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Drinking coffee black
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ladymath
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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Location: SF Bay Area
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 11:45am
Subject: Drinking coffee black
 

I love coffee with cream and espresso drinks with whole milk. I usually buy dark coffees such as Peet's Sumatra. For calorie reasons, I'm now drinking coffee black and after 10 months I still don't like it. Any suggestions for beans, roasts, suppliers or brewing methods? I usually use a Krups grind and brew drip maker.
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 12:12pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

Honestly, there are many answers to your questions, and many people have asked them. I'll do my best to give you an unbiased--or rather slightly less biased--answer.

ladymath Said:

I love coffee with cream and espresso drinks with whole milk.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Whole milk is a good choice because the milk fat gives great sweetness to espresso with milk drinks.

ladymath Said:

I usually buy dark coffees such as Peet's Sumatra

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Do you buy that because you typically like dark roasts better than light roasts, because you like "darker" flavors (earthy, spicy, tobacco, etc) more than lighter, fruity, or acidic flavors, or because that's just what you're used to buying?

ladymath Said:

I usually use a Krups grind and brew drip maker.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

What grinder and what coffee maker? Do you grind it fresh right before you make it?

ladymath Said:

Any suggestions for beans, roasts, suppliers or brewing methods?

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Oh my, SO many! Firstly, try and get fresh coffee. That's where you want to start. There are numerous roasters where you can get this. I've been on a Verve kick lately, so I'm going to suggest them. They have free shipping and a pretty good selection, so check them out. If you want to try a coffee with those "darker" characteristics, try any of the coffees with the yellow labels (Buena Vista, House, or the 1950). If you're looking to change things up a bit, check out the the Rwanda Bufcafe or the El Sal El Porvenir Pacamara. You can also check out Stumptown, Redbird, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, Coava, Handsome, and others that you'll find highly recommended on this forum.

As far as brewing methods, I would suggest french press all the way. It's a pretty neutral brewing method, in that it doesn't shield one aspect of the coffee to bring out another, so you get the full flavor of the coffee in a very rich cup. You can pick one up for about $15-$20, in my experience. You would want to grind it fresh and very coarse and use water that's come off of a boil, brew for 4 min, and decant it into a generous mug or a serving vessel of some kind. You pour it all in one pour so that the coffee doesn't over extract, making a second cup have bitters that weren't present in the first. It's a pretty simple, reliable, and quality brewing method that is very low maintenance.

ladymath Said:

I'm now drinking coffee black and after 10 months I still don't like it.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Though it pains me to say this, it is possible that you...cringe...just don't like drinking coffee black. But if you like the taste of coffee, it is probably more likely that you just haven't been drinking coffee that appeals to you at it's blackest. So try some new brews out! Don't be afraid of stepping outside of your comfort zone and little and certainly listen to the great advice that I'm sure you will get from the many frequent visitors of this forum.

Hope I helped!
-Dave-
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

I have never liked my coffee black. I always put a splash of milk in it.  However I do enjoy a straight espresso.  I enjoy the heavier body that the milk provides a cup of coffee.  I can deal with a straight espresso because it has that body inherently.

Len

 
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 1:26pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

CoffeeRoastersClub Said:

I have never liked my coffee black. I always put a splash of milk in it.  However I do enjoy a straight espresso.  I enjoy the heavier body that the milk provides a cup of coffee.  I can deal with a straight espresso because it has that body inherently.

Len

Posted May 27, 2012 link

I hope I didn't offend the non-black coffee drinkers with my cringing quip; I swear it was mostly in jest. Haha. I believe everyone should drink their daily coffee how it tastes best to them once they figure out what way that is.

-Dave-
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
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Location: Inland Empire California
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

A Krups grind and brew is just what it sounds like. It is a coffee maker with a built in grinder, usually blade (Capresso makes one with a burr, don't know if it is really any better.)

First, try using a lighter roast, even just a little lighter. Second, how much coffee do you use to make a pot? The maximum allowed, the amount recommended?

If you really like the underlying taste of what you are using, try using a scoop less. Now you might not do what someone I used to know did. This person always complained my coffee was too weak. She made hers so strong it could stand up the spoon, and then added so much whitener and sweetener. When she had to cut back on the latter two, she found coffee unpalatable until she started using a little less and buying a city type roast instead of the darkest she could find.

good luck

 
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BarryR
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

I wonder if those of us who drink coffee black are inherently those who like bitter and not sweet.
I, for one, eat very dark chocolate, love beer and drink coffee black. I always figured there's a connection.

Also, with desserts, I have a low tolerance for anything too sweet (which for me would be most usual desserts). If I bake, I always cut down on the amount of sugar.

I recently got started on the whole espresso thing, and assumed I'd like straight espresso for the above reasons, and I do.

One other thought RE: brewing coffee -- I'm a big fan of the Clever Coffee Dripper (also about $15). I do sometimes like the fuller taste from a French Press, but the cleanness of the CCD is great (which means I may have to get an Espro Press which could be the best of both worlds).
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 4:43pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

cerridwyn Said:

A Krups grind and brew is just what it sounds like. It is a coffee maker with a built in grinder, usually blade (Capresso makes one with a burr, don't know if it is really any better.)

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Oh! I didn't realize that that was the name of the machine. Haha. Please excuse me, my ignorance is showing. Well, if it's a blade, then a new grinder is a must. If it's a burr, I am not familiar enough with the machine to know whether or not it's quality, so I won't comment.

-Dave-
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ladymath
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: SF Bay Area
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 5:57pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

Sorry, I should make a name look like a name with capitalization. It's the Krups 10-Cup Grind and Brew Coffee Maker with Conical Burr Grinder, about 2 years old.

I'll start with the suggestion for making the coffee a little weaker. I like the body of the dark roasts smoothed out by the cream. Starbucks espresso, as they brew it, is often too bitter for me. I'm looking for a roaster that doesn't over roast the beans. That burnt taste people refer to is probably what I like in contrast to the cream, but not on its own.

I live near a reputedly great place, Connoisseur Coffee in Redwood City CA, but they closed for a fire a few months ago and haven't re-opened yet. The mail order places seem extremely expensive. ($15-20 a pound.)

I also like Starbucks Verona, and I tend to like the special Holiday and Anniversary Blends at both Starbucks and Peets.
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 6:24pm
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

ladymath Said:

The mail order places seem extremely expensive. ($15-20 a pound.)

I also like Starbucks Verona, and I tend to like the special Holiday and Anniversary Blends at both Starbucks and Peets.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Well...You get what you pay for. It will be more expensive because it's quality, and done in small batches. But if I remember correctly, the Anniversary blend at Sbux was at least $15/lb. And if were talking a dollar or two difference, I assure you it is well worth it. It only seems expensive until you experience the difference. Then you start to wonder why the price difference isn't substantially more (but you're glad it's not).

-Dave-
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Eiron
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Eiron
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Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Drinking coffee black
 

My suggestions:

Try lighter roasts (I think all of Peet's roasts are very dark, aren't they?)
Try coarser grinds.

You seem to be on the right track for lightening your roast level.

It's not the strength of the coffee (amount, or as you say, making weaker coffee), but the grind that will create the bitterness. Too fine & you'll over-extract & get your bitter flavors (& alchohol-like dryness, which is very unpleasant to me). A coarser grind will reduce both the bitterness & astringency for a sweeter, mellower cup. Then you can play with the amount for the right strength. You might even find that you want a little more coffee when you grind it more coarse.

 
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