Oct 23, 20176610 views

[Ongoing] Coffee: Community Questions & Answers

Coffee, coffee, coffee!
On Massdrop, you can find enthusiasts of all levels within any given community. There are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of enthusiasts, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
ASK COFFEE-RELATED QUESTIONS Have a question about the best brewing practices? How to clean a French press? Which beans are the best? We have resident experts here in the office, but often times the best way to get a quick response is to ask the community itself. There are members of the Cooking Community who are experts in pretty much any area of cooking you can imagine.
Ask your question(s) by posting in the discussion below.
EXAMPLES “What should I look for in a coffee maker?" “What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?" “Which brewing method gives you the best bang for your buck?"
GIVE EXPERT ANSWERS Many people in the community know a lot about coffee and have great information to share. If that’s you, we encourage you to help out those that have questions!

Want to start your own discussion? Click here: www.massdrop.com/cooking/talk/new


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I want a Fellow Stagg !!
Hey all. We have our winners for the Coffee Questions and Answers:
· @bradyarz - Brumi Pourover Brew Bottle
· @FancyRedFox - Bredemeijer French Press
· Dr.McCoy - Bonavita 1.7L Variable Gooseneck Kettle

Thanks to everyone for taking part. That concludes the giveaway, but not the conversation. If you have any more questions or more answers, then definitely keep the discussion going.
Hey Coffee Community,

What's the difference between aeropress, French press, drip and chemex? Sorry for the ignorance, but don't they all produce similar results?
I view the difference between these as the difference in extraction and brewing style. Aeropress is ground finer and extracts faster. French press is ground coarse and extracts slower. Drip/Chemex is in the middle. The extraction will impact the flavor, mouth feel, and overall characteristics. Also, all these, but French press, use filters so oils will be partially or totally removed. French press doesn't use paper filters and, therefore, allow for oils to remain, adding a different complexity.

French press can be "muddy" in a lot going on in the cup due to extraction and brewing style (immersion). Aeropress is partially similar in brewing style (starts as immersion), but is filtered and is cleaner. It can make somewhat of a pseudo espresso. Drip, Chemex in particular, I find to be the cleanest and brightest in flavor.

It's fun to play around with them or find a coffee shop that offers these various methods so you can taste the same coffee bean made different ways. The taste variation is definitely noticeable.
Hello! Do you guys have any recommendations for where to get good beans either locally or online for use in a french press? I don't want robusta coffee that has 500 million triple X caffeine content or whatever and tastes like burnt booty, I'd just like something flavorful that is more representative of what good coffee can be.

Also, are there coffee varieties or equipment better suited for cold brew? I've made it before using my french press, and while I'm sure there's a better way I'm suspicious of these $100 cold brew kits.
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Find someone local roasting specialty coffee single origin or quality blends. But one of keys to french press is to have a correct course grind. I am a small batch roaster in MI and that really is the key. As far a cold brew, I started off with a Toddy and went to a commercial size Toddy customized system. But again that course grind is needed here too.
Depends on where you are... I actually get rather good comparatively local whole bean Dark Espresso Roast from Eight O'Clock.
Hey Coffee Community,

I last asked about picking a grinder to upgrade to from my Capresso Infinity. I've made the choice between the Baratza Sette 270, Baratza Sette 30 AP and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

My reasoning for the 270 was because of its grind quality, metal (and more durable) burr housing and its preset capabilities. However, it has me questioning whether its worth the price over the 30 AP or the Breville.

For the 30 AP, it was because it was a huge upgrade over the Capresso - only concern I have is the plastic burr housing. Why isn't much really much of an issue, just a concern. Since this Baratza is capable of making consistent grinds good for mid range espresso. Regardless of my concern, it was recommended by another member and a worthy consideration of those around its price point.

For the Breville, I liked its design, interface and reviews I've seen around. Its capability to produce grinds on the coarse side of the spectrum, allowing me to grind beans suited for French Press made it a worthy consideration. Its versatility lets me try different brew methods and its programmable and (seemingly) easy to use interface had me consider it.

My budget changed since, but if the 30 AP or Breville is worth more in its price to performance (and usability) then I might just pick between those two and scrap the idea of the 270. Any thoughts community?
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The Sette series is really only proficient at espresso grinding, so if you're going to be doing much brewed coffee I'd recommend looking elsewhere. They're nice grinders with lots of great features, but once you get into the medium grind range you'll begin to see a lot more fines. The optional BG burr resolves this only somewhat. I tend to point folks toward the Virtuoso instead if they're looking to do a mix of brewing methods (formerly the Preciso for the ability to dial in for espresso), or the Vario with steel burrs if they have a larger budget.

I don't personally have much experience with the Smart Grinder, and I've heard mostly positive things. I think Baratza's grind quality generally outshines it, but for the price it's not too bad at all.
I would need to know what your brew method is to answer correctly. Personally don't think you can go wrong with either of the Baratza grinders unless you want espresso in which case I could not in good conscience recommend any of the grinders you are asking about.
Hi friends,

Is anyone else making Siphon coffee? Over the summer I made the efforts of perfecting my siphon use after being tired of having it rest on a shelf as a display piece. I found using the recipe that Blue Bottles uses to be the easiest for my Hario 5 cup.
38grams of coffee ground slightly finer than drip, 80 degree water & a 90 second brew time.
I found that by putting two-three ice cubes into the upper chamber after the water boiled brought the boiled water down to the perfect brewing temperature, as opposed to waiting the interminable length of time for the water to cool on its own.
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Thanks for the info! I'll look into a Hario when I am ready to pursue one.
I have been using a Cona C for around 20 years and like it very much, these days I only use it when I will be away from my espresso machine during coffee drinking times. I don't know much about any other siphon brewer (I like the Cona as there is no paper or cloth filter to absorb oils) it makes a fantastic cup of coffee.

This is however not a method I recommend to people as it is a bit finicky and requires supervision (most people want the Kerig experience).

The coffee it makes has a bit less body than french press (less undeserved solids), and the cup is much cleaner (for the same reason). If you don't mind babysitting your coffee maker for about five minutes while in operation I highly recommend a siphon, if this is not your cup of tea (or coffee) than I would suggest you look elsewhere.
I've been using an electric grinder for beans I buy from a shop nearby (fresh roast dates, <3-5 days). I then use either a Chemex or do a Pour over (single cup).

Some co-workers suggest using a hand grinder, because "its better". I'm confused on the logic here. How is a hand grinder for this better than an electric one? Before I consider buying a hand grinder, I'd love to know the reasoning behind using it.

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I agree. I don't see it being a problem in the home setting either. I've heard it mentioned once or twice, but have given no credence to it being adverse.
It depends on what kind of grinder you're using. The mid to high range grinders are generally considered better than a hand grinder, esp if you consider time, energy and space of an electric vs hand grinder.

Some of the burr hand grinders such as the ROK have infinite step-less grind control which can produce grinds as good as some mid to high range grinders. Only "issue" is that you have to expend the physical energy to adjust and grind the beans which can take a while especially if you're using brewing methods that require more grinds than your typical espresso.

So yeah, it's better if you consider it money wise - but most people will opt for an electric grinder for its versatility, functionality and convenience. Hope that helps!
How do I get rid of spotting on my French press filter? I tried soaking it in soapy water and that did nothing. I’m afraid that the spotting is actually mold.
I would try soaking it in a little lemon juice with a little hot water and vinegar. Cheap and easy to try. Don't have to fill it all the way up, just to where it covers the filter.
What do you mean by "spotting" exactly?

If you're afraid it's mold soak it with 1-2 tbs of baking soda in just enough hot water to cover all the parts. It's a natural anti-fungal agent. Remove from the water when cool enough to touch then take a toothbrush and brush everything off (it may be helpful to add a little extra baking soda to the toothbrush for extra scrubbing power). After that, if you want, then soak it in vinegar and hot water. Hit it with the toothbrush again. If it's still not gone to your satisfaction, you can soak all the NON PLASTIC parts in a mild bleach solution. Rinse that well and then hit with the toothbrush again. I doubt there will be anything left alive on the parts after the baking soda and vinegar.

If it's hard water spots/scaling soak all the pieces in a lot of lemon juice, a citric acid & water mix, or a descaling agent. Those spots are completely harmless, but removing them may improve your coffee.

You're prooooooooooooobably being overly cautious. There's not much for mold/mildew to eat on coffee equipment unless it sat wet and covered for a long time.
MMMMMMMM just brewed a cup of Starbucks French Roast coffee from my grind and brew system here at work. Added an nice splash of 1/2 and 1/2 and I now have a smile on my face. Nothing like that warm embrace of warm caffeine to make your morning start right. It also helps that a helpful engineer here at work put a small note on the machine to tell us how long each tic mark is and what the total brew time 47.8 seconds. Life is good!
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LOL ahhh but they supply the 1/2 and 1/2 lol.
Well then you break into HR and write "CREEM" in crayon on the buy list for the office.