Coffee thought talk process



(I keep editing and adding to this as the thoughts keep coming up):
I barista’d for most of my 20’s and early 30’s back in Canada, and encountered a lot of coffee snobbery in Vancouver. But, on my side of the counter, I loved the challenge and obsessive attention to detail with every drink that I made, and thrived on these intense little blasts of perfectionism/concentration that came with trying to be consistent and pull the closest to a “god shot” you could every time until the next order came up. Still, I always found the baristas who took themselves way too seriously and came off more aggro than passionate a bummer.

In the end, the espresso machine felt like a ball and chain and I’m out of that loop forever, but now occasionally do pour-over for the cafe that my in-laws run when they get slammed, and I get to catch that wonderful perfectionist buzz again. My father-in-law is a strict master!

Current set-up:
Switching between our Hario v60 and a handsome wedding present Kalita kettle, a trusty old Bialetti Moka when the mood strikes, and a Melitta automatic drip for the daily early morning zombified time-crunch. Pour-over is reserved for the weekends and leisurely afternoons these days.

Daily beans from, we try other kinds from here and there, gonna try Second Story, and if I like 'em I’ll try their subscription service…Almost done with some Fika beans that we picked up on our most recent trip back home this summer…also, some great roasters to be found here in Nara.


wife and i have agreed, until expert physically shows us about mokapot in our homb, it shall here forth be put in the lower shelf with the old electric drip machine (kitchen appliance graveyard).

quick access is chemex and v60 and aeropress.

it was certainly an adventure.


I dove deep into the coffee rabbit hole about a decade ago and have mostly settled out into a routine now. My Mazzer Mini burr grinder is still going strong and I think it’s really the most important aspect of my coffee quality, above any other equipment that I use. My daily go to these days is cold brew from a Toddy. I love the clarity that you get from the brew and the ability to easily control how strong I make it by cutting with water.

When I’m in the mood for a fresh ground hot brew with richer notes I’ll use an Aeropress, which I like more than any of the other several brew methods that I’ve tried out. I used to be into pulling espresso and have an Expobar Brewtus that’s been in need of a pump repair for the last few months. I thikn the time I would have been putting into espresso tinkering has mostly gone into my synth habit lately. :slight_smile:

As far as beans go, I love to support local roasters; currently I am Austin-based so go with Cuvee and Houndstooth’s offerings. I have a particular fondness for peaberry and semi-dry processed beans. When I travel I love to find and visit great coffee shops. I think that the best ristretto pull that I’ve ever had was from Bear Pond Espresso in Shimokitazawa.


Regarding the Aeropress rubber plunger wearing out, you can easily revitalize it. Basically, you want to stretch the edge of the plunger to make it wider, so put it on a flat surface like your countertop, tilt it slightly along the edge, apply pressure and roll it around in circles to flatten out the edge of the plunger. If your plunger is well worn, as mine was, the first time you do this you’ll want to roll it for 30 seconds or more to stretch the rubber. Then you’ll want to do it periodically to keep it stretched. I roll mine for about 5 seconds before every plunge and it keeps a tight seal most of the time, almost like new.


now that is interesting! thank you so much for sharing that!


I love the mokapot, but it took me a while to get it right. I’d recommend trying Lavazza with it if you haven’t or an italian or french roast. Bustelo or Pilon is good if you’re making cuban style coffee. The key for me is keeping the flame pretty low on the gas or low heat on electric stoves. It takes longer, but the coffee is better. I usually don’t take it off the heat, but maybe turn the heat off when it’s close to being done.


i confirmed with madcap about desire to continue party natural line:
“Correct, as we find and source new naturals we will be able to implement them into Party, allowing us to “continue the party” so to speak. It will evolve over time but stay true to its roots”

so i am excited about that as i found v60 explorations to bring back the power of the v60 (as independently wonderful compliment to chemex).

as for moka, i can’t in good faith buy bulk batch canned automated process roasted pre ground beans at this point. i don’t mean to come off as a snob, i just can’t do those flavors by choice. this is not meant as a superiority thing. i do not feel my ways are ‘right’ but since defensiveness has been brought up in this thread via “admonishment” i feel i have to clarify. my coffee journey has led further and further away from dark (italian or french) roasts and the taste always backs up this journey for me personally.


there’s also an underlying assumption that the moka pot is genuine i.e. a Bialetti or something manufactured to that standard; genuine Moka has a fine pressure balance, which is only improved in e.g. Venus. I’ve had not so great luck with knockoffs. Regarding pre-ground beans, pre-packaged Lavazza absolutely works with this coffee-maker (Crema e Gusto for instance), so do most of Taylors flavours in the UK e.g Rich Italian in supermarkets. Won’t please a coffee snob for sure, but that’s not the aim.


Fun thread! Decided to finally jump in.
Semi-educated coffee nerd - just enough to know a little bit about everything, but not enough to really speak from a place of authority. Coffee at home is ground in a Virtuoso (going away from a blade was the biggest eye opener) and espresso via a Breville “infuser” (dumb name, but reliable and good results). Aeropress if I want something on the drip side. I found V60s too finicky for my patience. Still need to try using a Chemex.

Anyone else roast at home? I started doing that almost 2 years ago now and it’s been a really fun journey. It started out partly for economic reasons as I couldn’t make it through a bad of coffee before it started to taste flat - so I roast 1/2lb at a time unless I’m giving some away. The green beans (from SweetMarias in Oakland) stay good for months in storage containers in the garage, and I’ve been able to try out all kinds of varietals at different roast profiles.

While I had a very deep affair with Ethiopian beans, I shifted towards Rwandan (both of these particularly drip and no additives), but over the last year I’ve really been enjoying Central and South American - Guatemala and Brazil. The latter particularly when it comes to espresso and anything involving milk.


I had a pour over at Blue Bottle here in Cambridge (one of their single origins), and it was amazing enough to convince me I need to try their dripper. The resulting coffee has a remarkably different body than anything I’ve ever gotten out of either my Chemex or my V60. Excited to experiment at home tomorrow…


looking softly into blue bottle dripper.


how does it stack against kalita wave i wonder?


I’d be interested in peoples choice of minimal coffee travel kits as I have a stint of travelling soon?

Mine has been the predictable: Aeropress with metal filter + Porlex Grinder (although I think there is a design fault with porlex winders, I’ve been through 2 and use a hairo now) and a Snow Peak dual wall titanium mug with lid. I always take a weeks worth of beans with me then assume I’ll hunt out some decent stuff.

I’m thinking of trying a collapsible pour over filter e.g. would be interested in any experience using something similar


Thanks for this, I had no idea it existed so close to my apartment. I’ve been intrigued by roasting my own beans, but this may push me over the edge.


I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the past 2.5 years. The whole trip had a Porlex grinder and silicone collapsible dripper. I remember reading somewhere that the weak part in the Porlex has been replaced in newer models.The silicone dripper worked well but got a little hard to clean towards the end of the trip.


I have only very nice things to say about Thompson Owen of Sweet Marias. He’s one of the good ones in the coffee world. Run, don’t walk and visit the place.


Anyone using the steel Hario Buono kettle? Do you recommend it?

I take it the smaller one is good enough for up to 2 cups of coffee (at 12g coffee to 200g water)?

I’ve also seen this special edition Hario pourer too. The smaller size is really appealing (i.e. it takes up less space when not in use!).


Just made it through the whole thread. Wow…somehow even better than I anticipated! Fascinating to see the range of interests and opinions on this topic.

I tend to be a social drinker and had never had a daily cup until a brief period years ago when I worked nights in a department of addicts. They eventually broke me down…I joined in the ritual for a while (and contributed beans that fit their preference) but dropped the habit when I moved away.

My current interest was sparked by having several decent cups earlier this year while overseas in Germany. A friend of mine hosted some of us one afternoon and it was my first time seeing the operation of an espresso machine up close. I was really impressed by how quickly she made all the requested coffee variants with just one device (and a deft hand).

When guests come over to visit I usually offer tea but coffee & alcoholic drinks are far more popular within my circle of friends. So I started researching espresso makers a month ago since I’d rather learn the process for our mutual benefit than build a collection of wine or whiskey.

I was on the brink of adding a Gaggia Classic to my wedding registry but I’ve changed course after researching the recommendations made by some of you. The Bialetti stovetop system appeals to me the most so I’ll likely get one of those, a milk tin and french press (which can double as a frother), and a handground coffee mill to start out.

Still researching:

  • Local roasters to source beans from
  • Whether I want to try cold brewing as well
  • Whether a sieve would be useful for a novice
  • What type of kettle I might need


literally drinking exactly this exactly right now



Here’s a possible new angle.

I don’t really drink coffee straight. I’ll do lattes and I’m gradually trying to dial back the sugar for obvious reasons. But I’ve never quite found the taste of coffee appealing enough to experiment with it at home. I end up doing tea at home. I’m like @glia in that, for me, it’s a social thing on weekend mornings or a mid-week pick me up/treat to grab a latte out. Nothing at home, no real love for coffee proper.

If you were to recommend an approach to someone who enjoys lattes and a bean that isn’t on the bitter end what would you recommend? I need the cream and sugar, at least as a gateway to more ‘straight’ coffee, but…just curious how people would nurture the love in someone like me, who doesn’t completely ‘get it’.