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Fav coffee brands and roasts?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by antirabbit, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Girardian

    Girardian Well-Known Member

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    My favorite coffee is my home roast. Freshly roasted coffee beans are essential, IMO, to a great cup. If you're buying coffee, I recomment trying a local roasting companies that buy good beans (not all do), or a chain (like Peet's) that is particular about it coffee freshness and bean quality.

    If you're looking to buy espresso I recommend:
    - Malabar Gold, sold through retailers like www.wholelattelove.com
    - Gustav Crema Blend, sold via Cafe Umbria. I've met the owner, he started Torrefazioni and got out after it was sold because of the decline (in his opion) of the coffee. http://www.caffeumbria.com/our_blends.html.

    If you're making espresso I must recommend a good machine and a good grinder. Unfortuantely both are expensive but, IMO, sound investments. Most entry level espresso makers make 'espresso strength coffee' but cannot make true 'espresso.'
     
  2. Dmax

    Dmax Well-Known Member

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    Who are your favorite green beans suppliers Girardian? I usually buy from Sweet Maria's. Currently waiting for 9 lbs shipment from Burman Coffee.
     
  3. Rambo

    Rambo Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone picked up Intelligentsia through the mail? I can't find it locally but I'm hesitant to mail order as it would work out to about $16 per pound. I don't know if it's that good.
     
  4. aarghh

    aarghh Well-Known Member

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    I roast my own coffee too - I use an iRoast 2 which I have managed to figure out a few profiles for. I get my green beans from Sweet Maria's like Dmax.

    I move between french press and espresso for my coffee, based on weather and other parameters. I have a Rancilio Silvia for the espresso, and a Cunill Tranquilio grinder. I want a Quickmill Anita and a Mazzer Mini.
     
  5. Leroy Brown

    Leroy Brown Well-Known Member

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    Great coffee roasted to order and all proceeds go to funding medical care and clinics in Central America, Cuba, etc...

    http://www.fonsecacoffee.com/aboutus.htm

    I use the Organic or Dark Esspresso with a Gaggia espresso machine and the Fair Trade Mexican for drip makers. Great stuff and an excellent value if you buy 5 lbs at a wack. With shipping < $8.00 per lb.
     
  6. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    Great coffee roasted to order and all proceeds go to funding medical care and clinics in Central America, Cuba, etc...

    http://www.fonsecacoffee.com/aboutus.htm

    I use the Organic or Dark Esspresso with a Gaggia espresso machine and the Fair Trade Mexican for drip makers. Great stuff and an excellent value if you buy 5 lbs at a wack. With shipping < $8.00 per lb.

    I'm going to give this a shot. Pun intended.
     
  7. tonylumpkin

    tonylumpkin Well-Known Member

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    McDonald's now serving lattes, etc...

    [​IMG] Marketing 101


    The pimply faced kids can't even make the burgers right any more. How the hell are they going to make a decent latte?[​IMG]
     
  8. Rambo

    Rambo Well-Known Member

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    The pimply faced kids can't even make the burgers right any more. How the hell are they going to make a decent latte?[​IMG]
    They're making espresso too? I thought it was only coffee?
     
  9. DNW

    DNW Well-Known Member

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    Where can I buy one of these?

    +1 I need a coffee maker

    It's a Vietnamese coffee press. I normally brew darker roast coffee with it. It's also best if the coffee is a coarse ground.

    You can buy it here. It's also available at most Vietnamese grocery stores and sometimes at general Asian grocery stores. It costs about $5 for the small one or a little bit more for the large one. Remember to pick up some condensed milk if you want an authentic Vietnamese coffee.
     
  10. Manny Calavera

    Manny Calavera Well-Known Member

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    Illy Dark Roasted Medium Grind

    It's hard to get good coffee around here (we have a nice local chain which serves a decent brew), so I just go with Illy. Meh.[​IMG]
     
  11. Rambo

    Rambo Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone every tried Whole Foods' fresh roasted coffee? I just found out that my local WF will fresh roast beans for you while you shop. The only problem is that they've got about 75 different varieties of coffee and espresso. Suggestions?
     
  12. antirabbit

    antirabbit Well-Known Member

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    I would call them and tell them your likes, they will spec out the right roast and verietal for you.
    Also, whole foods carries their coffee (at least in Chicago they do).

    You really cant go wrong with them Btw.
     
  13. grimslade

    grimslade Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone picked up Intelligentsia through the mail? I can't find it locally but I'm hesitant to mail order as it would work out to about $16 per pound. I don't know if it's that good.

    I ordered a pound week before last (Black Cat). It's very good, but the cost is probably not sustainable. And it's not really my preferred style (at least Black Cat is not), and trying to find what I want via trial and error probably isn't sustainable. So I'm going to keep looking for fresh, local options. Actually, there's a decent roaster not far from me that dates its batches, etc.

    I use the KitchenAid Pro grinder and the Bodum Granos espresso machine. Not a perfect machine, but it's a semi-auto that makes decent espresso, which is what i need in the morning.
     
  14. itskub

    itskub Well-Known Member

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    hey, would anyone mind helping out a newb? my dorm roomate brought a Barista espresso maker, which produces a (double) shot in about 22 secs.


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=jp7GMWiDN...elated&search=
    The crema is the lighter,frothy layer on top, correct? When I make the shots, the proportion of the dark amount to the crema is inverse compared to the video (almost no crema at all). And I can definately taste some bitterness. Why is this? I grind tamp in the filter as much as possible..


    (Thats all for now, Im not even going ask about frothing milk; something in which I fail terribly[​IMG] ) Thanks!
     
  15. grimslade

    grimslade Well-Known Member

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    Are you 1.) using fresh, and freshly ground, coffee? 2.) and making sure that the porta filter and grouphead are both hot before pulling?
     
  16. grimslade

    grimslade Well-Known Member

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    (Thats all for now, Im not even going ask about frothing milk; something in which I fail terribly[​IMG] ) Thanks!

    I know you didn't ask, but it's not that hard. Fill up a pitcher half way with milk. Insert the wand into the milk and open the valve. Then lower the milk until the nozzle is just below the surface of the milk. You'll know you went too far if you produce huge bubbles; go back up a touch. Position the nozzle at the 9 o'clock position in the pitcher, so the nozzle blows the milk round and round, hopefully making a whirlpool kind of action. As the milk steams, it will increase in volume, so gradually lower the pitcher as this happens, otherwise holding it steady. Keep one hand on the outside of the pitcher. Assuming it's metal, your milk is ready when you can no longer hold your hand comfortably against the side. At that point plunge the wand maybe 3/4ths the way down give the milk another couple of seconds for good measure, then shut the valve and remove the wand from the milk.[​IMG]
     
  17. itskub

    itskub Well-Known Member

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    I honestly dont know if its fresh,I assumed it was.I buy it from a fine /specialty food store, where its kept in open baskets.
    To heat the grouphead, should I just run the machine for a few seconds with an empty filter?

    Also, I realized the screws on the grouphead/filter needed much tightening, so maybe that was affecting the pressure. (Id test it now but im out of beans)

    as for frothing, I read that the screaching sound means youre doing it incorrectly and the milk is scalding, as oppose to a desired rumbling sound. Most of the time Im getting the former, but I suppose its just a matter of practice before finding the sweetspot (Ive only been at it maybe 5 times so far, unfortunately no beginner's luck for me).

    (my roomate cant properly do it either, so hes not much help)
     
  18. Dmax

    Dmax Well-Known Member

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    I honestly dont know if its fresh,I assumed it was.I buy it from a fine /specialty food store, where its kept in open baskets.
    To heat the grouphead, should I just run the machine for a few seconds with an empty filter?

    Also, I realized the screws on the grouphead/filter needed much tightening, so maybe that was affecting the pressure. (Id test it now but im out of beans)

    as for frothing, I read that the screaching sound means youre doing it incorrectly and the milk is scalding, as oppose to a desired rumbling sound. Most of the time Im getting the former, but I suppose its just a matter of practice before finding the sweetspot (Ive only been at it maybe 5 times so far, unfortunately no beginner's luck for me).

    (my roomate cant properly do it either, so hes not much help)


    Unfortunately, getting nice crema with your shot is not that simple. It requires a certain degree of commitment.

    1)You may wish to try some fresher coffee. True crema consists of many coffee aromatic oils which are rather volatile. A week or two after roasting a lot of those oil would be gone and it would be impossible to get good crema. Find a local shop who roasts their own coffee, packages them into individual bags and marks the roast date on each bag. If you can't find anyone local, try mail order.

    2) You need some sort of a burr grinder to grind the beans shortly before you pull a shot. If you buy your beans ground, they go stale within a day and you get no crema.

    3) Your machine has a pressurized portafilter which is an impediment in gettinga true shot with crema. You can buy a non-pressurized portafilter for that machine online. If you get a "real" portafilter you may need to get a properly sized tamper if one did not come with the machine.



    If you taste bitterness, it means either the beans were roasted too dark and you need to try a lighter roast or your machine is dirty. Coffee oils accumulate on your portafilter, shower screen (the round plate with holes through which the hot water flows) and the basket. They are not soluble in water but are soluble in other oils. When you pull a fresh shot the old rancid oils get dissolved and you taste them in your espresso.

    To clean you need to remove the shower screen, basket and portafilter and try washing them in dishwashing soap or specialized espresso cleaner like Cleancaf or whatever Starbucks sells for cleaning/descaling.
     
  19. pabloj

    pabloj Well-Known Member

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    St. Eustachio il caffe, from the caffe by the same name across from the eponymous church, just behind the Pantheon in Rome. I've never had better coffee.
    +1
    Sant'Eustachio is great
     
  20. Rambo

    Rambo Well-Known Member

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    I'M IN MIAMI, BITCH
    I tried the Whole Foods Breakfast Blend and Sumatra light roast today. They both tasted like shit. I don't know if it's because the were brewed with too few grinds, or just the general taste of the coffee, but they were both weak and flavorless.
     

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