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Coffee Talk (Page 8)
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subego  (op)
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Nov 8, 2022, 07:24 PM
 
Was in an emergency situation and got an actual cup of coffee from my roaster.

Tasted like water.
     
ghporter
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Nov 11, 2022, 11:35 AM
 
That's the opposite of what I would have expected. I've visited roasters who offered samples, and the samples were STOUT. Like "if you ain't a man yet, you will be now" strong. Others have at least been Starbucks-level strong; definitely brewed strong, but you can add cream, or water (or ice cubes), or whatever to cut the harshness.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 11, 2022, 03:46 PM
 
Yeah, same. I was expecting to get pretty severely shown-up.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 21, 2022, 03:29 PM
 
Haven’t wanted to deal with the hassle of going to the grocery store for awhile. I’d forgotten how much more I like coffee with actual cream.
     
ghporter
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Dec 21, 2022, 07:20 PM
 
Oh. Yeah.

Now keep in mind that there's "cream" and "heavy whipping cream." The former works great in coffee, as long as you still have more coffee than cream. Heavy whipping cream in coffee can be a different experience.

It tastes GOOD, don't get me wrong. But the difference between cream and heavy whipping cream is a LOT of fat. So using the same amount of heavy whipping cream that you would half-and-half or regular cream can have the same effect as doing a couple shots of extra virgin olive oil.

Let's call this a public service message, and not a "learn from my mistake" message, OK?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 22, 2022, 01:06 AM
 
Morons at Kroger never order enough, so just like now I’m usually “stuck” with the heavy.
     
ghporter
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Dec 23, 2022, 11:03 PM
 
You said "morons" and "Kroger" in the same clause of that sentence. Just sayin'.

I was shopping for coffee the other day, and was surprised that Community brand coffee (pretty decent mass-market stuff) on the shelf at the local grocery was actually less expensive than their store brand. Hmmmm. On a related subject, we just had a new Sprouts store open quite near my home, and I checked out their coffee offerings. They had some interesting stuff, but not anything at all exotic, and if I want to pay $36/pound for simply "interesting" coffee, I'll drive to one of the Whole Foods stores around here, and at least have a better selection.

Finally, I remember the (literally) original Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas. Oh my but this future is very much NOT what it should have been from the way Whole Foods started...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Dec 24, 2022, 07:36 AM
 
Around here, we have a chain called Fresh Thyme, and it roundly kicks Whole Foods’ ass, in both price and variety.

For instance, when Hatch chilies are in-season, the Fresh Thyme stores here get bulk shipments of them. I can go in and walk out with cases of fresh chilies. Then I drive my neighbors crazy with a day of roasting. Last year, I roasted over 60lbs of chilies. Good eats!
     
ghporter
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Dec 25, 2022, 01:48 PM
 
Way back in the early 1980s, Whole Foods was a small grocery store on North Lamar Ave. in Austin. It was staffed by enthusiastic young people who cared about helping the average person get real food without dealing with corporate profit and industrial farming.

Sadly, success changed WF into something else. Before Amazon bought the chain, it had already morphed into a combination boutique food store and super-granola “alternative foods, medicines and crystals” sort of thing.

Here’s a great article from Austin’s home-town newspaper, The Austin American-Statesman on how Whole Foods started, grew, and became what it is now.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 25, 2022, 03:21 PM
 
I really liked the boutique plus super-granola model when I lived a block away from one in the late-90s and early aughts.

The Amazon version is meh, but they did come through for me when I needed gluten-free vegan snacks.
     
ghporter
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Dec 25, 2022, 05:40 PM
 
The oddest thing about Whole Foods’ method of expansion, here in San Antonio, anyway, is that they have two stores here.

Just two. Their first is in an upscale (at least it used to be) shopping center that bills itself as “a premier lifestyle center.” They opened that store in the 1990s, and it’s still a fairly nice store. The second is on Loop 1604, what is now the “outer loop” freeway, and in the northern (read “ritzy-priced”) end of town. For reference, there is a megachurch called “Cornerstone” there, which is, as far as I can tell, visible from orbit. Just so you know the money/culture/social concepts in the area.

However, there are a WHOLE LOT of people around where I live who are willing to spend Whole Foods prices for Whole Foods products. And Whole Foods has let Sprouts take this market. Completely.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 25, 2022, 06:56 PM
 
The one I lived next to was in on the ground floor of the neighborhood gentrifying. It’s on the river, so it had historically been industrial. This tapered into residential right at the dividing line of a nice neighborhood and Cabrini-Green.

Other big retailers with them were Crate & Barrel, Best Buy, and Home Depot. The last one being a ginormous flagship store that was open 24-hours. As a teenager I knew that same stretch of road by its reputation as a place to pick up streetwalkers.

Among other changes since I’ve moved, Cabrini-Green is gone, the WF has left the strip mall for its own huge new building, and the gas station is… an Apple Store.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 25, 2022 at 07:11 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 7, 2023, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here’s something I don’t understand.

When I get a fresh ground bag, there are tan colored flecks in the mix.

Those are gone by the end of the bag.

What are they? Where do they go? Are they changing color, or do they just live at the top of the bag?
Finally put this together.

The lighter color flecks either pick up more static electricity from the grinder, or they’re lower in mass so they’re stickier with the same charge. A disproportionate amount gets deposited on top if you tap the grinder a the end.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 2, 2023, 01:15 PM
 
Had a godawful bag of Ethiopian. Sticking with Burundi for the moment.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 5, 2023, 02:45 PM
 
Still afraid of it. Kenya was the only other single origin African choice. Not bad.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 16, 2023, 01:54 PM
 
I’m pushing the bounds of quality by drinking leftover coffee from yesterday made from a bag ground two weeks ago.

I’ve had worse.
     
ghporter
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Nov 16, 2023, 09:54 PM
 
Trust me, there IS worse.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 3, 2023, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Had a pour-over cup of natural process Yirgacheffe
My place finally got some natural Yirgacheffe. In season too. Good stuff!
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 3, 2023, 02:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Trust me, there IS worse.
Ages ago (last century) during a short period where I was drinking coffee, a production assistant got us… something from a gas station. That was the worst I’ve experienced.

We’re in downtown Chicago. You can’t find a Starbucks FFS?
     
Brien
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Dec 4, 2023, 12:47 AM
 
Intelligentsia is good for Chicagoland.
     
Laminar
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Dec 4, 2023, 09:13 AM
 
TIL about "Third-wave coffee."
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 4, 2023, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
Intelligentsia is good for Chicagoland.
That’s my usual. I’m lucky enough to live two blocks from one.
     
ghporter
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Dec 4, 2023, 08:15 PM
 
“Gas station coffee” is anything from “hey, that’s pretty good” to “how do they call this ‘coffee’”? And the difference could be as simple as whether or not the staff actually cleans stuff. I know, “ewwwww”.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 5, 2023, 12:29 PM
 
In NE, Cumberland Farms has Green Mountain Roasters, which is good coffee, AFAIR. So not all gas stations.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 8, 2023, 06:48 PM
 
White Hen Pantry coffee wasn’t awful.
     
Laminar
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Jan 12, 2024, 10:01 AM
 
Got the wife a Kalita Wave 155 for pour-overs. She noticed right away that the paper filter (vs just the stainless mesh we were using before) changes the flavor of the coffee. We're going to do a blind test this weekend and see if she actually prefers one over the other. Also got a stainless gooseneck kettle for doing the pours, and the dumb plastic liquid measuring cup I was previously using was horrible for getting consistent flow.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 12, 2024, 01:20 PM
 
Theoretically, even if the paper isn’t imparting taste on its own, the same grind will taste different because the porosity has changed.
     
ghporter
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Jan 14, 2024, 09:07 PM
 
I understand that point, subego, but I have to stress the theoretical part of it. It’s like people who argue about how much “warmer” their vinyl sounds than any digital media, but they’ve had their amps turned up to 11 for so long that they can’t hear normal conversations…

I use grocery store brand basket filters, bought in quantity, so their contribution to the taste of my coffee is at least consistent. When I do pour-over, I use Melita unbleached cone filters. I cannot taste any difference between a cup made with the drip coffee maker or made with pour-over.

One thing I recently did notice is how important it is to remove as much air as possible from a container of ground coffee when putting it away. Gevalia’s retail packaging even tells you to do this, but I’d sort of quit for probably no reason. The other day I went from finishing a package that I hadn’t done much to burp air out of to opening a fresh package. There was a marked difference in taste and aroma. So now my open package on the shelf looks all shriveled up, but it tastes much better.

Which gets me to how a person figures out how many beans to grind for a specific number of cups. The engineer in me looks at the beans and looks at ground coffee and sees the volume differences, but different roasts and different grinds can come out with wildly different volumes. I have never found instructions on this, though it’s easy to find instructional videos made by some smug guy about exactly the temperature the water needs to be to brew this or that particularly (more expensive than gold) special roast.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 14, 2024, 09:26 PM
 
For me, a ¼-cup of beans is 17 oz of drip.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 14, 2024, 09:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
One thing I recently did notice is how important it is to remove as much air as possible from a container of ground coffee when putting it away.
This is done automatically by any pothead.
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 14, 2024, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I understand that point, subego, but I have to stress the theoretical part of it. It’s like people who argue about how much “warmer” their vinyl sounds than any digital media, but they’ve had their amps turned up to 11 for so long that they can’t hear normal conversations…

I use grocery store brand basket filters, bought in quantity, so their contribution to the taste of my coffee is at least consistent. When I do pour-over, I use Melita unbleached cone filters. I cannot taste any difference between a cup made with the drip coffee maker or made with pour-over.

One thing I recently did notice is how important it is to remove as much air as possible from a container of ground coffee when putting it away. Gevalia’s retail packaging even tells you to do this, but I’d sort of quit for probably no reason. The other day I went from finishing a package that I hadn’t done much to burp air out of to opening a fresh package. There was a marked difference in taste and aroma. So now my open package on the shelf looks all shriveled up, but it tastes much better.

Which gets me to how a person figures out how many beans to grind for a specific number of cups. The engineer in me looks at the beans and looks at ground coffee and sees the volume differences, but different roasts and different grinds can come out with wildly different volumes. I have never found instructions on this, though it’s easy to find instructional videos made by some smug guy about exactly the temperature the water needs to be to brew this or that particularly (more expensive than gold) special roast.
I worked for Bunn a few years ago, and learned a ton. Brewer doesn't really matter, filters don't matter, but yes, air is the biggest way to make coffee lose everything, which is why the most important upgrade you can do is to get a grinder. Blade grinders kind of suck, so you'll want a burr grinder for even grind/adjustability. I have a cheap $15 brewer and an expensive grinder, I have a Bodum Bistro, but this version: https://amzn.to/3SkZCh7



You can get cheaper versions but the ground coffee container will be plastic, which is staticy and annoying with the grinds. This version is slightly better and has a glass container, just nicer.

Here's some of the bunn stuff I designed:


     
Brien
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Jan 15, 2024, 12:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I understand that point, subego, but I have to stress the theoretical part of it. It’s like people who argue about how much “warmer” their vinyl sounds than any digital media, but they’ve had their amps turned up to 11 for so long that they can’t hear normal conversations…

I use grocery store brand basket filters, bought in quantity, so their contribution to the taste of my coffee is at least consistent. When I do pour-over, I use Melita unbleached cone filters. I cannot taste any difference between a cup made with the drip coffee maker or made with pour-over.

One thing I recently did notice is how important it is to remove as much air as possible from a container of ground coffee when putting it away. Gevalia’s retail packaging even tells you to do this, but I’d sort of quit for probably no reason. The other day I went from finishing a package that I hadn’t done much to burp air out of to opening a fresh package. There was a marked difference in taste and aroma. So now my open package on the shelf looks all shriveled up, but it tastes much better.

Which gets me to how a person figures out how many beans to grind for a specific number of cups. The engineer in me looks at the beans and looks at ground coffee and sees the volume differences, but different roasts and different grinds can come out with wildly different volumes. I have never found instructions on this, though it’s easy to find instructional videos made by some smug guy about exactly the temperature the water needs to be to brew this or that particularly (more expensive than gold) special roast.
Grinding fresh is even better as Rob says.

Buy a good scale. They make coffee-specific ones, but really any scientific or kitchen scale that can do grams will do.

Go to grams and ratios, volume becomes an output. 1:15 or so is a good starting point, 1:20 if you like weaker drip.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 15, 2024, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
scale that can do grams
This is done automatically by any pothead.
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 15, 2024, 01:40 PM
 
lmfao
     
ghporter
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Jan 15, 2024, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
I worked for Bunn a few years ago, and learned a ton. Brewer doesn't really matter, filters don't matter, but yes, air is the biggest way to make coffee lose everything, which is why the most important upgrade you can do is to get a grinder. Blade grinders kind of suck, so you'll want a burr grinder for even grind/adjustability. I have a cheap $15 brewer and an expensive grinder, I have a Bodum Bistro, but this version: https://amzn.to/3SkZCh7



You can get cheaper versions but the ground coffee container will be plastic, which is staticy and annoying with the grinds. This version is slightly better and has a glass container, just nicer.

Here's some of the bunn stuff I designed:


First, am I correct that the whole beans don’t deteriorate in air? If so, it makes things make more sense. Also the plastic versus glass part…

Somehow your design made the plain old Bunn carafe look cool. Nice.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Brien
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Jan 16, 2024, 12:55 AM
 
They do, but much slower than ground ; something something surface area.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 16, 2024, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
I worked for Bunn a few years ago
How long ago? I wanted a Bunn when I replaced my Mr. Coffee, but could only find the huge ones.
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 16, 2024, 04:07 PM
 
Woof, while ago now. Probably 2015.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 16, 2024, 04:43 PM
 
It was definitely available when I was looking then. Bummer I didn’t find it at the time. I’ll look into it when my Ninja dies.
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 16, 2024, 06:41 PM
 
It was a cool project, instead of designing a brewer for them, we designed a Visual Brand Language they could use to redesign their entire line. Large radii on vertical edges, wrapped bands of contrasting material, pill shape on the handle, blue displays instead of amber or red, and lots of other stuff I don't remember right now. All their stuff went from looking 1980s to this:





I have helped steer the corporate ship and made other companies millions and millions of dollars, yet I was paid shit. The higher you climb, the less you do. Corporate America is fucking retarded.
     
Laminar
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Jan 17, 2024, 11:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
Grinding fresh is even better as Rob says.

Buy a good scale. They make coffee-specific ones, but really any scientific or kitchen scale that can do grams will do.

Go to grams and ratios, volume becomes an output. 1:15 or so is a good starting point, 1:20 if you like weaker drip.
With the new pour-over setup I'm actually weighing out grounds and water, going for 1:17. We did a blind taste test this weekend, one cup brewed the old way (dump some grounds into the stainless mesh, use a plastic measuring cup to gloop in some water vs. paper filter, measured grams of grounds, measured grams of water, gooseneck kettle). Wife instantly called which cup was which, but wouldn't commit to which one actually tasted better. The old way is what she's used to so it's familiar, like how I assume people love Folgers drip. It's not objectively a good cup of coffee, but it's familiar and comfortable.
     
Laminar
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Jan 17, 2024, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
I have helped steer the corporate ship and made other companies millions and millions of dollars, yet I was paid shit. The higher you climb, the less you do. Corporate America is fucking retarded.
The higher you go, the more long-term impact you have. The flip side of that is the longer-term your impact, the harder it is to measure your impact and prove that you made the right decision, especially when you're setting strategy for 5 or 10 years into the future. While an individual contributor can point to a single project or product and say, "I did that, here's the data on why it was great," a VP or CEO is building a team or focusing R&D on an area or choosing to exit a sector, and only time will tell if that was the right choice. Add unexpected market fluctuations or political changes or anything else and it's hard to say, "I get the credit" or, "that's my fault" with any real certainty. So at that level it's all influence and politics - who's the most convincing, or has the most leverage, or can make the best argument.
     
Laminar
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Jan 17, 2024, 03:30 PM
 
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 17, 2024, 03:36 PM
 
I get it. I've worked with large corporations that were struggling and their competition was handing them their asses. When I can get the executives to listen, and believe in the research, I can help analyze the competition, find voids, learn about the company, and how to communicate to customers the ideals of that company through form/design. In the trenches, yet having a massive affect on leadership. Literally helped steering corporate ships from bankruptcy to profitability. But I was paid shit.
     
Laminar
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Feb 28, 2024, 03:46 PM
 
     
Brien
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Feb 28, 2024, 06:27 PM
 
Don’t expect greatness.
     
Laminar
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Feb 29, 2024, 10:00 AM
 
Luckily I don't like coffee so I can't tell if it's any good or not. I moved office locations at work and now I'm far from the coffee machine, so I got this to make the new space more homely.
     
reader50
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Feb 29, 2024, 01:57 PM
 
So it's a working prop to attract visitors? Interesting technique.
     
Laminar
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Feb 29, 2024, 02:58 PM
 
100%. I'm getting visitors from the old space coming for lattes. Also LaCroix in the fridge.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 1, 2024, 07:14 AM
 
Espresso machines are criminally overpriced, and listening to coffee-hounds go on about the subtleties their four-figure home machine brings-out in their espresso is about like listening to audiophiles wax eloquently about the superior sound-staging their $2000 oxygen-free, 0000-gauge, solid copper speaker cables bring-out in the music.
     
 
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