abcdoug Senior Member Joined: 3 Aug 2013 Posts: 1 Location: Northeast U.S. Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: Hario Mini Mill Slim Drip: Bodum electric french press...
Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 1:21pm Subject: Does anyone have a baseline/control [coffee]? (If so, what?)
(This is my first post and I'm not sure if it's more of a question or just a discussion, but eh...)
I'm not really wondering what anyone's favorite brew method is, but rather what is the preferred way of making coffee on a regular basis? ... and/or that is reliable when wanting to experiment? An espresso machine isn't necessarily excluded, but I've heard that espresso requires skill... and also that the consistent/reliable machines are ... fairly expensive. I'm asking this since I want to know if there's some other gear that I should be (realistically) setting my sights on. For example, if someone says they like cowboy coffee with a specified ratio, grind, "boiling water" for temperature, and brew/steep time, I could possibly be able to come close to reproducing it. The only significant variables would be my beans, and how my grinder performs (also assuming that plus-or-minus a few degrees Fahrenheit isn't important here). I'm not sure if there are other things to worry about, but if someone told me about how they prefer using espresso machine, I'd also have to consider the equipment: I don't even have something like a Baratza Encore, but I've heard that those don't get fine enough for some machines... Since the mechanisms of each machine also differ a bit, the preparation might be a guess.
Right now when experimenting with my Aeropress, I use a Bodum electric French press. It automatically heats and drips the water over the coffee and then I take the pot out of the machine and plunge. Since the machine is, in my opinion, consistent, I use it to taste whatever coffee beans I have and I don't usually worry about my grinder because even though it can produce large flakes and small specks, at least the ratio of flakes to specks is usually consistent (*tongue-in-cheek*). Sometimes, if I want to compare coffee beans to anything, it'll be - don't get disappointed in me - instant coffee... I've heard some people actually hold Nescafe as decent when compared to most other brands... and that's the kind I have. I'll definitely say that while it doesn't taste like berries or flowers (or whatever crazy words some people will use), the coffee doesn't end up tasting sour/rancid.
I want to be in control of my coffee, but I also want to know what the general consensus is (if there is one) on the brew method/device that can accurately produce/reproduce the same result. ... Kind of like a good hypothesis or a scientific theory!
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