Author Topic: Teach me about coffee!  (Read 1877 times)

MrsSpendyPants

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Teach me about coffee!
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:06:25 AM »
I have never liked the taste of coffee but adding a ton of sugar and cream to my coffee at work was making me put on the weight - everyone joked that I liked a drop of coffee with my creamer.
 
So I tried cold brew a few weeks ago and fell in love with it!  So smooth and refreshing!  Problem is - I am now buying two bottles of cold brew coffee a week to the tune of almost $9 a week!  As people mentioned in my grocery thread - this should be easy to fix at home.

Here's my problem - I know nothing about coffee.  I don't even have a coffee brewing machine (is that what they're called)?  I don't have a grinder, I do have a french press somewhere that someone gifted me.

So I am a blank canvas and need you to teach me.

How do I make coffee that tastes as good as the bottled cold brew stuff in a more economic fashion?  What do I need, what brand of beans or ground coffee do I buy?  How do I process it?  It doesn't have to be cold brew, it's just the only way I've learned to like it.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 10:37:03 AM by MrsSpendyPants »

ketchup

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 10:16:17 AM »
We make cold brew at home.  El cheapo grounds are fine by me.

2 cups of grounds, 4 cups of water, in a big glass bowl with a lid.  Mix and close, leave on the counter for ~14 hours.

Put a smallish strainer on another large bowl, line it with a coffee filter, and scoop/pour it all through there.  Pour into another vessel and dilute it about 1:1 with more water (or adjust to your preference).  Refrigerate.

PDXTabs

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 10:51:50 AM »
You don't mention where you live, but I consider the Costco Kirkland Colombian Supremo in the silver bag to be the best value for good coffee at a good price. I do have a ~$100 burr grinder but Costco is also happy to grind it for you. I like french press so I always grind mine as coarse as it will go. I, personally, just brew a batch of french press the night before and stick it in the fridge to get cold. But you can also cold brew in a half gallon mason jar.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 10:53:44 AM by PDXTabs »

PMG

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 02:56:44 PM »
Yay!  I almost commented on your other thread to tell you that homemade cold brew is the bomb, but there were enough other mentions that I didnít want to overwhelm you, but cold brew is the bomb!

You donít need special tools.  Sure, you can go all geeky, but you donít have to.  And you donít have to let the coffee snobs be snobby either! If youíre enjoying store bought iced coffee chances are youíll enjoy mid range ground home brew too. 

I like to make it in my french press because that is a quick easy way to strain it.  I also use less grounds than recipes I see online, but perhaps I let it steep longer?  I often let it for 24 hours, or even longer.  I use maybe 1/2 a cup of grounds for 4 cups of cold water in the french press, cover it and let it rest in the fridge until Iím ready to drink it. You can try it with what you have, itís quite flexible, and your chance of success is high.

We do grind our own beans, but if I needed quick and easy (which I inferred from your other post), then Iíd just go with already ground. Itís not worth spending tons of time and $$$ to try to save a little, until you experiment with the habit enough to know if itís going to stick. 

I donít mind a little bit of grounds in the bottom of my cup, so Iím not too particular about the size of grind I use.

I will also note that there is a big difference between cold brewed coffee and hot brewed coffee that has been chilled. Both are tasty, but the cold brew has a smoother flavor and is less hard on the stomach.

Good luck!

meerkat

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 07:19:17 AM »
A few years ago I did not drink coffee at all and if I needed caffeine at work I got a soda or took a Midol. Now I have coffee most days. Now I drink regular brewed coffee and I have a shaker with Ghiradelli hot cocoa mix and a little cinnamon. I never got into creamer much because I'm lactose intolerant and didn't want to bother with reading labels to find out which ones were non-dairy.

For cold brew, we figured out that a pitcher full of water plus six scoops of coffee were a good balance. In the morning it goes through the coffee filter into the pot (this takes several steps, pour and wait pour and wait). We get whatever's on sale and were recently reminded that we don't like Folgers but pretty much everything else has been fine. I've also found low-acid coffee in the past too, that helped me make the change from being a non-coffee drinker. We used to have a coffee grinder but it broke and we just switched to doing preground. So basically if you have a regular coffee machine and a pitcher and some form of coffee grounds you're all set to do cold brew.

GreenSheep

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2020, 08:20:36 AM »
Just in case someone reading this might not know (the thread title might attract some coffee neophytes)... there is a very big difference between ground coffee (roasted coffee beans that have been ground) and coffee grounds (what's left in the filter after you brew a pot of coffee). Unless there's something I'm missing and making cold brew is actually a LOT more Mustachian than I thought...?

meerkat

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2020, 08:44:11 AM »
Just in case someone reading this might not know (the thread title might attract some coffee neophytes)... there is a very big difference between ground coffee (roasted coffee beans that have been ground) and coffee grounds (what's left in the filter after you brew a pot of coffee). Unless there's something I'm missing and making cold brew is actually a LOT more Mustachian than I thought...?

I thought they were just coffee grounds and used coffee grounds.

GuitarStv

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2020, 09:08:24 AM »
We make and drink cold brew coffee pretty much exclusively from the spring to fall.  Grind about nine or ten tablespoons of coffee (medium grind - not fine ground), then pour in about a 1 1/4 L of water to a bottle, and let it sit in the 'fridge for a week.  Then strain the grains out and it's good to drink.  This produces a fairly strong brew so about half a cup of coffee seems to have the same caffeine as a regular full cup.  We usually pour half a cup of the cold brew into 3/4 cup of cold milk and drunk this way one preparation lasts about a week.

We keep two bottles in the 'fridge all the time, one with coffee infusing into the water and one with strained coffee.

Malcat

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2020, 04:24:23 PM »
Sorry if I missed it, but why are you trying to give yourself a coffee habit?

I'm just curious as I quit coffee a few months ago.

goat_music_generator

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2020, 06:36:07 PM »
Here are some detailed instructions on how to make a truly ENORMOUS quantity of cold brew at home:

https://ms-demeanor.tumblr.com/post/184065425457/how-to-make-a-three-gallon-batch-of-cold-brew

zygote

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 09:08:56 AM »
I use this basic recipe I found a few years ago: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-make-amazing-cold-brew-coffee-2013-9

It ends up being ~2 cups of grounds in a nut milk bag (google it, it's cheap and I have reused the same one for years) in a gallon pitcher half full with water. I leave it 12ish hours in the fridge, remove the grounds, and then fill the rest of the pitcher with water and stir.

Since I don't bother to strain it (I'm lazy and also don't want to buy coffee filters), I do leave it another ~12 hours in the fridge for the fine grounds to settle to the bottom.

This yields me 9-10 glasses of cold brew.

The beauty of cold brew is that it's very forgiving. You'll notice almost all of us have given a different ratio of coffee to water. I've tried it with a bunch of different coffee types - cheap, expensive, flavored, unflavored, and it's always good. Nowadays I tend to make it 90% decaf/10% caffeinated to give myself a more gentle energy boost. It always works.

I'd just go to the store and buy the cheapest pre-ground coffee you can find and give it a shot. If you notice whole beans being cheaper where you are, you can sometimes get it ground in the store. I ended up buying this cheap, classic Krups coffee grinder after I started making the cold brew on a regular basis: https://www.amazon.com/KRUPS-Electric-Coffee-Grinder-Stainless/dp/B00004SPEU Seems like everyone is making coffee at home now because it's out of stock. You may be able to find it somewhere in store. It's pretty ubiquitous.

Good luck!

woopwoop

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 10:57:46 AM »
I like to make it in my french press because that is a quick easy way to strain it.
That's brilliant! I've been using mason jars and just straining it out with a funnel and coffee filters, but a french press would be so much faster.

mjchamb

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2020, 12:02:56 PM »
Me and my fiance really love Grady's New Orleans Style cold brew!

https://www.amazon.com/Gradys-Cold-Brew-Storage-Regular/dp/B00KH4M8FO

We used to buy it at Wal-Mart, but have since only been able to find it via Amazon- its $10 for a can of 4 packs and it's really really delicious. Not as frugal as making it yourself, but still very cost effective vs a coffee shop. It's strong enough to water down, so by the time i fill my cup with ice and then cold brew, I get between 4-8 "cups" per bag.

kpd905

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 03:59:46 PM »
It's not entirely necessary, but we picked up this cold brew maker last summer: https://amzn.to/3hav7p4

It has a mesh insert to put the coffee into.  I usually let the tap drip slowly onto the coffee to fill the pitcher, and then put it into the fridge.

Villanelle

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2020, 11:15:46 AM »
Since this is MMM, I have to ask... why are you cultivating a coffee habit at all? 

What about a glass of water?  It sounds like you were drinking coffee before, even when you didn't really like it, so maybe this is an opportunity to examine what it is about the experience that you like.  Is it the ritual of this morning beverage?  The time spent sitting with coworkers chatting before you start work in earnest?  Something else?  Answer that, and there's likely a free way to duplicate it. Unless it the caffeine specifically that you "need". 

If you need the caffeine and are okay with cultivating that dependency, what about tea, either hot or iced?  If your palette is okay with it, tea is really cheap and you can toss a tea bag into hot water without needing any filters or machines.  )Or loose leaf tea into a simple tea strainer of some kind, which you can likely purchase for <$5.) Drink immediately hot, or do it the night before and drink iced.  I haven't priced tea vs coffee (in a DIY situation) so it may or may not be cheaper. 


Radagast

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2020, 11:40:37 PM »
I make cold brew using an aero press and the exact same recipe that is typical for aero press, ie 1 spoonful fine ground coffee to the aero press volume of water. That way I can also seamlessly transition between hot and cold if desired. I put the grounds and water in an old glass bottle in the morning, give it a shake, and put it in the fridge. I generally give a second shake at night if I notice. In the morning I push it through the aero press, rinse everything out, and repeat.

I get light or medium roast from a roaster which happens to be across the street from where I work (it is zoned commercial and light industrial, not like a fancy place). I am not too picky and within those parameters have not really noticed anything where I think I would never try that coffee again, or that is the only one I will ever use again. Try to go to a local roaster or even roast your own.

tawyer

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2020, 12:13:38 AM »
If you need the caffeine and are okay with cultivating that dependency, what about tea, either hot or iced?  If your palette is okay with it, tea is really cheap and you can toss a tea bag into hot water without needing any filters or machines.  )Or loose leaf tea into a simple tea strainer of some kind, which you can likely purchase for <$5.) Drink immediately hot, or do it the night before and drink iced.  I haven't priced tea vs coffee (in a DIY situation) so it may or may not be cheaper.
Caffeine tablets are cheaper than either tea or coffee per mg caffeine.

tawyer

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2020, 12:17:42 AM »
We make cold brew at home.  El cheapo grounds are fine by me.

2 cups of grounds, 4 cups of water, in a big glass bowl with a lid.  Mix and close, leave on the counter for ~14 hours.

Put a smallish strainer on another large bowl, line it with a coffee filter, and scoop/pour it all through there.  Pour into another vessel and dilute it about 1:1 with more water (or adjust to your preference).  Refrigerate.
I've used this method and the coffee filter always gets clogged. Why? My alternative is to use a mason jar, give it a shake after 2 hours, then pour carefully 10 hours later and the grounds stay on the bottom of the jar, so no filter necessary, just more patience for settling.

grantmeaname

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2020, 05:29:08 AM »
You can also find very simple cold brew makers like this for like five dollars, or just buy french presses on craigslist until you have enough that you can dedicate one/some totally to cold brewing. (I don't drink cold brew more than once a day, but I do like to let it go for 48 hours if I can...)

MoolahLula

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2020, 03:09:38 AM »
I bought a coffee sock at my local Momís Organic Market and I typically use decaf ground coffee so that I can enjoy my cold coffee any time, day or night.  I use a plastic Rubbermaid jug for the vessel.  I sometimes add a rubber band to the sock to keep it extra secure.  I drink the coffee with milk and 2 Splendas.  Very refreshing in the heat. 

https://coffeesock.com/coldbrew/coffeesock-diy-coldbrew-filters-with-original-glass-ring

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2020, 04:36:43 PM »
Good to see the low-spend variants on cold-brew: all you need is a nonreactive vessel to immerse ground coffee in water, & a way to strain it out afterward. A reusable coffee filter over a pitcher after leaving grounds & water in a pickle jar is enough, or you can go with a coffee sock or nut milk bag or a metal strainer, but setup should not be costly & is typically reusable (grounds go in the garden.)

However: in general cold-brew does use more coffee beans than equivalent density hot-brewed coffee, often 20-25% more. It is not the most economical choice, though it may bring you the greatest joy, which is valid. The flavors also tend to be flatter, so there's rarely much reason to use high-end coffee for cold-brew: I almost exclusively use the budget beans for this, sometimes even cut with a flavored coffee for variety. If you want to stretch the beans, or really get all the flavors out of a higher-grade coffee, I don't think you can do much better than an Aeropress - they're simple, cheap, hard to mess up, fast to brew, & very easy cleanup, with minimal storage space. The paper filters are $5 for 350 & many-times reusable. It's also pretty versatile in that you can make an espresso-like shot that permits you to imitate cafe drinks, or use more water for a straight americano, & brewed to their instructions it makes a consistent, lovely cup that gets the most flavor from the least coffee mass. So in brief that's your most mustachian choice if you want to drink coffee: a fine result, indeed a luxury, but gotten simply, efficiently & cheaply.

waltworks

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2020, 10:53:27 AM »
I have never liked the taste of coffee

So, um, why do you drink coffee at all? If you just want caffeine, tea is cheap. If you don't need/want that either, just drink some water.

-W

grantmeaname

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Re: Teach me about coffee!
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2020, 06:38:22 PM »
Did you read the rest of the post?