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AyindeH2o
Senior Member
AyindeH2o
Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Chattanooga
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Mr. Coffee IDS77
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:01am
Subject: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

Hello all, before I begin I must admit that I am entirely new to this new profound world of coffee tat I have just discovered. I usually make my own coffee at home or buy some at my favorite cafés. I am entirely new when it comes to frothing/steaming milk, dripping coffee, chambers in coffee machines, etc. I no nothing of these and quite frankly I feel retarded for not knowing - knowing how much I love coffee. The thought just never came to mind how coffee is so delicious until recently.

Just this morning, I made myself a pot of coffee and didn't like it. The flavor was bland and flat and didn't seem to give me that satisfaction I would usually have when drinking coffee. That's when I seriously began to ponder why exactly does homemade coffee differentiate so much from others such as Dunkin Donuts. I even bought their store-brand ground coffee beans yet it still tastes nothing like a cup I buy straight from them.

Does it has to do with the way they make their coffee? If so, what do they do exactly that makes it so good an unique?  Tried doing a little research on the matter before discovering certain topics such as 'frothing', 'foaming', and 'moka pots' and had absolutely no idea what they where talking about. I never went past Espresso, mocha, iced, latte, frappe, and cappuccino when it comes to coffee intellect.

So I'm coming to realize that in order to make a good cup of coffee I'll need to have a good coffee maker, right? I have a Mr. Coffee IDS77 coffee grinder, which I consider a good grinder for when I by beans not grounded. I use Black & Decker to brew my coffee. I'm guessing that's really cheap compared to other coffee makers I saw.

So my top question really is how and what would I need to make a really good cup of coffee? I'm not liking my own more and more and want a more flavorful and rich taste to it. Will I need a better coffee maker? If so what brand should I buy-- or what type of coffee maker should I buy/invest in? I particularly like my coffee strong as it is dark. Is prepackaged ground coffee beans the way to go, or should I make a habit of purchasing fresh beans? And if that's the case is the blender I have good to get the job done? And lastly, does using bottled water in replacement of tap water really make a difference?

I don't plan on going over $375 for the time being. My mind is open to suggestions and advice. Any expertise help would be greatly appreciated!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,024
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:38am
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

You can enjoy a good cup of coffee from any way of preparation. Not matter if it's Turkish coffee, Moka, French press, drip, AeroPress or espresso, the important thing is that you use freshly roasted and ground coffee beans in order to get the best possible aroma. That rules out anything you can buy at the supermarket, especially if it's pre-ground, because of Babbie's Rule of Fifteens
  • Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale.
  • Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale.
  • Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.

You already use a grinder. So, as a first step you should try buying beans from a local microroaster that are really fresh.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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CheapBastid
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Dec 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Infinity - talking myself...
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Mr Coffee
Roaster: None
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 8:08pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

A good place to start (in my limited experience) is to pick up an AeroPress.  It's a very cheap investment (less than 10% of your listed budget) that will let you play with your ratios and flavors. Get some good freshly roasted beans (very important) and give it a try.  Since Coffee is mostly water your water choice is important.  Filtered is usually recommended.

You may get some folks here expressing concerns about your grinder, and it will likely be the next monetary investment if you want to upgrade your experience.
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AyindeH2o
Senior Member
AyindeH2o
Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Chattanooga
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Mr. Coffee IDS77
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:30pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

NobbyR Said:

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

You can enjoy a good cup of coffee from any way of preparation. Not matter if it's Turkish coffee, Moka, French press, drip, AeroPress or espresso, the important thing is that you use freshly roasted and ground coffee beans in order to get the best possible aroma. That rules out anything you can buy at the supermarket, especially if it's pre-ground, because of Babbie's Rule of Fifteens
Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale.
Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale.
Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.

You already use a grinder. So, as a first step you should try buying beans from a local microroaster that are really fresh.

Posted February 26, 2013 link

Thanks for the advice! I'm not too sure where to buy green coffee beans within my local area but I'll keep that in mind (though I may not roast beans until much later) So when I open a bag of coffee beans I have that much time to use them until they begin to stale? I usually buy beans in bulk so I may have to limit the bag sizes. Is it possible to reseal the beans; like putting them in a air tight container?

All in all that does explain why my coffee tastes so bleh now.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,845
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:44pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

AyindeH2o Said:

Thanks for the advice! I'm not too sure where to buy green coffee beans within my local area but I'll keep that in mind (though I may not roast beans until much later) So when I open a bag of coffee beans I have that much time to use them until they begin to stale? I usually buy beans in bulk so I may have to limit the bag sizes. Is it possible to reseal the beans; like putting them in a air tight container?

All in all that does explain why my coffee tastes so bleh now.

Posted February 26, 2013 link

Ayinde, welcome to the CG Forums!
I think it was meant you purchase al;ready roasted coffee.

My recommendation would be to first Upgrade your grinder.
Forgive me, is the Mr Coffee grinder a burr grinder, or is it the "whirly-blade type?"
If the latter, we would love you to upgrade to a true burr grinder. You could get a refurb Baratza Encore click here for probably $119 tops from the Baratza website. it will be the last grinder you'll need till you decide to purchase a good espresso machine. Lets wait on that.

Next, I'd purchase a Chemex 8 cup  manual pour pot. I like the one with the handle. ($39 tops) Filters $8.
Even with Dunkin' donuts beans you'd be making better coffee with those beans than they make in the store.
MANY hear do hand/manual pour, and many have a Chemex for quantity, and maybe a Hario 1 cup for those times when you just want a cup-a Joe.

Finally, for convenience, spend $39 and get a nice 1.5/1.7 liter electric hot water pot to preheat your water. Much faster than a microwave or stove.
Good, filtered water is a must. Bottled spring is too expensive, but maybe water from the dispenser, and for every pot, add a wee bit of tap water for minerals. A little mineral content is good for coffee taste.





EDIT. To make the ultimate brew, as all said FRESHLY roasted coffee is a must. The bag of Dunkin' is prolly several months old. Find a local roaster, maybe see if you can get their 10 day old coffee cheaper.
If you purchase say 3-5 lbs, get some Mason/canning jars and fill them to the top, seal tightly, and put in the FREEZER. NEVER refrigerate your beans.
Store your current bean stash in another Mason Jar, and keep in the pantry.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 740
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

Hi Ayinde,
A very important aspect of good coffee is the temperature it's brewed at. That's the main reason you'll never get a good cup of coffee from your current brewer, off the shelf coffee makers always brew to cool. At least the less expensive ones- and many more expensive ones. I believe a Bunn is the least expensive maker that brews at the proper temp. Coffee should be brewed between 195-205 deg. F. An electric water pot and a pourover is a good place to start as IMAWriter- Rob- said above :)


Edit to add, an exeption to the rule on coffee makers is the 4 cup Melita. Somehow they managed to make a cheep maker that brews at the right temp, I bought mine at goodwill for $4 almost 4 years ago.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,024
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:48pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

AyindeH2o Said:

I'm not too sure where to buy green coffee beans within my local area but I'll keep that in mind (though I may not roast beans until much later).

Posted February 26, 2013 link

If you can't find a local microroaster, you might just buy freshly roasted beans online from people like Red Bird Coffee, for example.


AyindeH2o Said:

So when I open a bag of coffee beans I have that much time to use them until they begin to stale? I usually buy beans in bulk so I may have to limit the bag sizes. Is it possible to reseal the beans; like putting them in a air tight container?

Posted February 26, 2013 link

15 days from roasting is the critical time, not from when you open the bag. When you buy a larger batch, the best way to store them is freezing.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,681
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 6:52am
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

The clock starts running on the beans THE DAY THE BEANS WERE ROASTED when you open the bag is moot.
Fresh coffee is the key, then properly grinding the coffee is just as important. The brewer is much further down the scale, you can make great coffee using the "cowboy" method of a pot over a campfire and loose grounds in the water.

Buy FRESH coffee, get a grinder that does the job properly, the least I would advise is the Solis 166 or the Encore Click Here (www.baratza.com)

Then you need proper water temp, 195 to 205 F. This is just off a boil from a water kettle, pan, pot etc. A manual drip cone will work just fine, you can buy them for under $20 in the supermarket or you can buy nicer ones made of glass, your choice.

Great coffee is well within your budget but you need the proper sequence of items.
1 Fresh coffee
1.5 Properly ground coffee
2 Proper temp of water
3 Some way to hold the beans while the water brews them.

Please note, the above is for BREWED coffee, if you choose to get into espresso and espresso based drinks, the quality of the grinder needs to go WAY up and those grinders will NOT do the job.

Enjoy!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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pstam
Senior Member
pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,348
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: ECM, SAN MARCO, EURO 2000
Grinder: MAZZER
Vac Pot: YES
Drip: YES
Roaster: YES, HOME STYLE
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 10:50pm
Subject: Re: How can I make a good cup of coffee?
 

calblacksmith Said:

Great coffee is well within your budget but you need the proper sequence of items.
1 Fresh coffee
1.5 Properly ground coffee
2 Proper temp of water
3 Some way to hold the beans while the water brews them.

Posted February 27, 2013 link

Talk about the brew coffee only, this is a good summary, together with the proper ratio of coffee grounds and water, like 9-10 grams for 150 ml of water (it is about a full soup spoon).

The properly ground coffee is the first key, I think.  Specially for the pour over and normal brew coffee machines, the coffee beans must be properly grinded to a definite size.  If too course, the coffee will be to light and if too fine, the coffee will be too "strong", that is too bitter and astringent or dry.

If you are not sure how is the size of the coffee grounds, I would suggest you to try the French Press in the following way:

  1. Grind the coffee beans not too course, but not to be very precise
  2. Put the coffee grounds into the French Press
  3. Pour the hot water (150 ml/9-10 grams or a spoon of coffee grounds, 195 to 205 F)
  4. Stir the coffee grounds floating only, not to the bottom, from time to time
  5. Until almost all of the grounds go to the bottom, you can press the filter down to the bottom

In this way, The brewing time can fit the coffee grounds' size automatically and to make the brew properly.

This is mainly for the people who are not familiar to the coffee grinding and coffee brewing.  In this way, one can easer to make a good coffee.

Hope you can try it, and the French Press is very cheap.

Note: If you hate those small coffee grounds in the brew, you can find a filter cloth to cover the filter of the French Press.  Then, the coffee brew will be very clean.

 
Peter in Beijing
-------------------
http://www.kaffa.cn/
-------------------
I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
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