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  1. 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 t
  2. We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans. We're currently using a small blade grinder. Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade? Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?
  3. eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have 5 or more substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I
  4. My fiance and I are in the process of building a wedding registry at Sur La Table - and we could really use some advice about espresso machines! Apologies in advance if this is a redundant question - I couldn't manage to uncover any answers in the coffee/tea thread... The question: Espresso I've had in Italy always seems much more concentrated (more flavor and MUCH less liquid) than 'espresso' in the US. I really prefer the Italian style - is achieving that as simple as just putting less water in the machine? Or do I need a machine that is specifically designed to produce that kind of espresso
  5. A couple of posts in the Coffee and Tea forum have raised the issue of the importance of water quality to getting the best cup. One by naftal and this by andiesenji. I use a simple Britta filter jug and also have started experimenting with bottled mineral water for my best teas, but am not far enough along to report on that yet. How important is the water you use to your coffee and tea brewing? What do you use to get the best out of your beans and leaves?
  6. This past Sunday's NY Times ran a big article about New York's coffee "renaissance," which is all well and good, but I have a concern and wondered how everyone else felt about this. My problem is that I can't seem to get a properly (to me, at least) drawn espresso or doppio at the cafes that I've been to. The shots are too short, not hot enough, and they're friggin' bitter, but not in a good espresso way. Some of these cafes are pulling ristrettos (triples even - seriously, who drinks a triple ristretto, 20 or more grams of coffee to make 1 ounce of "liquid?"), which I wouldn't mind if they
  7. While I have been drinking more tea these days, I still have coffee first thing in the morning. And use an I-Roast 2 each week to keep supplied. Most of my green beans come from Sweet Maria's plus some from a local Dunn Brothers francisee. I like to buy only a pound or two of each of several green beans. That gives me enough of each to experiment with 150 g at a time, but keeps me from getting into a "favorite bean" rut. I would rather continue to explore than to go for a single type I like a lot. Of course one person's rut is another person's perfect cup of coffee. For me this week it's a caf
  8. I'll keep this brief, and add/answer questions as relevant: I have a supposedly good Krups espresso machine that we've not taken good care of for the past few years. We stopped using it about a year ago, when coffee stopped coming through the main drip, spigot or whatever it's called. It's also possible that it IS coming through the valve, but not making it through the Basket mesh. Sorry, i don't know the technical terms. Any suggestions for 'unplugging'? Descaling agent? New basket cup? I don't know where to start... thanks everyone/kanga
  9. 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 experiment
  10. Just the smell of freshly brewed coffee can help relieve stress, say Korean researchers who studied the effects of coffee aroma on sleep-deprived rats. Interesting, no? Link
  11. 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?
  12. 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?
  13. I recently dined at a local Indian restaurant and ended the meal with what was titled "Madras Coffee." We all loved it, but had no idea about what it contained. Does anyone have any idea how its made? And can anyone explain the relationship between this and madras curry, which i know to be fairly spicy?
  14. I recently saw a reference -in Timeless Tastes ,Turkish Culinary Culture , Ersu Pekin amnd Ayse Sumer (Eds) - apologies for misspellings caused by the lack of a Turkish Keyboard- to mumessek, musk scented coffee , offered to guests at one of the celebratory meals following childbirth. I'd just bought some musk at the Egyptian Market in Istanbul- so i'm planning to give it a go (the musk coffee, not the child birth). Anyone got suggestions on proportions, method etc ? Gethin
  15. Here's a link to my review of the pleasures and circus thrills of South Indian Coffee. Enjoy!
  16. So now that Starbucks is trying to revitalize their business with, among other things, the purchase of the company that makes The Clover, I'd like to know if anyone has tried coffee from this machine. Here is a link to the Clover
  17. Welcome to the Coffee and Tea forum where, not surprisingly, you can discuss every aspect of making and enjoying coffee and tea, from leaves and beans to specialty equipment. Our popular topics include How To Roast Your Own Coffee; the Least Expensive Machine For Decent Espresso; Bagged Teas; and Iced Coffee. To view a complete listing of frequently discussed topics see: Coffee and Espresso Topics and Tea and Chai Topics Not a Society member? You’re welcome to read the eG Forums to your heart’s content, but you will have to join the Society in ord
  18. Coffee & Tea Forum Index Tea Topics
  19. 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 sugge
  20. Yes.. Yours will close. And yours too.. http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?id=833 Little surprised I didn't see this already in this forum. Will this help the troubled franchise? Do you even CARE? Will the streets of the United States be littered with people unable to get their "fix"?
  21. JAZ

    Percolators

    I've worked in cookware stores off and on for 10 years, and have seen and used just about every new type of coffee maker or "system" that's come along in that time. Lately, I've noticed that people seem to be buying percolators. Not a lot -- maybe 3 in the last 6 months. But that's three more than I've sold in the previous 9.5 years. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Michael Ruhlman was singing the praises of percolators on his blog as well. As far as I know, there haven't been any improvements in percolator technology in the past 20 years, have there? Both from personal experience
  22. I few years back, Kevin Knox, the author of Coffee Basics, but who secretly is more into teas, told me that you can decaf tea by pouring on the hot water, immediately draining it, then pour the water on again to steep. His claim was that a chemically processed tea was 92% caffeine free, while this method made it nearly 98%. For sake of his reputation, I'll admit that my memory can veer after a few years, so this may not be what he said at all. But, I've spread the info as gospel ever since. Is this true?
  23. In Amsterdam, we have a couple of chains, I call them Starbucks wannabes (no Starbucks in The Netherlands yet). They serve all the usual suspects, espresso, latte, a 'regular' coffee they call Americano. While in most cases, a regular black coffee, is my preferred coffee-beverage, I cannot stand their Americano. It's bitter, ist's too strong no matter how much I makte them dilute it, it's vile. (okay. why am I going there anyway? because they have one place, near the market where I always shop, and it has the best view, nice people come there, it's on my best friends + dog route to the park s
  24. I thought that after three or four years, I should change both top and bottom burrs on my original maestro. (Not the plus.) Anyway, after I worked through the oversize-gasket issue, cleaned out all the old miscellaneous bean parts and got the whole thing back together again, the grind settings were way off. Even at the smallest setting I couldn't grind coffee fine enough for espresso. Before the change, I ground espresso at the 5 or 6 setting. Anyway, I took the whole thing apart and put the old parts back in, but that did not change or the fix the problem. It seems as if I'm missing some
  25. The article from the Wall Street Journal: Starbucks tests $1 cup of coffee This move is to counter market incursions by McDonald's, etc, as well as the recent downturn in the U.S. economy. Has anyone been "in-the-know" and been ordering the short size all along? Will the smaller, cheaper cup of coffee (with possible refills) keep Starbucks in your coffee routine?
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