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Thread: Making Coffee

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Anyone tried Laughing Man Coffee? I read about it in People, in an article listing perfect Xmas gifts. I think it's Hugh Jackman's brand (not that that matters.) I ordered a bag, won't get it for 5 or 6 days.
    You're better off finding a local roaster. The brand is arbitrary, the quality of the beans will be based on how much time has passed since they've been roasted. With 6 days shipping they're already starting to decline, assuming they haven't already been sitting in a warehouse for a couple weeks.

    If you can't find a local roaster just make sure you're buying whole beans and grinding them. After that point you're only looking at the darkness of the roast.

  2. Top | #22
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    Laughing Man arrived. Anxiously brewed my first cup, and meh -- can't tell it from Starbucks house brew, and that's not an endorsement, coming from me. Strong, bitter coffee; passable with extra creamer; no interesting side notes in the flavor. But I was curious -- now I know. Now, if Roseanne brings out a coffee -- that might be hellacious.

  3. Top | #23
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    Had my roaster grind some full-caf beans for me, as my half decaf mix is sitting in my grinder.

    They didn't grind the beans coarse enough for my french press, and so the coffee is over-extracted and too bitter. And that's how you know you've become a true coffee snob.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I used to use a French Press...

    Now I put a cup of water in a Pyrex cup. Add coffee and stir. Then microwave for 5 minutes. I let sit for a minute and then drain through a stainless steel screen that was meant for kitchen sink drains.
    That’s pretty much the same thing as a French press, except that you heat the water before mixing it with the coffee.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I used to use a French Press...

    Now I put a cup of water in a Pyrex cup. Add coffee and stir. Then microwave for 5 minutes. I let sit for a minute and then drain through a stainless steel screen that was meant for kitchen sink drains.
    That’s pretty much the same thing as a French press, except that you heat the water before mixing it with the coffee.
    The French presses I used were not very durable. It is more like the original coffe makers. Coffee in a cup with holes in the top and water when heated perculates up a tube into the coffee which de rips down into the pot.

    The French press is not very efficient at coffee usage. Same with the automatic drip machines.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I'm almost two months into half-caf now, and it looks like coffee has been completely stripped out of my brain's reward system. Half-caf is about the equivalent of a black tea, which really has no punch at all and so coffee is feeling less like coffee, more like coffee flavoured water.

    I still get an occasional craving, but they're way less intense and frequent.
    Wow, I guess it's been seven months. Totally acclimatized to half-caf now, and a couple weeks ago stepped it up a notch and switched to 40% caf / 60% decaf.

    Once I got used to the change it wasn't a big deal, and now my stress levels are much lower. Another benefit is that I can drink coffee at 6pm with no issue.

  7. Top | #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I'm almost two months into half-caf now, and it looks like coffee has been completely stripped out of my brain's reward system. Half-caf is about the equivalent of a black tea, which really has no punch at all and so coffee is feeling less like coffee, more like coffee flavoured water.

    I still get an occasional craving, but they're way less intense and frequent.
    Wow, I guess it's been seven months. Totally acclimatized to half-caf now, and a couple weeks ago stepped it up a notch and switched to 40% caf / 60% decaf.

    Once I got used to the change it wasn't a big deal, and now my stress levels are much lower. Another benefit is that I can drink coffee at 6pm with no issue.
    That's good. The caffeine definitely ups the jitters. Good if you're swinging a pick digging a ditch, bad if you're trying to relax and concentrate.

    I also discovered that less caffeine makes me more observant, probably because I'm slowed-down. Even riding a bike I notice I make better, safer decisions.

    Unfortunately for me the love of coffee abides even after 13 years. Must be similar to alcoholism or nicotine addiction, seems those reward pathways never forget. I've actually considered trying some again, decaff of course, to see if the system will tolerate it, because many foods I avoided for the past 13 years I am consuming again in small quantities with no ill effects. Some still send me hate mail so I avoid. Plus I recently retired so much of the stress is also gone.

    We shall see.

  8. Top | #28
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    Trees, leaves, that leaf, girl, car, stirrup. Oh shit where'd that rock come from.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I'm almost two months into half-caf now, and it looks like coffee has been completely stripped out of my brain's reward system. Half-caf is about the equivalent of a black tea, which really has no punch at all and so coffee is feeling less like coffee, more like coffee flavoured water.

    I still get an occasional craving, but they're way less intense and frequent.
    Wow, I guess it's been seven months. Totally acclimatized to half-caf now, and a couple weeks ago stepped it up a notch and switched to 40% caf / 60% decaf.

    Once I got used to the change it wasn't a big deal, and now my stress levels are much lower. Another benefit is that I can drink coffee at 6pm with no issue.
    That's good. The caffeine definitely ups the jitters. Good if you're swinging a pick digging a ditch, bad if you're trying to relax and concentrate.

    I also discovered that less caffeine makes me more observant, probably because I'm slowed-down. Even riding a bike I notice I make better, safer decisions.

    Unfortunately for me the love of coffee abides even after 13 years. Must be similar to alcoholism or nicotine addiction, seems those reward pathways never forget. I've actually considered trying some again, decaff of course, to see if the system will tolerate it, because many foods I avoided for the past 13 years I am consuming again in small quantities with no ill effects. Some still send me hate mail so I avoid. Plus I recently retired so much of the stress is also gone.

    We shall see.
    How did you react when you gave it up completely? Were you completely caffeine-free or just not drinking coffee?

    This is a bit of a debate for me now. I've finagled the habit so my caffeine intake is now very low, but I can tell I'm still dependent on the half-caf mix I've been drinking. I figure I could go the full mile and just rid myself of it altogether, but I'm not sure how I'll react to being completely off of it.

    Also debating what the point of drinking coffee with low caffeine is. I do enjoy the flavour, but if it's not doing anything it feels like a waste of money.

  10. Top | #30
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    I roast my own coffee. It is fairly simple... Just use a standard air popcorn maker. I get my green dried beans from SweetMarias.com. They have an extensive rotating inventory from all over the world... both wet and dry processed.
    Use the same scooper that comes with the popcorn machine to measure the amount of bean to use for each batch (about as much corn as you would use - try a little less, maybe)
    while the machine is running, ensure the beans are moving around like corn would.. different machines.. different beans will act differently... some may fly out... some may just sit at the bottom and burn... you don't want that. So some experimenting with the right amount is best. you can always continuously stir with a long wood stick that you don't mind burning. I do that with a wooden spoon handle and I find the beans come out much more consistently roasted.
    Let the machine run until you hear "First Crack" (sounds like individual breaking toothpicks). Time can be between 2 and 8 minutes, depending on many variables... especially ambient humidity.
    Continue the roast until you hear "Second Crack" (sounds like Rice Krispies in milk - snap crackle pop) - time is just a few seconds... or a minute at most.
    At that point, you're going for color... observe the beans and turn off the machine when you achieve your desired roast level.
    Dump the beans out into a METAL colander (they will be HOT) and use a small desk fan (or whatever) to cool the beans as fast as possible.
    While your beans are cooling on the fan, prepare your second batch and start the machine
    Place your cooled beans into an airtight container, and turn you attention to the second batch, which should be about at first crack by now...

    You MUST wait AT LEAST 2 days before grinding and brewing... or your coffee will taste like baking soda. Some chemistry must finish happening after roasting before it is done.

    Do not do this in your kitchen, like I mistakenly did the first time I tried it. You will need to abandon your home while the smoke clears.
    I do this in my back yard. The roasting process will blow chaff (the skin of the green beans) all over the place... and it will get very smokey.
    And the # 1 question people ask me... "It must smell awesome to freshly roast coffee!" No. It smells like burning hay. It smells awesome when you take your freshly roasted beans into the house, though... like toasted marshmallow and chocolate.
    The oils you get out of your own roast are amazing... but either wear gloves while you handle your roasted beans (if roasted dark to the point of being oily), or be prepared for a caffeine overdose... it does seem to penetrate into your skin and wire you out. And if you lick your fingers... forget it... you won't sleep that night.
    Makes for some championship crema on your espresso, though.

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