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Lets talk about COFFEE

Belligero

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Ed, to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Dragonfly. The only coffee of theirs that I love without reservation was a natural process Nicaraguan they accidentally sent me. The others, even the super expensive, high review ones are sorta boring for my tastes. But things may change if they get to prepare their own coffee for you, so who knows? I really like the beans my local roaster makes, but in their cafe, they make a mess of it, and I prefer my own preparation.

I've been enjoying the first Peet's light roast coffee that isn't terrible recently. Their new Etoile SO Ethiopian is really excellent, and very affordable. I've been enjoying their limited edition Red Mocha Haraaz too, but that's far more expensive.

Trying a new tweak this week, which is old news to Home Barista dudes, but I'm freezing my coffee beans and grinding them straight out of the freezer. Of course, freezing will make them age slower, so that's good, but grinding them frozen makes fewer fines (tiny dust-sized grains smaller than the intended grind size), which I've visually confirmed. I think it tastes better too: sweeter, less bitter, but experiment and see what you get. This is true with both the OE Lido 2 as well as the Kinu M43, both very competent grinders.

Speaking of OE, their new Apex grinder is shipping. Not sure I want to pull the trigger on it yet, but it looks like a totally unique concept.
Nice tips and info. :cheers:

I still love the speed, grind quality and zero-retention nature of the Lido 3 for both home and travel use, but that Apex seems like the personal brew grinder to have if portability isn't as much of a concern. Very much looking forward to trying it out sometime.

By the way, how's the Kinu working out for you? It looks like a high-quality and well-thought-out design; any notable differences between it and your OE after some time with both?
 
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Girardian

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Here’s the current espresso set up. I have other coffee prep methods, vac pot being the most commonly used.

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Custom Pullman Big Step tamper and Chisel Tool
Acaia Lunar scale with portafilter pad
Malkhonig EK43S
ECM Synchronica (latest version)
Pullman and VST baskets
ECM Portafilter stand
Stompa dosing cup
Lyn Weber blind tumbler (pictured) and individual bean cellars (for pre-weighed beans for quick access to making shots).
BWT BestMax under sink softner / filter for water
 
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A Y

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Nice tips and info. :cheers:

I still love the speed, grind quality and zero-retention nature of the Lido 3 for both home and travel use, but that Apex seems like the personal brew grinder to have if portability isn't as much of a concern. Very much looking forward to trying it out sometime.

By the way, how's the Kinu working out for you? It looks like a high-quality and well-thought-out design; any notable differences between it and your OE after some time with both?
You're welcome! I haven't found huge differences between the two: they're more alike in the brews they make than not. The Kinu is much easier to adjust than the lock-ring thing on the Lido, and the longer handle makes it easier to grind, but harder to store. BTW, I'm also doing WDT now for my grinds: I spray a tiny bit of water on the beans before I grind them, and that basically makes either grinder zero retention.
 

Belligero

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Thanks for the reply.

For sure; it’s amazing the difference that a bit of moisture on the beans can make on a dry day. Instead of a clingy fuzz of grounds, fines and silver skin, you get nothing but clean metal.

A drop or two works well enough, but I’m even happier with the results from using a small spray bottle to provide a nice even misting. That and a light tap on the counter after a grind means that everything goes into the catch cup.

And it’s a godsend when it comes to espresso.
 
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jet lagged

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Thanks so much. I'm spending 40% of my time in Japan (mainly Tokyo) and 60% in the Bay Area. I alternate, like you it seems, between kissaten and 3rd wave places. Sarutuhiko (bunch of young guys and gals who said- we can do this better than all the foreign upstarts)- started with a small shop in Ebisu and now have multiple locations. Takes them almost 10 minutes of "doing whatever beyond precision" to do an espresso but it's damn good.

I tried Olso Coffee which only does siphon and pour over in Gotanda last week. I think they are in Nakameguro as well. The $6 latte I had was good but not "Oh Wow...let's get off the train and go here.." It also looks too much like a Tully's for some reason.

In Jiyugaoka, there is a kisseten type place on modern Marie Claire street run by an ex semi-famous Japanese rock guitar guy who is in his 60s. Lots of NRBQ and blues playing and he does the burlap sack and choice of very old beans thing for about 800 yen a cup. On the other side of Jiyugoaka is Mellow Brown Coffee which pulls espressos and lattes really well and is meant to be a oshare/Portland style place. Coffee is great but its stupid expensive with 700/800 yen lattes, $14 sandwiches and is owned by Suntory. I think there are a few of these.

Koenji has a bean wholesaler and his wife who will make you a coffee if you ask. Then there is the 90 year old woman who has a weird little place that looks like it is a home for elves who does pour overs on the Minami side not far from the Momotaro jeans shop.

When I went to Kiyasumi-Shirakawa, I stopped at Blue Bottle on a Sunday morning and the music was club like and deafening. I saw James the owner speak a few weeks before and he said he doesn't like music as it distracts from the coffee. So I emailed him with a video of the shop.....a few blocks from there is a surf themed very small coffee place that does excellent pour over....forget the name
 

Principle

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Im visiting relatives in DC this long weekend. Any recommendations for roasters?
 

edinatlanta

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Im visiting relatives in DC this long weekend. Any recommendations for roasters?
Swings which has a couple spots one right across from the white house. The Myanmar is so good.

Commonwealth Joe's in crystal city specializes in cold brew but their beans are still good. Zeke's has it's own custom built roaster that is a bed instead of the drum. Their variety cant be beat but I wasnt that impressed (but it might've been because I was very hot and already had a lot of coffee). Its also a bit out of the way. Theres one that specializes in espresso it has a one word name (I forget it though) and is a couple blocks from the dc hilton. Georgetown coffee roasters is good too kid you're nearby. If you do go to gcr there is a shop from Melbourne (or the owners are from Melbourne I cant remember) a couple blocks away.

The roaster that supplied the coffee for the Obama white house was good. Its ubiquitous and easy to Google (on my phone sorry). Theres a couple others I've had that were mentioned in a few articles about dc coffee roasters that are also easy to find. I cant say I was disappointed with any of my stops that I pulled from said articles.
 

flipstah

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Hi peeps!

Been rocking a Moka pot and grinder setup for years, but recently got a hold of this Saeco machine and my life changed for the better overnight! Just made an awesome double shot although I have no idea how to work the steamer yet.

Made a delicious cup though! Use Cubita beans exclusively but will explore other beans soon.

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edinatlanta

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If you get a chance the limited release Myanmar from Blue Bottle is exceptional. There's a wild characteristic to it, not sure how else to describe the flavors. There's a lot of contrasting flavors that somehow work. I haven't had many Myanmarese coffees but all of them have this sort of complex and contrasting flavors that work well together.

On a side note: is there any reason why some beans will lose flavor faster than others? It seems that better roasters can prolong the good flavors (is this an inherent superiority of the beans?) and more middle-of-the-pack roasters can have a quicker drop off but will be more consistent over the long haul....if that makes sense.
 

patrickBOOTH

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On reading you recommendation I headed to Blue Bottle today and got the Myanmar (Burma). You are correct, it is delicious. If I blind tasted it I would have pegged it as an Ethiopian.
 

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