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kevbo's avatar

Coffee, people. How do you prefer to grind and brew?

Asked by kevbo (25621points) February 11th, 2010

Do you get particular about how you make coffee or are you happy not putting much thought into it? Have you invested in a kick ass grinder or coffee maker and has it paid dividends?

I have stovetop espresso maker, a run of the mill grinder and a couple of middling drip machines. I’d like to just find something that works great every time without too much hassle or cost, but I’d be willing to negotiate on the hassle factor and ask for something fancy for Christmas or a birthday.

Please note that I’m only interested in the grinding and brewing—not in the milk, foam, cinnamon, or whip.

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25 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Or as we say in English “How do you…?”

Haleth's avatar

Awesome question! You can get so much enjoyment out of coffee if you prepare it well. I manage a small store that serves locally-roasted coffee, so I’ve had a great chance to learn all about it.

If you’re making espresso, it will taste better if you grind the beans as you go instead of grinding it all at once and storing it. Espresso should be finely ground, because it takes longer for the hot water to filter through the grounds and the water absorbs more flavor. Fill the handle almost full and press the coffee down firmly. You should pull the shot for around 20 seconds, and it will come out with a nice caramel-colored foam on top called crema. This is the sign of a great shot- it will smell wonderfully appetizing. If you don’t pull the shot long enough, it will be weak and watery. Too long, and it will be too strong and burnt. If you’re going to mix the shot with water or milk, do it ASAP because the crema will start to dissipate and the shot won’t taste as good. Once you have everything, espresso is actually way faster than drip coffee.

I also like French Press coffee very much. Sumatra beans are very good. They should be ground finer than drip coffee but less fine than espresso. A french press takes a few minutes, but it turns out much stronger and more flavorful than drip.

Arisztid's avatar

Turkish grind, the filter packed, lots of creamer and syrup.

My wife’s brother who is a coffee hound took a swig of it, his eyes got big, and he said “THAT’S coffee.”

I drink it by the water glass full.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

You might check out today’s Woot! at Sellout Woot. Looks pretty hassle free and the little bit of research I did on this unit seems to say it makes a good pot ‘o joe.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Most of the time I drink tea, but when I am in the mood for coffee, I prefer (as @Haleth above mentioned) French Press is a pretty good way to brew!
The trick is consistency. Use freshly roasted beans (here in Atl. I have a roaster so I can get stuff that was roasted less then two days ago), get some good spring water (not tap), and follow the easy process. Timing is the key I think, to a perfect cup of coffee. Also I boil my milk before putting it in the coffee, it doesn’t bring the temp down, it also slightly changes the flavor of it (for the better.
As treat to myself, sometimes I go to gourmet coffee shop nearby and get a ‘clover’. If you get a chance to try it please do… It’s a totally different experience!

Vincentt's avatar

I’m not that picky, but I recently bought some coffee pads for the Senseo which (even though it sounds like blasfemy) supposedly is pretty good. Haven’t tried it yet, though, but at least it’s easy, which I like.

MissAusten's avatar

I get a lot of flack from family members because I’m so picky about coffee. I either buy Sumatra French Roast beans from a local coffee shop that roasts beans daily, or I buy Starbucks French Roast beans at the grocery store. I have a little grinder at home and grind the beans just before I brew them. My coffee pot is a cheap drip machine, but it works fine. I’ve had more expensive coffee makers but they died quickly. I use one tablespoon of coffee per cup of water.

I also have a French press, but haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. The coffee either comes out too strong or too weak. Part of the problem is that my grinder only grinds for a drip machine. One of these days I’m going to have the coffee shop grind some beans for me at the right setting for the press so I can brew that properly.

We do have a small espresso machine that I bring out for special occasions or guests. It works pretty well, but I don’t use it often because I don’t typically have espresso coffee around and would need to have the beans ground somewhere else. I do love my coffee, though!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

We have really great locally microroasted coffee which is far, far, better than Starbucks. I buy whole bean and grind myself, as I make each pot. I like a pretty full-bodied cup of coffee. I use a Krups 12 cup drip when I make coffee for several, or a press pot if it’s just for me. My grinder is a 20+ year old basic Krups grinder. It still works great. I measure out beans using a large tablespoon, and have a full filter for a full pot.

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ccrow's avatar

I have a run-of-the-mill drip coffeemaker. I grind the beans (currently using Colombian medium roast, but Sumatran is very nice!) in small amounts, & keep any leftover in a small tupperware-type container in the freezer. Oh, this type of grinder; the longer you run it, the finer the end result. My son has a French press, maybe I should see if I can borrow it to try it out.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

A good cup of coffee starts with high quality, fresh, whole beans. If you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter what kind of hardware you have.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Grind,but it still isn’t tasting very good lately.Maybe it needs chocolate cake :)

Cruiser's avatar

For the money this baby rocks. Got it 6 months ago and is by far the best machine I have ever owned. The swing out basket and fill feature means no more sliding the coffee maker out to fill er up. Makes a yummy cup of brew and even has a cup warmer on top. Came with a brass filter basket too!!

marinelife's avatar

I am on my second Krupps bean grinder. It is phenomenal. That German engineering that made good munitions is still at work.

My coffee maker is a middle of the road drip grinder.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I just use a simple grinder and do a coarse grind and use a Bodum press pot. Nothing too fancy, but I like the little bit of grit.

shadling21's avatar

Love this question.

I own a semi-automatic espresso machine and use it at least once a day for a cappuccino or latte of some sort. I frequently make drip coffee for the family, too. The grinder I use kind of sucks (it was actually recalled by Starbucks last summer) but it gets the job done.

French press – I own one, but often forget about it. Thanks for reminding me – I’ll probably use it tonight!

I worked for Starbucks for a couple of years, so I have about ten pounds of beans stored up. Once these supplies are done with, I’ll be venturing elsewhere to get better coffee. I’ll check with the local stores, first, but will also look at the links on this thread.

trailsillustrated's avatar

every maker I had broke after awhile so I finally invested in a la pavoni espresso machine- it’‘s an old fashioned piston press maker, you grind the coffee (with a burr grinder) just between espresso and turkish- it only works if it’s the consistency of flour, but it makes coffee just like a shop.

Trillian's avatar

I love my coffee. I love my Starbucks. I keep whole beans from Gevalia and Gloria Jeans. I like Costa Rican Peaberry from Gevelia, Colombian from Starbucks, and special dark chocolate and caramel nut from Gloria Jeans. I grind my beans one potful at a time, and every time I open a new bag of beans I want to jump in a feel the oil that coats the beans all over me.
Ok, maybe not, but the sight and smell of those lovely, oily beans is gratifying in a very unique way.
I like to mix the chocolate and caramel nut half and half. I can grind them fine enough for espresso, then make a cappuccino that is Drop-dead delicious! Or just a regular grind for a pot and mix with a creamer that I learned to love a couple months ago…
Why are you asking me this dammit? I didn’t make a pot this morning because I had decided to try to cut back.

gailcalled's avatar

I use my wonderful little Krups to grind flax seeds daily and brew tea from leaves.

Trillian's avatar

@gailcalled Oooooo, bad girl. I bought a Krups cappuccino machine many years ago despite the fact that I had been boycotting Krups forever, amen. I have to say that it had the best foam knob.

justn's avatar

I use this wonderful little invention called the AeroPress with a very fine, espresso like grind.

Its very similar to what you would get with a French Press as far as flavor, but instead of a full cup of coffee, you get an espresso like shot. If you want an americano, just add water. I love it because I can easily make a nice iced coffee using the concentrate the AeroPress produces.

I’ve used a regular old drip machine, a french press, and now the AeroPress. The AeroPress makes the best coffee I’ve had at home, hands down. Very rich, very flavorful.

It takes a little more effort than just your regular drip coffee maker, but not much more. I can make a delicious cup of coffee with it in around 7 minutes, and it is worth it every time.

liminal's avatar

I prefer a french press too. I scored a manual grinder at a local salvation army. I can decide the type of grind I want and have the beans ready by the time the water is ready.

Now I want some! @justn the aeropress looks interesting!

robmandu's avatar

I’m a heathen.

After acquiring, experimenting, and perfecting the user of a burr grinder, espresso machine, and various brands/blends/roasts of coffee, I’ve reverted back to pre-ground beans bought at the supermarket. Sometime’s Peet’s, sometimes Starbucks, sometimes Folgers.

I’m just as happy with the flavor and much happier about less prep & cleanup.

rottenit's avatar

I have a burr grinder that I make a “corse” grind, then that goes into a Kreiug filter and pod. Qucik, has alittle froth to it and really good body.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Haleth Excellent answer on the espresso prep. +GA

Get a good grinder that will grind the beans almost to dust for espresso. I buy the roasted beans and keep the bulk in the freezer, take out what I’m going to use the night before, grind, pack and press. The pulling time is critical like Haleth said. The price of the machine isn’t always proportional to the quality it makes. The little $400 machine I use in the cabin makes every bit as good an espresso as the $2500 machine in our home kitchen.

Poser's avatar

I recently reverted to drinking my coffee black. Amazed that I ever preferred it any other way. Sweeteners and cream just dilutes the flavor.

That said, I’m not terribly happy with my french press. It’s hard to clean and I haven’t been able to glean a cup that is any better than my simple drip machine.

I’d really like to get into roasting my own beans, but can’t bring myself to spend money on a dedicated roaster, and can’t find the proper air popcorn popper to get my feet wet.

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