Author Topic: coffee, french press and espresso  (Read 1718 times)

Ron

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coffee, french press and espresso
« on: May 05, 2008, 01:32:57 pm »
I figured I would start this based on the emerging banter on the "skis for Viking's wife thread" 

Lynn, French presses are the best way to make regular coffee so good on ya'.  If you add steamed milk or whatever, that's fine, drink what you like. Just remember to get good quality beans that are fresh. Also, make sure you have a good grinder. I used to grind my beans too coarse but i have started to go more middle of the road, I find I get much more flavor.

Viking, go with the Mazzer mini. It's truly a pro grinder and the results are fantastic. I really like the stepless adjustment and the consistency of the grinds. Very cool. It's a bit tricky and I am still learning. The entire key to great espresso is the grind; it drives the quantity and brew time.

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midwif

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 01:41:02 pm »
Ron
I am TOO lazy to grind beans everyday. Used to do it, but no more. I have them grind the beans and I keep it in the freezer or frig. No perceived loss of flavor that I can discern.
You are right, I am mixing apples and oranges. Regular brew coffee and espresso are different styles!
Lynn
"Play it Sam"

Ron

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2008, 02:00:48 pm »
Lynn, it takes literally 2 seconds to grind your own beans, Just keep a small amount in the bean hopper and the rest in an airtight container (not in freezer) not sure about fridge.  Grind coffee, Dump 2-3 scoops of medium grind coffee in. boiler water, let stand for a few seconds, pour in water, let stand 1 minute, still and then press in 3 minutes. Can't be easier!  Remember, the only difference in coffee and espresso is the grind and the extraction, the coffee can be identical.

Svend

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 05:07:19 pm »
Just noticed that this thread got started, and had just posted the following in my Skis for Viking's Wife thread:
Quote
On the subject of coffee, the French Press makes an excellent brew, and is my preferred method if I'm not drinking espresso.  It is so much more full-bodied than drip coffee through a paper filter.  I've not tried mixing it with frothed milk, but I can imagine it would be good if the brew was strong enough and the milk didn't dilute too much, esp. with a dark roast.

Hey Ron, that cracks me up that you're Finndog.  In case you hadn't twigged on, I replied to your espresso thread on Epic under the SGN moniker.  Too funny! And a nice coincidence.  How do you like the new Anita? Nice machine!

I think the Mazzer is on the top of my list -- top quality, easy to get parts, and the burrs are inexpensive to replace when the time comes.  Sweet! May be one in my kitchen soon.

Lynn, if you find grinding a hassle, you've probably been using a blade grinder (Braun, or the like) where you drop a few tablespoons of beans in the machine for every batch...am I right? Those are inconvenient, and give a poor grind (very uneven -- chunks and dust, and everything in between).  If you get a good burr grinder, as Ron suggests, then you just load some beans in the hopper (some hold half a pound) and you're set for a week or more.  Just turn the dial, and presto! Fresh ground coffee in seconds.  Nothing could be easier.  If you're interested in getting one for the French Press, then get one with good burrs, like the Capresso Infinity, Breville, or one of the Baratza's. 

Cheers,

Svend

midwif

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 06:02:36 pm »
Svend
Hmmm, good guess on the Braun. Okay, how big is the grinder. I live in manhattan and have a manhattan size apartment. Counter space is at a premium.  What are we talking about here??? ;D
Or, I should just write down the name and walk to Zabars and check out the machine itself.
This is worse than  looking at skis?
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Svend

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 07:34:19 pm »
Hi Lynn,

The grinders vary in size.  The Capresso Infinity is the smallest of the ones I would recommend, but it is well built, and, above all, has very good burrs.  It is about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of your average drip brewer.  It's about 10" high, 5" wide and 7" deep.  The Breville also has good burrs, and is a little taller and narrower.  The Baratza's are the tallest, at about 14" I would guess.  My in-laws have the Infinity in a brushed steel finish -- very nice, solid machine.  At Amazon, they're $89 for the black, and $139 for brushed steel or chrome.

Don't bother getting one with cheap stamped burrs (Cuisinart, Krups, etc.) as they produce a grind only slightly better than your Braun whirly blade.  Pop open the bean hopper and peer down into the guts of an infinity next to a Cuisinart, and look at the burrs.  You'll see what I mean.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 07:38:27 pm by Viking »

midwif

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2008, 09:21:01 pm »
Many thanks. Will do some investigating.  :)
"Play it Sam"

Glenn

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2008, 05:16:04 am »
Our coffee maker has a grinder on top of it. It sounds like a jet ramping up for take off when it kicks on at 5:45AM.

Ron

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2008, 07:02:02 am »
he are some very good sites for coffee and espresso makers/grinders

Chris's coffee http://www.chriscoffee.com/products

1st line http://www.1st-line.com/

whole latte love.com http://www.wholelattelove.com/

http://coffeegeek.com/? ?great site for reviews and forums

http://www.home-barista.com/? Home Barista.com? another great info/forum site.

http://www.counterculturecoffee.com/  counter culture cofffee

« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 08:12:20 am by Ron »

Svend

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2008, 11:43:33 am »
Jim, the owner of 1st-Line, is very helpful, and always takes the time to respond to emails, no matter how trivial.  I've talked to Chris Coffee too (Mary, I think), and also found them most helpful and patient.  They are more of a hard-core espresso machine supplier, whereas 1st-Line sells a wider variety.

Lynn, for your needs (French Press), I think the Capresso Infinity would be a great choice, and the most compact.  1st-Line has it for the same price as Amazon, and they are just down the road from you in Jersey!

Good luck!
Svend

Ron

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2008, 12:26:24 pm »
ist line is actually about an hour from me and that's a good call on the grinder. it's the way to go for sure.  One thing I can't stress enough is the actual difference in coffee taste with a good grinder, it's that pronounced. Also, I grind my beans for the FP a little less course, more towards a mid-grade coarseness. Scott gave me this tip and it reall improves the flavor.

jim-ratliff

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2008, 12:47:46 pm »
Jim, the owner of 1st-Line, is very helpful, and always takes the time to respond to emails, no matter how trivial.? I've talked to Chris Coffee too (Mary, I think), and also found them most helpful and patient.? They are more of a hard-core espresso machine supplier, whereas 1st-Line sells a wider variety.
Svend

Svend, you clearly confused me with Ron or someone, because I am a confimed Pepsi-holic and not much of a coffee drinker.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Ron

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2008, 01:07:53 pm »
jim R, "jim" is the name of the company called '1st line" coffee  see links above.

Maybe we can start you on the magic elixer of life ??? >:D

Svend

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2008, 04:54:48 pm »
Sorry Jim -- should have noted that it was Jim Picinich of 1st-Line, not you.

You should invite yourself over to Ron's place, and get him to make you a shot on his new baby.  Once you get a taste of how good espresso can be, you'll be completely obsessed.  >:D It's very addictive....you have been warned! A REALLY good shot can taste chocolaty, winey, or fruity, depending on the blend and the machine.  You will not need sugar, as it will be sweet on it's own - never bitter or sour.  And the aftertaste will linger for half an hour....seriously! Kind of like tasting your first $50 bottle of Bordeaux Grand Cru.  Liquid heaven!

Ron, what part of Jersey do you live in? I go down to Thorofare every few years to do some work for a client who has a plant there.  I usually stay in Philly, cause I like that town a lot.  Boy, have they ever cleaned up the downtown there.  Nice one!

Svend

Ron

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Re: coffee, french press and espresso
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2008, 09:53:32 am »
ah, yes I am just starting to pull decent shots and yes, the difference with good quality beans, the right grind and temp is night and day over the typical stuff you get at any coffee place, I made a killer cappucino this weekend. so flavorful, such great foamed milk..... yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm