Coffee Thread

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Werefrog
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Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:35 am

Of course, it was I who started this thread, with my avatar and all.

What's everyone's preference in coffee? Starbucks or McDonalds or Dunkin' Donuts or some place local? Standard drip or an espresso drink or French press or pour over or Turkish? I'm asking of course because I'm going to get you all coffee in the morning.

I used a French press until my brother-in-law broke it :(. Now I use an Aeropress coffee maker because 1) It's indestructible. 2) It's cheap. 3) It's fast. 4) It makes good coffee. The way it makes coffee is similar to part French press, part pour over, and part espresso. The coffee it produces kinda resembles espresso, but all the oils are filtered out by the filter. I don't mind because apparently the oils in coffee are crazy bad for your cholesterol.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Sonic# » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:45 pm

Tea, earl grey, hot.

If I'm going to have coffee, I usually have a mocha or a frappe. And if I'm really going to have coffee, I have it black.
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:20 pm

I take my coffee black as well, Sonic#. I do drink the frappe sometimes. But let's face it, those are coffee flavored milkshakes.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Shiva Indis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:59 pm

Hell yeah, a coffee topic!

I guess I'd go with americano, black. Or a drip brew of a nice single-source from Central America - I've gotten fond of that sort of thing. I used to make french press all the time, but I stopped when I got a part time job in a coffee stand. I just buy from there instead.

A sample cup worth of sugary-coffee-drink is all the more I can take. I wonder how people get through them.
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Sonic# » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:08 pm

Werefrog wrote:I take my coffee black as well, Sonic#. I do drink the frappe sometimes. But let's face it, those are coffee flavored milkshakes.


They're fantastic milkshakes.
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"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Alunissage » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:13 pm

I'm afraid I'm mostly on the coffee-milkshake side of things. I loved coffee ice cream and coffee candy long before I started drinking coffee itself, so of course when I did start I put tons of sugar and cream(er) in it. The cream -- real cream or at least half-and-half, thanks -- is still there but the sugar is much lower, probably less than a teaspoon to take a bit of edge off. But the main thing I put in coffee is water. I take it so weak that when I go to a place like Starbucks I'll ask them to put in maybe an inch of coffee and fill the rest with water. It's not uncommon for a coworker to ask me if I'd like coffee and for me to reply that I'd like about a tablespoon of it.

I was recently reminded of a meal at a restaurant with my grandparents and mother many years ago. One by one, we ordered the same meal: barbecue beef sandwich, medium rare. Then we were asked about beverages. "Coffee." "Coffee." "Coffee." "Coffee." But when we got the coffee, we all took different combinations of add-ins: Grandpa took just sugar (3 spoons!), Grandma drank it black, Mom puts just milk in hers, and I take both milk and sugar. For some reason that combination of sameness and individuality has always tickled me.

There's a cheese I like called Barely Buzzed. It has ground coffee on the outside.

My husband makes French-press coffee, though lately he's done cold-brew.

Also, Godot's line about having tried salt in his coffee and it not working out jumped out at me, because I know people do put salt in coffee to tone down the bitterness. Not sure if I've ever had it that way though.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:45 pm

Wow, I forgot that Godot said that. I've put (just a little) salt in my (cold-brew) coffee before. Alton Brown recommends it in his French press. It makes sense. Salt blocks the receptor for bitterness and tends to enhance the natural sweet flavors in food. It makes double sense to put it in iced/cold brew coffee since the cold naturally dulls taste. Same reason that ice cream usually takes more salt than other desserts.

Speaking of ice cream... now I am thinking about making coffee frozen yogurt. I've got a recipe for making frozen yogurt with Greek yogurt + a liquid with strong flavors (recipe recommends wine but hey, I can experiment). Coffee seems to have a strong flavor to me. My only fear is that it will taste too acidic.

Sonic# wrote:They're fantastic milkshakes.

Yes, they are. If I spend a long time in a coffee house studying, it's pretty typical for me to get a drip coffee when I first get there and eventually getting a frappe after being there for a couple of hours. I feel guilty about spending 6 hours at a coffee house if I just get a coffee.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Kaiya-Sky » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:08 am

I cannot drink normal coffee with out getting a terrible stomach ache, but I can have french vanilla coffee and coffee flavored things, I love Mocha's and Coffee Ice cream. The only reason I buy coffee is to make a coffee body scrub.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Kizyr » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:52 am

Oh, where do I begin...

At home, I usually use a French Press -- that gives me the most flexibility for grinding how I want it, cold-brewing, adding sugar/chocolate/etc., and so on. My usual is coarse-ground with 1-2 spoons of sugar and a little almond milk. As for the coffee itself, I"ll get whole bean from any of the local coffee shops in the area (there are 3-4 that I regularly frequent) -- Kona and Arabian Mocha are the two specific types of beans that I like the best, but most any good dark roast I'll enjoy.

Occasionally if I have very finely ground Arabian coffee, I'll make it demitasse style. I don't have all the proper equipment, so I'll use a saucepan and separate filter instead to approximate it as close as possible.

BTW, if anyone ever gets me a Keurig coffee machine, that thing's going in the trash and I may not speak to you for a while afterwards.

As for when I go out... Well, I love cafes (while me and Jenner were last in Japan, we'd go to 1-2 per day -- I'm usually good at telling at a quick glance how good it's going to be), though I'm harsh with judgment. In DC, there are two places that are really good: Tryst (in Adams-Morgan) and Filter (in Dupont Circle & Foggy Bottom). In Arlington/Alexandria, there are two others that I really like: Killer ESP and Misha's (both in Old Town Alexandria). As far as chains go, well... Saxby's is the only one I've found that's any good. But to be honest, if I'm in a rush, Dunkin Donuts is not that bad.

Oh, and Vietnamese and Ethiopian places -- if they're good -- tend to have amazingly good coffee.

Also, I'd rather go without coffee than ever get anything from Starbucks. I have tried them before, and on very rare occasions I'll give them another try to check if they're still lousy, and to date they haven't surprised me. KF
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:56 pm

Kizyr wrote:BTW, if anyone ever gets me a Keurig coffee machine, that thing's going in the trash and I may not speak to you for a while afterwards.


Amen to that! My sister has one and my mom calls it, "the stupid coffee machine." It takes up so much space for such crappy coffee. She uses it to make hot chocolate mostly. I used to have a French press but sister's husband broke it because I left it in the dish drainer (so half. I now have a plastic Aeropress that can't be broken. I used 30 dollars out of my 45 dollars of Starbucks gift cards on it. I think I will use the rest to buy coffee beans. Coffee oils are so bad for cholesterol, Kizyr. Have you considered switching to a filtered method. Or do you add a filter to your French press?

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Kizyr » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:00 pm

Werefrog wrote:
Kizyr wrote:BTW, if anyone ever gets me a Keurig coffee machine, that thing's going in the trash and I may not speak to you for a while afterwards.

Amen to that! My sister has one and my mom calls it, "the stupid coffee machine." It takes up so much space for such crappy coffee.

When it was one of the prizes at a company raffle, one of my coworkers asked if I'd be upset if I actually won it (side note: I never win anything at raffles, even when everyone else at my table has for multiple years in a row, so it'd be ironic if that was the one thing I finally won). I remarked that I'd be as bitter as the sludge that comes out of those damned machines.

Werefrog wrote:Coffee oils are so bad for cholesterol, Kizyr. Have you considered switching to a filtered method. Or do you add a filter to your French press?

What's the deal with coffee oils?

Really, though. I wasn't aware of any cholesterol connection. I don't add a filter to my french press (I used to when I had a cheaper one, but it was to keep the grounds down rather than filter out any oils). Does any regular coffee filter do? What about pour-over? KF
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Sonic# » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:18 pm

Werefrog wrote:
Kizyr wrote:BTW, if anyone ever gets me a Keurig coffee machine, that thing's going in the trash and I may not speak to you for a while afterwards.


Amen to that! My sister has one and my mom calls it, "the stupid coffee machine." It takes up so much space for such crappy coffee. She uses it to make hot chocolate mostly. I used to have a French press but sister's husband broke it because I left it in the dish drainer (so half. I now have a plastic Aeropress that can't be broken. I used 30 dollars out of my 45 dollars of Starbucks gift cards on it. I think I will use the rest to buy coffee beans. Coffee oils are so bad for cholesterol, Kizyr. Have you considered switching to a filtered method. Or do you add a filter to your French press?


My grandparents got a Keurig for Christmas. I didn't have coffee from it, but I did have hot chocolate, and it was alright. What do you two identify as the weaknesses of a Keurig coffee machine? Is it process? Ingredients? Overall taste? Waste?

More than anything else, I'm trying to figure out why someone would like it, since I know people who are fine with them and others who (like you two) detest it. For recent data points, my grandparents would usually do instant coffee, and have enjoyed the novelty as well as the taste compared to instant. While my sister and her husband are moderately involved in coffee-making (using a French press and the like), they also have, sometimes use, and like a Keurig. At least, I hope that's why they offered me a cup from their device.
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"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Alunissage » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:53 am

As opposed to it being a very subtle insult, I suppose.

Coffee does sometimes upset my stomach. I wonder if that's oil-related.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Shiva Indis » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:51 pm

Sonic# wrote:My grandparents got a Keurig for Christmas. I didn't have coffee from it, but I did have hot chocolate, and it was alright. What do you two identify as the weaknesses of a Keurig coffee machine? Is it process? Ingredients? Overall taste? Waste?

The coffee packs are pre-ground, which definitely limits its ability to be tasty, sealed or not. They have little to no control over water temperature or brewing time, both of which have impacts on flavor. They're kinda pricey and they generate more trash than a typical drip brew.

But they're so quick and easy! :mrgreen:

I've seen some workarounds with reusable inserts that you fill with your own grounds, but the point of Keurig is simplicity and flexibility, so it seems unlikely that would catch on.
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Alunissage » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:54 pm

Yeah, I always thought of Keurig as an office or waiting-room kind of thing rather than a home thing. Someplace that doesn't have a real kitchen but can manage paper cups and a trash receptacle. :mrgreen:

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Kizyr » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:52 pm

Sonic# wrote:What do you two identify as the weaknesses of a Keurig coffee machine? Is it process? Ingredients? Overall taste? Waste?

Well, the only strength is convenience; everything else about the machines is a weakness.

The biggest weakness is that it completely limits where you get your coffee. You can only use K-cups, so that eliminates most coffee shops, online sellers, and anyone else who isn't already a big chain brand like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks (as Shiva Indis said, there are substitutes that let you use your own beans, but if you're going to that much trouble then all the convenience is lost anyway and you may as well just use a pot or French press).

Next to that, the taste is pretty miserable. It's usually watered down with a bitter aftertaste (unless you add sugar, then it's just watered down). This probably has to do with what Shiva also said: the K-cups are always pre-ground (so they can go stale quicker), and you can't control anything about the way it brews.

The amount of space and amount of waste are the last two things... Not so much the machine itself, but all the K-cups have to be stacked and take up too much space, and just get tossed afterwards. By contrast, a bag of whole beans and a grinder take up very little space on the shelf, and the only waste is the used grounds afterwards, maybe a paper filter now and then.

Anyway, if I really needed the convenience factor and cared little about taste or where I got my coffee from, I'd just get instant coffee. Nescafe isn't that bad, it's way more convenient (just add hot water), and doesn't require stockpiling supplies. KF
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:52 am

I'm trying to find info on coffee oil's impact on cholesterol, but I am coming up short right now. If I find an article that's more definitive I will copy/paste the abstract. And yes, if the coffee oil has an impact on cholesterol the majority of the oil will be filtered out by any old paper filter. You lose some flavor with a paper filter which is why a lot of people prefer French press or espresso or metal filter (which only filters out grounds and not oil)

Edit: Here's the final sentence in an abstract from a 1991 American Heart Association article. "We propose that paper filters of the type used for drip-filtered coffee retain the lipid present in boiled coffee and in that way remove the hypercholesterolemic factor." it was randomized control trial with 64 participants. So it's pretty good. Let me see if there's a newer article out there.

Edit 2: Here's what looks to be the most recent but probably not final word. It's a meta-analysis of 12 studies with a total of 1017 participants between them. This is their conclusion: "The intake of coffee especially unfiltered coffee is contributed significantly to the increase in TC, LDL-C and TG, and the changes were related to the level of intake. Studies of coffee intake on serum lipids in Asian populations should be performed."

So, it looks like all coffee has an effect, with the largest being unfiltered coffee. I don't know if it's conclusive enough for you to change how you take your coffee (probably wouldn't change my mind if I really liked espresso). I just know you have expressed a concern in this area in the past.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Kizyr » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:51 am

Werefrog wrote:Edit 2: Here's what looks to be the most recent but probably not final word. It's a meta-analysis of 12 studies with a total of 1017 participants between them. This is their conclusion: "The intake of coffee especially unfiltered coffee is contributed significantly to the increase in TC, LDL-C and TG, and the changes were related to the level of intake. Studies of coffee intake on serum lipids in Asian populations should be performed."

Ok that's kind of the additional study I could use... But yeah, you're right, I do have issues with my cholesterol (second-generation South Asian-Americans tend to have unusually high bad cholesterol levels; first-generation and third-generation don't, though). It'll probably affect how I brew coffee at home; most of the time I have espresso it's a red-eye and usually just on the weekends, so that's a change I can make with little problem.

...I should probably monitor my cholesterol more often to see if this does have an effect.

... ... ...holy dragon diamond I feel so old right now. KF
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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Werefrog » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:13 pm

Do any of you have a recommendation on national brands for beans? I usually buy Aldi brand. I enjoy the Aldi brand, but I think I might be willing to spend a few extra bucks now if it brought with it an increase in quality.

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Re: Coffee Thread

Postby Leo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:27 pm

I'll go with Dunkin Donuts' coffee. Starbucks is definitely a lot better but they make it really obvious that they're aware of this by the pricing. For that price difference, DD is definitely the better call.


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