That sounds wonderful
Kenyan coffees have always been and always will be my jam. Any coffee from the Nyeri region SHINES
Exactly, that would be similar to the reverse-osmosis + remineralization I mentioned. So at the end of the day it’s not brewing with distilled water, it’s just mineral water at that point. There are packets available to add to distilled water for drinking/hydrating/brewing, but unless the TDS of the water is being actively measured before brewing with every time, it’s possible that would end up with just as much variance as using a bottle of mineral water, or even just decent tap water.
Even our RO system was finicky, and beyond the small adjustments of how much remineralization was going in day-to-day, we had to flush and recallibrate pretty often. We had a pretty narrow range of what we found was best for our uses, but I think amazing cups are just as available if the other parameters are handled with care. We had a few people in the neighborhood we let come by and fill up jugs of our water to brew with at home, but I couldn’t go to their house and check their grind size, temperature, brew time, etc. At the end of the day, people who work well with what they have and know when to make adjustments will win out over only having the best tools.
I get roasted Lao coffee beans as I live on the border and grind myself - Thai coffee (from Chiang Mai) in Northern Thailand, I don’t really like. Lao coffee is fantastic, it’s from the Bolavan plateau based in Paksong, it is basically Vietnam coffee, they share the same plateau. I live in Thailand about 2 hours drive away. I used to live in Hanoi and there was a coffee shop every 30 yards - so that’s were I got addicted. When I got settled in Thailand I wanted 2 things, homemade bread and decent coffee, like i had in Vietnam.
Never EVER heard of it.
+1 for Collona. Unbelievable coffee.
i used to go almost exclusively for colombian as my favorite coffee country/flavor excitement. but those days i think for me at least are over. i’m going to go through my mail and consult my wife to see if i can jog my memory for our favorites.
re south america, ive enjoyed other (than colombian) regions far more… like guatemala totally had amazing stuff last year that seemed to me kinda unexpected, el salvador too. and peru was off the charts this last year and i can’t wait for next year or next peruvian batches.
i never used to get excited over african coffees, but that was straight ignorance. definitely some of the best coffees in the world come from africa: kenya, ethiopia, rwanda and totally burundi.
fruit flavor tends to abound.
and i just have to say: the madcap blends can be absolutely phenomenal. right now the anniversary was flippin nuts good. i am a madcap fanboy just as i am a modcan fanboy (and a monome one too). i’m not necessarily proud of these facts but they tick my boxen. YOU TICK MY BOXEN. so you can take my rec with a large grain of salt.
another aspect that many folks have mentioned is roast profile. i’ve seen at madcap how they do it by hand and some of us here seem to even be doing our own roasts!!! i have never roasted and have no plans to start.
when i first got obsessive about coffee ritual optimization, everything top notch was light roast, even for espresso. now there seems to be thought that medium-light tends to be ideal (even for espresso) and that the roast specifics are going to be completely dependent on the actual beans themselves, so each batch will optimally be based on a profile for that bean supply/type and updated prn. so for years i was going with the seeking of all light roast and i do still prefer the light side for best representation of natural bean flavor.
i am of the ilk who would discourage folks drinking coffee from my home to use cream or sugar. but to each their own and you will find no judgment from me for what you prefer. i will certainly say (and fully believe) that if you want a sweet cup of coffee, you can find it in expertly roasted and lovingly brewed black coffee.
my wife and i, having no children or pets and both bringing in income decided the only regular expense we were actively interested in was coffee, so i guess about i dunno 6 or 7 years ago was when the deepest of seeking started between the 2 of us and trying so much coffee from everywhere we could in terms of growing regions but also roasters across the country. to this day i plan my ideal vacation spots around where i would like to have coffee. these days i’ve settled on madcap roasters as they wow me on the regular but i am super open to trying other stuff. i look at a shop online, see what they have… do they have a dark roast? if they do, i probably will have written them off from existence. but obviously that is a steep judgment and not always a righteous one. i can think of places that have proved me wrong. i suppose my end point is that it is pretty easy to tell if a coffee joint is focused on whatever x wave, but i will generalize as “modern coffee thought” coupled with expertise and passion. that’s what i seek. and it is far easier to find forward thinking shops than it used to be (though sooo many bad coffee shops still exist) so i think that is a good sign and also makes it fairly easy to get a pretty great cup of coffee and i’d say extremely easy to make a great cup at homb too if you enjoy some learning and experimentation.
subtle things that can be hard to discern…
does the roaster have a direct relationship with the grower and how is that relationship? there’s lots of buzz words that can jumble that idea and i don’t like that the transparency from most roasters is not there. case in point… do you know where your chosen roaster gets their beans from specifically? who is best respected in these transactions? are the farmers getting a fair or even a good price for their art? so part of what keeps me focused in one direction is that when i try to branch out, i have trouble finding clear info. do the roasters know the farmers? i know heart in portland does and madcap and i am sure there are many others. but the smaller ops can’t do that. they can’t travel to all the regions and farms, they can’t make sustainable loving relationships with farmers/families year after year, they probably have to buy from wholesaler and bulk…and hopefully a fair price is reaching the farmers…? i have no idea. such a freaky plant, ecosystem, topic. sorry to go off the rails. stuff is just often on my mind.
and i hope in any of this i come off honestly. i have no business here, no affiliations and i am a coffee enthusiast. but i want the practice/ritual to be respectful and as good as it can reasonably be from as many angles as possible.
Bialetti almost all the time here. Except during the summer months, then make cold brew about once a week. Been enjoying experimenting with steep times and the amount of coffee in the cold brew. Current favorite is about 1/3 cup grinds to 6 cups water steeped for about 16 hours on the kitchen counter. Makes a really nice concentrate. The ‘ethical bean’ brand I can get here in canada has some great chocolaty overtones in the cold brew.
Have moved away from almost all sweeteners and rarely use non-dairy milks. The one thing I can’t let go of yet is a splash of maple syrup in my coffee.
Want to get a proper espresso machine someday but also having trouble justifying the price on those things.
On a daily basis at work, I use the aeropress (upside down method) and grind up some trader joe’s french roast beans. Aeropress is practical and the coffee doesn’t taste like the sludge in the office machine.
At home I use a technivorm moccamaster, which is a great drip coffee device.
On occasion, I like using the stove top bialetti moka pot, usually with cafe buselo or pilon if I’m making cuban coffee, or lavazza if making a more straightforward espresso.
I drink all coffee, good or bad, but prefer good. Lots of years of pour-over as my primary coffee method, but recently added a Rancilio Silvia & Rocky to the routine. Have been nerding out on espresso the last couple of months. We’ve used books by Scott Rao as our guiding light in the espresso world. Sadly, he’s pretty hard on pour-over. He’s wrong though, pour-over is awesome.
PROOF: Here’s a picture I took of a picture of Georgia O’Keefe at her museum in Santa Fe. Note the Chemex,
Currently drinking Guatemala microlot #774 (as labelled by the roaster)
Its one of my favourite areas, but Im sure the affinity comes from fond memories travelling in the country.
I used an aeropress for some time, but a year ago splashed out for an espresso machine. Nothing fancy, around the $600-700 AUD mark from memory. Does anyone have some wisdom on customising espresso settings? Ive had mine for a year, and I just use the default double basket extraction. However I know I can play with preinfusion settings, and thermoblock temp. Also I do consistently hit the target area on the extraction pressure gauge, however I dont know if my grind coarseness vs grind weight balance could be better. I’ve never weighed the beans, I use a breville grinder. I remember someone saying an espresso pour should run like honey, mine has always been much thinner than that, with a bit of thickness at the beginning.
I’d like to try pour over! Im lucky to have access to a huge variety of coffee in melbourne. Might have to check out the sensory lab someone mentioned for some pour over! Ive had it once as a tasting flight in adelaide and it was fantastic!
I’ve also been roasting at home for the last decade. Originally with a whirley pop popcorn popper on an outdoor grill, then moved to a “Behmor” indoor electric roaster. A few years ago I got a drum roaster that fits on our grill, so I’m back outdoors. I buy beans from sweetmarias.com. They have a bunch of information to get started roasting at home if that’s interesting to anyone. It’s a pretty fun hobby.
I’ve been stuck on an Ethiopian blend from my local coffee shop.
4tbs coffee in a small Bodum french press. Electric kettle with filtered water. Bloom for 30sec., brew for 4 mins.
small bit of honey + 1/2 & 1/2 makes a lovely cup.
currently in hanoi on a business trip. any recommendations for great coffee close to the opera?
God, I want to go back slowly over this thread!
I’ve done a lot of different things. In general: Aeropress when it’s just for me or I’m at a client that has one. Occasionally, stove-top for a change. We now have a routine of a Chemex every morning, since being given one for Christmas, and that’s some of the best quality-to-ease-of-use coffee I’ve had, it’s a lovely routine.
I used to own some cheap espresso machines, which were fine, as long as you ignored their LEDs and heated the heck out of them. In particuar, the ability to have affogato whenever I wanted it was a huge sell. My current kitchen is tiny and has no room for one, but one day, I’d like a little machine again, maybe just a Gaggia.
I used to hand-grind (and still do when camping - a Porlex slots right into an Aeropress pump); then I got the cheapest burr grinder (Delonghi) from Amazon for about £50 and that’s been perfect. The single biggest change in terms of coffee for me was grinding fresh. Whilst nice roastery beans are good, frequently we’ll just use supermarket whole beans - they’re not as good, but they’re cheap, and the quality from grinding them fresh is good. Been using a lot of Coleman Roasters recently. I am aware I should in general spend more on beans than perhaps I sometimes do.
I also have a Hario coldbrew bottle for the summer, and that’s superb - reliable, quality, and much less faff and space in the fridge than endless filters and jugs.
I am unfussy about water temperature and soforth because it’s home coffee for me; it has not made as much impact as good grounds. Probably the single best unadulterated black coffee I’ve had was in Tim Wendleboe in Oslo - Aeropressed just for me, utterly phenomenal, and worth the trip.
Its been 8 years since I lived in Hanoi. I used to living 2 minutes walk from the opera house and I used to go everywhere by motorbike. Theres coffee street - Trieu Viet Vuong is where many locals go - Tho Cafe - 117 Trieu Viet Huong - was the oldest and most popular when I was there. But it’s too far, you need a motorbike taxi there. Try egg coffee at Dinh Café - https://goo.gl/maps/KUTGPgycd192 - it’s at the top of Hoan Kiem Lake - a 10 minute walk from you, it has a great view - it’s tricky to find, you have to walk through a clothes shop to get in
I’ve been to all these and they seem to still exist - https://blog.christinas.vn/best-old-cafes-of-hanoi/
awesome stuff, thanks!
looks like i have to come back here for work every once in a while.
will try a number of those shops when i can.
i got my chemex randomly gifted to me for christmas too!! it’s so funny (and it’s fascinating that your experience was so close to mine even in a timesense). i had no high hopes or expectations when i got it. i literally was thinking “how is this supposed to be any better than my v60 pours?” and so i waited for a bit before we even started trying. but even the very first one was a clear ah-ha momento
i immediately started researching the “right way” to make a chemex and was so pleased that it was just a much more loose/feel type thing than the potential super fuss of v60. it is almost hard to do anything wrong. whereas v60… if i sneeze at it i swear some molecular change occurs. i think kalita wave is a little kinder in terms of approach but the natural process flavor of chemex rules. just like the natural process flavor of french press might be just EXACTLY what you are looking for.
but i definitely still do kalita and aeropress and v60 and occasionally french press. but >9 of every 10 brews is chemex.
right about 1 min in
does anybody have foam suggestions for the lactose intolerant?
i was hoping this thread would jog my status quo into action
and i had a terrible (not actually all that bad lol) soy vanilla latte starbucks (sorry to bring them into this)
but i think some mild foam addition could with chemex could get to deep creamy states and that sounds fun in a personal experimentation sense.