Author Topic: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?  (Read 2667 times)

englishteacheralex

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Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« on: August 10, 2017, 12:23:15 AM »
My husband is away for the week so I only have to brew coffee for myself. A couple of days ago I broke out the 3 cup Bodum french press we got as a wedding present years ago, and I started experimenting with it. Whoa. That's...really way yummier coffee.

Come to find out, coffee is this huge obsession for people. There are like 18 million coffee rabbit holes on the internet.

I always considered myself a coffee epicure, because I shunned the Folger's I was raised on in favor of Lion Coffee (a Hawaii brand that I like a lot--it's not Kona coffee or anything; I really have no idea where it comes from) on sale at Long's. My mom scorns such extravagance, but if you wait for the sales you can get a 10 oz. bag for $3.99; pretty good deal!

Well I went down some of these coffee wormholes in pursuit of cheaper ways to get better coffee than our Black n' Decker drip percolator. Turns out people spend insane amounts of money and mental energy on coffee! I started salivating at something called a Technivorm Moccamaster. Started wanting an electric burr grinder. A finely calibrated kitchen scale. Specialty beans ordered online that I could roast myself.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa I'm not some crazy hipster with money to burn, I'm a middle-aged mustachian mother of two kids under three.

I bought an electric kettle on Amazon for $20 last night (not one of those fancy goose-necked ones) because there's no way I'm going back to my drip coffee pot. Couldn't find a kettle on craigslist for less than $10, and I wanted something that would heat the water up to the right temp, because apparently it matters.

Anyhow, where's the intersection between being frugal and still having good coffee? What are the bare necessities for a decent cup of joe in the morning? Cuz I know a $400 one-function appliance ain't on the list. I'm looking at you, Moccamaster.
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COEE

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 01:01:22 AM »
Um... for us a $12 french press was a huge improvement.  I also use good quality coffee in the spendy pants bags.  It's still much cheaper and faster than Starbucks every morning.  I have to have my morning coffee.

I bought a few ounces of the palm civet coffee once... it was good... shared it with friends at work that wanted to try it as well.  It changed flavors on my palate which no other coffee has ever done for me before.  I'll probably never drink it again - or perhaps for a really special occasion.






englishteacheralex

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 08:01:30 AM »
Right? Even just a cheap French press improves the coffee game substantially. You read these coffee threads on Reddit and start believing that you need crazy expensive beans and all manner of gear, but maybe just a french press and an electric kettle are good enough.

I AM seriously contemplating an Aeropress now. Seems mustachian enough. They're like $35 and I usually get an amazon gift card from my MIL for my birthday and/or Christmas.

Might get a giant french press instead, though, because that way I can make coffee for my husband and me both at once (making the morning coffee for my husband is one of my marital duties.)
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memorytoast

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 08:29:54 AM »
This made me smile. Who knew coffee had its own branch of lifestyle creep?

I grew up in a family of coffee drinkers, but of the instant coffee variety - so when I tasted brewed coffee for the first time I was like "Whoa!"

We just moved to the same building as my father-in-law and he bought us a fancy-schmancy drip coffee machine as a present. My husband and I have been enjoying it, but I think I better not drink too many cups, or I won't be able to go back to instant - which is still cheaper and faster.

If you do anything for long enough the novelty wears off and you get used to it - better to keep your everyday coffee to a simpler variety and have the higher quality as an extra special treat on occasion, IMO.   

MBot

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 08:40:50 AM »
I think you can start with a $10 used grinder and some whole beans and get a totally different coffee experience.

When it comes to actually brewing the coffee, you can get small adjustments in quality by method, eg. it can be fun to try
- drip coffee maker
- a French Press
- a manual pourover w/a gooseneck kettle.
- Aeropress

But don't go down that rabbit hole yet. The cheapest "better" coffee you'll get is by grinding it yourself. Any beans - ANY beans - will be better if freshly ground.

Start with $10, find a used propellor (blade) grinder at first to just give it a try. Not the best grinders but it will still be better than preground.

When it's time to upgrade, a burr grinder (not propellor) will not overheat the beans, nor will it give the uneven particles of a propellor grinder. Uf you upgrade, go for a good brand that's easily fixed and cleaned. After trying cheaper ones that broke or didn't work, the Baratza Encore is about $100 and has good reviews, I've used mine for years now.

As far as brewing methods, I don't love my Aeropress or French press.

Thought I would really enjoy the Aeropress. But I really enjoy the single-cup manual pourover. I did get the gooseneck kettle for a birthday present.

When I go away though, I bring just the pourover part and filter. The water I brew in a regular kettle but pour the water out of something with more of a small spout (eg I found one large ceramic cream container from a "cream and sugar" set was already in a kitchen and had a good spout on it)

Lis

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 09:06:29 AM »
What am I doing wrong here? I don't taste any difference between my crappy machine and my French press. I use whatever grounds are on sale (I think I'm currently using McCafe? Haven't tried other grounds with my French press). What's the magic trick here? (I admit to adding milk and sugar, is that the kiss of death?)

englishteacheralex

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 09:14:07 AM »
It's just a lot stronger, and I love strong coffee. It's also smoother (that's a word that gets used a lot in coffee wormholes), which I found out is because it's not over-extracted and bitter. I put a little whole milk in my coffee, along with two teaspoons of sugar, so I "wreck" it, too. The french press coffee stands up to the milk/sugar.

It's not like I really know what I'm talking about. Coffee people sound a lot like wine people when they get going on this stuff. And I'm steadfastly a cheap wine person. But to me, the french press coffee is yummier and more flavorful than my kinda weak, bitter drip machine, and it's basically the same price.

I actually already have a hand-me-down cheap blade grinder. Coffee people shun the blade grinder with extreme hatred! But I think I'm gonna give it another chance. The burr grinders just seem like anti-mustachian nonsense.
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acroy

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 09:25:52 AM »
Nothing wrong with the blade grinder ;)

If you have a French press, try cold-brew. Grind, fill with room temp water, refrigerate overnight. Same beans = different taste. Cold brew minimizes bitterness in my experience, makes it smoother and darker.

It's fun to experiment a bit with different beans & methods :)
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COEE

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 11:01:05 AM »
I AM seriously contemplating an Aeropress now. Seems mustachian enough. They're like $35 and I usually get an amazon gift card from my MIL for my birthday and/or Christmas.

Meh - seems kind of gimickey to me... but hey different strokes - and it's not terribly expensive - but it's still $35 that is best served elsewhere, IMHO.

There's a cost vs reward curve.  Usually throwing money at something helps your happiness improve at first.  Then as you throw more (exponential money) at a problem you only get small percentages of increased happiness.  This graph shows the concept well. 

Example:  You already have a ~$15 french press and you are making wonderful coffee each morning.  Perhaps you are 100% happier over the drip coffee because the flavor is much better.  But if you buy and use this aeromatic thing, then you have to spend another $35 on it.  Say the coffee is only 50% better... You've spent $50 total to get 150% better coffee than you did before.  But you have to brew each cup individually then - so do you really get 50% better coffee?

Lis

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 11:13:13 AM »
It's just a lot stronger, and I love strong coffee. It's also smoother (that's a word that gets used a lot in coffee wormholes), which I found out is because it's not over-extracted and bitter. I put a little whole milk in my coffee, along with two teaspoons of sugar, so I "wreck" it, too. The french press coffee stands up to the milk/sugar.

It's not like I really know what I'm talking about. Coffee people sound a lot like wine people when they get going on this stuff. And I'm steadfastly a cheap wine person. But to me, the french press coffee is yummier and more flavorful than my kinda weak, bitter drip machine, and it's basically the same price.

I did sorta notice a smoothness to it but I honestly didn't notice it being stronger... maybe I need to add more grounds? But I'm also a cheap wine person (my favorite wine is $4 for a small bottle and $9 for a huge bottle), I guess I'm ok with being a cheap coffee person too.

If you have a French press, try cold-brew. Grind, fill with room temp water, refrigerate overnight. Same beans = different taste. Cold brew minimizes bitterness in my experience, makes it smoother and darker.

Ooh didn't even think of this... something good to try, especially on hot summer mornings!

Dicey

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 11:39:36 AM »
Lol, this week, I found a new-in-box 8 cup Bodum Shin Bistro Coffee Press. It was $6.99, which I thought was kind of high, but Amazon sez I dun good. I'm not a coffee drinker, so it's mostly for the regular guest who is. The directions state to use coarsely ground coffee. Maybe that's the magic trick you're seeking, Lis. I'm admittedly no expert, but someone here should know.

P.S. Re: Cold Brew. I have need to provide coffee for 100 six early mornings a year. I have two 1-gallon igloos. The day before, I fill them halfway with filtered cold water, drop in a paint strainer (cheap), then 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee. The day of, I transport them to the venue in the spill proof igloos, remove the grinds and pour the viscous coffee into two 32-cup coffee urns (with strainers in place). I then add water to taste and plug in the urns. In five minutes, I have good coffee (so I'm told) ready to go. If you are mathing along, i know that's only 64 cups of coffee (1 caf + 1 decaf). The third urn is for tea. Much easier.


What am I doing wrong here? I don't taste any difference between my crappy machine and my French press. I use whatever grounds are on sale (I think I'm currently using McCafe? Haven't tried other grounds with my French press). What's the magic trick here? (I admit to adding milk and sugar, is that the kiss of death?)
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mtn

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 11:57:07 AM »
I'll have more to write later, but you're probably not getting your coffee hot enough. The best, cheap way to do it IMHO is a pour-over.

Also, don't get dark roasted beans. No reason for it to be dark roasted unless the quality was poor.

Typically, beans are best between 3-12 days after being roasted--but don't be afraid to experiment. We had one that was just OK 5 days after roasting, but was just stellar about 4 weeks after (we found it on top of our fridge, forgotten we'd had it there).

Moccamaster is going to be good stuff. You definitely want a burr grinder, but the brand isn't as important as some would have you think--you're really buying longevity.

Other things: Starbucks coffee is literally hot garbage. They can't get quality coffee in the quantities that they need, so they get bad coffee beans, over-roast it all uniformly, etc. Any place that will sell you a 20oz macchiato is lying--a macchiato has a SMALL amount of milk with espresso. Getting it to 20oz is literally impossible.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 12:08:26 PM »
I used to work in a very upscale schmancy coffee shop and roastery and consider myself a semi-reformed coffee snob, so I feel like I'm very qualified to comment on this thread :) It sounds like you're on the right track--French presses are great and very user-friendly. They make stronger coffee than Aeropresses, but to be completely frank (lightning/my former manager may strike me in my chair for writing this) I don't taste a lot of difference between Aeropress, Chemex, and pour-overs. Also pro tip, if you don't want to buy a ceramic pour-over apparatus, you can just pull the filter basket out of your coffee machine and use that, as long as you have a way to get it balanced securely over your cup. It won't retain heat as well as ceramic, but as long as you drink it fast it's totally fine. I often do that if I'm traveling.

And yes, French presses call for a coarser grind than drip/pour-over/etc. The flavor is better and it's also more practical, since the coarser grind will keep you from get grinds in your cup.

I'll echo what others have said that the easiest way to get an upgrade in your flavor is to grind your own beans. I have a Kitchenaid blade grinder (KitchenAid BCG111OB Blade Coffee Grinder on Amazon) and that works totally fine for me. Burr grinders will give you a better taste, but if you're trying to come at this from a perspective of frugality, I don't think it's enough to justify the significantly higher price tag. Others may disagree.

In terms of what coffee to buy, Costco and Trader Joe's are both pretty solid on coffee as long as you have a grinder to handle whole beans. I prefer more medium-bodied flavor profiles, so my daily coffee is their Mt Elgin Costa Rican or Ugandan. I also like Trader Joe's breakfast blend and a friend swears by TJ's Ethiopian. Again, is this the most amazing coffee ever? Nope, and I've had Hacienda La Esmeralda (true coffee snobs will know what I'm talking about). But it's the best that I, personally, have found for a reasonable price point (aka, not the $16/lb Ethiopian Sidamo I used to buy with my employee discount) (or the $14/lb blend from my favorite local coffee shop) (or the $100+/lb La Esmeralda will run you).

sparkytheop

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 12:08:34 PM »
I've "upgraded" to roasting my own coffee on occasion.  I'm not fully there yet because I still have a bag of coffee beans from Costco to use up.

I use a Breville machine to make my coffee every day (usually a latte, not a cheap machine, but I use it daily).  It has a built in grinder.  We also have a French press (my son uses this more than I do), a pour-over cone (I think I paid $3 for it?), and I cold brew when I am in the mood for iced coffee.

Advantages for me... 

Cold brew is less bitter. 
French press provides great coffee.
Pour-over is less messy than French press, also provides great coffee.
Breville espresso maker makes great espresso and lattes (I bought it after five weeks in Europe, where they had great espresso, from the distant relatives we stayed with, to hotel breakfasts and restaurants.)

The advantage of the home roasted coffee is that I was able to cut the amount of sugar I add in half.  I like a dark roast, strong coffee, etc, but "need" sugar.  I'm still in the beginning stages, use a whirley-pop popcorn maker, and am figuring it out.  I got tips from my brother, who has been roasting his own coffee for years, first in the oven, and later investing in an expensive coffee roaster.  I can't quite roast mine as great as his, but I'm working on it!

PoutineLover

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 12:30:05 PM »
I make my coffee in a stovetop Bialetti moka pot, received as a gift but I don't think they are very expensive. Sometimes I buy whole beans and grind them in my cheap blade grinder, most of the time I buy Lavazza coffee already ground to save me the effort. I like strong coffee and this works great for me. I don't like drip coffee anymore, it tastes watered down in comparison.

FLBiker

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 01:43:43 PM »
I use a ceramic cone for pourover.  I didn't like the idea of pouring hot water in plastic.  It cost $13 on Amazon (although I did recently break it and replace it).  I've tried slightly fancier stuff, but I haven't been able to beat a simple pourover.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2017, 03:16:32 PM »
Had a cheap blade grinder - wasn't satisfied with the results (uneven sizes, slight burning of the beans on occassion).  Swapped it out for a manual burr grinder.  No electricity wasted, no more burning of the beans from friction, and very even grinds.

Had a french press - left it sitting on the counter while rough-housing and it was shattered on the floor.  Decided to settle on the Aeropress.  I was a bit leary about all the little filters, but not having sediment in my coffee while still having a mostly flavorful and complex cup of joe is great (I still feel my french press had something more to the flavor, but the aeropress cups of coffee are "cleaner"). 

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 05:57:31 PM »
Have a Cuisinart "burr" grinder that was $50. It's not as good as the high quality burr grinders (or the inexpensive Hario manual grinders!) but better than a blade grinder.

As for the Aeropress, the metal filters less more flavor into the coffee than paper. Give it a try next time you're due to replace paper ones?

I'll have to give the metal filter a try.

I do agree with the ease of cleanup - the first time I used it, I thought it was a bit onerous with all the components of the Aeropress laid out.  Now, I'm quite pleased with the very simple cleanup process.

----------

For the OP - an affordable digital scale is also useful for more than coffee.  With measurement critical recipes, I use the same scale to measure some ingredients as opposed to just "winging it" with a measuring cup (for example, I can easily weigh out 1.5oz of butter vs trying to estimate 3 Tbsp).  Also my wife is in the habit of using the scale and an app like "myfitnesspal" to count calories & nutrition.

YummyRaisins

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2017, 06:37:37 PM »
We bought a Capresso grinder years ago and it's served us pretty well. Gives an even grind without too much mud.

For brewing we alternate between a Bodum French press, cold brew in a jar using a coffee sock, and regular drip coffee.

As for beans, I'll go ahead and plug Cafe Solar. They promote sustainable coffee production in Honduras using renewable energy (e.g. solar and biofuel from coffee bean husks) and better farming practices. While this doesn't seem like a huge deal, I attended a seminar by two of their directors from UMass Lowell and was honestly shocked by how big the environmental impact of coffee production is. The deforestation is immense not only because of the land that is cleared to make room for coffee plantations (kinda figured this part), but because of the massive amounts of wood burned to dry the beans out so they don't rot during shipment. They provide resources to set up solar powered drying facilities and promote Integrated Open Canopy, a planting strategy aimed at curbing deforestation and canopy loss. Not the cheapest coffee option, but it helps me feel better about my rampant coffee consumption.

YummyRaisins

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2017, 07:52:52 PM »
Also FWIW, the Moccamaster is on sale on Starbucks' website.

Sale expired.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 07:55:30 AM by YummyRaisins »

FLBiker

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 05:22:29 AM »
I'll have to give the metal filter a try.

I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but I bought a stainless steel cone (for pourover) several months ago because "I'd never need paper again" and the thing wasn't very good.  Clogged in a couple of months.  So I'm back to ceramic.  The stainless steel one was Yitelle and the ceramic is Bonmac.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 09:19:25 AM »
I know coffee threads abound on the MMM forum, so I appreciate everybody taking a minute to chime in.

After my brief coffee snob mania, I think I've gotten my sanity back. Lots of great frugal suggestions here for upping my coffee game--I'm feeling less dorky about my blade grinder and am planning to give it a shot once all my preground stuff is used up.

The moccamaster is not happening, YummyRaisins! That is even more of an un-mustachian spendypants gewgaw than a Vitamix (where's SOL?) I mean, I know ATK loves it and everything, but just no.

Funny thing: I talked to my husband about my proposed switch to french press because it's going to entail a couple of minor amazon purchases and we keep each other apprised of every red cent we spend. He's on Guam right now (gulp) for work and he said his hotel actually has french press/electric kettle instead of little drip coffee makers. So he's been french pressing all week! And loving it!

So we are converts, and I don't think this new hobby is going to break the bank.

Thanks for all the coffee hacks--I'm always up for a useful hack!
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fluffmuffin

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 10:18:03 AM »
I know coffee threads abound on the MMM forum, so I appreciate everybody taking a minute to chime in.

After my brief coffee snob mania, I think I've gotten my sanity back. Lots of great frugal suggestions here for upping my coffee game--I'm feeling less dorky about my blade grinder and am planning to give it a shot once all my preground stuff is used up.

The moccamaster is not happening, YummyRaisins! That is even more of an un-mustachian spendypants gewgaw than a Vitamix (where's SOL?) I mean, I know ATK loves it and everything, but just no.

Funny thing: I talked to my husband about my proposed switch to french press because it's going to entail a couple of minor amazon purchases and we keep each other apprised of every red cent we spend. He's on Guam right now (gulp) for work and he said his hotel actually has french press/electric kettle instead of little drip coffee makers. So he's been french pressing all week! And loving it!

So we are converts, and I don't think this new hobby is going to break the bank.

Thanks for all the coffee hacks--I'm always up for a useful hack!

In very oh so very humble opinion, buying a decent mid-range bean, grinding it yourself, and upgrading to a French press or similar (plus possible addition of a digital scale as outlined by Slow2FIRE if you'd use it for other things) are the absolute easiest ways to get coffee to max out on the fulfillment curve COEE posted. Enjoy!

PS. Want to know a secret? I only use my French press on the weekends. Weekdays I (gasp) pre-grind my coffee and then (gasp) put it in a drip machine with a timer. At this point of my life, I enjoy waking up to the smell of coffee drifting through my kitchen and then getting the fuck on with my day, than I enjoy the taste upgrade of the French press.

kenaces

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 11:32:44 AM »
grinder + summatra beans + areopress = best coffee

kenaces

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 11:35:42 AM »
What am I doing wrong here? I don't taste any difference between my crappy machine and my French press. I use whatever grounds are on sale (I think I'm currently using McCafe? Haven't tried other grounds with my French press). What's the magic trick here? (I admit to adding milk and sugar, is that the kiss of death?)

I used to drink any coffee as I was heavy milk/sugar guy, but now that I only drink black coffee I have become a coffee snob.

kenaces

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2017, 11:40:42 AM »
I AM seriously contemplating an Aeropress now. Seems mustachian enough. They're like $35 and I usually get an amazon gift card from my MIL for my birthday and/or Christmas.

Meh - seems kind of gimickey to me... but hey different strokes - and it's not terribly expensive - but it's still $35 that is best served elsewhere, IMHO.

There's a cost vs reward curve.  Usually throwing money at something helps your happiness improve at first.  Then as you throw more (exponential money) at a problem you only get small percentages of increased happiness.  This graph shows the concept well. 

Example:  You already have a ~$15 french press and you are making wonderful coffee each morning.  Perhaps you are 100% happier over the drip coffee because the flavor is much better.  But if you buy and use this aeromatic thing, then you have to spend another $35 on it.  Say the coffee is only 50% better... You've spent $50 total to get 150% better coffee than you did before.  But you have to brew each cup individually then - so do you really get 50% better coffee?

I think I paid ~$20 for my aeropress 6 years ago and use it 2-3 a day everyday.  It isn't showing any signs of wear so I expect it to last.  Based on the utility and how much I enjoy good coffee I feel very good about calling this a MMM purchase :)

The real expense is the beans, but even that isn't too bad as I can often find sale and just stock up.

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2017, 02:33:55 PM »
I AM seriously contemplating an Aeropress now. Seems mustachian enough. They're like $35 and I usually get an amazon gift card from my MIL for my birthday and/or Christmas.

Meh - seems kind of gimickey to me... but hey different strokes - and it's not terribly expensive - but it's still $35 that is best served elsewhere, IMHO.

There's a cost vs reward curve.  Usually throwing money at something helps your happiness improve at first.  Then as you throw more (exponential money) at a problem you only get small percentages of increased happiness.  This graph shows the concept well. 

Example:  You already have a ~$15 french press and you are making wonderful coffee each morning.  Perhaps you are 100% happier over the drip coffee because the flavor is much better.  But if you buy and use this aeromatic thing, then you have to spend another $35 on it.  Say the coffee is only 50% better... You've spent $50 total to get 150% better coffee than you did before.  But you have to brew each cup individually then - so do you really get 50% better coffee?

I think I paid ~$20 for my aeropress 6 years ago and use it 2-3 a day everyday.  It isn't showing any signs of wear so I expect it to last.  Based on the utility and how much I enjoy good coffee I feel very good about calling this a MMM purchase :)

The real expense is the beans, but even that isn't too bad as I can often find sale and just stock up.

Everyone's scale is different - and an aeropress is not all that expensive.  I was just trying to keep the OP from spending stupid money on something SUPER expensive, and give them something to think about, teaching them how to fish.  I know you can spend as much as you want on coffee.  If coffee is your thing and you get pleasure out of the aeropress - I highly encourage it.

I think I've at my 'enough' peak though with just a simple french press and high quality beans.

The goal in all of these types of decisions is hitting your 'enough'.  I have a stupid expensive pair of headphones... worth every penny to me - and is the peak of my 'enough'.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2017, 02:51:21 PM »
For a French press, course ground coffee is better than the preground stuff which tends to be much more of a fine ground. The preground works fine for pour over. Plus finer ground can gunk up the press.

I buy whole beans and grind my own, you get better flavor with a fresher grind.

Keep the beans in the freezer helps preserve the taste.

For the Coffee addicts here-when travelling: I make up 2 pots of coffee for myself and my wife. I fill our insulated coffee mugs first, then I fill our Oggy's with the rest( similar to these but I didn't pay that much as got them at a discount store.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XRKX8J?psc=1 ). These work pretty well and coffee is still piping hot when we go for our 2nd cups later in the day.

Just a word of advice: if doing French press, make sure when cleaning to NOT dump the grinds down the sink.  making your own coffee isan enjoyable morning routine. Calling a Plumber or snaking it yourself is  most decidedly NOT. We do have a yard/compost pile so have a glass container under the sink for compostable food scraps so so I will dump the remaining grounds /water into that and once full, that gets pored into the compost pile outside.

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mtn

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2017, 03:23:38 PM »

Keep the beans in the freezer helps preserve the taste.


NO. Bad advice right here. The moisture in the beans will expand and cause [more] air bubbles in the beans, causing them to go stale even faster--not to mention it will dehyrdrate the beans and their oils.


englishteacheralex

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2017, 04:40:26 PM »
For a French press, course ground coffee is better than the preground stuff which tends to be much more of a fine ground. The preground works fine for pour over. Plus finer ground can gunk up the press.

I buy whole beans and grind my own, you get better flavor with a fresher grind.

Keep the beans in the freezer helps preserve the taste.

For the Coffee addicts here-when travelling: I make up 2 pots of coffee for myself and my wife. I fill our insulated coffee mugs first, then I fill our Oggy's with the rest( similar to these but I didn't pay that much as got them at a discount store.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XRKX8J?psc=1 ). These work pretty well and coffee is still piping hot when we go for our 2nd cups later in the day.

Just a word of advice: if doing French press, make sure when cleaning to NOT dump the grinds down the sink.  making your own coffee isan enjoyable morning routine. Calling a Plumber or snaking it yourself is  most decidedly NOT. We do have a yard/compost pile so have a glass container under the sink for compostable food scraps so so I will dump the remaining grounds /water into that and once full, that gets pored into the compost pile outside.

Oh no. Grounds down the sink wreak havoc on plumbing? This is something I suspected might be true...we live in a condo without an easy composting situation. I've just been scraping the majority of the grounds into the trash and then rinsing the stragglers into the sink. We have a garbage disposal, so I figured it was fine.

Re: freezing beans

I've read a lot about this and my method is to store the beans frozen, then take them out, grind them, and put them in an airtight container on the counter. Takes about two weeks until they're finished and I need to take out another freezer pack to grind. Or...that will be my method once I use up all the preground. Because preground is total trash, obvi.
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Trifele

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2017, 05:42:59 PM »
Course grind, simple French press, drink it black.  :)

+1 on the farming practices of the grower.   Industrial coffee production has a big environmental impact.  My eyes were opened a few years back when I visited a coffee plantation and learned what actually goes into the final product.  I guess you can call me a 'snob' about it, but I will only buy from a grower I know something about and feel good about.

HildaCorners

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2017, 05:20:14 PM »
I bought my Aeropress about 5 years ago for $18. If you want to buy a new one, use a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon for 20% off.

The coffee it makes is so good I can buy the low cost supermarket medium roast beans.

Tip: Aeropress says you can rinse and re-use the paper filters. I use each 2-3 times ... I'm still on my original batch. [I don't make coffee every day; when I work in the office I drink the office swill.]

The only problem? Back when I used a drip machine I'd clean the kitchen while waiting for my morning coffee. The Aeropress is too fast to let me do that! <grin>
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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2017, 06:05:34 PM »
I've got a burr grinder (which was nearly $200, but it's 6 years old now so whatever), and recommend it. A cheap burr grinder would be plenty if you're not using it for espresso though, the more expensive ones seem to mostly have smaller graduations in the grind, which won't be a big deal for french press. Potentially with a blade grinder you're going to get a bit more 'grit' in the coffee as you get some small particles that will get through the filter along with the larger particles that don't.

These days I drink mostly french press and the grinder is set to as coarse as it can go. Currently halfway through my second mug of the stuff (a dash of milk, no sugar).

Usually I'll buy cheap medium roast beans for $11.49 for a 1kg bag from Aldi. They're fine. Sometimes I'll buy the fancypants stuff as a treat :)

A cheap kettle, a burr grinder and a french press is enough for me. Espresso is nice (I used to own an espresso machine), but I can't get a consistent result making it myself, and there are lots of cafes and a roaster or two within walking distance of home if I really feel the urge for espresso.

SnackDog

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2017, 07:54:52 PM »
high quality fresh beans + manual burr grinder + electric kettle + ceramic pour over (or french press) + favorite mug warmed in microwave with milk in it

You only need one cup of this in the morning if you make it appropriately strong.  In my experience 90% of you are putting too much water or not enough coffee in the mix.  Forget the instructions - it should be strong as hell.  Go to a good coffee shop and have an espresso neat. Note how strong the coffee taste is.  Go home and make coffee.
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Trifele

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2017, 06:40:48 AM »

You only need one cup of this in the morning if you make it appropriately strong.  In my experience 90% of you are putting too much water or not enough coffee in the mix.  Forget the instructions - it should be strong as hell.  Go to a good coffee shop and have an espresso neat. Note how strong the coffee taste is.  Go home and make coffee.

I think there is some truth in this ... I've been a coffee drinker my whole life, but some years back I had an ulcer and had to give up coffee for a long while.  At first I substituted tea, but over time I figured out what I really wanted was a cup of hot liquid in the morning.  So I just started drinking hot water. (!)  Talk about mustachian.   After the ulcer healed and I could drink coffee again, for some reason I appreciated it a lot more for what it is.   I started drinking it black and strong for the first time, and really enjoyed it a whole lot more. 

TL:DR: Humans are creatures of habit, and I think what a lot of people want is not so much the coffee but something else:  The smell, the caffeine, the morning ritual of a cup of hot liquid, the cream and sugar, whatever. 

kenaces

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2017, 10:10:54 AM »
Tip: Aeropress says you can rinse and re-use the paper filters. I use each 2-3 times

Thanks, I will try this

Dicey

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Re: Mustachian Coffee Afficianados?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2017, 02:58:46 PM »
Holy fucking hell! Eager to try the new-in-box Bodum French Press I scored at Goodwill this week for $6.99, and inspired by everyone on the Mustachian Coffee Afficianados thread, yesterday I made scratch blueberry waffles for my family plus a mocha for myself for breakfast. No purist, I grabbed some Sprouts coffee that had been hanging out in my fridge for quite some time. I THOUGHT was decaf, 'cause green stripe on the otherwise unmarked bag. (You know, kind of generic paper bag for the whole beans that you choose and grind in the store. You know, the ones you're supposed to mark? I actually believe I did and the tag fell off. I bought both kinds at the same time for some long-ago event, so even odds, right?) Even if it wasn't decaf, I reasoned, it was early in the day, what could possibly go wrong?

Sonovabitch, I was awake the whole night long and I still am. I wrote some loooong posts, surely full of run-on ramblings and riddled with typos during the endless hours of the dark, windy (really) night. I only stopped because I drained the batteries on everything electronic I had access to. The docking station is at the desk in the kitchen and I didn't want to wake DH up. I suspect some of my posts might appear to be the work of a deranged idiot in the harsh light of this bright Sunday. Oh well, the large shoe apparently fits.

Hmmm, is now the time to mention I haven't consumed anything stronger than decaf herbal tea or hot chocolate for many years? Yeah, I'm paying the stupid tax with a coffee induced, no-sleep hangover, if there is such a thing. Thank Dog I'm FIRE and a sleepless night won't derail some important work project tomorrow.

I think I'll cross-post this in my journal for easier access to the reminder of what an IDIOT I was yesterday. No more  coffee, bad for Dicey! Must hide French Press in the guestroom closet until company comes. But hey, when they do, I'll be ready. Oy.
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