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Coffee for a n00b

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
I think I’ll start drinking coffee, for health benefits. I’ve probably tasted it twice in my 37 year life.

Hive mind, tell me how to do it right: what kinds of beans, grinding at home, French press? Or otherwise, etc.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
48,457
2,723
In a van.... down by the river
Definitely a burr grinder. Don't spend a shitload of money. This one is good and is user-serviceable, which is nice:

1570583457689.png


If it's just you in the family, maybe just start with a simple French press.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
Ok. We already have a Bodum French press (used by visiting parents--neither I nor the wife drink coffee to this point, which is funny since she worked as a barista for a few years). I'm getting this to dip my toe in:

 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,156
1,645
Yakistan
Don't do it man! I could count the cups of coffee I had drank on one hand until I met my wife (She asked if I wanted to go on a date, I said sure, she said lets get coffee, I said I love coffee...)

Why start now? There's headaches when you don't get a cup and jitters when you drink too much, plus insomnia if you drink it late.

It sure tastes good though and a nice hot cup tastes delicious with some cream in the AM. Now it is a daily part of my life. I rarely make it though and only buy cups of coffee if I am desperate or out with my family. I drink office and customer coffee everywhere I go. Keeps it interesting.

Honestly though I wish I could still count all the cups of coffee in my life on one hand.

-edit-

If you want to experience coffee though, go visit local roasters and try their brewed coffee. Fresh roasted beans is most important, IMO. Local roasters will be able to provide a wide range of beans from all over the world also. I like to taste as many as I can and usually end up just blending them all together in the cup. Does the front range have local roasters scattered around?
 
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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
Why start now?

Of the 59 unique outcomes examined in the selected 112 meta-analyses of observational studies, coffee was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality; Parkinson's disease; and type-2 diabetes.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
I also ordered some ceremonial grade matcha powder. Green tea is supposed to have lots of benefits similarly, and if I'll have regular periods where I'm not eating might as well put something down my gullet other than just water + some salt.
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
8,653
580
Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
Sounds like I should look for a burr grinder, no?

*Puts Barista hat back on*
No.
If your french pressing any old grinder will do.
It's in proper espresso machines that it becomes critical for the coffee bean particles to be of a uniform size.
For perc/filter/french press etc it won't make a noticeable difference.
The bladed ones are fine for what you're doing.
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
8,653
580
Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
Oh also regarding the beans, get local roasted.
Thing with beans is they are at their peak between 3 days after roasting and 10-12 days.
Sub 3 days and the beans are still off gassing from the roasting process.
>12 days and the acids start to change the flavour.
Once ground you literally have hours before oxidization starts making it stale.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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Oh also regarding the beans, get local roasted.
Thing with beans is they are at their peak between 3 days after roasting and 10-12 days.
Sub 3 days and the beans are still off gassing from the roasting process.
>12 days and the acids start to change the flavour.
Once ground you literally have hours before oxidization starts making it stale.
agree with this. you're much better off getting something fresh & locally roasted (which shouldn't be hard in your area Toshi) is better than something fancy from the internet. beyond that, the style of bean/roast really comes down to personal preference. my personal favorite is 100% kona, but i rarely have it because that variety (beyond being difficult to source locally) starts at about $40/lb. if you keep your eye out at costco you can find some good stuff, recently i've been getting mayorga roastmaster blend there and really like it.

you're definitely right about the burr grinder. just make sure you clean it regularly.

french press i nice, but i rarely use mine. my daily go to is an aeropress (for the office). at home i have a cheap-o single cup black and decker, but lately i've been using my presso more (the company goes by Rok now).
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
27,514
3,795
Riding the baggage carousel.
Folgers and mint flavored creamer
You both disgust me. :disgust1:

If you want to experience coffee though, go visit local roasters and try their brewed coffee. Fresh roasted beans is most important, IMO. Local roasters will be able to provide a wide range of beans from all over the world also. I like to taste as many as I can and usually end up just blending them all together in the cup. Does the front range have local roasters scattered around?
:stupid:
Local roasters abound. I often buy coffee from our local roaster that is less than 12 hours off the roaster. I've had to wait for it to be bagged at least twice. Fresh roast is by far, best roast. Don't buy crap from amazon. If you absolutely MUST buy coffee at the store, Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea is a very good, large scale "local" roaster. All of the King Soopers near me carry at least a couple of their roasts, I assume Denver area stores do as well.

*Puts Barista hat back on*
No.
If your french pressing any old grinder will do.
It's in proper espresso machines that it becomes critical for the coffee bean particles to be of a uniform size.
For perc/filter/french press etc it won't make a noticeable difference.
The bladed ones are fine for what you're doing.
Space Monkey is wise in the ways of coffee, heed his words.

Our house is burr and espresso machine only these days. But we started out with blade grinder/french press. We moved up to a burr after a local guy introduced us to the Aeropress. Did that for a couple years, got an espresso machine as a work anniversary gift. After our trip to Yurp, we're exclusivly espresso people.

Edit: FWIW, I love the morning ritual of making my espresso and just sitting for a minute to drink it. I find the whole process very soothing, it's not just about the caffeine jolt.
 
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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
Ok, I'll give a local roaster a try after working through these two bags. Got to have context to appreciate any difference, and I have no context at all at this point.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
Update: Will probably return those two bags and try a local roaster. Also going to return the OXO when it gets here and listen to SS after all and get a Baratza. Finally, going to try a Hario V60.

So much complexity for something simple.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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like shane i'm starting to shift to espresso, but i don't necessarily wanna go full tilt down that rabbit hole. i'm trying to source the upgrade kit for my presso that allows it to produce more pressure like the revised Rok EspressoGC
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
After our trip to Yurp, we're exclusivly espresso people.
like shane i'm starting to shift to espresso, but i don't necessarily wanna go full tilt down that rabbit hole. i'm trying to source the upgrade kit for my presso that allows it to produce more pressure like the revised Rok EspressoGC
Ok, school me fancy people. Why is espresso your weapon of choice here?

The burr grinder seems like it'll do just fine, but I'd need an espresso machine ideally? The buy-if-on-sale-Black-Friday list grows longer. :D

(And, again, if coffee turns out to be nasty swill then visiting parents would love having more coffee making paraphernalia about my house.)
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
27,514
3,795
Riding the baggage carousel.
I can’t say enough good things about the Aeropress.

I do/did love our aeropress. We have at least 3 of them laying around. I only have one cup a day, most days, but I keep one here at work, along with a small french press, one at the house, and one in the camping crap, in case of emergencies, I guess. :rofl: Even though we've switched mostly to the espresso machine, the aeropress does make an amazing cup of coffee


like shane i'm starting to shift to espresso, but i don't necessarily wanna go full tilt down that rabbit hole. i'm trying to source the upgrade kit for my presso that allows it to produce more pressure like the revised Rok EspressoGC
You don't need to go crazy. The one we have I got as my 15 year anniversary gift from work. It's not high end by any means, but we've had it almost 4 years now and it preforms flawlessly.

I *think* this is the model we have.

It's absolutely my intention to buy one of these when the mortgage is paid off though.......

So much complexity for something simple.
Meh, no more complicated than beer, or wine. It's only as snobby as you want to make it. Just make what you like to drink. If you want to make more out of it you can, but you don't have to.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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Ok, school me fancy people. Why is espresso your weapon of choice here?

The burr grinder seems like it'll do just fine, but I'd need an espresso machine ideally? The buy-if-on-sale-Black-Friday list grows longer. :D

(And, again, if coffee turns out to be nasty swill then visiting parents would love having more coffee making paraphernalia about my house.)
i like espresso because its a richer / deeper flavor.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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You don't need to go crazy. The one we have I got as my 15 year anniversary gift from work. It's not high end by any means, but we've had it almost 4 years now and it preforms flawlessly.

I *think* this is the model we have.
mine is a full manual version, it's a bit more of a learning curve but once you've got it dialed in it'll make an espresso on par with much more expensive machines. the company has changed names and upgraded the design since i purchased mine, but as i mentioned they sell an upgrade kit for the version i have to achieve the higher pressures of the redesigned version.

1570644391717.png
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
14,857
3,259
behind you, don't wait up.
Toshi, consider starting with some utility coffee 1st and see if you even enjoy being caffeinated. A suggestion to go from zero coffee to espresso is like jumping into recreational drugs with heroin.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
Toshi, consider starting with some utility coffee 1st and see if you even enjoy being caffeinated. A suggestion to go from zero coffee to espresso is like jumping into recreational drugs with heroin.
Yeah, I'm starting with a Hario V60 and the Amazon beans if I can't return them, something local if I can.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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Toshi, consider starting with some utility coffee 1st and see if you even enjoy being caffeinated. A suggestion to go from zero coffee to espresso is like jumping into recreational drugs with heroin.
not really. while espresso does have more caffeine per ounce, a single 8oz cup of coffee will have more caffeine than a single shot of espresso.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
27,514
3,795
Riding the baggage carousel.
Ok, school me fancy people. Why is espresso your weapon of choice here?

The burr grinder seems like it'll do just fine, but I'd need an espresso machine ideally? The buy-if-on-sale-Black-Friday list grows longer. :D

(And, again, if coffee turns out to be nasty swill then visiting parents would love having more coffee making paraphernalia about my house.)
Sooo........

This is kind of a subjective thing. "No accounting for taste", and what have you. See my above comment about coffee vs. beer vs. wine snobbery.

Disclaimers out of the way:
I agree with @jonKranked about a deeper, richer flavor. Drip coffee just tastes like brown, hot water to me any more. Almost any drink you will get at a coffee shop starts as a pull or two of espresso, then gets dolled up from that base. Generally the difference in drink type depends on the amount of milk steamed/added. The Italians taught me to love a very thick, tiny shot of eye popping strong, espresso, with a big ol clump of sugar in the bottom, this is usually served with a chaser of water,

My personal favorite drink these days is a Cortado, my daily drink probably would be called a cappuccino by most people. But even the differences between things like Latte/cappuccino tend to be matters of personal opinion.

All that said, I DO NOT recommend starting of with an espresso machine. If we were having this discussion about beer, and you told me you'd never had one, I wouldn't recommend double IPA's to you. IMO jumping straight into espresso is kind of the same thing. Find your self a local coffee shop/roaster, and take a week or two to get something different every morning. Go after the morning rush so they can take time to talk to you about the different stuff they make/recommend. If it's an even half way decent coffee hole they will LOVE to talk to you about the vast array of coffee stuff. Good coffee takes time.

Edit: I see @Nick made a very similar analogy. Probably a more apt one, actually. :rofl:
 
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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,657
1,932
So do you all drink your coffee straight? Or do you fancify it up and add some diabeetus to your cup?
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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All that said, I DO NOT recommend starting of with an espresso machine. If we were having this discussion about beer, and you told me you'd never had one, I wouldn't recommend double IPA's to you. IMO jumping straight into espresso is kind of the same thing. Find your self a local coffee shop/roaster, and take a week or two to get something different every morning. Go after the morning rush so they can take time to talk to you about the different stuff they make/recommend. If it's an even half way decent coffee hole they will LOVE to talk to you about the vast array of coffee stuff. Good coffee takes time.
second this. espresso is supposed to have a more bitter taste that regular coffee, so jumping straight to that might not jive with your palate for the same reason you wouldn't recommend a DIPA to a new beer drinker.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,730
161
NORCAL is the hizzle
Agree with the fresh roasted local beans. That's the most important part. Fair trade is good.

From there, experiment and figure out what you like. The beans themselves run from light/smooth to super dark. As far as the different methods, there's a balance between fussiness and convenience, but pretty much all the different methods out there will work once you figure it out.

Pour over gets great results but for convenience you arguably get similar with auto drip (with less control over temperature). French and aero presses can get you richer/deeper flavor, somewhere between pour over and espresso, and espresso extracts the most flavor. You can try different methods at local coffee shops before you invest.

I personally take it black regardless. I've always been a little suspicious of people who insist on espresso over other methods, then add 2X the coffee in milk or cream. I'd rather have a cup of proper dark black coffee that I can actually taste over an espresso milkshake.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
27,514
3,795
Riding the baggage carousel.
So do you all drink your coffee straight? Or do you fancify it up and add some diabeetus to your cup?
Oh no.....I drink coffee like a 13 year old girl. Varying degrees of milk, our trip to Yurp got me to cut back significantly on milk, but every drink I make gets a big, single spoonful of teh beetus.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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So do you all drink your coffee straight? Or do you fancify it up and add some diabeetus to your cup?
espresso straight. coffee, depends on the bean and the brew method, but typically a small amount of cream & sugar. one of our local roasters will occasionally have beans that brew so well i drink it black.