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Sunday, 08 February 2015

Comments

My favorite home coffee is the Hario V60 dripper. Quick and easy to use and easy to clean.

Honorable mention: electric moka pots.

Could you grind some in a good grinder and vacuum pack it for use the next days? Or is it definitely better to grind, brew and drink?

I totally concur with your opinion about using a burr grinder to grind your own beans. One should also store the beans properly and grind them just prior to brewing.

I have not used pour-over devices because they simply don't brew enough coffee at a time to satisfy my morning needs for quantity, about six 5 oz. cups over a three hour or so period. I do know, however, that both the pour-over device you mention, and a few other similar pour-over devices, produce a cup or two of superior coffee.

There are a few, but only a few, drip machines that can produce similar results to either the pour-over method or the various press methods. The plus to using one of these fine drip machines is the greater quantity of coffee produced. For those interested in drip machines of this quality, they should look for the few that are certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. I'm very happy with the one produced by the same manufacturer as the roaster you own and mentioned, Mike. Make no mistake, though, these are not the typical hot-brown-caffienated-water machines that are the common fare at discount stores or department stores.

In addition to the quality of the roast and the grind, water quality is also important. If it doesn't taste good to drink, it's not going to be improved by brewing coffee in it. And if you use a drip machine, even if you have water that tastes good, you also have to be concerned with the total dissolved solids in the water you use. Too many, and you muck up the inner workings of your machine very quickly.

Mike, I hate you. Or more likely, my wife (who no-longer drinks coffee) will hate you. Where in my kitchen will the grinder go?

OK, I do have a real Q. I just got one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Planetary-Design-Airscape-64oz-Chrome/dp/B00167XN14 to store my beans. It looks like the grinder can store some beans, but not in a way that excludes oxygen. Maybe your small batch roasting takes care of the problem, but what did you do before?

Thanks for the nice advice.

I have a good coffee grinder and cappu machine. But in periods where I am intensely preoccupied mentally and spiritually, I loath even the smallest amount of practical labor, so for a couple of years I have been very happy with an alternative cup: the compact Krups coffee maker which uses small aluminium capsules of ground coffee.
I'm sure real coffee geeks will find this beneath contempt, but we all have different levels of quality we demand (as with your fine example of sharpness, which I'm slowly learning), and I find that I can't find anything inferiour about the coffee from the Krups, and I make a cup in less time and with near zero cleaning up, much unlike a traditinal cappuccino machine, where just keep the filter clean is a science onto itself.

Of course if one *enjoys* the process, same with cooking, it's a completely different picture!

Mike, I think it would be worth your while to explore the Aeropress coffee maker. Simple and cheap but very effective. Fast to set up and clean.The only way I know to add a bit of pressure to the extraction process without an espresso machine.

I live in a rural area and if I buy fresh roasted coffee beans when visiting the city, how long will they be good for and should I store them in the refrigerator?

I know that some coffee fanatics insist that freshly-ground coffee beans begin to deteriorate 15 seconds after the grind (!), but Mike, do you have a more realistic opinion on that?

I ask because I only make two or three coffees a week from home (always a double espresso), and my spouse makes one almost every day. That means we'd be grinding for one or two double espressos a day, which seems a bit fussy and would lead to a lot of waste (good luck getting the exact amount each time). But if I ground enough for two or three days at a time, would I be defeating the purpose on that second or third (or OMG, fourth!) day?

Mike, I have to totally agree with you regarding the Breville burr grinder you use. We've just recently purchased it (and a Capresso drip machine) to replace the "all in one" Breville grinder/ brewer that died on us. Using the same beans the difference (improvement) is chalk and cheese. The other thing I like about the Capresso is it has a "slow" mode so that the water hits the grounds in a more controlled time rather than a rush. We also use the "Clever Coffee Dripper" when camping to great effect.

Just a note on grinders. I've actually got the Virtuoso you picture. I've also got a Hario Slim hand grinder. For those among your readers thinking they'd like to try freshly ground coffee, but find the electrics a bit expensive for just trying out - of the two grinders I own, I actually use the Hario. It's better. And it's only about twenty-two bucks, U.S.

I love coffee, but cannot tolerate caffeine. Any suggestions?

With you entirely about the importance of grinders. With you entirely about the adequacy of pretty much every modern digital camera.

Completely against you when you ruin all the good work by steeping coffee grounds in hot water. As far as I am concerned, after over 30 years experience of using one and occasionally having to improvise (with dire results), the only truly efficient system to turn properly ground coffee into a drink is a bialetti coffee maker. There may be other systems available but I haven't found one. I even had to reject a modern ceramic hob when I discovered that it wouldn't heat one.

In fact I would go so far as to suggest that without at least 2 full mugs of high roast columbian beans properly roasted and properly ground then brewed in a Bialetti type coffee maker the choice of camera (m43, Medium Format, FX, Film etc.) becomes irrelevant because frankly - who would care? On the other hand possibly I need help.

Mike

Thanks for the treatise on making coffee and grinding on your own. I agree about the inconsistency of the blade grinders. More out of convenience, I buy my coffee (Expresso) already grounded and try to finish within ten days brewing with my French press.

I am told boiling water to 100 degC extracts too much bitterness and acids so I guessimate somewhere short of boiling point. I sometimes add a pinch of sea salt to enhance the taste (but not sugar). Yes, coffee drinkers can be an OCD bunch.

Dan

French Press. Or the Keurig using the Self Ground Basket, when you time is limited.

I have a lot of coffee making equipment/toys (like Mike I'm well down the coffee OCD slide), that being said - when someone asks about making better coffee I always point to the following:

1. Grinder (burr grinder, generally the bigger the burrs the better)
2. Kitchen scale (so that coffee/water ratios are consistent)
3. French press (IMO the least likely brew method to screw up)

It is actually pretty amazing the quality of coffee you can make with the above basic equipment.

I agree with the grinder, however I would still give precedence to the brewing method. I don't like drip coffee, I find the taste, even with good beens, to be a bit sour. I prefer an espresso machine, or failing that, a Moka (note, not a mocha)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_pot

Much fuller flavour and less caffeine.

When our kitchen was renovated 2 years ago, I decided to graduate from instant coffee to something with a detectable hint of nature present. Coffee from the shop was always so much better than my daily fare. So a corner was put aside in the new kitchen layout for a coffee machine.

Not being gifted with barista genes, I looked for advice, and soon learned that cheap coffee machines are worse than nothing, cheap bean grinders are worse than nothing, and listening to anyone other than the person giving me advice at the present moment was worse than nothing.

Being quite the fan of nothing (Buddhist), I took this advice at face value, typed the numeric values into my budget vs wishes mangling machine, and you know what came out? Fresh beans, conical grinder, and Aeropress! (cheap, filtered, all grounds evenly steeped). I haven't regretted it for a day ... and my faith in the old mangling machine is repaid.

Mike, I was looking the other day at the Aeropress device for brewing coffee. Do you by any chance have an opinion on that method of brewing?

You can save on the scale by grinding one shot. I measure the beans into the grinder for a cup, then grind them all. That way I can also use different grinds without having to clean out the grinder. (I also use developer and fixer one shot.)

The French press is a nice alternative. You get more flavor because the oils are not absorbed in the paper. If you are using properly ground coffee and not too hot water, you do not need the filter to mellow your coffee by holding back the oils.

Given the volume of coffee some posters consume, I will note that caffeine is a drug. If you start having trouble with anxiety or high blood pressure, consider mixing in some decaf.:-)

If I might add something that I notice many people (and some cafe's) often don't pay enough attention to, which is keeping your equipment clean. I have friends with high end grinders and such that never clean them and let the oils build up on all the surfaces. These, like all oils, become rancid and affect the taste of the coffee made with them.

Written while drinking my second espresso of the morning.

I purchased a burr grinder and a moccamaster at about the same time several years ago. I'm lucky enough to live in a city (Sacramento) with three or four small coffee roasters who introduce probably 20 or 30 different beans from different parts of the world over the course of a year. Many, possibly most, of those beans are fair trade. One of the roasters will take back the beans if you are disappointed, allowing you to swap them for another kind.

I very recently stopped using my moccamaster and began using a French press; the difference in taste is night and day. It's like switching from wonder bread to artisanal handmade country style loaf bread. It's a hassle to use, especially to clean up, but I'd find it really hard to go back.

Cheers Mike,

A topic near and dear to my espresso-addicted heart. If I may add one more to the grinder list, the Mazzer Mini http://www.mazzer.com/scheda.asp?idprod=2
is that rarest of Italian products--works perfectly and indestructible. While our espresso maker has been overhauled three times we've been happily grinding with our Mazzer daily for a decade without fail. Importantly, it has the consistency and micro-adjustability (stepless grind setting) espresso demands.

Check this re: value of coffee

http://www.dimattinacoffee.com.au/blog/entry/coffee_second_only_to_oil_is_coffee_really_the_second_largest_commodity

[Fixed, thanks! --Mike]

I can heartily concur and endorse not only the Clever Dripper, but also the inexpensive Cuisinart DBM-8 grinder. I was a bit skeptical when I found it at an even lower price at a local Tuesday Morning. However, it performs remarkably well, "punching above its weight" as the saying goes. I have no illusion that it performs as well as more highly engineered models, but so far I don't feel a real need to upgrade.

My other indispensable piece of equipment is the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp electric kettle. The range of selectable temperature settings is just about perfect, and it is great not only for coffee but for a wide variety of teas.

As I have refined my brewing skills, I find that my taste in roasts has changed. I've moved from darker roasts to medium, and to even some lighter roasts. I find that unless a dark roast is really skillfully done, it destroys the inherent flavour profile and notes of the beans. This is the primary reason to, as Mike advises, to "avoid Charbucks" ... oops, did I just say that?

No more for me. I caught the bug to chase the perfect cup of java over 30 years ago. A succession of "perfect" burr grinders, French presses, drip coffee makers, etc. One day several years ago the death of my coffee maker jolted me into the realization that I had spent decades and thousands of dollars with a time-consuming daily ritual that had rarely produced the "perfect cup" or even a consistently good cup of coffee. It was at that moment that I resolved Enough!

I switched to a Keurig and never looked back. I now enjoy extremely consistently excellent coffee one cup at a time with a wonderful variety of coffees available. I cac even break out that old burr grinder and grind my own beans again if I became nostalgic. (I don't.)

I salute those for whom coffee and its rituals is genuinely so important that it merits such generous time (and financial) expenditures each days. But for me letting go of many of the little fetishes, robotic habits, and unconscious obsessions that drove parts of my daily life for so long has been a revelation that's enabled me to re-focus my attentions in the latter stretch of my life.

And, yes, I'm not just writing about coffee here. This does have parallels with simplifying my photographic pursuits.

[To each his own. I'm not after the perfect cup and am really not very obsessive about any of this; roasting is not hard and I never do more than I have to to make good coffee. If I find a good bean I order 20 lbs. of it and use it till it runs out. I never experiment with different roast profiles and so forth, and I'm not crazy about brewing methods. I just make a very good cup of coffee and stop there. I really don't sweat it much at all. --Mike]

The quality and taste of tap water varies a lot.
I suggest you invest in a reverse-osmosis (RO) water filtration system for your drinking water, coffee and tea. RO removes crap in drinking water that makes it taste bad and dozens of industrial chemicals, drugs, etc. that are ignored by your local water district but may be harmful to you. Units install under the kitchen sink. Costs a few hundred dollars to install and about a hundred per year to replace filters. Get a high end unit with ~4 filters.
Use it for ice cubes too-your whiskey will thank you.
You will notice the difference!

Nice article Mike. I'm a Coffeegeek myself, and a few years ago we bought the inlaws a Baratza grinder for Christmas. They still tell us how it changed their world. The Baratza website often has they most popular grinders available as refurbs if anyone is looking for a deal.

I second the clever coffee dropper as well. Best method out there for brewing a single cup, IMO.

Better coffee? That would be tea!!

We have a Jura Impressa J5 coffee machine that's now around six years old and which has made countless thousands of mugs and so far hasn't missed a beat.

We use beans, which it grinds finely, but it also allows you to use pre-ground beans, if you like to mix your own.

When out bush, we use an old style percolator on a gas hob with pre-ground coffee beans.

Without a high pressure espresso machine, all fancy upstream process is useless to my taste.

I used a Chemex for years, but have become a big fan of the Aeropress, especially with a stainless steel filter like the Able Brewing Disk Fine.

Combined with the Porlex Mini hand grinder it's also a fantastic option for camping and travel. The Mini fits right inside the top of the Aeropress plunger.

Grinding beans in the Porlex takes a minute or two, but I find it does a fantastic job and I'm happy to be rid of the jarring noise of the electric mill in the morning.

After about 5 years of experimentation with many aspects of coffee - from roasting to grinding to brewing here is my short cut list for achieving brewed coffee happiness (I have almost no experience with espresso):

1) Grinder. I own a Virtuoso and I agree your suggestions Mike. But if you're drinking light-roasts then you'll want to avoid the hand-grinders. They'll be inconsistent on the tougher, woodier beans of a light roast. And the light roasts are a LOT more effort to grind - no fun.

2) Water. Find a source of excellent water. pH around 7-7.4. Little to no Chlorine, low dissolved solids. Evian works especially well, but costs more than the coffee, usually. Don't boil...

3) Temperature control. Best done by the kettle itself, for easy consistency, but a probe will get you there too. The 'right' temp is roast dependent. Good light roasts can be brewed as low as 78C. Some darker roasts need as much as 93C. This is the water temp when you start brewing.

4) Choice of Brewer: mine's the Aeropress, and I've got a rock solid recipe that works consistently, with slight adaptations for different beans. I also love a good French Press, and V60 pour-overs too, but they're not my go-to methods.

5) Roaster. Find one who roasts to your taste (it could be you, if you homeroast). I don't like the ash, rubber and dryness of most medium-to-dark roasts so I drink Scandinavian-style light roasts, and there's an excellent roaster in my home town.

That's it! 5 years of learning summarized in a few short paragraphs. I have no doubt there's plenty more to learn, but at the moment I'm really happy with my coffee.

I'll add to the number of happy users of the hand grinder. I rarely make more than 2 cups at a time, and hate the waste of the K-cup machines, so for me and my girlfriend, the hand grinder & aeropress combo is perfect. I've been hand-grinding my daily coffee for 2 years now and i love how simple, (relatively) quiet, and consistent it is, and we have coffee in the time it takes to heat water + about 90 seconds.

I've been using the Technivorm for many years--the best drip I've found. Less time consuming and fussy than the Hario pour overs--I've tried them--- and more coffee. Their thermos Carafe is good for 30-40 minutes, but, of course, the first cup I have is better. I have a Baratza Vario--check with them for "reconditioned" ones. For bean storage, there is also a TIGHTVAC
coffee vacuum. I have two of them. Can't say I agree about Mike and Starbucks--it's consistent if you find a roast/bean combo you like. I've tried 35-40 different roasts from the boutiques to Counter Culture. and have settled on one from Starbucks and another from Blue State Coffee. Enjoy.

My two cents: The aforementioned variables in the equation for a very good cup of coffee will graph out to a complicated integral, but it will not pass through zero on one of the axes, because there is one variable that must be constrained.

And I don't think that grind size is the constraining factor, so long as you don't have a complete mish-mosh of sizes from huge to microscopic. And almost all commercial preground coffee has a pretty consistent grind for you to work into that extraction equation.

No, I have found that the most important factor is the temperature of the water. And only the top end is absolutely critical. If your water is too hot, above 190F, you will always get a bitter nasty cup, no matter how much attention you have paid to the other variables.

And this is why you will never get a truly good cup from any Moka pot, or almost all auto drip makers. These devices simply brew at too high a temperature, and extract all the bitter oils very quickly. And this is why, although I have never tried this, you supposedly can make excellent coffee brewed over many hours if you use only cold water.

I make a pretty decent cup at home. And - dare I say it - I use CostCo's low-end coffee, the $3.00 per pound stuff. And (shudder) three quarters of each pot I make is decaf. And I make it strong. And it is still 100 times better than a Starbucks Americano. Because I never, ever use water over 185F.

For those of us who are tea drinkers, how about another excellent report from Ctein on tea? I thoroughly enjoyed his posts on tea. Thanks

What happened to 'desktop music' ? ;)

Highly recommended: the Lido II, from Orphan Expresso, a very well thought out hand grinder, from literally, a Mom and Pop outfit from Idaho. The Faq's on their site gives some lucid thoughts behind their design decisions.
Our houshold has gone from RO water filtration, back to filtering the hard water with a carbon/charcoal type filter. The RO water was bland and neutral as to being distasteful; guess we like some minerals.

Comments on the comments:

As Mike says, you *can* get really good decaf. In practice though it's pretty rare. I've only found it once or twice. But it's not too hard to find perfectly OK decaf. Not super, but not bad.

The comments about water are also important.

IMHO the Keurig machines are awful. They make the coffee-equivalent of Minute-rice: looks like coffee, tastes mostly like cardboard.

I spend 5 minutes a day making one large mug of pour-over. I don't think about it too hard. I'm usually half asleep doing it. But if the beans are fresh and the water is good it's still an order of magnitude better than anything I've ever gotten out of a Keurig.

As much as I enjoy drinking a delicious cup of coffee, I'm getting just as much enjoyment from reading how far others will go to produce one. FWIW, I buy freshly roasted coffee, grind it in an inexpensive (Capresso) burr grinder, and pour-over with boiling tap water. If I'm feeling particularly obsessive I might use bottled spring water. Some cups I brew taste better than others, but few are bad and the truly excellent ones make me appreciate them all the more. Whatever anyone else chooses to do or not do with coffee is fine with me, and the only thing I won't do is drink truly bad coffee, whether it's mine or someone else's.

Yes, I drink too much coffee. But I do mix in decaffeinated beans with the caffeinated ones at about a 50% ratio. That said, it's still the equivalent of about three 5oz cups of caffeinated spread over three hours and that's still too much. I shall use Ed's reminder and try to cut back more.

A few other points to factor in regarding caffeine in coffee: 1) The lighter the roast of caffeinated beans, the more caffeine that remains in the bean and, 2) A few "decaffeinated" coffees still retain a significant amount of caffeine. 3) While the total amount of caffeine usually consumed when drinking espresso, the caffeine is significantly more concentrated and it is often consumed in a relatively short time, causing a caffeine-jolt to the central nervous system that is closer to drinking several cups of coffee over a few hours than is suggested by comparing the total amount of caffeine consumed.

Another health-related point to be considered is how drinking coffee can be related to cholesterol levels. Drinking those flavorful oils in the brewed coffee, that can add so much to the experience, can also increase your cholesterol levels. It is probably better to drink coffee that has been brewed through a paper filter; the flavor isn't quite as good, but it's probably better for your health.

On behalf of the peasants of the world, I would like to say I am more than happy with my Nescafe Classico, which thankfully is available in Beijing. A cup of that with three cigarettes, alas I cannot obtain Winstons in China, and I am ready to take on the world.

I did say I was a peasant. :-)

Seems like the coffee version of gold Monster Cable. I've been reading about animal senses and I don't think humans have the noses to tell the difference.

Oh if we go through all the motions and buy just the right stuff out coffee may be the beverage equivalent of an Ansel Adams 16x20 contact print, but only our dog's nose will be able to tell the difference.

It just smells, to this old reporter's nose, a bit too much like using a wooden 8x10 field camera and following Fred Picker's Zone System TO THE LETTER. All for what should be a quick and simple cup of 'Joe.

Wow I know our $ is in the toilet but Amazon is charging double in Canada for the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. What a rip!

Understanding all of the issues with brewing good coffee is pretty simple stuff. Kind of like photography. While I do not have very many cameras, I do have over 300 vacuum coffee makers. Plus some of the early electric percolators circa 1908-14. In the end, the right grind for the device and fresh beans mean a good cup of coffee. BTW, plastic is the only material hot coffee should never be brewed in. It brings out the chemicals in the plastic. Glass and Stainless steel are the best materials for not adding anything to the taste.

Oh Boy! $300 for a coffee maker? Just file the divorce papers now... but what a cuppa.

[For years I heated water in a saucepan on the stove, took it temp with a darkroom thermomenter (!), and poured it through a cheap plastic #4 paper filter holder. The expensive options are just for convenience, really. --Mike]

I've been meaning to get a burr grinder for a while now, and you might have just convinced me. I love the look of the hand grinder, and it seems they even have a slim version (which would cut back on storage needs, especially important considering all the gadgets discussed so far)!

I have one major problem with Keurig, Tassimo, etc. (tried both many times with various products) even though their brew is not bad considering. The Tassimo even makes decent espresso since it seems to brew with pressure as you can tell from its pods. The sheer waste of non-coffee related material: this is the new "plastic water bottle" of today's kitchens. At my last work, they had installed a Keurig style machine with a dozen different brews for everyone's tastes. Instead of one compostable paper filter per large pot, there were dozens of composite material (i.e. not readily recyclable) in the garbage can every day. They could have simply taken your advice and gotten better equipment!

Think about it this way: all the coffee pod products at every grocery store (in every town) are headed straight to landfill. The fill-your-own cups are better but they're cracking down on those for copyright infringement of all things (and now we're back to photography and music).

A year or two before we were married, I gave my wife a wall mounted, hand crank coffee grinder -- an Arcade Crystal No. 2 that I discovered in an abandoned Wisconsin farmhouse. The crank was wobbly, so I re-drilled the body and pressed in a new bronze bushing, cleaned & painted it all, and hung it on her kitchen wall.

For thirty-five years now, the sound of her at that machine has been my daily wake up call, and I cannot be convinced that this alone does not make it the best cup of coffee in the world!

Bob Fogt

Thanks for the note about Fair Trade. I've been buying fair trade coffee for years (out of principle, sure, but also because it became very easy to do), but it is heartening to know that the program results in concrete and significant benefits and even some degree of empowerment for those traditionally most exploited.

The people, organizations and institutions responsible for conceptualizing, popularizing and implementing all the parts of what I call the sustainability movement over the last few decades deserve a Nobel prize.

There's a long way to go, for sure, but there is traction, too.

Another vote for the Aeropress coffee maker. It looks like a toy and may bring derisive comments, but the coffee it makes is superb. From the moment the water is hot it takes about 30 seconds to stir and press a full mug of coffee. No three or four minutes of steeping. It's not espresso, but a fine grind can produce an extraordinarily full-flavored coffee made to any strength you desire.

I have found the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
method works best for me.

Scout out, and buy the best beans that fit your individual taste.
Fortunately, I'm in Berkeley, California, where coffee is taken (sometimes too) seriously, and there is no shortage of roasteries.
My office sold a house to someone who stipulated they be located within walking distance of The French Hotel Cafe', where I buy my beans.

I keep my beans in a paper bag triple wrapped in plastic bags tightly sealed, and stored in the freezer, and mycoffee ritual has been the same for 40 years-

I grind only the beans I need, using one of those hand crank grinders that look like Grandma's sausage grinder. I have sensitive hearing, and the thought of using one of those whiny high pitched blade grinders first thing in the morning wouldn't even be considered.
I don't know what you call the grinding mechanism, but it looks like the kind used in cranked pencil sharpeners.
My brewing device is a Farberware 8 cup percolator-
http://www.amazon.com/Farberware-FCP280-8-Cup-Percolator/dp/B00004R946

The guts to this device are all metal,so the boiling water never comes in contact with paper or plastic. Because the perc basket is permanent, there is also no waste.
After 23 years, the thermostat wore out, and I bought a new one for about $20 from this guy in NY NY.
Two screws hold it in.

Our drinking water is pretty good, but I still run it through a filter to remove the Chlorine.
I measure both the coffee and the water pretty carefully, which takes about two minutes, and within another five minutes, have a great pot of coffee.

I am a bit of a coffee snob, not for brand names, but for quality.
It has to be fresh, and it has to have soul.
To my taste buds, coffee from those one cup capsule makers is like kissing your sister.


At Caffe Roma in San Francisco, they have a saying (and a T shirt) that sums it up-
"Black as Night
Strong as Sin
Sweet as Love
Hot as Hell"

@William Flowers

I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine myself, so I mostly go with single-shot Americano (espresso plus hot water). For me it's a win-win: lower caffeine, lower acidity and more intricate flavors in a more relaxed, full mug of coffee. (Even straight espresso often benefits from a splash of water, flavor-wise.)

At home it's Aeropress, another low-caf, low-acid method, also made Americano style.

Unfortunately, even something this simple can go wrong. If the added water is too hot it'll ruin the coffee.

Needless to say the more water you use the more it impacts the flavor, but even a simple Pur water filter pitcher made a world of difference.

Just thought I'd second all the mentions of an Aeropress! They're fantastic machines, cheap, quick, easy to clean and also can be used to make a fantastic cup of coffee. Like you I prefer a good 'regular' coffee to anything espresso based and this scratches my itch perfectly.

Lots of the more upscale coffee round my way offer an Aeropress option and it's always more expensive than the espresso based coffees. There's plenty to get OCD about as well as this list of winning recipes from the annual Aeropress world championships shows.

http://worldaeropresschampionship.com/recipes/

I highly recommend! Even if just as an easy and convenient travel option... As a travelling photographer being having damn fine coffee on tap in any hotel room with a kettle is an absolute life saver during those long post job editing sessions!

+1 on a good burr grinder. We've always ground our own coffee but were quite frankly amazed at the improvement, and the consistency, in our coffee when we switched to a burr grinder. It truly is the easiest step forward to great coffee for those who have not already made the switch.

For drip makers after dealing with replacing bad designs made by some of the big names, each of which broke / jammed up due to design, we bought a Bonavita BV1800TH. It heats the water properly and runs it through at a rate which works well. It's still going strong two years later.

While I prefer the results obtained from making a single cup pour over later in the day, the Bonavita is an indispensable tool around our home in the morning and when company calls.

So you want us to buy fair-trade coffee and grind it in a coffee grinder made in China? Hmmm. An before you knock Starbucks too much, they are a big supporter of the fair-trade movement.

I got an AeroPress for Xmas this year and it's the best thing to ever happen to a cup of coffee. Easy to use, easy to clean and it makes such a smoooooth and flavorful cup of coffee with a surprisingly little amount of work.

And yeah, my dog likes it too. ;^)

Coffee Is Good, January 03, 2015

Michael Makes Coffee, January 07, 2015

I use the Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker to heat water to
200 degrees , burr grind 1/3 cup of whole beans, then use 16 oz. of
water in a French press. Rest of the day I drink tea using the Breville.
Best of both worlds.

Just to follow up my comment above, have a read here for more info... And the video is worth a watch too (photography humour involved)!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/01/28/379395819/coffee-horror-parody-pokes-at-environmental-absurdity-of-k-cups?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150129Get

Nothing can beat a Moka pot! The pour over kinds of coffee tastes too watery to me.
I would add a grinder to my setup :)

If you were processing film, how would you prepare your caffenol?

I always grind right before brewing, always keep the beans in a container that let's me pump the air out and either use a french press or my Rancilio Silvia for espresso, which takes around 20 minutes to make a double.
I agree that the best way to imprve the coffee you drink is by using a fine grinder. Mine is a Vario.
Have anyone had one of those Bodum Santos coffee makers? The vacuum ones, made in Germany that came in either clear, blue or orange plastic? One of the best machines for brewed coffee ever, in y opinion...

I am glad to see a number of Aeropress supporters emerged. Fast, simple, cheap but the process they use is different. I'd agree that they work best with freshly burr ground coffee. Our friends were intrigued by ours and at first thought it was just a variation on a french press. Thet were sold after they tasted.

I'm just wondering how this Aeropress compares to my Krups 5200 15 bar espresso machine?

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