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Lets talk about COFFEE

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

  1. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    You're welcome Chris! Do you send customers who request teh drape to Starbucks?

    --Andre
     
  2. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hmmmm...interesting suggestion!
     
  3. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    This is about the best I can do for coffee, given my location.
    [​IMG]
    It's not bad though.
     
  4. alexg

    alexg Senior member

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    I'm new to trying to make good coffee, and have two questions.

    1. I was given a La Pavoni Europiccola machine that a friend had in his house. I believe he converted it from 220v to 110v to work in America. It works, but it literally took about 2 hours to get the water hot enough to make steam. It's an old machine, should I try to get a new heating coil or could it be something else?

    2. What kind of grinder should I get? I'm hoping to spend about $50-100 to be used with the La Pavoni and possibly an Aeropress.

    Thanks
     
  5. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    How did your friend 'convert' the coffee machine, with a step-up transformer or did he just change the plug to a US one? One thinks the latter, which probably explains why it takes so long to heat the water. You could try getting a new 110V heating element, that would certainly make it heat the water much quicker, if one is available. If you can't get the appropriate heating element, a 110V-220V step-up transformer of adequate wattage will make your coffee machine work correctly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  6. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    The heating coil could have run directly off wall voltage, so with 110V, it may not be heating up that much or that quickly. Do they offer an alternate coil or heating system that works with 110?

    Aeropress isn't very picky about a grinder, at least for fineness of size --- you still want uniformity, so a burr grinder is better than an whirly blade. I use a Capresso Infinity and it works well. It's about $90 from Amazon. If you want to use some elbow grease, the Hario manual grinders are very good, and slightly cheaper. Their main advantage is that they use really nice burrs, and are portable.

    --Andre
     
  7. alexg

    alexg Senior member

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    Thanks MikeDT and A Y. I think I'll try getting a new heating coil and attempt to install it. I'll look into the grinders as well. Portable is a good thing and I'm already pulling the espresso manually so the Hario might not be bad.
     
  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Just read an artIcle about the effects of limescale buildup on machines. They have opened machines that the buildup around the heating element is so severe that the machine would not heat up. You could ask your friend who gave you the machine about how he maintained the machine.
     
  9. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    Very interesting.

    We use the aeropress at home -- I find it makes decent coffee even with crummy, store-ground beans. When I want to make a full pot of coffee, I use two aeropresses with three scoops in each -- fill one up to the "4" with hot water from a zojirushi, stir it around about 12-18 times and press it into a cup; repeat the procedure with the second press, dump the contents of the twice-pressed cup into a carafe and then add more water from the zojirushi to the 12 cup mark. Then I put the carafe in the Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker (stupidly expensive hotplate for our purposes, but I suppose I could use it as a coffeemaker if the aeropresses broke ... :embar:).

    Thanks for the tip on the coava metal filter -- we go through a lot of the paper filters. I tried to cut an existing metal cone filter into the right shape a couple of years ago but it didn't work so we went back to paper. I have just ordered a couple of the metal ones.
     
  10. seanchai

    seanchai Senior member

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    http://www.baratza.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=380R

    Basically a rebranded, refurbished Baratza Maestro Plus with a manufacturer's warranty. Probably the best espresso grinder you could get between $50-100; not quite fine enough for espresso out of the box, but easily recalibrated to a pressurized-portafilter grind. If you wait awhile, occasionally a refurbished Virtuoso will come up on their site for ~$130 (and then you'll never have to buy another grinder).
     
  11. 1969

    1969 Senior member

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    Never skimp on a grinder for espresso...Rocky is the entry level imo.
     
  12. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Any recommendations for what to look for in a good decaf? I usually mix my beans about 50/50 because the way I make coffee (single cup drip cone) it's already super strong. But I've found a lot of decaf beans have a flat, "stale" flavor. In San Francisco, Bicycle Coffee Co makes a pretty tasty decaf but I can't always find it. Sometimes I'll try to mix the same varietal in caf/decaf, but not always.

    I don't know much about the different decaffeinating methods or what makes a good vs. bad tasting decaf.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  13. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    Thanks again for the metal filter recommendation -- tried it over the weekend and it was very good when making a full aeropress cylinder. I haven't tried it for just one cup yet, but don't expect any problems.
     
  14. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    I alternate between a chemex and a french press; do I need an aeropress as well?

    lefty
     
  15. seanchai

    seanchai Senior member

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    You probably don't *need* one, but they're pretty inexpensive (even with the Able Disk mentioned above) and you can get interesting things out of beans that you won't get from a press pot or the Chemex. I brewed a superstar Kenya Kangunu tonight with the Aeropress and Disk - it brought out the sugary sweetness without the citrus you'd get from brewing this coffee pretty much any other way. Interesting!
     
  16. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Does anyone use a Hario? Could you throw this in to compare with the other brewing devices/methods.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  17. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Quote:
    Thanks, I may pick one up.

    Anyone use a grinder cleaner like Grindz?

    lefty
     
  18. coldarchon

    coldarchon Senior member

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  19. seanchai

    seanchai Senior member

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    I use dry white rice, an idea that I think began as a barista joke but actually works well. Cheaper than Grindz and no chemicals.
    Which Hario product? I've had a V60 for about a year and used it every day for the first four months I had it, but despite tweaking everything I could think of - grind, timing, rhythm, pour speed - I never got a great cup of coffee out of it. Some baristas swear that it's a great tool, but IMO a Beehouse dripper or even one of the cheap Melittas is an easier route to the same end. A great grinder is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a good cup of V60.
     
  20. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Really? I would have thought rice would gum it up but a quick search seems to confirm. Thanks.

    lefty
     

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