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rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


Astronaut Jones posted:

You can also do it in Poppery hot air popcorn poppers. There's a lot of home roasters who use them on coffeegeek and home-barista.

That's what I was using before it was knocked off my counter and broke. I've done the homebrew ways of roasting and I'm looking to take a step up to be able to have a little more consistency to my end results.

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AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

Wsobchak posted:

So what is the opinion on instant coffee? I live in a college dorm, and there is no room to accommodate a coffee maker. What is the best instant coffee out there?

I posted this earlier in the thread, but Starbucks' VIA is surprisingly good. It uses a combination of microground coffee and the standard instant coffee crystals, so you get something with a decent amount of body, reminiscent of something like Turkish coffee. I actually like it, and I've given friends who like coffee packets and they have universally been impressed.

Paul ReiserFS
Dec 28, 2006


when i die, bury me inside the lambic store






Smellrose

rockcity posted:

Does anyone have any home roaster recommendations? I've done a couple batches via the hot air popcorn popper method, but my popper got knocked off of the counter and broke and I was thinking about going to an actual roaster. From a quick skim of the few affordable options (sub $200) it seems like the FreshRoast SR500 is the best viewed option. Does anyone have any experience with it or anything else in that price range?

I bought the SR500 used from Sweet Maria's with 8lb of coffee.

I loving love it.

My sweet spot seems to be 1/3 cup beans (dry measuring cup), Fan at 3/4 (white line pointing horizontally to the right). 1 minute on Low, Cool for 30 sec, restart on Medium. That's a nice hands-off roast that hits a good level on basically everything I've roasted with it. I can tweak per bean really easily, just watching and listening does it.

I can't recommend it enough.

JoachimLPQ
Nov 8, 2006

JFYM


Alceste posted:

The second worst cup for me, though, comes out of my moka pot. I am pretty sure that I'm doing something wrong but I haven't figured out what yet. I grind on the coarse side of what you'd call "fine" (does that make sense?) and dose properly, I think, and use a medium-hot setting on my stovetop, but it always takes a really long time to brew and invariably comes out way too bitter and harsh. I use an all-stainless pot I found at IKEA, if it matters.

I'd be interested if anyone has any advice for this, as I too have a moka pot that I'm not 100% satisfied with, though I believe mine is aluminum, not stainless.

lags
Jan 3, 2004



You're probably doing it way too hot. The water shouldn't be BOILING up out of the perk - it should be just cresting it and flowing gently into the upper chamber. You can do this with low heat and patience, or higher heat while managing the pot manually putting it on/off the heat as the coffee rises.

Personally I found the sweet spot on the stove where I don't have to micro-manage it. You will too. The only problem is it takes 20-25 minutes to brew a pot.

'Course for me today a moka pot is just to bring camping - I'm too lazy to use it for day-to-day anymore.

jooky
Jan 15, 2003



JoachimLPQ posted:

I'd be interested if anyone has any advice for this, as I too have a moka pot that I'm not 100% satisfied with, though I believe mine is aluminum, not stainless.

I've never used a moka pot, but Stumptown has a guide here: http://stumptowncoffee.com/guide/moka-pot/ along with guides for other methods, as well. Looks easy enough, though.

Ornithology
Jan 28, 2011


Can anyone chime in on how effective the Aeropress is? I read the OP but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. My brother's a big coffee fan and currently uses a french press. I'm wondering if there will be a significant increase in quality of his coffee (he already buys fresh roasted beans and has an expensive grinder).

BrandorKP
Jan 21, 2006

When there were five in the bed and we all rolled over I said nothing, because I would not fall off.

I've been drinking Greek (or Turkish depending on one's ethnicity) coffee a lot more recently. Anyone else rocking a briki?

Alceste
Dec 5, 2003



Ramrod XTreme

jooky posted:

I've never used a moka pot, but Stumptown has a guide here: http://stumptowncoffee.com/guide/moka-pot/ along with guides for other methods, as well. Looks easy enough, though.

Cool! I never thought to pre-heat the water, and the other guides I read never mentioned that. Mine comes out like what they say to avoid--harsh, bitter, thin, metallic. It looks like they use an IKEA pot just like mine, too. Thanks--I'm going to grind up some Red Bird and try this out later.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



MoosetheMooche posted:

Can anyone chime in on how effective the Aeropress is? I read the OP but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. My brother's a big coffee fan and currently uses a french press. I'm wondering if there will be a significant increase in quality of his coffee (he already buys fresh roasted beans and has an expensive grinder).

Saying an Aeropress is "better" is a bit misleading. It is very different from press pot and pour over.

mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

Alceste posted:

Cool! I never thought to pre-heat the water, and the other guides I read never mentioned that. Mine comes out like what they say to avoid--harsh, bitter, thin, metallic. It looks like they use an IKEA pot just like mine, too. Thanks--I'm going to grind up some Red Bird and try this out later.

Yep, preheating the water is an integral part of decent moka pot coffee.

Also, if you're having trouble regulating the flow rate of the coffee, just be extremely attentive and regulate the temperature my pulling the pot on and off the burner. Also, you should completely remove it from heat maybe 2-3 seconds before it starts to make the finishing percolating sound.

Ornithology
Jan 28, 2011


GrAviTy84 posted:

Saying an Aeropress is "better" is a bit misleading. It is very different from press pot and pour over.

Is it very different from a french press though? What's the difference in the taste, if you could describe it?

DragonWC99
Nov 4, 2004


MoosetheMooche posted:

Is it very different from a french press though? What's the difference in the taste, if you could describe it?

To me, a french press is more oily and an aeropress is more smooth.

Pigbog
Apr 28, 2005

Unless that is Spider-man if Spider-man were a backyard wrestler or Kurt Cobain, your costume looks shitty.

Aeropress coffee is in my experience much much less bitter than french press coffee. Keep in mind I'm not the expert that the people in this thread are, I still use a bladed grinder so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt.
My friends tend to think it's weaker brew (it's not) because they think that "strong coffee" means that it tastes bitter and acidic and is thicker.

I threw out my french press the first time I had coffee with my aeropress, and the first time my girlfriend had it she bought one for herself. In the past year of multiple daily uses I have gone through almost one pack of filters (approx. $7 shipping included). Believe me when I say that you'll notice a difference and you won't regret it.

I wish I had never seen this thread! Now I'm going to be up late every night over-researching grinders and clever coffee makers and whatever other apparatuses are discussed in the foreseeable future.

Aglet56
Sep 1, 2011


Any opinions on this Capresso disk burr grinder?

http://www.amazon.com/Capresso-580-...k/dp/B001G8Y2NG

In general, are disk burr grinders worth it, or should I just spring for a conical one?

Alceste
Dec 5, 2003



Ramrod XTreme

Success! While I was doing the French press thing this morning I followed the Stumptown instructions with my moka pot and made some very decent coffee with it, for the first time since I've had it. I preheated the water, watched the burner temperature very closely--I have one of those glass top stoves where the burner reacts instantly, so I just varied the temperature at the knob--and stopped the extraction before it gave its death rattle.

I was very happy with the results. Thanks again!

Astronaut Jones
Oct 18, 2007
Destination Moon

Aglet56 posted:

Any opinions on this Capresso disk burr grinder?

http://www.amazon.com/Capresso-580-...k/dp/B001G8Y2NG

In general, are disk burr grinders worth it, or should I just spring for a conical one?

Did you read any of the amazon reviews? Looks like a piece of crap.

Keyser_Soze
May 5, 2009



Yeah, if your going to spend $40 you might as well spend $90 on one you won't toss out after a month.

Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

I've had one for a few years and besides being sort of slow and loud and scaring the poo poo out of any visiting dogs, it works great.

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


Keyser S0ze posted:

Yeah, if your going to spend $40 you might as well spend $90 on one you won't toss out after a month.

Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

I've had one for a few years and besides being sort of slow and loud and scaring the poo poo out of any visiting dogs, it works great.

I'll second the Capresso. I've had mine for 3+ years now and use it almost daily and it's fantastic for the money. It's pretty loud, but most grinders are. Well worth the $90.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



As a Capresso Infinity user myself, I recommend the Baratza Maestro refurb. It is cheaper, has a better container (anti-static), more grind size quantizations, and has better burrs. Only reason I got the Capresso was because I had store credit at BB&B and they don't carry Baratza.

Thufir
May 19, 2004

"The fucking Mayans were right."

MoosetheMooche posted:

Can anyone chime in on how effective the Aeropress is? I read the OP but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. My brother's a big coffee fan and currently uses a french press. I'm wondering if there will be a significant increase in quality of his coffee (he already buys fresh roasted beans and has an expensive grinder).

I don't think it would be a significant increase in quality over a good cup of french press coffee, just different, though the Aeropress has easier cleanup IMO. If you're looking for a gift idea I think it's a good one since coffee geeks love new toys.

mattdev
Sep 30, 2004

Gentlemen of taste, refinement, luxury.

Women want us, men want to be us.

Check out what I scored for $150

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


mattdev posted:

Check out what I scored for $150

Wow, sweet deal!

that Vai sound
Mar 6, 2011


My journey into becoming a coffee drinker continues, and it didn't take long for me to get used to straight drip coffee. I feel like I can taste a difference between terrible office coffee, Starbucks, and coffee for the connoisseur. Speaking of Starbucks, I got to try one of their reserve coffees (sun-dried Ethiopian Harrar) made on a Clover, and it seemed pretty nice as it cooled down. Do they generally do a better job with their reserve coffees compared to the normal stuff they offer?

It looks like I'll be buying a Chemex soon, and I have a question about heating water. Should I buy a kettle that can heat to specific temperatures or is it easy enough to judge when water gets to that 200 degree range?

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


that Vai sound posted:

It looks like I'll be buying a Chemex soon, and I have a question about heating water. Should I buy a kettle that can heat to specific temperatures or is it easy enough to judge when water gets to that 200 degree range?

Have you got a grinder?

No, it's not worth buying a kettle like that for coffee.

IronSaber
Feb 24, 2009

oh yes oh god yes form the head FORM THE HEAD unghhhh...

My dad is really into espresso after my cousin left her espresso machine behind after she lived with us for a few months. The thing is it's an older machine and is showing its age. I want to get my dad a new one for Christmas.

Can anyone recommend a good espresso machine?

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


IronSaber posted:

My dad is really into espresso after my cousin left her espresso machine behind after she lived with us for a few months. The thing is it's an older machine and is showing its age. I want to get my dad a new one for Christmas.

Can anyone recommend a good espresso machine?

You're going to need to give a price range. Also keep in mind that "good" in terms of espresso machine, you're talking $1000. You can get capable ones however starting around $300. Anything below that and they're really mediocre at best.

IronSaber
Feb 24, 2009

oh yes oh god yes form the head FORM THE HEAD unghhhh...

rockcity posted:

You're going to need to give a price range. Also keep in mind that "good" in terms of espresso machine, you're talking $1000. You can get capable ones however starting around $300. Anything below that and they're really mediocre at best.

I am willing to spend $300 - $600 if that helps.

that Vai sound
Mar 6, 2011


Bob_McBob posted:

Have you got a grinder?
Yep, I do have a burr grinder.

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


IronSaber posted:

I am willing to spend $300 - $600 if that helps.

I'd look at Gaggia. They're typically the most recommended in that price range. I have an older version of this one and it works very well for the price. The site below also has a promo going on for 20% off Gaggia units, so it brings it down to a pretty reasonable price.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/new_baby.cfm

Does your dad have a good grinder to go with it?

IronSaber
Feb 24, 2009

oh yes oh god yes form the head FORM THE HEAD unghhhh...

rockcity posted:

I'd look at Gaggia. They're typically the most recommended in that price range. I have an older version of this one and it works very well for the price. The site below also has a promo going on for 20% off Gaggia units, so it brings it down to a pretty reasonable price.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/new_baby.cfm

Does your dad have a good grinder to go with it?

Yeah, he got a good grinder a while ago, no need to worry about that.

So it looks like this machine does a lot of other stuff besides making espresso; is there any machine that does just espresso?

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


IronSaber posted:

So it looks like this machine does a lot of other stuff besides making espresso; is there any machine that does just espresso?

What does you mean a lot of other stuff? It steams makes espresso and steams milk. That's two things and pretty much every espresso maker has a steam wand. Theirs doubles as a hot water dispenser too so technically three things, but I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for, this is a pretty standard unit. Even the cheaper Gaggia units have the same functions for the most part. The nice thing about the one I linked is that it has two heating elements so it heats up faster and holds heat longer which is handy.

lags
Jan 3, 2004



It makes espresso, dispenses hot water, and steams... That's about as bare-bones as it gets. Any idea what exactly the grinder is?

e: Aaaand too slow.

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

rockcity posted:

I'd look at Gaggia. They're typically the most recommended in that price range. I have an older version of this one and it works very well for the price. The site below also has a promo going on for 20% off Gaggia units, so it brings it down to a pretty reasonable price.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/new_baby.cfm

Does your dad have a good grinder to go with it?
The other option is manual pull machines.
The basic versions of those can be found near $600 and they make excellent espresso once you learn what you're doing. They can be a pain in the rear end untiul you figure them out though.
The grinder is extra important for these though.

that Vai sound
Mar 6, 2011


My first attempt with Chemex turned out...not terrible. I could tell something was off about the taste, though. What, I'm not sure. I believe the beans were roasted yesterday, which I suppose could mean they were still letting off gas, but I doubt that was the problem. My measurements definitely weren't the best, and it's something I'll have better control of next time. The hot water also seemed to cool down quicker that expected.

Edit: Is it normal for burr grinders to be difficult to clean? The one I'm borrowing has buildup of old grounds, and I can't seem to get rid of them.

that Vai sound fucked around with this message at Nov 23, 2011 around 05:30

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



that Vai sound posted:

Edit: Is it normal for burr grinders to be difficult to clean? The one I'm borrowing has buildup of old grounds, and I can't seem to get rid of them.

grind up some rice in the grinder.

Paul ReiserFS
Dec 28, 2006


when i die, bury me inside the lambic store






Smellrose

GrAviTy84 posted:

grind up some rice in the grinder.

Uncooked.

lags
Jan 3, 2004



Follow it up with some discardable coffee too before putting good stuff through.

(I think the visual of someone putting cooked rice through a grinder is what's going to get me through today - thanks for that!)

Astronaut Jones
Oct 18, 2007
Destination Moon

GrAviTy84 posted:

grind up some rice in the grinder.

While rice does work to some extent, there are commercial products for this that work really well, like Urnex Grindz.

Of course they want you to use a truckload of it on a weekly basis, I run some through my grinder every month or so and it really does work amazingly well.

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Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


If you want to clean your grinder with rice, most people recommend instant rice. And yes, not cooked.

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