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Found 520 results

  1. Here's the article on MSN: "Bad buzz: Chinese bloggers bash Starbucks" Starbucks bashing isn't new. But that it's happening in China is new.
  2. "Msk" posed a good question in another thread and I believe it deserves some space of its own for discussion.... Wow. This is wide open and there are so many. Plenty more are sure to be forthcoming but here's what I look for and want to know.... ==================================================== What To Look For: 1) Is the portafilter being left in the grouphead of the espresso machine when it's not in use? The thermal mass of the brass portafilter asembly is crucial in retaining heat so the brewing temp does not drop off as the water is forced through the grounds. If you walk into a cafe and see the portafilters sitting on the counter separately from the machine, waiting to be filled and used... fuggedaboudit - chances of getting really good espresso are nil. 2) Do they make a practice of grinding large amounts and leaving the doser filled with already ground coffee? Not good. Grounds sitting in the doser will literally, within an hour or so, start getting flat and losing the potential for creating good crema and superior shots. If they grind to fill the doser every ten to fifteen minutes or so during the morning rush, it's fine but if you walk in at a slow time during mid afternoon or evening and they don't grind the coffee right then for your shot - chances are you just won't get a good shot. Some of the very best cafes use timer assemblies that grind the right amount of reach shot and the beans for every shot are ground when you order the drink - this is the best. 3) Does it appear that they're tamping and doing it well? Usually the mark of a place that cares enough to try for good results. In some places you may see a LaMarzocco Swift grinder - this is the one where the barista actually locks the portafilter onto the grinder and hits a button. In this case the barista does not tamp. The grinder automatically grinds the right amount and tamps. Some purists believe that hand tamping is the best but a Swift can actually do a better and more consistent job than all but the best baristas. A relatively inexperienced barista with a well maintained and tweaked espresso machine and a Swift can produce very good results indeed. 4) Is the steam wand nice and clean and does it get wiped down and purged after each pitcher of milk is steamed? If you see a milk crud encrusted steam wand it's safe to assume that, at the very least, they don't do a good job of steaming milk. More important - it speaks to the big picture. Lack of attention to a crucial process detail like this generally indicates that the owner/manager/staff either doesn't know or doesn't care enough about milk preparation to do it correctly and more likely than not.... that attitude extends to espresso preparation. 5) Is the barista continually adding milk to pitchers that have sat around for extended periods of time on the counter or re-steaming milk that has sat around for awhile? During a busy morning or evening rush it's a resonable practice to steam in the same pitcher for awhile and keep adding more cold milk but the use old milk/warm milk/re-steamed milk means the same thign as the previous comment - lack of attention to process control. What To Ask: 1) Do you roast your own beans, how often is this done and how fresh are the beans you use? They should not be using beans more than ten days past roasting date. 2) If you don't roast them yourselves, where do they come from? In some areas you may find cafes using five pound bags of the popular Italian bar blends like LaVazza. Beans like this can make very good espresso but they have to be coming from a trusted source that monitors dates and has good turnover. Good microroaster beans will still be better in nearly all cases. Other cafes will buy from reputable microroasters. I know of a place in Brooklyn that buys from Caffe Vivace in Seattle. One of Vancouver BC's better local cafes actually has their beans shipped in from Chicago IL in the US! (Intelligentsia Roasters) 3) How many ounces in your double shot? If they say 1.5 to 2 ounces and they really deliver this amount - chances are good that they're trying to do it right. Perhaps they won't be hitting it on every shot - nobody does - but it likely means they understand what's needed. ==================================================== These are only a few but in my experience if any of the above don't meet the right criteria.... chances are slim that you'll get really good espresso.
  3. Varietal: Mao Xie Oolong English Name: Hairy Crab Oolong Harvest: Fall, 2009 Growing Region: Anxi County, Fujian Roast: Heat dried, no roasting Vacuum Sealed into 50 gram portions eG Society member Greg Glancy at http://www.norbutea.com is contributing 7 gram vacuum packaged samples of a new Fall 2009 Mao Xie, also known as Harry Crab for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. Greg has provided four samples of 7 grams each, and I will mail three of them to the eG Society members participating in this Tasting and Discussion. This is the first of the last three Tea Tasting & Discussions for this year. However, several interesting Tea Tasting & Discussions in a new format are already slated for the first part of 2010. If you subscribe to the eG Coffee & Tea forum you will be among the first to know when one is posted. While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least ten substantive posts in the eG Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Monday, November 16th to those who have not participated in the last two tastings. Although many teas brew well both gongfu style aand Western style, Greg says this one really needs to be brewed gong fu style, so samples will go to those who will brew this tea gong fu (which means "with skill") style in a gaiwan or Yixing teapot. The three free samples are available to members who also 1) will do at least one gongfu style brewing session with multiple infusions from the sample, 2) will report on their experience and participate actively 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. As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion. So, please PM me now for details if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion. Here's more information on this special Oolong tea from the Norbutea.com website. (Used with permission.) I have known Greg for several years since a presentation he once gave on a trip through the tea markets and farms of China fed my growing interest in learning more about fine teas. Since then Greg has become a tea friend and we drink tea together and trade teas and tea stories from time to time.
  4. I drink a fair bit of coffee (5-6 cups a day). For years I've had my coffee with a bit of cream or milk - no sugar. Recently I've started to like it black. I find there's more coffee "flavour" that way. Am I just going through a phase, or is this part of a normal taste progression?
  5. Swicks

    Good basic combo machine?

    Hey all, this is my first time on this part of the forum. Im looking for some insight on a basic, reasonably affordable combo type machine that can do both regular coffee and espresso. Does such a machine exist? Does the quality suffer with these types of machines? Any info would be appreciated. Cheers!
  6. Jason Perlow

    Self-Heating Coffee Cans

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/f...at_x.htm?csp=15
  7. Richard Kilgore

    Tasting: Fall 2008 Tie Guan Yin

    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 will send the samples out this week. Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission). (In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.) [Edit: criteria changed to five or more substantive posts.]
  8. cupojoe

    Cuban Coffee in East Midtown

    Anyone know of a place to get real cuban coffee near Grand Central???? I'm from Miami, and I miss it so. Note: moved to the Coffee and Tea forum in hopes of getting a response for "cupojoe"
  9. 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
  10. Hardly an original concept for a thread but since our companion thread has folks spending so much time on the dark side.... how about some warm and fuzzy memories of your favorite coffee/espresso experiences? Perhaps it's not really the best cup you've ever really had per se but for whatever reason is very memorable. Mine would have to be back around 1979 or so when my GF spent six months in Colombia South America teaching. She brought back a few vacuum packed pounds of a special grade of Colombian Supremo that was available only for export - much higher quality than what was sold for the local Colombian market. I promptly brewed up a small pot with my trusty Melitta and for the first time ever, discovered a coffee that was ruined rather than benefiting from having half 'n half added (I have typically always added half 'n half to my coffee - even the good stuff). This stuff was so good that drinking it black was the only viable option. Thinking about that first cup still evokes tangible taste recollection not to mention the intensity of being in love for the first time. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the first time I tried Ethiopian coffee made in the traditional manner, which is the preparation method used in the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It was like drinking liquid gold (or so it seemed.... never having drunk liquid gold but I'm struggling for an analogy). I exited the restaurant (in Denver CO) and was greeted by the largest and most visible double rainbow I've ever been lucky enough to see - somehow very apropos.
  11. DanM

    "Best From" Dates?

    I decided to try a new local roaster today and picked up a bag of Carlos Ernesto Guerrero Lara Apaneca El Salvadoran coffee... whatever that means. What caught my eye about the bag is that they note the roast date (4/22), best from (4/25) and to (5/9) dates. I am confused about the from date. Why would I wait 3 days after roasting before drinking? Thanks! Dan
  12. Mrs catdaddy has been good this year and I'm considering buying a Rancilio Silvia as a Christmas present. I know this machine gets a lot of love here, especially when outfitted with a PID. After reading many posts I'm just wondering if there is anything new (since 2013 say) I should know about the Rancilio or other great machine on the market? Also any tips about use and/or essential other tools.....like a good knock box. We've got a great grinder already.
  13. Shel_B

    Storing Whole Coffee Beans

    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?
  14. I recently had excellent coffee every morning at a B&B in Mexico City. The beans were from Chiapas, but the roaster does not ship to the U.S. I'm looking to hopefully get close to this coffee for my morning brew ~ does anyone have a favorite roaster that they order a Chiapas coffee from?
  15. Kyle_Larson

    Barista competitions

    Hello everybody, this is my first post on eGullet.com and I am very excited to be here. I work as a barista in Seattle and have decided to work in coffee as a career. Over the last few years I am sure a few of you have heard of the Barista Competitions that take place. They are similiar to that of a cook off or cooking competition. The NorthWest Regional competition will be held in September, and I encourage all of you members residing in Portland to come and check it out. As a barista, I am trying to elevate my craft to the level of culinary excellence you would come to expect at a Michelin restaurant. Hope to see you there.
  16. adegiulio

    Specialty coffee?

    OK, so I am checking out this forum and see a nice banner ad for this company specialtycoffee.com. Has anyone tried this company? Reading their website, I really like their attitude. I normally order from Peets, but am tempted to give them a shot when my coffee runs low...
  17. skipper10

    Making Coffee for multitudes

    Every Sunday my family "volunteers" to make coffee for our community for 50 to 350+ people. We use those old fashioned electric coffee pots that take forever to brew 90-100 cups and clean-up is a real pain you know where. We are considering modernizing, installing a built in restaurant type coffee machine system that would produce large quantities of coffee in minimum of time. If you use an efficient coffee system you can recommend, would you, please share the information. Thanks in advance.
  18. I like press pot coffee. Can I just brew the coffee in a stock pot and strain through a chinois into thermoses? Maybe without force it would take too long to filter through the grounds, but maybe with a big enough strainer this wouldn't be an issue. Any thoughts?
  19. paulraphael

    Stumptown

    The "third wave" coffee revolution of the 1990s has recently found its way to New York, and among other lofty participants, Stumptown is roasting their own here. I had a pretty convincing blind tasting when I ordered coffee at the brick oven pizza joint that recently opened in a semi-legal industrial shack in my neighborhood deep in brooklyn. One sip into it, I hollered for the waitress to come back. "What IS this?" ... It was the best cup of joe I'd had in years. Stumptown, of course. I forgot to ask what variety. So I finally made my way to their stylized storefront in the lobby of the Ace Hotel, and after reading all the flowery descriptions and then getting advice from the staff, chose their one Indonesian coffee. What can I say? It was lousy. I'd asked for something full bodied, earthy, and spicy (I'm generally a sumatra fan). What I got was thin and spicy and metallic. Nibbling on the beans gave the same flavor profile, so I don't think it's anything I'm doing in the brewing. Anyone have a favorite stumptown variety? I'm especially interested in the big body, spicy, earthy kind of flavor profile.
  20. vloglady

    Coffee beans in NYC?

    My friend wants to find a source for GOOD quality fresh roasted coffee beans in NYC. We've tried Fairway. He likes the Kona blends. any suggestions? thanks. susan
  21. ON HGTV this weekend there was a 1 hr show of International Housewares- There were several items for coffee and tea that were interesting- www.hgtv.com----search products to see items
  22. egalicontrarian

    Pleasant coffee and tea abominations

    Inspired by an exchange between Naftal and Hassouni in the winter tea thread, I thought I'd ask something different but possibly related: what coffee or tea mixtures do people make that they are either embarrassed to admit, or that they find delightfully disgusting or painful? This could be anything from plain old "I drink Folgers black every day!" to an exotic but grotesque mixed drink. I'll start: I'm about to drink my favorite disgusting infusion, Ku Ding, with a cheap bourbon whiskey, Fighting Cock. Interestingly, in my experience the aftertaste of Ku Ding easily outlasts - by a lot - hard liquor. My first experience in this genre was leaving several "nails" of Ku Ding in a bottle of Smirnoff for several days. The experience was roughly this: upon drinking, one is immediately hit with the familiar feeling of drinking Vodka, but then the extreme bitterness of the Ku Ding emerges and permeates the entire gustatory system. (Note: you may remember me from the "butter coffee" thread. Some posters reacted in horror to the idea, so I suppose that would count here as well!)
  23. After having reasonable luck with my last batch of coffee liqueur, I was hoping that someone here could help me select a more suitable sort of bean. I don't drink a lot of coffee (it gives me indigestion), but I love the flavor in desserts and cocktails. My previous attempt used a dark roast coffee that was quite sour - sort of like what you'd find at Starbucks. The end result had a very potent coffee flavor with a less processed taste than Kahlua, but much like the raw ingredients, it was a lot more sour. I'd like to fix that. What should I look for in a roast? I wouldn't mind using a nationwide distributed variety, but being able to find something locally would be nice as they can grind it very, very fine.
  24. Monica Bhide

    Spiced Coffee

    We visited some Ethiopian friends a few weeks ago and they made this awesome coffee -- regular filter coffee spiced up with pounded cloves, cinnamon and black pepper.. It was one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had This is my first post in this forum so forgive me if this is really a novice post.. but man that coffee was really good and I had to share! Do you all spice your coffee? What do you add to it? Are there spices that should not be added?
  25. Just read Steven's latest coffee roasting post... Getting even fair coffee while dining out is difficult, even at many fine restauarants. And there's relatively no chance of having freshly ground, freshly roasted beans used to start that restaurant coffee cup with. What will you be washing down your desserts with? --Mark
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