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Old 10-11-2010, 12:17 AM #1
pbkid777
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Any coffee drinkers in here?

I am tired of drinking gross homemade coffee by my friends. I am also very tired of paying way to much money for a good cup of coffee at any local shop. I am now thinking about getting into grinding and french pressing my own coffee. Then again I don't know much about it.

Anyone have any tips or advice where to start?

If there is a coffee thread already forgive me.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:10 AM #2
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Good burr or hand grinder, good coffee, and a french press. All you really need.

If you usually just make a cup for yourself, you may want to look at single cup pour-over. Less clean up than a press.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:27 AM #3
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I got into a coffee a while back since my gf really liked it, so we go the whole 9 yards with our coffee. We buy green coffee beans and roast them using a pop-corn popper that I added heat and fan speed controls to. Home roasting is probably the best way to do coffee while still being cost efficient. The basic home roasting popcorn popper is like $30 on ebay and works well without any modifications. Green coffee beans are way cheaper than roasted coffee beans and stay good for months at a time, so you can stock up on them and roast once a week to refill your stash.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpop/airpopmethod.php
That website is a prefect starting point. They sell everything you need and they have plenty of pictures and information.

But anyway, that's all fancy stuff I recommend you try at some point, but fresh grinding and a french press is a great place to start for simplicity while still getting much better coffee. If you want to go really cheap, you can get pretty much any decent looking french press and a blade grinder. Blade grinders are not very good for coffee though, as you get a very inconsistent grind size. Grind size is very important to the coffee because small grinds will burn/over extract, and big grinds will under extract. For this reason I really recommend you pick up a burr grinder, which is much better at giving you a consistent grind size. They run as cheap as $50 to $100, with some crazy big/nice models being more expensive. A good grinder will pretty much last you forever, so its really worth the extra money here.

As far as french presses go, I've only used the one I have and I don't know much about them. I do know they make some double-walled vacuum sealed ones (like a thermos) that's great for keeping water temp stable. I'm not sure they have a huge impact on the end result, but double check me on this.

So on to actually brewing. Its simple. I grind somewhere between medium (the middle setting) and coarse (the highest setting) then put the grinds in the press. Boil some water, make sure its filtered water, and before you add it to the french press let it cool down and stop boiling for 5-10seconds. The best temperature for coffee is right under boiling. Pour it in slowly to the press, and set a timer for 4 minutes. For whatever reason, it seems like 4 minutes is the time everyone uses to brew with.

The water to coffee ratio is one of the most important parts of the whole process, I forget what the measurement are. I measured it out once using settings on my grinder to measure the coffee and marks on the inside of my pot to measure the water. Now I just use that every morning instead of getting out measuring cups/spoons.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:18 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoGuE9 View Post
Good burr or hand grinder, good coffee, and a french press. All you really need.

If you usually just make a cup for yourself, you may want to look at single cup pour-over. Less clean up than a press.
I think I will drink about 1 to 2 cups in the morning. Tell me more about this single cup pour-over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DayoftheGreek View Post
I got into a coffee a while back since my gf really liked it, so we go the whole 9 yards with our coffee. We buy green coffee beans and roast them using a pop-corn popper that I added heat and fan speed controls to. Home roasting is probably the best way to do coffee while still being cost efficient. The basic home roasting popcorn popper is like $30 on ebay and works well without any modifications. Green coffee beans are way cheaper than roasted coffee beans and stay good for months at a time, so you can stock up on them and roast once a week to refill your stash.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpop/airpopmethod.php
That website is a prefect starting point. They sell everything you need and they have plenty of pictures and information.

But anyway, that's all fancy stuff I recommend you try at some point, but fresh grinding and a french press is a great place to start for simplicity while still getting much better coffee. If you want to go really cheap, you can get pretty much any decent looking french press and a blade grinder. Blade grinders are not very good for coffee though, as you get a very inconsistent grind size. Grind size is very important to the coffee because small grinds will burn/over extract, and big grinds will under extract. For this reason I really recommend you pick up a burr grinder, which is much better at giving you a consistent grind size. They run as cheap as $50 to $100, with some crazy big/nice models being more expensive. A good grinder will pretty much last you forever, so its really worth the extra money here.

As far as french presses go, I've only used the one I have and I don't know much about them. I do know they make some double-walled vacuum sealed ones (like a thermos) that's great for keeping water temp stable. I'm not sure they have a huge impact on the end result, but double check me on this.

So on to actually brewing. Its simple. I grind somewhere between medium (the middle setting) and coarse (the highest setting) then put the grinds in the press. Boil some water, make sure its filtered water, and before you add it to the french press let it cool down and stop boiling for 5-10seconds. The best temperature for coffee is right under boiling. Pour it in slowly to the press, and set a timer for 4 minutes. For whatever reason, it seems like 4 minutes is the time everyone uses to brew with.

The water to coffee ratio is one of the most important parts of the whole process, I forget what the measurement are. I measured it out once using settings on my grinder to measure the coffee and marks on the inside of my pot to measure the water. Now I just use that every morning instead of getting out measuring cups/spoons.
I read up a bit and most of the stuff I learned is what I covered. I don't have that much money to start so i am trying to find a middle ground on what to get.

Also what do you usually add to your coffee after you press it? Or do you just drink it black?
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:23 PM #5
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I think I will drink about 1 to 2 cups in the morning. Tell me more about this single cup pour-over.
just google it
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:30 PM #6
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:03 PM #7
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The thing that I don't want to get trapped into is buying really expensive beans. I think I will start out with a lesser bold and cheaper of a coffee, then move up as my taste does.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:46 PM #8
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I've only had a few cups of coffee good enough for me to drink black. Usually I just put in a little sugar and a little half and half to take the edge off. I've been putting in less and less of both the more I drink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbkid777 View Post
The thing that I don't want to get trapped into is buying really expensive beans. I think I will start out with a lesser bold and cheaper of a coffee, then move up as my taste does.
I've never had good coffee beans from the supermarket, if that is more your price range. The best coffee beans I have ever had, excluded my home roasted stuff, came from a local coffee place and cost $12-$14 a bag.

But hey, if you want to start with a blade grinder ($10) and a french press (~$10), even cheap beans from the supermarket will make a better cup of coffee than your standard folgers autodrip stuff.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:32 PM #9
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I might just do that and upgrade as I go. Seems to be a better plan. Even though my beans wont be fully saturated because, of an uneven grind.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:47 PM #10
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The thing that I don't want to get trapped into is buying really expensive beans. I think I will start out with a lesser bold and cheaper of a coffee, then move up as my taste does.
wrong.

freshly roasted good coffee should be your number 1 priority. It will make more difference than anything.

And there are hand grinders that will work a lot better than blade grinders.

http://www.amazon.com/Hario-Coffee-H.../dp/B001802PIQ
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:50 PM #11
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That is true, thats what I made this thread for anyway lol
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:59 PM #12
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That is true, thats what I made this thread for anyway lol
good coffee doesn't cost that much more than mediocre coffee, really.

REALLY good coffee can cost more.

And REALLY crappy coffee can cost less.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:08 PM #13
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I will just have to find some good coffee then.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:11 PM #14
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Just go to a good coffee shop somewhere near you and buy beans there. Or at least talk to the barista. Make sure it's somewhere where the people actually care about the coffee they are making.

I'm not saying to spend 25 bucks a pound on some coffee (although you could, and get some amazing coffee)...just get something decent that hasn't been sitting on a shelf forever. Can always get stuff from the bulk bins at Whole Foods or something. They date the bins to see when the stuff was delivered so you'll know if it's at least relatively fresh. Freshness is important.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:19 PM #15
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Where in Southern California are you? Find an Intelligentsia coffee bar and watch what they do and drink some badass coffee.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:26 PM #16
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I am close to San Dimas. (about 30 min away from Pasadena)
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:42 PM #17
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Freshness is indeed very important. If you buy the coffee from a shop make sure they list (or ask them if they don't) the date the beans were roasted. I let my home roasted stuff sit for at least 1 day (3 days for this crazy aged sumatra I tried) before grinding and brewing it.
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