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Handbrewing Coffee (quanttype.net)
115 points by tosh 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 211 comments



If anyone interested, I already research from best milk steamer to STOVETOP MILK FROTHER for home espresso / coffee. Given below details for that article. http://milkfrother.org/stovetop-milk-frother/

For anyone interested I did a fair bit of research into how I could step into the passable home espresso / coffee game as I WFH a lot.

Given that :

- I make at most 3 coffees a day, usually 1.

- I prefer espresso

I found the traditional options lacking. I'd need:

- a machine costing about £600

- a solid quality grinder.

- machine needs 20 minutes warmup minimum before you can pour a consistent shot (or you need to leave it on).

Instead I thought I'd go a different way and build an all manual espresso setup, using getting past the largest price tag using one of these :

https://www.flairespresso.com/. Takes some getting used to but I've been very satisfied with the quality. You NEED to pair it with a high quality grinder to get solid results (I'm using https://coffeehit.co.uk/products/lido-e-travel-hand-grinder).

Downside is I can't steam milk unless I break out my stovetop milk steamer thing ( https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/bellman/50ss ) but that's fine as I prefer black coffee, the steamer gets more use by partner for her hot chocolates.

My setup : https://i.imgur.com/6M9AT4O.jpg


Thanks for this.

I’m not suggesting you change what clearly works well, but anyone starting out should consider second hand gear. The best espresso gear ages well, is repairable and is readily available second hand. The machines Rancillio Silva, La Cimbali Junior and the grinders by Mazzer are all readily available and affordable if you are patient. Bought dirty, chipped and not working is best - then the price is lowest, sub $50US each is the best I’ve achieved.

I’m yet to find one that isn’t just a broken on/off switch or disconnected cable. All the parts are easily sourced and a careful respray is cheap. The above machines are commercial grade and designed to be pulled apart quickly using a screwdriver or two and maybe a spanner. Careful though. It’s a very slippery slope.


Where would you recommend searching for used espresso gear? ebay?


I've got a stainless steel Gaggia Classic I'll send you for the cost of shipping if you'd like. I got it refurb and was never able to get a consistent shot out of it, but I don't know how much of that was due to the machine vs user error. Anyway, I got tired of pouring sour shots down the sink, so I cleaned it and put in storage years ago.

It's probably $30-50 to ship given its size and weight.

My email is in my profile.


Claimed.


I use a local equivalent - Trademe.co.nz.


I have the Breville Barista Express and it takes like a minute to warm up and has a fantastic grinder built in, as well as a steamer for those who are into that sort of thing. And that's at a lot lower price point than £600, I think I paid ~$600USD for the whole getup.


I have this one too. It's a great machine if you are willing to spend ~$500. I've had it for over a year, and it's still making great coffee.


I went through a similar search for a cheap homemade espresso and ended up landing on the 3-cup Moka pot. It's not exactly espresso, but I find it's good enough for me, especially if I put it into a cappuccino or something else.


My wife makes her coffee in an moka pot. IMO it's fine for cafe cubano or maybe a latte, but I'd never drink it straight. It's much too bitter and lacks the natural sweetness and full body of a proper espresso shot. So while you can make passable espresso-type drinks with it, it's not really espresso.


Can I ask what grind you're using? I'm a big fan of the bitterness of what my moka pot produces, though I agree that it's not "espresso" per se. It's fantastic for mixing with vanilla ice cream or mixed drinks.


Espresso grind (fine). Just slightly finer than I grind for using in an Aeropress. To give an idea, my grinder scale is 1-34. I use 1 for Turkish, she likes 5 in the Moka, I use 6 in my Aeropress. Drip is ~12. French press is ~18.


My alternative for about $45 US in equipment. Buy an Aeropress (~$30) and a cheap hand burr grinder from Amazon. (~$11) Always buy freshly roasted beans. Read and follow the instructions that come with Aeropress. Water temperature matters! Stirring duration matters! But if you can simply follow instructions, it's very easy to get consistent results.

If you're a bit lazy, you can substitute a cheap blade grinder, and still have the same equipment outlay.


I’m super lazy. I skip all the beans and grinding and just use Cafe Bustelo. It’s great coffee and works really well in an Aeropress.

$4 per 10 ounce can.


You can make most anything halfway decent taste good or at least non-offensive with an Aeropress. Just reduce extraction time and increase or decrease temperature.


If you're looking for a good hand grinder that has almost no plastic parts, I've been using this Porlex one for maybe... 5 or 6 years now?

https://www.amazon.com/Porlex-Jp-30-Stainless-Coffee-Grinder...

I highly recommend getting THAT one and not the Porlex mini, or any of the cheaper brands. The build quality is not the same, plus you'll want the extra capacity in case you decide to do a big french press or something.

I do pourover as well, which is great, though I do love me a stovetop when I'm feeling old school! Pretty inconsistent though unless you really dial it in over time.


That Porlex just isn't consistent enough for espresso.


I'm just a rookie at making espresso but I would argue my <$100 DeLonghi espresso maker paired with either fresh ground coffee from a local store or illy Coffee from online is at least on par with most chain coffee shops.

I can't stomach drip coffee but have really enjoyed a nice espresso with steam/foamed milk.

The biggest lessons I've learned are don't over pack it, don't under pack it, stop when it turns blond, give it time to warm up & let it run for a bit to get the old water out.

- Edit - I would love to hear tips on what else I can do to up my espresso game though for a reasonable price.


Seconding Delonghi as a cheaper option. I had brought in a DeLonghi espresso maker for my team at the last job. We got a decent coffee grinder around 100.

It wasn't earth shattering. But the price to convenience factor was there. First person in always turned on the machine warming it up. We'd make a round of shots before stand up. Then switch to coffee + frothed milk.

For beans we maintained a rotation and all chipped in. We also had a french press, siphon and chemex.


Same here; I bought a used DeLonghi (10€!) and it's on par with a random espresso from a coffeeshop. It also doesn't take anything close to 20m to warm up, though I suppose that may be easier in Europe vs the US.


Machines will take a short time to get to proper brew temp, but the rest of the machine takes longer (the group head is most important)

Ideally you want everything the coffee touches to be at the proper temp - included th portafilter and cups.


I think it takes 2-3 minutes to warm up. It's ready before I have my espresso packed. I know the instructions say to run the water a bit before brewing to clean the pipes of any colder water.

Great point on cup temp! That makes a huge difference if you want your coffee to stay warm.


Your grinder will make the most impact.

get freshly roasted beans (within 2wks) grind with a high quality burr grinder before each run.

That will get you the best quality shot with your machine.


I'm curious about your hand grinder and if it does a better job than my automatic Baratza Encore burr grinder (priced at about $129 US). I've been hearing over and over that the grinder is the most important part of the whole process, but I haven't been willing to jump up to the $400-ish price point for something like a Eureka Mignon Silenzio....


Intruiging. How long time does it take you to make a cup? How long time for the grinding?


Pouring steamed milk over good hand-brewn coffee is a slightly disturbing idea. Why would you want to do that to your coffee?

That said I too love my electric milk frother its hot chocolate option.


In one of the companies I worked for we had this really nice semi-automatic espresso machine. The type where you have to unscrew the handle, put the grounds in. I loved making coffee in it! A little break from coding, some manual task to do. Make the coffee, steam the milk, clean up. It was a nice little break.

Then some part broke and instead of fixing it the company bought the fully automatic machine. It was downright terrible (and crazy expensive!). The coffee tasted terrible and more importantly the ritual of making it was gone :(


I've had a Jura at three jobs now and they've all been consistently mediocre. Its espresso is super watery and feels like there's some missing flavor. I strongly prefer my Aeropress for both flavor and the ritual of using it.


I got ruined for regular coffee when I found a local shop that roasts its beans sorted by size. So it doesn't taste scorched. Apparently most commercial coffee makers roast them in arbitrary batches, which means by the time the big ones are roasted the small ones are burned.

I know there's a lot more that can be done with roasting. But that one small change means you can have strong coffee without having burned coffee. Its at the point I can walk past a coffee shop and say "Yuck they don't sort their beans" just by the smell.


It's really funny to me to just how much junk information there is in the coffee world and just how strongly people believe it. Even here on hackernews it seems. This is the exact sort of 'fact' that sounds good, and makes you feel like you know what you're talking about.

I'm a roaster. All coffee is sorted by size, or at least all quality coffee. It's necessary, not only for an even roast, but it's also an inherent part of green coffee processing. You have to screen and sort the beans to dry them.

The reason grocery coffee is bad is simple. They roast it until the oils come out and then the oils go rancid because it has been sitting on the shelf for the last 6 months getting to you. Even if it hasn't gone rancid (way more common than you'd guess), it's still stale and overroasted. Americans expect coffee to be dark, bitter, and cheap... And so that's what they get. But what you said isn't true. Even the crappiest bulk market roaster/reseller roasts by size and the blends after. They literally don't have a choice.

To be fair, a lot of the junk info comes from roasters keen on delineating themselves in any way in a saturated market. Taking words that are true for everyone and making them seem unique to your business is a sales tactic ad old as time.

https://espressocoffeeguide.com/gourmet-coffee/arabian-and-a...


I will back you up. I visited a coffee plantation in Guatemala and they said they sort all of their beans by size before selling them. I asked if people paid different prices, but they said no. The reason was that the roasters want consistent sizes.

And this was just some small coffee plantation.


Small plantations are more likely to be selling high quality beans, for which buyers pay a premium. (It's similar with cocoa beans.) So their high-end buyers/roasters may be accustomed to consistent bean size in a way that large-scale, low-margin purchasers are not.


Hello! Coffee enthusiast here. I'd like to follow-up on this statement:

> They roast it until the oils come out and then the oils go rancid because it has been sitting on the shelf for the last 6 months getting to you.

Are you saying that it's bad if my coffee beans are glistening with oil? I usually took that to be an indicator of freshness. Or do you mean that if they're no longer glistening that the bag is probably stale?

FWIW, most of what I buy (except for the Costco bag that I take to work) has a roasting date on the back so that I can guarantee a certain degree of freshness.


Light to medium roasts won't extract oils to the surface and IMO have a much nicer flavor, especially when using good beans.

To me a dark roast Ethiopian tastes the same as a dark roast Costa Rican. They taste very different with a lighter roast. You lose the bean's uniqueness when you go darker which is one of the reasons cheap coffee tends to be dark.


I feel like I am the only one but I find that "uniqueness" - sour/fruity taste disgusting and can't stand the lighter roasts.

I prefer a dark roast with heavy cream :)


You’re not alone. There are dozens of us!


> Are you saying that it's bad if my coffee beans are glistening with oil?

It isn't inherently bad, but it's usually a sign of more mass produced coffee. It's easier to roast coffee like that because it all tastes pretty much the same which is good if you need to make the same coffee for thousands of different locations. And some people enjoy the carbonic taste of coffee like that.

More lightly roasted coffees will have big differences in flavour that's not really possible to control for on a mass scale I don't think. Especially between origins and varieties.


it’s a sign that it’s a dark roast, which many mass produced coffees are. The third wave has tried to instill a culture of “nothing darker than a city roast” which I think has been harmful, as it marginalizes all dark roasts as cheap roasts, which isn’t the case.

That said, I think dark roasts age much less gracefully than a medium roast due to the oxygen exposure of oils, but I really love a full city roast for espresso.


Oils start sweating out of the bean when you get closer to really dark roasts. You'll see a lot of Starbucks beans glisten.

Lighter roasts will never be shiny like that because they haven't been roasted long enough for the oils to react like that.

Always grind your beans just before you brew. Never buy preground coffee.


Oil exposed to air can start to go bad after a month or so exposed to oxygen. So if your coffee beans have visible oil, they’ll be slightly more likely to taste worse sooner, just because the oil’s right there on the surface. But it doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative otherwise. If it helps, think of it like butter: you can reasonably leave a stick of butter on the counter for a while, and then it doesn’t taste as good anymore. Coffee is the same way, oil or not :)


Dark roast is a little like well-done steak; you're mostly tasting the effects of the heat, not the quality of the ingredient. Good beans will make good dark-roast, but okay beans will probably taste pretty similar. The lighter roasts let the differences shine.

Thus, trendy 3rd wave coffee is almost universally light to medium roast. So oils might get a bad association this way, but that's not really fair. It's just a dark roast. It's the age and original quality that really matters.


>I usually took that to be an indicator of freshness.

I've only heard it described as a flaw. None of the recently and well-roasted beans from the local roasters I visit sell oily beans. But Starbucks? Or typical grocery coffee? Usually always dark and oily.


Surface oils are not an indicator of quality either way. The roasting process brings oils to the surface, so darker roasts tend to have more surface oils. From what I understand, the oils appear a few days after roasting, and then dry out/reabsorb after a few weeks.


Mostly how I see it too. I roast my own and I like it quite dark. I stop roasting when the first bit of oil appears and sprinkle water on to slow things down. The oil keeps coming out until the heat leaves, so getting the heat out of it is my objective. Stir and a little water, and wait until it cools about to touch. The oil doesn’t seem to keep coming out after the heat has left.


It's not even like sorting by size would be difficult. All you need is a sieve-like machine with different size holes & hoppers for each. Or a sluice-box, or one of many other ways to accomplish this. If it made a huge difference in quality, and it was not hard to do- everyone would be doing it. And indeed, they are.

WRT junk info, coffee is not that different from audiophiles or wine. Luxury product, real differences exist, but they are subtle & hard to measure. Most of the experience is subjective.


Mostly true, but unlike high end audio, the best coffee can be bought by most people. The best I’ve ever had was $2US.


High end audio isn't expensive, the bullshit is.

You can grab some nice drivers, unreasonably high-quality crossover components, and couple sheets of MDF to make yourself some floor-standers for a few hundred. Using any number of popular DIY speaker designs, you'll have something that would easily stand up to anything of a similar format in a blind A/B test.

Amplification is dirt cheap now; class-D amps are superlatively good even in the <$100 category. You can even add in DSP for a very reasonable price if you want to jerk off to glass-flat charts.


Building your own is not the same as buying, though. What would the cost for that same product be if it came all assembled for you, but the same quality? I'm betting it's pretty expensive.

It's probably also not that expensive to roast your own coffee beans, but it's an extra step that non-hobbyists don't want to deal with.


The best coffee maker you had was $2 or the best coffee was a cup you bought for $2? If the latter, I'm sure the equipment and training that went into that was in the thousands of dollars range.


> Most of the experience is subjective.

Followed closely by...

> The best I’ve ever had was $2US.

QED


I am also a coffee roaster. Everything this person says is true.


The better groceries in my area (Whole Foods, Harris Teater, Publix) carry locally roasted beans with their roast dates on them.


Who's talking grocery stores? Coffee shops that roast, do it any way they want. And sure enough some do it badly.


> ..."you can have strong coffee without having burned coffee"

just noting that when people say strong coffee, they usually mean "more caffeine", not "darker roast". and coffee people generally know that darker roasts have less caffeine.

i actually like darker roast too, when i want a caramelly coffee (by adding cream and sugar). my theory is that not only does a dark roast better hide lower quality beans, but starbucks knows that most people put cream and sugar in their coffee and darker roasts are better for that, which is why it's so popular.

but when i want straight brewed coffee, i seem to prefer a medium roast.


Darker roasts having less caffeine is another bit of folk wisdom that actually turns out not to be true.

https://www.kickinghorsecoffee.com/en/blog/caffeine-myths-da...


interesting! the weight vs volume point is something that's not obvious on first blush.


Not what I mean. More coffee flavor. Without tasted scorched.


Generally the beans are roughly the same size, and what you called burned, I believe is simply because it's roasted darker to compensate for the less than ideal quality of the beans.

The fact that WBC finalists are using coffee that the roaster haven't sorted based in size tells a lot. Perhaps the farmer does it to some degree.


>The fact that WBC finalists are using coffee that the roaster haven't sorted based in size tells a lot. Perhaps the farmer does it to some degree.

I'm not sure if you've looked at espresso chemical papers (mostly the Illy ones), but they're pretty cool and they might explain this.

The oil extraction curves are non-linear. Lighter roasts that aren't at risk of burning smaller beans can be paired with variable bean size to produce a spectrum of related flavour notes, providing a bit of depth to a varietal that has a very strong and pronounced (but limited) set of notes.


I haven't, but it sounds like something I'd enjoy. Thanks for the pointers.


Try it before judging! Its definitely a burned taste, and once its gone you would not believe the difference.


I simply cannot explain why they wouldn't do it if it made a difference. A machine that sorts the beans by size is cheaper than the machine that package the coffee, so if it would make a better product, I'm sure the big roasters would do it. It's not like they cannot make great coffee. They can make coffee that's world class, but the market will not pay that much.

But regardless, I have tried coffee that isn't burned. I primarily use lighter roasted beans, and there is zero burned taste.


I wonder if that's more to do with the grade of beans than roaster-sorting.

Edit: also, could this be related to inconsistent grind? Smaller bits over-extracted.


You may as well find value in looking up “density sorted” coffee, where they concentrate the high-density beans for roasting to max our flavor per cup.


Funny that my entire life that's been the only way I would drink coffee. My parents would make it that way and I was doing it that way when I started drinking coffee. I guess that the fact that electric coffee makers were not popular nor cheap at the time contributed to this habit.

Besides, you can tell me what you want but I think the coffee from an electric coffee maker tastes worse than hand brewing. Perhaps I've only used cheap coffee makers, but I'm yet to find one that can make a drinkable coffee. Exceptions are espresso makers;the ones I tried made really good coffee (including the one I currently have at home).


French press for me. I buy my beans weekly from a local roaster and grind them at purchase.

I think I get mot of the upside of 100% fresh ground and pour-over with a bit less work. And I start cooking breakfast while the water boils, so no time lost.

At work, it's generic machine coffee. It doesn't taste great, but it keeps me going.


I use a French Press abut 90% of the time. But the different methods are better at extracting certain kinds of flavors, so it really depends on what kind of coffee I'm using. For most coffee, the FP is great at extracting deep, earthy flavors (and the oil, obviously). So that's always my go-to coffee in the morning. For brighter, more citrus-y coffee (Intelligentsia brand excels at these lighter ones), I favor the pourover or Aeropress method to really highlight the fruity notes.


Hmmm, hadn't thought about the oil part of the equation - I just assumed the oils would pass through a filter as well as through the mesh on the press. I'll have to try pour-over sometime to see if I notice a difference. Generally I prefer a rich, chocolatey, nutty flavor - I guess that's what you describe as earthy?


Paper filters remove much more of the oils.


There's some evidence that grinding with an extremely high quality grinder will give better results for at least a few days than on-demand grind with a "bad" (i.e. less than few hundred dollar burr grinders, not to mention any blade grinder) grinder. This is one such "study" - https://prima-coffee.com/learn/article/grinder-basics/it-alw...

So, I think you're doing fine unless you want to spend more money :)

If you're brewing espresso, where the freshness of the grind is integral to the texture of the result, maybe this is less true. But anyone who's taking espresso seriously has a nice grinder anyway, I guess. (And on the opposite, I think French Press is very tolerant)


I don't buy the article's "study" whatsoever. From the pictures, they are testing the "flavor" using a drip method and don't control for the temperature. Using a drip method the ground should be fine. Fine is fine. .05mm coffee grains should mechanistically speaking soak through just as well as .08mm coffee grains.

It also strikes me as odd that each of the grinders was exactly consistent across an entire week for its flavor profile, and that further the exact consistency matches the cost(margin) of the grinders, and that even further the company who is doing this "study" happens to also be selling the grinders!


Low quality grinders will result in unequal sized grains of coffee. Given that the flavor of coffee is largely based on the degree of extraction, having an even sized grounds will improve the consistency of the produced coffee.


My point is that once you get to a fine enough granularity of coffee (as required per drip makers), you are likely getting the full extraction regardless at which point the quality of your grinder is moot.

Further, I have a hard time believing that inconsistent extractions is consistent with "better" flavor. It seems to me that the flavor would just be "different".


quality filters will work with unequal size grounds.

example: a chemex with a barrista warrior filter will work amazingly well with medium to coarse grinds - just as well with medium or coarse only.

however, if you still subscribe to 'it must be the same size grind' - grind it twice at the same setting, then use a Kruve filter. I like using a 1100 and 400 size filters in my kruve, to give me the three types of grind i prefer (under 400 for my espresso, between 1100 and 400 for drip, and above 1100 for pourover. - all with the same bean!


I feel like the least amount of work is to mix the coffee and water and let it sit a day and then add hot water to it. Cold brew concentrate meets Americano. I can either use a filter and a tap (see below) or mix it in a mason jar and pour the sludge through a filter later.

Keep this in the fridge - https://www.kitchenaid.com/countertop-appliances/coffee-prod...

and this on the counter - https://www.cuisinart.com/shopping/appliances/tea_kettles/cp...


French press also extracts and preserves all the oils present in coffee beans, whereas drip/chemex filters them out.

As a sidenote, french press is also great for brewing tea, but keep your coffee and tea presses separated.


You frame the difference in oils as a bad thing, but it's simply personal preference (I much prefer paper filtered coffee).


Only because parent mentioned preferring that, in other posts in this thread people mentioned preferring the opposite.


If you use a metal filter with the drip/chemex devices, you can get the volatile oils in your coffee as well. Same for the Aeropress (which does have a metal filter option as well).


I love my French press, but recently picked up a pour over pot with a metal filter. I find myself preferring pour over lately...


I have several different manual brewers in my collection: an aeropress, a french press, a couple of different sized coffee siphons, and a few different sized mokapots.

This is paired with a decent quality electric grinder.

For day to day, just making a coffee for myself, I find the aeropress is the best. Makes a good coffee, is quick, and the clean-up afterwards is the absolute easiest. Use with metal filter, not paper, and either the inverted brewing technique or a prismo to avoid leakage while brewing.

Mokapots are also pretty good overall, especially if making several coffees. The process is not particularly tweakable though if you are wanting to fine tune. Like the aeropress, clean-up afterward is pretty easy.

The siphons are great when you want to feel like a mad scientist. It is time consuming but fun to watch. Once the novelty wears off go back to the aeropress for your day to day brew. I've eschewed the cloth filter for either paper or metal.

French press, to me, is okay but doesn't have much by way of advantages over the above methods. Clean-up afterwards is a chore, uses the most water (if you pre-heat) and takes about as long as any other way.

Each brings something a little different to the final result.


I just cold brew my coffee. Amazon has a good reusable filter that drops in to a large mason jar. I make 3-4 jars a week (You literally just add ground coffee, water, and wait 24 hours). Even mediocre beans taste pretty good as cold brew.


I do cold brew in the summer too. If you hand grind it's not less time consuming since it uses more beans. If you have an electric grinder it's faster.


I am way too lazy to grind and don't want a dedicated appliance for it, so I just buy cheap pre-ground. I personally can't tell the difference between good and mediocre beans with cold brew.


I just do it in a half-gallon container and then filter it in a french press. That much quantity clogs up paper filters, although i guess you could refilter in paper in half batches after pushing through a french press.

I find cold brew really convenient the rest of the week and it has a much mellower flavor.


That's why I use one of these steel-mesh filters. I used cheesecloth before and it was super annoying.

https://www.amazon.com/KLEIN-Cold-Brew-Kit-Concentrate/dp/B0...


I've cold-brewed using a French Press for only 12 hours and was very happy with the results.


could you link to the filter and note your process? I'd be very interested in making my own cold brew!


I'm not the guy you responded to, but I really love my cold brew maker: https://www.amazon.com/Hario-Mizudashi-Cold-Coffee-1000ml/dp...

It's super easy to clean, makes a week's worth (at least for me), lets you serve directly from it, and I think it looks really good.

Whatever you do, make sure you use coarse-ground beans. They extract so much more flavor than medium or fine, in my experience.


Filter: https://www.amazon.com/KLEIN-Cold-Brew-Kit-Concentrate/dp/B0...

Jars (I think these are the right size): https://www.amazon.com/32oz-Regular-Mouth-Canning-Mason/dp/B...

My process is that I fill the filter halfway with coffee, fill the jar with cold water, wait 24-48 hours, then refrigerate. That's it.

The entire process is super simple. I don't need to worry about presses, disposable filters, machines, etc. I just need to rinse the filter and clean the jars occasionally.


Also, from what I understand, and my experience, it’s a lot stronger than hot brewed coffee. Win-win.


Are you drinking it straight? Usually you're supposed to mix one part of cold brew concentrate with one or two parts water.


I drink it straight, but probably end up drinking half as much by volume. It's really easy to drink too much and end up in jitter-town.


this. straight cold-brew coffee is very 'strong'. As arya169 mentioned, at least a 1:1 coffee to water ratio.


OP misses a CRITICAL intermediate step in the handbrewing process:

SMELLING the freshly ground coffee beans before brewing.

Shameful.


I really enjoy the whole ritual. Heat up the water, grind the beans, SMELL them, pour the water over. It's honestly just a nice little habit that I find think is a calm way to start my mornings. Even if it takes a little more time, the routine of it is great for me.


My three year old comes running when he hears the grinder running, just so he can smell the ground coffee.


My sister loved to do that when we were young. But then one day she sneezed in them. Watch out.


I like variety. My go to is an Aeropress. But maybe once a week or so I’ll make Turkish style coffee, or use a Chemex or drip cone. (I wouldn’t buy a Chemex - it’s not really any different from a drip cone, uses special filters, and takes up more space than a cone, but it was a gift.) And in the summer I like to have cold brew around.


I'll contradict you in good humor on the Chemex if only to say that it's just a very nice multi-cup drip option. The heavy filters seem to slow down brewing a bit but I've always gotten really tasty, strong coffee out of my Chemex, and it's a very lovely object and surprisingly easy to keep clean. But you're right that it's not significantly different and takes up more space.


I have the three cup classic so it's not even a very good multi-cup option! Oh well. I otherwise agree.


I understand this guy. Five years ago, I calmly could drink americano in a terrible coffee shop. Now I can not imagine my day without aeropress or chemex. My favorite grains are from Kenya and Congo, because sourness is felt in them. If you really love coffee, then you will like the hand-brew.


It sounds like you lost a neutral or even positive while gaining a negative here: lost is the ability to drink a common beverage without feeling bad about being uncultured, gained is a dependency on commercial brands - Aeropress and Chemex - and related niche products - in this case African coffee - as well as a related ritual - 'hand-brewing coffee'.

In both cases you satisfied your thirst for caffeine, the difference is that the lost method allowed you to do this more or less anywhere and at more or less any price which the new method makes this more hard to come by and carries a much higher price.

To put all that in two words: carpe diem

In a few more words: enjoy your fanciful coffee but try not to create too much ritual around it as that only builds walls where no walls need to be.


This feels true to me. I was making coffee with an aeropress in my office, right next to the 3-carafe Bunn automatic coffeemaker. Someone poured a cup of office coffee, while I was pressing my aeropress.

They asked about it - how does it work, why do I do it? I said that I can use my own coffee, it makes the coffee taste better and I can modify the strength and flavor depending on my grind size, brewing times, pressure - it's like experimenting to find the best cup.

They replied, "well I'm not a snob, and I think this [office] coffee tastes pretty good...after all they probably have the same amount of caffeine in them, don't they?"

It was humbling, and although I still make coffee (at my desk now lol) I look at the product I make myself different from coffee as a beverage. Handmaking coffee is an enjoyable ritual with new discoverable outcomes based on modifiable variables. It's a hobby I do, right next to making my own recipes and doing ham radio.

But if I just need caffeine and I'm too lazy to make aeropress, I drink out of the office pot and I don't think of it as an inferior product.


If you want to win that argument next time, just say "I'm not a snob, this cup has 2-3 times more caffeine."

It doesn't need to be true to make sense. Everybody understands trying to get more caffeine without drinking the whole pot of coffee.


If you only want caffeine, aren't caffeine pills more practical?


Hey that describes pretty much any food preference? We should all learn to live with terrible cooking too?

On that note, I had two total lunch fails last week. Food delivered to the table, that I couldn't eat. Is it the phase of the moon? The political climate? The cold weather?


It's possible, I think, to appreciate and enjoy (and spend time on) good cooking - or coffee - without the kind of (IMO unhealthy) dependency suggested by "I can not imagine my day without aeropress or chemex".

Perhaps that was just hyperbole by Griceraae50100. I hope so.


Of course it was. But also, comfortable middle-class folk get used to lots of comfortable things and can't imagine living without them. Like cars and roads and a warm house and a good grocery store. Unless those things change drastically then wanting and getting good coffee is way, way down on the list of 'unhealthy dependency'.


Much of what we do in the west could fall into the category of unhealthy dependency. I drink 4-6 double espressos daily, plus about 16oz of green tea. I vape. I code. I sort out issues on servers, for which without the caffeine and nicotine would suffer :).

This is life in the west. Being comfortable is no sin. Getting used to "better" is likewise not a bad thing. It's bad if/when you use your "status/wealth/etc" to impugn or degrade others. I feel like I've earned my place in life, as has my wife. We live in a normal house, drive so-so daily drivers (car status means nothing to me), and wear clothes from the outlet stores.

I do, however, not skimp on coffee, tea, meat, or leather boots. These I will gladly spend money on.

Like a lot of guys, I enjoy a fine cigar and a cold expensive lager on the back porch while cooking steaks. All washed down with a healthy measure of espresso and green tea.


It doesn't describe general food preferences like 'hamburger' or 'croque monsieur' [1], at least that is not my intention. What it is meant to describe is, in the context of the first of the above examples, ruing the day one would have to go without a grass-fed aged Argentine Angus beef burger with ecological Ruccola from the western slopes of Hamburger Hill in northern California, topped with a slice of late-harvest heritage Tuscany tomato and Syrian course-ground ecological pepper on a sourdough Spelt-and-Wheat bun.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croque_monsieur


Did it have olives in it?


Ha! No. One was a 'steak and eggs' at a new diner, where the over-easy eggs were broken (just annoying), the hashed-browned potatoes were a freezer-burned puck of mush, the 'steak' was a pile of fatty gristle that I tried chewing for 2 minutes and didn't get any smaller, and a pointless vegetable was grilled asparagus turned to dry sticks. There was nothing on the plate I wanted to put in my mouth.

The other was a Philly I got at a bar (fancy-food seafood/bar). Except is came as a French Dip (which wasn't on the menu): scant grilled onions/peppers, no cheese(!) and a bowl of brown broth. Which had spilled and saturated the bottom bun - took my whole napkin to try and get the slime off my hands after one attempt to pick it up. So I tipped the top bun off, maybe I could eat the filling - which was bare sliced beef with some gummy white stuff (not cheese) smeared on it? Oh, the top bun had been smeared with some white jizz that had melted the bread into paste. Disgusting top to bottom. I ate the fries and left.



Yes, that is what I meant. It puts my mind back to the best take-out Chinese (food, not person) I ever had. While the take-out itself might have been a run-off-the-mill nasi goreng [1] it was the setting which made it memorable. I was on my first long solo cycling trip (where 'long' means about three weeks), about 16 years old and intent on finding a well-hidden spot to pitch my tent for the night [2]. I cycled past that take-away, thought 'why not' and got the food only to continue on my way for a bit. I finally chose a spot next to the river, started the cooker to boil some water for tea and had the nasi while watching the ships go by on the river. It was getting dark, the ships were lit up like Christmas trees, ships and river flowed by and I felt for probably the first time what it really meant to be free, healthy and self-reliant.

[1] I'm Dutch, nasi goreng (which you could translate to "fried rice with yesterday's leftovers", at least that is how I always make it) is a Dutch-but-really-Indonesian staple food

[2] ...which is illegal in the Netherlands, you can only camp in designated camping spots. While this might be the letter of the law it did not keep a local police officer who cycled by (in another place and time) while I was cooking something next to my tent in a totally illegal spot from wishing me a good dinner and continuing on his way.


> It was one of those moments when I could actually imagine my cranky diner-coffee-swilling Irish grandfather rising from the grave and saying, "You know what, kid? You're an idiot.

What a great article. The takeaway sentiment is that the experiences and interactions that surround coffee-drinking are way more important than the quality of the coffee.


Thanks for posting that, I really enjoyed it


Yeah, there's no reason you can't have both.

I am _way_ down the coffee rabbit hole (home roasting, etc). I'm still perfectly fine with "common" coffee from Starbucks/Dunkin/etc. They're just different things.

Really the only coffee I can't drink is "diner" coffee, but that's more about heartburn than preference...


Right there with you on the beans from Kenya -- my local roaster has a Kenyan "Kifahari" that has a nice tartness to it. I can't drink it all the time though, as it gets to be a bit much, so it is more of a treat when I get it.


If you come across a Costa Rica, you should try it. It’s my favorite due to the tartness and fruit flavors that come through.


Sumatra is where it's at, with PNG a close second.

(Obviously this is all entirely subjective, good coffee from any region is good)


Chemex is just an expensive, proprietary coffee pot.


Chemex pots are NOT expensive. I don't know where you got that idea.

The classic (which is to say, fancier, with the wooden collar) 8-cup model is $37 on Amazon right now. At our house, going to Chemex meant shifting from genuinely expensive drip machines that were hard or impossible to properly clean, and which therefore got replaced every few years. It's a drastically LESS expensive method than most.


Expense is relative. I use a $2 plastic cone that does pretty much the same thing. It was the cheapest option in the store and I was a poor grad student when I bought it ten years ago.


When someone says "x is more expensive than y", yeah, it's relative.

When someone says "x is expensive", it's asserting that the item is a costly example of its genre. Given that drip coffee machines run from about $40 to hundreds and hundreds, it still seems disingenuous to say that Chemex is expensive.

Can you do pourover cheaper? Sure. But the good news is that in this area of coffeemaking, even the higher-end, beautiful option (the OG Chemex is literally in design museums) is pretty damn cheap.


At my house everyone always drank coffee that wasn't going through any machine whatsoever. You just put a teaspoon of ground coffee in a cup and poured water over it, drinking it after the grounds settled down.

I don't know, I feel like $37 for a glass container that still needs filters is asking for quite a lot. A nice french press is like $10.


I worked at Starbucks for a few years and was always grossed out by the idea of "Instant Coffee", (dumping grounds in hot water).

But after doing a week long hiking trip I got pretty addicted to the simplicity and punch of the instant coffee method.

I even premix my Carnation instant coffee with a little cocoa powder and some sugar, so I can just do 1 spoon and I have an instant fun drink that tastes a little fancy.


FWIW, drip and french press produce different tasting coffees.

For example, using the same coffee, I like french press coffee and hate chemex-style drip coffee. The latter brings out too much bitterness for my tastes.


IMO, $37 for what amounts to a flanged glass jar is ludicrous for many people. Even if it ends up cheaper in the long run. For what it's worth, I live with a couple roommates and they are on their third chemex, since glass breaks easily. Maybe our brand is bad. Maybe our coordination is worse.


Sure, if you're clumsy, then maybe a nice glass coffee device isn't for you.

I've had mine for > 10 years.


Unintentional "let them eat cake" style comedy. $37 isn't expensive only for people drinking designer coffee out of avocados.


The filters are expensive.


What does "proprietary" refer to with regards to a pour over coffee maker?

Do you think you can only use chemex filters with the chemex carafe? This isn't true. You can also use the chemex filters with other pour over makers.


Yes, but it looks nice on a shelf in the background of an Instagram photo.

Plain old conical drippers have exactly the same effect on the coffee, but they don't make it look like you're performing a science experiment.


What really makes a Chemex is its filters, which are way thicker than typical pourover filters. The paper is thicker and leads to a lighter-bodied brew.


Macbooks of coffee.


Except Chemex pots are cheap (+), durable (+++), and don't have a touchbar (++++++++++).


We got a Moccamaster 3-ish years ago, and honestly I haven't been that happy with the coffee it makes. But we also don't have a grinder, so we are using preground beans. But those same beans when run through a Chemex pourover taste dramatically different. Even though the Moccamaster is meant to mimic the pour over brew.

I have switched to the Chemex, partly because as this article says I am liking the process. Partly because it tends to taste better. The Moccamaster does seem more consistent, it's just, to my taste, more consistently bad. Sometimes my Chemex is as bad, sometimes it is great... At home I have an Oxo BaristaBrain, and that is more consistently good, for some reason. But I also grind beans there with a pretty high end grinder (Virtuoso by ...?).

In the end, I have come to enjoy the break in the day that the brew gives me. I don't tend to take breaks otherwise, and I should, but that is a good opportunity.


Are you diligent with cleaning / rinsing the moccamaster? Makes a huge difference in my experience. And you need to keep it much cleaner than most people do. That's another benefit of pour-over - I've never had any issues re:cleaning a simple v60 setup.


> The drip cone maintenance is easy, too. Washing the cone after each use takes only a couple of seconds.

This line really resonated with me. I think there's a general principle at play: simple systems take more effort to use but require less maintenance. It's at the core of the original vi versus emacs divide (although vim with vimscript and its plugin ecosystem has muddied the waters.) Vi's power comes from its simplicity: a limited but highly effective feature set. Emacs users on the other hand often end up spending a significant amount of time maintaining their emacs configuration, which makes their actual text editing tasks go much faster.

In this analogy emacs is the automatic coffee maker, and vi is the drip-cone. At the risk of complicating the analogy, emacs may in fact be able to brew coffee.


Personally not a big fan of filter coffee. I have an Aeropress and know lots of people rave about it, but it isn't for me. I was hoping this article would be about a hand (or battery) pumped portable espresso device, e.g. Handpresso, which I don't have although have thought about (primarily as a way around the electrical safety compliance restrictions at my current workplace). BTW, I don't mind the awful free coffee from the machine at work (because it's free), and don't mind periodically paying a small fortune for a good one from one of the few coffeeshops that actually consistently make good ones - I just hate paying a small fortune for a rubbish one, and would prefer to make my own low cost good ones.


Try using a fine mesh metal screen with the aeropress. I find it is better than a filter.


To add onto this, Fellow makes an attachment (the Prismo) that builds up pressure giving you a more espresso-style cup. It comes with a metal filter, too.


Interesting device! I found that the hole punch metal filter didn't give me the same great taste that a mesh did. Obviously, very personal preference though. Maybe it works better with a Prismo.

I don't really believe that claim about the Prismo. I don't think that it builds up enough pressure to make any significantly noticable difference.

The advantage of a Prismo, and why I use one, is it stops the leakage of under-brewed fluid into your cup until you start pushing on the plunger. (Otherwise, I use the inverted brewing technique.)


I'm a coffee ritual person as well, though I think you can get a similar experience using a machine.

With that being said, my coffee maker device of choice is a Peruvian coffee pot (for lack of a better name, essentially this: http://cuzcoeats.com/perus-great-way-of-making-coffee-esenci...). It creates a dark rich full body concentrate that hits the nail on the head for me. With that being said, I'm not a big fan of the subtle flavours of coffee that you might get in a high quality pour over with a lightly roasted coffee.


My favorite hand brew method is "4:6 method" Invented by Tetsu Kasuya_ World Brewers Cup 2016 Champion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmCW8xSWGZY). He uses 20g of beans to 300ml of water and with this method, one can adjust the sweetness and strengtt. Previously, I always got random results, sometimes getting great coffee, while at other times, getting too much acidity or bitterness.


I don't care for the ritual aspects of it. My purpose is caffeine, yet I do want my coffee to be good. I agree with some others who posit that African coffee is some great stuff. It is. I use a French press, as I don't want to "filter" my coffee too much. If I cannot see the oil in the coffee, I will not drink it. I like my coffee very strong (taste and caffeine), very black, and in bean form before self grinding. The Ethiopian and Kenyan varieties are some great coffees.


Since others are listing their process, I'll document mine. I rarely drink any coffee, but I try to make a morning cup for my wife when I can. In return, she often makes me hot chocolate, which I prefer.

About once a year, we buy 20-30 lbs of green beans from http://sweetmarias.com at about $6/lb. Her preference is mostly for dry-process East Africans, but we also buy pounds of varieties from elsewhere that have words like "fruity" and "berry" in their descriptions.

About once a week, we roast an 8 oz batch or two in a Behmor Roaster (left over from a failed business venture). Roasts depend on the variety, but usually we try to stop somewhere between first and second crack. Depending on bean size and origin, this means 14:00 to 15:30 at P1A.

Then each morning, a portion gets ground in a Baratza Encore (at about setting 12), and put in a stainless steel filter cone (Bonzercraft from Amazon). Two cups of water is heated in a kettle on the stove. I add enough hot water to "bloom" the grounds when the kettle first starts to whistle (about 160F), then heat the rest of the water to about 195-200F. Then I start adding water to the filter, where it drips through at about 180F.

Over the course of a minute, I add the remaining water as the filter continues to drip into the cup. Meanwhile, I froth ~1/2 cup of cold whole milk in a Breville milk frother (set to about 140F). A minute or two later, the frother finishes at about the same time the remaining water drips through. Then I leave the milk and black coffee separate for her to combine when she comes down.


I tried different drip coffee makers, French press, and percolator over the course of years. The Bialetti Moka Express is perfect for me. However, everything depends on the grind, roast, and quality of the beans. After using medium and light roast coffee beans for five years, I am back with dark roast. I prefer Indonesian beans and a grind slightly coarser than espresso.


My concern with the bialetti was the aluminum material and possible side effects. I do like the iconic design, but went with a more modern Moka pot made of stainless steel.


I had the same concern. My understanding is that finished aluminum doesn't give off the aluminum powder that causes brain damage. The Bialetti's aluminum parts are supposed to be finished.


The Moccamaster is ubiquitous in Denmark. When I moved here from the UK (where the average household gets their coffee from a jar of Nescafe) it was a curious sight.

We picked up our Moccamaster second hand for 300 DKK (about 45 USD). This thing is absolutely solid and to my palette makes great daily coffee non-stop without complaint.


I still find using my Keurrig time consuming. Pouring the milk, putting in the sweetener, waiting for it to heat up.

I do use a manual coffee maker a few times a year. So much "extra" goes into making coffee that I find the time savings of a Keurrig over pouring water into a funnel isn't very much.


Has anyone here managed to quit coffee completely after being really into it? I have 1-2 a day, can't imagine starting starting a day without it, but despite really loving the taste I would rather not feel the need to have it.


I quit it cold turkey, got the headaches for a couple days, and at the longest time, didn't do it for a whole week. I felt okay and did work fine, but when I had a cup after being off it for that week, it worked. It was an actual drug with an actual buzz, and I was insanely productive with it. However, it seemed to stay in my system a lot longer, so I'd have to drink it real early in the morning, or else a cup I drank at 8am would have me up until midnight. I've eventually switched back to having just 1 cup in the morning (as opposed to 3-4/day when I originally quit).


I'm not sure if I count as "really into it" (in that it doesn't spark joy for me), but I was drinking 1-2 cups a day every morning. I felt like a zombie until I had my coffee, etc.

My family went on vacation for a couple weeks without me, and I just ... didn't make any coffee. The first day or three sucked, comparatively, but by the time the first weekend rolled around, I realized that I had completely forgotten about the coffee.

In short: just stop drinking it, and suffer through the first few days. ;) Consider brewing tea in the morning if you need the ritual. Make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.


Switch to decaf. Then you'll know you're doing it because you like to, not because you have to.


I quit cold turkey because of sleep problem I was having and stayed off it for about a month while I was isolating possible causes.

I don't really think cold turkey vs gradual cutoff would have made a difference for me. The biggest thing that helped was having something else to sip on (decaf tea + sparkling water in my case). The lack of caffeine was really only noticeable for a few days.


1-2 cups a day? I don't see that building an addiction (I hope at least, or I'm going to have a hard time)


It depends a lot on people, but two cups is enough to develop an addiction to caffeine, yes.

It's very easy to get addicted, and since the withdrawal symptoms are not that obvious (it's basically just not feeling good, some slight headache, etc) it is common not to be aware of it at all.


I have one, sometimes two cups a day, where a cup is roughly 250 g of brewed filter coffee (17 g of beans). I get headaches if I don't have coffee for a day, though I can tolerate it. So yeah as little as one cup a day can get you "addicted" in the sense that you'll feel withdrawal symptoms.


I should have said I drink coffee in a mug.


I quit twice. Both times it took me about two weeks. Splitting headaches and very foggy brain the first week, and less pronounced symptoms afterwards. The coolest part about weaning myself off caffeine was waking up feeling genuinely rested. But both times social pressure drove me back to the nasty habit...


Avoid headaches by tapering/titrating yourself off the caffeine using no-doz pills (or equivalent caffeine based pills).

In the morning take a whole pill, and over say 10 to 15 days, linearly decrease the amount you take by using part-pills (ending with a nibble of a pill).

This has worked great for me twice now when I was about to go somewhere I wouldn't be drinking coffee regularly.

I also once titrated myself off coffee by using instant coffee. Day 1 is a full teaspoon, and decrease the amount slowly over many days.


I have been forced to quit when on holidays to places that don’t have coffee, or perhaps I couldn’t find it. It was terrible. I’d have 3-4 a day (espressos, standard basket), and I suffered.


We're using percolators and fresh ground coffee at home. One large Argentinean clone and a "3 cup" Bialetti. I fill up the Bialetti with coffee for a good punch but the large one (don't know it's capacity actually) only half full maybe for a milder coffee.

Still I'm going for a Chemex to be able to drink something more subtile. Tried Moccamaster but it's still regular coffee to me. A good one though. My dad has a Jura that I really like for such a quick machine but perhaps not what I would like to drink daily.

Going to experiment a bit more with beans as well in the coming months. Just to have a bit more of variety.


Let's not make this some sort of big deal. It's not. "Handbrewing" coffee makes this sound like a studied method--I guess it is--but there is little to think about once you know how. It's no different than using any electric coffee maker. Just slightly more manual in that you need to boil the water in something and buy whole beans and grind them in a grinder. Most of that time is just wait time, not thinking or doing anything else. No big deal.

For years, I roasted my own beans. Now that would be something to talk about. Not this.


But that's not really what the post is about. It's about having an excuse to free your brain for 4 minutes. The fact that it's not a big deal to brew it is precisely the point. It's automatic, so your brain can wander.


> My standard recipe is 15 grams of coffee to 250 grams of water.

Hmm I use 18 g of coffee for 340 g of water. It's what my grinder dispenses, and I use 12 oz of water. 13% more water per gram. Is that wrong?


Wrong? Not if you like the result.

Coffee is a combination of many factors: bean, roast, grind, freshness, water temperature, brewing time, brewing style, and amount of extraction. There’s some guidelines of course, but ultimately you’re trying to get a coffee that tastes good to you.

My uncle likes his coffee much more watery than I do, but I think he uses not enough coffee and over extracts it. So when I’m making the coffee I make it the strength I like, pour his cup about 2/3rd then top his up with hot water.

Edit to add: According to Harold McGee, balanced flavor is an extraction of around 20% of the coffee solids producing a cup that’s 1.3% - 5.5% bean solids by weight (so you can see already a big range, drip is at the low end, espresso at the high end). Ideal brewing temperature of 190-200°F (but this is higher than Aeropress recommends). Brewing time of 1-3 minutes for a fine grind and 6-8 minutes (!) for a coarse grind. For American coffee, he recommends a coffee:water ratio of 1:15 for American, 1:5 for espresso. Also, per my anecdote about my uncle: “It’s always better to use too much coffee rather than too little: a strong but balanced cup can be diluted with hot water and remain balanced, but a weak cup can’t be improved.” (My summary from “On Food and Cooking” which has about 5 pages on coffee alone.)


It's up to you. My go-to recipe for the Aeropress is 30g coffee for 240g of water.


i'm not super diligent about consistency, but i use 24-25g coffee for 440-450g water, so that's somewhere in-between.


I use a pour-over Chemex and manual bean grinder at home. I enjoy the process, but I really don't drink coffee that often, maybe once a week on a lazy sunday morning. I would definitely need a side by side taste test if I was to tell any subtle difference in fresh ground pour over vs pre ground in a normal drip coffee maker or a Keurig.

If I was a daily drinker, I doubt I could resist the temptation to get something convenient like a Keurig, despite all of that plastic waste it generates with the K Cups.


We have fairly non-terrible coffee at our office available almost always on demand. Yet still there are a non-trivial number of us who opt to brew single cups either with Aeropress, or cone pour over.

The author nails it. Often it's more about the ritual of taking a few minutes to do something that isn't work. The fact you get a nice cup of coffee is a bonus. Others in our office do the same thing by walking out the front door and over to the indie coffee place literally around the corner.


We have one of those Dutch de Jong Duke coffee machines in our office. Thing makes great coffee, and as a consequence, I drink more than I would were I elsewhere. Thing makes lattes, cappuccinos, double/triple shots. The "executive" staff bought it, but we're all free to use it. It must cost them a fair amount of coin to run it, as it's always in use. Tastes better than Starbucks, but not as good as making your own with a French Press. You can see the oil in the coffee, so it must be only minimally filtering out just the grounds. I use it because it's there, and I'm one of those who, after drinking copious amounts of coffee daily for decades, develops headaches from lack of caffeine during the day.


I've thought for quite some time about ritual. I've been learning to make lattes for the last month or so, and I'm really enjoying it. For me at least, there's a mindfulness to focusing completely on the task at hand. No thinking about other problems, no worrying about email, and most of the time I turn off the music I'm listening to. And after all of that, I have a tangible result.

I enjoy ritual though. Maybe I just need more mindfulness in my life.


I guess it depends on why are you drinking coffee. I can see the ritual side if coffee is like one of the things that you do every day as a routine... But for many of us coffee is more like a tool to help ourselves wake up, do stuff, take a break from work, etc. This way people are more likely to use easy-way because is no ritual it's just one of the daily self-given tasks.


Love this. Nibbles around the edges of an issue that should be more central to creative professionals: how to attend to the subconscious.


I've used the same french press for 25 years, granted it's a nice one. I throw the grounds in the compost, seems easy and quick. I'm not the one drinking the coffee, though, my wife is so I can't say if it's as tasty as other options.

Pour-over seems almost as easy but you have to remember to stock filters.


Got tired of buying coffee makers that always burned out. A drip cone is the easiest to clean, never breaks.


I am a big fan of the steel "drip-o-lator"-style coffee brewers. They are a predecessor of electric coffee makers. It is similar to a pour-over, but you can just dump the hot water in and walk away. Unfortunately, they are no longer in production, but I have purchased several from eBay. One day I would like to design and build my own version with vacuum-insulated walls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg4ncWWqjno

Their layered construction can be described, from top to bottom, as follows:

1. A chamber for hot water. The top is open and has a lid. The bottom of the chamber has a number of very small holes, so that water will slowly drip through the bottom of the chamber.

2. A holder for coffee grounds. There are larger holes in this layer, so that water passes relatively quickly through the grounds during brewing.

3. A chamber to catch the brewed coffee.


Sounds like the Vietnamese single-serving coffee apparatus! Fun to use too.



I've got one of those, they work great!


Big fan too!

They're still around, really popular in Europe at least (Bialetti is probably the best-known brand).

Quite hard not to over-extract the coffee, but still my go to when I need an industrial-scale caffeine hit...


The Bialetti moka pots are different, although they look similar. They are heated on the stove-top, and water moves from the bottom chamber, through the grounds, to the top chamber under pressure.

The drip-o-lator style pots are NOT heated on the stove-top (a separate kettle is used), and the water moves from the top chamber, through the grounds, to the bottom chamber via gravity.


They burn out, and they inevitably taste funky. That's what drove me to a Chemex.


You end up with around 1$ a cup after tax. And damn good coffee after you do around 50 pours. The time you save is priceless. What you learn is priceless if you are into perfecting a craft

-A good grinder(Commendennte)

-12oz coffee

-Hario Filters

-Hario V60

-Goose neck cattle

-A scale that does single decimals(.1) accuracy

-A thermal bottle to hold the coffee.

Grind it to 2xsugar sized grinds.

15g coffee to 220-270g of water right off boil is fine for most coffees.


"My standard recipe is 15 grams of coffee to 250 grams of water.", I go with 30 for 300. I tinkered with those quantity a few times to settle on this one. It's one of the reasons I like pour over, over batch. Sadly pour over gives me bad reflux.


I keep a Melitta cone and Bodum kettle at my desk in my office at work. I can work and make coffee at the same time. I grind my coffee at home before I leave in the morning. Beats having to buy coffee somewhere or depend on whatever shite is in the hallway.


I’ve been hand brewing for nearly a decade. I use an Aeropress when I’m in a hurry, and a Kalita Wave or a Chemex when I’m not. The brewing method is only one variable. Freshness of beans and the quality of the grind are another.


Speed tends to be a factor people mention a lot with Aeropress, but I guess I'm not as busy as most people, because I rarely find myself in a situation where that difference of 2 minutes is a make or break thing. Once I factor in time for boiling water, it's like 5 minutes vs 7 for Aeropress vs a drip cone.


> while waiting for the way-too-slow kettle to boil the water

How is it Americans still don't use electric water kettles? Everyone else on the planet that has electricity has one. It's faster, more convenient, kinda-sorta safer. And you can find ones with digital temperature control on Amazon for like $25.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=goose+neck+electric+water+kettle+...

Look at these things, there's hundreds of 'em. I picked the cheapest one and it works great. I can set the temperature to exactly 205F and the gooseneck works for pourover, or I can bring the temp down to 170 for green tea. (If you make big batches of tea, a non-gooseneck pours much faster)


Mains voltage is typically 120V here, instead of 240, so it takes a while to boil water with an electric kettle.


Uh, you don't need 240V at all. With 120VAC an electric kettle takes half the time of a traditional kettle to boil water. It also shuts off automatically, so no annoying whistling.

[1] https://slate.com/human-interest/2005/11/forget-your-stove-t...


It’s not that hard. Get a nice French press. At home we use one that that is large and steal. Get a good burr grinder. Get an electric kettle. Buy some decent whole beans where you know how long it has been since they where roasted. Boil the water, grind the coffee. Put coffee in press. Pour water over. Stir the mixture for ~20 seconds. Put the lid on the press but do not press it down. Wait 2-5 minutes (up to your taste, beans). Press coffee. Drink. Clean the grinder, etc. It only takes a few minutes of real time doing something each morning. So worth it.

Also if you like milk in your coffee switch to heavy whipping cream. You will use less and it taste richer. Shake up the cream a bit before putting in mug.


or spring for some good non-homogenized whole milk, way too pricy to drink instead of normal milk but super cheap when you just use it for coffee!


I buy pre-ground beans from the store (usually what's on sale), chuck them in Mr. Coffee, and have a wonderfully enjoyable carafe of coffee everyday.


I used to buy my own beans, grind them, and brew my coffee in a French press. However, my SO doesn't want to wait 30 minutes for a fresh cup of coffee, so we switched back to grounds this year and the difference is really not all that noticeable.


I prefer ground, but grocery store bought beans is fine. But that difference from pre-ground is very noticeable, to me.

I also don't care if my MP3's are 128kbit vs 320kbit.


And if you enjoy it (coffee and the mp3's) Excellent!!

Just don't try telling me _I_ don't taste or hear a difference. :)


moka pot, up to 70.00 for 12 cup. kruve filters, up to 70.00 (optional) espresso size grind, any bean will do.

me? i prefer pourover with medium to coarse grind, my wife likes the moka pot, and my kid likes drip. i use a kruve with sizes 1100 and 400 filters, grind handground to size 6 twice, and get all three size grinds at the same time.


I make coffee in a Tias Kettle with coffee ground just as the water comes to a boil. It’s the ritual of the whole thing.


Any suggestions for a _quiet_ bean grinder that won't disrupt a small office with its noise?



An added benefit is that you don't make as much coffee as you would with a machine.


It depends on the machine - I’m picking you don’t mean espressos?


Peet's Major Dickason's Blend®. Enough said.


Degustibus non est ... and all but I will never understand the American preference for drip coffee. I say that as someone who drank press or drip exclusively until I lived overseas for several years and my Americano became an espresso at the cafe and my press coffee became Moka Pot stovetop at home. I've been back for 11 years and I still grind my teeth when the only option is drip.

Whatever floats your boat, I guess. Still, reading comment threads about the supposed differences between various drip techniques is always funny. Chemex? We used a plastic funnel thing that looked exactly the same in the 80s. The difference was Yuban (or whatever) instead of the far nicer quality beans on offer now.

But seriously, the Italians figured coffee out years ago. These discussions are like a bunch of people arguing over which fast food chain makes the best burger.




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