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  1. #1
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    Best process for great coffee at home?

    Hey guys! Money is a bit tight but I LOVE coffee and love having the ability to make a great cup at home. We have some nice coffee roasters and some great cafe's in the area around Philadelphia, PA and I always try to get a similar cup at home.

    I try to get the freshest and best tasting beans. Locally I can get La Calombre, Torreo, Green Mountain, Starbucks beans and believe it or not, the ACME carries this JAVA Trading brand which has great beans.

    I use a Cuisinart Grind Central Coffee Grinder that only cost $29. Now, I was told you need an expensive grinder for good coffee. True??? I am worried now, so should I let the local shops grind my coffe and only buy enough for a week?

    I tried a Perc but too bitter! I used a cheap drip and too weak and bland. We started using a cold brew Toddy but not enough caffeine jolt! I am back to using a $19 French Press and grinding my beans with the $29 grinder.

    Can I do a lot better? My father in law uses a small, cheap grinder an $80 brushed stainless steel Cuisinart drip and makes incredibly good coffee at home.

    I was told by a local coffee shop that he recommends to all of his customers to make certain they buy fresh beans of choice and use a french press. He feels this is the way to make coffe at home.

    Should I switch to espresso which I hear is more flavorful and very rich.

    Thoughts on any of this? Thank you!

    -Rich

  2. #2
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    I am not sure if you need an expensive grinder I am useing a midd;le of the road blade grinder it took some time to to get the grine right, I guess it would be easier to buy a bur grinder I wouldn't let the store grind your beens you will have stale coffee that is another problem.

    For me an espresso is always the right choice

  3. #3
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    I am not familiar with espresso - is that the way to go at home? Isn't it small quantities?

  4. #4
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    In my opinion there is no wrong or right way to drink coffee. For some of us espresso is our preferred method of drinking coffee, but both french press and drip methods have their fans and the coffee drunk this way can be very good. I guess for drip coffee grind is indeed important. If you grind too fine the water will take a long time passing through the grinds, making the coffee bitter- too coarse and the cup will be too weak. Just experiment and see how you go. French Press is quite an acceptable way, and a reasonably priced way, to drink your coffee.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  5. #5
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    I find that I can usually get a good tasting french press cup regardless of the grind....course leaves a smoother, less dirty cup while a more fine grind makes a dirtiercup. I have some family members who make great coffee who always grind very fine......even for drip because they say you have more surface area to interact with the water.

  6. #6
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    I still find that a French Press will leave a dirty or gritty cup of coffee and not as good as a smooth, grit free cup. That is half my problem....I can't seem to make the coffee as good at home as my favorite coffee shops and I am sure they use expensive drip machines. Maybe I have to deal with the french press and gritty coffe.

    I have to get my father in law's secret - his coffee is outstanding.

  7. #7
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    I asked the makers of La Colombe which is arguably some of the best locally roasted coffee in Philadelphia and they recommend a French Press saying, "French Press is the best way to extract all the flavors and aromas out of the coffee."

  8. #8
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    You could try a coarser gring this will clean up your cup

  9. #9
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    I believe the more even the grind the more even the extraction so a good grinder that shaves coffee instead of chopping it up or pulverizing it would be the best choice. Burr grinders shave coffee and the better the grinder the more even the grind. Uneven grinds lead to overextraction and underextraction in the cup that could be noticable as bitter and sour flavours.

    French press is a great method for brewing coffee but I find that the cup can be a bit raw. Vacuum press brewing makes for a very smooth cup and, as far as I know, is more effective at screening out the grounds so you don't get the same amount of sludge as with the french press. Vacuum press brewing is also cool to watch.
    Grinder: Macap M4 stepless, Zassenhaus kneemill
    Machine: Quickmill Vetrano, Olympia Cremina '67
    Brewers: Yama 5cup, ibrik, Bodum e Santos, french press, pour over drip
    Roaster: Hottop programmable

  10. #10
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    still find that a French Press will leave a dirty or gritty cup of coffee and not as good as a smooth, grit free cup. That is half my problem....I can't seem to make the coffee as good at home as my favorite coffee shops and I am sure they use expensive drip machines. Maybe I have to deal with the french press and gritty coffe.

    I have to get my father in law's secret - his coffee is outstanding.
    How are you using the french press? At what temperature is the water when you pour it in? How even/fresh are the grounds? How long do you steep before plunging the handle?

    Water at the boil is too hot. Let it sit for about 25sec and it'll fall into the ideal range then pour it over the grounds. Stir the grounds to saturate and steep for 3 minutes. Plunge after 3 minutes and enjoy.

    The only advantage I'm aware of with expensive drip machines is that they are calibrated to brew at ideal temperatures and designed to fully saturate grounds during extraction. You can do the same manually with greater reliabiltiy and accuracy. I would guess too that coffee shops also have commercial grinders to evenly grind their coffee or use evenly pre-ground coffee.
    Grinder: Macap M4 stepless, Zassenhaus kneemill
    Machine: Quickmill Vetrano, Olympia Cremina '67
    Brewers: Yama 5cup, ibrik, Bodum e Santos, french press, pour over drip
    Roaster: Hottop programmable

 

 
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