Coffee

joerand posted:

If you have genuine "environmental concerns" regarding coffee the obvious choice is not to be a consumer of coffee. Cultivation of coffee beans is the ultimate environmental impact...

Slightly harsh - coffee is a very lucrative commodity that gives a valuable source of income to many impoverished parts of the world which can have a positive environmental impact for the people concerned .. I would be tempted to ensure your coffee is Fairtrade if you have concerns here...

 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
joerand posted:

If you have genuine "environmental concerns" regarding coffee the obvious choice is not to be a consumer of coffee. Cultivation of coffee beans is the ultimate environmental impact...

Slightly harsh - coffee is a very lucrative commodity that gives a valuable source of income to many impoverished parts of the world which can have a positive environmental impact for the people concerned .. I would be tempted to ensure your coffee is Fairtrade if you have concerns here...

 

I'm surprised you're that na├»ve Simon. "Fair Trade" is another marketing scheme that originated from an agreement regarding wages of coffee workers and gets you to feel good about paying more for a branded cup of coffee. Bottom line is that more and more forests are being cleared to provide for the world's increasing coffee demand. Whether the Fair Trade coffee originates from land cleared decades ago, or how much workers are being paid to harvest the coffee under a label seems irrelevant to me from an environmental perspective. If someone is truly concerned about so-called environmental impacts the best option is to reduce consumption. The notion that your consumption is a source of income to the impoverished seems the epitome of rationalization to me. Folks with means will have what they want and a faction are happy to pay more for something with some kind of pro-environmental stamp. It's a lot like thinking that driving an electric car nets you zero emissions.

Fair Trade always seems sensible to me - I have no reason to feel cynical about it - but I am sure there are abuses within the scheme as with most things in life, but I trust the benefits out weigh the disadvantages.

Excessive consumption is gluttony and as such is a negative to my way of thinking, however enjoying and consuming a product or food on our planet that is  produced and grown by  people who are paid for doing so seems entirely fair and appropriate. To that extent what is the difference between designing and building a hifi audio amplifier and shipping it to be sold compared to growing and shipping a commodity such as coffee. Sure neither item is essential to our way of life but both can usually add to the enjoyment of  our lives in their respective ways and yes both consume world resources in being realised including supporting the families of those involved.

Just enjoyed a single espresso shot of Congo Latumba  Blue Mountain - mouthwatering - especially the after taste

The only way to avoid environmental impact is to not consume anything. You'll die, but it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind. I'm always rather amused by the "You shouldn't do that 'cos it's damaging to the environment" crowd. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. "

Me, I shall stick to a nice cup of covfefe. With milk.

I prefer filter coffee. I just put the plastic filter on my large mugg, put the paper filter + coffee in and pour boiling water on it. I have tried many other things, but this works best for me. No expensive machine needed etc ...

I know, I know, it is the Nait 3 of the coffees but I like it.

And yes, fair trade too.

The Quickmill 820 is still on my list, but money has gone to Amplifiers. Like Naim: no fuzz, lasts forever.

Interesting to have a thread here and to see the varied opinions/tastes. I think cafe coffee varies enormously and hesitate from generalising - Cafe Nero is for example greatly superior to Starbucks in my experience. What one has to avoid is the cappuccino which comes out as mildly coffee flavoured milk. Anyone in London should try Bar Italia in Soho for a great coffee - its history goes back to the 50s flowering of espresso culture. But then some independent cafes in central London produce very poor coffee.

I'm not as meticulous as Simon and I use a blend, but I make my coffee in a small Rancilio machine (Silvia) with a Rancilio Rocky burr grinder. I find that the vacuum packed coffee from the supermarkets is fine to start with but seems to lose freshness very quickly. My two principal sources of coffee are the Algerian Coffee store in Great Compton Street - just down the road from Bar Italia in Soho; and Drurys in Covent Garden, who are also suppliers of the commercial Rancilio machines and distribute their coffee to cafes and restaurants. Both have a good selection of coffees and at a much more reasonable price than the average delicatessen - Drurys do mail order. 

Clive

I am enjoying this topic. Having had failures in the past and a tiny kitchen I almost went down the Nespresso route simply to get a machine small enough to fit in. Then, dearly beloved bought me a DeLonghi Dedica. Slim enough for our worktop, it took a while to get used to it, trying many coffee varieties, beans, grinders, we have come down to a basic favourite, Lidl ready ground Java! Dearly beloved refuses to drink anything else.

As regards high street chains, I don't bother, three independents make coffee drinking enjoyable. The Hamptons in Chipping Sodbury, Joseph's in Bath and best of all Amid Giants & Idols in Lyme Regis.

Heston's  Sage expresso batista is a superb bit of kit, you can grind your beans to ones desired taste , have a gorgeous creme and steam your milk so it's smooth and silky.

The whole process is extremely relaxing and enjoyable and the coffee is exceptionally good.

After a lot of practice I can even make pretty patterns on the top of the coffee.

It's my best piece of kit , after those special black boxes we all have....

I have a subscription (mail-order) with Blue Star Coffee who are located in the small town of Twisp in Washington State. I have them send me a couple of bags of their SuperNova Decaffeinated blend. Also order on a rotating basis the Expresso Blend, Highway 20 blend, and Morning Roast blend. We buy whole bean and grind our own and use different methods to brew. Coffee machine if having people over, individual cups using a pour over method, and also use an Aero Press for expresso shots. 

Coffee is good, good in the morning, good in the afternoon, good in the evening, and good at night.   ......and of course a spot of tea now and then.

.... I choose Blue Star Coffee because the taste in all their blends is exceptional and they are a small business. There consistency to produce a great testing coffee keeps me a customer. I believe finding a good roaster is the key to enjoying a great cup of coffee day in and day out.

From their website:    Blue Star Coffee Roasters is a wholesale producer of small batch, award winning, artisan roasted coffee.

Our approach to coffee is simple. Quality in the cup is our driving principle. 

We source exceptional coffee beans from different continents that are carefully chosen for their flavor, of course, but also for their technical qualities of bean size, hardness, and processing techniques that inform our blending and roasting decisions. We roast on a modified and updated 1963 Probat 22 kilo machine. Roasting is carefully specific to the blend, to both maximize and harmonize the coffee flavors. We roast often to ensure freshness, and package it promptly to preserve those delicate and delicious flavors. This is our part of the quality arc, and we are committed to doing it the very best that we can.

I'm just getting back on the espresso, wagon after moving house, I have a hot top roaster that's probably 10 years old, I used to love Ethiopian Mocca and monsoon malibar 50/50 mix after roasting separately. 

My old machines have gone, my grinder of old is a little big and needs a thorough clean (And I covet a  new one). so I have  a new machine and grinder on it's way. Seems the world of espresso has moved on a bit, I thought I was leading edge when I drilled a spare group handle and taped a fluke temperature meter probe to it ! Seems machines now do that and adjust for you !!

I used to hit 94degrees at the start of extraction I was happy

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I am obviously being dim... can you explain what you mean Eloise?

"A colloquialism generally referring to an alcohol abuser's sobering up time. Can also be used as a general reference to refraining from any bad habit, i.e. coffee, covfefe, diet or drug usage.

Closely related to fell off the wagon.

1. "Hey Bill, you wanna do whiskey shots tonight?" "Sorry Bob, I'm on the wagon."
2. "Hey Jim, you sticking to that Atkins diet thing?" "Yup, I'm still on the wagon."
 
A.R.M.  (channeling Eloise)
dave marshall posted:

I alternate between the various offerings from Taylors of Harrogate and fresh roasted beans from a local artisan roaster.

All fed into a Jura bean to cup machine, powered, naturally, with a Powerline, for that little extra je ne sais quoi. 

I have a Jura Z5 myself and the (now ex) GF has my Delonghi Bean to Cup ... both seem very capable machines (for automatics) but I still hanker for a Sage Oracle (although I did like the Jura Z6 too).

For beans - TBH I often just end up buying Tescos own brand beans ... they turn out a decent cappucino.

Phil

tonym posted:

The only way to avoid environmental impact is to not consume anything. You'll die, but it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind. I'm always rather amused by the "You shouldn't do that 'cos it's damaging to the environment" crowd. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. "

Me, I shall stick to a nice cup of covfefe. With milk.

Sorry that doesn't work, your corpse will still have a negative environmental impact (and cremation's even worse). 

Phil Harris posted:

I have a Jura Z5 myself and the (now ex) GF has my Delonghi Bean to Cup ... both seem very capable machines (for automatics) but I still hanker for a Sage Oracle (although I did like the Jura Z6 too).

For beans - TBH I often just end up buying Tescos own brand beans ... they turn out a decent cappucino.

Phil

The number of unrecoverable state errors in the Delonghi programming frustrates the h**l out of me!

Huge posted:
Phil Harris posted:

I have a Jura Z5 myself and the (now ex) GF has my Delonghi Bean to Cup ... both seem very capable machines (for automatics) but I still hanker for a Sage Oracle (although I did like the Jura Z6 too).

For beans - TBH I often just end up buying Tescos own brand beans ... they turn out a decent cappucino.

Phil

The number of unrecoverable state errors in the Delonghi programming frustrates the h**l out of me!

Haven't hit any issues like that with the one that I have (had?) ... what annoys me with it is that the water receptacle is so small, oh, and that it broke after a few months but Currys did exchange it for me (and upgraded it to the newer version / next one up) and I'm not going to presume from a sample size of 1 that that means that all of them are inherently flawed and therefore they will all fail after three months. ;-)

Phil

Phil Harris posted:
dave marshall posted:

I alternate between the various offerings from Taylors of Harrogate and fresh roasted beans from a local artisan roaster.

All fed into a Jura bean to cup machine, powered, naturally, with a Powerline, for that little extra je ne sais quoi. 

I have a Jura Z5 myself and the (now ex) GF has my Delonghi Bean to Cup ... both seem very capable machines (for automatics) but I still hanker for a Sage Oracle (although I did like the Jura Z6 too).

For beans - TBH I often just end up buying Tescos own brand beans ... they turn out a decent cappucino.

Phil

Shame you are not nearby - i have just binned some Tesco own brand beans - just couldn't get on with them at all despite trying several different preparations for brewing  -  you would have been absolutely welcome to have them. 

The Sage Oracle is a nice machine - I went for their next model down, the Sage Dual Boiler and got a separate grinder..

During the course of a job I was involved with a colleague had to have regular meetings at the offices of a highly respected firm of engineers. Each time he visited he was offered a coffee whilst he waited to see the director. The coffee was pretty awful apparently so on the third visit, when offered the customary coffee, he politely asked 'Is it powdered?'...'No, replied the assistant.... It's granules'

G

I have just upgraded to a TQ mains cable,  for my Sage Coffee machine,  I would say already, the coffee tastes smoother, certainly it's more layered, deeper in colour, will keep everyone updated as the cable burns in, they reckon it can take 40..50 shots of expresso to perform at its best....

 Happy days....

wenger2015 posted:

I have just upgraded to a TQ mains cable,  for my Sage Coffee machine,  I would say already, the coffee tastes smoother, certainly it's more layered, deeper in colour, will keep everyone updated as the cable burns in, they reckon it can take 40..50 shots of expresso to perform at its best....

 Happy days....

Now I've no idea if you're being serious...

Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I have just upgraded to a TQ mains cable,  for my Sage Coffee machine,  I would say already, the coffee tastes smoother, certainly it's more layered, deeper in colour, will keep everyone updated as the cable burns in, they reckon it can take 40..50 shots of expresso to perform at its best....

 Happy days....

Now I've no idea if you're being serious...

I'm already on my 17th expresso....its going to be along night, at least I will have no problem staying awake, 

By the way....it's the Arabica Expresso Ultra Black cable? 

 

wenger2015 posted:

I'm already on my 17th expresso....its going to be along night, at least I will have no problem staying awake, 

By the way....it's the Arabica Expresso Ultra Black cable? 

 

17 espressos, that'll certainly get your feet tapping!

wenger2015 posted:
Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I have just upgraded to a TQ mains cable,  for my Sage Coffee machine,  I would say already, the coffee tastes smoother, certainly it's more layered, deeper in colour, will keep everyone updated as the cable burns in, they reckon it can take 40..50 shots of expresso to perform at its best....

 Happy days....

Now I've no idea if you're being serious...

I'm already on my 17th expresso....its going to be along night, at least I will have no problem staying awake, 

By the way....it's the Arabica Expresso Ultra Black cable? 

 

Inky black coffee then ?

james n posted:
wenger2015 posted:
Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I have just upgraded to a TQ mains cable,  for my Sage Coffee machine,  I would say already, the coffee tastes smoother, certainly it's more layered, deeper in colour, will keep everyone updated as the cable burns in, they reckon it can take 40..50 shots of expresso to perform at its best....

 Happy days....

Now I've no idea if you're being serious...

I'm already on my 17th expresso....its going to be along night, at least I will have no problem staying awake, 

By the way....it's the Arabica Expresso Ultra Black cable? 

 

Inky black coffee then ?

Inky blackness? More a creamy inky blackness 

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