The Coffee Thread


I wanted to start this thread for coffee fans who are a bit more hardcore than the average coffee drinker.

Some questions to consider:

-What is your coffee routine like?
-What cafes and/or countries have the best quality?
-What beans do you prefer?
-How do you usually drink coffee?
-What method of brewing do you prefer?

Over 10 years ago I would drink lattes. Then I moved to cappuccinos and then espresso macchiatos. My trend has been to use less milk. Lately I've been trying espresso straight up without sugar and from that I can really tell the difference in quality between offerings from different cafes.

I found that without a question, Starbucks espresso is the absolute worst espresso I've encountered. It's really undrinkable without pouring in sugar. Random cafes are always better but they can lack consistency (i.e. you get a different cup depending on when you go) and the beans they use may not be the best.

I've also been experimenting with drink coffee (V60, Chemex), but they just don't compare to to thickness of espresso.






Coffee is God's elixir, given to men to soothe their travails. I use an Aerobie Aeropress to make it at home, and drink with coconut milk.
I noticed you can tell the difference between a good and bad coffee by drinking it black, as opposed to loading it with cream and sugar.

So simple, yet so many have the faintest clue.

Out of coffee shops, Starbucks is not the worst coffee here in Canada. Though I'm sure it's not the best, either.

I once went to a Nespresso location in Toronto and had the best latte I've ever had. Now, because they have the best quality coffee or they used the perfect mixture of ingredients is something I do not know. A cup cost me close to $10, by far the most expensive I've had. Maybe their brand is just marketing, just like Dre Beats headphones are $$$ and far from the best on the market. Anyone else with thoughts on Nespresso?
Starbucks saving graces are a convenient cup and their Clover machine. If you can find one, I suggest trying a cup done with the Clover.

Intelligentsia this morning from the french press, with heavy creme, no sugar.
I do most of my work in coffee shops. I rate them on quality of keeping me focused. One of my favorite places is located three miles from me and serves coffee strong enough to give me a woody. :)
I've tried espresso a few times but just can't stomach it. Too bitter.

Maybe because it's crap coffee to begin with.

I thought espresso was too bitter too for the longest time, but bad espresso is hard to stomach. I think Starbucks makes their espresso bad on purpose so people are forced to buy the sugary monstrosities that pad their bottom line.
I've started to look at coffees cos when I pull a late night (or have a bad sleep) I need that survival to get through work in the morning.

I just got some fresh beans of Jamaican Blue Mountain directly from Jamaica. A Jamaican friend of mine says that it is one of the best coffee ever. I need to go and get a keurig and brew some and see what the hype is about.

I did buy some from a Jamaican Chinese store in Miami a couple of years ago but was bitterly disappointed.
I stopped drinking coffee but was pretty into it at one time

In the states, proper espressos can usually only be had at hipster coffee shops.

You need - good beans, roasted less than 10 days ago, a proper grinder that grinds on demand for each batch and have set at the proper grind for espresso (min $300), and a machine that's regularly calibrated and maintained (those big ones you see can cost 5-10k). Then you need someone to run it and not fuck it up.
The taste is not suppose to be very bitter, that's a waste of the beans if it is (not fresh, wrong temperature, wrong grind etc) the flavour is suppose to be strong and will remind you of flavors such as dark chocolate, apricot, woods etc depending on bean.

Its insane to do this at home, thus I don't bother. The closest method to get the same taste (and way less of a chance to screw up) is to use the aeropress ($25). You still need fresh roasted beans and a proper burr grinder. The cheapest option is a hario or porolex hand grinder ($30-50). Best thing is this set up is completely portable, as the porolex hand grinder will fit inside the aeropress. This set up will give you many of the same flavors, is portable and basically cleans itself while you use it.

For the pour over devices I would use a lighter roast of beans. Its more floral/fruity compared to the dark roast, kinda like a belgian or an ipa beer vs an imperial stout. Keep in mind that lighter roasts have more caffeine in them so drink accordingly.
Nascimento said:
Anyone else with thoughts on Nespresso?

Nice little machine to keep in your flat or office for a quickly made coffee but if you're serious drinker, you'll find it expensive $$$ in the long run.
I like my coffee like my women: hot, black and Colombian. I brew my coffee in the most simple manner, by using a Melitta pour over cone that sits on top of the cup, I think it cost me about $10 and the only other costs are the filters and the coffee. I brought a few bags back from Colombia of excellent coffee that I bought directly from a small, family run coffee farm, that should last me a couple of months. Although I drink a lot of it, I never really had a discerning palate when it comes to coffee but I"m thinking of buying one of those Aeropresses that Oilbreh mentioned, I just need something small and portable to carry around.
People at work think I'm elitist because I think Starbucks and Costa "isn't actually coffee". I'm just Antipodean. Outside of London & Bristol the British public has very low standards for coffee

Thought of starting up my own coffee blog "Flat White" hence the pics - but thought better of it - I like espressos too but only at home:







I drink very strong Turkish coffee with sugar, mostly brought on by a lifelong tradition shared by all of my family and friends(Macedonians). It is simple to make, you just add the coffee and sugar to boiling water, but it is enough of an ass pain that I usually only partake after dessert, on weekends, or with guests. I have tried a few brands, but Sahadi is the old standby and the only one I could suggest. Ziveli!
I actually started roasting my own green coffee beans last year. Did it for about 3 months until it was time to travel again. It was a fun experiment for sure, and its not all that costly to do, but it is time consuming.

Buying green beans direct from the farms in central and south america is pretty cheap, if you roast enough you could break even but get a lot better quality (after you roast something like 20 pounds haha). Still, Nothing like freshly roasted beans. Plus you can experiment between light and dark roasts of the same bean and decide what you like best.

My favorite sources have been consistently Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua. Sure Hawaii is pretty good also, but vastly over priced if you ask me.

To brew I use a french press or just a simple pour-over setup if I'm lazy and want to make myself only one cup. Always freshly ground beans with a burr grinder which also makes a big difference. The blade grinders suck.
All good - lose the sugar.

By replacing a serving of soft drinks with water or unsweetened tea or coffee, the risk of diabetes was cut by 14 per cent. And, by substituting sweetened milk drink with water or unsweetened tea or coffee led to a further decrease in risk: 20-25 per cent.
Researchers also noted that consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar-sweetened drinks was not linked to a significant reduction in type 2 diabetes, when accounting for baseline obesity and total energy intake.
Highly recommend the Aeoropress. I have been using it for over a year and it's delivered easy tasty coffee. Some things that make it great:
-Makes exactly one cup. (Or more if you control water or brew twice. With good coffee you only need one cup.)
-Can control temperature to control the taste.
-Easy for travel. Even comes with little travel bag.
-Comes with over one year's worth of supply of filters. I change the filter every time I use it and have not run out.

I also use the Breville water boiler. It has temperature settings. Little slower to heat the water than other "just boil" models but it's because it gets the temperature exact. I usually brew my coffee at 185F for expresso grain size coffee.

I also have the Idylc homes KONA coffee grinder. It's portable and great for traveling. When I fill the whole chamber it makes exactly one cup of coffee for my Aeropress which is great. Having this means that I can take beans with me and fresh grind right before I make my coffee. Heres is the link if you want to check it out.

I've been drinking this Trader Joe's Ethiopian blend a lot. It's $9.99 and lasts me about a week and a half with drinking one cup a day.

I used to drink 5-6 cups a day when I was working shift work and some long hours but back a lot. It's more of a luxury moment when I can really enjoy that one cup in the morning or on the weekend. I don't add any milk or sugar. Straight black is best. Aeropress when used right with good beans will never be bitter.

Any of you guys had Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk? It's super sweet and fatty but probably my favorite dessert.


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Cafes in Vietnam are mainly for socializing, although there are a few that are conducive to working or studying.

Traditionally coffee is made with a drip filter called a phin, where hot water is poured into a metal filter packed with ground beans. The most common ways to order are with sweetened condensed milk or sugar. Vietnamese people like sweet coffee. I usually order black iced coffee before I work out, but other times I get coffee with a little sweetened condensed milk or "fresh" milk (really sweet milk, but not nearly as sweet as condensed milk).

Vietnam's coffee beans are Robusta, and it brews very very strong. I was never into coffee before I came here, but I'm addicted now.

Coffee dripping from a phin into condensed milk

After mixing

La Rotonde Cafe, Saigon

Typical roadside cafe
I generally do a drip coffee or french press in the morning and then a macchiato mid afternoon.

Drip coffee seems to be only popular in the americas (I think central and south included), where as the rest of the world has adopted italian coffee culture more and espressos. I prefer a good drip or french press to an americano or a long black, but have started drinking espressos and macchiatos more often after traveling last year.

Rarely I'll do a mocha if I crave something sweeter and on hot days sometimes will do a cold press ice coffee.

I live in a city with a lot of great cafes so I'm a bit spoiled.

To be honest though I've been going overboard in my caffeine addiction and am trying to cut back to not be so dependent. I find it can be hard to regulate my caffeine consumption with coffee as each method, bean and cafe tends to have different strengths. I love coffee and the caffeine buzz though so it hasn't been easy.