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Need feedback on best budget setup
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jason32835
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Winter Garden
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:24am
Subject: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

Hola Coffee Gurus!

I know this is the millionth post about what to buy for the best coffee, but I am going to frame the question a little differently and really could use some feedback.

Basically, I am on a tight budget for 2013 but would really like to improve my coffee quality. I have been researching a lot and have come up with the following game plan. I would like to know if anyone has any feedback on how I can improve on this plan without spending a whole lot more money. I am going to have $30 a month to spend on this (including beans), so I can't afford to make any mistakes!

My current setup is a plastic malitta filter, blade grinder and whole beans from World Market. I find the coffee to be rather bitter and difficult to drink black. Also, I find the beans to go stale very quickly and by the bottom of a 24 oz bag it tastes like filtered dog turd.

Here is my plan.

Beans: I have purchased a sample pack of green beans from Sweet Maria's and plan to roast them with a heat gun and pan (I have the heat gun and pan already so easy on the budget!)
Extraction: I have asked Santa for an Areopress, but I have my eye on a Hario V60 at some point as well.
Grinder: My plan is to get a hand grinder, from what I can tell they are all pretty decent in the $40 range. A Skerton seems to be my first choice.
Water Heater-upper: I am using a plastic electric kettle that heats nice and fast but has a funny smell at times. Maybe a regular kettle from a thriftstore???


Any suggestions on what other items would be worth investing in, or changes you make to this arrangement on a similar budget??

Thanks!

Jason
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perryw
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Fishers, IN
Expertise: Just starting
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 4:57am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

I'm on a similar cheap budget and am very new to drinking coffee.  I've ended up with a Clever Coffee Dripper and a 12oz (3 cup)  Bodum French press.  Got the Bodum at a local grocery store on sale for $12, and the CCD was $22.  Both pretty budget friendly.  I also bought a plastic electric kettle but haven't noticed any off tastes from it.  I bought the Mr. Coffee blade grinder before I knew better and am also thinking about the Skerton at some point in the future (can't decide if I really want to do manual labor first thing in the morning ;) ).  

I already had a kitchen scale, you may want to consider adding that to your budget if you do not.
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jason32835
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Winter Garden
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

Do you notice any difference between the CCD and Press? I'm using the Melitta pour over right now and I'm not thrilled with the results. I am getting a paper taste from the brown filters and my coffee is pretty bitter. However, I'm also switching to black coffee and that has made it pretty hard to tell what is what! I have a Areopress under the tree, hard not to open it early. ;P

I also have a blade grinder at the moment, and I've been playing around with different grinds to see if that helps, it hasn't.

I'm also using World Market beans that have a July '13 experation date, but what does that even mean? If they are "good" for a year then they are already 5 months old.

I watched about 25 youtube videos last night trying to figure out just how much work goes into that Skerton. Some people make it look very hard and some make it look easy. Practice I'm guessing.

So much to learn, so little money to learn with! ;)
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roach56
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jun 2010
Posts: 137
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

I've been doing pour overs for several years with great results. I'm using a ceramic cone filter but have used the melitta plastic filter as well. Your bitter taste is from your blade grinder, the small particles are extracting much faster than the larger. I have the hario grinder. It is great for fine grind but not as accurate for course grind , like the press would take.Still it is leaps and bounds ahead of a blade grinder.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 7:37am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

Were it me, I would:

a)  Plastic filter (holder)................................. ..................................replace with Clever Coffee Dripper
b)  blade grinder....................................... ......................................replace with burr grinder (Baratza)
c)  World Market beans................................... .................................replace with freshly roasted beans

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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jason32835
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Winter Garden
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 7:51am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

OK, so on grinders...

The Baratza Encore can be had for around $130.00.  The Hario Skerton for $40. If we take away the fact that the Hario is more work, and can't handle press pot grinds.. Would the Baratza have any signifigant quality improvements over the Hario for Areopress or CCD style brewers? Is there any reason to spend the extra $90 (which I don't have)??

Thanks for the feedback guys, 'preciate it!
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,467
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

It depends upon you.  Personally, I'd look behind the bookcase and under the cushions on the sofa.  But if you don't mind the extra time it takes to grind-by-hand . . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 8:14am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

jason32835 Said:

OK, so on grinders...

The Baratza Encore can be had for around $130.00.  The Hario Skerton for $40. If we take away the fact that the Hario is more work, and can't handle press pot grinds.. Would the Baratza have any signifigant quality improvements over the Hario for Areopress or CCD style brewers? Is there any reason to spend the extra $90 (which I don't have)??

Thanks for the feedback guys, 'preciate it!

Posted December 7, 2012 link

Before I spent $40 on the Skerton I would pick up a nice looking used hand mill from one of the old German manufacturers. Here is one on eBay (not mine and I know zero details about this item):

Click Here (www.ebay.com)

You could first ask the seller if the grinding mechanism works correctly before buying it, but there isn't much to go wrong with these. I have ones that are from the same brand and have the same shape. They grind faster with less effort compared to my stock Skerton and the grind quality is better too.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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jason32835
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Winter Garden
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 8:19am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

Oh wow.. I hadn't even thought of that!  I'm a huge fan of vintage gear. Ok, now I have another 100 hours of online research to do.. yes!!!

Anyone else second the vintage german grinder idea??!?!
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jbviau
Senior Member
jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 735
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Need feedback on best budget setup
 

I'll second it despite the fact that I haven't used one simply because Eric knows what he's talking about! A fair number of hand grinders have made their way to his house IIRC.
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