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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,020
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 3:22pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

iirc, the Aeropress instructions say you can use the measuring component to heat water in the microwave.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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flygrl
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Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:04pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

I only travel domestic and the hotels we stay in rarely have a microwave so I definately want to get a kettle, I like my coffee hot :)  

I have looked at the thermometers and they all have the long steel pointy ends which I'm sure would not be TSA approved.  Anyone have trouble with taking one through airport security or found something else that would work?  

I posted a seperate question about using a milk frother that has a temperature control on it and I'm wondering if I could use it for water as well?

I'm also considering using a freshsaver vacuum sealer to measure out and package fresh ground coffee at home instead of carrying around a grinder.  Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again for all the wonderfull help!!
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barkingburro
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barkingburro
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Grinder: Baratza Preciso
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 1:45am
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

You don't need a thermometer if you simply count to 30 after the water stops boiling.  This assumes you use a container that won't melt or leach chemicals.  I would take along a glass or porcelain container to use in the microwave.

 
- Michael
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 7:05am
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

Ground coffee stales in about 15 minutes.
Think of an apple. When first cut open, the flesh is nice, clean and white. After about 15 minutes, there is a brown oxidized film that forms and the longer time you get from the time you cut it open the deeper this layer gets. Now cut that apple into hundreds of pieces, the volume of oxidized (spoiled) fruit to good fruit goes WAY up.

The same thing happens with coffee but because it is brown to start with, you do not see it. You can grind at home and take a bag of ground coffee with you but would you do the same thing to that apple you take for a snack on the flight?

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,020
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 Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

flygrl Said:

I have looked at the thermometers and they all have the long steel pointy ends which I'm sure would not be TSA approved.  Anyone have trouble with taking one through airport security or found something else that would work?

Posted February 13, 2013 link

I haven't tried taking one on a plane.  My travel coffee has been grind and brew, using whatever means available to heat the water.  I have brought a thermometer on trips that did not involve airplanes.  However, this gives me an idea (especially since I will be flying soon).  could one grind down the point of the thermometer to a blunt end, and if so, would TSA allow it on the plane?  They allow ball point pens and other blunt metal objects.

 
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flygrl
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Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

calblacksmith Said:

Ground coffee stales in about 15 minutes.
Think of an apple. When first cut open, the flesh is nice, clean and white. After about 15 minutes, there is a brown oxidized film that forms and the longer time you get from the time you cut it open the deeper this layer gets. Now cut that apple into hundreds of pieces, the volume of oxidized (spoiled) fruit to good fruit goes WAY up.

The same thing happens with coffee but because it is brown to start with, you do not see it. You can grind at home and take a bag of ground coffee with you but would you do the same thing to that apple you take for a snack on the flight?

Posted February 14, 2013 link

Hi, I was thinking about grinding them at home then vacuum sealing them right away with a foodsaver..do you think that would work?  The guy at the coffee shop said it would but you never know if they really know what they are talking about :)
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Lee_M
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Lee_M
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

barkingburro Said:

You don't need a thermometer if you simply count to 30 after the water stops boiling.  This assumes you use a container that won't melt or leach chemicals.  I would take along a glass or porcelain container to use in the microwave.

Posted February 14, 2013 link

The rate at which the water cools will depend on the amount of water boiled and the thermal properties of the container in which it was boiled. (And, of course, ambient temperature, but we'll assume that room temperature is constant.)

Given that you (OP) have stated your intention to use an electric kettle, I would suggest that you buy a thermometer even if you can't take it with you. Boil the amount of water that you will be brewing with, then use the thermometer and a stopwatch to time how long it takes for the water to drop to 200 degrees. Then keep track of this time and use it to brew at the right temperature when you don't have a thermometer with you.

Note that this method is altitude-dependent. If you end up in Denver, for example, you should probably use water immediately off the boil. If you're feeling ambitious, you can keep track of the rate at which your water cools, and then calculate how long to wait based on your altitude. For example, if you're at an altitude of 1,000 meters, water will boil at 206.2 degrees. If your water cools at 3 degrees every 10 seconds, then you should wait 20 seconds before brewing.
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jpender
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jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
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Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

I hadn't thought about the thermometer probe tip. Yes, I'd fully expect TSA to have a problem with that. Most of them are like ice picks, serious weapon potential.

One option is a probe that is just a naked thermocouple on the end of a flexible wire. A coffee retailer named Sweet Maria's sells one of these for about $30. It's intended for a wide temperature range so it isn't as precise and possibly not as accurate as some of those pointy probes. But you could test it against a more reliable thermometer (if you have one) or just by seeing if it reads at or very near 100C in boiling water at sea level.

You could just guess at the water temperature by counting. I know I'm terrible at this. Same as eyeballing coffee dose and water volume, or timing the length of the brew. You'll be more consistent if you can actually measure these things.

Here's that thermocouple probe thermometer:

Click Here (www.sweetmarias.com)


edit: If you're going to get a kettle and a thermometer maybe it's worth buying a temperature controlled kettle. Bonvita sells one for $90. You can read all about it here: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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DavidG
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DavidG
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: Central Ohio
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: cimbali M32 | pavoni pub1
Grinder: preciso | kyocera cm45 |...
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Roaster: wbp1 | wepp | bm/hg
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 2:19pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

flygrl Said:

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!! I bought the aeropress and I'm still trying to get the right water measurement to coffee grinds ratio for my tastes.   I haven't got my grinder or kettle yet, gotta wait for payday. I do have a question as to which grinder I should get.  I only make one to two cups of coffee a day at once.  So a small one would be fine.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you :)

Posted February 13, 2013 link

The aeropress can be a little tough at first (like learning to drive a manual transmission).  But, the flexibility and portability are worth it.  Brewmethods.com is a great website with lots of different aeropress recipes.

I am currently using:
preheat mug and AP with boiling water
13g coffee ground fine
dump preheat water
invert AP pulling the plunger out all the way but an 1/8"
add coffee
start clock
fill 1/2 way with water, quick stir, top with water
put on cap (I use a stainless steel disk filter)
at 1:00, invert over mug
at 2:00 start pressing to end at 2:15.

bodum travel kettle + kyocera CM-45 hand grinder

Cheers,
David
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barkingburro
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barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 184
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Need suggestions for a travel kit
 

flygrl Said:

Hi, I was thinking about grinding them at home then vacuum sealing them right away with a foodsaver..do you think that would work?  The guy at the coffee shop said it would but you never know if they really know what they are talking about :)

Posted February 14, 2013 link

Tina, I pregrind my coffee for work and then wrap it tightly in a ziplock sandwich bag.  Several hours later,, the coffee is so fresh that the grounds float above the water from all the out-gassing, until I knock them back down 30 secs. later.  Of course, this only holds true for beans that are within 2 weeks of their roast date, after which the flavor starts to drop off and the grounds no longer aggressively float when I add water.

It's likely that a vacuum sealed bag will do even better.

Gee, now I want to experiment with a vacuum sealer.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that I allow very little time to pass, once I break the seal on the bag.  Less than one minute until the grounds are added to water.  Any longer and I'm sure the results would be noticeable.

 
- Michael
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