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I looked for a previous thread on coffee but couldn't find one so here's a newy.

Basically, I want to know what you think of coffee you take out or the stuff you make up yourself. Do you need a daily fix? Which're your favourite places to drink? Why?

In the last few years we've seen a huge number of Starbucks and more recently Neros and Costas hitting every high street. I personally don't like SB much because the coffee is often burnt. Costa makes a nice cuppa that tastes just right imo, but then I've never tasted 'real' coffee I guess. Know anywhere better in the UK for a good coffee? How about making your own?

Overrrr to you..

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I can't bring myself to pay the price of a pint for a cup of coffee.

However I grind beans every morning and make fresh coffee, I do feel cheated if I don't have a cup in the morning.

I can't stand instant coffee these days, I have a mental aversion to it. I worked in an office where they had awful water so when I made an instant coffee it tasted like shit, this put me off instant coffee.

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I'm a bialetti man myself, also have an espresso machine.

I normally have a morning jolt or, when on call make a little ol' flask to last me the day. Well, morning :) I prefer costa but my local SB is so near so that normally hits me with my dopio espresso machiato.

I try to control my intake but it's hard LOL

Edit - re-read your post. My Bialetti is used when at home, relaxing. Still perfecting the brewing but it makes a lovely, smooth coffee. My espresso is used as part of my flask make up (others being milk and sometimes[\i] toffee nut latte syrup from SB) and I love the intensity it brings.

I guess SB 'introduced' me to coffee and I'm only now realising the choice, variety et al that is out that. I'm planning to start grinding soon as well...

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I'm not a big fan of take-away coffee, mainly because I prefer an espresso and like you said, SB is extremely bitter. To be honest, I've found Costa hit and miss and Nero which used to the the best of the bunch IMO is slacking off and producing some really vile bitter nastiness.

I'd love to have the time to grind some beans (I've got my grandma's old bean grinder from italy) and enjoy a nice coffee but typically I'm out of the door in the morning without time for a sit down or anything. Hence I used to get a cup from a take-away.

But after working out it was costing me close to £500 a year, I'm trying to give up and survive on the free (rancid) tea and coffee provided in the office.

At home at the weekend or whenever, I also favour a bialetti and some illy. Although my brother bought me one of those nescafe pod things for christmas which I'm yet to unbox. The thought of it doesn't entirely appeal to me... Anyone have ANYTHING good to say about them?

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my girlfriends' sisters' husband is setting up a station coffee shop thingy, I personally think its madness but what would you guys pay for a medium cup coffee on a london bound commuter line?

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my girlfriends' sisters' husband is setting up a station coffee shop thingy, I personally think its madness but what would you guys pay for a medium cup coffee on a london bound commuter line?

americano - £1.50?

cappuccino etc. £1.60?

espresso £1.20 - and only a double (much quicker when you're working a busy machine)

people love their coffee so i think (and especially in london where people are cash rich and time poor) they'll pay almost the same as the mainstream chains in your friend's place. maybe doing it slightly cheaper will get them in, but it'll be the quality of the coffee which keeps bringing them back. and remember, it's the associated sales which will really make the place a success. cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, cold drinks, etc.

get them as a regular and the associated sales across the year soon add up...

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I'd love to have the time to grind some beans (I've got my grandma's old bean grinder from italy) and enjoy a nice coffee but typically I'm out of the door in the morning without time for a sit down or anything. Hence I used to get a cup from a take-away.

The thing about coffee and me is that unless I roast some green beans and grind them that morning (which I have never done), I always have this slight, niggling feeling like I'm "doing it wrong". As such I mostly have instant at home, but make the occasional few cups from grounds in a cafetiere.

At work, it's a different matter though. Between the half dozen coffee drinkers in our office, we'll go through litres of the stuff each day, and we're much more picky about what we buy too.

Coffee is also one of the few things I try to be "ethical" about, along with eggs. I just can't bring myself to buy non-fairtrade coffee.

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I only really have "proper" coffee at the weekends. I buy roasted beans, and grind them myself in a dinky little grinder I bought from Whittards. Then I usually make espresso in one of those stove top pots, or a Cafetière, although I get variable results from that. I never know how much to put in.

I never buy coffee to takeaway, as I resent the price, so I just glug the free instant at work. It's like a different drink, ok in its own right.

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I do like a proper latte - Costa do seem to be the best of the chains for them. I can't for the life of me make decent coffee at home though. I have a cafetiere and I buy ground coffee - is that the problem? It always seems to come out not strong enough. How much coffee should you use if you're just making half a cafetiere's-worth? Should I buy a grinder? I don't drink coffee at home often enough to really seem being worth it though.

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My grinder was really cheap, and is small and quick. This isn't the one, but it's this sort of thing:

krups-fast-touch-coffee-grinder-black-20342.jpg

It's really small, about the size of two mugs.

It may be my imagination, but I think grinding beans means the coffee is fresher. I keep them in the fridge and just grind what I need.

My cafetière doesn't seem to have a tight enough seal on the filter/plunger thingy, so the coffee always has grounds in it, and like you I can never get the strength right. I might buy a new one and start experimenting.

I make "fake" latte by just microwaving milk and adding espresso. Lovely.

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Homemade cappucino in the morning using one of those hob things and a milk frother, shitty instant during the day because we haven't a coffee maker at work.

My girlfriend got one of these for christmas - looking forward to seeing how the hell it does given that you just chuck everything in the same thing!

mukka_express.jpg

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Nero is the best of the chain shops imo.

Even better though is making your own with a cafetiere or espresso pot. I find coffee goes really stale really quickly, even if you keep it in the fridge, which if you don't, I would reccomend.

So buy small packs of ground coffee because if they hang around for too long you'll get a bad cup of coffee.

I've never had a grinder at home but I think it would be quite a cool thing to have.

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Although my brother bought me one of those nescafe pod things for christmas which I'm yet to unbox. The thought of it doesn't entirely appeal to me... Anyone have ANYTHING good to say about them?

We've got one and I really like it. Well, bar the cost. The little pods are fairly pricey really. Anyway they're proper easy to use. Nothing really to clean and the coffee is better than anything short of what a good coffee machine and coffee beans will get you.

Of course if you already have a proper coffee machine I'm not sure it'll be much use for you. It's not like a real machine is much more involved to clean and I'd imagine it's cheaper to run, while tasting a bit better.

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I'm a big fan of grinding my own beans and have found Hasbean a great site to use. They roast the beans freshly and send out the same day and have a great selection of coffee's as well. Currently drinking the Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira Bourbon 2008-2009 Crop and it's lovely :wacko:

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We've got one and I really like it. Well, bar the cost. The little pods are fairly pricey really. Anyway they're proper easy to use. Nothing really to clean and the coffee is better than anything short of what a good coffee machine and coffee beans will get you.

Thanks for that - how long does it take to warm up in the morning?

I'm thinking since i haven't got time to sit and enjoy a long coffee and grind and brew, etc. it may provide my caffeine fix cheaper than a take-away shop. Maybe I can get up, whack it on to warm up while I shower and then will it be hot enough/ready for me to pop in a pop and hey presto?

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Depends for me. Nero is the best for the quality of the coffee (usually) and I often go there when I need to get out of the house to work. Costa is often more comfortable as a venue, but I'm never convinced by their coffee so often have something else. I've only been to a couple of Starbucks, both times out of laziness in an unfamiliar town, and both times it was pretty shitty. I try to avoid spending too much on coffee out now, as most of the posts here describe. If I'm drinking black coffee, then I can make it just as good - sometimes better - with decent grinds and a cafetiere. As the only coffee drinker in the house I've yet to persuade the wife to let me make space for a fancy maker at home (although I've already got the daughter to say coffee please at 21 months so she's in training!) In town now I try to find a decent smoothie style drink for the same sort of price, and if I'm desparate for a coffee will just get a macchiato or espresso from wherever I can find.

It's a shame really, that as the market has increased the quality has decreased so much. But I guess that the chains aren't really bothered about hardcore coffee fans, as most will be making their own. It's much like I've often said about games shops; it's great for a while when things hit the high street in a big way but in the end you just get more and more pushed out by the middlecore.

(Sorry, was supposed to be a quick post, but I've just downed a cafetiere to get me through undergraduate marking and am typing twenty to the dozen!)

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Thanks for that - how long does it take to warm up in the morning

Probably depends on the machine, I've got a 'classic' (cheapo) one and it probably takes 5 to 10 mins to warm up enough that I can make a coffee with cold milk and still enjoy a warm cup. If your fancy and warm your milk first or drink it black it'd be quicker.

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my girlfriends' sisters' husband is setting up a station coffee shop thingy, I personally think its madness but what would you guys pay for a medium cup coffee on a london bound commuter line?

A chain espresso is £1.40 without fail, which is too much IMO, they must make a killing on it. Charge £1 and you'll make a killing with espresso fiends coming to you specifically - I would.

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I'm a big fan of grinding my own beans and have found Hasbean a great site to use. They roast the beans freshly and send out the same day and have a great selection of coffee's as well. Currently drinking the Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira Bourbon 2008-2009 Crop and it's lovely :angry:

Ordered!!!! Thanks for the heads up - was actually gonna post this question tomorrow in AtF!!!

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Nero is the best of the chain shops imo.

Even better though is making your own with a cafetiere or espresso pot. I find coffee goes really stale really quickly, even if you keep it in the fridge, which if you don't, you should always do.

So buy small packs of ground coffee because if they hang around for too long you'll get a bad cup of coffee.

I've never had a grinder at home but I think it would be quite a cool thing to have.

Stick 'em in the freezer and they last longer.

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Stick 'em in the freezer and they last longer.

I'd heard badness about this? Something to do with the moisture being left within the beans and the air inside the container freezing and the crystals damaging the beans, especially if it's in the freezer, out of the freezer, in the freezer, etc as you gradually use them.

Can anyone shed light on this?

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Don't store your coffee in the fridge or freezer - really bad idea. Dark cool cupboard in a well sealed container will do.

For 'home coffee' I'd recommend Monmouth coffee, whatever their roast of the day is tends to be exceptional. I like stove tops for home brewing but filters or a dedicated expresso machine will obviously also do the trick.

IMO all the chains are awful, Nero used to be the least offensive but turned to shit a few years ago. If I have to use a high street chain I find Starbucks, incredibly, to be the best of a very poor bunch. If you want proper coffee and happen to be anywhere near Soho let me recommend Fernandez and Wells on Beak Street or Flat White on Berwick Street. Both use Monmouth beans and produce outstanding coffee. Alternatively go to one of Monmouth's shops either in Covent Garden or Borough where, aside from beans, they also sell great coffee.

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Aye. That's why I've taken to cupboard storage. Airtight. Dark. Done !

Incidently my hasbeen coffee turned up today. It's :angry:^_^

Did you get the Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira Bourbon 2008-2009 Crop? It's just so nice and full bodied but with no bitterness at all ^_^

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Using a bellatti, how do I get that light brown covering you get on espressos? Am I putting too much water in?

you'll only get a small amount of crema with a bialetti...

my dad insists on using boiling water in the base, but i find this produces less of a crema... amount of water shouldn't make too much of a difference (unless it's too much - i fill it so the water just covers the safety valve inside the base).

essentially, you're not going to get a nice full crema like a full pressurised machine with a bialetti i'm afraid...

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