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  1. A friend gave me a tea bag. How every good story should begin. And so, down the rabbit hole... Her kind tea bag and the current sales led me to order a Fellow Stagg EKG Pro Studio kettle -- since I couldn't see employing my priceless, high maintenance iron tetsubin for herbal tea. I must say, the Stagg is rather nice. Which got me thinking. I have not been a regular coffee drinker for years. And I hate bad coffee. My first coffee experience was with my high school Latin class at a Greek restaurant. At home I was not permitted coffee, but occasionally I could sneak out to a brew to order vending machine that actually was pretty good. In college I eventually kicked the caffeine habit. Until one night I was assigned to provide coffee for an evening genetics class. Not to do things halfway, I went out and purchased some half decent beans, the best that I could find. Of course I had to try some. Good coffee I enjoy. Over the years since I've gone through instant coffee, which I despise. I've tried a plastic Melitta filter, a French press, even an espresso machine which once sat where my Ninja Creami resides now. I never could achieve potable coffee with any regularity. I have no use for drip machines, percolators, that sort of thing. However since I now have the Stagg kettle in house, I have made a commitment to pour over. I poured over (sorry) ancient eGullet threads and googled much opinion. But I need sound advice. Please, in this topic let's not discuss, compare, or contrast other types of coffee making. In addition to the new Stagg kettle and my trusty scales I have the following accouterments on order: Bodum 11592-109 pot (couldn't afford Chemex) TIMEMORE Manual Coffee Grinder Chestnut ESP Pro Chemex paper filters Wablade Japanese ceramic filter In the past @weinoo has mentioned George Howell as bean purveyor. I have three bags for delivery tomorrow: BOA VISTA GUADALUPE MIRAMAR DOTA These are all light roasts which George Howell recommends for pour over. Things with which I need help: How hot the water (which tastes better in Celsius)? How fine or coarse the grind? Ratio weight of beans to water? How long to brew, which I believe comes down to how slowly to add water? I'd love advice on best beans and best filters: the Wablade ceramic filter was something new I saw today. I'm not thrilled by the Bodum metal and plastic filter. I'm sure there are more questions than I've thought of. But, no, @rotuts, I have no space in the bathroom for a coffee roaster. Thanks in advance.
  2. I am stopping over in Singapore for unfortunately only one night and have been reading up on the food, particularly hawker centres, and how to order it. I'm sure I would be able to get by with English and pointing but I find their crossroads culture fascinating and I always like to learn a tiny bit of the language wherever I go. So it is part practical, part cultural. I realize that I am not getting pronunciation from internet sources but I have started to compile information, that may be interesting to others here, in a text file. What other food-related language in Singapore do you know? Obviously much originated with Chinese, Malay, and other cultures and I would be interested in similarities/differences in the language. Rather than a total dump, here is what I have thus far on coffee and tea. Even more complicated than ordering coffee in Australia or at Starbucks! Kopi (coffee with condensed milk & sugar) Teh (tea with condensed milk & sugar) Kopi o (coffee with no condensed milk, still has sugar) Teh o (tea with no condensed milk, still has sugar) Kopi o kosong (coffee with no condensed milk & no sugar) Teh o kosong (tea with no condensed milk & no sugar) Teh c (tea with evaporated milk & sugar) Tak giu (Milo) Diao yu (tea bag in hot water) Ditlo - no water added to your coffee or tea Kosong (no sugar, usually for beverages) Siew dai - less sweet Siew siew dai - less than siew dai (Malay stall usually go with ‘kurang manis’ than ‘siew dai’) Peng (Bing) (beverage with ice, Eg. kopi peng, teh peng) Teh tarik: Pulled tea. It is the national drink of Malaysia (Indian origin)
  3. It's true. Heated frothed milk can be simply that or it can be an entirely different substance with not only a different viscosity, mouthfeel and sweetness but the capability for blending with espresso in a manner that yields a drink quite unlike the run-of-the-mill capuccino or latte most folks have ever experienced. I'll quote myself (from the Latte Art Video section of my own web site) as a place to start the discussion: Schomer has a good article on these techniques at his Espresso Vivace website Milk Texturing Basics I have also found the free pdf tutorial offered by Gimme! Coffee to be concise and very helpful Milk Preparation Tutorial I'm no expert.... heck... I can't even pour decent "latte art" despite having a really good machine and plenty of resources to study. What I do know is this: using manual frothers with heated milk is a worthy substitute if you're in a pinch but true microfoamed milk is a thing of beauty and the drinks one can prepare with it really are superior. There is no substitute but few cafes actually produce it. Visit a really good cafe.... JJ Bean or cafe Artigiano in Vancouver BC, Vivace, Vita or Hines in Seattle, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Gimme Coffee in NYC or Ithaca.... you'll find that the difference between a latte and cappuccino is the espresso to milk ratio - lattes get more milk. There's none of this Starbucks style "scoop the extra foam on top and call it a cappuccino". Uh uh.... no sir.... all the milk they serve is microfoamed - it's been prepared so that the milk itself has been transformed in its entirety rather than having a separate layer of foam and milk. I'll welcome and respond to dissenting views but I've had enough first hand experience to feel strongly about this. Here are what I consider to be really "basic basics": Start with cold milk - the colder the better - the longer the frothing time the better developed the foam (within reason) Use an appropriately sized pitcher. Smaller machines in the sub $500 range generally steam no more than 5 - 6 oz of milk at a time properly. $500- $1200 units generally do well with up to 10 or 12 ounces. Best results are obtained when the milk is at least 2" or 3" deep - thus we need a 10 oz pitcher for small amounts and a 20 oz pitcher for larger amounts. Higher milk fat produces more velvety and longer lasting microfoam. I can get passable results with 1% but 2% or whole milk works better. I even know people who juice up their whole milk by adding half 'n half or condensed whole milk. Skim milk creates lots of dry, fluffy and light foam that separates from the milk - exactly what we DON'T want! Purge the steam wand and then start steaming with the tip fully submerged. Immediately lower the pitcher so the the tip stays just under the surface of the milk - feel free to move it around a bit as the milk is "stretching". It will begin increasing in volume from the air being introduced but we're only looking to expand volume by 15% to 25% at most - what we're after is better texture. At about 100 degrees, tip the pitcher or tilt the wand (or both)so that the tip is still just slightly submerged but the wand against the side of the pitcher, more or less parallel to it and get a swirling motion going. This is the process where the larger bubbles initially created are broken into the smaller bubbles of microfoam. At about 130 degrees keep the same swirling motion going but raise the pitcher to fully immerse the tip so it's close to the bottom of the milk. Stop frothing at about 145 degrees. That's pretty close tro the sweet spot - literally. It's the point at which the sugars in the milk have been converted to produce extra sweetness from the milk but well below the level where scorching can occur. Many people forego the use of a thermometer and work by the level of warmth on the outside of the pitcher and the sound that the foaming creates. Maybe I'll be at that level someday but for now I find that having the thermometer really simplifies things and helps me control the process Yes... I know... it seems like a lot of hoo-hah and monkeying around for a coffee drink but if it wasn't worth I wouldn't be here
  4. I have a Vava frother, to froth milk for lattes. Works kinda OK. Froth seems a bit heftier if I do frothing action with it TWICE. I use fresh 1% milk. My question is, how to improve frothing action. One would like to believe there is some protein additive that you can stir in to bump up froth production, but I've never seen that described. Whey, maybe? Lots of disagreement about whether whole or skim, or part skim milk is best for frothing.
  5. Hello out there! Like everybody else, I've been reading the Fat Guy's home coffee roasting posts, and it makes me wonder....who else besides him (and me!) are roasting out there? I've been doing it about a year and I roast around a pound a week using either a Hearthware roaster (in the garage) or a converted stovetop corn popper. Surely there must be more of you out there! Green beans and equipment are snatched right up on Ebay, and there are all sorts of websites for this. I can't be the only home roaster in New Jersey...or could I?
  6. During the past year, our coffee consumption at home has increased substantially. We have tried beans from different roasteries from the UK and Europe, but we are constantly in the search of new ones. The speciality coffee market has been rapidly increasing in past years and it is becoming easier to find high quality beans. The best roasteries we have tried so far: UK based: Round Hill Roastery, Square Mile, Monmouth, Pharmacie, New Ground, Workshop, James Gourmet, Ozone. Europe based: The Barn (Germany), Gardelli (Italy), Hard Beans (Poland), Calendar (Ireland), Roasted Brown (Ireland), Right Side (Spain), Coffee Collective (Denmark). Have you had any exciting coffee beans lately? Do you have any other recommendations?
  7. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather. Ingredients (8 cookies) 1 pack of chilled French pastry 1 big pear 1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger 2 tablespoons of brown sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar 2 tablespoons of milk Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper. Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy your meal!
  8. Ideally has anyone got any experience? I want it to have a slightly retro feel, so was hoping to get hold of one of these; Citroen 2CV Van and then put the machines in the back? Also has anyone got restaurant/coffee shop experience with Espresso machines? The 2/3/4 head machines would look better in the back, but this site; Brackins Bar recommends going for a couple of single head machines in case the boiler goes so you can still keep serving... How likely is that? Many thanks for any ideas and help in advance! Angie
  9. Hello all! I was recently turned on to the vacuum coffee brewers and I swear by them now. I recently purchased a vintage 1940's Kent vacuum coffee maker from Ebay. Today I cracked the lower chamber by leaving it on the stovetop. I am looking for a replacement 8-cup size lower chamber for the Kent brand. Does anybody know where I can get this part. I know I will have some difficulty in finding one as this is a vintage brewer and Kent, a British co., is no longer in business I believe. Also, does anyone know if the Kent upper chamber will fit one of the other glass vacuum brewer brands' (e.g. Silex, Cory, etc.) lower chambers? Thank you for your time! Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I have tried to attached a picture of this coffee brewer, but I couldn't figure out how to do so in this forum.
  10. I wanted to know who ever ordered that coffee on Amazon? The reviews are zoo different,people say they had one in Jamaica,and this taste nothing like that one.
  11. The fact that I call them idiots is my opinion only. YMMV. But on this video, which attempts to show you how to brew great coffee at home, they leave out perhaps the most important thing about brewing great coffee at home. That is, if you consider what makes up about 95% of coffee important. Yes, folks, as often said on smart sites, like eGullet, and Tasty Travails, they say nothing about starting with good tasting water. (They also don't pour water through the filters first, which I also believe is important. Enjoy. https://youtu.be/IjXhQaV56GA?list=PLUeEVLHfB5-Rxp6-IYL1Xxb_SHl5FnhrQ
  12. A couple of weeks ago we had an event here at my apartment building. The woman who made the coffee told me that she added a small amount of salt to the freshly brewed coffee. I was stunned ... never heard of such a thing! A few days ago I was watching an old episode of Good Eats, and there was Alton adding a pinch of salt to his fresh-brewed French press coffee, saying that the salt reduces bitterness. Once again I was surprised. So, what's the story behind adding salt to fresh-brewed coffee? Is it done if the beans are mediocre or poorly roasted? Or when certain methods are used for brewing? Or is it just something people do because they heard about it and don't know better ... like how searing a steak seals in juices? Do you put salt in your coffee? Thanks!
  13. Well it happened again. I was at a local coffee roaster and asked for their darkest roast. I got a withering glare and was informed that they only roast light. Like I had asked for a well done steak or for a vodka martini at a different type of establishment. My main espresso stand uses a pretty light roast and shares the opinion on dark roasts, although they are less supercilious about it. Pretty much every cafe in Australia uses a light roast. I'm getting used to the lighter espresso, especially when brewed well, but I kind of miss being able to go to the dark side. And I find that light roasts are often higher caffeine than I want. Is this light roast fetish an Aussie thing or is it a coffee snob thing? Or just the way they like it, thank you, nothing wrong with that? Thoughts on different roasts. Are preferences regional - is French Roast really a French thing? What do you like and why? Does it vary with brewing method? Am I terminally un-hip?
  14. I had a request for a coffee flavored bon bon. I am not a coffee fan, so I've never made anything with it. I've seen two types of recipes - one that infuses the cream with the beans and one that uses brewed coffee. I'm curious which type of recipe is used by most people here. If you infuse the cream, are you straining the beans out or are you using a fine enough grind to not create textural problems in the ganache? If you use brewed coffee, are you reducing the cream by the amount of the coffee liquid on a one to one basis? Thanks!
  15. Summary via podcast and transcript, in Scientific American Full journal article in Scientific Reports (via Nature.com)
  16. via johnder, this thing appears to be on the market... The Pour Steady. via my hipster niece, "We are seriously two innovations away from circling back to Mr. Coffee."
  17. I just got back from Paris, and loved the coffee in the cafes. I know it's espresso, but is there any particular brand(s) they use that would be available in the US? Any tips on making the perfect cafe creme?
  18. There have been many articles/studies published over the years regarding cafestol, a compound found in coffee, and its ability to raise cholesterol: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614162223.htm (I'm sure you know which direction this is headed...) In a recently released study by Aarhus University Hospital, cafestol has been linked to a reduction in fasting glucose in mice. Naturally, this now means "cafestol may contribute to the reduced risk of developing T2D in coffee consumers and has a potential role as an antidiabetic drug." As of yesterday, the media is running wild with this latest breakthrough. I never went out of my way to avoid coffee that wasn't filtered through paper. But, I guess it was in the back of mind that the *occasional* extra pot of French press *might* be having some effect on my blood chemistry. As with all things, moderation is always the key. How about you? Will you break out the old percolator based on this news? Brew up a nice pot of cowboy coffee?
  19. I am going to have a chance to judge a professional barista and coffee brewer contest. Any suggestions for reading so I will be more knowledgeable before I get there?
  20. "Maths sheds light on perfect cup of coffee" (BBC article)
  21. I brew coffee, tea and cocoa beans. Seeking suggestions on suppliers of quality flavorings - examples: almond, vanilla, mint. caramel, coconut, pineapple etc. Most of what I find has an overwhelming taste of alcohol, glycerin or artificial flavorings or sweeteners - or just plainly too much sweet, not much added flavor....really not crazy about anything too sweet. Can anyone make any recommendations? perhaps part of the problem is most of what I find is intended to flavor either baked goods or snowcones! LOL thank you.
  22. I hope this isn't an idiot question. But I have no idea what the differences are. Please teach me.
  23. What are the benefits and drawbacks to making coffee using the pourover method, especially, but not limited to, using a French press? How might some of the drawbacks be overcome?
  24. What is the best way, or at least some good ways, to store whole, recently roasted, coffee beans? I've gotten the beans home and put them into ball jars, and stored them in a cabinet near the coffee grinder. I've also just put the beans into the same cabinet in the bag that they were purchased in. I usually buy 1/2-lb of each type of bean at a time, usually buying two or three varieties per trip to the seller (usually Peet's, but other local roasters as well). Are there better ways to store the beans?
  25. My Irish Coffee Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink. If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum. Ingredients (for 2 drinks) 300ml of strong, hot coffee 40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey 150ml of 30% sweet cream 4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar 1 teaspoon of caster sugar 4 drops of vanilla essence Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee. Enjoy your drink!
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