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 HELP! My coffee sucks!

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Simple Man



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PostSubject: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:44 pm

I don't know, I used to think my coffee was pretty good, did the flavor change when they started using those stupid plastic coffee containers? When I open a new "can" of coffee, (Folgers Gourmet Supreme) the first pot is always good, but then the coffee quickly looses its flavor. I clean my pot frequently enough, so I don't think it's that. Do I need to find a different method of brewing it or buy something besides the regular ground coffee that I'm buying?


Monbla, if you happen to read this thread, I will tell you before you even suggest it... I DON'T like chicory in coffee! Laughing

Coffee connoisseurs, your help is appreciated!
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:54 pm

Get a French press, coffee makers suck. Buy whole beans and grind only what you're gong to brew. Keep the beans in an airtight container. I buy beans from the bulk bins at the grocery store for $8 a pound, lasts about as long as a can of Folgers Cuppa Crapola. Drink less, drink better.

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Simple Man



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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:04 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
Get a French press, coffee makers suck. Buy whole beans and grind only what you're gong to brew. Keep the beans in an airtight container. I buy beans from the bulk bins at the grocery store for $8 a pound, lasts about as long as a can of Folgers Cuppa Crapola. Drink less, drink better.

Sounds like a good plan. Now I gotta figure out how to sabotage my drip maker to make it quit working to justify the need for a French press and coffee grinder. My wife always makes fun of me for buying new "gadgets". Laughing
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:09 pm

A drop or twelve from the kitchen counter onto the floor should do it Laughing

Tip, spend the $40 for a good quality Bodum press. If you buy a cheap one you'll soon buy the Bodum anyhow. I've had a Krupps electric grinder that has lasted since Clinton.

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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:58 pm

Puff Daddy is right on with all of his advise.

Whole bean
French Press
Drop the drip
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Stinger4me



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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:35 pm

I use a Pyrex glass percolator(50's vintage) and Maxwell House coffee. The coffee is outstanding, no more coffee makers here. I am not a fan of the electrical fire hazard and the percolator will outperform the coffee maker any day of the week. You might try transferring the coffee to a glass jar and storing the coffee in the air-tight jar in the refrigerator or freezer. Life is too short for continually bad coffee. Just another opinion.

Stinger
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gravel



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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:20 pm

I'm typing this on my phone. Please excuse any errors or lack of formatting.

No need to ditch the drip if it works for you. You may need to descale it to bring it back to what you were used to. Other suggestions to switch things up may be overkill when the issue is maintenance. Now, onto those other things...

Only buy what you need for the week.
Store whole beans in an airtight container. Keep the container in a dark place at room temperature. Do not store in the freezer. This will destroy the oils on the whole beans. Additionally your coffee will take on the flavor of whatever you happen to have in your freezer or refrigerator.
Only grind what you need for one pot (or partial). I weigh my coffee prior to grinding. I grind using a burr grinder (Baratza Virtuoso Preciso). Too much coffee is wasteful and under extracts the beans - creating a dark but hollow cup, too little over extracts and creates a bitter or weak cup.
There are quality drip coffee makers (Technivorm, some Bunn makers), but they can be pricey. If your current setup works for you the issue may just be maintenance.
I use many different methods from pour overs, press pots (need a new one), AeroPress, Vac Pots (good Lord this one is delicious), drip, the camp percolator, and the ol' stove top Moka Express. The type of grind and amount of beans is specific to the way you are preparing your coffee. Press pots require a coarser grind and rely on insolubles for that delicious cup, whereas my moka pot requires a fine grind.

Finally, roasting your own is quite delicious. Its fairly easy to try.

All that to say, try descaling first. If you are satisfied with the results, you're good to go. If you want to upgrade, I would start with a grinder and whole beans. I used an inexpensive blade grinder for 15 years prior to getting a good burr grinder. I still se that blade grinder on camping trips.
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dkj42



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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:30 pm

I know this will sound strange to many, however, just a touch of salt on the grounds before you brew (by whatever method) will greatly enhance the flavor. cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:26 pm

I'm a firm believer in a moka pot. Cheap, fast, and it's against the rules to wash it too well - which I have nothing against because I'm lazy and filthy! Laughing

But that aside, no matter what the method, I agree with anyone who recommends a grinder. I ground my coffee by an old German grinder for years and it worked just fine - unless I had to make coffee for more than one or was in a hurry. Nowadays my electric Nivona grinder is my best friend in the mornings. Not only damn fast and quiet, but requires very little effort to change the coarseness/grain/whateveryoucallitinenglish of the coffee, which is good because I sometimes like to make old-fashioned coffee-pot coffee too.

Besides, it's a gadget. Lovely! Twisted Evil

(I don't think a french press qualifies as a gadget though...)
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:51 am

I'll throw my hat in for the french press, makes an outstanding cup. Nothing wrong with drip makers, though, if that's what you like. There's also the drip makers that you pour the water over manually that get a lot of praise (though I haven't tried that yet, tempted as I am to pick one up). Vietnamese drip filter coffee is delicious too, and will only set you back $5-10. I've been brewing a lot of Turkish coffee the last month or two and getting an ibrik to make it will only set you back only slightly more than the Vietnamese filter contraption. I love both methods, the coffee is strong, slightly sweet and fantastic (but you only get 4-8oz at a time, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to make). The Moka/stovetop espresso style coffee makers are great too. I guess it really depends on what you're looking for in coffee. Not so different from the piping, half the fun is trying new preparation methods and different roasts/beans.

Above all, as has been mentioned, buy fresh beans from your roasters around you (just make sure if you're picking them up at a super market that they have good turn over on beans and they don't just sit there forever in the shop). Also, I use a manual grinder, cheaper than an electronic burr with the only downside being (for me) that it takes a minute or two if you need to grind up enough beans for a full pot of coffee.
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Tim_Haggerty



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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:54 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
Get a French press, coffee makers suck. Buy whole beans and grind only what you're gong to brew. Keep the beans in an airtight container. I buy beans from the bulk bins at the grocery store for $8 a pound, lasts about as long as a can of Folgers Cuppa Crapola. Drink less, drink better.

Exactly. If you stick with a coffee maker, though, turn it off after you pour the first cup ad use a microwave to heat up a fresh cup. Coffee sitting on a warming element will go bitter fast.
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:02 pm

Tim_Haggerty wrote:
Puff Daddy wrote:
Get a French press, coffee makers suck. Buy whole beans and grind only what you're gong to brew. Keep the beans in an airtight container. I buy beans from the bulk bins at the grocery store for $8 a pound, lasts about as long as a can of Folgers Cuppa Crapola. Drink less, drink better.

Exactly. If you stick with a coffee maker, though, turn it off after you pour the first cup ad use a microwave to heat up a fresh cup. Coffee sitting on a warming element will go bitter fast.

We ditched the coffee maker with the exposed element and went with the insulated carafe. Keeps it warm for hours. No need to reheat in a microwave. Guess I'm not a coffee aficionado. I like most of the commercial blends. To me, Starbucks is way to strong and bitter. Good 'ol Folgers served hot and black.
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:06 pm

The one thing I did not see mentioned----water. What kind of water do you use--tap or ?? Use the best water you can find, double reverse osmosis if possible--you can usually find it at the supermarket. Trust me, water is the key to good coffee. I buy my beans locally from K D's coffee (online it's Killer Beans). I also drink coffee at KD's, but my coffee, same beans, at home, is better---better water.
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:57 pm

How to make a perfect cup of coffee

  1. Buy fresh roasted coffee. If it doesn't have a roasted on date, it stale. Should be within 3 weeks of the roasting date.
  2. Measure 55 grams of whole bean coffee for a 1 liter French press
  3. Grind as course as possible using a burr or conical grinder. No whirlybird choppers.
  4. Water just off the boil. Tip: Get the water boiling, then take it off the heat. When the bubbles stop rising it is the perfect temperature to brew coffee
  5. Place grinds in the French press and add water. Stir to release the CO2 (if your not getting a lot of foam your using stale coffee).
  6. Wait 4 minutes and slowly press the plunger down
  7. Serve in a preheated ceramic mug and enjoy with your favorit pipe


Commentary

Fresh Coffee

Grocery stores are all stale. Roasted coffee has a shelf life the same as bananas, about 3 weeks and then it exhibits off flavors as degrades. Recommend ordering online that roast to order such as Counter Culture Coffee, Intelligensia Coffee, Barefoot Coffee, Zoka. Sorry, Starbucks blows and will sell you a bag that was roasted up to a year ago. Not to mention they roast it so it all tastes like charcoal brickets.

Coffee comes in many varietals. I went to several organic farms in Nicaragua. Most folks have never tasted the coffee cherry. I will tell you it is like a cross between jasmine and honeydew. The more stressed the plant is such as shade grown and higher the elevation the more flavorful the coffee. Bourbon varietals produce less fruit and therefore more energy goes into the coffee. Finca Mauritania, Aida Batlle farm in El Salvador, produces a coffee bean that is close to what the coffee cherry tastes like. Fantastic coffee.

Pre-ground Coffee vs Whole Bean

Coffee will expel CO2 for the first 13 1/2 days after roasting. The CO2 helps keep the coffee from interacting with oxygen. When the coffee is pre-ground it has more surface area to interact with oxygen and speeds up the staling process. Whole bean fresh roasted coffee has a shelf life of about 3 weeks without exhibiting off flavors from staling. Ground coffee has a shelf life of about 2 days. Fine espresso ground coffee has a shelf life of about 2 minutes.

Whirlybird Grinders vs Burr vs Conical Grinders

It is all about consistency of brewing. Whirlybird will create grinds of different sizes and shapes. In a nutshell, don't use it.

Burr and conicals will give you a consistent grind. The advantage of conical is they don't spin as fast so there is not popcorn effect on the beans jumping around and chipping before grinding. Conicals also won't put a lot of static charge on the grinds that causes them to clump. I recommend the conical grinder from Bodum with the glass collection jar.

French Press

Get a plastic or steel press. Glass will break and you will break it, trust me. Bodum is the way to go.

Cholesterol

There have been reports that unfiltered coffee will raise your cholesterol. French press falls in that category as well as espresso and Greek coffee. If you have high cholesterol then don't do this.

More info

Recommend CoffeeGeek.com and for espresso folks Home-Barista.com. Both are non-commercial and can offer great advice and reviews of other equipment
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PostSubject: Re: HELP! My coffee sucks!   Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:56 pm

thedeep wrote:
The one thing I did not see mentioned----water. What kind of water do you use--tap or ?? Use the best water you can find, double reverse osmosis if possible--you can usually find it at the supermarket. Trust me, water is the key to good coffee. I buy my beans locally from K D's coffee (online it's Killer Beans). I also drink coffee at KD's, but my coffee, same beans, at home, is better---better water.

The "Brazilian Bombshell" sounds very tempting! geek
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