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Coffee Rant

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Torren61, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I double check everything. It's extraordinary how many screwups occur in the normal course of business. I think it's mostly population and mobility-related, as businesses no longer really serve a local community of repeat customers, but deal with a parade of people that thaey will mostly never see again. Either that or half the workforce is just stoned on the job.
     
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  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not been to Portugal yet? :)
     
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  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The problem with Bialetti, Moka stovetop, Turkish, percolator methods is they all boil the water. Running water at the boiling point through the beans extracts more of the harsher tasting alkaloids from the beans and makes for a harsher, more bitter cup of coffee. And you'll also notice that people tend to use sugar and milk/cream with coffee made by these methods-- to cover up that bad bitterness. (There's good bitter and bad bitter-- not all bitter is the same.)

    Drip coffee machines, espresso machines, Keurigs, Nescafe-- all of them have methods to ensure that the water extracting flavor from your beans is in about the 180-200 degree range, not boiling. That's why "cold water extraction" coffee often tastes the smoothest. Cooler water improves the ratio of good/bad flavors.

    Grinding beans just before using them also makes a huge difference. Coffee oxidizes unless you store it in let's say pure C02 or nitrogen, or put it in a sealed vacuum bag that has had all the air sucked out of it. But once you open that package the oxidation begins. If you go through your coffee in a short period of time it's not that big of a deal. But the oxidation is what makes it lose that "fresh", "rich" flavor and become more "meh". Whole beans have orders of magnitude higher surface/volume ratio so they lock in more of the good flavor, only oxidizing on their surface.

    So that's why grinding just before use is perhaps the best thing you can do to make your coffee taste better. That and using good water at the right temperature with the right amount of beans for the level of richness you prefer. One reason people like Keurig and Nescafe makers is they eliminate the step required to get the right ratio of beans/water,the right fine-ness of bean grind, with the right extraction method. Plus the pre-ground beans are sealed in little oxidation-proof capsules. All of these are controlled and are the same every time-- but meanwhile generating more plastic for the landfill.

    Finally, how dark to roast the beans? If you are the kind of person who wants cafe au lait or a latte-- lots of milk-- than typically people want a more bitter, darker tasting cup of coffee to cut through all that milk. So places like Starbucks and Peets roast their beans very dark. Espresso beans are roasted very dark.

    But if you like your coffee black, than a light or medium roast is going to retain a lot more complexity of flavor and have more caffeine per mg as well since the roasting process destroys some of the caffeine.

    A lot of cocktails were invented during Prohibition because they needed flavors that would cover up the yucky taste of bathtub gin. People want all kinds of flavored syrups and milk in their Starbucks because the coffee isn't all that good-- roasted too dark and prepared by people who often aren't paying enough attention to the process.
     
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  4. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I am seriously into coffee. At home it is French press or a decent Espresso machine. Where I can also pull what they call a "lugo" (? I think) and also tastes seriously great but different than an espresso. My guess is it just pulls more water slower through a regular espresso shot? Anyway, both are delish.

    But we have been on the road (socially-distanced) for 3 weeks in a rented condo. I has just a bog standard drip coffee maker. I honestly don't even know what kind. The first one died after the first week and they brought a different one. Different brand.

    Both make great coffee with minimal fuss. Unlike home (where I slavishly grind) we just bought a pound ground from a local place, used it for a week. And it tasted great the whole time. Maybe not quite as complex or whatever. Maybe. But I just measure grounds. Fill water to a certain level, and push a button.

    So I bought an Oxo 8 cup (which is simple and highly-rated) for when we get back. Which H-B model did you get (in case we don't like the Oxo, which, based on recent experience seems unlikely to happen).

    Coffee just doesn't require that much fuss I guess. Who knew?
     
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  5. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have reset my expectations on anything that has hourly employees involved in... I know there are still a few good ones out there but,
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    No doubt, drip is very good if it's a decent machine. The Oxo does get a good rating. Also the old fashioned way, pouring over a little plastic or pyrex filter holder works great, too, but you need to control the water temp and the pour rate-- both of which the drip maker takes care of automatically. Just don't leave it on that hot burner for more than a few minutes. Brew it, turn it off, and either pour it into a thermos or microwave it for the seconds needed to warm it back up. Leaving it sitting on that warming plate will ruin the taste in about ten minutes, IMO.

    With the classic industrial Bunn coffee makers it didn't matter that the coffee pots were sitting on those burners as long as the place was hopping. A pitcher of coffee would get poured in much less than 15 minutes and most of the time it was in a server's hand, not actually resting on the burner. But go into that diner during a slow stretch and have them pour you a cup from a half-full pitcher that had been sitting there for over half an hour-- YUCK!
     
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  7. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I was going to jump on this with a "yes"...but I see Mrs has held a round-up.

    I used to have to hide my cup at the office from the administrative help...they were forever trying to hijack it for a wash.
     
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's probably right. Though I also feel like stainless thermal type pitchers impart a flavor I don't like. Maybe that's in my head. But I always notice with a stainless one, and a double wall glass thermal pitcher doesn't change the flavor.
     
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  9. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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  10. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've this one:

    [​IMG]

    https://www.farmandfleet.com/products/1124205-hamilton-beach-12-cup-program-coffee-maker.html

    Again, Consumer Reports gave it its highest rating in the "budget" category. I got mine for $15 (it was on a half-price sale!) at the local supermarket. For that money, what's the risk? It does a great job and I have delicious coffee with, as you said, minimal fuss. My one concession to prissiness is using Melitta bamboo filters. They're like a dime more expensive than the white ones, so why not. Oh, and spring water instead of tap. Easy and good. Seriously, where's the down side?

    FTR: I used to grind fresh beans and French press everything. After using the above coffee and coffee maker, I don't see the point. Either the difference just isn't that great or I can't taste it anyway, y'know?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    this has been a fun read! One of the many things I love about TDPRI is that the voices are so distinct and all over the place and so many so sure and so earnest... that is awesome. I read a book about 'mavens' and it is cool to read what people have to say that 'care' about the thing they are talking about. I love coffee. We have our own specific process at home. Our kids say I make the best coffee, but I don't know, I like how my wife makes it too. We only buy one kind of beans from one vendor (called Surf City Coffee) I usually buy a dozen pounds at once because I don't want to be out. We have a drip machine at home and we use an old fashioned metal on the fire percolator at our cabin. We grind the beans differently there, coarser, because of the basket. We use only a burr grinder. I love my coffee with a little cream to smooth it... our kids come home and say, 'oh my god, I forgot how good this is' and they also laugh that they have improved bathroom performance.

    I used to travel a lot. I know the taste of Pike's Place at Starbucks and am familiar to the degree I order a vente Pikes with a little cream and I find it satisfactory. Local coffee places and other chains mostly don't end up a good experience. We had to go to Medford, Or awhile back and I was so excited to go to Dutch Bros. but did not like it.

    I think some of @boneyguy ideas about your mind already deciding about stuff before the part where you think you decide is right. I think I know the taste before it happens and if it varies, I'm unhappy about it.

    I do love great restaurant coffee and real espresso and I got my mom one of the fancy nespresso machines and she loves it, I think it is 'okay' but not my thing. I don't like keurig coffee at all.. and kind of secretly wish I just had a bunnomatic!

    Fun to hear all the ideas and solutions though... thanks for sharing them.
     
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  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I buy from a local roastery: Codiac Cafe. Cafe Moncton blend - it's excellent. I buy the beans and grind them fresh myself every morning. I use a Cuisinart drip coffee brewer and unbleached disposable cone filters. I tried both a french press and a mesh filter for the Cuisinart, but I can't deal with the slightly powdery texture using these methods.
     
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  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    And the most important consideration - that one is .13" to tall to fit under our cabinet! :lol:
     
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  14. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    OH, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: Maybe file the nut to bring the action down????? ;) :D :D :D :D :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I left mine on my desk at the office back in early March. I haven't been back in there since. I guess it has a nice layer of dust on it now.
     
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  16. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The powdery flavor comes from too fine grinds that are created by a typical whirring blade grinder. A burr grinder can make more uniformly coarse grinds so you get a lot less coffee "powder" in your French press coffee. Basically a burr grinder is a must for acceptable French Press performance IMO.
     
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  17. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yeah, I’m also a body builder.
     
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  18. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    You’re WAAY too generous, lol
     
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  19. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Whole bean in bulk*, we grind just enough for two pots every couple of days, dripped through a Cuisinart with the mesh filter.

    *Don Pablo signature blend if anyone's curious. $34/5lbs, lasts us quite a while, very low acid/bitterness to me. Just tastes like coffee.
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I've found that coffee shop employees are trained to go through the motions, but are not trained to ascertain that the results are good. Most of it depends on individual dilligence and initiative to come out right. There is no systematic analysis, no quality control, no measurement of anything, no numbers.

    Some may scoff at measuring anything in making coffee, but if you don't measure it you don't have a baseline for 'good,' and if you don't keep measuring you don't know if a cup of coffee meets that baseline.

    All of that, and the automation that makes managers and employees think there's no human factor. If no one bothers to find out if an automatic, commercial espresso machine produces a proper espresso, they're happy with whatever brown liquid comes out of it. I can't imagine how many "espresso" shots I've received that were nothing but strong coffee.

    Yeah... French press, for sure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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