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New to home brewing and need some advice please :)
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Senior Member

Joined: 5 Aug 2013
Posts: 1
Location: England
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 5:43am
Subject: New to home brewing and need some advice please :)

Hi everyone,

I'm new to coffeegeek and also to home brewing. I have been a coffee freak for a long time but haven't really had any experience making coffee myself at home as my experience of home brewed coffee has always been pretty bad, although I've never tried it myself. But I got some coffee beans the other day for a recipe and almost died because they smelt soooo good!

So, I'm looking to make a good home setup for coffee. I would like to buy beans which have been roasted but not ground, grind them myself and brew them. I love strong but smooth coffee. I'm looking for a grinder and brewer, the complexity comes that I don't really have any space in my kitchen for any more electronics as it's already full of kitchen gadgets. So I'm looking for a manual grinder and a brewer that doesn't been plugging in, french press maybe?

Any and all advice is welcome, including any product recommendations!

Thanks :)!
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Senior Member

Joined: 5 Sep 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 1:24am
Subject: Re: New to home brewing and need some advice please :)

Everyone will have their own preferences whether it's espresso, filter machine, cafetiere or even a simple cone which fits over a jug or cup.

Looking at your preferences and limitations I'd say you are a lot like me. To me, a top of the range and expensive espresso machine which provides the right pressure is the way to go. But I neither have the money nor the space in my kitchen. So the next best I think is a Bialetti Moka Express stove-top coffee-maker sometimes billed as "Mokka" with an extra "k" and is available on Amazon UK.

The Bialetti ME is kinda like a halfway house between a percolator and an espresso machine. It works something like a percolator and makes the coffee under pressure like an espresso machine but the pressure is a lot less so you will be hard pressed to get a decent crema. But the coffee it makes is strong and thick and is a good substitute for espresso and can be used in much the same way, i.e. diluted with hot frothy milk for a Latte or hot water for an Americano. Simple to use: Unscrew the top and remove the filter, fill the base with water up to just below the valve, replace the coffee filter and loosely fill with ground coffee, screw on the top and put it on the stove over a low heat. When it gurgles turn off the heat and the coffee is done.

This is the coffee you get in Italy when you're not drinking espresso and the Bialetti ME is variously described as elegant simplicity or even "retro".

A word here about the Bialetti cup sizes: A 3-cup size provides around 125ml of strong thick coffee and provides either two standard espresso cups or a standard 250ml mug. So the 3-cup size is mainly good for one person while a 6-cup for two people, a 9-cup for 3 people and so on.

And a quick word about coffee: My own personal preference for the Bialetti ME is coffee which is a medium roast blend of Arabica and Robusta which provides the body and strength needed and some meaure of crema and my best of the best is Lavazza Qualita Rossa. If you want to try it you can get a 250g pack of ground in most supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda while Amazon has 1kg packs of whole beans which is what I buy.

On to grinding and this is going to be a short paragraph: For a manual grinder look for a manual burr grinder which is like a box with a turning handle on top and a drawer which collects the ground coffee. But where space is a consideration probably a simple electric grinder will take up a lot less space and be a lot quicker to grind I use the Tefal twin-blade coffee grinder which is the same as the Krups model, both on Amazon UK.

So that's my take on it and others will probably post their own alternatives. Good luck with your coffee making and drinking and remember it's not cookery, it's an art form :)
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Senior Member

Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Uk
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 1:46pm
Subject: Re: New to home brewing and need some advice please :)

Thanks for the Moka or Mokka tips. ;)

What do you do regarding the milk or do you just take it black.
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Senior Member
Joined: 2 Jan 2010
Posts: 149
Location: california
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: stovetop pots,aeropress
Grinder: skerton, SoloGrind
Drip: melitta cone, chemex
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Re: New to home brewing and need some advice please :)

Hard to say.  I was in the same boat once, iow, coffee at the office was good but it sucked when I tried to make it at home.  Turned out my problem was the store bought pre-ground beans and the automatic coffee maker which didn't get the water hot enough.  On top of that, I had no idea how to determine how much coffee to use unless I used one of those awful pre-measured filter packets.

What kind of coffee have you been drinking?
Are you also a tea drinker?  (do you have a hot water kettle)
How much coffee will you make at one time?  Just for one?

I agree.  The smallest footprint and least equipment to make coffee for one would be a moka pot and a hand grinder like a hario skerton or zassenhaus (sp?)  But that makes strong very coffee, almost espresso.  You can always add hot water to your taste if you've been drinking drip/filtered coffee.

Next up would be aeropress & a hand grinder.  It also makes strong coffee but it's filtered so you don't get fines in your cup which could contribut to bitterness.  You need a source of hot water, hence the kettle question.

Up from there is a pourover cone if you like filtered coffee.  French press (cafetierre) if you're okay with unfiltered.  Still need the hand grinder and a source of hot water.  A plastic cone like the mellita is the cheapest way to single serve coffee, I got mine for US$2 many years ago.  Single serve was how I finally nailed down how much coffee to use to fill my coffee mug, even when that mug grew in size.
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