Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 7:07am Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
Nothing to add really, but misery loves company.
Dining and road tripping are two of our other hobbies. We live in Southern California, home to some of the best restaurants in the country; and travel throughout the west. We go to the Santa Ynez, Monterey and Sonoma valleys at least six times a year, staying in one California, wine-country destination or another, taking refreshment at various foodie meccas.
What can I say? Espresso in bars, restaurants, and hotel-bars is almost always lousy. I'm not talking "up to my high standards," or "depressingly mediocre," just plain swill. As already noted, it almost always comes down to poorly trained staff or failure to give a #*%! Nothing like the sight of a milk crusted steam wand to inspire confidence, is there?
I've learned to order plain coffee.
Good Italian and just about any Cuban restaurant are generally, happy exceptions to the bad espresso rule. Sadly, even the best restaurants serving European (other than French) and American cuisines usually are not.
Even plain coffee is often disappointing. About the worst are from some allegedly fancy dining spots which state on their menu, "We proudly serve: Folgerrz, Maxswell Houze, or other supermarket swill coffee.. That stuff is so bad, you can smell what it is when they set a cup of it down on the table. If you try to struggle through it by adding some half & half, the resulting odd color shade reminds you, you just wasted your time and money ordering it. If I go into a new place, I usually let another in our group order coffee while I hold back to get an opinion of the quality, choosing a good micro-brew beer if the coffee disappoints.
Next up, are the places that buy known good coffee, but either buy so much that it goes stale, hold it on the warmer too long, let it sit in a thermal pot all day, or use so little in an attempt to save money, that the quality suffers greatly. One roaster I buy green beans from had their coffee served at a bakery that's a little distant from the roaster. The first time I had it there, it was poorly made, just weak and lacking quality, and made by the waitress. A few weeks later, I stopped in again, but this time the owner was there handling the counter. The coffee that day was much improved. It's just sad that roasters can have people judge their quality as poor when a coffee shop or restaurant fails to maintain the brewing quality.
Beyond that, are the places that serve up coffee in the pump pots. I'm not sure if they just keep topping up the pot through the day, or just never clean them. I've been to a few where they offer that horrible flavored coffee in them, and the regular Costa Rican blend tastes just like the cherry flavored coffee in the pot next to the cinnamon flavor.
My great desire, while I'm on the road traveling; usually a highway trip of a few hours; is to be able to produce a great cup of fresh drip coffee in the car during a quick rest stop or refuel. I haven't found any 12 volt coffee makers that were worth spending money on. A 45 minute per cup drip pot from an interstate truck stop was quite the disappointment from years ago. I guess the most likely way to make this happen is with the addition of an expensive 12 volt inverter to run a small home drip pot. Either that, or buy a Fiat:
SproBro Senior Member Joined: 11 Feb 2014 Posts: 97 Location: Topeka, KS Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: CC1 v1.5 Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario Drip: Aeropress
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 11:04pm Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
To be honest I never understood why people even choked down commercial coffee for all 26 years of my life; hot chocolate or diet mountain dew far exceeded the burnt-compost-flavored water known to me as "coffee". After joining the "coffee cult", I still can't figure it out. Dissolve a no-doze in some hot chocolate and call it good if you need caffeine IMO. Having a steam wand at your disposal allows you to make some hellagood hot chocolate too.
My theory is that, it is more of a cultural placebo effect than anything. Society tells you coffee wakes you up, you believe it, it does. Its a CONSPIRACY by "Big Coffee"!
I see I'm not alone in having done this. It makes a wonderful mess, but mixing in high purity chocolate and going with a mix of vanilla, full cream and walnut/almond milk (mainly for the sugar content) results in something just amazing. Even better if you do the full creme last and can then alternate in the tumbler, creating a layered hot chocolate creation that ruins you for everything else forever.
Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014, 9:25am Subject: Re: Officially depressed about coffee now.
Wow, the Fiat coffee maker looks cool but does it use fresh grounds? Watched the Handpresso video but that uses a pod. AGREE with others here----get your caf fix from other sources when out & about. I've also seen what started as good coffee end up served from airpots and understand why BUT won't partake.
I consider myself an average coffee drinker, just don't understand how/why people STILL buy pre-ground in cans OR Keurig cup things---it's horrible tasting colored water. On those cans ingredients used to state "100% Arabica". YES, compared to fresh roast (grind just prior to brew) it was dishwater BUT it actually had a coffee taste & smell. Sometime in 2011-2012 ingredients changed to "100% Pure Coffee" with absolutely no coffee smell/taste, only a chemical cardboard smell. I threw out 3 big nasty cans and googled "What happened to my #%*¥/#€ coffee?!" --- read countless post/reviews of people getting sick to varying degrees, also complaints of that chemical smell. I didn't experience the headaches or other gastronomic problems myself, was just left with NO COFFEE. Took about 5 days to get my morning coffee back but worth the wait getting started on the right track. THEN realized I couldn't get good coffee when out to eat so just pass.
I've been drinking good brew since Nov 2012---wish I'd discovered it sooner!! SO VERY THANKFUL for the help I got here at CoffeeGeek back then (and continue to receive) AND for good local roasters.
I think it's a pod also, probably for convenience, but that's a loss for quality. Oh well!! It was a thought for an alternate to restaurant swill! Of course you could do a modified do it yourself pod with just a small basket filter and some fresh ground stuff before each trip. There are a few sites to search that describe that. If you want it fresh ground, just load the pod with whole beans, then drive over it a couple times when you get ready to brew. LOL!!
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