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Mashugana
Junior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Virginia, USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 7:21am
Subject: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

tldr: what advice would you give to a coffee newbie with a Honey Bee pour over mug and a local company that roasts their beans here in town?

Long version:

I have been a coffee drinking for 20+ years but I just had my first cup of really, really good coffee and I want more.  A local company roasts beans here in town. I drank fresh roasted and fresh ground coffee made through a Chemex.  Angels sang.

I now realize that I been adding cream, Splenda and flavors to bad coffee to make it drinkable.  Help me.  Please.

Right now I drink coffee lots of different ways, all of which now taste like crud after my Chemex coffee: Starbucks with 1/2 and 1/2 and Splenda, Keurig coffee at work, drip brewed Starbucks Pike Place at home.  Yuck.

I have always been a heavy cream and sugar coffee drinker but now I think everything is out the window - with good coffee do I still want cream?  Sugar?  What is a good basic cup to start with for someone like me?

I've done a lot of research and I was thinking about:
  • buy a decent pour over cup like a Bee House Dripper
  • buy coffee from my local roaster that has been roasted between 2 days and 2 weeks
  • grind the coffee at the roaster (I do not think I can realistically grind at work ever day due to the noise)
  • try pour over coffee at work

Does this seem like a good intro?  What kind of coffee bean/roast/blend should I start with?  Should I be using cream?  1/2 and 1/2?  Sugar in the Raw?  Splenda?

Thanks for any advice - I am excited to start this journey.

PS: If it helps here is my local roaster's list of coffee that I can get: http://www.blanchardscoffee.com/buy-coffee.html
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 8:02am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

Since you like Chemex, you can buy a Chemex or similar (Hario, or Kalitta etc), heck you even have the Aeropress which is cheap but makes an incredible cup of coffee and there's a huge thread on here with tips and tricks. Get a grinder, coffee must be ground right before use or it goes stale fast, a Baratza Encore is only like 120 or so and best in that class/price range for an electric grinder. Get a digital scale that measures to .1g so you can weigh your dose vs trying to guess with tablespoons and scoops (which are far inaccurate lol, been there done that). Then fresh beans, you already have your roaster by you, and tons upon tons online, can just google or yelp for coffee roasters and you'll find a bunch everywhere maybe others even around you that you didn't know of. Like one of my faves is Fair Mountain

There ya go ;)

My wife was a "Charbucks" fanatic, drinking 1-2 drinks a day. Not now, she won't even step foot in one now, it taste like swill, if we're traveling I google/yelp for roasters/real shops near where we are lol

edit - forgot, if this is at work and an electric grinder won't work, get a Hario Slim or Skerton hand grinder, cheap, and effective for fresh grinding. I have a Slim for traveling and coarse grinding. If your doing this at work, an Aeropress is pry your best bet, Aeropress + Slim/Skerton hand grinder + fresh beans = killer coffee that will blow away whatever is at work.... might make co-workers jealous ha. What are you going to do about water though? There are electric kettles to boil water. Or I guess if you have a microwave, you could boiler water in something to pour?
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 196
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka, Bodum...
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 8:45am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

Mashugana Said:

tldr: what advice would you give to a coffee newbie with a Honey Bee pour over mug and a local company that roasts their beans here in town?

Long version:

I have been a coffee drinking for 20+ years but I just had my first cup of really, really good coffee and I want more.  A local company roasts beans here in town. I drank fresh roasted and fresh ground coffee made through a Chemex.  Angels sang.

I now realize that I been adding cream, Splenda and flavors to bad coffee to make it drinkable.  Help me.  Please.

Right now I drink coffee lots of different ways, all of which now taste like crud after my Chemex coffee: Starbucks with 1/2 and 1/2 and Splenda, Keurig coffee at work, drip brewed Starbucks Pike Place at home.  Yuck.

I have always been a heavy cream and sugar coffee drinker but now I think everything is out the window - with good coffee do I still want cream?  Sugar?  What is a good basic cup to start with for someone like me?

I've done a lot of research and I was thinking about:
buy a decent pour over cup like a Bee House Dripper
buy coffee from my local roaster that has been roasted between 2 days and 2 weeks
grind the coffee at the roaster (I do not think I can realistically grind at work ever day due to the noise)
try pour over coffee at work

Does this seem like a good intro?  What kind of coffee bean/roast/blend should I start with?  Should I be using cream?  1/2 and 1/2?  Sugar in the Raw?  Splenda?

Thanks for any advice - I am excited to start this journey.

PS: If it helps here is my local roaster's list of coffee that I can get: http://www.blanchardscoffee.com/buy-coffee.html

Posted June 10, 2014 link

Hi there Mashugana.

Itís great when that coffee A-HA moment happens, isnít it? Youíre there, the stars have aligned and then you take a sip. Your taste buds do cartwheels, your neurons explode, and adrenaline courses through your veins. The proverbial light bulb goes off Ė ďThis is the magic elixir that has eluded me, until now!Ē

Weíve all had this breakthrough moment along our coffee journey. Thatís why our co-workers marvel at our methodical, morning coffee/prep routine, and the ďamazingĒ aromas emanating from our cubicles. Thatís why our friends, relatives and distant cousins are treated to better coffee in our homes, than at ubiquitous, corporate chains on every corner. Thatís why weíre Cofeegeeks!

Anyway, now that youíre looking to step-up your game, the easiest path for you is a hand grinder + French press, Aeropress, or pour over cone, as you have suggested.

Espresso is a completely different ballgame, and requires more moolah and dedication. It doesn't sound like you're looking to go this route right now.

I have an inexpensive Hario Slim hand grinder at work paired with a classic Bodum Chambord presspot. Although, there are better presspot designs out there, such as the Espro Press which results in a cleaner cup with less sediment.

Other people swear by their Aeropress, although I donít personally have one. If youíre a fan of a more concentrated cup, a Moka pot is another method you could try. Itís a very forgiving method of brewing and easy to do.

So I would start by asking yourself what kind of coffee you like to drink, how much youíre willing to invest, and how far down the rabbit hole youíre prepared to go? In my experience, the rabbit hole is bottomless. But in a good way Ė not like those bottomless cups of dreadful, stale coffee that is more akin to dirty sock juice.

Enjoy the ride!
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Mashugana
Junior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Virginia, USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 9:16am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

Thank you!  I think to dip my toe in I'll start with the pour over method.  It's just a $20 investment :)

I'll live with grinding my beans all at once for now.  I know grinding for each cup is better but hopefully just the pour over method with freshly roasted coffee will be a much better cup all by itself.  I can move to a grinder later.

I also think I'll go with a medium roast coffee and keep my cream and sugar to see how that goes.  I am used to coffee tasting 'burnt' and I compensate with cream, so I am shy about getting a dark roast.  Maybe I'll like the medium roast as is and minimize or eliminate cream and sugar as I go.

I'll get the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from my local roaster today, grind it medium, and try it with a pour over.  Then cream and sugar.

Thanks again for the advice - I'm really looking forward to this.  I quit drinking and can't go crazy trying different wines anymore.  This will be my new obsession.

Thanks again!
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 196
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka, Bodum...
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 9:26am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

Mashugana Said:

I'll live with grinding my beans all at once for now.  I know grinding for each cup is better but hopefully just the pour over method with freshly roasted coffee will be a much better cup all by itself.  I can move to a grinder later.

Posted June 10, 2014 link

Hi again. It might not seem like a big deal, but you'll miss out on a lot of flavour by pre-grinding your beans. It might taste ok the first day, but after that you'll notice a huge drop-off. As a general rule, ground coffee starts to go stale very quickly(in 15 minutes!!!). Whole beans really start to deteriorate in about 15 days.  

You can get an inexpensive hand grinder for under $40.00, and you can grind fresh for each cup. It will make a world of difference!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 9:37am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

Mashugana Said:

Thank you!  I think to dip my toe in I'll start with the pour over method.  It's just a $20 investment :)

I'll live with grinding my beans all at once for now.  I know grinding for each cup is better but hopefully just the pour over method with freshly roasted coffee will be a much better cup all by itself.  I can move to a grinder later.

I also think I'll go with a medium roast coffee and keep my cream and sugar to see how that goes.  I am used to coffee tasting 'burnt' and I compensate with cream, so I am shy about getting a dark roast.  Maybe I'll like the medium roast as is and minimize or eliminate cream and sugar as I go.

I'll get the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from my local roaster today, grind it medium, and try it with a pour over.  Then cream and sugar.

Thanks again for the advice - I'm really looking forward to this.  I quit drinking and can't go crazy trying different wines anymore.  This will be my new obsession.

Thanks again!

Posted June 10, 2014 link

coffee stales in about 15 min, so your fresh roasted coffee you want.... will end up tasting nothing like at their shop especially after a day, be kinda a waste of coffee and $ ;)

What are you doing for water at the office though? You need to boil water. An Aeropress + Hario hand grinder + bag of beans from your roaster and your set
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,066
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 9:37am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

Hi again. It might not seem like a big deal, but you'll miss out on a lot of flavour by pre-grinding your beans. It might taste ok the first day, but after that you'll notice a huge drop-off. As a general rule, ground coffee starts to go stale very quickly(in 15 minutes!!!). Whole beans really start to deteriorate in about 15 days.  

You can get an inexpensive hand grinder for under $40.00, and you can grind fresh for each cup. It will make a world of difference!

Posted June 10, 2014 link

+1

you're shooting yourself in the foot by pre-grinding.  

If you state your budget, we can better help you find the right gear for you. Hand grinders vary in price, size and quality, as do presspots and other equipment.  Using a hand grinder can be very easy.  I typically use one at work, in fact just did so about 1/2 hour ago.  I'm done grinding just before my water is at the right temp for brewing, so it's not slowing me down one bit. It's quiet, and easily locked in a cabinet or drawer at my desk.

as for cream and sugar...good to have it close by, so you can use it if/when you want to, but deciding before you even try making your own coffee doesn't make any sense to me.  It's like adding salt to food before you even taste it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Mashugana
Junior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Virginia, USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:03am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

You guys are awesome.

Budget is my big issue.  I am a 45 year old father of two - money is pretty tight.  I cannot justify spending $100+ on gear just so daddy can have a better cup of coffee.  At least not right now.

That is why I was psyched to find the ceramic pour over method.  For just $20 I can get better coffee than my Keurig or my cheap drip coffee maker at home.  Dropping an additional $40 on a grinder is really hard right now.

I actually have an old Hamilton Beech blade electric grinder - would that work?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,066
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:29am
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

It's better than nothing...certainly in my opinion better than pre-ground.  I got a great idea from another member here a couple of years ago...set a tip jar near your gear and throw in loose change whenever you make coffee.  Eventually, you have some money to buy better equipment.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,740
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Jun 10, 2014, 12:55pm
Subject: Re: New to good coffee - overwhelmed - where the heck do I start?
 

I agree, fresh but poorly ground beats out pre but properly ground esp in a pour over type maker.
Heck a Melita plastic cone in the supermarket makes a pretty good cup, no need for expensive gear.
The grinder is mandatory though. Think of (here we go again guys LOL) coffee like fruit. An apple that is nice and fresh, when you cut it open, it is clean and white inside right? What happens when you cut it open and leave it sit for 15 minutes? It starts to turn brown right? Coffee does the same thing but the particles are much smaller so you have much more exposure to the air AND because it is brown, you do not see it!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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