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Old 09-08-2015, 05:38 PM   #41
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<p>Good advice on from Y8S. If you go gourmet local on the ground stuff, you can purchase small quantities that will not have time to get old. I grind mine every couple of days and keep in a canister.</p><p>If true espresso, you want to grind within the hour, but not so much conventional coffee.</p>
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:54 PM   #42
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if you want true nerd, use your beans within a week of the roasting too.

but come on, we're humans. I use whole foods 365 pacific rim organic beans because they are some of the cheapest per pound around. $11 per 24 oz bag. Generally for "good brands" you'll find they are about $10-14 for 12 oz bags and for local roasters, closer to the higher end of that scale or more depending on origin--especially for the better single origins.

A good way to fly is to go to a local shop or your farmers market that has local coffee representation. Often they'll do free tastings in mini cups. Get a feel for stuff you like before dropping $17 on a bag.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:00 PM   #43
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Yeah, in my immediate area Sprouts is the "whole foods market with local representation"
Looked at the prices on Temple's site and I'm definitely gonna want to be blown away by taste to pay $40 for 8oz lolz

But I'm set with a plan of approach now (I think) and I thank you all for that.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #44
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Quote:
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look at this thread winning

so theirs should be better than costco/sprouts/etc?
that was sorta my next question

by "better" I mean they'll have a good variety and someone will take my n00b hand and guide me through what I might like

*edit: just checked their site. they have tastings. they also have the aeropress.

WIN/WIN
They'll probably have decent grinders as well.
One stop shop, indeed.

In fact, if you're really lucky they'll brew Aeropress there at the shop... so you can order a cup, watch them, pick their brain, etc.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:45 PM   #45
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If you want good coffee you need three things. I spent about 20 years trying to poor my way into good coffee before I spent the money I needed to and finally started getting good coffee. You'll make the 700-800 bucks back in a few months of not drinking overpriced starbucks.

1) A decently good espresso machine. I got a Gaggia Classic for about 400 bucks, but feel free to spend more if you need to dispense more than a few shots at a time. Really the espresso machine is the part that everyone focuses on and it's not super important in the big scheme of things so long as it gets the water decently hot (ie, all of the water, not just the heating element) and makes a respectable amount of pressure and is generally not composed of cheap plastic.

2) A good grinder. Baratza Precisio for 350 is the cheapest I could find a good grinder for and believe me I tried to poor my way out of this. The difference between a good grinder and a **** grinder is like night and day. Unless you can get small size grounds that are consistently the same size, you basically don't have the ability to dial in the flavor of your coffee. Without a good grinder, you're fucked. You can take the best machine in the world and feed crappy grinds of good coffee through it and it will taste bad. Grind is really ******* important.

edit: You can tamp and block flow (there are baskets that do this) to work your way around of some degree of grinder deficiency, but really there is no substitute for having a real grinder. Do it and don't look back. As I said above, I tried to poor my way out of this for many many years and the first time I used the good grinder I knew I had been a fool the whole time. Every trick you have thought of to get around buying a good grinder, I have tried at least twice.

3) Fresh coffee. Starbucks is **** coffee that is over-roasted to hide the fact that it's low quality and not fresh. That being said, at least it's arabica, which is better than your folgers. Anyway, find a local coffee roaster and get stuff that was roasted within the past week. Get medium roasted stuff made from fresh beans from decent growers. It tastes a million times better.

edit: it goes without saying that you should not grind coffee and then store it. You grind exactly the amount of coffee you need and then you push the water through it immediately after tamping.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:11 PM   #46
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Quote:
Fresh coffee. Starbucks is **** coffee that is over-roasted to hide the fact that it's low quality and not fresh
Yep, heard this already, I'm going to stay away from it until I know enough to tell the difference
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:25 PM   #47
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$80/lb sounds like the beans that the little creatures poop out.

Yes. That's also a thing.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:27 PM   #48
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I actually watched that whole documentary
im seriously fascinated with this stuff lately (gourmet/craft/expensive "quality over quantity" stuff)
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:32 PM   #49
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Starbucks was revolutionary in terms of how much higher quality it was than the coffee of the 80s and earlier, which was usually a freeze dried mix of overroasted robusta, rat droppings and sawdust. That being said, it's fallen behind the times and there are much better alternatives these days.

Starbucks made the current situation possible by making good coffee a thing that people care about and are willing to spend money for.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:04 PM   #50
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Serious question:

Is a $300 coffee machine worth $300? Are aeropresses really da bomb? Is a $30 aeropress superior to a $300 machine? Is so, why? Is not, why not? And how much of this is the same sort of gear-masturbation that convinced recreational cyclists to buy $5,000 carbon-fiber frames that weigh less than my genitalia?

I'm no coffee snob, not by far. Beer snob? Yes. But my daily fix at work comes out of a Keurig, and my espresso maker is a 40 year old stovetop moka pot that probably contains lead and hexavalent chromium, but is what I was taught to use as a child to make the peculiar eye-opening brew which Cubans toss down by the thimblefull.

The closest thing I've ever used to what's being discussed here was a French press, and I didn't care for it. Messy, inconvenient, and it made bitter coffee with lots of **** in the bottom.





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Starbucks made the current situation possible by making good coffee a thing that people care about and are willing to spend money for.
Maybe it's just a personal taste thing, but I've never cared for Starbucks coffee. I don't drink it often, but when I have, it seemed to me to have an overpowering, somewhat burnt taste. As though it's deliberately brewed over-strength so that you can still taste coffee once it's been diluted with whatever random **** they put in most of their drinks, at the expense of being able to be enjoyed black.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:45 PM   #51
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Yeah the overpowering burnt taste is the overroasting speaking. Their medium roasts are darker than my local roaster's espresso roasts.

What I recommended above is not gear whoring in the slightest. I can't tell you about the benefits or drawbacks of french press or aeropress because I don't do either, but you pretty much can't do good espresso for less than 600-700 bucks. I have seen some really nice hand grinders for the 200-300 range, but if you want a setup you can order off amazon, you just have to spend the money. If there was something cheaper that didn't produce shitty coffee, I'd be using it.

It's kind of like the attitude a lot of miata guys (including myself) have to suspension choices. How many people here have looked at the price of xidas/fcms/etc and talked themselves into buying some 1000-1500 dollar suspension setup that isn't half as good? And how many of us eventually end up buying the expensive stuff in the end anyway?
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:49 PM   #52
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Oh **** I just realized you're in New York City. If you're in Manhattan, go to Culture Espresso Bar on 38th Street, just to the East of 6th Ave. Order an espresso from there or maybe a macchiato (same with a dab of milk). They have good equipment and fresh beans and they know what the **** they are doing. You will not be disappointed.

The stuff I make at home is about 95 percent as good as what they make. The difference is that they just press a button and get a perfect amount of grounds dispensed from their 1200 dollar grinder. Their giant espresso machine lets them make 10,000 beverages in a day without the machine running out of heat or screwing things up. It's kind of like how a street miata can be as fast as a track miata but cost half as much... but it wouldn't last through an enduro.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:58 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysBroken View Post
I can't tell you about the benefits or drawbacks of french press or aeropress because I don't do either, but you pretty much can't do good espresso for less than 600-700 bucks. I have seen some really nice hand grinders for the 200-300 range, but if you want a setup you can order off amazon, you just have to spend the money. If there was something cheaper that didn't produce shitty coffee, I'd be using it.
I can't speak to a $700 espresso machine, as I've never owned one. But you'll find a $10 moka pot in the kitchen of every self-respecting Latin-American family, and I can brew a mean cafecito with one.


Quote:
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Oh **** I just realized you're in New York City. If you're in Manhattan, go to Culture Espresso Bar on 38th Street, just to the East of 6th Ave. Order an espresso from there or maybe a macchiato (same with a dab of milk). They have good equipment and fresh beans and they know what the **** they are doing. You will not be disappointed.
Yup, Manhattan. I live in the UES, and work on east 42nd between Grand Central and the UN building. They're less than a mile from my office- I may stop in there and check them out some morning.

Are you from the area?
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:23 PM   #54
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Yeah I grew up there, moved out for college, go back to visit family. I left in the early 90s.

BTW, the espresso machine I have is 400 dollars. The grinder was 350. I've tried various alternatives at lower price points and I think I'm pretty much bottomed out as far as price goes.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:30 PM   #55
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Yeah I grew up there, moved out for college, go back to visit family.
How fickle fate is. I grew up just south of Tampa (Port Charlotte) and worked my way through Cincinnati, San Diego and Silicon Valley to wind up in NYC.


Quote:
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BTW, the espresso machine I have is 400 dollars. The grinder was 350. I've tried various alternatives at lower price points and I think I'm pretty much bottomed out as far as price goes.
Yeah, I'm definitely not that passionate about coffee. Had about that much tied up in homebrew equipment at one time, but these days I get my beer in bottles.

Cuban coffee is about the only espresso-type drink I brew with any regularity, and I honestly just can't see how a $500 machine is going to greatly enhance my Café Bustelo. Maybe that's why I'm missing the point.


But alas, I [/threadjack].
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:12 AM   #56
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Chemex pot is a good option for those who want a relatively cheap way to brew multiple cups at a time.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:24 AM   #57
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Cuban coffee is about the only espresso-type drink I brew with any regularity, and I honestly just can't see how a $500 machine is going to greatly enhance my Café Bustelo. Maybe that's why I'm missing the point.
When I lived in Charlotte, my coworker's husband was from Cuba.
He turned me onto the magical glory of a silly $60 Krups machine from ebay and a can of Cafe Bustelo.
Magical stuff. While it didn't extract espresso under real pressure (and was considered to be the equivalent of Racelands for "espresso machines") it made damned fine Cuban coffee.

I used that machine for a good five or six years, turning out things that tasted better than 80% of the espressos I'd buy, before stepping up to a $200 used machine that required about $150 in parts to rebuild.

That, plus a used $100 commercial grinder from the local restaurant supply company had me upping my game. "Real" espresso brewed under pressure. Real "creme" from extracting all the oils/etc. from the beans. Total investment was still less than $500 for what would have taken $1200 or so (if new).

I've been rocking this setup now for about four or five years and have zero desire to step it up to the next level.
I'd need to invest about $800-$1200 for a different grinder and about $2,000 for the next level espresso machine. And that's turbo Miata money.

Right now, there are a few places that make a better tasting espresso on a regular basis. A few. But honestly, given the price point I'm at, I've very happy with what I can produce at the house.

And while it's not quite as clean as what a $2,000 grinder could produce, it's close enough given what it would take to improve it.
(Kind of like my revalved Bilstein setup. Close enough to Xida ride comfort and performance for me... especially when you factor in the price difference.)
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:10 AM   #58
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<p>Then there is the whole Turkish, Brazillian, Bosnian styles that use coffee as fine as talcum powder and the grounds are either left to settle (in the pot or the cup) or poured through a cloth filter (Brazil).</p><p>Different brewing technique and totally different experience. Very satisfying if done correctly.</p>
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:37 PM   #59
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Joe the $30 aeropress is certainly worth at least 3 $100 drip machines, if not more.

I fill my 600ml beaker with water and just microwave the same amount of time every time once I figured out the brew temp I liked. Pull the press all the way open, put two scoops worth of coffee in the press, wet the filter, fill it to the top with the hot water, and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then flip it over the cup I already added sugar too and just press down with the weight of my head, because its the morning and I havent coffeed yet, until I hear the sound of air going through the filter. Squirt the rest of the coffee into the sink, then pop the top off and dump it into the trash and rinse it off. All thats left is to fill the mug with the rest of the hot water and add whatever milk like substance you like, if thats your thing. I like using espresso grinds in it to get a strong and robust cup, but you can use whatever you like.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #60
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Quote:
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Joe the $30 aeropress is certainly worth at least 3 $100 drip machines, if not more.

I fill my 600ml beaker with water and just microwave the same amount of time every time once I figured out the brew temp I liked. Pull the press all the way open, put two scoops worth of coffee in the press, wet the filter, fill it to the top with the hot water, and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then flip it over the cup I already added sugar too and just press down with the weight of my head, because its the morning and I havent coffeed yet, until I hear the sound of air going through the filter. Squirt the rest of the coffee into the sink, then pop the top off and dump it into the trash and rinse it off. All thats left is to fill the mug with the rest of the hot water and add whatever milk like substance you like, if thats your thing. I like using espresso grinds in it to get a strong and robust cup, but you can use whatever you like.


Sounds the same as what I described.

Drinking this exact method now. Honestly, using the same coffee in aeropress as above versus brown-stained white Mr. Coffee machine probably determines the flavor of the brew as much as a different bean.
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