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Please help me make good coffee at home


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I just got a coffee siphon recently, and I love it. I don't use it every morning, because it's more of a hassle than my French press, but I do love the coffee it produces.

I'm curious about cleaning coffee oils, though: what do people use? Do we just accept that anything made out of plastic is a lost cause after a period of time?

I use Cafiza, by Urnex. I love using it in a glass thermos, which sparkles afterwards.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Regardless of what method you use to brew your coffee, you must get good quality beans (not ground). I like the brand Ruta Maya if you can get your hands on it.

You also need good quality water, but I think those points have been established.

As far as "brands" of beans, I'm sure that's based on where one is located, who the local roasters and what their standards are.

Or, get good green beans and roast 'em at home.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've gone to a very simple but tasty setup: french press + medium-dark roast coarse ground in a hand grinder. I don't have the counter space for a fancy machine and don't really like espresso anyway. Lately my coffee of choice is TJ's Tarazzo. I used to get Kona but decided it's too sweet and light. Oh, and have to have a bit of milk in there.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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The best way is to buy a good coffee maker instead of making it yourself. It reduces efforts and time and tastes really good!

What?

Coffee maker it's the must have if you are a coffee fan.

What?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I finally bought a French press ($5 at the thrift!) and love the coffee. It really does make a difference over my old drip method.

But how do you all dispose of the used grounds? Just down the drain? I used to compost the grounds but getting them dry enough now to go in my pail seems like an annoying extra step.

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  • 1 month later...

If you're feeling lazy sometimes (which I often do), a travel French press mug is the way to go!

  1. Heat your water to boiling (take it off the heat and wait 30 seconds before pouring over your coffee)
  2. Grind your beans using any kind of grinder, burr might be best on a coarse grind
  3. Dump the ground coffee into your travel mug (~$20), something like this: http://www.zappos.com/bodum-travel-press-coffee-maker-off-white?ef_id=Uh9hQgAAADDgnEmM:20130920150914:s&zfcTest=fcl%3A3
  4. Pour the slightly cooled hot water over the ground coffee- at this point you cover the mug and you can be on your merry way to work
  5. Wait 4 minutes, then press the coffee grinds down
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I finally bought a French press ($5 at the thrift!) and love the coffee. It really does make a difference over my old drip method.

But how do you all dispose of the used grounds? Just down the drain? I used to compost the grounds but getting them dry enough now to go in my pail seems like an annoying extra step.

We just pour them down the drain. So far it hasn't clogged either our drain pipes or our septic tank.

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  • 11 months later...

• Make sure your coffee making equipment is as clean as possible.

• Use Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans (preferably from the Mavis Bank Coffee

  Factory).

• Use a medium-light roast.  (Preferably buy the beans green and roast them yourself.)

• Use 2 tablespoons of unground beans per 6-ounce cup.

• Use a rough grind.  (Preferably grind the beans yourself, using a burr grinder, rather

  than a blade grinder.)

• Make sure the beans are roasted, ground, brewed and consumed in as rapid succes-

  sion as possible.

• Use distilled water heated to 205ºF.

• Steep the grinds for 4 or 5 minutes.

• Extract the coffee from the grinds using a French press or the SoftBrew method.

• Stir the coffee, but leave it “black”.  (Don’t add cream, sugar, or anything else to it.)

• Serve immediately in a preheated glass or porcelain mug.

 

I've been doing this for about two months (except roasting the beans myself), and in my experience, this is as good as it gets.

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It's nice that that's the best coffee you've ever had.

 

But there are plenty of other methods to brew great coffee.  And plenty of other great beans to be had.

 

And I take issue with this statement:

Make sure the beans are roasted, ground, brewed and consumed in as rapid succession as possible.

 

 

Since roasted coffee should be gassed out for a day or two, in m opinion.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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There are many, many roasters, beans, and roasting techniques, as well as a variety of palates and brewing techniques.  Personally, for example, I find Jamaican Blue Mountain rather insipid.

 

Here's a site that may be helpful on your "quest for the best,"  http://www.sweetmarias.com/store/ which is only one of many similar sites.  I am familiar with the company and many of the bean varieties they sell.  The site is well worth a visit if you're a coffee drinker and aficionado.

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 ... Shel


 

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I'm not a fan of Blue Mountain coffee and I have tried it many times, in many different roasts and brewing methods.  I have never understood why people raved about it - and often can't determine which of several coffees it is in a blind tasting.  To me it is flat and boring.

 

I personally like a very robust, dark roast of an assertive coffee variety that actually tastes like coffee and I have found several that fit my criteria.

 

For me, coffee should be freshly ground just before brewing and I use a single cup pod machine (make my own pods) (Senseo) which are no longer marketed in the U.S. but as I bought backups before they were discontinued, I believe I will be able to continue to brew coffee with this method for the foreseeable future.

 

Distilled water is NOT good for coffee.  FILTERED water - to removed the chemicals that in tap water often interfere with the optimal brewing of coffee is the best in my opinion. 

 

And lastly, I like coffee with a small amount of cream and sugar, my personal taste, because for ME, these complement and enhance the flavor and I enjoy it more that way. 

 

I have for many years collected coffee brewers, coffee apparatus and have tried just about every brewing technique known - including "boiled" coffee with egg shells to "settle" the grounds. 

And I agree that Sweet Marias is an excellent online vendor.

 

I also recommend that coffee fans (fanatics) sign up for a free membership on CoffeeGeek.

 

Many of my coffee brewers are pictured on my blog on the Vintage Electric (some non-electric) coffee brewers page.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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the 'gassing out' is very important for Espresso w a real deal machine.

 

less so for drip.

 

also over a few days after gassing out espresso changes 'in the cup'  many times for the better

 

as mentioned above

 

SweetMaria has an extensive 'Coffee College' section

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I don't know anything about this.  What can you tell me about it?

 

When you roast coffee, the set of reactions that happens inside the beans keeps on going for a few days after they are cooled down.  The beans release CO2 over that period of time.  Just cooled fresh roasted coffee is flat and unpleasant tasting.  I find that the flavor settles down and gets good after about a week.  Anything younger than that isn't as good as it is going to get.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I'm also not a fan of Jamaican coffee.  I prefer Yemenis or Ethiopians more often than not, though some of the big beaned Nicaraguans are also very nice.   I tend to prefer coffees with a strong fruit component in them.  On brewing, I find the french press is fine for cold brewing.  For hot coffee I like the Aeropress.  But more often than not, I just make espresso when I want hot coffee.

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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"----• Stir the coffee, but leave it “black”.  (Don’t add cream, sugar, or anything else to it.)---"

 

Costa Ricans are very serious about coffee. They know about coffee.

 

When I was there, coffee was always served with hot milk and sugar.

 

dcarch

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