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Gary
18-03-2008, 02:53 PM
I just can't get enough of the magic elixir.

And there is more to it than just the coffee. To get the full flavor from whatever your favorite beans are, there is more to know.

Basically, there are two types of coffee plants: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica only grows at high elevations, but it is the only coffee worth drinking.

Now, think of the four elements, i.e. Earth, Air, Water and Fire.

Earth: Where on Earth are the beans from? Different growing conditions give you subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences in the flavor.

Air: Exposing ground coffee to the air gives you stale coffee. Coffee beans should be ground, using a conical burr grinder (for consistency) immediately before brewing, and leaving coffee grounds exposed to the air overnight in your pot is also is a mistake. Fresh ground coffee makes a BIG difference.

Water: A bad taste in the water gives you a bad taste in the coffee.

Fire: Warming plates are the arch enemy of good coffee. They burn the coffee.

This is just a start. There is a lot more to it than this.

Gary
18-03-2008, 03:10 PM
Roasting:

As coffee beans are roasted, the internal moisture causes the beans to crack open like popcorn. This is called "first crack".

As the beans continue to roast, the internal oils cause them to crack again. This is called "second crack".

Shortly after first crack is a light roast.

As the beans continue to roast, the natural sugars caramelize, altering the flavor. At, or shortly before second crack the coffee is medium roasted.

After second crack begins the dark roasts. First comes the Viennese roast, then the Italian roast, then the French roast, then the Spanish roast. Then fire breaks out and the beans are presumably labelled Starbucks roast.

BTW, I HATE Starbucks coffee.

Gary
18-03-2008, 03:19 PM
Brewing:

You just can't beat a French Press for brewing coffee.

Grind the coffee beans and put them in the press.

Pour hot water in (200F/97C is the ideal water temperature for brewing).

Put on the lid and wait 3-4 minutes.

Push down the plunger slowly to trap the grounds in the bottom.

Pour and enjoy. :)

Gary
18-03-2008, 03:24 PM
If you absolutely must use an electric coffee brewer, there are only two names to remember: Technivorm (Holland) and Newco (USA).

Be sure to go for the airpot models. Warming plates should be outlawed.

And get a SwissGold filter basket. Unlike paper filters, these allow the flavored oils to pass through while blocking the grounds.

The Viking
18-03-2008, 03:46 PM
Slow day then??

(Or just a loong night with lots of brew?)

Gary
18-03-2008, 03:58 PM
Slow day then??

(Or just a loong night with lots of brew?)

A little of both. I am retired, so every day is as slow as I want it to be... and I am testing coffees for a friend who is opening a restaurant and wants the very best. :eek:

Gary
18-03-2008, 05:10 PM
I have not yet tested what is widely reputed to be the finest coffee (definitely the most expensive) on the planet, i.e. Kopi Luwak. You are just not going to believe where it comes from:

http://animalcoffee.com

nike123
18-03-2008, 05:41 PM
Now, I expect similar about beers from Frank!:D

Gary, as you maybe know, great wines are usually mixtures of few sorts of grapes and, I think, same is also with coffee. You should also try Italian mixtures and their high pressure espresso machines. That is so much different tastes and aromas.

That coffee you Americans usually drink there, i call "tea made from coffee";)

Gary
18-03-2008, 06:07 PM
That coffee you Americans usually drink there, i call "tea made from coffee";)

I have to agree with this. For many decades, the norm has been Robusta from Mexico (bad to the last drop). Arabica is just now catching on.

Unfortunately, Starbucks has become the "in" thing, due to its snob appeal marketing. Their coffee sucks, but everyone wants to make their coffee beans taste just like Starbucks (burnt).

Duhhh... Starbuck's commercial success is not about the coffee, its about the marketing. Dunkin Donuts makes much better coffee.

I have reached a point where I can't stand to drink restaurant coffee, even from the best restaurants. They take excellent coffees and ruin them with their brewing and warming methods.

frank
18-03-2008, 06:35 PM
Now, I expect similar about beers from Frank!:D
Much too busy Drinking it to start writing about it :D
Maybe when I hang up my gauges :p


That coffee you Americans usually drink there, i call "tea made from coffee";)
I do prefer the coffee you get in the States compared to the over heated, sometimes diluted stuff they sell in the UK.

Never heard of some of the ones you mention Gary - interesting thread though.

Gary
18-03-2008, 07:44 PM
I do prefer the coffee you get in the States compared to the over heated, sometimes diluted stuff they sell in the UK.


Really?... I had somehow imagined that European coffee brewing would be better.

As to dilution, the magic ratio for coffee brewing is 20 to 1, 20 ounces of water to 1 ounce of coffee. Then if the coffee is too strong for your tastes, add hot water to the coffee, not the grounds.

Water extracts the best flavors from the grounds first and the worst flavors last, so it is important to get the mix right in order to avoid over-extrusion.

Brian_UK
18-03-2008, 07:48 PM
Our favourite ground coffee is the Costa Rica flavour served in a French press, soft, not too sweet and most definitely NOT Starbucks.

Gary
18-03-2008, 07:54 PM
Our favourite ground coffee is the Costa Rica flavour served in a French press, soft, not too sweet and most definitely NOT Starbucks.

Costa Rican is one of my favorites, also. But the front runner, my long time favorite is a light roast Ethiopian, which I found recently at, of all places, Sam's Club. And the price is very reasonable, too.

Josip
18-03-2008, 08:41 PM
Hi, all :)

Gary nice topic....yes I am a big coffee fan (addicted:o)

.....was in Costa Rica drinking a very good coffee in Africa too, but last year in Vietnam found they also have a very good types...served in a French press ...was in "jungle" and espresso machines are not available there...


.....here at home the best one for me is short, strong Italian espresso coffee;)

Best regards, Josip :)

Gary
18-03-2008, 09:18 PM
The french press is a wonderful invention and far cheaper than top quality brewing machines, too. The downside is the mouthful of grounds you sometimes get with that final sip. But that final sip tastes soooooooooo good.

http://www.bodum.com

frank
18-03-2008, 09:25 PM
The french press is a wonderful invention and far cheaper than top quality brewers, too. The downside is the mouthful of grounds you usually get with that final sip. But that final sip tastes soooooooooo good.
I had a couple of 'Turkish' coffee's with Chemi in Israel a while back and you ended up with about 1/2" of grounds in the bottom of the cup - you had to be careful as you got toward the bottom, nice taste though.
then late last year I had a coffee in Nottingham with Abe and Chemi and I'm afraid to say it was 'cappuccino' style. Not at all a real coffee as far as I'm concerned.

A good night though, nevertheless.

Gary
18-03-2008, 10:10 PM
then late last year I had a coffee in Nottingham with Abe and Chemi and I'm afraid to say it was 'cappuccino' style. Not at all a real coffee as far as I'm concerned.


I'm with you on that. I just don't get the flavored coffee thing (or the cream and sugar thing for that matter). No matter how many times they are called "gourmet coffees" these just strike me as attempts to cover up the taste of the coffee... but then, some coffees deserve to be covered up.

Karl Hofmann
19-03-2008, 02:09 AM
Generally speaking the stuff that we have here in the UK really does suck and shouldn't really be called coffee. I do prefer the European blends but I do find both Spanish and Italian coffee just a little harsh though five or six espressos in a mug used to keep me going through the night...Yep I had eyes like dinner plates.

I prefer the more rounded taste of German blends and will return from Germany with every spare nook and cranny of my car filled with bags of coffee beans though when I run out I find Taylors of Harrogate Mocha beans to be acceptable. Since a jug of coffee does spoil quite quickly I make a fresh cup every time... Please don't hang me but I use an automatic built in Kuppersbusch coffee machine it has taken me ages to program it just right but the coffee is of a consistent quality and perfectly sized to my cups.

Abe
19-03-2008, 09:01 AM
Id Kill for a English Coffee Capucino from that Canadian place..............:confused: whats it called again ???
Yes.........Tim Hortons!

Gary, would love to share a cup of real coffee with you

Karl Hofmann
19-03-2008, 09:20 AM
LOL I love Turkish coffee, but prefer it made quite sweet, the first time I ever had it was in Dubai, I was young and dumb and didn't realise that it contained so many coffee grounds but once you have poured it all in to your mouth, what can you do?...:o

Gary
19-03-2008, 08:18 PM
Gary, would love to share a cup of real coffee with you

C'mon over. :)

Gary
20-03-2008, 03:13 AM
As to dilution, the magic ratio for coffee brewing is 20 to 1, 20 ounces of water to 1 ounce of coffee. Then if the coffee is too strong for your tastes, add hot water to the coffee, not the grounds.


This is a point that many people seem to misunderstand.

If you have a 40 oz brewer, the ideal would be to use 2 oz of grounds, maintaining the 20 to 1 ratio.

But, let's say that you are cutting down on caffeine, or you just simply don't like strong coffee.

What many people will do is to only use 1 oz of ground coffee with 40 oz of water. This will overextrude the grounds giving you weak bad tasting coffee.

Here is a much better way:

Run 20 oz of water through 1 oz of grounds, which gives you 20 oz of full strength, full flavor coffee, because you maintained the 20 to 1 brewing ratio.

Then pour 20 oz of hot water into the pot (not the brewer) and mix.

You now have a full pot of weak good tasting coffee, instead of a full pot of weak bad tasting coffee.

Grizzly
20-03-2008, 04:29 PM
Gary
If you have put as much effort and detail into your books.
They must be amazing and a very interesting read.

By the way thanks for an interesting post.
You did confuse me with the French press as in my family it's known as a Cafetiere.
By the way we had one of these explode at the dinner table.
Mother in Law was hosting a Large Family Meal.
At the start of "Cheese and Biscuits whilst slowly pushing the plunger down.

The whole glass jar exploded showering her and family seated nearest in near boiling Coffee.

Luckily no-one was injured. But suffice to say WE ALL
Push the plunger down very slowly nowadays!
Grizzly

Gary
20-03-2008, 05:47 PM
Gary
If you have put as much effort and detail into your books.
They must be amazing and a very interesting read.


Some say I am downright anal in my attention to detail, but there are certain things in this world that are just... worth the effort.

In my books, the detail is not only in the content, but in the layout. The teaching is carefully and intentionally progressive, sequential and thoroughly reinforced on important points throughout. Those who skim through them (as opposed to reading them front to back) are missing a lot of the subtleties.

Whether they are amazing and/or interesting is for the reader to judge.

Marc O'Brien tells me the TECH Method is not just a method, but a philosophy. I don't really see it that way, but... they do represent an enormous effort expended over a major portion of my working life.

stuartwking
21-03-2008, 09:39 PM
Gary you are the MAN!, great post and im going to try what you boys recommend.,I thought i was totally into coffee but you guys are streets ahead!,.what a good read, thanks.

Mark
22-03-2008, 04:31 PM
I just can't get enough of the magic elixir.

And there is more to it than just the coffee. To get the full flavor from whatever your favorite beans are, there is more to know.

Basically, there are two types of coffee plants: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica only grows at high elevations, but it is the only coffee worth drinking.

Now, think of the four elements, i.e. Earth, Air, Water and Fire.

Earth: Where on Earth are the beans from? Different growing conditions give you subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences in the flavor.

Air: Exposing ground coffee to the air gives you stale coffee. Coffee beans should be ground, using a conical burr grinder (for consistency) immediately before brewing, and leaving coffee grounds exposed to the air overnight in your pot is also is a mistake. Fresh ground coffee makes a BIG difference.

Water: A bad taste in the water gives you a bad taste in the coffee.

Fire: Warming plates are the arch enemy of good coffee. They burn the coffee.

This is just a start. There is a lot more to it than this.


Best i have tried so far was in St Marks Square Venice.I keep trying to find a blend close to that, illy is about the best i have tried in England.If anybody has any recommendations, let me know.
Mark

Latte
04-04-2008, 01:07 AM
Anyone going to the CRS show at the NEC next week.
Just had a quick look at the floorplan. Simpy coffee, Kenco and Coffee Nation all have stands. If only they done the RAC show it would be the perfect day out (Apart obviously from having to go to Birmingham)

Regards

Fatboy

Braddock
04-08-2008, 06:48 AM
Been going to Starbucks 14 yrs and counting. Every day before work!

Brian_UK
04-08-2008, 11:34 PM
Been going to Starbucks 14 yrs and counting. Every day before work!
Never mind, someone has to support them I suppose :D

As long as you get a coffee that you enjoy that's the main thing ;)

Tycho
05-08-2008, 01:03 AM
Don't overanalyze coffee :)

as long as it's black as hell, strong as death and as sweet as love, it's the way I want it :)


sadly, we have gotten a "coffee" machine at work, and it's decaf, but it tastes allright.

I'n the beginning I were guzzling it down like there was no tomorrow to get the same effect as the one we brewed in the workshop with the 12 year old never been cleaned moccamaster.

Then I got used to it, and if I drink regular coffee now, a cup (0.5l coffeemug I have in my car) has me hands trembling

:D

Peter_1
05-08-2008, 10:22 PM
Gary and others, you've seen this sort of coffeemaker, made in Antwerp in Belgium?
Marvelous piece of ancient technique, working on the laws of physics
www.retro-coffeemaker.com and 'How to use'

Peter_1
05-08-2008, 10:44 PM
http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/royalcoffeemaker/RoyalCoffeeA.mov
We have one but a lot of cleaning afterwards

frostedflake
13-03-2009, 02:06 AM
aah this forum has a little bit of everything right?

i used to be submerged in the coffee industry, from the hand picking at the endless rows of coffee plants at high altitudes, to the torrefaction process and the tasting for product clasification and certification to move then to the export and international competition.

indeed a whole world of science, tradition and lots of money.

i personally prefer the mixing of beans to get the flavor i like but if we were to talk of a one pure coffee cup, i'll go from colombian coffee, then some mexican coffee and i'm talking about arabiga high grown coffee beans (over 1200 mts cultivating altitude)

that and a nice italian coffee machine for a fresh ground/brewed cup of elixir as you guys well put it


ever tried Blue Mountain?

jaye944
19-06-2009, 05:00 PM
have to go with de-cafe.

as I'd get dehydrated otherwise

BoilerBoy
29-07-2009, 09:01 AM
I dearly love coffee. I wish I could have a good cup of coffee at home. As soon as the wife starts messing about with it, things go bad. Gary pointed out something as basic as it gets. You can't get good coffee from garbage beans. The wife loves to buy whatever is on sale. Pre-ground, stale at point of purchase. Mind you I can't blame her. She only learned from the best. Her mother's secret to great (stomach turning swill) coffee was to add coffee to the old grounds. :confused:
I drink instant at home as a matter of survival.....:eek:

wingman
30-07-2009, 01:24 PM
Seems to me all techs enjoy drinking a lot of coffee :)

Same goes for me I start in the morning brewing about 1,5 l 1,2L is what i take with me in the van, and the rest is what I drink. In the evening I make another 1,5l

For those that wonder, yes I do sleep, and no I don't have trembling hands :) I just run on coffee, i guess.
no coffee = no work :D

coolhibby1875
02-08-2009, 03:22 PM
coffee at its best for me is a good strons lavazza

silentbobt
21-08-2009, 03:50 PM
illy coffee rocks

Brian_UK
24-08-2009, 11:17 PM
Quote from the Edinbourgh Fringe this year....

Adam Hills - "Going to Starbucks for coffee is like going to prison for sex. You know you're going to get it, but it's going to be rough."

freezerguy69
05-11-2009, 06:17 PM
hitting the coffee hard right now.

frostedflake
15-11-2009, 04:04 AM
this vid is actually the making of a fancy capuccino but really brings out the creative side of humans haha

hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZvoqNiOnG4

lowcool
23-12-2009, 02:21 AM
its amazing how many places actually serve up bitter tasting coffee and dont like being told about it.its an art with trial and error thrown in with a bit educational guesswork to get that smooth rounded taste.
just like making beer