My sister lives in the Upper East Side and when I was up there in April for my honeymoon of sorts, I was like ‘coffee tour of the area!’ since there are so many within 5 blocks/2 avenues. Oslo was delicious, but super weird vibes. Small and the barista was cussing like a sailor loudly with kids waiting with their parents. Birch was the yummiest of the area we thought.
we are trying to branch out this year so we just got a bunch of coffees from ruby in wisconsin. what i am interested in is that they have specific brew directions for each bean on data sheets and that is a level of detail i love.
Oh that’s interesting I’ll have to check them out.
So I’ve been working very hard to not drink as much coffee. (I’m getting old; it’s hurting my stomach… and when left to my own devices I drink a lot of it.)
But! I had a pretty fun method for making cold brew at home that I’m pretty proud of, seen here:
Anyone else have ridiculous cold brew setups at home?
well sadly, ruby coffee (we tried 4 of them variously) didn’t tick any of our coffee compounds first fancy. it isn’t bad coffee. and granted we prefer chemex and sweet as sweet can be beans. these just didn’t do it for us. we will keep exploring as we have so much of the stuff around. it doesn’t even come close to measuring up to madcap. what i’m hoping to find is roasters out there on par with or beyond madcap. this year of exploration in coffee. we have soft plans on replacing capresso grinder with virtuoso, snagging a hand blown 5 cup chemex (and trying a switch to non-bleached chemex filters) a stagg ekg (probably try a prismo for aeropress) and lastly, we want to find a better scale with one decimal place specificity as our current model only does straight grams/oz. maybe a hario scale or a brewista but none of them quit make me feel great for some reason.
Not yet. I have a few toddy’s that I rotate when I go on jobs out of town
Try these guys. Maru Coffee I think if you email them they can mail coffee. If not I can mail you some
At home I use a french press. Ever since doing an extensive (and amazing) coffee tour while I was travelling in El Salvador a couple years ago, I weigh my beans and water. I enjoy this process in the mornings. I was taught at 13 to 1 ratio, but i prefer a 15 to 1 ratio myself. So 50 grams of coffee, 750 grams of water. Ziiiiing. It’s amazing the difference in bean weight between brands - some brands 50 grams fills my grinder, other brands its only 2/3 full. Volume measurements definitely don’t cut it. When my current electric kettle bites the dust I plan on getting one with a digital temperature read out so I can be more precise with the water temperature as well - 180 degrees if I remember correctly, though now I just try to get to the kettle 10 seconds before it boils. 4 minute steep.
Damn, now I want coffee - too bad it’s 930pm here!
I’ve been making pour over for a few years but I finally got a small Hair scale for xmas this year and it’s quite nice to weigh my beans now for a more precise batch. So far I prefer a 16:1 ratio but I’m still experimenting. I’ve got an 8-cup Chemex, a Bodum conical burr grinder, the Hario scale and the much-loved Bonavita gooseneck electric kettle.
I have a French press and an aeropress as well. I don’t prefer the french press, as Im not a fan of how much sediment (even with a consistent grind) and oils you get. The aeropress I don’t use much at home but it is fantastic for camping since it’s so small and light.
Question for Chemex folks - when you’re using a larger Chemex such as an 8 or 10-cup, how do you stagger your pours to get a consistent brew when you’re using 40g or more of coffee (to the point where you cannot do your main pour all in one go?
Any advice on the best espresso machine for home use? Definitely not interested in k-cups (waste). I’d like to keep it under $200, definitely under $300.
some cats think it’s not possible to make proper espresso on a 'home machine
at any price point (they’d say the tank is too small to create enough pressure)
we love coffee
our friends in england call this 'proper coffee
cubans we know got this in their bottles from their abuelita (with sugar and milk)
we got a stainless steel one
this thread shows there’s lots of cool ways to make 'good coffee
in california they’d say 'don’t boil it
in greece/turkey/ethiopia they’d say
'boil it, add sugar, boil it again
trust your own judgement
We have a Gaggia Classic - I can highly recommend it. Under the hood it’s like a modular rack or an old car - everything can be easily replaced/serviced. It does like freshly ground coffee so I’d recomend a good grinder. I love that you get better at making an espresso with time. It’s not perfect every time, but you can get close with practice. It’s pretty too. I’d get a recently serviced pre-2015 model second hand. I hear the Rancilio Silvia is also good.
We have a Classic too. It’s one of the older ones with a solenoid. For the price (especially in Europe), it’s hard to beat.
I will say that the solenoid gets blocked really easily, and in particular this happens when it’s descaled if you haven’t been keeping up with it (and especially if you live in a very hard area like me).
I think I’ve taken mine apart 3 times now to fix blockages, but on the flip side, it can be taken apart to be fixed, which is quite satisfying, and as @louis mentions it’s really easy to get spare parts.
I have now switched to using bottled mineral water with a low calcium content, which is a bit annoying (but at least it’s easy to recycle the plastic in the UK).
@louis have you turned the OPV pressure down on yours? Some of the Classics came from the factory putting out 14 bar of pressure for use with pressurised baskets (the ones that only have a single hole in them).
No, I should give that a try! We had it serviced professionally for the first time last year so maybe they took a look. We ditched the single holed basket pretty much straight away. We had plenty of issues with the solenoid getting blocked, taking it apart, leaving all the components in a beaker of descaler and putting it all back together again… it became a 6 monthly ritual. But I like rituals! In the end we started using a water filter before filling up the machine and it’s not been a problem since! We switched out the steam wand for the rancilio one - that’s worked well. We’ve had it for 5/6 years now and it really is a (twice) daily delight.
My problem is that I seem to have forgotten how to truly enjoy a good cup. Too often now I sit down with my espresso and thoughtlessly gulp it down before I move onto the next thing. Definitely something I need to work on.
At one point I was thinking of upgrading to one of the Rocket machines, but alas, instead I discovered modular synthesis.
Love this thread, and not sure how I missed it until now.
My contribution: about 6 years ago I wanted to see if could get decent espresso in the house without spending thousands. I ended up with a secondhand Macap M4 grinder (which I love) and a Arrarex Caravel manual lever machine from the early 60s.
The Caravel has a bit of a following, so it’s been easy to source replacement heating elements and gaskets. I think I paid $250 for it on eBay. This is my everyday setup, although I do keep an Aeropress and Orphan Espresso hand grinder at work which is all KCups otherwise.
Here’s some sacrilege for you:
Any good mail-order decaf recs? I love lights roasts, but all the local decafs are dark roasts (I’m assuming that a light roast’s flavor profile wouldn’t survive the decaffeination process?).
Long story short, I can’t drink caffeine in any significant amount due to anxiety/blood pressure issues but I love coffee. It’s a tough plight to be in. As for methods, I mainly use my Chemex or single-cup pourover, but have a french press, Aeropress, and Minipresso on hand, as well as an Ibrik for Armenian coffee (guess I’ll have to do my own cardamon blending now).
i wish i could recommend something that would tick your boxen but all my decaf exploration has yielded nothing but disappointment. to me, trying to find good decaf is like trying to find good non-alcoholic beer. it’s not necessarily a bad idea but it just hasn’t ended well. that being said i would go for nice roasters as the roasting will be key.
and speaking of george howell, the kanzu from there is great. we’ve tried it extensively from madcap and also sweet bloom. it’s all so good.