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coffee-fi - Page 7

post #91 of 272

Okay, I like coffee and want some honest answers; what's so terrible about buying beans from Starbucks? I'm not a coffee hipster and just was wanting some suggestions about some better beans, cause reading through this thread it seems like coffee from Starbucks is the devil. And I really have no idea where else to get coffee from save the grocery store. To me it tastes fine, am I missing something?

post #92 of 272

It's all about frame of reference, I think. If all you know is supermarket and Starbucks coffee, that's what you think coffee tastes like. People who claim to know what coffee is supposed to actually taste like tell us that coffee from those places is poor coffee. Finding a local or online roaster, a higher end market or going to a non-Starbucks independent coffee shop and trying their coffee to compare the taste will give you an idea of what the Starbucks haters think coffee should taste like.

 

Personally, I think Starbucks coffee is a bit bitter with a mild charred/burnt taste. When I go there it's usually for a cold drink or tea, if it's an emergency I'll grab coffee. I'm Canadian so the two chains that take up every corner are Starbucks or Tim Horton's, so my convenience choices are limited.

 

I buy coffee that I have ground at my local market to brew at home since I've found a blend and a method that tastes ok to me. I can tell the difference between 'common' coffee and coffee made by people who like to drink good coffee, my parents drink Taster's Choice and my wife thinks all coffee tastes the same and why am I spending $20 on a bag of beans!?

 

Check some local grocery stores, some are beginning to stock some smaller sources. If they have a grinder in the store, pick up some beans and try brewing yourself a couple cups. Alot of stores have areas with various beans loose that you can fill a bag and grind them, getting charged for only as much as you grind.

post #93 of 272

Or buy whole beans and get yourself a grinder, you can spend as little or as much as you want on one of those. If you are near a Costco, they are an excellent source of whole roasted beans, as well as some gourmet pre-ground varieties. They also have a big grinder for your whole beans, but your coffee will taste better if it is freshly ground at home right before you brew it. They have Starbucks brand, Rainforest Organic, and their own fair-trade Kirkland varieties as well as a locally-roasted brand among a few others where I live.

 

Get yourself a 2-3 lb. bag and keep most of it the refrigerator, and let the beans come up to room temperature before grinding/brewing. I find the organic and fair trade varieties taste better, as non-organic coffee beans have some of the highest toxic loads of any crop. Now you are becoming a true connoisseur; the next step would be to buy your beans in green (raw) form and roast your own!
 


Edited by grokit - 7/13/10 at 1:20am
post #94 of 272

Thanks guys. I have been brewing my own at home using a grinder and a french press, so I need to simply find another brand than Starbucks for beans? The organic coffee has my interest now, I'll have to keep an eye out for that. Usually I've been buying a pound of coffee and just brewing it fresh. Coffee tastes like coffee to me too as well, but I've found I prefer more bold flavors.

post #95 of 272

I love me some local (South African) fair-trade beans, which I grind myself.

 

What made a huge difference though was dumping my electric grinder and using a manual grinder from the 1940s that I found in my grampa's garage. It's a bit of a workout to get enough for a whole pot but damn does it taste good!

post #96 of 272

One basic fact about coffee flavor and caffeine content that most people are not aware of is the fact that the longer the bean is roasted, the more robust flavor it will have due to caramelization. But there is an inverse relationship as far as caffeine content. Basically, you roast in the flavor, and roast out the caffeine.

 

An "American", or "breakfast" blend is lightly roasted, and usually brewed on the weak side because of the poor flavor. Espresso beans, which are brewed under high pressure and therefore much stronger, are usually dark roasted. There are many different darker roasts that are brewed for flavor, like Italian, Turkish (damn near burnt), and French. But if you want any caffeine pickup at all, you will have to brew it on the strong side. For a real caffeine buzz, you would take a lightly-roasted bean do the same.

 

Acidity can also be a factor for those of us with sensitive stomachs. One of the the best ways to get around this is the cold-brew system, which makes a low-acid liquid concentrate.

 

Also, the type of grinder you use can make a big difference.


Edited by grokit - 7/13/10 at 8:15pm
post #97 of 272

Feel free to call me crazy but I purchased some organic fancy beans and, after several cups, came to the conclusion that the difference is close to nil with brands like Starbucks.

post #98 of 272

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paganini Alfredo View Post

Feel free to call me crazy but I purchased some organic fancy beans and, after several cups, came to the conclusion that the difference is close to nil with brands like Starbucks.


You're definitely not "crazy", lol. Starbucks taste fine, but you are supporting an oppressive multi-national corporation and ingesting toxins. I do drink Starbucks at airports, but I would rather buy toxin-free organic or fair trade beans for brewing at home.


Edited by grokit - 7/18/10 at 4:19pm
post #99 of 272

heaven forbid!  not a corporation!!! 

 

what toxins are you referring to?  now i'm concerned, as I have been a huge supporter of Starbucks' movement towards fair trade beans, but if there are odd chemicals in there I will feel very cheated :( 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

You're definitely not "crazy", lol. Starbucks taste fine, but you are supporting an oppressive multi-national corporation and ingesting toxins. I do drink Starbucks at airports, but I would rather buy toxin-free organic or fair trade beans for brewing at home.

post #100 of 272

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

what toxins are you referring to?  now i'm concerned, as I have been a huge supporter of Starbucks' movement towards fair trade beans, but if there are odd chemicals in there I will feel very cheated :(


Non-organic coffee beans have one of the heaviest "toxic loads" of any agricultural product, meaning that they carry an above-average amount of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides into your body when you drink it. Fair trade guidelines vary from country to country concerning more natural growing methods, but are generally seen to conform to, or at least approach, organic practices.

 

Starbuck's "movement" towards fair trade beans is nothing but lip service. You may be able to convince the odd outlet to actually brew a pot, but it's not something the majority of them do on a regular basis.


Edited by grokit - 7/18/10 at 7:21pm
post #101 of 272

I've been using Vivace (Espresso Vita) for the past two years.  They roast daily and are masters of their craft. I have not found anything better and I live in Seattle where drinking coffee a form of survival of those terminally wet, gray winters (kind of like tea to the Brits).  Portland's Stumptown Roasters are pretty good, as is our own Cafe Senso Unico (a very close second to Vivace).  The best, for me has been Vivace's Vita though.  Absolutely agree that a good grinder makes a huge difference, as does a bit of knowledge, skill and a good machine.   I've never had a really good cup of coffee from any Starbucks, but they are convenient and unavoidable sometimes when you need a fix.  Not horrible, but their coffee is a world away from a cup from any of the three I mention above.

post #102 of 272

Finally got a pound of the Starbucks Anniversary that everyone raves about... maybe it would be better through a drip, but with my press this coffee is awfully sour!  I have used several brew temperatures from 208 through 195, and all of them are sour to the point of being offensive. 

 

Waste of money :/  I shouldnt be so surprised given it is a starbucks coffee, but this is truly disappointing :( 

post #103 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post

I've been using Vivace (Espresso Vita) for the past two years.  They roast daily and are masters of their craft. I have not found anything better and I live in Seattle where drinking coffee a form of survival of those terminally wet, gray winters (kind of like tea to the Brits).  Portland's Stumptown Roasters are pretty good, as is our own Cafe Senso Unico (a very close second to Vivace).  The best, for me has been Vivace's Vita though.  Absolutely agree that a good grinder makes a huge difference, as does a bit of knowledge, skill and a good machine.   I've never had a really good cup of coffee from any Starbucks, but they are convenient and unavoidable sometimes when you need a fix.  Not horrible, but their coffee is a world away from a cup from any of the three I mention above.


This comment makes me want to pack up and move to Seattle! I love cool, gray and wet! And coffee! I live in the hot, humid and sunny redneck conservative infested south. Being a liberal atheist in the south is truly a horror. The only way it could be any worse is if I were gay. lol

post #104 of 272

Blue Mountain is the best.

 

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

post #105 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

Finally got a pound of the Starbucks Anniversary that everyone raves about... maybe it would be better through a drip, but with my press this coffee is awfully sour!  I have used several brew temperatures from 208 through 195, and all of them are sour to the point of being offensive. 

 

Waste of money :/  I shouldnt be so surprised given it is a starbucks coffee, but this is truly disappointing :( 


People who don't know any better rave about all sorts of crap when it comes to coffee.  It sounds like you really should have known better.

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