2 more coffee related things

Leo Voisine

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East Freeetown, Massachusetts
I need a recommendation - maybe $50 more or less

So we just use a cheap electric, nothing special (I don't think the exact model is made anymore and the last one I had to take apart and adjust the set point to get it to boil.. so.. it's kind of meh). If it can get to a boil it'll do the job. Basically bring it to a boil and wait a couple minutes for the temperature to drop 10. What you may be wanting is actually a better thermometer. The inkbird instant read is my current recommendation (https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Waterproof-Thermometer-Rechargeable-Calibration/dp/B07X9ZSCD8), I have a few fancier (and more $$) thermoworks and we've cross calibrated and this reads at least as accurately almost as quickly (within a half second or so) and cost a fraction as much. Bonus you can get your protein (steak & chicken & fish) to the right temperature with great ease as well, totally changed my grilling game (and dropped the number of "nice shoe leather you made there" comments from SWMBO's peanut gallery :rofl:).

If you really want to get into the game.. Looks like you can probably get a decent one in the $65 range.. which I guess isn't terrible considering (I haven't tried any of these of course) https://www.seriouseats.com/best-gooseneck-kettles-5271953. I reckon they're more important for pour over than french press.. so if you're headed that way... might be worth it.

The closest I've gotten to a highly accurate "kettle" is the old 1930's/1940's vacuum pot with an adjustable bimetallic strip which also uses water pressure to regulate the temperature. It's possible but I think the variables around ambient temperature and loss and hysteresis in the overall system make it dang tricky to do cheaply.

We have the $30 escali primo referenced here. It's a decent scale, the only thing that's gone wrong was one of the rubber feet fell off which was quickly repaired with a dab of silicon.

It doesn't have the heat resistance of a "proper" coffee scale.. but for non-espresso I'm unconvinced it matters (or just and-also put a small saucer on top for instant heat shield). They also reviewed those but *shrug* https://www.seriouseats.com/best-coffee-scales-6361787
 
Cool,

I made a french press coffee today was was much bolder by playing around with my postal scale. The postal scale just does not cut it to weigh the coffee. It did show me that I need to measure better than guessing with a measuring spoon. It was actually a LOT better very bold and tasty. I can see clearly that I need to make some adjustments. but it was really good.

I saw some of the reviews that you posted. Glad that you confirmed those reviews.

Great coffee is not inexpensive to get set up. I would call the cup I make today was a really good cup of coffee.

I need to wait till after the first to order any more stuff, but after my Bday 6/1 I will press the "place order" button.

Sooo - next big question is

What is a good coffee bean? Who, brand, where to order from?

The Dunkin coffee I have is a medium roast. Dunkin is decent coffee but I want the "good stuff"
 
So we just use a cheap electric, nothing special .............. If it can get to a boil it'll do the job. Basically bring it to a boil and wait a couple minutes for the temperature to drop 10.
This ^^^.

The reason I bought the expensive MoccaMaster drip machine was because (other than being right-sized and well built), it was the only one that advertised how and why coffee tastes best, and a lot of it has to do with having the correct water temperature, which is between 198'F and 205'F. When I make a one-off cup I boil the kettle on my gas range (that's 212'F when it boils), shut it off, wait a couple of minutes and pour slowly over a filter with fresh-ground coffee beans in it. It always works ..... no digital display, no thermometer.
 
YEP - I totally agree. Boils at 212 - shut off heat wait a minute or so then pour water.... Yep - based on the info on this thread from you guys, this is what I do now and it seems to be working nicely.

BUT - some of the toys are nice to play with, it adds to the experience. The whole point of retirement is to have fun, like when you were a kid. Not a care in the world. Just have fun.

Oh sorry, back to the point

Have fun doing it!!!!
 
BUT - some of the toys are nice to play with, it adds to the experience.

I'm always on the fence between minimalist pushing technique and maximalist toy collecting and so tend to do both poorly haha.

What is a good coffee bean? Who, brand, where to order from?

Waves hands vaguely at personal preferences Again this is highly dependent on preferences but I'd put a fair bit of value on freshly roasted and then picking varieties/origins you figure out you like. Freshly roasted mostly means local, whether that's your garage or someone down the street 😁 There are literally hundreds of varieties/origins and once you add in roasting techniques you get into the thousands. I'm personally fond of a lot of central american coffees and some sumatran and Ethiopian dry process can be nice. A lot of those tend towards the nutty/chocolate/dark fruit notes and less towards the more acidic brighter coffees which is mostly just a personal preference. For similar reasons I prefer a medium roast (that's "fully city" to "full city plus" for the coffee nerds) on *most* beans.

What I might suggest is going to https://www.sweetmarias.com/green-coffee.html (even if you're not planning to try roasting..) and click the profile descriptors on the left that sound good to you and then note down the origin and process. Their individual coffee descriptors are also really good, like this ethopian would be a full bodied somewhat sweet and fruity with hints of chocolate and berry. Then you can use that as sort of a first pass selector

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Contrast this Sumatran Honey process which is also a full bodied coffee but less sweet and fruit and more focused on the rich chocolaty notes and maybe a little "chunkier" character. Both have moderate citrus notes so I'd expect medium acidity but maybe a bit more perceived from the Ethiopian.

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There's a whole bunch of roasters over in Providence and looks like at least a few closer (bringing up East Freetown on google maps and searching for coffee roasters). It might be interesting to see if any of them offer cuppings/tasting flights so as to try a bunch.

A couple I found that way.


 
Scuttlebutt Coffee Co.

Poking around their website (assuming it's still up to date) looks like they use Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland ME for their roasting. Tandem has a pretty decent looking selection https://www.tandemcoffee.com/collections/coffees - It might be interesting to order a couple of their sampler packs and see if you like any of them and maybe you can convince Scuttlebutt to also bring in some of those if it's not something they already carry.

Funny side story, we had talked to our Ins agent about coverage for some home business ideas (we decided not to pursue... partially due to the Ins..) and he made a comment about how "it wouldn't be to bad as long as you're not doing something like running a coffee roasting business from your house" hah. Commercial roasting has a lot of heat and smoke and fumes. I saw a "small" quasi commercial/large home roaster for sale in PDX that they had rigged up a Dust Deputy to which seemed pretty smart.
 
"it wouldn't be to bad as long as you're not doing something like running a coffee roasting business from your house" hah. Commercial roasting has a lot of heat and smoke and fumes.
We had a neighbor back when we lived in the city that I couldn't figure out if they were roasting coffee or running an incinerator in their garage. They had a 'special' vent on the side of their garage and every now and then, whoa, the smell was coming from it was not especially pleasant.

For some reason, I would imagine that roasting coffee would smell ok to good? But I've never done it.
 
For some reason, I would imagine that roasting coffee would smell ok to good? But I've never done it.

It depends.. But yeah it doesn't really smell like coffee hah.. More like "coffee on fire plus extra fumes". At some points it smells pretty decent but towards the end of the roast profile imho less so.

There's also a lot of chaff (outer skins on the beans) blow off that you have to deal with. The little fresh roast we use has a screen filter that catches most of that but we still roast on the patio due to the smoke & fumes.. I have one friend who does it under their overpowered stove hood and says that's ok...
 
...They had a 'special' vent on the side of their garage and every now and then, whoa, the small was coming from it was not especially pleasant...
Did the neighbor happen to dress like this?
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:rofl:
 
When I worked downtown KC, Folgers had a roasting plant there. About once a week they'd either burn a batch or the fire department was showing up as something was burning, it wasn't a pleasant smell. They did bring the beans in on semi trailers with the beans in one big bag in the back. They'd park the trailer on a trolly that had a suction hose on the end and connect the bag up to it, then tilt the trailer back and let it empty, quite a site to see.

We have several small shops around our area roasting their own. I should ask for samples next time I'm in one.
 
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