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The Best Coffee


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Green Mountain is a nice brand of coffee. It seems people take a ski vacation in the Northeast and become a fan.

It's not the greatest coffee in the history of the world...it's just a nice brand.

My favorites are Dark Magic (extra kick to it) and Pumpkin Spice and Spicy Eggnog. The latter two are only around during the holidays and I'm not sure if I'd enjoy them all year round.

They have a zillion different types. Flavors are obvious. Plenty of dark or light ones too.

Do you like Guatemalan coffee? How about organic coffee? They have sampler packs where you can try stuff if you're feeling frisky.

Breakfast Blend, mentioned above, is very standard and not flavored coffee. Flavor-wise it's quite regular.

To my knowledge they were largely responsible for Keurig becoming a fad and if you're into that, they make some nice Keurig blends too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am new to the coffee game so I have a limited knowledge of brands etc. What I know is that I do not use any sweetener or creamer, I am not looking for a caramel this or a hazel nut that. Just lookin for good strong black coffee with as little as bitterness as possible (with out going to extremes).

What do you drink if you're not making your coffee at home? If you're at Starbucks, do you order "coffee" or a "bold?" If it's the latter, you may like the French and Italian Roasts that sbonomo favors. If it's the former, you may prefer a blend or a Columbian like the 5'O Clock brand previously mentioned. You probably don't need single origin coffees yet. I would recommend buying:1) A programmable electric water kettle that can heat water to set temperatures (not just boiling) with some precision. This is great for more than just coffee, I use it to cook and to make tea as well.2) A simple pour over coffee maker and some filters. Chemex is a popular brand.3) A decent home grinder (burr grinders are better, but just make sure it's adjustable).If you'd only be making it for yourself, I'd recommend replacing the pour-over maker with an Aeropress.
Do you have a recommendation for #1 and can you walk me through this process?1. Grind beans and put in top of Chemex2. Heat the water to exact temp3. Pour into Chemex4. Wait for it to filter throughis that it? about how long does that all take?
It's a bit more involved than that, and I'm still perfecting my Chemex technique myself (I've only made about 5 or 6 Chemex pots). I use the Aeropress a lot more. But here's the process. The programmable kettle I use at work is designed for tea and sold by Cusinart. The one I use at home is by Capresso. For coffee, the Capresso is probably a bit better as it measures water in OZ as opposed to liters. Anyway, I set my kettle to 200 degrees fahrenheit and set it heat.I grind my beans. The chemex comes with a scoop (which is just 1 Tbsp). I use one scoop of beans for every 5 oz of coffee. My chemex has a 40oz capacity, so that is 8 scoops. I grind my beans between the settings for drip coffee and espresso. Essentially, a fine drip grind. Chemex has their own wacky filters, which have to be folded. I have used a normal # 2 filter in a pinch. I fold the filter and fill with coffee. When the water is boiled, I first just cover the coffee with the hot water. This is called "blooming" and is more important the fresher your coffee is. You're getting the coffee to give up its CO2. After 30 -40 seconds, I then pour more water over, but not to the very top and let it drain through. I top off the pour every once in a while and watch the water gauge on the kettle to make sure that I use 40oz of hot water. I put the kettle back on the base and set it to reheat in between time topping off. When all 40oz have brewed through, I throw away the filter with spent grounds, give the pot a little swirl or stir, and pour into mugs.It takes about 4-5 minutes from heated water to brew a pot. That's over twice as long as two batches with my Aeropress, but a little less labor.
:thumbup: For Christmas I got the burr grinder, Caresso kettle, and chemex pour over. Im officially a coffee snob. :coffee:
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  • 3 weeks later...

Still hooked on the Illy brand if I'm not roasting my own beans, but wanted to bump this to report the great cuppa I just had from a Black and Decker auto drip at my next door neighbor's. He's a retired rocket scientist who still consults on (and flies) the Navy's recon drones. He explained auto drip machines over heat the water when it first hits the grounds releasing too much acid, then the water cools too much before reaching the filter, missing out on too much flavor. So you get all the bitter and little flavor.

His solution for an 8 cup pot is to put three tablespoons of espresso grinds in the bottom of the filter. He used a Cuban brand called Cafe La Llave that has won all his and his wife's taste tests $ for $ ("hands down"). On top of that he adds 4 tablespoons of very coarse freshly ground light roasted beans - any light roasted beans. The secret is a seriously coarse grind, chunky, quarter beans still in the mix. This 'topping' cools the over heated water without releasing too much acid and just imparting the subtle flavors auto drips usually miss. The cooled water then hits the espresso grounds and dumps a rich full flavored coffee into the pot. Seems complicated but if you have the beans and a grinder it's very basic, and the coffee is outstanding.

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I love coffee but this thread is :lmao:

So I've been grinding my own beans since 1989. I know precisely when because it was such an incredibly blissful epiphany. I started liking coffee in elementary (back in the 60s adults would tell any child drinking coffee "That'll stunt your growth!") and probably became an every day drinker in junior high. Have gone through various stages: perk, drip, french press, and every device from cheap Mr. Coffee to $300+ expresso machines. Along the way I became an accomplished home barista, which became something of a coup de grace java delight for friends to conclude dinner parties and BBQs.

I'm kind of over all that now. I grind decaf beans and make a half pot every morning. For flavor I might throw in some cinnamon.

My issue is the decaf part. Gave up caffeine when I quit smoking, both out of a desire to be healthy long term. But the selection of decaf beans is quite limited IME. Any suggestions?

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Any suggestions?

Many of the studies reporting positive health benefits from coffee cannot be reproduced with decaf. Caffeine is not the devil. I consume it for the health benefits among other things.

General health benefits

Heart and diabetes issues

Kicking teas butt

Another review

Harvard prefers caffeine for heart health

The caffeine hypertension concerns miniscule

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Any suggestions?

Many of the studies reporting positive health benefits from coffee cannot be reproduced with decaf. Caffeine is not the devil. I consume it for the health benefits among other things.

General health benefits

Heart and diabetes issues

Kicking teas butt

Another review

Harvard prefers caffeine for heart health

The caffeine hypertension concerns miniscule

How is it for infants? Because I'm thinking the person sharing my pot of coffee isn't buying the argument since she is breast feeding.
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Any suggestions?

Many of the studies reporting positive health benefits from coffee cannot be reproduced with decaf. Caffeine is not the devil. I consume it for the health benefits among other things.

General health benefits

Heart and diabetes issues

Kicking teas butt

Another review

Harvard prefers caffeine for heart health

The caffeine hypertension concerns miniscule

How is it for infants? Because I'm thinking the person sharing my pot of coffee isn't buying the argument since she is breast feeding.
I'd inform her that decaf is linked to miscarriage and heart disease. You could go two ways from there. Go with the food scare notion that the 1000+ chemicals in any coffee are just too risky for any pregnancy and cut her off while you enjoy the good stuff. Explain the extraction of caffeine adds more toxins to the beans and it's all just too risky. Or you could be smart and explain the negative studies used awful methodologies and really only discovered significant risk for women drinking 8+ cups a day. Then she can safely enjoy a cup or two of the good stuff with you. :)
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Any suggestions?

Many of the studies reporting positive health benefits from coffee cannot be reproduced with decaf. Caffeine is not the devil. I consume it for the health benefits among other things.

General health benefits

Heart and diabetes issues

Kicking teas butt

Another review

Harvard prefers caffeine for heart health

The caffeine hypertension concerns miniscule

How is it for infants? Because I'm thinking the person sharing my pot of coffee isn't buying the argument since she is breast feeding.
I'd inform her that decaf is linked to miscarriage and heart disease. You could go two ways from there. Go with the food scare notion that the 1000+ chemicals in any coffee are just too risky for any pregnancy and cut her off while you enjoy the good stuff. Explain the extraction of caffeine adds more toxins to the beans and it's all just too risky. Or you could be smart and explain the negative studies used awful methodologies and really only discovered significant risk for women drinking 8+ cups a day. Then she can safely enjoy a cup or two of the good stuff with you. :)
We're not preggers and not planning on being anytime in the remainder of this lifetime...and as for the rest, I'll take it for what it's worth and file it appropriately.

QUESTION

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find more options for different flavors of decaf? We shop mostly at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, although I've tried at least a dozen independent coffee bean shops. Porto Rico (couple locations downtown) is the only thing I've found in the city, and I don't seem to ever find myself below 42nd Street these days. Anyone know of a good source on line?

Thanks in advance.

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I'm just screwing around BL. I do trust Sweetmaria's for online coffee stuff. Link is to the decaf products. Good luck. I enjoy that site.

ETA: the Swiss Water decaff process is supposedly the way to go. That would make the Costa Rican decaf my first sample.

eta again: Illy has decaf probably well worth the price

Edited by Chaos Commish
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Any suggestions?

Many of the studies reporting positive health benefits from coffee cannot be reproduced with decaf. Caffeine is not the devil. I consume it for the health benefits among other things.

General health benefits

Heart and diabetes issues

Kicking teas butt

Another review

Harvard prefers caffeine for heart health

The caffeine hypertension concerns miniscule

How is it for infants? Because I'm thinking the person sharing my pot of coffee isn't buying the argument since she is breast feeding.
I'd inform her that decaf is linked to miscarriage and heart disease. You could go two ways from there. Go with the food scare notion that the 1000+ chemicals in any coffee are just too risky for any pregnancy and cut her off while you enjoy the good stuff. Explain the extraction of caffeine adds more toxins to the beans and it's all just too risky. Or you could be smart and explain the negative studies used awful methodologies and really only discovered significant risk for women drinking 8+ cups a day. Then she can safely enjoy a cup or two of the good stuff with you. :)
We're not preggers and not planning on being anytime in the remainder of this lifetime...and as for the rest, I'll take it for what it's worth and file it appropriately.

QUESTION

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find more options for different flavors of decaf? We shop mostly at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, although I've tried at least a dozen independent coffee bean shops. Porto Rico (couple locations downtown) is the only thing I've found in the city, and I don't seem to ever find myself below 42nd Street these days. Anyone know of a good source on line?

Thanks in advance.

I can't answer for NYC, but I buy my coffee almost exclusively from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters....not sure about decaf but their regular and flavored stuff is great. Looks like they offer a good selection of their coffees in decaf as well.

ETA - looks like I posted this above as well awhile ago...oh well.

Edited by Steve Tasker
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  • 9 months later...

Nice Slate article explaining how to perfect your pourover technique. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doers/2012/11/the_secret_to_making_great_coffee_revealed.html

I've actually gone pretty exclusively pour-over since last posting in this thread (I'm Scooby, long story). I'm not as diligent as the barista profiled, but I have found that relatively minor changes can produce huge results when you know what you're doing.

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Nice Slate article explaining how to perfect your pourover technique. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doers/2012/11/the_secret_to_making_great_coffee_revealed.html

I've actually gone pretty exclusively pour-over since last posting in this thread (I'm Scooby, long story). I'm not as diligent as the barista profiled, but I have found that relatively minor changes can produce huge results when you know what you're doing.

i'm looking at picking up that hand-crank burr grinder. i need something quiet in the morning and that seems to be the perfect product and price point for me.
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I tried to be a coffee snob but it didnt stick. Im already a food snob and a beer snob, so I thought it would be easy. Coffee is like wine to me. I cant really tell much of a difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. Went camping the other week and drank a big mug of instant coffee every morning. Wasnt bad at all. :coffee:

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Nice Slate article explaining how to perfect your pourover technique. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doers/2012/11/the_secret_to_making_great_coffee_revealed.html

I've actually gone pretty exclusively pour-over since last posting in this thread (I'm Scooby, long story). I'm not as diligent as the barista profiled, but I have found that relatively minor changes can produce huge results when you know what you're doing.

i'm looking at picking up that hand-crank burr grinder. i need something quiet in the morning and that seems to be the perfect product and price point for me.
I've got one on my Amazon wishlist to use at work. Also looking to replace my work electric kettle with the Bonavita Goose Neck electric kettle.
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We order from Counter Culture Coffee a few times a year as a treat and we really like it. Not cheap though.

We've been happy with various Caribou blends as a middle ground, and when we want to go on the cheap we get Trader Joe's.

Used to use the French press a lot, recently got an Aeropress and it's pretty much all we use now.

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  • 1 month later...

Got a coffee grinder for Xmas. Now what? Do I grind per pot or do a lot at once? How do I know how many beans to grind per cup etc?? :confused:

Only grind just before brewing.The standard is to grind 10 grams (.36oz) of beans per 6 oz of water (this roughly comes down to 2 tablespoons of beans per 6 oz "cup"). Store your whole beans in a sealed jar out of the light. A vacuum jar if you can. And keep in mind that the difference might not be profound if you're still using a commercial drip coffee maker.
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The GF bought one of these about 6 months ago and, at $600, I was completely :rolleyes: at the time but after 6 months of drinking coffee from this machine I honestly have difficulty drinking any other coffee.

Edited by Chaka
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For Christmas I got the burr grinder, Caresso kettle, and chemex pour over. Im officially a coffee snob. :coffee:

I tried to be a coffee snob but it didnt stick. Im already a food snob and a beer snob, so I thought it would be easy. Coffee is like wine to me. I cant really tell much of a difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. Went camping the other week and drank a big mug of instant coffee every morning. Wasnt bad at all. :coffee:

How do you make your © at home now?
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Egg Shells

I have no idea why, I'm a tea drinker. But Steinbeck told me in Travels with Charley that you need to chuck in egg shells. I mentioned this once to my dad, a heavy coffee drinker and he said some of the best coffee he ever drank was in a restaurant he worked in when he was younger and the old Spanish guy who worked there used to throw egg shells in the pot.

If it's good enough for Steinbeck...

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Scooby> thoughts on an Aeropress?

ETA: derp

A friend has one of those. She loves it. She will go so far as to use a scale to measure with some precision the beans too. The problem? She can only make one cup of coffee at a time.
That is actually one of the reasons I am interested in it...
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Scooby> thoughts on an Aeropress?

ETA: derp

I used an Aeropress for several years in law school. I'm pretty sure I've touted it in previous coffee threads on the board.

With that said, I currently use a Kalita pour over maker. Essentially a ceramic "cup" that holds a #2 coffee filter that I place over my mug. Edit: Derp

The Aeropress essentially makes something like an Americano (but without the oils that a really good shot of espresso contains). You get some an ounce or two of coffee concentrate that you then water down with hot water. It's very good, and you can't beat the ease of clean up.

I think a pour over gives a little better cup, particularly with really good single origin coffees, but it's not a huge difference.

You can get a plastic Melitta pour-over maker for $5. An Aeropress was $25, last I checked. Ceramic pour over's range from $20 to $40 or so. I like the ones with a flat bottom because I think I get better extraction that way.

I recommend a programmable kettle with either solution. For the pour over, maybe one with a "swan neck" spout, which helps get at the grounds that hug the side of the filter.

Edited by Ramsay Hunt Experience
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The GF bought one of these about 6 months ago and, at $600, I was completely :rolleyes: at the time but after 6 months of drinking coffee from this machine I honestly have difficulty drinking any other coffee.

Any decent espresso machine is expensive, from what I've read. I'm weirdly almost exclusively a drip coffee guy. I'll have the occassional espresso, but I know almost nothing about it.
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Egg ShellsI have no idea why, I'm a tea drinker. But Steinbeck told me in Travels with Charley that you need to chuck in egg shells. I mentioned this once to my dad, a heavy coffee drinker and he said some of the best coffee he ever drank was in a restaurant he worked in when he was younger and the old Spanish guy who worked there used to throw egg shells in the pot.If it's good enough for Steinbeck...

It was fairly common in the early part of the 20th century. Coffee was normally boiled in a pot or a percolator. The idea was that the egg shells kept the grounds at the bottom when the pot boiled. Because egg shells are alkaline, it probably also eliminated the bitterness from overextracted coffee.
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I also owned a Technivorm. It's a very good machine, no doubt, particularly if you find manual pourovers labor intensive. And it solves the multiple cup problem (so do Chemex pourover pots, both make about 40oz at a time).

It's quite possible, however, that in the past 4 or so years that a number of commercial coffee makers have evolved to challenge the Technivorm. I think I read about a Mr. Coffee model that now brews around 200 degrees. Even the newest Keurig is now up to the (very bottom end) of the proper temperature range (I still think Keurigs make mediocre coffee, but I understand the appeal).

My problem with the Technivorm was that it didn't fit on my counters well at all.

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The GF bought one of these about 6 months ago and, at $600, I was completely :rolleyes: at the time but after 6 months of drinking coffee from this machine I honestly have difficulty drinking any other coffee.

Any decent espresso machine is expensive, from what I've read. I'm weirdly almost exclusively a drip coffee guy. I'll have the occassional espresso, but I know almost nothing about it.
We don't buy espresso beans, in fact any beans we run through it make a fine cup of coffee. I also typically run extra hot water through the machine so I get more volume, it dilutes the final product but I like to sip my coffee in the morning not shoot it.
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We don't buy espresso beans, in fact any beans we run through it make a fine cup of coffee. I also typically run extra hot water through the machine so I get more volume, it dilutes the final product but I like to sip my coffee in the morning not shoot it.

There's really no such thing as an "espresso bean." Coffee made by a machine running a pressure of 135PSI or above, is espresso. By running extra water through, you're making an Americano.
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I also owned a Technivorm. It's a very good machine, no doubt, particularly if you find manual pourovers labor intensive. And it solves the multiple cup problem (so do Chemex pourover pots, both make about 40oz at a time).

It's quite possible, however, that in the past 4 or so years that a number of commercial coffee makers have evolved to challenge the Technivorm. I think I read about a Mr. Coffee model that now brews around 200 degrees. Even the newest Keurig is now up to the (very bottom end) of the proper temperature range (I still think Keurigs make mediocre coffee, but I understand the appeal).

My problem with the Technivorm was that it didn't fit on my counters well at all.

I'm lazy...these complicated coffee methods ain't gonna happen. And when I drink coffee I make full pots. Luckily it fits perfectly on my counter under the cabinets.

Interesting info about Technivorm alternatives. I did a search and found this Bonavita that is half the price.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also owned a Technivorm. It's a very good machine, no doubt, particularly if you find manual pourovers labor intensive. And it solves the multiple cup problem (so do Chemex pourover pots, both make about 40oz at a time).

It's quite possible, however, that in the past 4 or so years that a number of commercial coffee makers have evolved to challenge the Technivorm. I think I read about a Mr. Coffee model that now brews around 200 degrees. Even the newest Keurig is now up to the (very bottom end) of the proper temperature range (I still think Keurigs make mediocre coffee, but I understand the appeal).

My problem with the Technivorm was that it didn't fit on my counters well at all.

I'm lazy...these complicated coffee methods ain't gonna happen. And when I drink coffee I make full pots. Luckily it fits perfectly on my counter under the cabinets.

Interesting info about Technivorm alternatives. I did a search and found this Bonavita that is half the price.

Just got this bonavita about a week ago and so far we love it.

Need to get a good grinder though, ideally something that can grind coarse as you would for a french press. This means purchasing a ceramic burr grinder. We got this one, but the coarser you set the grind, the more inconsistent the grind. There's a

you can buy that fixes this problem.
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Ok now I need a recommendation on a new grinder, the one I got for Christmas is a PoS and quit working after a month of use. :thumbdown:This one got good amazon reviews: My link

I have that one. Good but loud. I don't use it because of the loudness and because it turns out that I'm not so snobby about my coffee after all.
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For Christmas I got the burr grinder, Caresso kettle, and chemex pour over. Im officially a coffee snob. :coffee:

I tried to be a coffee snob but it didnt stick. Im already a food snob and a beer snob, so I thought it would be easy. Coffee is like wine to me. I cant really tell much of a difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. Went camping the other week and drank a big mug of instant coffee every morning. Wasnt bad at all. :coffee:

How do you make your © at home now?
Still using the grinder, kettle, chemex and a ceramic mug. One thing I definitely like is the clean taste. All you taste is the coffee itself. I hate when you taste plastic/soap/residue from a regular coffee pot or worse, from a plastic cup with a lid that was run through the dishwasher. I just cant tell much a difference between different brands of coffee beans and I never notice any difference based on things like temp of water when poured over, how freshly the beans are ground, type of filter, allowing it to "bloom", or how long the coffee sits before drinking.
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Any other burr grinder suggestions?

This is the one I got Cuisinart Burr. Its been working for over a year (used pretty much daily). I wouldnt say its awesome because it seems to be somewhat inconsistent on how much coffee it grinds and there have even been a couple of times where it just kept going and going until I switched it off, but it does the job. :shrug:
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Capresso gets excellent reviews for their grinders. THIS consumer grade grinder for around $70 seems very highly rated. I've had a friend that uses the commercial grade Capresso grinder and it is excellent. Baratza is also a highly rated brand.

I have used the Cusinart burr grinder available at most Bed, Bath and Beyonds. It worked well, but was loud and a bit of a pain to clean. It stopped working for me after 2 years.

One pet peeve that I have about most commercial grinders is that they output the grounds to a plastic container, which I find harder to clean than stainless steel.

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