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Coffee for Newbies


Schielke
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Sweet Maria's has a fairly concise description of the benefits

your incentive to use these devices will be clear: coffee with pronounced body and no sediment; very clean and crisp; a cup where flavors are dramatic and heightened in every respect. Delicate coffees (African coffees, central Americans...) are especially suited for vacuum brewing.

See the Sweet Maria's Vacuum Coffee Brewers page for more details.

It's in the nature of vacuum brewing that the extraction of the bean's essence is done at the perfect temperature. The nature of the process by which the water is drawn through the filter rod area, infused and then deposited in the serving carafe ensures this. I'm a much bigger fan of drip coffee than I am of press pot as my chest is already hairy enough. I do have a Bodum vacuum brewer on order and will report back here after I've played with it for a few days.

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Sweet Maria's has a fairly concise description of the benefits
your incentive to use these devices will be clear: coffee with pronounced body and no sediment; very clean and crisp; a cup where flavors are dramatic and heightened in every respect. Delicate coffees (African coffees, central Americans...) are especially suited for vacuum brewing.

See the Sweet Maria's Vacuum Coffee Brewers page for more details.

It's in the nature of vacuum brewing that the extraction of the bean's essence is done at the perfect temperature. The nature of the process by which the water is drawn through the filter rod area, infused and then deposited in the serving carafe ensures this. I'm a much bigger fan of drip coffee than I am of press pot as my chest is already hairy enough. I do have a Bodum vacuum brewer on order and will report back here after I've played with it for a few days.

Thanks for the link. It does satisfy my need for information but I'd like to hear about your experience. The method looks simple and sort of 'scientific' because of the multiple glass containers. I can't help but think about chemistry lab...and I also think it must look a little like making moonshine.

Along another line, if I don't have a burr grinder (perhaps I should say 'yet') am I better off having it ground by the purveyor of the beans and tossing them in the freezer or using Jason's-hairy-chest-style grinder?

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Along another line, if I don't have a burr grinder (perhaps I should say 'yet') am I better off having it ground by the purveyor of the beans and tossing them in the freezer or using Jason's-hairy-chest-style grinder?

Your best bet if you've got a Furry-Perlow grinder, is to use a manual drip with a paper filter. Either get one of those cheap-o filter baskets or a chemex, neither should cost much and both will produce excellent coffee without the need for an expensive grinder.

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if you're using a French Press or a decent espresso machine you are going to need a grinder that produces consistent size grinds.

now... the truth is that the grinder is NOT the single most important factor and for many people there will be no real improvement when buying a good grinder. the trouble is that most people are using bad beans. by bad, in this case, i mean beans that are either not fresh or of poor quality or badly roasted and/or blended (or all three). and/or the beans are pre-ground. in addition, most people are using poorly maintained equipment that is either dirty, incapable of producing and maintaining the correct temperature consistently (and, in the case of an espresso machine, the correct pressure) or has been cleaned with dish soap.

the truth is that, for most people, the first taste of correctly prepared coffee from good beans tends to be astonishing. but... simply using a good grinder rarely solves the problem.

as a cautionary tale, i know someone who spent over $2500 on equipment in a short period of time and found little to no improvement in the resulting coffee. it turned out that he was using pre-ground Trader Joe coffee. he was amazed when a visitor brought some fresh, high quality beans by and pulled some shots. and then he was depressed later than week when his coffee (with the new beans) was not the same quality. it turned out that he had, after his visitor left, ground all the remaining beans, put the coffee in tupperware and stuck it in the freezer.

as with most things in life, there are no shortcuts.

fanatic...

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Also interesting, are some manual coffee grinders. What are people's opinions of grinders like these?

B0000TK7X6.01-A2TYCYZUO9EQ9V.MZZZZZZZ.jpg Coffee/Spice Mill, $60, Dean and Deluca or

B00005O685.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg Peugeot Costa Rica Natural Coffee Mill

I'm wondering if anyone has actually used a manual grinder?

They seem to be cheaper than electric burr grinders, less noisy (I find myself getting my coffee ground at the store these days, so as not to wake up my night working husband when I grind my morning coffee) and neater (they grind the coffee right into a tin or drawer).

And they look pretty cool too.

I like the old-fashioned wooden ones already pictured, and these:

http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/elblanco/img100510072.jpeg

http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/elblanco/img100510083.jpeg

So would grinding my beans manually be too much hard work?

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I'm wondering if anyone has actually used a manual grinder?

They seem to be cheaper than electric burr grinders, less noisy (I find myself getting my coffee ground at the store these days, so as not to wake up my night working husband when I grind my morning coffee) and neater (they grind the coffee right into a tin or drawer).

And they look pretty cool too.

I like the old-fashioned wooden ones already pictured, and these:

http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/elblanco/img100510072.jpeg

http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/elblanco/img100510083.jpeg

So would grinding my beans manually be too much hard work?

I have a manual grinder hanging on the wall in my kitchen. It grinds well, but it's a little slow. As I am a person who never drank more than one cup at a time, it was sufficient, but I would think that someone who brewed more than one pot a day might find it tedious, especially if they had the money to buy a good electric.

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