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Old 12-13-2018, 08:32 AM   #81
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There's also a member on here, can't remember his name, who works for Green Mountain and says they use nitrogen or something in the pods which keeps them from going stale.

I don't have refined enough taste to know what I don't like about Keurig, I just know I don't like the taste, or the waste. I know bitter, I know weak, I know burnt cardboard, but I can't quite put my finger on other things I don't like, just that I don't like them.

I visit other towns where I have friends fairly often, and stay at their houses. I'm always surprised when I have coffee with some of them in the morning, and they're people who love craft beer, good food and wine, and the coffee is the most bitter, gut rotting stuff imaginable. That's when I reach for the cream...

I care about them enough to not criticize, but also care enough to hope to have them at my place sometime, and serve coffee, and maybe they'll ask questions...I'm no coffee expert or guru, but I know enough to make good, strong, non-bitter coffee.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:02 AM   #82
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Jim what is involved with the AeroPress? Is it easy to clean and maintain?
What's involved? A lot of pieces to clean. It is a great coffee press for home use if you prefer that type of coffee. They are a pain to clean.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:11 AM   #83
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So I need a little help then. I want to switch and am deciding between the percolator and the moka pot. Which one is better? Easier to clean/maintain?

Thanks in advance!!
We used a moka pot for years. I tends to make bitter coffee. I've played with grind size, water temp, heat, etc I watch dozen of YT videos that explain how to mitigate this, but it still made bitter (IMO) coffee. That's the nature of the beast I think.

So last spring I got myself an Aeropress. If someone doesn't like to experiment and play with variables like grind, temperature, water to coffee ratio, brew time etc and you're more like "press the button and wait" to make your coffee, the aeropress is not for you.

We're americano drinkers. That's what I did with the moka pot, that's what we drink at home (Delonghi automatic) and that's what I try to achieve with the aeropress.

I made dozens of coffees last summer with the aeropress, taking notes and playing with the variables. It does make good coffee, but I haven't made a single cup that matches or even approaches my espresso machine at home. It is easy to use and clean, makes a decent coffee, but I haven't found the magic recipe yet.

As for cleaning the aeropress, that's pretty simple: dump the puck in the trashcan, rinse off the plunger and stir stick, that's it. I will wash it with soap at the end of the camping trip only. Did the same with the moka pot. No need to wash clean the oily residue after every brew if it is used daily.

Someone mentioned damage to the plunger seal due to compression if stored regularly inside the tube, I believe the newer aeropress is slightly redesigned to avoid this as when the plunger is fully inserted the rubber seal comes out free at the other end so it it not compressed.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:43 AM   #84
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I agree with everything above, except that you don't need to be willing to experiment to get good coffee. You can take time to find your own personal sweet spot, but it's easy to get a great cup of coffee with the simple instructions. Comparing it to espresso is a case of expectations that are setting you up for disappointment.

Aeropress makes the best cup of coffee I've found yet, but Espresso is a completely different coffee. This is a good resource for setting expectations. There isn't one gold standard.

But I love the experimentation and effort you've got going.

Funny how some find Aeropress to be a lot of parts and a pain to clean, and others find it very simple to clean. There are 4 parts. Body, plunger, cap and stirring stick. All they require is a quick rinse. 6 parts if you include the coffee scoop and the stand, but the stand is unnecessary and neither need to be cleaned. Whether that seems like a lot of parts is, I guess, a personal thing. It's more than the one part of a pour-over. A percolator has...what? Three parts? Four? Been a while since I took one apart.

It's funny because Aeropress advertises itself as a great "travel" method for great coffee.





A quick comparison of Aeropress vs Espresso from the link for those short on time:

Espresso:

A shot of espresso, when done right, is strong, sharp and full of flavor (it should not be bitter)

BEST SUITED FOR YOU: If you like a milky brew (e.g. a latte) or if you’re the type that likes a quick and sharp hit of caffeine. Espresso's are unique - no other machine can replicate a nice espresso shot.

NOT SO GREAT FOR: If you prefer a subtle tasting brew, if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a coffee maker, or don’t have space for a machine

Aeropress:

Beautiful in color and taste. It’s more of a ‘clean’ tasting coffee (different from the French press or Moka pot). If we were to describe it in 4 words: Smooth, Rich, Pure and Fast

BEST SUITED FOR YOU: If you’re a traveler or just someone who appreciates a quick, clean and great tasting coffee. Or perhaps you love camping? The AeroPress ticks all the boxes.

NOT SO GREAT FOR YOU: We may sound biased in saying this, but everyone should own an Aeropress (everyone that drinks coffee, that is). If you don’t like the idea of wastage and using paper filters, then perhaps it's not right for you.
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:06 PM   #85
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Ok ok! lol I am now totally curious and will definitely buy an Aeropress. If I may ask what are the best "coffees" to use and how should it be properly ground?
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:20 PM   #86
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Oh now that's a whole other thing...

My experience is that the best coffee is the freshest, assuming the roaster has any idea at all of what they're doing and does a halfway decent job of sourcing beans. You can find all kinds of things online with fancy, expensive coffee, and all kinds of coffee at the local store. But your local roaster is probably the best, if not simply because they'll have the most fresh beans.

Grounds that swell when you do the "bloom" (which you should do) are a good sign of freshness. Rather than the grocery store, find a local roaster. They're everywhere these days.

I found a bike shop, of all places, owned by a couple. The wife has a small batch roaster in the basement. You can talk shop with them, they'll let you look at and smell the beans, tell you what they like, what it tastes like etc. Beans rarely sit on their shelf for more than two weeks. I've seen Starbucks in the local store with an "expiration" date 6 months away. How long had they been there before I picked them up? Not sure what Starbucks considers "fresh" but it's not the same definition as mine...

I think the Aeropress will have instructions for the grind. It's actually pretty forgiving on grind size. You'll get different results depending on the grind, but they're all more or less good. Getting rid of your electric "blade" grinder is also a huge improvement in coffee quality, but not everyone is ready for that. I'm into coffee enough to say "no way I'm buying pre-ground", and the fact that we're talking about a camper means a hand grinder makes the most sense. Just so happens the hand grinder is totally the "coffee snob" way to do it. At least the inexpensive coffee snob way.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:07 PM   #87
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All this coffee talk made me crave a cafe latte.
Figured out how to plug in the Nespresso without having to move it and made a fine cup. Quite enjoyed it.
Would never take the Nespresso camping though. Needs AC and weighs too much.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:09 PM   #88
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Not sure where or how adding chocolate to coffee became a mocha.
It is actually adding a shot (or two) of espresso to hot chocolate. We do it the odd time when camping and want a hot drink in the evening. Rum works better than espresso in my opinion.
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So last spring I got myself an Aeropress. If someone doesn't like to experiment and play with variables like grind, temperature, water to coffee ratio, brew time etc and you're more like "press the button and wait" to make your coffee, the aeropress is not for you.

As for cleaning the aeropress, that's pretty simple: dump the puck in the trashcan, rinse off the plunger and stir stick, that's it. I will wash it with soap at the end of the camping trip only. Did the same with the moka pot. No need to wash clean the oily residue after every brew if it is used daily.

Someone mentioned damage to the plunger seal due to compression if stored regularly inside the tube, I believe the newer aeropress is slightly redesigned to avoid this as when the plunger is fully inserted the rubber seal comes out free at the other end so it it not compressed.
I love that I can experiment with the AeroPress. Depending upon the bean, the amount of coffee, the level of grind, and the time the grounds are in the water before extracting are just a few variances that are easy to control. I do mostly keep my grind consistent.

This is no different than with roasting, I love to vary the roast level, and getting beans of different origins. I have not done very much for blending, but have had some great results from others.

Just as anything in life I love options and being able to change things up. Same with beer or spirits, there is so much good stuff out there, why stick yourself with imbibing in only one choice?

I agree with your method and assessment of the cleaning. I do use a metal filter when camping and give it a quick rinse with near boiling water from the kettle which cleans it out good.

I am on my third AeroPress and other than the type of plastic used have seen no difference in build, but it has likely been near 5 years since I bought my last. With the filter basket off, the end of the plunger rubber pushes just clear of the walls and does not get compressed. A really easy fix if you do end up with a compressed rubber is to press it down on a solid surface, slightly tip in and rotate it, massaging the edge and bringing it back to its original shape. The plunger should not be stored in the tube with the filter basket on, nor should it be left without cleaning for a good length of time, or compression will certainly happen.
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Ok ok! lol I am now totally curious and will definitely buy an Aeropress. If I may ask what are the best "coffees" to use and how should it be properly ground?
There is no best coffee, this is purely a personal preference. I would suggest to buy from local roasters, as freshly roasted coffee makes a HUGE difference in the taste, only second to the beans being freshly ground. I generally use a medium-fine grind for my AeroPress. With a fine grind you use less time with the beans in the water for extracting and with a coarser grind you need to let them sit longer.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:36 PM   #89
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AeroPress

Love love my AeroPress camping and at home, electricity or none.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:41 PM   #90
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AeroPress Coffee Choice

Pete’s is the best. French Roast Decaf + Espresso Forte 50-50 so you can drink it all day, on a #3 grind. That said, my wife is the particular one.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:45 PM   #91
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention:
- I like the inversion method
- I prefer the stainless mesh to paper filters
- I bring the water to boiling
- I let the kettle sit for 60 seconds
- I stir it for 30 seconds
- I do a 30 second press

And I don’t even like coffee all that much.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:13 AM   #92
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my preference for coffee beans leans towards african and indonesian single origin coffees, light to medium roast. not a big fan of the peet's dark roast everything style.

my current favorite beans are, in no particular order...
kenya aa
ethiopian harrar
sulawese kallosi
costa rican estate (from *some* estates)
moka-java (ok, this is a blend of ethiopian and java)
tanzania peaberry
sumatra mandheling
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:55 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
my preference for coffee beans leans towards african and indonesian single origin coffees, light to medium roast. not a big fan of the peet's dark roast everything style.

my current favorite beans are, in no particular order...
kenya aa
ethiopian harrar
sulawese kallosi
costa rican estate (from *some* estates)
moka-java (ok, this is a blend of ethiopian and java)
tanzania peaberry
sumatra mandheling
lol! I think it is quickly becoming apparent that I need to learn a lot about coffee. As a total novice what would be a decent choice should I walk into my local Starbucks and grab a lb to experiment with.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:32 AM   #94
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No local roaster? There you could talk to the owner, give your personal coffee preferences, and get something freshly roasted (and freshly ground to order if you don't want to carry a grinder).

That said, I'm not a "super taster" as some here clearly are, and I've found a pound of Starbuck's Pike's Place makes a perfectly acceptable cup while we're camping.

Currently I'm at home enjoying Seattle's Best 6th Avenue Bistro blend that someone gifted me.

Both are darker roasts, my personal preference, fairly widely sold in whole bean form, and popular enough to ensure good turnover of beans on the shelf.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:46 AM   #95
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It's a learning process, and there's no rush.

I only just learned last time I stopped into my coffee/bike shop that I like Central/South American coffees. They keep a box of cards with each customer's previous purchases. Every coffee I've come back and said "I really liked that one" was Panama, Peru etc.

Again there's no "best", but there is quality and not-good-quality. From there it's personal preference. I also don't like really dark roasts. Medium to medium/dark for me.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:57 AM   #96
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Do any of you "aficionados" add anything to your coffee or are we a mostly black coffee drinking crowd?
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:33 AM   #97
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Unadulterated before noon.

When I need an occasional afternoon pick-me-up, I make a strong brew and add a generous portion of half-and-half (2% milk makes it too watery) with just a little sugar.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:19 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
my preference for coffee beans leans towards african and indonesian single origin coffees, light to medium roast. not a big fan of the peet's dark roast everything style.

my current favorite beans are, in no particular order...
kenya aa
ethiopian harrar
sulawese kallosi
costa rican estate (from *some* estates)
moka-java (ok, this is a blend of ethiopian and java)
tanzania peaberry
sumatra mandheling
For the most part I agree on roast levels. I know all the beans you list and like them all too. I find that I take Sumatran beans well into second crack to bring out the more desirable tastes, but more beans I roast mostly medium with a few lighter.

If I had to pick one favourite origin, it would be Ethiopia.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:25 AM   #99
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lol! I think it is quickly becoming apparent that I need to learn a lot about coffee. As a total novice what would be a decent choice should I walk into my local Starbucks and grab a lb to experiment with.
As Jon mentioned I would first look for a local roaster. They can be very helpful steering you to what you might like, but don't hesitate to try other coffees.

I have found some fairly decent coffee beans in some stores too, though have also got some not so great stuff. Some roasters supplying grocery stores are starting to put roast dates on the package. Look for something as fresh as possible, and not over 4 weeks old.
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Do any of you "aficionados" add anything to your coffee or are we a mostly black coffee drinking crowd?
Black, the only way to truly enjoy this delicious nectar. Otherwise to me, it seems more like you are drinking a coffee flavoured hot drink. A bit of cream is tolerable, but for me sugar kills it and needs to be dumped. I will have a shot of something on the side, just not in the cup.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:30 PM   #100
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Definitely black. Although I do like lattes. If I'm at someone's house and we're making breakfast later in the morning, or out with a group at some cabin on a weekend or something like that where I'm eating a lot later than usual and drinking more coffee than usual, I'll start pouring in a little cream to keep the acidity from upsetting my stomach.

This is another case of no "wrong" answer, it's just however you like it. If you decide you really love coffee for its own merits, not just because it's the societal norm, then it only seems natural to drink it plain, so you can taste it.
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