I love coffee. The smell and taste of a good brew is incredibly refreshing. As a by product, I am hopelessly addicted to caffeine; however, I like to point out that caffeine addictions are socially acceptable.
I was introduced to home roasting by a friend in Grand Rapids, MI. The first cup I had left me speechless. Yes, I do like coffee that much. The taste of the coffee contained all of the aromas I was used to just smelling. I had to find out how he made it. Turns out, he roasted his own coffee. If you enjoy coffee, roasting your own coffee is something you will want to look into. The taste is incredible and the savings are huge.
After bringing coffee to my parents over the holidays, they asked about roasting coffee themselves. There are many things that can be done to make a good cup of coffee; however, there are a few practices that will get you a lot bang for your buck. Here are my recommendations.
I use the Nesco Coffee Roaster. It burns up most of the smoke produced by the beans - a must if you live in an apartment. It does a pretty good job with medium roasts. It isn’t the best roaster; however, the catalytic converter on it is what makes roasting my own coffee a possibility at this time. I recommend visiting Sweetmarias.com to learn more about roasting.
I buy my beans from Thetaridge Coffee. There are several good places to buy green beans. I buy from Thetaridge Coffee because the prices and service are really hard to beat and I have alumni connections. I recommend you check them out!
As for brewing coffee, Mr. Coffee isn’t considered a good coffee brewer; however, nor is our Cuisinart. Drip coffee makers get the job done conveniently. If you want a good brew, manual coffee brewing is the way to go.
The methods that I would like to try are: * Chexmex Coffee Maker Looks very interesting, although it requires special paper filters that are higher priced. * French Press This is probably the method I would recommend and used for years. It does leave a sediment in your coffee and that is normal! Just don’t drink the last drop.
My understanding is that a large factor in how a cup tastes is the temperature of the water. This is one reason why a regular drip coffee maker doesn’t produce a great brew. The temperature of the water once it hits the coffee isn’t optimal and probably changes from day to day depending on the electrical current and other factors.
If you want an automatic drip brewing system, I have read that Technivorm is the best. In my opinion, almost all other major name brand coffee brewers are selling bells, whistles, and looks. On top of that, they are most likely designed to break in 18 months. In my mind, there isn’t a good difference between the brew of a $20 Mr. Coffee and $100 Kitchen Aid coffee brewer to justify spending the extra money.
The short story, your better off buying a water filter and coffee grinder.
That being said, some of the best coffee I have had came from this Capresso machine. It seems to have a newer version as well. They both have built in grinders which looks pretty cool; however, I haven’t looked into their details.
Water makes a big difference - temperature and taste. I use Brita because it was on a clearance rack. Using an electric water heater gets water to the desired temperature quickly and fast. I like the looks of the Capresso Water heaters. A thermometer and pan of water on a stove would work great of course.
I use a blade grinder. It is inexpensive and gets the job done. They produce dust and can heat up the beans which can both degrade flavor. In addition, the grind that gets placed in a drip coffee maker, an espresso maker, or a French press should all be different. I have found that having the right grind does impact the taste of the brew significantly. Thus, a grinder is my next on my upgrade list. I have read that conical burr grinders are the best non-commercial grinders. Careful with them, they can be loud. I like the Capresso Conical grinder.
You can spend a lot of money on coffee; however, with a little practice the best coffee is very cheap with a little elbow grease. You can probably get the best results with the least amount of investment by:
- Roasting your own beans
- Use a good grinder
- Filter and pay attention to the temperature of your water
- Use a manual brewing method
- And follow Sweet Marias advice more than mine