Golden Tips. Sets of the samples will go to up to three eG members active in the forums: if you have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past 12 months, or if you have at least 10 posts in the Coffee & Tea Forum, and are interested in receiving the free samples and participating in this TT&D, please read on (this post and the three following soon) and then PM me. These teas may be brewed 1) "western style" using a small teapot or infuser cup, 2) in a gaiwan, or 3) in a Yixing. Please, avoid tea balls like the plague. The free 10 g samples are available to members who 1) will do at least one brewing session with each of the two teas, and 2) will report on their experience within one week of receiving the sample and participate actively in the discussion. Preference will be given to eGullet Society members who have never received tea samples and participated in a Tea Tasting & Discussion, and who have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past year or 10 in the Coffee & Tea Forum. This preference will last one week, until midnight June 3, 2011 (US Eastern). If that sounds like you, please PM me ASAP. As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion. As I have mentioned in other topics, I have known Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, for some time now, having bought tea from his shop for many years, at least 10 years I believe it is. For the past five years or so Kyle has been instrumental to my tea education through the T-Bar Club at The Cultured Cup. And I have reciprocated by doing presentations on Yixing tea pots and on Japanese Wabi-Sabi style teaware for the T-Bar Club. Kyle completed his three years of training with the Speciality Tea Institute in 2009 to become the first Certified Tea Specialist in Texas and one of a few in the world. I have had many pleasant times with Kyle and his staff, trading teas and sharing new tea discoveries. More than just a tea merchant I happen to buy tea from, Kyle is a culinary friend as well as a tea friend - the wonderful tea pairings at Sharon Hage's former York Street restaurant and a shared interest in Asian food.
  15. eGullet Society member Greg Glancy at norbutea.com is contributing samples of two Chinese green teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion (TT&D). Sets of the samples will go to up to three eG members active in the forums: if you have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past 12 months, or if you have at least 10 posts in the Coffee & Tea Forum and are interested in receiving the free samples and participating in this TT&D, please read on (this post and the two following soon) and then PM me. Grocery store green teas are usually generic (unidentified and mass produced on a large scale) and anywhere from ho-hum to yek! Bottled green teas are typically beyond yek and well into yuk. Some people make a face and drink them just because they are supposed to be "good for you". Have heart! Here are two quality loose leaf Chinese green teas, very different from one another, if you would like to forgo yek and yuk and explore the real thing. First, the 2010 Jade Dragon - Yunnan Green Tea from NorbuTea.com. Text and image used with permission by norbutea.com. Link to map on norbutea.com. The next post will describe the second Chinese green tea for this TT&D, and the third one will provide additional important information. Stay tuned!
  16. Experienced puerh drinker? Never tried puerh? Had a bad experience with puerh? Read on, because this Tea Tasting & Discussion may offer something for everyone. The purpose of this Tea Tasting & Discussion is to introduce members to puerh, as well as to give us the opportunity to compare the differences in three new 2010 sheng (raw) puerhs from different villages in the Yunnan province of China. David Collen at www.essenceoftea.co.uk is providing the three puerh tea samples. Essence of Tea 2010 Bangwai Village Essence of Tea 2010 Manmai Village Essence of Tea 2010 Mansai Village Sets of the samples will go to up to three eG members active in the forums: if you have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past 12 months, or if you have at least 10 posts in the Coffee & Tea Forum and are interested in receiving the free samples and participating in this TT&D, please read on and then PM me. The Details The set of three puerh tea samples (10g each) will go to each of up to three eGullet Society members who will begin brewing, tasting, posting and discussing the teas within one week of receiving the samples. These teas may be brewed 1) "western style" using a small teapot or infuser cup, or 2) in a gaiwan or 3) in a Yixing tea pot. Please, no tea balls since they do not allow the loose leaves to open fully and infuse well. Brewing suggestions in an upcoming post. Initial preference will be given to eGullet Society members who have never received tea samples and participated in a Tea Tasting & Discussion, and who have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums in the past year. This preference will last until midnight Friday, November 12, 2010 Eastern Time, US. If that sounds like you, please PM me ASAP. Others who have previously participated, may PM me their interest at any time. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to PM me.
  17. I bet we'd learn a lot about culture and caffeine if everyone shared a photo and brief description of their coffee or tea set-up at work. After all, the Society is international, and surely we can learn something from the works we all use to satisfy our addictions. You game? Lousy phone photos will do the trick here. Nothing fancy needed.
  18. My wife bought me a Chemex 3 cups coffeemaker and I was wondering how to make the best out of it. I have to wait 9 more days before I get to use it. My current set up is either an Hario V-60 dripper or a Melitta dripper. I am seeking the opinion of daily Chemex users. What is your favorite grind? etc. Cheers
  19. I have been using a coffee press for a while now and have been happy with the flavor... much better than a drip machine. I have also seen the rather funky vacuum pot. What differences will I see in the coffee between the two methods? Thanks!
  20. So I was at a tea shop at the mall today and looking for a nice decaf black tea for my father, who is trying to cut down on his caffeine intake. The woman at the shop said that if I steeped the (caffeinated) tea in hot water for 30 seconds, then took it out and steeped in a different cup of hot water for the correct brewing time, the resulting cup of tea would have no caffeine, but I'm not buying it...has anyone heard this? Have I just missed out on some well-known fact by spending most of my time drinking coffee? Or was she just trying to make a sale?
  21. Our daughter gave us a Cuisinart coffee maker DCC-120 for Christmas and it came with a little filter doohickey. We have unfiltered, untreated, hard lime water to drink straight from our well...the rest of our water is salt treated or we'd be cleaning and replacing everything constantly, but to drink we have the real stuff. Needless to say, the little filter bit the dust quite early. Is it worth trying to find replacements? Order on line? Fuggadaboutit? Your take? (Right. We are fussy about HOW STRONG we make our coffee, and not about what it's made in. Right. Completely unsophisticated. )
  22. A friend of mine who is a researcher at the University of Guelph is currently embarking on a research project regarding Robusta coffee. As part of it, he's hoping to collect photos of packaging to see how it is marketed and sold, anywhere in the world. If any of you find it, could you please take some pics and DM me for contact info? Thanks very much!
  23. So lately I've been noticing the price of coffee is going up, up, up. At the specialty shop where I buy my freshly roasted beans, we're talking $16 for 12 ounces of Stumptown, in a lot of cases. Is there a point where you'll just switch to tea? And, what kind of prices are you all seeing?
  24. I wanted to spread the love for a gadget I have in my kitchen. When I moved to Japan, I couldn't afford a full-on drip coffee maker - nor, quite frankly, would there have been room on my kitchen counter for one. So I picked up a plastic cone filter holder - the kind with a platform at the bottom and the handle on the side, so it can fit comfortably over a cup or a pot. I just fit a paper filter in it, add coffee, and pour hot water over until I get the desired quantity of coffee. Yeah, the hot water has to come from somewhere - but a kettle is more versatile than a dedicated coffee maker, so I opted to buy one of those first.Anyway, the thing has worked so great, I never bothered to replace it in Japan, or even in China, where I have a lot more room and money. The advantages - I can walk away without worrying if I've left a machine on. And it makes a varying quantity of coffee - just a cup, or a pot for 6 equally well. In Asia, it's hard to find an economical coffee maker that makes more than two cups of drip coffee at a time. It cleans up with a rinse, and takes up virtually no room. I'm going to bring one into my office next week, I think; and it would be handy to throw in the car if you're on a long car trip or at the camp and don't like french press/instant coffee. The disadvantages - If you're making a big pot, you've got to keep coming back to the thing to pour more water over it and give it a stir. Not so bad in the kitchen in the morning, but a pain in the office or some place where you'd want to set it and forget it. It's no replacement for a full-on dedicated coffee-maker in a place that requires a large amount of coffee without babysitting. Also, because there's no burner, the coffee is hot at the beginning, but doesn't stay that way without a thermal pot being employed. And you need some other equipment to generate hot water. In Asia, there's always a machine for hot water for tea floating around, but that's not the case everywhere.
  25. A pop up appeared on my screen from coffeefool.com and it caught my eye. So I checked it out and read their claims to have the freshest coffee?? I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried it ?? I'm a bit leery of ordering coffee online but there really aren't any great places to buy coffee from around here (the capital district upstate NY) I'd love to hear your thoughts about the coffee from this site.
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