Joe Riley

Coffee

142 posts in this topic

Yes. I served Santa Lucia at my last restaurant. It is very good coffee. Some of the best I've had. I bought whole been estate and we ground it ourselves.

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Has anyone tried this coffee? http://www.santaluciacoffee.com/

Apparently, a lot of D.C. restaurants serve it and it's available at Whole Foods.

Any feedback? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Just bought a bag last week. As far as whole bean coffees prepackaged and available at Whole Foods go, it's not bad, but I prefer Peets.

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I haven't had it, but am ready for a coffee tasting. Anything.

I have good beans and a Krups coffee maker and my coffee tastes like dishwater this morning. And, I even whipped the milk with an aerolatte.

On a separate note, someone told me about Michas in Old Town. Apparently it's one of the few places around that roasts its own beans. I didn't buy a bag to take home (what was I thinking?) but it was great in-house.

How does a recent roast make a difference in taste? Or does it? Would doing a Michas beans/St. Lucias taste test be like testing a reisling against a pinot noir? Or are the variations much more subtle? (Maybe this should be split into a "coffee 101 for the ignorant" thread.

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How does a recent roast make a difference in taste? Or does it?

Unlike tea, which simply loses potency over time, coffee does go bad - it develops off flavors. Old coffee smells distinctly skunky too me. I'm going to guess that the oils go rancid, but frankly I've forgotten the chemistry and am too lazy to look it up. :) And I have a dim sum to get to.

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I haven't had it, but am ready for a coffee tasting. Anything.

I have good beans and a Krups coffee maker and my coffee tastes like dishwater this morning. And, I even whipped the milk with an aerolatte.

On a separate note, someone told me about Michas in Old Town. Apparently it's one of the few places around that roasts its own beans. I didn't buy a bag to take home (what was I thinking?) but it was great in-house.

How does a recent roast make a difference in taste? Or does it? Would doing a Michas beans/St. Lucias taste test be like testing a reisling against a pinot noir? Or are the variations much more subtle? (Maybe this should be split into a "coffee 101 for the ignorant" thread.

Is your coffeemaker a Krups drip pot or an espresso maker? A number of years ago, we "graduated" from filtered drip coffee -- anybody here old enough to remember Chemex pots, from the pre-Mr. Coffee days?--to Bodum press-pot to serious espresso machines (and I don't think the low-end Krups espresso machines are adequate). If you are a coffee drinker seeking gravitas, it is inevitable. Over the years, we have had two different Swiss Rotel machines, a Saeco Italian machine, and graduated to a La Pavoni last Christmas. And we get freshly roasted Peet's beans shipped to us monthly. If coffee is as important to you as it is to us, starting the day is unthinkable without a kick-ass homemade cup of cappucino, made with a triple shot of espresso from fresh-ground beans. Compared to what we make at home, Starbucks sucks.

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Is your coffeemaker a Krups drip pot or an espresso maker? A number of years ago, we "graduated" from filtered drip coffee -- anybody here old enough to remember Chemex pots, from the pre-Mr. Coffee days?--to Bodum press-pot to serious espresso machines (and I don't think the low-end Krups espresso machines are adequate). If you are a coffee drinker seeking gravitas, it is inevitable. Over the years, we have had two different Swiss Rotel machines, a Saeco Italian machine, and graduated to a La Pavoni last Christmas. And we get freshly roasted Peet's beans shipped to us monthly. If coffee is as important to you as it is to us, starting the day is unthinkable without a kick-ass homemade cup of cappucino, made with a triple shot of espresso from fresh-ground beans. Compared to what we make at home, Starbucks sucks.

I really like Mayorga's beans in Silver Spring. French Press is the way to go. Cheapest setup and the best cup of coffee.

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I searched for a thread for this most basic of liquid sustenance for office workers worldwide and was surprised not to find one. In this world of Starbucks and lousy ready-made coffee machines, do any (if not all) of you stick to, you know, buying your own beans and drinking that coffee instead??

Personally, I was getting sick of the nasty French Roast made by Flavia in those ready-made packets for the automated coffeemaker at work and decided to take a stand. Since I am kind of DIY guy, I went on a bit of a coffee excursion this weekend, and purchased a large tin of Ethiopian Fair Trade medium dark roast beans from Trader Joe's and Bodum's 3 cup (1.5 US cup, since everything's bigger in America) Chambord French Press from Wegmans for 20 bucks. While it seems like a extra work for something you could easily procure from Starbucks or what have you, I can now enjoy great, French-pressed coffee at my desk.

This is single-handedly the best purchase I've made recently (next to new tires for my car).

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I searched for a thread for this most basic of liquid sustenance for office workers worldwide and was surprised not to find one.

It was hiding in the Wine & Beer forum, but has now joined your post. :blink:

And the thread on coffee makers is here.

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It was hiding in the Wine & Beer forum, but has now joined your post. :blink:

And the thread on coffee makers is here.

Ah! Molte grazie! I did the search within the foodstuffs forum, where I thought would be its logical home.

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Anybody know a good place to go taste a few different coffees? I want to experiment with adding coffee to an imperial stout, but I know next to nothing about coffee. Ideally, someplace that would sell me brewed to-go coffee in little 3-4 oz sample sizes (so I could cool them down and do little pipette samples at home). Failing that, someplace that I can pick up several different kinds of whole beans so I can grind the beans myself, borrow ladi kai lemoni's french press, and do the whole thing at home.

Slight tangent: does coffee vary in sugar levels between varieties? The beer is on the sweet side, so I'd like something on the dry side of the coffee spectrum (if there is such a thing) to help balance it out.

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Eric, I think you want to make a Coffee Toddy for your purposes. A coffee toddy is a cold-brewed base for either iced or hot coffee, and is lower in acid.

Interesting. "leaves behind bitter acids and oils".

leaving behind the oils = good (oil affects head retention)

leaving behind the bitter acids = not sure...i'm looking for coffee to be a balancing factor here, for the roast to contrast the sweetness of the beer.

do you (or anybody else) have one I could test out? i'm hesitant to spend $40 on something I'm going to use for a one-off.

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Interesting. "leaves behind bitter acids and oils".

leaving behind the oils = good (oil affects head retention)

leaving behind the bitter acids = not sure...i'm looking for coffee to be a balancing factor here, for the roast to contrast the sweetness of the beer.

do you (or anybody else) have one I could test out? i'm hesitant to spend $40 on something I'm going to use for a one-off.

Well this sounds like the cold-brewing process described in the Times, which doesn't need a special device.

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Our house coffee of late has been Allegro Rwanda Karaba Fair Trade, reviewed below by the Coffee Review website. It's available in either whole bean or ground at Whole Foods. It got one of the highest ratings Coffee Review has given and it's really good. It's a little pricey--$12 for 12 ounces--but it's well worth it.

Allegro Rwanda Karaba Fair Trade

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Is there a difference in Europe in method of roasting, or suppliers, or SOMETHING, that makes the coffee seem so much better than one typically finds here? I think I found the best coffee I've ever had in Barcelona at a place off of La Rambla called La Portorriquena that roasts their beans daily. They ground up a pound of Kenya AA for us to make in the run of the mill drip coffee maker we had back at our apartment. Despite having to evict the mouse living in the water reservoir, the coffee was amazingly good. I bought a couple of pounds to take back to the states before we left.

I wish these guys had product available online, but I can't find it. :(

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Is there a difference in Europe in method of roasting, or suppliers, or SOMETHING, that makes the coffee seem so much better than one typically finds here? I think I found the best coffee I've ever had in Barcelona at a place off of La Rambla called La Portorriquena that roasts their beans daily. They ground up a pound of Kenya AA for us to make in the run of the mill drip coffee maker we had back at our apartment. Despite having to evict the mouse living in the water reservoir, the coffee was amazingly good. I bought a couple of pounds to take back to the states before we left.

I wish these guys had product available online, but I can't find it. :(

Hmm. It's interesting that you mention Kenya AA. That's our brew of choice from our local coffee vendor, and it is, as you noted, the best coffee we've ever had. We're in the near-hinterlands of Japan, but we've found a coffeehouse where the owners buy beans, store them raw, and roast them to order. Not having any idea who their supplier is, I would venture a guess that time plays a big role in the taste -- our coffee tastes almost as good, if not as good, as it did when we finish it off a week later (we buy in 200-300 gram increments). How did the last coffee from your trip that you drank taste in comparison to the first?

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How did the last coffee from your trip that you drank taste in comparison to the first?

I think pretty much the same. I've bought Kenyan several times in the past in the US and I don't recall it ever making such an impression on me. Maybe I just need some freshly roasted from some online source.

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I think pretty much the same. I've bought Kenyan several times in the past in the US and I don't recall it ever making such an impression on me. Maybe I just need some freshly roasted from some online source.

Here's a pretty good list of highly-rated Kenyans that are available for online order, with the reviews starting with the most recent. I get a kick out the way this guy reviews--he uses a Parker 100-point scale and his reviews are floridly descriptive, to say the least. I've never been able to tease out all those flavors, but I've never been disappointed by a coffee he recommends.

Kenya Coffees

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I think pretty much the same. I've bought Kenyan several times in the past in the US and I don't recall it ever making such an impression on me. Maybe I just need some freshly roasted from some online source.

Freshness is a huge factor when it comes to coffee flavor. Pretty much after the moment that coffee is roasted, it's a downhill slide. The carbon dioxide begins to escape and the subtle, complex flavors lose their intensity until they become completely dull. The effect is even more pronounced with the high-acid east Africans, such as Kenyans.

Stored in the cupboard or on the grocer's shelf, coffee is effectively dead after a month. I recommend that my customers only buy enough coffee for 2 weeks time. Next time you're in the store, look at the expiration dates on bagged coffee. It might just shock you.

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Slight tangent: does coffee vary in sugar levels between varieties? The beer is on the sweet side, so I'd like something on the dry side of the coffee spectrum (if there is such a thing) to help balance it out.

Sweetness can definitely vary from coffee to coffee for sure. However, if the beer is sweet, it's gonna be way sweeter (in terms of actual sugars, as well as taste-wise) than the coffee will ever be.

You say that you'd like to balance out the flavors of the beers. You can get some interesting flavors in coffees... especially if you throw espresso into the mix. I think that while I'm all for balance, I'd keep an open mind as far as looking for a coffee or espresso that would compliment the beer.

Is there a difference in Europe in method of roasting, or suppliers, or SOMETHING, that makes the coffee seem so much better than one typically finds here? I think I found the best coffee I've ever had in Barcelona at a place off of La Rambla called La Portorriquena that roasts their beans daily. They ground up a pound of Kenya AA for us to make in the run of the mill drip coffee maker we had back at our apartment. Despite having to evict the mouse living in the water reservoir, the coffee was amazingly good. I bought a couple of pounds to take back to the states before we left.

I wish these guys had product available online, but I can't find it. :(

What did you like about it?

Just FYI, Kenyan coffees are sold (in Kenya) via an auction system. A generic "Kenyan" is somewhat analogous to having a bottle of wine marked "French Chardonnay," and that's all. Personally, I'd be looking for more specific info, but that's just me.

Another FYI: "AA" in "Kenya AA" refers to the size of the beans. It is NOT a measure of quality.

I've never been able to tease out all those flavors...

Why not? What are you brewing on? What are you grinding on?

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Nick,

I love slightly "green" flavors in my wines - a bit of green fruit in my German Riesling, some every-so-slightly underripe qualities in my Red Burgundy (when I say "ripe," I'm talking about full-blown physiological ripeness here). I know these wines with all my heart and soul, and I can "see" what's there, with the acidity amplifying the terroir for me, rather than it being masked by long-hanging grapes which produce lots of raw stuffing and components - sugar, ripe tannins, and alcohol.

This having been said, I keep wondering what I'm missing in Murky Coffee, which comes across to me as consistently underroasted. Tell me what I'm missing, please. At the opposite extreme, I think Starbucks (and by extension, Kirklands) is the nastiest, most overroasted crap in the world. I keep looking for a happy medium, balance - is it possible I'm finding it in Kill Devil Hills?

This is not a snotty question. I honestly think I'm missing something, and yet I'm being drawn AWAY from Murky when it comes to buying beans. Help!

Cheers,

Rocks.

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This is not a snotty question. I honestly think I'm missing something, and yet I'm being drawn AWAY from Murky when it comes to buying beans. Help!

How are you grinding and brewing the beans? Do you feel the same way about our in-shop brewed coffees?

Let me know when you can come by, and we'll do a full-on cupping if you want. Throw in whatever coffees into the mix. Anyone else is welcome to join as well!

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