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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.

clean?
Coffee beans are oily. When you use any grinder, there is going to be sediment that you can't really brush out, and some fine particles will adhere to the wall of the where the grounds are (because of static electricity). That residue builds up on a plastic container whereas a stainless steel container can generally be rinsed and wiped dry pretty easily. You can always put the plastic container in the dishwasher, but that's kind of a pain to do on a regular basis. It's a small thing, but you don't really want old, stale coffee oil building up on your container. For the same reason, it makes sense to pretty regularly clean the burrs of a burr grinder so that partial stale grounds aren't polluting fresh grounds. A popular way to do that is to run a slice of white bread through the grinder every few weeks or so.
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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.

So why are burr grinders so much better than their blade counterparts?
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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.

So why are burr grinders so much better than their blade counterparts?
Grind consistency. A uniform grind ensures that every particle is extracted at the same rate, which should give you greater consistency over your cup. Now, I know people who use blade grinders. I've used them myself at times, (an "adjustable blade grinder" which really just lets you set how long the blade spins). I don't think it's a deal breaker. But a burr grinder certainly helps make a more consistent cup. To the extent that you can make the same amount of coffee, ground freshly to the same consistency, and brewed at the same temperature, morning after morning, you're more likely to get consistent results. I can't tell you to commit to any one process or gadget. I know what I like, but I arrived at that a bit by trial and error and by emulating the tools that the guy who roasts my beans uses. I love the coffee he makes me, so when I make his beans myself, I make it the way he would.
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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.

So why are burr grinders so much better than their blade counterparts?
Grind consistency. A uniform grind ensures that every particle is extracted at the same rate, which should give you greater consistency over your cup. Now, I know people who use blade grinders. I've used them myself at times, (an "adjustable blade grinder" which really just lets you set how long the blade spins). I don't think it's a deal breaker. But a burr grinder certainly helps make a more consistent cup. To the extent that you can make the same amount of coffee, ground freshly to the same consistency, and brewed at the same temperature, morning after morning, you're more likely to get consistent results. I can't tell you to commit to any one process or gadget. I know what I like, but I arrived at that a bit by trial and error and by emulating the tools that the guy who roasts my beans uses. I love the coffee he makes me, so when I make his beans myself, I make it the way he would.
So how does coarseness effect taste? Someone posted earlier about this mattering.
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So how does coarseness effect taste? Someone posted earlier about this mattering.

Look at it this way. Smaller particles have a greater proportion of their mass "on the outside." The only part of a coffee ground that can be extracted is the outside. The inside doesn't matter. What that means is that the smaller the particle, the quicker the brew (or otherwise the brew gets overextracted and bitter). So french press coffee, which steeps for 2 to 3 minutes, uses a coarse grind, exposing less coffee to the hot water. Espresso, which forces the water through at pressure almost instantaeously, uses super fine grounds. And drip coffee uses something in between. So, as an example. Let's say that I'm making my coffee. I use a pourover technique, so I'm using a "drip" grind. I usually grind one setting finer than the setting for automatic drip coffee makers. That's fine enough to get good extraction, but no so fine so as to clog up and cause the water to pool and set in the brewer too long.
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So how does coarseness effect taste? Someone posted earlier about this mattering.

Look at it this way. Smaller particles have a greater proportion of their mass "on the outside." The only part of a coffee ground that can be extracted is the outside. The inside doesn't matter. What that means is that the smaller the particle, the quicker the brew (or otherwise the brew gets overextracted and bitter). So french press coffee, which steeps for 2 to 3 minutes, uses a coarse grind, exposing less coffee to the hot water. Espresso, which forces the water through at pressure almost instantaeously, uses super fine grounds. And drip coffee uses something in between. So, as an example. Let's say that I'm making my coffee. I use a pourover technique, so I'm using a "drip" grind. I usually grind one setting finer than the setting for automatic drip coffee makers. That's fine enough to get good extraction, but no so fine so as to clog up and cause the water to pool and set in the brewer too long.
Ok so I am using using this drip brewer My link so if I set my grinder to the middle setting I should be fine? Thanks for answering all the questions, I have just started getting into coffee.
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Ok so I am using using this drip brewer My link so if I set my grinder to the middle setting I should be fine? Thanks for answering all the questions, I have just started getting into coffee.

You might want to review the entire thread. Earlier in the thread, I'm posting as scoobygang.So here goes. I don't want to tell you that you have the wrong machine. I haven't used that machine. I will tell you that it's a machine that hasn't been certified as brewing at the correct temperature, and that based on one of the (positive) reviews that are posted, I doubt that it gets the water hot enough to brew at the temperature that coffee snobs recommend (which is roughly 195 to 205 degrees fahrenheit). That user reported that the brewed coffe came out at 175 degrees, which strikes me as too cold for it to have brewed at around 200 degrees. The Specialty Coffee Association of America currently certifies four home brewers as meeting their standard in that regard. The Technivorm Moccamaster, The Lance Larkin BE 112 Brew Express, the Bunn HG Home Brewer, and the Bonavita 8 Cup Exceptional Brew Coffee Maker with carafe. There may be others that work, and SCAA may be motivated by kickbacks or whatever, but I can verify that the (very expensive) Technivorm makes as good a cup as any electric drip coffee maker I've ever had.But the quality of the cup is only one criteria. Only you know how much coffee you want to make at any one time. I make two "cups" at a time (where my "cup" is typically 12 ounces and my wife's "cup" is 20oz). I don't brew pots of coffee. So I put use two Kalita manual pour-over brewers and a programmable electric kettle. I have a process where I heat the water just above 200 degrees, transfer to a goose neck pitcher, and brew freshly ground coffee. That works for me. That might be entirely too labor intensive for someone wanting to make an entire pot. Or someone might rightly say that once you factor in the cost of the programmable kettle and the goose neck pitcher, I'm spending as much for my low-tech solution as someone is spending on their fancy brewer. This is true. But because I aslo drink lots of tea, which is brewed anywhere from 175 degrees for green tea to boiling for some black teas, I use the kettle anyway.
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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Updating this because my wife got me a Breville smart grinder for my birthday and I feel qualified to talk about it after about 10 days of use.It's expensive (about $200), but it delivers an excellent grind quality. It is very easy to access the burrs for cleaning, which is nice. Burrs are steel as opposed to ceramic. The clean up is much, much better than other grinders I have used. It's a plastic grinds container but there is absolutely no static. I often don't even have to wipe out the container, all the grounds go straight to the filters. The grinds container can be sealed to air if you want to grind a bit ahead. Not my thing, but a nice touch.It's "self-dosing", which is a bit of a mixed bag. You select how many cups you want and then "more" or "less" grounds within that general range. That only seems to affect how long the grinder runs (the grinder doesn't seem to weigh the beans or anything). It took me awhile to get the timing and dosing right (I don't store beans in the hopper, so I add my dose as needed). I eventually found the right setting and dosing to get about 55-60 g or fairly fine ground coffee, which works for the 24 to 30 oz of coffee I generally brew. I still sometimes have to do a manual grind for 5 seconds or so to get the last beans through the burr.Proof is in the cups, which have been fantastic once I got the dosing where I wanted it. Maybe more grinder than you need unless you're a coffee w a n k e r like me.
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  • 5 months later...

:blackdot:

Thought I'd give this one a bump. My wife just gave me the okay on an espresso machine. I was going through some of the ones linked in here, but any updates or other FBG-approved ones?

Since I'm just breaking into the habit, I don't need anything too fancy, but I would still like it to be good enough to mean that I never need to go to Starbucks (or other local coffee place) when the mood strikes.

I was looking at something like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002Y3BFU0 Is it worth spending a couple hundred more bucks for something fancier?

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  • 6 months later...

I use a French press every morning. Have this grinder which I set to coarse, 8 cups, to make 1 pint of liquid

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DBM-8-Supreme-Grind-Automatic/dp/B00018RRRK

I buy from local roasters but growing somewhat tired of them. Thinking about doing a coffee of the month club just to start getting variety.

As for what's available right now, Yemen Mocha is around most local roasters. It will be different than most beans you've had; woody, earthy, funky and winey. Good stuff and worth seeking out.

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  • 1 year later...

Wife was looking for a faster way to make coffee in the morning that doesn't suck. I dislike drip coffee, both taste and the idea of high heat combined with a lot of plastic probably leaching chemicals.

Settled on an old fashioned percolator, this one. This thing is awesome. All stainless steel. Fast, super easy to clean, and a pretty good cup for how convenient it is. I set my burr grinder to coarse and I don't even need to use a paper filter. I have no idea why these went out of style and drip coffee makers became popular, but I would never go back.

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Did someone just compare coffee to steak?

FTR I am still carrying this with me.

I think I believe in the comparison even more strongly now.

And I still believe that is an absolutely bizarre comparison.

Now using some kind of coffee rub on a nice steak is something I would definitely be open to.

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Bumping this thread as I'm trying to learn about coffee. Good info in here.

My wife doesn't like coffee, but we have a small child, and sleep is hard to come by for her. She's been dragging lately, and when her mommy friends found out she didn't drink coffee they were pretty blown away, and said things like they didn't think they could survive motherhood without coffee. So my wife wants to learn to like coffee and try it out. I get nerdy about things, so she's tasked me with figuring out a way to make her a mild cup of coffee.

I started out thinking cold brew, but that requires planning ahead and refrigerator space, neither of which is particularly appealing to me. She prefers hot drinks anyway, so we'd be microwaving the cold brew. There's an espresso machine that seems to be by far the best option in the price range (same as the one Chaka mentioned earlier) that I had my eye on, but we're about to leave for two weeks in Hawaii, and I'd like something we could take with us so we can try some of the cool local coffee in Kailua-Kona while we're there. Yeah, we could always buy their coffee, but I can remove variables if I make it myself the same way every time. So I bought an aeropress and the Hario Skerton hand grinder that snitwitch mentioned earlier. A quick google search of best hand burr grinders later, and that one was on everyone's list it seemed. I wanted a mechanical one, because we're spending 3 weeks in Cambodia and Thailand in January, and outlets are different and not widely available, so I wanted something analog.

We got some freshly roasted coffee (3 days ago) on the way home, and put the stuff to work. I'm *very* impressed. The grinder worked great (a little coarse my first time, but that's easily adjustable), didn't take minutes to do like people have said, and wasn't a hassle at all. The coffee was delicious on its own, but when I mixed half and half with warmed whole milk and put 1/2tsp of sugar in it, my wife was blown away that she actually liked it. I'm looking forward to experimenting with different temperatures and extraction time now.

I had already taken my costco coffee machine and cheap blade grinder off the countertop because I was sick of it taking up the space - now I don't know if I'll even need to replace it with the expensive Breville. Pretty happy with the aeropress for now. If I keep going down the coffee nerd rabbithole I'll probably end up with something different over time, but as of now I could drink coffee out of that thing forever and be very happy.

It's also all very easy to clean, which is pretty fantastic. Cleaning my coffee maker and mechanical grinder was a pain in the rear, and having things that aren't clean live on my countertop really annoys me as I get into cooking a bit more. And it's really cheap. I'm a bit excited (and caffeinated) if you couldn't tell. :)

Love my Aeropress, it makes a great cup of coffee, even better than french press. The only drawback is it only makes once cup at a time. But it is so easy to make, and virtually no clean up.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update. Still love my aeropress, and I've gotten better with it. Don't love making 3 or 4 cups with it. So I bought a Chemex today. Seems like the next step down the coffee nerd rabbit hole.

Yup. I always have four cups (30 oz) so my Aeropress has been in storage since about a month after I bought it. It makes a fine cup, and it's almost bulletproof, but I prefer coffee I get from just brewing (steeping fresh grounds) in hot water and filtering or using a press. Despite all the marketing whatever, the device isn't as important as "getting better with it" as you stated, whatever it is, and the quality of the coffee.

Two great bags of beans I've had recently:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PZ5SUTI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ST5F9T0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

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Also awhile ago I was reading about this gal who won a major coffee making competition. She used expensive beans from a roaster in Chicago called Intelligentsia. The beans were grown at high altitude in Bolivia. Her method. She put a measured amount of just ground beans into a glass beaker. Using an electric kettle she heated RO and charcoal filtered LA tap water to 205 degrees. She poured a measured amount into the beaker and gave it a stir. At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top. At about five minutes she poured it through a paper filter and served it. That's it. World champion cup of coffee, so simple.

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Did someone just compare coffee to steak?

FTR I am still carrying this with me.

I think I believe in the comparison even more strongly now.

And I still believe that is an absolutely bizarre comparison.

Now using some kind of coffee rub on a nice steak is something I would definitely be open to.

:shrug: seems an apt comparison. You can buy quality coffee or steak at a restaurant but the best imo for either is making your own once you learn how to properly make it. You can go cheap for either or buy quality and it's worth it. Two of the best consumables when done right. Beer also almost works as a comparison but that's more complicated.

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At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top.

Can't stop the nerd in me from trying to understand this step. Does it have a purpose? Does foam do something to flavor if left too long? Is it a heat transfer issue? Or more likely just something to do while she's waiting and make it more visually appealing.

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At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top.

Can't stop the nerd in me from trying to understand this step. Does it have a purpose? Does foam do something to flavor if left too long? Is it a heat transfer issue? Or more likely just something to do while she's waiting and make it more visually appealing.

:shrug: it sounds hot.

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Also awhile ago I was reading about this gal who won a major coffee making competition. She used expensive beans from a roaster in Chicago called Intelligentsia. The beans were grown at high altitude in Bolivia. Her method. She put a measured amount of just ground beans into a glass beaker. Using an electric kettle she heated RO and charcoal filtered LA tap water to 205 degrees. She poured a measured amount into the beaker and gave it a stir. At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top. At about five minutes she poured it through a paper filter and served it. That's it. World champion cup of coffee, so simple.

What is RO?

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I'm going to test this today. Bought some of those refillable k-cups to see if the office keurig makes better coffee with outstanding beans freshly ground.

ive been doing this lately. I noticed the coffee is very chalky and bitter maybe its just the beans im using

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I'm going to test this today. Bought some of those refillable k-cups to see if the office keurig makes better coffee with outstanding beans freshly ground.

if you're using freshly ground beans, why not use a french press?

Cleanup mostly. Easier to rinse out a refillable k cup than deal with a french press. Plus I've already got these things (bought them before I got nerdy about this) so I'm going to give it a shot.

in my experience, it's pretty equal.

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At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top.

Can't stop the nerd in me from trying to understand this step. Does it have a purpose? Does foam do something to flavor if left too long? Is it a heat transfer issue? Or more likely just something to do while she's waiting and make it more visually appealing.

I looked for the article before typing about it and couldn't find it. I think the skimming was only about pouring a clean clear black cup. The foam is a sign of how fresh the beans are, btw. The more the fresher. As beans age the release gas. So fresher beans have more gas and make more foam. It is nitrogen, fwiw.

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Also awhile ago I was reading about this gal who won a major coffee making competition. She used expensive beans from a roaster in Chicago called Intelligentsia. The beans were grown at high altitude in Bolivia. Her method. She put a measured amount of just ground beans into a glass beaker. Using an electric kettle she heated RO and charcoal filtered LA tap water to 205 degrees. She poured a measured amount into the beaker and gave it a stir. At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top. At about five minutes she poured it through a paper filter and served it. That's it. World champion cup of coffee, so simple.

What is RO?

Reverse osmosis.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently switched from auto drip coffee maker to French press. Here's my thoughts:

Taste - better, but not omg better. I've done about 8 batches and it continues to get better, but still not wowed. Look forward to trying other beans and regretting buying a 2 lb bag.

Ease - obviously not as easy as drip, but time from start to first sip is not that different. Cleanup is not that bad either. What has changed is that there are more things to be actively done and you have to pay a little more attention. but after getting into a routine, I can see this being fairly easy. I also don't have a place to keep made coffee warm so at the moment (French press makes.4cups worth), this is a downgrade over insulated carafe.

Gear - got everything on Amazon and I'll have to link later. Picked up TFal 1liter electric kettle, Brillante manual grinder and Sterling Pro french press. Happy with all. Manual grinder is good workout sadly. I have electric grinder at home too but it wakes the whole house. Grinding beans is the only thing I don't like much about the switch.

I keep the drip maker around for guests and haven't thought about going back to it yet.

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I knew this 75 year old grandmother that used to work as a bartender in some port in Alaska for decades. She was a cranky wench but she could make the most amazing coffee I ever had. Unfortunately I forgot the recipe because I didn't think it was important at the time.

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i have had that breville for about 7 years. really like it. when it is just the mrs and I we just make lattes and cappuccinos. when we have company we will make it via french press. for beans i prefer lavazza, illy, and blue bottle.

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Ease - obviously not as easy as drip, but time from start to first sip is not that different. Cleanup is not that bad either. What has changed is that there are more things to be actively done and you have to pay a little more attention. but after getting into a routine, I can see this being fairly easy. I also don't have a place to keep made coffee warm so at the moment (French press makes.4cups worth), this is a downgrade over insulated carafe.

Pour it into a Thermos?

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Also awhile ago I was reading about this gal who won a major coffee making competition. She used expensive beans from a roaster in Chicago called Intelligentsia. The beans were grown at high altitude in Bolivia. Her method. She put a measured amount of just ground beans into a glass beaker. Using an electric kettle she heated RO and charcoal filtered LA tap water to 205 degrees. She poured a measured amount into the beaker and gave it a stir. At four minutes she skimmed the foam from the top. At about five minutes she poured it through a paper filter and served it. That's it. World champion cup of coffee, so simple.

This is not surprising, it's more about the beans than anything else. Disclaimer: I work for a coffee company.

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  • 2 months later...

Always looking for a new place to try for ordering coffee beans... I have used coffeeam and coffee fool in the past so if anyone knows of any that offer a wide selection as well as good prices....

Update to this question.

Anyone order coffee beans online found any good / new places?

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Recently bought a French press and burr grinder. The end product is about a billion times better than the keurig, not to mention more economical. I do still use the keurig adapter with my freshly ground coffee when it's just me having some, and it's great.

My boss always gives me Starbucks gift cards for Christmas so I got some Caffe Verona and their Christmas blend. I want to try some more interesting choices once I run out of these beans.

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I personally only buy cafe bustelo espresso.

Is this good coffee?

You drink it and you don't know if it's good?

I think its good but im curious what the experts think.

I dont want to drink lousy coffee.

Last year I was obsessed with my moka pot, made cappuccino every morning with it. I used Cafe Bustelo. It's dirt cheap and it's the right grind for using a moka pot. I thought it was consistently great coffee, especially for the price.
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I personally only buy cafe bustelo espresso.

Is this good coffee?

You drink it and you don't know if it's good?
I think its good but im curious what the experts think.

I dont want to drink lousy coffee.

Last year I was obsessed with my moka pot, made cappuccino every morning with it. I used Cafe Bustelo. It's dirt cheap and it's the right grind for using a moka pot. I thought it was consistently great coffee, especially for the price.

Thats what i always thought. When considering value i think it knocks your socks off.

Ive met some people who think its crap coffee but ive also met a few converts.

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