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Tell me about coffee

CryptoCrypto W.Sussex UK Member
edited Nov 2004 in Food & Drink
Hi folks.

tea loving Brit here.
I'm not that bothered about the instant cofee that I get served up from time to time but I do like the occasional "real coffee" that's served up.

I'm thinking about buying a coffee making machine but am overwhelmed by the the choices.
What's the difference between espresso and filtered and why should I care?


Come on chaps, spill the beans and tell me about coffee, in return I'll tell you how to make a nice cup of tea.


Cheers

Crypto
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Comments

  • botheredbothered Manchester UK
    edited Nov 2004
    crypto, get a grip man. We all like to experiment at some time in our lives but the road to coffee is the road to ruin. Stick to what you know, Tea, good old know where you are Tea.
  • GuyuteGuyute Gamehenge
    edited Nov 2004
    Espresso is a product of a really really potent method of brewing coffee. Typically, the finer the grind and/or the darker the roast, the stronger the result. So espresso is a dark roast super-fine grind, and it is brewed in a special machine that compresses the grind and forces water (Steam?) through it. It gives a really potent brew. Normal coffee is brewed by pouring water over the top of a filter basket filled with ground beans, so you don't get the intensity of the brewing you get from espresso. I like espresso because I like a strong coffee. personal preferences of the strength of flavor is so varied, the shop I frequent has four different strengths on at all times (Second Cup), plus a flavored coffee (I never understood that) and decaf.

    I also like tea, but the two drinks are so totally different, I drink them at different times, depending on what I am eating, etc.

    So-how do you brew the perfect tea? And what flavor do you use? English Breakfast? Irish Breakfast? Namibian Lunch? Timbuktu Snack? And what is the diff between Ceylon tea and Orange Pekoe?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Flavored coffee is for those of us who want the caffeine, but think it otherwise tastes like pure ****. ;D
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Flavored coffee is the wal-mart of coffee. It is the McDonald's of coffee. It is the Disney of coffee.

    If you drink flavored coffee, you are a communist, AND you hate america, AND you hate baby jesus.
    Creeperbane2
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    So you're saying that flavoured coffee is the multi-billion dollar mega-global supercorporation of its kind? Completely unmatched and unrivalled in sheer power and entertainment value!

    <font size=1>Coffee still tastes like ****.</font>
  • PressXPressX Working! New
    edited Nov 2004
    Flavored coffee is for those who yet to experience the perfect espresso on a sunny morning "Al Fresco" with perhaps a pan au chocolate and the rest of the day to enjoy or after a great meal and a good bottle of wine. Man I love espresso! If it was not 1.45am I would go make one now!
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    How can something that smells so good taste so bad :(
    Strikes
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    You got it! :thumbsup:

    On topic, Crypto:

    The goal of a good cup of coffee is to get the drink to taste as good as fresh ground beans smell. There are a few things that can go a long way towards this goal:

    1) Clean water. It's very important. The oxygen content of water absolutely does make a difference to the taste. If you can use bottled or distilled water, definitely do. Try to avoid chlorinated tap water as it basically sucks the "life" out of a potentially good cup of coffee.

    2) Fresh ground beans. If you can, please go out and buy a $14-$20 coffee grinder, or get a coffee pot that has a grinder in it. If you can't do either, at least buy your coffee in whole bean form and have them grind it on the spot. Then, when you store it, make sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge (not the freezer - freezing removes some of the 'verve' from the oils, thus killing the flavor)

    3) Picking the right brand/roast. First of all, any widely available commercial coffee, as a rule, sucks ass. Foldgers, Maxwell House, etc. Any "major" corporate brand of coffee tastes like puke, and is probably the #1 reason why people who "try" coffee the first time, generally don't like it. I swear that if your first cup of coffee is a REALLY good one, you'll be a coffee drinker for life (Sorry, bothered!).

    Roasts generally go like this:

    Light/Mild: Breakfast blend, any of the Kenya regionals (Kenya AA, Kenya peaberry), and many Costa Ricans, such as Costa Rican Doka.

    Medium: Jamaican (very expensive), Hawaiian Kona, Colombian

    Dark: French roast, italian roasts (espresso roast), many of the "european roasts".

    My recommendation is to start with a light roast. Most people need to "work up" to the dark roasts. Dark roasts can be very bitter and acidic.

    I love coffee. If you have any more questions, I love talking about it :D
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Off topic again, but maybe that's my problem. I've never had a so-called REALLY good cup of coffee.. Always the bull**** Folgers and crap. If the coffee really can taste like it smells.. hmmm. :scratch:
  • PressXPressX Working! New
    edited Nov 2004
    Get one of these and a good grinder.
    :thumbsup:
  • Access_DeniedAccess_Denied tennessee
    edited Nov 2004
    if you put 2 Tbl spoons of suger and about 1/8th part creamer per cup its not so bad :p
  • ClutchClutch North Carolina New
    edited Nov 2004
    2 spoons of sugar, 2 spoons of creamer is how I like mine. I have tried the instant coffee, and I have tried some from brazil that my boss gets and it is good. I'm not a huge coffee fan but you can taste the difference.
  • ketoketo Occupied. Or is it preoccupied? Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Colombian is generally quite acidic. Now, I like (REALLY like) a strong cup of coffee, but Colombian is not my cup of ..... almost said it.

    It's strange, I too have always liked the smell of coffee but have only become a habitual drinker of it in the past 2 years (I'm 41). As I have explored what I like and don't like, I find that I almost always get the darkest roast I can get (often African) and, again, stay away from the known high acidic varieties where possible. I can drink it black if need be, but prefer it with a shot of milk (not cream, definitely not creamer ala Coffee Mate UGH!!) and no sugar. It kills me to make my wife's coffee, double heaping sugar and double heaping Coffee Mate, I can hardly watch.

    If you want a good cup of strong coffee, go to Starbucks and tell them you want dark roast. Expect there to be some bitterness to the flavour, unless you load up on the sugar. But try it without. Should get you close to the 'coffee smell' taste. And, manomanoman, Starbucks does have the heavy caffeine content no doubt about that. ;D Some will say they don't like Starbucks, which is fine. There are plenty of good options out there - up here Tim Horton's is the take out coffee of choice for most of us. It's pretty good too, but not as strong as Starbucks.

    **edited to add that even McDonald's (GASP!) makes a damned fine cup of coffee these days, at least around here. It used to taste like diluted used motor oil but they obviously got enough feedback at some point in the past 3-4 years to fix that up.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Ugh. starbucks burns their coffee plain and simple. It's terrible.

    That's my opinion, of course :D

    If you have dunkin' donuts in the UK, they actually have really good, high quality coffee. Not sure if they exist over there.....
  • edited Nov 2004
    Like Prime said, most of the major lable coffee's are pretty bland but Folgers does turn out some premium blends that are much better than their regular crap, fairly drinkable. Down here in Louisiana we also have a local coffee company called Community that makes a pretty decent dark roast and it's fairly inexpensive. For your best coffees though, you are definitely better off going to a specialty shop and buying the whole beans. If you don't want to spend money on a coffee grinder, you can also use a common blender to grind the coffee beans; just drop them in dry and grind on them until they look ground fine enough for you. Also, stay away from any percolators as I find them to make exceptionally ****ty coffee. Stick with a drip machine of some sort. Also, I would advise you to stay away from expresso until you've drunk coffee for a while because it's very strong and would probably taste like **** to you and ruin the whole coffee experience for you. Personally I like Kona bean coffee but it's very expensive and Columbian and Brazilian bean coffee is also pretty good. As for your flavored coffees, I like them occasionally as a change, mainly French Vanilla and Irish Cream but not too often. You can also drop a dollup of Bailey's into regular coffee if you want a real Irish Cream coffee. :D
  • edited Nov 2004
    Hey keto, have you ever had any Community dark roast? It's our local South Louisiana coffee of choice pretty much down here. Don't know if they export any up to the great frozen north though. :D
  • ketoketo Occupied. Or is it preoccupied? Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    mudd, never seen it around but again, am still fairly new to and exploring this whole coffee bidness. Hmmm went grocery shopping tonight and forgot to grind up some beans to try. We've been buying Tim Horton's in the big can, it's decent. Well, when I make it, which is only a couple times a week. I make it about twice as strong as mrs. keto does. Saturdays we both get a lot done BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ as I get up first and make it ;D
  • CryptoCrypto W.Sussex UK Member
    edited Nov 2004
    Thanks for the feedback folks, the great art is becoming clearer. :)

    Am I right in thinking that I need an espresso machine to make cappuccino?(Mrs.Crypto's favourite tipple)

    Bothered, don't worry about me straying to the dark side, I am a confirmed tea drinker, I can't move in the morning till I've had a least three cups. :D

    As for brewing the perfect cuppa....I can't be bothered. I just sling a tea bag in a cup.

    Coffee making sounds to me like quite a long-winded business, I can see why they invented instant.

    Thanks again for your comments, I shall ponder further :)
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    Yes, you will need an espresso machine to make a cappuchino. Cappuchino is essentially a shot of espresso frothed with milk.

    This education is what you get when your wife did a three year stint at a coffee shop :D
  • botheredbothered Manchester UK
    edited Nov 2004
    Crypto wrote:
    Bothered, don't worry about me straying to the dark side, I am a confirmed tea drinker, I can't move in the morning till I've had a least three cups. :D

    As for brewing the perfect cuppa....I can't be bothered. I just sling a tea bag in a cup.

    My breakfast is usually three cups and a couple of fags. (that's giggys, yanks)
    And, you silly boy, that IS the way to make a perfect cuppa. Expert and not even aware of it. So modest these Tea drinking Brits.
  • CryptoCrypto W.Sussex UK Member
    edited Nov 2004
    ;d ;d

    edit: don't know what happened there, it was meant to be ;D ;D
  • GuyuteGuyute Gamehenge
    edited Nov 2004
    I am one who gravitated to darker coffees. My fav's are really strong but not too nutty...it's a tough balance, but Second Cup has hit it with Caffe Venice (yes I know it's a typo but that is how they spell it!!). AND anyone who worked in the industry will tell you that there is actually less caffeine in stronger, darker coffee. Light coffee just tastes like dishwater...Venice is not an estate coffee, but it is deeeelishus.

    In Atlantic Canada, Tim Horton's rules so bad they usually shut down the others that open too close. If you own 1, you have hit the jackpot; 2, and you are rolling- 3 or more and you are stinking rich. We're talking making several 100 K per year...I can't drink it because they (and Starbuck's too, I suspect) add SOMETHING to their brews that I am allergic to...I live in a town of 300 000 people and there are over 80 of them. I drive by a corner near my home where there are 3 on THE SAME CORNER!! yes, that only leaves one corner...and it is a bridge.
  • csimoncsimon Acadiana Icrontian
    edited Nov 2004
    teh best coffee in teh hole wide world ...Community "cafe" blend.
    Try some mudd and tell me what you think ...that's all I drink now for the past 10 years.
  • profdlpprofdlp The Holy City Of Westlake, Ohio
    edited Nov 2004
    ...1) Clean water. It's very important. The oxygen content of water absolutely does make a difference to the taste. If you can use bottled or distilled water, definitely do. Try to avoid chlorinated tap water as it basically sucks the "life" out of a potentially good cup of coffee...
    Absolutely.

    One of these will make a huge difference in coffee or tea. I have the simple faucet-mounted model. It installs in about 30 seconds (you just screw it on in place of the aerator). The filters cost about $15 - $20 and last me about two or three months. This includes my tea, the G/F's coffee, all our drinking water and ice, plus the two-litre bottle my dogs go through a day.

    Tap water may be "safe", but that doesn't make it tasty.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian

    I had no idea how deep Prime's love of coffee was. Well, I couldn't find an "Icrontic coffee discussion thread" so I'm going to leave this here...

    -Digi

    mertesn
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian

    It is worth noting that "strong" coffee refers to the flavor, not to the caffeine content. The darker the roast the "stronger" the flavor (it takes more burnt mostly), and the lower the caffeine. So if you drink coffee like I do, because you want to wake up, lighter roasts deliver more caffeine.

    The best cup of coffee I ever had was from a small batch of medium roast beans I bought from a coffee shop, ground it there, and used a french press.

    I used to like espresso a lot, but my espresso machine was a hunk of crap that I offloaded last year at a yard sale for 10 bucks.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    @BobbyDigi said:
    I had no idea how deep Prime's love of coffee was. Well, I couldn't find an "Icrontic coffee discussion thread" so I'm going to leave this here...

    -Digi

    He brought a manual coffee grinder and an aereo press camping if that's any indication. Also, that's one hell of a necro Bobby

    GnomeQueenHumerusMeg
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian

    @Signal said:
    He brought a manual coffee grinder and an aereo press camping if that's any indication. Also, that's one hell of a necro Bobby

    As would any sane coffee drinking person. I plan on doing the same the next time I go camping... if I ever go camping again...

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ @TheButterflyman Icrontian
    edited May 2015

    I went into the break room yesterday to make an Iced Chai Latte at the K-machine, but they were out of Chai Latte K-cups, so I spun the little K-cup dispenser thing looking for something else with caffeine, and I spotted something that was called something like Sweet and Creamy Iced Donut Coffee. I put that over my ice instead, and it didn't kill me.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    @CB said:
    I put that over my ice instead, and it didn't kill me.

    Yet.

    UPSLynx
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