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Unread 11-11-2011, 02:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
TWA
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Homemade Coffee Snobs

Alright, so who's into making coffee at home? And I'm not talking about how you put some Folger's in the drip machine and mix it with Coffeemate creamer. I'm talking real coffee. Espresso. Fresh ground beans. Home roasted. Crema. Ahhh, the ever-elusive crema. Let's here your process and equipment. No Starbucks allowed.

I start off with whole beans. Right now, I only have a blade grinder, so it's hard to get a fine espresso grind, but it works well enough. I'd like to get a burr grinder in the future.

I use a Mokka pot to brew espresso:


I heat whole milk up slowly on stove and use a battery powered frother wand, like an aerolatte.

I mix the espresso with the milk, add two tablespoons of Torani Vanilla Bean syrup, and boom. I've got a great quality latte.


I usually get organic beans from health food store, but I'm on a tight budget at the moment, and I'm checking out what gives me the best bang for my buck.

I though Pilon espresso was not bad:

Apparently it is 100% arabica beans, which would explain why it is fairly smooth.

Soon I will be stepping up to a Bellman CX25 machine with milk steamer:


But when I really have some money, I want the Baachi:
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Unread 11-11-2011, 03:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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coffee we drink. it's home-roasted, hand-grind, and hand-dripped. excellent resource and we buy beans from them - Home Coffee Roasting Supplies - Sweet Maria's (currently from Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Brazil to mix them together for earthy flavor along with a bit of sourness)

Posted coffee machines from other thread - What Do You Want To Buy?



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Unread 11-11-2011, 03:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
I usually get organic beans from health food store, but I'm on a tight budget at the moment, and I'm checking out what gives me the best bang for my buck.
I don't know how much you're paying for your organic beans but I generally don't buy it from some health food store like Whole Food or whatever because it's not usually that great and it's grossly overpriced. Try looking into Sweet Maria and compare price. and it's too bad that you don't have La Colombe place around. It's available only in NYC, Philly, and Chicago. I think there are only 5 stores in total. Its coffee is the most fantastic one I've ever had. My dad and I are very lucky to get our hands on just one bag of coffee beans from Yemen because its quantity is extremely limited.

Since you buy ground beans from store - that will means its shelf life is short and degrades quite rapidly (which means it gets sour and unpleasant) so I highly recommend you to get this
vacuum-sealed container vacuum-sealed container
.

if you want a "lazy man coffee machine"... get Nespresso Pixie. You can try its sample at stores. Its coffee is fantastic too.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 05:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Alex, try to go to Wheaton, MD where all the international stores are because I know they sell different kinds of ground beans at reasonable prices.

There is a metro station near the stores...Wheaton Metro Station.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 06:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I use a Kurig coffee maker at home. It's good system, but it doesn't make the coffee hot enough. To get around this, I've found that stoneware mugs hold the heat in better(dinner mugs are not even as good). Before I make the coffee, I do a dry run and let the Kurig just produce hot water, this heats the cup. I then make the actual coffee the second time around.

I live in in the Boston area, here Dunkin Doughnut coffee is considered the best(although people do drink Starbucks and other brands). DD has K-Cups now and, IMO, if you heat the cup first it makes a good cup of coffee, if you use the large coffee setting. Although, mine will never taste exactly like DD because I don't use real sugar or light cream(Fat Free for me). Still, it's not bad. I've heard if you really want to duplicate DD you need to use an old Mr. Coffee maker because it makes the water really hot.

I'm probably going to buy a Thermos King Mug which will hold in heat even better.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiro View Post
I don't know how much you're paying for your organic beans but I generally don't buy it from some health food store like Whole Food or whatever because it's not usually that great and it's grossly overpriced. Try looking into Sweet Maria and compare price. and it's too bad that you don't have La Colombe place around. It's available only in NYC, Philly, and Chicago. I think there are only 5 stores in total. Its coffee is the most fantastic one I've ever had. My dad and I are very lucky to get our hands on just one bag of coffee beans from Yemen because its quantity is extremely limited.

Since you buy ground beans from store - that will means its shelf life is short and degrades quite rapidly (which means it gets sour and unpleasant) so I highly recommend you to get this vacuum-sealed container.

if you want a "lazy man coffee machine"... get Nespresso Pixie. You can try its sample at stores. Its coffee is fantastic too.
Yeah, I have thought about some sort of vacuum sealer device. The one you recommend doesn't seem to have great reviews, but I will look into others. I get a pound of Jim's Organic Espresso roast for about 8 bucks. Really not a bad price, and I was happy with the quality of the espresso.

I'm not sure if I want to get into home roasting at the moment. I already have so many expensive hobbies, and I don't need another one. But I guess if it means being able to make the ultimate shot of home espresso then I will eventually join the dark side.

When I make regular coffee, I use a Bodum French press. I won't use anything else. I refuse to use any sort of device that involves plastic.

How do you like the coffee from Yemen? I've read about people buying exotic and rare coffees only to be disappointed. Jamaica Blue Mountain seems to be frequently mentioned as a real letdown,
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Unread 11-11-2011, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VacationGuy234 View Post
I use a Kurig coffee maker at home. It's good system, but it doesn't make the coffee hot enough. To get around this, I've found that stoneware mugs hold the heat in better(dinner mugs are not even as good). Before I make the coffee, I do a dry run and let the Kurig just produce hot water, this heats the cup. I then make the actual coffee the second time around.

I live in in the Boston area, here Dunkin Doughnut coffee is considered the best(although people do drink Starbucks and other brands). DD has K-Cups now and, IMO, if you heat the cup first it makes a good cup of coffee, if you use the large coffee setting. Although, mine will never taste exactly like DD because I don't use real sugar or light cream(Fat Free for me). Still, it's not bad. I've heard if you really want to duplicate DD you need to use an old Mr. Coffee maker because it makes the water really hot.

I'm probably going to buy a Thermos King Mug which will hold in heat even better.
Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes like total ass. I had it for the first time last month, and it was burnt and artificial. So disgusting. I can't believe how people drink that shit. Well, actually I can: caffeine. I don't drink coffee for caffeine. Caffeine doesn't affect me much, so I'm really just in it for the taste and for the art of creating a good espresso.

From my research so far, it appears that low temperatures are actually better at extracting flavor from the coffee beans without turning the brew acidic. That's probably a reason why Kurig tastes better than other machines. They at least involved some science in their design. But for me, it's still plastic, auto junk.

Have you ever tried using a French press?
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Unread 11-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My husband has an electric coffee bean grinder and an espresso machine, Cuisinart.




I actually love my Keurig technology with all the cute little flavored cups.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dang. So much for my Mr. Coffee machine.

Still, I admire all the effort you guys put into your coffee.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Consumer Reports rated coffee machines in the issue out right now, and Mr. Coffee scored pretty high. So don't despair!

We have a small Mr. Coffee, too. Works just fine.

I am not a coffee snob, though I do use a Mokka pot sometimes. Recently we bought 8 O'clock coffee at the grocery store, and were surprised that it was really good. Consumer Reports, it turns out, recommends that one, too.

So maybe I'm only a tiny bit of a coffee snob. I like good coffee, but will not go to extreme lengths to get it.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 01:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm sorry but things like Keurig (yes I own one too. major regret.) and Mr. Coffee are a joke..... at least only to coffee connoisseur and serious coffee drinkers. It's not even at the level of "good coffee". It's more like decent enough to get by when we're out of real coffee

but Nespresso Pixie is worthy enough to be mentioned by us so that speaks with volume. La Colombe is a "damn good coffee" but it's little pricey - $1.98 a cup.

BTW - I drink black and I can tell if you are cheating or not just by tasting it
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Unread 11-11-2011, 02:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes like total ass. I had it for the first time last month, and it was burnt and artificial. So disgusting. I can't believe how people drink that shit. Well, actually I can: caffeine. I don't drink coffee for caffeine. Caffeine doesn't affect me much, so I'm really just in it for the taste and for the art of creating a good espresso.

From my research so far, it appears that low temperatures are actually better at extracting flavor from the coffee beans without turning the brew acidic. That's probably a reason why Kurig tastes better than other machines. They at least involved some science in their design. But for me, it's still plastic, auto junk.

Have you ever tried using a French press?
yup. it's all about water temperature, the timing, roasting, storage, blends, etc.

Among all "common" coffee machines out there, Keurig does rank high but by my standard - it ranks low. IMO - it tastes... empty. the smell and taste are very short-lived. how disappointing. Keurig uses plastic container while Nespresso uses metal containers which is why this tastes the best.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 02:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Yeah, I have thought about some sort of vacuum sealer device. The one you recommend doesn't seem to have great reviews, but I will look into others.
I don't need one that can completely seal it and stay airtight for years. I just need one to keep my coffee beans fresh and lasts for as long as a week or two. Coffee beans normally lasts about a few days in unsealed container. It can last longer but IMO - it tastes like foul shit but to most average Joes, they'll say "damn it's good!"

That container I showed you is cheap enough and good enough to do the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
I get a pound of Jim's Organic Espresso roast for about 8 bucks. Really not a bad price, and I was happy with the quality of the espresso.
not bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
I'm not sure if I want to get into home roasting at the moment. I already have so many expensive hobbies, and I don't need another one. But I guess if it means being able to make the ultimate shot of home espresso then I will eventually join the dark side.
yea don't bother with home roasting. it's tedious and time-consuming. I would prefer to stick with a couple of good stores that roasts it daily. I like La Colombe coffee for mid-day drink and espresso with homemade blends for after-dinner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
When I make regular coffee, I use a Bodum French press. I won't use anything else. I refuse to use any sort of device that involves plastic.
I'm not a fan of French press. I find it bit cumbersome. Take a look at Eva Solo. It's fantastic and ingenious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
How do you like the coffee from Yemen?
I don't think I've have tried it yet. I completely forgot about it. It was a small bag and I guess my parents drank it all

It won't be available till probably next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
I've read about people buying exotic and rare coffees only to be disappointed. Jamaica Blue Mountain seems to be frequently mentioned as a real letdown,
True. Same thing with steak. I've been to bunch of steakhouse that brags about how famous they are and how long their steaks are aged for. and you know what? I find it disgustingly arrogant of them for charging me $40+ for a steak that I can make at home myself with $6 steak from Shop Rite.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Doesnt Traders Joe roast the beans?
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Unread 11-11-2011, 06:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a Keurig coffee maker. I like that each cup is fresh. My hubby doesn't drink coffee so I don't make a lot. The machine was a gift. I probably wouldn't have bought it for myself. The K cups are really expensive. I have a refillable cup but it doesn't seem to work as well as the plastic K cups. Anyone got any tips on how to use the refillable cup?
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Unread 11-11-2011, 07:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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yea don't bother with home roasting. it's tedious and time-consuming. I would prefer to stick with a couple of good stores that roasts it daily. I like La Colombe coffee for mid-day drink and espresso with homemade blends for after-dinner.

I'm not a fan of French press. I find it bit cumbersome. Take a look at Eva Solo. It's fantastic and ingenious.
That Sweet Maria site is a great resource. I found that you can actually home roast beans in a stovetop popper with excellent results. I already have one of those, so to get started homeroasting, I wouldn't need to invest any money. I'm going for it!

I don't see much difference between the French Press and the Eva solo. They seem to operate using very similar principles, but the Eva is much more expensive, and for what? It's just a glass carafe with a filter/stopper and a neoprene jacket. I don't get it. 90$? It should cost less than half that. I'll stick with my French press, which I can clean in about 2 minutes.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 07:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWriteAlex View Post
That Sweet Maria site is a great resource. I found that you can actually home roast beans in a stovetop popper with excellent results. I already have one of those, so to get started homeroasting, I wouldn't need to invest any money. I'm going for it!

I don't see much difference between the French Press and the Eva solo. They seem to operate using very similar principles, but the Eva is much more expensive, and for what? It's just a glass carafe with a filter/stopper and a neoprene jacket. I don't get it. 90$? It should cost less than half that. I'll stick with my French press, which I can clean in about 2 minutes.
French press ends up with coffee grounds in my mouth.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 07:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I use a La Pavoni espresso machine.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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French press ends up with coffee grounds in my mouth.
You got to use a coarser grind. Also, don't pour all the way down to the very bottom.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Doesnt Traders Joe roast the beans?
Yes, I assume they buy green beans in bulk and then roast and package it themselves. Their coffee is pretty decent and well-priced, IMO.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I didnt know that you loved coffee...beer and cigars, yes. Is that a new habit?
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I use a La Pavoni espresso machine.
Those are damn sweet.

Maybe some day . . .
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I didnt know that you loved coffee...beer and cigars, yes. Is that a new habit?
Yes. I blame it on L.

So by extension, I blame it on you.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Yes. I blame it on L.

So by extension, I blame it on you.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was wondering if it was that!
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Unread 11-12-2011, 01:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That Sweet Maria site is a great resource. I found that you can actually home roast beans in a stovetop popper with excellent results. I already have one of those, so to get started homeroasting, I wouldn't need to invest any money. I'm going for it!

I don't see much difference between the French Press and the Eva solo. They seem to operate using very similar principles, but the Eva is much more expensive, and for what? It's just a glass carafe with a filter/stopper and a neoprene jacket. I don't get it. 90$? It should cost less than half that. I'll stick with my French press, which I can clean in about 2 minutes.
with Eva Solo, you can quickly pour in coffee grind and hot water... zip it up with neoprene jacket and take it with you to work. it doesn't feel hot if you hold it. so simple and cool.

so it's like French Press + Thermal in one package.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I ordered my Vintage Via Veneto stovetop espresso maker yesterday off eBay.




I've head good things about this device, but I'm not expecting it to make amazing, crema espresso. What I AM really looking forward to is the milk steaming wand, which apparently works the same way as a top quality barrista machine.

Sccchweeeet!
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I ordered my Vintage Via Veneto stovetop espresso maker yesterday off eBay.


http://fantes.com/images/Pic00016.jpg

I've head good things about this device, but I'm not expecting it to make amazing, crema espresso. What I AM really looking forward to is the milk steaming wand, which apparently works the same way as a top quality barrista machine.

Sccchweeeet!
I'll bet that made L very very happy? hahahaha

BTW I saw L last Sat.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I ordered my Vintage Via Veneto stovetop espresso maker yesterday off eBay.


http://fantes.com/images/Pic00016.jpg

I've head good things about this device, but I'm not expecting it to make amazing, crema espresso. What I AM really looking forward to is the milk steaming wand, which apparently works the same way as a top quality barrista machine.

Sccchweeeet!
dammmmnnnnnnnnn
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Unread 11-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I don't have a fancy coffee machine but I do make iced coffee from time to time to save on iced coffee when I want it.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 07:36 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'll bet that made L very very happy? hahahaha

BTW I saw L last Sat.
Actually, I think she's kind of annoyed because it took away one of her Christmas present options for me. hehe. But I don't think she cares that much because she will directly benefit from it.

And yes, she told me she saw you.
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