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mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

that Vai sound posted:

That said, how should I get started? I live near Seattle, so there's plenty of options. Getting something from Tully's or Starbucks would be easiest, but I don't know if that would help me come to appreciate coffee's flavor. Should I start with drip coffee or go with something like a cafe mocha?

In terms of the beans, I would avoid Starbucks/Tully's since they're always overroasted and give you no sense of varietal at all. The lovely thing about THE INTERNET is that you can order beans that are shipped the same day they're roasted. This means that you don't have to play the guessing game as to how long the coffee has sat on the shelf before you purchased it and you're guaranteed a fresh bag.

As for coffee recommendations, I know that a lot of people in this thread (myself included) really enjoy Stumptown and Intelligentsia. I'm personally very fond of Coava (La Guachoca is AMAZING right now), Water Avenue and Nectar.

As for how to enjoy it, it all depends on your preference. I started with those mocha double nonfat whipped oversweetened bullshit many years ago, but I've evolved into a pure espresso/occasional macchiato drinker. I would personally try some sort of pourover (chemex) or french press method and sweeten/milk it until you find it palatable.

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AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

If you're just getting into coffee, your best bet is to try getting a cup from several different places, and with different methods of brewing. I'd bet there's a great local coffee shop or two in the Seattle area. Maybe someone from this thread is in Seattle?

I don't recommend trying to brew coffee yourself if you're just getting into it. Particularly not pour-over methods. It'd be like trying to brew wine to your tastes without ever having had any before.

Edit: And there he is! Great!

AriTheDog fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2011 around 05:15

mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

AriTheDog posted:

I don't recommend trying to brew coffee yourself if you're just getting into it. Particularly not pour-over methods. It'd be like trying to brew wine to your tastes without ever having had any before.

Actually, yeah, listen to this guy. Instead of dropping a bunch of money on a hobby you may not like, it might be a good idea just to head to some places. How far from Seattle proper are you? Here are a few rad places:

Stumptown - An obvious first choice.
Seattle Coffee Works - They even have vacuum pots! Also, the baristas are extremely well informed and they don't have the douchy attitude that a lot of coffee shops in the pacific northwest have.
Victrola
Caffe Vita - I know people hate on them for being dicks, but they do great coffee.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

I've just gotten into coffee myself, and while I have no bean related knowledge to lend (a friend lets me have some of whatever they order and roast themselves), I got the clever coffee dripper as shown in the OP and it's fairly amazing.

that Vai sound
Mar 6, 2011


mattdev posted:

How far from Seattle proper are you? Here are a few rad places:
I'm on the eastside of the lake, so getting over to Seattle for coffee is not the quickest option. But since I'm not in any particular rush, it might work for starts.

Ravingsockmonkey
Jan 24, 2007

Kharma police, arrest this girl
She stares at me as if she owns the world
And we have crashed her party

that Vai sound posted:

I've never drank coffee before, but I'd like to give it a try. I'm not looking to make it a daily habit because of the cost and because I don't like too much caffeine. However, I'm interested in expanding my palette and trying something new.

That said, how should I get started? I live near Seattle, so there's plenty of options. Getting something from Tully's or Starbucks would be easiest, but I don't know if that would help me come to appreciate coffee's flavor. Should I start with drip coffee or go with something like a cafe mocha?

I would honestly avoid Starbucks, though some stores might be different than others. The last time I had drip coffee from them it tasted charred.

I would start out with a light to medium roast since the taste is smoother. Finding a shop that roasts their own beans might be a plus because hopefully then they can discuss the coffees they have and offer you any suggestions on what to try.

I like a good black & white too.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

Mr. Wiggles posted:

So what is it in Trung Nguyen coffee (besides the chicory) that makes it so amazingly good even for preground coffee? I'd like to replicate this, you see.

Nobody? Anybody?

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

I suspect it's that you're drinking it with sweetened condensed milk. However, never having bought it before, and only having been served it at Vietnamese restaurants, maybe the product turnover rate is high enough that it never has the chance to get stale after it's opened.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Mr. Wiggles posted:

Nobody? Anybody?

Their website says they add a bit of cocoa, too. Maybe try some nibs?

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

^^^^^^^
Cocoa! Yes, maybe that will do the trick.

Yes but that's not what I'm talking about. It has a different flavor (black, without the milk). There's lots of chicory in it, but there's something else that I can't figure out. Is it a different varietal of coffee? I don't know!

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

Another Dirty Dish
Oct 8, 2009



Mr. Wiggles posted:

^^^^^^^
Cocoa! Yes, maybe that will do the trick.

Yes but that's not what I'm talking about. It has a different flavor (black, without the milk). There's lots of chicory in it, but there's something else that I can't figure out. Is it a different varietal of coffee? I don't know!


Yep, they use Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Catimor.

Ravingsockmonkey
Jan 24, 2007

Kharma police, arrest this girl
She stares at me as if she owns the world
And we have crashed her party

Mr. Wiggles posted:

Nobody? Anybody?

Now you've got me curious about the coffee! Which one of them was it? I'd love to give it a try.

hotsauce
Jan 14, 2007


AriTheDog posted:

I'd bet there's a great local coffee shop or two in the Seattle area. Maybe someone from this thread is in Seattle?

I'm not from Seattle (live in Utah) but I travel there every couple of weeks for work. Typically stay in Pioneer Square and I MUST recommend Trabant at 602 S. 2nd Ave. They also have a location in the University District.

I will say, without hesitation, that the espresso shots that place pulls are simply incredible. So creamy and rich with massively complex flavors. Beats anything I've ever put in my mouth.

They also use the Clover machine for coffee (you know, the machine that Howard Shultz bought - the company - because it was the "best cup of coffee he'd ever tasted").

Highly recommend that place. It's a religious experience when I'm staying in Seattle. Go there. Tomorrow morning.

http://www.trabantcoffee.com/

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


Another Dirty Dish posted:

Yep, they use Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Catimor.

I've never been sure why they brag about using robusta and other cheap coffee. Excelsa is very much like robusta, and Catimor is a low-grade Arabica varietal with some robusta in the family tree. A lot of the "off-brand" species and varietals tend to be grown because they're more disease-resistant or tolerate low altitudes better, not because of the cup quality.

Wiggles, what is it about Trung Nguyen you like? Which blend are you talking about?

mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

hotsauce posted:

...Trabant...

poo poo, I forgot about this place. I was up in Seattle for work and I ended up having a meeting at Trabant. The espresso there was so drat good that I could barely even focus on the conversation I was having.

Really friendly people, too!

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

Bob_McBob posted:

I've never been sure why they brag about using robusta and other cheap coffee. Excelsa is very much like robusta, and Catimor is a low-grade Arabica varietal with some robusta in the family tree. A lot of the "off-brand" species and varietals tend to be grown because they're more disease-resistant or tolerate low altitudes better, not because of the cup quality.

Wiggles, what is it about Trung Nguyen you like? Which blend are you talking about?

Just the standard blend. And I like it because it tastes like good New Orleans chicory coffee but with a deeper, richer taste to it. And I want to figure out how to roast it at home so that it will be even better.

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


Do any of y'all have experience with vacuum brewing?

It looks nerdy and fun and novel.

Copernic
Sep 16, 2006

...A Champion, who by mettle of his glowing personal charm alone, saved the universe...


Mr. Wiggles posted:

Just the standard blend. And I like it because it tastes like good New Orleans chicory coffee but with a deeper, richer taste to it. And I want to figure out how to roast it at home so that it will be even better.

Speaking of chicory, I have some fantastic childhood memories of drinking it but I'm not sure if I should pick up a can. Does it need to be au lait or can I drink it black first thing in the morning? What should I get if I want to do a trial?

.Z.
Jan 12, 2008

que ojos tan lindos tienes...


that Vai sound posted:

I'm on the eastside of the lake, so getting over to Seattle for coffee is not the quickest option. But since I'm not in any particular rush, it might work for starts.

Hey fellow Eastsider,

There are a few good coffee places on the Eastside.

I know 2 good places in Kirkland,

Coffee Rococo roasts its own coffee, it's the entire area behind cashier area.
http://rocococoffee.com/

Nearby that store is a Zoka's coffee which is great for esperesso they have some super fancy espresso machine, and boy does it work.

and 2 more in Bellevue.

There is a Starbucks in Bellevue with a Clover machine for a good cup of coffee.
10214 NE 8th, Bellevue, WA 98004

Finally, the Cupcake Royale in Bellevue is serving Stumptown coffee, plus good cupcakes if you want something sweet.
21 Bellevue Way Northeast, Bellevue, WA 98004

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

.Z. posted:

Eastsiderz

Zoka as mentioned above and I think there's a Cafe Ladro in Bellevue. Try those for sure and start easy on yourself. Get a cup of plain drip or espresso and go from there. You can usually judge a place's quality by these two products. Charbucks always tastes bad when the products stand naked without the shield of cream and sugar, and that is why they do business in coffee flavored milkshakes, not actual coffee.

I'm not feeling well today otherwise I'd go get Trabant right now. My favorite work from home lunch break is a stop at Salumi for meat and abuse then Trabant to help heal my hurt feelings.

.Z.
Jan 12, 2008

que ojos tan lindos tienes...


Joe Friday posted:

My favorite work from home lunch break is a stop at Salumi

I hate you. Please die.

djbaseball24
Nov 27, 2006


am I wrong for loving my Keurig?

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



djbaseball24 posted:

am I wrong for loving my Keurig?

yes

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


GrAviTy84 posted:

yes

torgeaux
Dec 31, 2004
I serve...

djbaseball24 posted:

am I wrong for loving my Keurig?

Nope, it's as good as most drip coffee, including what you get at coffee shops. Don't let the haters get you down.

Deathwing
Aug 16, 2008


djbaseball24 posted:

am I wrong for loving my Keurig?

For what it does, it's good. I don't expect ours to produce anything but fast, relatively basic coffee, and it hasn't let me down yet.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



The problem with Keurigs

They are sold under the premise that you can brew single cups of quality coffee with little mess (pods) anytime.

They have no temperature control or steep time control, they are basically miniaturized drip coffee machines. The coffee has been roasted who knows when and ground around that same time. These go completely against the notion of a quality cup. Therefore the Keurig does not brew a quality cup. A common retort is that they make a filter basket insert for Keurigs, but this just negates the convenience factor of a disposable pod, all the while you overpaid for a lovely drip coffee system. A single cup french press or a cheap rear end pour over costs 1/4 to 1/10 the price of a Keurig and makes significantly better coffee. Or you can just get a MrKrupsinart cheapo drip system for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a Keurig and put significantly higher quality coffee in it, without the mark up of pod-ization, and brew a better cup.

GrAviTy84 fucked around with this message at Oct 29, 2011 around 19:39

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


Love Keurig? Nope.

Featured Creature
May 10, 2004
Tomatoes

Mr. Wiggles posted:

Just the standard blend. And I like it because it tastes like good New Orleans chicory coffee but with a deeper, richer taste to it. And I want to figure out how to roast it at home so that it will be even better.

Do you have a roaster? I use rwandan coffee, roasted very dark, add a tone of chicory, and I honestly just buy the darkest chocolate bar I can find and add a small piece. Even better is when my parents brought some artisnal chocolate from Switzerland when they went there. Depending upon the strength I sometimes add the smallest bit of raw sugar that I normally put in tea

Deathwing
Aug 16, 2008


Bob_McBob posted:

Love Keurig? Nope.

While this guy does make some very good points - the whole post is dripping (heh) with so much negativity and "K-cups are horrible and you are horrible for using them" that it almost made me get up and go run a cup through my machine just out of spite.

That said, I think this thread has inspired me to dust off our Zojirushi and see about finally getting a decent burr grinder in the near future

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Deathwing posted:

While this guy does make some very good points - the whole post is dripping (heh) with so much negativity and "K-cups are horrible and you are horrible for using them" that it almost made me get up and go run a cup through my machine just out of spite.

That said, I think this thread has inspired me to dust off our Zojirushi and see about finally getting a decent burr grinder in the near future

I don't think bringing up good points about the hypocrisy of painting oneself as an eco-friendly company when they're actually the most wasteful coffee making method out there is overly 'negative'. My understanding is that Keurig makes 'okay' coffee compared to what most people usually get, but it's still pricey, wasteful, and not doesn't produce coffee anywhere near as fresh or consistently good as a 'proper' setup.

Gentle Marmot
Mar 25, 2005
like the sugar

When I was in NY I had an amazing cup of coffee a this place called porto rico. My buddy sent me a selection of coffees from them so that I could maybe figure out what kind it was. In any case this spurred me to buy a cheap manual grinder and an aeropress. Well I finally got it all together in one place and made me a cup and it was outstanding. Here are some thoughts and some questions I have.

1. I got the Haario slim grinder mentioned in the OP but it was kind of a pain in the rear end. I think I may have ground the coffee way too fine though. I am going to make a coarser grind in the hope that it make it easier but this wont last. I need me an electric grinder, I am going to order one of the baratza refurbished grinders on their site. I cant wait. How coarse can I make the coffee in an aeropress, I am thinking pretty coarse but really is there a good picture of how it should look or feel exactly?

2. The aeropress rocked. I really liked the cup it made. I have some questions though, how big is the scooper that it comes with? Also does anybody know how much water exactly the numbers on the sides represent?

Overall this thread helped point me in the right direction, thanks.

Metanaut
Oct 9, 2006

Honey it's tight like that.

College Slice

Gentle Marmot posted:

1. I got the Haario slim grinder mentioned in the OP but it was kind of a pain in the rear end. I think I may have ground the coffee way too fine though. I am going to make a coarser grind in the hope that it make it easier but this wont last. I need me an electric grinder, I am going to order one of the baratza refurbished grinders on their site. I cant wait. How coarse can I make the coffee in an aeropress, I am thinking pretty coarse but really is there a good picture of how it should look or feel exactly?

2. The aeropress rocked. I really liked the cup it made. I have some questions though, how big is the scooper that it comes with? Also does anybody know how much water exactly the numbers on the sides represent?

1. Last time I wanted my beans grounded, the guy at my usual coffee shop told me they use one step finer than drip/filter for aeropress. Too coarse and you'll just get weak coffee.

2. I think it's supposed to translate to your average espresso shot, so 1oz / 30ml.

Cogito Ergo Sam
Mar 27, 2007
I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's a bunny humping a balloon.

Gentle Marmot posted:

2. The aeropress rocked. I really liked the cup it made. I have some questions though, how big is the scooper that it comes with? Also does anybody know how much water exactly the numbers on the sides represent?

I think the scoop is about a tablespoon, but the more important measure is probably weight. I find a "normal" scoop is about 15g. It will vary a small bit, but that seems to be about the average.

As far as the water goes, I honestly haven't measure it, but you could probably find out pretty easily by putting the plunger in to the 2, inverting it, filling to the one, then pouring that into a measuring cup. Or weigh it.

strangemusic
Aug 7, 2008

I shield you because I need charge
Is not because I like you or anything!




Modified my Skerton with some washers and a spring to put tension on the burr. I am quickly figuring out the awesomeness of French press after having stuck to drip for a long time. I lost my Aeropress, though...

Meroin
Apr 23, 2008


Can I get a sense of peoples' opinions of different decaf coffee? I'd love to know what varieties (especially ones I can get a hold of in the US Northwest) could be mistaken for full caff coffee. Unfortunately, my girlfriend can't handle the caffeine at all, though she loves to drink it and is in fact a bit of a coffee snob! It seems like she's written off drinking it at all, but I'd love to defy her expectations.

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


Most high quality roasters carry a few decaf single origins and blends that meet their standards. They are generally an extremely high quality coffee to begin with specially selected for decaffeination. I don't know where you live, but many of the roasters on this list do mail order, so purchasing shouldn't be an issue.

If you are talking about supermarket coffee, well... it's crap to begin with, and the decaf is just crappier.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010

"Oops" --Lowtax

Gary’s Answer

that Vai sound posted:

I'm on the eastside of the lake, so getting over to Seattle for coffee is not the quickest option. But since I'm not in any particular rush, it might work for starts.

Another Eastsider here. Now I'm sure there are many different ways of going about this and let me suggest probably the shittiest one.

I started drinking coffee at lovely diners back when I lived in Wisconsin. There's only one way to go from there.... up! I'd probably just go to a breakfast place like the Brown Bag Cafe (hell, even Denny's) or something else around here and getting standard drip coffee. The way I look at it is this:

If you've never had beer before, don't start with something like Sint Bernardus Abt 12. You'll only spoil yourself and might have a difficult time learning to appreciate the better things. Start with Miller Lite. Cheap, not much flavor (but better than Bud), easy to drink (in mass quantities). Coffee, as well as beer is generally considered to be an acquired taste. As you begin to develop a taste for it, you might discover that you want to try something better. Then you can start exploring better options.

All of this being said, I'm not a huge coffee drinker and would like to explore more of it myself. I drink at least a cup or two a day but it is usually just drip. Luckily, I now live in a great part of the country to see what the world of coffee has to offer. I'm not a snobby dick when it comes to coffee, but since I started with standard lovely diner stuff I can now aspire to be a snobby dick and hopefully will be someday.

Basically, start small and work your way up.

hotsauce
Jan 14, 2007


Pennywise the Frown posted:


Basically, start small and work your way up.

This. I used to be okay with Mr. Coffee and Folgers. Gradually I acquired a greater appreciation for coffee and now have all kinds of gadgets for coffee (french press, drip, aeropress, burr grinder) and am looking at buying a $1,000 espresso machine in the future.

It can get expensive chasing that perfect home brewed cup/shot, but it's cheaper than drugs.

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mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

Meroin posted:

Can I get a sense of peoples' opinions of different decaf coffee? I'd love to know what varieties (especially ones I can get a hold of in the US Northwest) could be mistaken for full caff coffee. Unfortunately, my girlfriend can't handle the caffeine at all, though she loves to drink it and is in fact a bit of a coffee snob! It seems like she's written off drinking it at all, but I'd love to defy her expectations.

I drink a lot of decaf because I really enjoy the taste of coffee and how it compliments certain desserts, but I can't really handle the caffeine late at night. With that said, I've been on a quest for the best decafs around.

My personal favorite is Ristretto's decaf. It's a Brazil and it rivals a lot of the non-decafs that I've had. In fact, 90% of the time I go into their shop I end up ordering decaf even if it's in the morning. It is seriously incredible.

Stumptown has a decent decaf but it makes a pretty terrible espresso. It all depends on your preparation method, I suppose.

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