#21  
Old 04-26-2007, 09:19 PM
michael
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Earl....sounds like great "camp" coffee! Your method is not miles away from the oldest of all coffee cuisines - Turkish. Low-tech and enjoyed by about 4 billion people around the world. Enjoy your lovely mellow brew!



Damon,
The tasting wheel used in a coffee or tea "cupping" room is identical to the one use in wine. All this interest in good coffee doesn't surprise me for one minute...you all are connected to your palates and good is good...bad is bad. Which reminds me of a quick story. One of my coffee customers in England is a chef named Michael Caine (no, not that one) who has a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Exeter. One day, after about three visits to train staff, I asked Michael was if there was anything in particular he wanted me to focus upon on this visit? He said, "I want everyone who comes in contact with either the espresso machine or the filter coffee maker to understand that coffee is food and people put it in their mouth...it's important that it taste good!". That simple concept became the sole focus of all subsequent training classes. Thank you Mr. Caine!

Just a side note, I admired Michael C. for many things but one in particular stood out...not only was he the chef of a 3 Michelin star restaurant...but he did it with only one arm! True story!

So JC, if your Saeco makes coffee that tastes good, is easy to use, AND includes a grinder with adjustable burrs...I'd say someone at the factory understands what it takes to make great coffee at home! Well done whoever you are!

Michael
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2007, 04:08 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Thanks Michael, I've finally learned what a Moka pot is and how it works. I've seen lots of them but never tried them.

Coffee and FB are a tradition....I usually get up every morning before the queen, make a cup of coffee and hit the internet...invariably checking FB.

I've been grinding my beans at home for years, most recently upgrading to the Kitchen Aid DC grinder. Effective and quieter. We buy beans from a local roaster but mix regular and decaf (Sumatra usually) so we get a lower caffeine blend. (my b-i-l has his own bean roaster at home..pretty neat)

But I use the Mellita fiter cone arrangement into an Alfi pot. Boil water, grind beans, pour over grounds in filter cone and have hot coffee available all morning in the Alfi vacuum flask. Never boiled! Done it for years this way!

Now in Spain, we go out for a solo, cortado or con leche regularly. and also use a french press sometimes. Different strokes!....but now I'll try a Moka. Thanks

PS Yup, camp coffee at camp...throw in some egg shells to settle grounds)

By the way, how do you store your beans to keep freshness? I put my blend in the freezer and only take out a few days worth at a time..

Thanks for the coffee education....Jim
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Last edited by Xabia Jim; 04-28-2007 at 04:10 AM.
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2007, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines-Unspeakable sin

I think I might have committed an "unspeakable sin" in the coffee world and I must confess. I bought a "nespresso machine!"
About 2 weeks ago I was expressing my newly found coffee knowledge,(thanks Michael), at dinner with friends. One friend mentioned he had been considering buying a DeLonghi Nespresso machine and proceeded to explain this system run by Nestle.
I had never heard of this "nespresso" concept before so over the next few days I did a bit of research. I read a lot of reviews on line and found it hard to find any negative ones.
For those like me who are not familiar with the system, it uses a coffee capsule which is only available from Nestle. Each capsule is meant for one cup of coffee (short or long). There are 12 varieties of coffee including 3 decaffienated. The price of each capsule in Australia is 64 cents.
There are about 10 different machines in the range from manufacturers like Krups, DeLonghi, Magimix and Miele. The top end machines are automatic and have milk frothing wands and cup warming trays. All the machines work at 19 bar of pressure.
The bottom line (confession) is I bought the entry level DeLonghi machine for about $200 (after a $50 cashback offer).
So far I have only used a couple of the varieties of coffee but have been very impressed. The result is as good or better than any coffee I have had in coffee shops.
The machine I bought takes up as much space on the kitchen bench as a toaster (much to the delight of the missus) and doesn't have a milk frothing wand but came with a clever electrical jug called an aeroccino which heats or froths milk for lattes and capuccinos.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase. The system is simple, quick, takes up little space and makes a good cup of coffee.
I guess the downside is that I am locked into the Nestle system for coffee.

Cheers
Bill
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  #24  
Old 11-12-2007, 06:54 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Posts: 37
Default Re: Coffee Machines

A blend is typically better for espresso because you are looking for a balance that is hard to get from one type of bean. Coffee....yummmmm
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  #25  
Old 11-12-2007, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Wow... I just stumbled on this thread. As a 3rd shift worker, I've turned into a coffee junkie over the years.

Here's my coffee dilemma: My daily routine includes spending about 5 minutes in the morning boiling water and pouring it through a #2 filter with Starbucks ground coffee into my coffee mug.

The results are pretty lame. I have a 20 year-old 10 cup Mr. Coffee that we use for parties. The coffee is a little better but it's too much trouble for one or 2 cups.

I looked at a few Espresso machines and had major sticker shock (DaveW can build an oven for less then one of those!)

Am I understanding this right that I can buy a 3 Cup Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop machine for under $20USD and solve my problem of crummy morning coffee?? Will this thing work on our ceramic cooktop?

Thanks!
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  #26  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Ken

The ceramic cooktop should be fine.
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  #27  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:35 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

A moka machine will give you a different type of brew, but not necessarily a better cup of joe....and a Moka is not an espresso and neither are a traditional drip brew - they all go for something different. Do you buy beans or grounds? Do you own a grinder? Burr or blade?

In general beans stay freshest for about two weeks after they are roasted. Grounds stay freshest for about two days after ground. Both should be kept in a dark, cool, dry location - and NOT the fridge or freezer where they will absorb other smells and flavors.
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  #28  
Old 11-13-2007, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy View Post
Do you buy beans or grounds? Do you own a grinder? Burr or blade?
I'm pretty unsophisticated about coffee. I buy ground coffee in the coffee isle of the grocery store. Sometimes I'll buy a bag of beans and use those in-store grinders (the kids love to dump the beans in and see the grounds come out ). I have no idea if those grinders have burrs, blades (or heaven knows what else) in them - I probably don't want to know.

Quote:
Grounds stay freshest for about two days after ground.
Oops.
But I do store them in a cool dark place.

In all seriousness, I am considering buying a small grinder to grind a few days worth of coffee at a time. I can justify that. And the Moka machines are so inexpensive, it would be fun to get one to play with.

Thanks for the feedback!
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:55 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

I posted a longer reply, but something must have happend because I don't see it out there.

Yah, those beans sit in those bins for a long time also. If I were you, and I had to do one thing to improve the quality of my coffee at home, I would buy a grinder before investing in a new brewing method. If you have a little cone filter and you are pooring directly into that (i.e., not using a drip machine), your method should actually give you pretty good results if you have good beans.

Tips...buy a cheap burr grinder (they shave the beans instead of chopping them - giving more surface area for brewing and generating less heat (which isn't the best thing for the beans/grounds)). If you can't afford a decent burr grinder, the best blade grinder I know of is actually fairly inexpensive - the Bodum C-Mill, but as with all blade grinders, it operates like a blender and will generate some heat, which isn't the best thing for the beans.

In general, you want to grind your beans as fine as you can without them seaping through your filter and into your cup of joe. If your cone filter and grounds are at the right balance, the idea brew time (water in to water out) should be about 2 min. The best thing to do is...boil the water, take it off the burner for about 5 seconds (to allow it to drop closer to 190-200 deg F - the ideal brewing temp), then pour just enough water in to pre-saturate your grounds. After this, pour more water in to brew the rest of the cup of coffee.

That is actually one of the better ways to brew coffee, and it is low maintenance and fast clean up.

The next tip is to stop buying your coffee from the grocery store and find a local coffee shop that roasts their coffee on site :-) Let me know (ssiegel@amesic.com) if and when you get yourself a grinder and I will roast you something fresh to see what I am talking about :-) Actually, many local shops are hackers who misroast their beans just like the people who do it for the grocery stores. Anyway, let me know and I will send you something tasty to experiment with :-)

Have fun
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  #30  
Old 11-13-2007, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Wow! ...And I thought I was living the good life with my $15 Senseo.
Damn Juan Valdez. He started this mess... #@%$& Mountain Grown!
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