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post #106 of 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post

Blue Mountain is the best.

 

Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks got nothing on a well made cup of Blue Mountain coffee.


I assume we are talking 100% Blue Mountain, top grade, in good condition from one of the better producers, freshly roasted and ground?  Probably not...  Blue Mountain and Kona are both fairly boring and overpriced coffees under the most favourable conditions.  Much of what is sold under either name is blends that may actually have barely any of the named beans in them.  Just makes it sounds fancy and expensive.

 

Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks got nothing on a well-made cup of pretty much any decent quality coffee.

post #107 of 271

So I just purchased the Starbucks "Three Region Blend," which was much hyped about.  I was especially surprised to see it was 100% arabica, though I have never minded a bit of robusta in my blends.  So I filled up my Vario, and pulled a shot...

 

YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK!  This is a new low, even for Starbucks.  Beyond bitter AND sour at the same time, with strong notes of lemon pith and overboiled collard greens, with a hint of glue on the nose.  This was disgusting beyond description! 

 

 

 

My next order from Velton's doesn't arrive until Thursday... I don't know what I'm going to do this week :( 

 

 

edit:  a few scoops of ice cream later, the coffee is STILL on my palate, but now resembles old leather + acetone.  i'm going to have to gargle some Listerine

 

 

1004008v.jpg


Edited by El_Doug - 5/8/11 at 4:35pm
post #108 of 271

Starbucks isn't bad - it's much better than your average supermarket coffee.  They have some decent blends and I pick it up when I'm travelling and there's nothing else available.  

 

But it makes a huge difference whether you're making coffee or espresso. I tend to drink espresso, and you need to have blends that work for the very fast extraction times of espresso machines. For regularly coffee, make sure to use a French Press - about a hundred times better than most drip machines, and easier to clean - and buy from some place that roasts often and ships quickly, if you're not buying local.

 

When I lived in SF, I loved Peet's Coffee.  When I lived in Chicago, I fell in loved Intelligensia Coffee.  Because I'm cheap and drink lots of coffee, I tend now to buy from Gimme! Coffee.  If I want to splurge, I get Blue Bottle or something from George Howell's Terroir (see below).  If you can find a really good coffee shop near where you live, see if you can buy beans from them - it's easier and cheaper than paying for shipping.   If you don't have one nearby, or they won't sell to you, you can always go here:

 

http://www.terroircoffee.com/

 

They have amazing coffees, but they're pretty expensive and you have to pay shipping.  I've had a number of different coffees from them, both espresso and regular, and they've all been quite accurately described and very good.


Edited by AVU - 5/8/11 at 4:51pm
post #109 of 271

ok AVU, I'll give the "Three Region Blend" a go in my press... but if this is even half as gross in the cup as it was as a shot, I'm coming for you! 

post #110 of 271

Wait, I never said that SB's 3 region blend was going to taste good!  Don't blame me!  I've never even heard of the stuff!  biggrin.gif

 

God, that sounds terrible.  You sure you pulled the shot right?  Espresso machines are notoriously hard to get perfect, especially when you're trying a new blend.  I used to have a fit seeing how much great coffee the people at Intelligensia wasted just making sure their shots were perfect!

 

But I was just walking around my neighborhood after reading this having run out of coffee and the decent place was closed so I had to find something new.  Good god everything is "fair trade" this and "organic" that.  Sorry people, but if you want taste, forget the fair trade and organic and find yourself a great roaster.  THEN, if and only if that roaster sells fair trade and/or organic, try it.  There is a serious boatload of crap coffee out there flying under the liberal-do-gooder "fair trade/organic" flag and ripping people off by selling $3/lb coffee for $12+/lb.   Don't buy it.  You can get real coffee for this price.

 

post #111 of 271

I'd recommend everyone who really wants to get into coffee, go to your local roaster or shop for a cupping (usually a free event).  Learn what you like about what you're tasting.  Just like acoustic signatures, "I like that one" means less than "I prefer a brighter coffee with more clarity." 

Once you understand what you're perceiving, start trying everything you once liked/disliked.  Try it blind if you can, bring some to a cupping for everyone to try.  In my experience, when people do this, they tend to stop liking Starbucks and Blue Mountain as much and can explain why. 

The coffee roaster my wife works for does blind cupping constantly and we all get better from it; it helps get past hype.  They bring in coffee amateurs and do the same to make sure it's not just their "experienced" taste preferences.  I've never heard of them choosing Starbucks blind but they did recently vote a preference for a commercial dripper (that was admittedly, fine-tuned) to a single cup pourover; blasphemy in eyes of current coffee trends.

 

After all this, you might still like Blue Mountain and that's great!  I think coffee is more like music than it is headphones; there's lots of different kinds because there's lots of distinct preferences (even though certain qualities tend to be a little more frequently preferred).

 

So, to answer the OP:

The last great espresso I had was extracted from a Columbia Monserrate roasted by Kaldi's in St Louis; light citrus with vanilla and spice, and excellent body and very attractive crema.  It's a fairly forgiving coffee and is pretty good even when not dialed in (grind/dose/temp/volume) but can be a little salty.  When it's extracted well, it loses the salt and explodes!  (Nicole Call competed with it in the US Barista Championship this year.)

 

The last great drip I had was an El Salvador from Cuvee Coffee; very fruit forward, sweet and acidic with very little bitterness or tartness.  It wasn't great in a french press, better in a V60, but really delivered in a Chemex.  (I think it was used in the Brewers Cup Nationals this year but I don't recall; thanks to Jenna White from Caffe Medici for sharing it!)

post #112 of 271

Starbucks only makes two good kinds of coffee, their "Sumatra", and their "Anniversary Blend" (which is mostly their sumatra blend, aged), which is actually really good.

 

Our local grocery store, Acme, recently started carrying Peet's Coffee. I heard about it from a fellow coffee freak a while ago but never bought it since they charge outrageous shipping rates (granted, it's very fresh when it arrives). They don't carry the Sumatra (Sumatran coffee is my favorite, bar none), only French Roast (meh), Major Dickason's Blend, and House Blend, which is a slightly more neutral version of the Major Dickason's Blend with many similarities. The Major Dickason's Blend tastes a lot like Sumatran coffee...wouldn't be surprised if it was the backbone of the blend. It's an extremely high-quality coffee, I gotta say, and it's been my go-to lately, even beating out my favorite pound of coffee from a local coffee shop in Blacksburg, VA where I went to college that I brought back home with me when I last visited. Grind it coarse, french press this stuff, you will be in absolute heaven, I guarantee it.

 

I have a really nice Cuisinart drip brewer that makes very strong coffee (it takes forever to brew, but it's worth it) and I switch between that and my "Bodum" cheapie french press. I love both ways - the french press coffee has a more balanced flavor with more "bottom" to it but the drip brewer makes just plain stronger coffee (I still have yet to determine why that is, as I'm aware that it should be the reverse).

post #113 of 271


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post


I assume we are talking 100% Blue Mountain, top grade, in good condition from one of the better producers, freshly roasted and ground?  Probably not...  Blue Mountain and Kona are both fairly boring and overpriced coffees under the most favourable conditions.  Much of what is sold under either name is blends that may actually have barely any of the named beans in them.  Just makes it sounds fancy and expensive.

 

Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks got nothing on a well-made cup of pretty much any decent quality coffee.

Not true with Kona coffee as I can tell you that what goes into Kona coffee is tightly regulated and inspected regularly by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture who owns the trademark name "Kona Coffee". Kona coffee like Blue Mountain is expensive especially if it is 100% unblended because they both are grown in a small part of the world and are unique to a specific region. I have friends who are currently employed with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture who oversees what goes into Kona coffee and how it is being labeled on their packages. Also Kona coffee is a mild character coffee that has no bite or harshness to it. So if you prefer a coffee with more bite or balls to it, Kona coffee might not meet your coffee fix.

 

I'm told by that if Kona coffee is a blend, it has to state on the package just how much Kona coffee (a minimum of 10% Kona coffee is required to be in the blend) is in the blend and what other blends are in the mix. If it's 100% Kona or 100% Kona Peaberry, the beans used to make that coffee needs to pass specific quality and moisture content criteria. The coffee is also checked to make sure that it's indeed 100% and unblended. Not all coffee beans grown in Kona can be considered "Kona Coffee". Only coffee beans that is of the varietal Typica, grown and harvested from coffee plantations in Kona and passes quality inspection can be legally labeled Kona coffee. The high prices for Kona coffee has caused many to try and scam others in to thinking that they are paying for 100% Kona coffee when in reality what they are getting might be less than 10% Kona in the blend. To protect buyers from being scammed of their money and to insure the quality and integrity of a product that is unique only to Kona Hawaii is just a few reasons why Kona coffee is tightly regulated.
 

 


Edited by warubozu - 6/10/11 at 1:57pm
post #114 of 271

Sumatran is also one of my faves as well as Kenyan Peaberry but I like Blue Mountain too lol.

 

How about those beans that ferment in a bird's @ss, has anybody tried those?


Edited by grokit - 5/28/11 at 10:41pm
post #115 of 271


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

To me the best coffee in the world is "Bourbon pointu" from the French overseas department Reunion Island.

BOURBON POINTU(ƒuƒ‹ƒ{ƒ“ƒ|ƒƒ“ƒgƒD) 2009ŒöŽ®ƒTƒCƒgb UCC㓇àÛàè
http://www.cafe-reunion.com/?lang=en

Good luck finding it though outside japan though, I actually have friends from there, so I tasted it myself. I would not say it's the best coffee in the world since I did not test them all but it certainly went above the Jamaican Blue Mountain for me.


I have friends coming over in a month from Japan! Thanks for the heads up!!!!!!!!!

 I love trying new types, especially if they are hard to find. Currently I am stuck on the Intelligensia Black Cat Espresso Blend, but it is sort of pricy@ $22 a lb, so think I will branch out to try others. Doi Chaang was impressive, they also have that special blend they feed to the jungle Cat then collect from droppings and roast. I really don't know who would actually try it , but there's a market for everything. Apparently the whole berry goes in and the digestion /enzymes change the flavour of the collected finished product. Luckily it's not available here or it would be like a train wreck. I would have to look into it. YEP ITS FOR REAL! ===>

http://www.doichaangcoffee.com/doi-chaang-civet-coffee/wild-civet-coffee

..."

Bean Brothers Cafe in Vancouver is now selling and serving     Doi Chaang Authentic Wild Civet Coffee!  "

"the most rare, unique, and highly coveted coffee available"  IF ANYONE TRIES THIS TELL US we won't laugh.

I wonder how it will go over. It may give new meaning to """this coffee tastes like S!!T" blink.gif  Or you'll have people saying, "yeah it does and I love that..." Imagine the confusion.

 

  Incidentally there was just last year here some store brought in a bit of that $80 a lb ( or was it higher ) rare stuff---no not the cat crap one--, and had limited amounts of shots for $10 a piece I think it was. Does anyone know what that was?

I don't know what your areas are like, but this city has at least 2 freaking coffee places per block I have no idea how they can make a profit. Down the road from me, in a 2 block area there are SIX places to get the stuff, one being a convenience store with organic blend ready to go, the other a fancy bakery with fancy coffees,  and the other 4 are dedicated COFFEE places.  And they are all busy ALL the time.At least it lets me try a ton of different ones. It is like the micro-brewery thing now, everyone is roasting locally. I think I will go make an Americano now that I think of it. This time it's Camino Espresso blend.

Do any of you take into account the Fair Trade or Beyond Fair Trade aspect when you buy it?

 Also I would like to know , of those that use it for shots, what do you prefer for that? Dark/medium/light roast and which one in particular?. I am going to have to reread the entire thread properly not just skim through. Thanks.

 

I can't understand why folks still go to Charbucks when for the same price or lower, you can usually find a better more interesting place. If the americano is ready for me before I can even walk to the serving area, then it's not a place i will bother with. There's more to an espresso than pushing a button. Thanks for the picture there EL DOUG!!!!!!!!! I may attach that to some emails.

 

 


Edited by nick n - 6/2/11 at 5:31pm
post #116 of 271

What do you guys use for kettles? I'm thinking about starting to brew my own coffee and while I'm finding a lot of information about different methods, no one seems to mention what kettles are the best. They do, however, keep saying what temperature the water is at is important... Does the kettle just not matter?

post #117 of 271

i'm happy with the sumatra brewed in a clover. that's my usual drink at starbucks.

i did quite like the kona at starbucks and have sampled the blue mountain that's coming out next month there. (the starbucks reserve stuff)

 

also a fan of JJ bean stuff in vancouver but it's a bit far of a walk


Edited by endless402 - 6/25/11 at 1:30pm
post #118 of 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

What do you guys use for kettles? I'm thinking about starting to brew my own coffee and while I'm finding a lot of information about different methods, no one seems to mention what kettles are the best. They do, however, keep saying what temperature the water is at is important... Does the kettle just not matter?

It really depends on the brewing method. I'm a big lover of the pour-over style of making coffee with the Hario V-60. So the style of pouring kettle is somewhat important. I do boil my water in a Electric kettle transfer it to an old copper kettle with a nice spout for pouring and use a thermometer to monitor temperature when I'm being picky. The electric kettle is quick, and the old one I like the way it pours. 
 

 

 

post #119 of 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by endless402 View Post
also a fan of JJ bean stuff in vancouver but it's a bit far of a walk


I really like the cappuccinos at this place on Robson called "MICHI waffles" constantly the best I've had. If you're downtown check it out also. Elysian on broadway has been very good when I've gone.

 

 

 

 

post #120 of 271

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

What do you guys use for kettles? I'm thinking about starting to brew my own coffee and while I'm finding a lot of information about different methods, no one seems to mention what kettles are the best. They do, however, keep saying what temperature the water is at is important... Does the kettle just not matter?

 

I heat my water with one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-40870-Electric-Kettle/dp/tags-on-product/B002QXOF7I

 

I brew my coffee by the cup with one of these, more like an Americano:

http://www.amazon.com/Aerobie-AeroPress-Coffee-Espresso-Maker/dp/B0047BIWSK

 

If I want to make a pot for company, I still heat the water the same way but brew in a french press.


Edited by grokit - 6/26/11 at 1:16pm
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