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Found 520 results

  1. 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...
  2. Ouch. Talk about world domination. The 'bucks is currently expecting to have 14,000 stores worldwide by the end of 2006 and has now upped their estimate for long range plans to a level 10,000 stores more than they had previously projected. Starbucks Expansion Plans The bizarre aspect of this - to my thinking - is that half of the new stores will be in the US. That makes for 18,000 additional Starbucks in the US. I guess the old standup comic's joke (was it Carlin who said it?) about opening a Starbucks inside a Starbucks was not too far off. It's both bad news and good news for independents. Bad news because Starbucks will cut buying contracts for more beans than ever - thereby reducing the supply of some of the better-than-commodity level beans currently used by most independents (and driving up prices in the process although if the coffee farmers and their families see the bulk of the extra money it then becomes a good thing). But the good news is that they can't possibly improve quality and it may decline even more than it has in recent years - when you operate on that massive a scale it's inevitable that quality has to suffer a bit. That opens even more doors for quality driven independent operators to distinguish themselves and gain more customers and more loyalty. And here's the cartoon that makes more sense than ever after this news update. Starbucks Relativity
  3. According to the journal Geotimes, coffee is essential to the work of geologists, and not just in the way you would think: http://www.geotimes.org/dec03/column.html
  4. Gifted Gourmet

    Coffee and wine:

    Very nice article from Wine Spectator
  5. Geetha

    India Coffee Bar

    I've been ever experimenting the ways in which to prepare coffee the way my mother makes it at home. I am never tired of it and even though I have a stable version of coffee available, I not completely at home Pleasae give me some way of preparing coffe the way it used to be at home. I think this especially goes for the people of south India. I know many others too have a love of coffee, but nothing beats the home coffee. Please share your tips for ethereal coffee land today...
  6. hathor

    Favorite Italian Coffee

    When in Italy, what's your favorite brand of Italian coffee? I'm asking because we are in the throes of deciding what brand to use in our new restaurant, and would love to hear some biased opinions! Grazie mille!
  7. ned

    Manual pavoni

    Feeling a little drowsy before heading out for a late dinner engagement, I decided to make myself an espresso. In the mornings I use a double shot insert, but for this job I figured I only needed the strength of a single shot. So I switched out to the smaller one. . . but as I pulled the shot I started thinking. The proper shot of espresso requires (among other things) a proportionate relationship between an amount of coffee and the amount of water that’s run through it. I think, and herein lies the reason for this post, that the manual Pavoni always runs the same amount of water regardless of the size of the insert—single or double shot. While it doesn’t so much seem to effect the quality of the shot, I can only conclude that the machine will pull only a single single and a single double or a double single and a double double. Anybody know which it is?
  8. srhcb

    Tea & Chocolate

    Coffee and chocolate is, of course, one of the great flavor pairings of all time, and one of my personal favorite treats. Lately I've begun drinking tea occassionally in place of coffee, and this afternoon decided to try a bit of chocolate with it. Neither was a very exotic variety, Earl Greys and Baronie Bittersweet, but they certainly didn't enhance each other. Is this just a peculiarity of mine, a general rule of thumb, or are there some tea-chocolate combinations that work well? SB
  9. phaelon56

    CT Index - Cooking and Dining

    Cooking and Dining Good Coffee in Expensive Restaurants - why not? Espresso and Haute Cuisine - is espresso taken seriously? Hard Coffee Drinks - what do you add? Return to Coffee Topics Master Index
  10. Hi, I've never posted to this forum before, but since coffee's starting to become more important to me, I thought I'd better get some information. I'm not particularly fussy, liking an occasional capuccino from Starbucks or local coffee houses. But while shoveling the driveway after the last snowstorm, I kept thinking how nice it would be to go back inside and make my own capuccino. I'm not looking for great, just decent. At least mine would be consistent, which I can't say about Starbucks. So I want a cheap starter espresso machine. The Melitta 15 bar pump machine sounds like a good deal for the money. http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=1-...asin=B0000645Z2 Anybody have it, try it, or know about it? I'd appreciate your experiences, or suggestions for other machines. Remember, cheap... my husband is a hard sell! Thanks.
  11. Schielke

    Intelligentsia Black Cat

    I recetly picked up some Black Cat blend for the first time while I was up in Vancouver recently. My wife and I totally love this coffee and see the supply dwindling. I know you can order it from Intelligentsia online, but would like to find something similar and local. We used to use Vivace beans exclusively, but the Black Cat is so much better suited to our Drip Machine. Any suggestions for Seattle? Thanks! Ben
  12. Andrew

    Best home pod machine

    I know many are anti the coffee pod machines but leaving that aside what is the best system? I have had a Lavazza Modo Mia although it is now 6 years old and it is reaching the end of its life. All the reviews seem to put Nespresso top of the list with the machine I have second. I'm thinking of moving and would be interested in any views. Andrew
  13. Honkman

    Movenpick coffeee

    I am looking for a online shop in the US to buy Movenpick coffee (a swiss brand). Weren't successful so far. Anybody with suggestions where I might find such coffee ?
  14. bbq4meanytime

    Chicory Coffee

    I cracked open my bag of Community Coffee-Chickory Coffee this morning. The last time I had it was back in 1997 in NOLA when a guy named Joe Canizaro sold $140M worth of real estate in downtown NOLA to my client. But I digress.... Mr Mayhaw, I tried to raise this in your blog and think it was lost, but what exactly is chickory and why do y'all mix your coffee with it? When I tried it this AM, it was..well a little herbacaeous tasting. Not unpleasant by any means, just different. Can you 'splain?
  15. FabulousFoodBabe

    Peet's at Stop & Shop

    I just got an email from Peet's that says its coffee will soon be carried in Stop & Shop. I love love LOVE Peet's and have it shipped every month. I just can't see it being of good quality while being distributed through Stop & Shop. It makes me glad on one hand; if we run out I can grab some at the story. But then it makes me sad -- I feel like it's the beginning of the end for such a wonderful product. Any thoughts, anyone?
  16. elion_84

    Oily vs Dry Coffee Beans

    I buy my coffee beans either from a local roaster or from a gourmet shop that sells private branded pre-packaged beans. The beans from the local coffee roaster shop are very oily. Once I'm done with the 1/2 lb batch, the container where I store them is slick and oily on the inside. When grinding these beans, my grinder has oil streaks, and the ground coffee tends to stick to the sides a bit. I find that I need to use much coarser grind with this coffee or my machine (Capress EspressoPRO Model #112) can't push water through. On the other hand, the coffee from the gourmet shop is not nearly as oily compared to the other beans. I can use fine grind (1.5/2 setting on my grinder) and get somewhat better crema. How oily should the coffee bean be? Does this vary with bean variety or freshness of the roast? Does it make a difference?
  17. 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.
  18. What is supposed to be so great about them? And don't they make it very difficult to get the coffee into an espresso cup?
  19. "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.
  20. Jason Perlow

    Self-Heating Coffee Cans

  21. Thanks to a heads up from Chad, one of our Food Media and News Forum hosts, I've been alerted to the introduction of an intriquing new product It's a bit confusing when one investigates more fully. Going to the original home page of Mojo Coffee Home Page takes you to a single page web site showing an actual microwave based home applicance that appears to be targeted specifically for use with their prepackaged green beans (I believe this is what they refer to as the "Wave Roast unit"). Now go to the "other" page of Mojo Coffee Index Page This site is more complete and has photographs of a person preparing their 'WaveRoast" coffee but show it being done in a conventional microwave. The implication here is that the prepackaged beans can be used in any old microwave oven. Perhaps they offer suggested roast profiles for those using a regular microwave (e.g. x number of minutes at the Lo or Med power setting follwed by x number of minutes at Hi power settign). I'm curious to get the reactiosn of others in this forum. Do some of you who are perhaps a bit less fanatical about coffee than the hardcore aficionado interested enough in convenience to invest in such a machine and sacrifice counter space for it? I see the real mass market appeal as being those folks who want something with the convenience of microwave popcorn - just throw it in, press a button and go. The benefits as I see them: 1) The folks who sell the prepacked cartidges of green beans stand to make a fortune if it catches on. There have been previous efforts to tie ongoing consumables purchase into the ownership of a machine (the OxyClean / Fast Orange folks who market the Zach & Dani's roaster try to do this with a "coffee club"). Despite this... such previous efforts have not been particularly successful because other roasters can utilize green beans purchased anywhere - packaging is not an issue. The money is in the blades.... not the razor. 2) It's possible that this may allow one to produce a cup of coffee that is better than the average grocery store prepackaged coffee, even whole bean coffee of good quality that is purchased in vac seal bags. It's possible.... not definite. The shortcomings - real and also possible: 1) Most likely a very high unit cost per serving of coffee - just compare the unit cost of bulk popcorn to the unit cost of microwave popcorn (have to do it by serving size rather than weight due to the extra shortening and additives in the microwave. 2) The concept calls for roasting the coffee just before it's going to be used roasted coffee typically requires a minimum degassing period of 12 - 24 hours before it is at its optimal level of taste and drinkability. I've tasted coffee that was ground and brewed within a few hours after roasting. It was okay but often very grassy tasting. The same coffee always tatsed far better a day or two later. Many espresso blends actually taste best after a 3 day resting period. 3) If it roasts too fast it will definitely have the potential for producing roasts with a bright and acidic flavor profile. Okay for some coffee varieties but not for others, especially not good for espresso blends. Many people using consumer level hot air roasters invest in a voltage control device known as a Variac that allows them to lenghtne the roast and get the smoother flavor profile that extended roasting allows (if done properly). 3) The charactersitics of roasted coffee are intrinsically related to the caramelization of sugar related compunds cainteined within the beans. I'll be very curious to see if microwaving can really achieve the same effect but I'll remain open minded until I have a chance to try some.
  22. kaneel

    Online Coffee Purveyors

    Anyone know of a website that sells great coffee. I am in houston and used to buy from cafe maison but i thiunk they went out of bussiness ( Thanks
  23. 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?
  24. gethin

    mumessek - musk coffee

    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
  25. Carolyn Tillie

    Coffee and Tea

    I know purists that will roast their coffee beans immediately prior to grinding their cup of coffee and drinking it immediately. If a shot of pulled espresso sits around at a Starbucks for more than 30 seconds or a minute, it gets dumped. However, I have a brother-in-law who will walk into my house and if there is cold coffee still sitting in my pot and there are no moldy floaties on top, he'll drink it. As I write this, I'm still sipping on a latte that Shawn made for me when I left for work this morning. He pulled the shots at 7:15 a.m. and it is now 1:30 p.m. I consistently make an entire pot of tea and re-heat cups out of it for a day or so afterwards, despite the fact that I PREFER it fresh, just having it made and ready to heat is often easier on a busy morning. What about you? How old is too old for you?