Jump to content

Cables, Coffee, Cycles, and Cocktails


Recommended Posts

Must have been fun times MM! Is the donut shop still there?

Wonder how many forum members there are in California. You, Mark, and Steve......

It was wiped out by 17th street Newport Blvd expansion project 20 years ago, just about the last time I was down there.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Must have been fun times MM! Is the donut shop still there?

Wonder how many forum members there are in California. You, Mark, and Steve......

Dennie lives in northern California....

Yeah, we have not met up yet but he is right here in sactown.......

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe she'll be better? Has Bi-Polar.

Ah, My step daut has that and they have some dam fine Meds out there, she does well, then some nut "New" Doc comes along and changes her Meds, then she does not do so well, iv had to go in and chew the Docs azz more than one time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how I missed this thread for so long!

I skimmed a bit but did not read everything.

At the coffee site I hang out at,


, we have the rule of 15s. Green unroasted coffee is good for about 15 months. Roasted coffee (whole, not ground) is good for about 15 days and ground, roasted coffee is good for about 15 minutes.

Granted there is a little wiggle room but not a whole lot. Coffee is a food product and as such, it has a limited life span.

Once roasted the clock is running, you have "cooked" the coffee and like all cooked food, the time it is at it's peak is short. Once ground the "play" clock is running (football term) Because coffee is brown to start with, you do not see it spoiling but spoil it does and rapidly. Think of it this way, there is no excuse to not have a grinder. Would you buy an apple at a store then have the man in the produce section cut it into a thousand small pieces because you do not have a knife at home? What happens to the nice clean white flesh of the apple? It reacts with the O2 in the air and it oxidizes doesn't it? After about 15 minutes, you will see the brown "rot" start to form. Because you cut the apple into a thousand small pieces, the surface area exposed to the air is vastly bigger and the same 15 minutes will have spoiled MUCH more of the apple right? The same thing happens to coffee but because it is already brown, you do not see it happening! This is true for all coffee regardless of how it was packaged. You simply must have a grinder if you want to drink good coffee, regardless of the brew method.

Speaking of brew methods, there are a whole lot of them out there and which works best for you depends on how much work you do or do not want to do, how much you want to spend and what you expect from a cup of coffee.

Just to hit the highlights for other than pod machines regardless of make.

French press is often though of as THE way to brew coffee. Well it can make a good cup, if you do not mind drinking mud at the bottom of your cup, that is the reason I do not use the French press. The plus side, they are inexpensive, they do a good job of steeping the grounds, they leave all the essential oils in suspension in the coffee. The down side, there is a layer of mud in the bottom of the cup, you must remove the coffee from the FP as soon as you are done brewing as the coffee remains in contact with the grounds, it will over extract the beans and give you a nasty flavor.

Aero press. This is a recent invention, it is a plastic cylinder you place your grounds in then add hot water, stir and then press the brew through a paper or micro hole SS disc. The up side is it is very inexpensive and is very tolerant of ground size and water temp variations. The down side is it pretty much limits you to one cup at a time so if you need to make more you need to cycle the process many times. It uses a paper filter so some of the oils remain in the filter and not in your cup but it brews a cup as clean as drip with more oils retained than drip.

Vac pot. This is THE way to brew your coffee in the 1920s to '40s, it produces a very clean cup, it is very flexable for brew contact time, the water is automatically the right temp, not boiling but right at 205 F The down side is it is messy to clean, the seal between the two vessels needs to be perfect or else the coffee will not draw down to the bottom bowl after heat is removed. It does provide a great "show" so the method is coming back with table top versions that use a "tea" candle for a heat source so you can brew right on the dinner table and all the guests can watch..... great fun.

Perk, uh, not a good method at all, the coffee is boiled, over and over again and is recycled over the grounds over and over again, this is a much less than optimal way to brew coffee but some like it so, if you like it... go right ahead.

Drip. This method took over from the short rein of the perk after the vac pot. It was spear headed by the Mr Coffee brewer and has taken the home brewing market by storm. It is easy to clean, it can make a very good cup, the brew is clean and free of sludge as found in the FP. The down side is that most auto drip pots do not heat the water hot enough, the paper filter traps the oils from the brewed coffee and sooooooooo many of them come with warming plates which does nothing to the coffee but burn it and turn a delightful drink into unpalletable swill. Manual drip cones are a variation of the process and can give GREAT results as you heat the water to 195 to 205 F yourself, you control where the water contacts the grounds thus assuring an even soaking of the grounds and you control the water flow rate to maintain the optimal 4 minute contact time of water to grounds.

There are more ways to brew for sure, these are just the most common ways to do it.

The biggest thing anyone can do to improve the morning cup is to buy FRESH roasted (less than two weeks from THE DAY IT WAS ROASTED) if there is a best by or a use before date on the bag, do not buy it, you have no idea how old it is, you need to see the ROAST date.

Get a grinder, not a whirly blade chopper thing but a real burr grinder. The blade chopper never gives a consistent size ground. It ranges from dust to boulders. The dust will over extract nearly instantly giving a nasty flavor to the brew while the boulders will never start to give up the goodness inside in the time you are making coffee. There many PSUTO burr grinders, such as the Cuisinart DB 8 or is it 9. They typically sell for around $50. They are not burr grinders rather they are made to LOOK like a burr grinder but the operate exactly like the whilrly blade thing. If you remove the upper "burr" you will see some "nubs" sticking up above the "burr" surface. These act just like the whirling blade, you are not grinding the coffee (cutting is more accurate as the burrs need to be very sharp and they slice the bean to a uniform size particle) you are beating it to death between the nubbs on the top and bottom plates they call burrs. I was suckered in by them when I first started and have one that I kept to remind me how bad they truly are.

Hand crank grinders can be had for under $100, the Skelertion (I know I miss spelled that!) is a good one. It will not brew espresso (often misspelled as eXpresso ARRRRGGGGHHH!) but it works for other, less demanding processes.

The key to properly ground coffee is consistency of the ground size. They all must be the same time for them to extract at the same rate of speed.

A list of roasters we link to is


We have used them and know they provide a quality product. Nearly all will roast and ship the same day so for the average travel time of 3 days, you get coffee, delivered to your door, with the minimum time for it to properly degass having passed. Fresh roasted coffee gives off a LOT of CO2 and that must be vented for about 3 days for the coffee to reach it's peak.

Fresh roasted coffee is by most of the public's standards, expensive. Expect to START paying $12 for 12 oz, yes a dollar a oz, not $3.99 for a 5# can!

Roasting coffee is another whole discussion. As the coffee is roasted darker and darker, it will take on the flavor of the roast and loos the light flavors that define one coffee from another. Starbucks is famous for this, they over roast ALL their coffee to burnt so that it all tastes the same, regardless of which store you go to. They are the biggest seller of Milkshakes with sprinkles and whip with only a drop or two of this thing called coffee. Any fresh bean with oil showing on it will taste very strongly of the roast and not the bean. Oil can also be an indicator of age on beans that were properly roasted and are now long stale. If great coffee is what you are after, avoid beans with oil on them and lets not get into "flavored" coffee. Coffee has one flavor,.... COFFEE!

This has just only touched the surface of the subject. Just what is it you want from your coffee, how big is the budget. Do not think of even looking at espresso for less than $500 and then only the barest minimum of a setup that is unstable to work with. Pretty much if you see a espresso machine in a department store, it is junk, nearly every time without exception. Brevelle is KNOWN in the espresso world for producing garbage, home quality machines. For the price they charge for some of them, you can have a quality brewer but it is not in a department store. For an espresso grinder with a motor on it, new that is actually able to grind for espresso, they START at $350 and that is only for one that is ABLE to grind for espresso, not a quality espresso grinder.

I am sure this post will generate a lot of comments. I did not read everything before me here so if I covered something that has been brought up before, I'm sorry.

Edited by Cal Blacksmith
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...