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#91 petrolgirls

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:04 AM

I'm developing a healthy coffee problem, been hanging around coffee forums and just bought a chemex with a porcelain hand grinder. It's meant to be very good at extracting impurities from the coffee resulting in very 'pure' drink. Looks like something you'd synthesise LSD in which is pleasing:

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This chaps videos are interesting, he was world Barista Champion in '07 - this is his stove top guide. The cold wet towel at the end really does make a difference. Currently addicted to Fazenda Cachoeira de Gama from Monmouth, it's just amazing through a stove top.
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#92 petrolgirls

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

I realise you're not gonna get the latte action without the steamed milk, but could you knock out an espresso shot and just add warm milk to it? the purists may hate it, but I don't like black coffee :(


What you've described is a perfectly authentic caffe latte. A real latte is a stove top (which isn't an espresso BTW) mixed with warm milk. The coffee shop lattes made with steamed milk and espresso shots are a recent American invention.
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#93 Asura

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:47 PM

Argos have a dirt-cheap coffee maker in for £4.99 at the mo, so I was thinking of getting one. I've never actually had a coffee maker/filter jobbie before though; I tend not to drink coffee at home but that's largely because I'm not fond of the taste I get from Nescafe. Would filter coffee taste particularly better? I know it's not going to be quite Costa or like one of those expensive pod machines. The other problem is I don't see myself drinking more than 2-3 cups a day, would one of these filter coffee makers be overkill? I've only ever seen them in offices where they expect to serve 40-50 coffees a day (obviously I'd be getting a small one_.

I suppose basically I'm wondering what advantages there are to having a filter machine over using instant coffee.
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#94 clumpyjamie

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

I like proper caffè macchiato, but can't make a good one myself. Do you need a particular type of frother?
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#95 petrolgirls

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:01 AM

Argos have a dirt-cheap coffee maker in for £4.99 at the mo, so I was thinking of getting one. I've never actually had a coffee maker/filter jobbie before though; I tend not to drink coffee at home but that's largely because I'm not fond of the taste I get from Nescafe. Would filter coffee taste particularly better? I know it's not going to be quite Costa or like one of those expensive pod machines. The other problem is I don't see myself drinking more than 2-3 cups a day, would one of these filter coffee makers be overkill? I've only ever seen them in offices where they expect to serve 40-50 coffees a day (obviously I'd be getting a small one_.

I suppose basically I'm wondering what advantages there are to having a filter machine over using instant coffee.


A massive difference in taste, really. There's nothing wrong at all with filter coffee, it's a different beast to espresso for sure but not necessarily inferior. Well brewed filter coffee is definitely preferable to those horrible pod machines in my opinion. If you want a simple way of making good filter coffee abandon your £5 Argos doo-dab, all that will do is heat water up, pass it over paper (whilst imbuing it with a mild taste of plastic) then attempt to keep your coffee warm, ie rapidly deoxygenate the water until you're left with the worst tasting coffee imaginable.

A far better solution is to pick up one of these, it does cost twice the Argos machine but won't require papers so will work out cheaper in the long run and is very simple to use. Alternatively have a look at the Aeropress, as mentioned earlier in the thread - a little more fiddly and marginally more expensive but makes a very smooth cup. The trick then is to get good coffee, if you live in London I'd recommend Monmouth Coffee, if not them then Square Mile or Hasbean are both good internet retailers - also hear good things about Tescos Columbian.
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#96 Wickedkitten

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

I finally got my arse to Monmouth Coffee at the weekend, after being told for ages it serves the best coffee in london.

Queue out of the door just to get a double espresso, but totally worth it, absolutely goddamned amazing. tiny place, and smells pretty strongly of lots and lots of fresh roast coffee, totally recommend going there at leasty once, and ruining high street coffee for yourself.


I actually went there in December and I wasn't at all impressed with the cup of coffee I had because it wasn't very strong and was a bit watery. Then again I wasn't impressed at all with the slice of Curly Wurly cake I had from K&C either.
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#97 Spuckuk

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:08 PM

Must have been on off day. went again at the weekend and I could feel the double espresso trying to punch holes in my tooth enamel.

In a good way like.
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#98 Spuckuk

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:10 PM

A massive difference in taste, really. There's nothing wrong at all with filter coffee, it's a different beast to espresso for sure but not necessarily inferior. Well brewed filter coffee is definitely preferable to those horrible pod machines in my opinion. If you want a simple way of making good filter coffee abandon your £5 Argos doo-dab, all that will do is heat water up, pass it over paper (whilst imbuing it with a mild taste of plastic) then attempt to keep your coffee warm, ie rapidly deoxygenate the water until you're left with the worst tasting coffee imaginable.

A far better solution is to pick up one of these, it does cost twice the Argos machine but won't require papers so will work out cheaper in the long run and is very simple to use. Alternatively have a look at the Aeropress, as mentioned earlier in the thread - a little more fiddly and marginally more expensive but makes a very smooth cup. The trick then is to get good coffee, if you live in London I'd recommend Monmouth Coffee, if not them then Square Mile or Hasbean are both good internet retailers - also hear good things about Tescos Columbian.


I have an aeropress, I think I've harped on about it here before, astonishing bit of kit for the price, better than any sort of low end espresso machine. honestly not found it hard to use at all, and it's incredibly easy to clean.

Monmouths beans are nice, but a bit expensive.. Not sure about the tesco Colombian, I bought a bag this week while waiting for my Hasbean order to arrive and it's not even close to as good.
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#99 Chooch

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:20 PM

Brilliant Amazon review for the aeropress thing

By Daniel Needham "fishmitten" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

Makes superb coffee, easy to clean and you get to join in on the mass circlejerk that is Aeropress users telling each other how great their coffee is.


Wish I liked coffee. I love the idea of trying all these different blends and gadgets. The thought of a ritual when making one reminds me of when I used to smoke loads of dope. Rolling a perfect joint was an absolute joy.

Just plain old tea for me though.
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#100 petrolgirls

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 03:00 PM

So I made my first cup with my Chemex this morning, in essence its filter coffee but it looks cool and its design (along with the custom thick oxygenated papers) really does take every bit of impurity and bitterness out the cup, it almost tasted quite weak - wasn't sure as I'm still playing with my handgrinder but ten minutes later I got a caffeine rush to end all caffeine rushes. Having got used to espressos and stovetops of late I'm finding the result a bit sterile but will persist with it. Also the box it comes in is amazing, I might even post picks later if I'm feeling like a real bore.
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#101 whizzo

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:37 PM

Brilliant Amazon review for the aeropress thing



Wish I liked coffee. I love the idea of trying all these different blends and gadgets. The thought of a ritual when making one reminds me of when I used to smoke loads of dope. Rolling a perfect joint was an absolute joy.

Just plain old tea for me though.



Batshit Mental. There can be a LOT of ritual involved in makeing a cup of tea.
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#102 Ravern

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 07:47 PM

This chaps videos are interesting, he was world Barista Champion in '07 - this is his stove top guide. The cold wet towel at the end really does make a difference. Currently addicted to Fazenda Cachoeira de Gama from Monmouth, it's just amazing through a stove top.


I've been following his wet-towel method recently (but sometimes using a bowl of snow instead in this weather...) and it is a genuine noticeable improvement.
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#103 petrolgirls

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:44 PM

Yeah, much less bitter. This follows on from this fairly recent idea in serious coffee circles that the crema should be spooned off espresso as it produces a much smoother drink. The very end of the stove top process seems to produce the equivalent to crema.
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#104 Scribblor

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 03:41 PM

I'm loving my Aeropress, with one tiny snag: it takes an incredible amount of coffee to make a decent mug of Americano.
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#105 whizzo

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:32 PM

Got an Aeropress the other day and Whilst I agree with the above I have to say the ease of use and especially how easy it is to clean up make it a match for any of these pod machines.

bakery opened up outside my work the other day and they serve Monmouth Coffee. Tis Awesome ;)
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#106 Spuckuk

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:03 AM

I take a wander up to the Monmouth cafe whenever I'm in central London. Without fail I forget how small the shop is and how goddamn long the queue is.

Still, they make the best espresso I've ever had :hat:
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#107 Ibzo

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:04 PM

I've become obsessed with coffee again. No idea why I stopped drinking it.

I used to be a Bialetti man too, but have since gone on to a Vietnamese coffee maker (http://www.espresso-...ffee-maker.html)
Great fun to use and play around with. I've made some excellent cups in the past week.

Recently got one of these as a present:
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Haven't used it yet, but can't wait to.
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#108 Scribblor

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:37 PM

Is a black Vietnamese coffee all that different from a 'regular' black coffee? That site you linked to says it's not very popular in the west...
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#109 Ibzo

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:05 PM

Is a black Vietnamese coffee all that different from a 'regular' black coffee? That site you linked to says it's not very popular in the west...


The blend has chicory in it, and you serve it with condensed milk. Very strong, very sweet. I think it's great.
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#110 Scribblor

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:46 PM

So.. the black coffee: it's just like a black coffee with some Camp mixed in?

Mind you, Camp isn't very popular in the UK, so I guess the article's right.
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#111 Ibzo

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:24 PM

Well, in that they both have chicory, yes, but that's where the similarity ends really.

Anyway I think you've read it wrong. It's saying black coffee (with no milk) is not very popular in the West, not that Vietnamese black coffee alone isn't popular in the West; perhaps a strange point to make. There's a few places which serve Vietnamese coffee in London, and it's consumed quite a lot in some Southern US states.
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#112 Scribblor

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:45 PM

Ah. Well, then I reckon it's wrong. Outside of the UK, just about everywhere I've been in 'The West' serves black coffee as a matter of course. In Europe you generally have to ask for a coffee with milk, and in the US, I've always had milk served separately from my coffee. It's just in the UK that I've had to specifically order a black coffee to ensure it doesn't come with milk in it.

Anyway, Vietnamese coffee sounds interesting. I'll have to search some out.
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#113 Fusty Gusset

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:34 PM

Posted Image


:D I've got one of those - bloody great they are.

Never use it mind but it looks good with all my other Coffee paraphernalia :)
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#114 jimmbob

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 12:53 PM

I'm nearly 30, and have recently started to enjoy coffee, not sure why, but my knowledge goes as far as Nescafe, and that's it.

Is there something anyone would recommend to a coffee novice?
All I know is that I like it with just a bit of milk. Am I doing it very wrong?
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#115 sir stiff_one

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

Well, yes really.

First things first, if you like instant then get on a filter coffee tip right now. You can even buy individual filter coffee packets, omg they look so 80s, in Marks and Sparks or Tesco. You stick the filter above the cup, whack some water in and way hey, lovely coffee without much hassle.

If you like that you could invest in a small filter coffee machine. They will give a drinkable cup of coffee which can be made strong or weak to taste and of course add milk if you like! If you like to add a lot of milk, warm it up first. On the plus side filter coffee is very very easy to make.

Do you like the foamy style milk they have in cafes? You can experiment with a £1.50 hand held foamer from Ikea! Whack some milk in a pot, heat it up however you like, stick that mini whisk/foamer thing in for a while and if you do it right you get a nice thicker than normal airy milk to add to your coffee.

After that, or before, depending how you like it, you can move onto espresso based coffees, but that's a whole other thread.

Other coffee to experiment with would be stovetop coffee, where you stick coffee in one part of a metal jug thing, water in another, and whack it on the hob until the water starts coming through the top, magically transforming into delicious coffee to which you should add milk (and water if you like) to taste. This is a fairly fiddly process due to the coffee grounds which inevitably get spilt every 5th time, but cheap and worth a punt. Results are delicious in my experience.

Coffee is wonderful.
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#116 jimmbob

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:18 PM

Cheers, I think I'm going to try a filter coffee machine, just a cheap one to start with. I like the smell if nothing else. Will definitely try the foamy milk thing too.
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#117 Scribblor

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 03:13 PM

If you're getting one of those filter coffee machines with a hotplate under the jug, make sure you drink the coffee fairly quickly because if you leave it there too long it starts to taste a bit burnt.

Personally I prefer a cafetiere to a cheap filter coffee maker, but they are more awkward to clean.

My favourite place to buy ground coffee (or beans, if you've got your own grinder) is Imperial Teas of Lincoln.

Aeropresses are awesome, too, but again, fiddly. And time-consuming. And they take quite a lot of coffee to make a decent espresso (but as Stiff says, that's a whole other discussion).

If you do have to drink instant coffee, I recommend Douwe Egberts Continental Dark (or Continental Gold, if you can't get the dark). I reckon that's as good as instant coffee gets. But the thing with instant is that it changes taste an incredible amount depending on where you are. Presumably because of how hard or soft the water you're using is.
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#118 sir stiff_one

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 08:48 AM

If you're getting one of those filter coffee machines with a hotplate under the jug, make sure you drink the coffee fairly quickly because if you leave it there too long it starts to taste a bit burnt.


Oh god SO true.


Personally I prefer a cafetiere to a cheap filter coffee maker, but they are more awkward to clean.


I forgot to mention a cafetiere. Good call.
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#119 Scribblor

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:00 AM

I've run out of ground coffee for my aeropress here at work, so I'm having to resort to Nescafe Gold Blend.

Tastes like shit. I think I'll lay off the coffee until after lunch when I can go buy some more ground.
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#120 rundll

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:24 AM

I usually get a little bag of ground coffee every month or so, empty the bag into an old illy tin and stick it the fridge. Awaiting morning slurps. It inevitably starts to lose it's fresh coffee luster after a week or so, becoming a rather dull imitation of it's original state.

Until now! The tin's new home is in the freezer. The grains don't ice up or do anything untoward, they just stay almost perfectly fresh for the duration.

In the freezer people, in the freezer.
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