clskier Senior Member Joined: 11 May 2012 Posts: 2 Location: McHenry Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri May 11, 2012, 11:50am Subject: On the road - who makes "acceptable" coffee
Hi all. New coffee drinker here. I thought my whole life that I did not like coffee. Turns out I just don't like BAD coffee. With tips from here and elsewhere I am brewing a pretty decent cup at home. Nothing special; just taking care with fresh beans, quality grinder, and a french press. I quickly went from hating coffee to liking it, and now crave it. Had a few cups from a Keurig style coffee maker and enjoyed that when away from my tools at home, so I thought my taste for coffee was stronger than bad coffee. That is until this weekend.
Away from home at a hotel. Went to breakfast and had the worst coffee ever. Weak, burnt, and bitter. My friends all said I was now a coffee snob. So that brings up a question. When on the road, what places make an "OK" cup. I seem to remember BP and Dunkin Donuts bragging that they make a "good cup". I know this is all relative, but what places make a cup of coffee on par with say a Keurig type brewer?
Posted Fri May 11, 2012, 7:45pm Subject: Re: On the road - who makes "acceptable" coffee
I'd say bring your own stuff with you and brew or search for coffee shops that use freshly roasted beans. Have them French press or do a pour-over brew for you instead of getting it from the big urn. I've noticed a lot of good coffees are ruined because too much water has been used to brew it for the urn or air pot.
Cerridwyn Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2010 Posts: 455 Location: Inland Empire California Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 5:33am Subject: Re: On the road - who makes "acceptable" coffee
I like to go down into the regional forum for where I am traveling. I will look for posts for the area and if I can't find any, I ask. Sometimes you get good answers, sometimes you don't.
You can also Yelp the area. Take the reviews with a grain of salt. I look more for places people say are horrible than worry about ones people say are good so I know what to avoid.
You might to find a nice third wave place, but you might find a decent local/regional chain that roasts their own but let's them go a bit longer than they should or who has a slightly old fashioned roast profile but where it is still not too bad.
Coffee Bean in the South West and Caribou in the North East are palatable and both are significantly better than having to resort to *$.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,809 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 11:40am Subject: Re: On the road - who makes "acceptable" coffee
Third wave shops will be few and far between. There are few chains that I find I can even tolerate anymore. That said, there are a lot of independent shops that are not as good as the chains!
On the road, I will take my own equipment and beans. I tend to take an Aeropress or a Harrio drip, and / or a Mypressi and a water kettle. A solis 166 handles drip duties and Mypressi with the pressurized basket for OK results (MUCH better than chains for sure!)
For a quick stop and gulp because you are falling asleep at the wheel, most AM/PM mini markets tend to have OK drip when it is fresh (smell the pot before pouring into a cup then visit the cream/sugar bar on your way to pay)
In the SW U.S. I find the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and It's a Grind chains to not be undrinkable if you shop wisely.
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
jkoll42 Senior Member Joined: 2 Jan 2010 Posts: 465 Location: Pennsylvania Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: VBM DD V3, Gaggia Baby Class Grinder: Cimbali Max Hybrid, Bunn... Drip: Technivorm, Chemex Roaster: Honey Badger 1K, HG/BM
Posted Wed May 16, 2012, 9:20am Subject: Re: On the road - who makes "acceptable" coffee
When I am traveling I just don't have the time to bring equipment to brew my own. My typical routine is to go to the breakfast buffet and take a sip. If I don't spit it across the room then I just roll with that. I find that most areas you travel to for business don't have any quality cafe's or you don't have time to find them. If you did spit your coffee across the room, calmly walk out the door and try to locate a Dunkin - it's drinkable and their pretty common. In the Mid Atlantic, Wawa is also not spit inducing.
One nice thing about drinking mediocre coffee on the road is that you appreciate your own so much more when you come home!
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