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If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
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tcv
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jul 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Billerica
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jul 6, 2005, 6:22pm
Subject: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

Hi there,

So, I had been speaking with some friends who feel that SB coffee is bad and they suggested I try Peet's. I've been to Peet's a couple of times and, quite honestly, it tastes very similar to Starbcuks to me. Today's coffee at Peet's was Sumatra.

I've read the opinion that the only "good" coffee is coffee that one roasts and makes at home. For those of us folks who have known only Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Peets, Seattle's Best, and whatever could be purchased at the grocery store (Eight O' Clock, anyone?), how can such a person know what GOOD coffee is supposed to be?

Just a question...

 
Are we sure that "Eep! Op! Ork! AHA!" means "I love you?"
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 6, 2005, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

tcv Said:

...how can such a person know what GOOD coffee is supposed to be?

Posted July 6, 2005 link

There are a few stores that sell decent coffee.  For example some Whole Foods Market stores roast in-house.  

Probably the best way to find a decent bag of beans would be to find a local roaster in your area.  Find a dealer who roast-dates the beans so you KNOW they're fresh.  

As an alternative, you could order roast-dated beans from a reputable internet dealer.  There are quite a few micro-roasters who sell over the internet and provide outstanding product.  

Anyone who says "that the only good coffee is coffee that one roasts and makes at home" is probably sorely mislead.  Roasting at home is great and produces wonderful results.  I love doing it and learning about coffee and I LOVE to play with blends and learn the things that suit my own tastes.  

I humbly believe that my espresso from home-roasted blends is pretty good to my own tastes (and beats most shops in this area).  But even after lots of practice I still think (99% of the time) the pro's do it "better" than the amateurs.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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bradinvancouver
Senior Member
bradinvancouver
Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 172
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: LM GB5
Grinder: E-Robur
Drip: Clover/Fetco
Roaster: Gothot from afar
Posted Wed Jul 6, 2005, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

Very philosophical question - you and your friends may want to keep your world shielded from the slippery slope that awaits. Great coffee, like wine (but not as insane), can become an expensive and addictive habit. Not to mention frustrating when you need that fix and there's no good coffeeshops to be had... Perhaps you'll have to open your own - I think that's at the bottom of the slippery slope.

My suggestion to start you on your journey:
*read the french press how-to ( "How to Use a Press Pot" )
*Buy yourself a cheap-o one for 10-20 bucks.
*Pop for a Zassenhaus (sp?) manual grinder.
*Choose from any of the reputable coffee roasters they talk about here (Hines, Stumptown, Terroir, Coffee Emergency, Paradise Roasters, Counter Culture, Zoka, heck, even Intelligentsia ;-)) and get a pound of fresh roasted beans of your choice express shipped to you. Might I suggest an Ethiopian or Rwandan or Yergacheffe to get you started with something interesting.
*Invite your friends over
*Follow the how-to directions religiously
*Never look back

Welcome to the world of true specialty coffee.
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sarisax
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 5
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jul 10, 2005, 2:23am
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

But good coffee shouldn't necessarly have to be expensive. Then again, quality costs money...
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malachi
Senior Member
malachi
Joined: 5 May 2002
Posts: 1,761
Location: SFCA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Monster Mia (for now)_
Grinder: Monster Cimballi Junior
Vac Pot: Not any more
Drip: never
Roaster: Ecco, Stumptown, Intelli,...
Posted Sun Jul 10, 2005, 11:21am
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

tcv Said:

I've read the opinion that the only "good" coffee is coffee that one roasts and makes at home. For those of us folks who have known only Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Peets, Seattle's Best, and whatever could be purchased at the grocery store (Eight O' Clock, anyone?), how can such a person know what GOOD coffee is supposed to be?

Posted July 6, 2005 link

The idea that the only good coffee is home roasted and home brewed is simple bigotry and ignorance.

Given your location I would suggest you check out the coffee from George Howell's company Terroir.
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Mr_Bingley
Senior Member
Mr_Bingley
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 185
Location: New York
Expertise: Professional
Posted Mon Jul 11, 2005, 4:37am
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

"The idea that the only good coffee is home roasted and home brewed is simple bigotry and ignorance."

Exactly right. There are many good coffees out there, and a wide variety of places to find them. Starbucks, Peets, Seattle's Best and Dunkin' all buy excellent coffee and prepare it in a variety of ways; what makes it 'good' is finding the preparation that you like. There is NO 'best' coffee in an objective sense, it is wholly subjective on what you like. Experiment with different ways and roasts. Surely there will be many times you go 'blech', but the reward will be all those times you go 'yum.'
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Dantheman
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Mar 2005
Posts: 22
Location: Orange County, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

TCV,
I drink 8 o'clock every day...I grind it myself for each pot. I think it makes a great cup.
I go for a reduced caffine. I use 10 oz of their 50-50 Blend and 6 oz of their French Roast. I mix it up good and put it in my grinder.
They also have Columbian and Bokar (not sure what Bokar is like)
I recommend 8 o'clock  for an every day pot of coffee.

My favorite is from CoffeeAm. It is their organic Galapagos Island Estate. But at around $13.00 a pound it is too costly for me...but it is heavenly...

                                                                    Dan
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TimEggers
Moderator
TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

Taste is subjective to the drinker.


To each their own.

 
Tim Eggers
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ChicagoSandy
Senior Member
ChicagoSandy
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 1,192
Location: SW Coast of Lake Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill "La Cora,"  Silvia
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rocky DL
Vac Pot: Presses, Aeropress
Drip: postnasal, Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast2, SC/TO
Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

Taste is all over the map, but all truly good cups of coffee have this in common:

They are made from fresh beans--preferably no more than a week out of the roaster but certainly no older than 30 days post-roast (if you must buy 8 O'Clock or the other A&P beans, check the pack dates on the bags). Whenever possible, buy beans whose age you can readily ascertain--"use by" dates tell you little other than which bags of beans are oldest, but not HOW old.

They are made from beans roasted in a way that fits the type of bean and the method of brewing. Darker isn't necessarily always better--some beans need lighter roasts to allow delicate flavors and acidity to shine through; others need darker roasts to tame excessive earthiness. But most often dark roasts are used to cover up stale or mediocre beans, usually by chain stores. Stick your nose in the bin or bag--aroma is a better indicator of freshness or flavor than is roast color or oil on the beans. when in doubt, chew a bean. If it tastes good when chewed, it ought to taste good brewed too.  You may say you like dark roasts because of their winey flavor, but sometimes those beans are not meant to be sharp or winey tasting.  Starbucks and Peets can get away with keeping beans longer because the dark roasts conceal flaws.  If you've never tried one, try a lighter roasted Ethiopian or Guatemalan only a few days post-roast. It will shake up all your assumptions.

They are made from beans ground in a good (NOT BLADE) grinder just before brewing.

They are brewed in a way that is kind to the bean--the water contacts the grounds only once, at proper temperature, not too hot or cold.

They are consumed while still hot--either right after brewing or after having spent not too long a time in a thermal carafe--and not allowed to "cook" on the hot plate of a typical electric drip maker.

IMHO, Costco beats 8 O'Clock or Bokar because the former is usually available still warm from the roaster. And small-shop beans from stores that roast their own are better than either of these because they are fresher and more carefully chosen and roasted. Heaven knows how old Millstone, Seattle's Best, Papanicholas, Stewarts, First Colony, Newman's Own, even Allegro or Green Mountain prepacked bags are.  In my experience, as far as donut shop coffee goes (if you must drink donut shop coffee), Krispy Kreme beans (esp. the yellow or blue label) beat Dunkin' Donuts, which beat Van Houtte, which beat Tim Horton's.

 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
-------------------
Life's too short to drink lousy coffee, play crummy guitars and write with ballpoint pens.
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manxaura
Senior Member
manxaura
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Byron Bay NSW Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 800ES
Grinder: Solis Mastro PLUS**
Vac Pot: never
Drip: never
Roaster: Merlo Brisbane Australia
Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005, 11:22pm
Subject: Re: If all store-bought coffee is bad, then how can one know GOOD coffee?
 

Well I guess good coffee is anything you enjoy.... but in saying that i use and recomend a try of Merlo FORZA out of Brisbane Australia is a great blend but not for the faint haerted. it has a of robusta to balance trhe acids and give it a punch that is good at breakfast time.  check them out and mail order some.   if you live near you can sample a free coffee of 4 at the roasting house.

Michael
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