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Lets talk about COFFEE

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Flambeur, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    but Edward green won't deny that hand welted shoes are superior to gemmed shoes. Gemmed shoes are also an industry standard. I'm not saying I have more knowledge than anybody, but to push a mere style of coffee as some kind of standard or even to claim it superior is kind of bullshit without some sort of facts to back it up. How can you even measure it up against anything?
     
  2. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    This occurred to me this morning. Think of roasting coffee as a chef adding salt to food. There is a point where the salt enhances the flavors without tasting "salty." Anything less and the flavors are subdued, anything more and the taste of salt masks the flavors of the dish. There is the same sweet spot with roasting.
     
  3. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    if something is too salty according to one person, is it going to be too salty for everybody?
     
  4. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    I LOVE salty things (but not too salty)! :nodding:
     
  5. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    i have come to see that you can improve 98% of all foods by adding either butter or salt. or adding both.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. otc

    otc Senior member

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    My friend puts butter in his coffee...and sometimes I add a few grains of salt when using the moka pot.
     
  7. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    I add a few grains of salt to every cup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  8. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    You can add a little bit of salt to coffee to mask the bitterness. I do this for really bad espressos.

    edit: the new Handlebar African coffees are up on their website.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    Salt also enhances good flavors.
     
  10. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    While this is true because everybody has a different sensitivity to salt and people have a different perception of what is good seasoning. To use your own analogy joshuadowen is suggesting an absolute minimum amount of salt because he's afraid of covering up any flavors at all when in reality there is a range of saltiness where the seasoning tastes good to most people.

    Also minimal roast levels highlight acidity which can be as, if not more, unpleasant than any roasting defect or loss of optimal flavors present in higher roast levels. And roast flavors are pleasant in themselves too

    While too much salt is bad it's also equally bad to run the other direction and have bland unseasoned food. What's good seasoning is subjective and saying an industry standard of seasoning is objective truth is pretty ludicrous. Telling a customer off and saying never tell a roaster how to do their job would be like telling a customer to never tell the chef that their food is under or over seasoned. Unlike with food you cant just add more roast to coffee. Sure the roaster probably knows more technical detail on how to cook the food but if he has a bad palate are customers not allowed to tell them so?

    I think another apt analogy would be cooking a steak. Joshuadowen is suggesting that it is an industry standard to barely cook the steak so as to preserve the inherent beefy flavors of the steak. He suggests this is an objective truth which is true. Minimal roasting preserves a maximal range of flavors present in the coffee. However you're not considering the delicious flavors you add during the roast nor are you considering the overall balance of the coffee. Sure barely warming a steak preserves all the beefy flavors but carmelization and the maillard reaction and the salt and butter all provide a lot of flavors that are very pleasant that aren't present in the meat itself. Also the texture and lack of seasoning of barely seasoned or cooked steak isn't very pleasant. The goal should about balance in the end product not simply preserving all the flavors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  11. IrateCustomer

    IrateCustomer Senior member

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    I don't believe in hard, fast rules a lot of the time. But I saw this pic and it made me wonder how valid it was. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    I grind finer for Chemex than the chart indicates, more toward what they have for siphon. I base it on extraction time. If it takes less time than my target, I grind finer. If it is takes longer than my target, coarser.
     
  13. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Aside from grit getting through the filter, is there any reason to use a coarse grind on French press? Could you just dial in the grind by selecting the finest grind that doesn't result in excess sediment?
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That's the idea, and adjust brew time accordingly.
     
  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  16. OmniscientCause

    OmniscientCause Senior member

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    I went to the stumptown in nyc last Friday...make some good coffee, I can get it in a few places in DC and will in the future.
     
  17. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    While I've been enjoying my Aeropress and the Kaffeologie S filter, I think it's making more sensitive to paper taste in my coffee.

    pB, I'm curious to hear about the HandyBrew. Not only the coffee, but how hard it is to clean up afterwards.
     
  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The cleanup is what had me worried. Will report back.
     
  19. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Is that right that they suggest 160ml of water to 20g of coffee?

    I usually put 17g into the aeropress and add 225g of water...sometimes even a bit more
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  20. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I use 15g/225g. It ends up being 15.5 or whatever I can manage to pour out accurately, and same thing with the water: I end up somewhere around 225-240.

    20/160 will underextract a lot but it's not a hard rule: just do what tastes best to you, and some of it depends on the rest of your process, like grind size, steep time, how much you stir.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

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