dsal89 Senior Member Joined: 26 Feb 2013 Posts: 1 Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:49am Subject: Hello, just signed up
Hey everyone! I apologize for being such a noob and coming here to ask questions but I hope to become more knowledgeable about coffee and hopefully come away with some good advice!
I am a big craft beer guy. I love it, I do reviews and write a blog for reviews and things like that. I've always loved coffee forward beers. Not my favorite but I do enjoy them. Ive only ever had what i think is "good" coffee once and that was in Chicago at Intelligentsia. Im not sure if they are considered a good coffee place but i really enjoyed the coffee I got there and that says a lot since I have never had a cup of coffee I actually enjoyed.
My question is, i would like to make myself coffee at home but I am on a tight budget and I go to school as well as working (limited) part time, especially during the winter. What kind of french press would you recommend? How about a grinder? Ive searched for grinders a bit and they are fairly expensive. I saw a neat little thing on etsy for a little hand grinder and french press but it was somewhat inexpensive and I didn't want to purchase it if it wasn't a good product.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,167 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 1:35pm Subject: Re: Hello, just signed up
Welcome to CG!
I'm a home brewer, as are several other members here, so you're not alone :) I've got a recent supply of bottled Bavarian Hefe-Weizen in my beer fridge, in fact (and boy did it come out great).
For press pot, I've grown to love the Espro press, though it's on the expensive side at $70 for the single serve model and $100 for the "full pot" version. It has a great double filter design that puts your regular old FP to shame. You could also pick up an Aeropress, which makes a great cup as well (though different in that it's more of a concentrate you end up diluting), for $25. Couple either of those with a hand grinder like the Hario Skerton, about $40-50 (with a bearing mod from orphanespresso for another $15) or the OE Lido for $165 before shipping.
So, out of that little rant of options...the cheapest combo would be the Hario grinder and the Aeropress (which are both great for travel too).
Oh, and yeah, most people here consider Intelligentsia to be a good cafe.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
cerridwyn Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2010 Posts: 511 Location: Inland Empire California Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 6:42pm Subject: Re: Hello, just signed up
Before you buy an aeropress see if you can find someone to make you a cup in one. A place in so cal did a great demo last year using the same beans and bean/water ratio of all sorts of ways to hand brew and personally, the Aeropress was at the bottom of my list. (No offense to you that like it.)
After tasting coffee that day made in a siphon, 3 different pour over set ups, aeropress, a class french press and darn if I forget what else, I prefer either a paper filter pour over or the classic french press (I have also recently had it in another full immersion pot, I forget the name.) I like the french press when I want something I can easily travel with (I have a bodum travel press mug) or when I want a hearty cup of coffee. I prefer pour over when I want a cleaner cup.
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 7:50pm Subject: Re: Hello, just signed up
I've only ever had what i think is "good" coffee once and that was in Chicago at Intelligentsia. I'm not sure if they are considered a good coffee place but i really enjoyed the coffee I got there and that says a lot since I have never had a cup of coffee I actually enjoyed.
You're describing me perfectly. I've always wanted to like Coffee, but never really did.
I had a Latte at Intelligensia and it was the first time I didn't have to 'add something' to a coffee drink. This started me down my coffee focused path.
I had been a standard press guy, but I tried using an AeroPress, and I've not used my standard press since. I love that concentrated coffee flavor! It's a cheap investment and it's a very flexible coffee making tool that I can't recommend enough.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,864 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 Wed Feb 27, 2013, 6:57am Subject: Re: Hello, just signed up
Welcome to the board. I just posted this to another thread for another member just starting out and it applies here just as much as there. I do not like French press coffee, I do not like the grounds in the coffee, I like a clean cup. If you don't mind grinds in your coffee, a French press is fine. Aero press or well made drip coffee can be very nice too.
The clock starts running on the beans THE DAY THE BEANS WERE ROASTED when you open the bag is moot. (edit, you have two weeks until the beans are stale for espresso, slightly longer for brewed coffee) Fresh coffee is the key, then properly grinding the coffee is just as important. The brewer is much further down the scale, you can make great coffee using the "cowboy" method of a pot over a campfire and loose grounds in the water.
Buy FRESH coffee, get a grinder that does the job properly, the least I would advise is the Solis 166 or the Encore Click Here (www.baratza.com)
Then you need proper water temp, 195 to 205 F. This is just off a boil from a water kettle, pan, pot etc. A manual drip cone will work just fine, you can buy them for under $20 in the supermarket or you can buy nicer ones made of glass, your choice.
Great coffee is well within your budget but you need the proper sequence of items. 1 Fresh coffee 1.5 Properly ground coffee 2 Proper temp of water 3 Some way to hold the beans while the water brews them.
Please note, the above is for BREWED coffee, if you choose to get into espresso and espresso based drinks, the quality of the grinder needs to go WAY up and those grinders will NOT do the job.
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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