We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, January 5. 2012
It's generally a good idea not to over-train one's palate, if only because life becomes too expensive if you do. Fine wine, for example, or fine dining and fine ceegars.
I did have an excellent cup of after-dinner coffee recently, and was advised that it was Royal Kona. "Not Kona - Royal Kona." They made it with a French Press. Coarse grind only, for the French Press.
I drink coffee black and hot. Chef told me that Royal Kona is the best coffee in the world, and Jamaican Blue Mountain is second. I see that they can be purchased online.
I'm not particular about coffee, but that was damn good, with just the right touch of bitterness.
What coffees do our readers drink? Our sponsor's Dunkin? Maxwell House? Whatever the minimart has in the pot? Royal Kona? Or, God forbid, Starbucks? (I know we have some closet Starbucks fans out there.)
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Great Value Dark Roast from Walmart. $6.38 for a 27+ ounce can. Over trained palate, indeed!
In 1986, My wife and I sailed to Crosshaven, Ireland. Friends from the US later flew to Shannon to meet us. We picked them up at the airport, and on the way back to Crosshaven, we stopped for breakfast at a small cafe in Kinsale.
The cafe served a superb cup of coffee. We all agreed it was so excellent that I should asked the cook just what exotic brand he was serving--was it a French, Italian, or Hawaiian roast, was it mountain grown or shade grown? He said he didn't have any idea. It was just a grind he got from his supplier. He looked around a bit, found a bag and held it up to show me. It was Maxwell Master Blend. Who'd a thunk.
When I buy coffee by the cup it is at one of two places (if I'm near home):
Greene's Beans in Hackettstown or Sparta, NJ
They roast their own beans and generally make a perfect cup of tasty coffee.
Greenberry's in Morristown, NJ
A franchise but better than Starbucks or Dunkin in my opinion.
At home I'm too lazy to make my own coffee (the wife doesn't drink it so a whole pot is a waste). I just use the Starbucks instant packs which aren't bad for instant coffee.
At work, I just choke down the free stuff they give us - not over training my palate there.
100% Kona beans from Masunaga Farms on the Big island. Every year we buy a carton of one or maybe two dozen 1 lb packages, some for ourselves, some for Christmas gifts for friends and relatives. If you are buying Kona, get the pure stuff, not the blends, which could have as little as 10% true Kona. If you choose to dilute the Kona with a cheaper brand, DIY.
Costco's Kirkland Dark Roast, three pounds for $14 in Atlanta. Certainly not over training my palate either!
The best coffee comes from Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. BUT, you absolutely MUST drink it fresh picked. So, once a year we do a hiking expedition into the jungles, sometimes losing a few people to local diseases and cocaine growers along the way.
But that first sip makes it all worth it... you forget about the bullet wounds, snake bites, and the calluses on your hands from burying loved ones.
I like my coffee so fresh that I crush the beans with my teeth and pour boiling water into my mouth. . . .You haven't had a real cup of coffee until you've bled for it.
My favorite coffees to drink at home are various Melitta varieties. Not only are they economical, but they are a nice medium roast. A close second is Don Francisco's brand, which is based in San Francisco, and which is sold mostly in the west, I believe.
I've also had some of the Thomas Hammer brand coffees out here and think they seem pretty good, though the company is annoyingly left-wing and pc in their marketing. I like their "La Revolucion Blend," but hate that it makes me think of Latin American communists.
I was amazed to see from NJSoldier's comment that Greenberry's is now a franchise with stores in New Jersey. Back when I lived in Charlottesville in the 90s, it was just a new local coffee roaster. I didn't drink much coffee in those days, though, so I don't have an opinion on their coffee, though I was under the impression that it was high-quality.
My taste buds still exist, thank you! I can't drink Starbucks.
A local Coffee Shop is good but not hot enough.
Long Live (Our Sponsor) Dunkin' Donuts!! Very Hot and roasted Perfectly. Coffee available whenever I need it. I just wish they had Danish....
Time was when I might walk a mile for a Camel, but never bleed for a cup of coffee.
I like the low-tech approach of Melitta one-cup drip maker. You put the little funnel on your cup, you put the #2 filter in it, you put a spoonful of coffee in, and you pour hot water over it. Bingo. Drip coffee that is as easy as instant. And you never have left-overs.
I use the supermarket Spanish coffees, like El Pico. Delicious and reasonable and not intimidating like all the fancy choices in a gourmet coffee shop.
Nescafe Classico, Mexican instant. Really kick starts my day. Rated as highest in caffeine. - Otherwise, the stronger the better. I want the spoon to stand up in the cup, maybe even dissolve some.
Kona is so mild tasting, with little kick; I'd rather drink water.
Any of the Costa Rican varieties from the Costa Rican company Cafe Britt. About $7 for 12 oz, often with free delivery.
Ohhh. . .I love the Indonesian beans! We have Peet's House blend delivered to our home (fresher roast than in the store). However, we have lingered often over beautiful cups of Kona!
A note about American foods that are sold in Europe--most often you will find we send our best stuff over there. There is a difference in quite a few brands of off the shelf foods. Many of our companies send a better product to Europe--their palate is more discerning and it would be hard to sell a lot of this crap over there!
Chock Full O' Nuts. Very yum, amusing and unpretentious. Practically free, too.
Try Joe Longo's wares at http://www.portorico.com/store/ . I've been buying there for a while. Usually fairly priced and GOOD.
Well, if I don't roast my own beans of various variety that have tweaked my interest, I use Sam's Club Maker's Mark Breakfast blend. It surprisingly stays good tasting even when cold. But the home roasting allows me to change up coffees every couple days when I take the time to roast.
I know, from coffee snob to pedestrian depending on my mood and whether it's to cold outside to roast. I drink straight up, black, hot or cool
Big trick is in in the brewing. I have many varieties, but I mostly use my Technivorm brewer, which is the only drip brewer to brew at the proper temperature. I also turn off the burner once it's done brewing using the microwave to reheat later cups.
Man! Only Jan 5th and already the Post of the Year! It's all downhill from here on out.
Please keep commenting on this site. Magnificent.
"I'd rather drink water"
But you like STRONG coffee, so I take it that your water offers a real KICK? My water is odorless and tasteless, which is the way chemists say it's supposed to be. Maybe you meant to say what wirraway wrote, that you prefer your morning caffeine with just a hint of fuel oil!
So here's what I want to know. How many people here are like me and don't drink coffee? No, I'm not a Mormon, I just never acquired the taste.
Un cafe creme, say voo play, garson. Any coffee, as long as it's in Paris and pretty girls are walking by.
Sam's Club Member's Mark Columbian Supremo. Whole bean, ground in the Black and Decker processor mounted next to my dusty B&D coffee maker. I wish my Mickey Mouse french press was a little higher quality, but I'd rather spit the grinds out of the last sip than go back to using a drip coffee maker. In my opinion, the brew method has the greatest influence on the final product. As for snobbery, my wife's new Pfaltsgraff pattern is sturdy and has saucers my twenty year old mug collection aren't allowed near.
I roast my own coffee. I order the green beans from Sweet Maria's out of Oakland. I'm always sampling new sources but prefer the Central Americans, Mexico, Columbia and Brazil varieties. Most of these have a smooth chocolate hint to them. Very nice black.
Roasting green beans is a cheaper way to enjoy the best small farm, shade grown coffees. It is also the only way to ensure your drinking freshly rosted coffee at full flavor potential as roasted coffee begins to slowly lose its flavor within days of roasting.
Roasting also makes the house smell great. I just use a simple air blown coffee roaster from Amazon ~ $100.
After reflection, I may be a coffee snob. My father loves to tell of his dad coming home from work and swigging the morning's swill unheated with dinner.
House brand instant decaf mixed with a little Folger's instant.
Otherwise you have to drink a lot of decaf to stay awake.
I use Eight O'clock coffee. Buy it in whole bean and grind it myself.
I never drank coffee until night guard duty in the Marines. I started drinking the (horrible) instant coffee in the MRE's while deployed just to stay awake and warm through long stitches.
After I got back home and went back to school I tried the gourmet coffee on campus (USC). It was delicious compared to the bad instant coffee - I was hooked.
Too many 'small world' moments: I was born in Sparta NJ and went to school in Charlottesville...and I've also been a coffee trader for 25 years.
The Costco Kirkland coffee is a great great value: 3 lbs of 100% Colombian Supremos for under $15; many of the other coffees folks mention are also quite good.
But really: drink what ever you like.
I only ask that you buy and drink a lot of it, as I have a child going to college next year.
My husband and I tried different brands and finally settled on Eight O'clock.
Starbucks - the bolder the better. I've heard all the complaints about the brand, but the wife and I enjoy it. We drink it black with no sugar - (if I wanted milk and sugar I would have ordered cornflakes - not coffee).
I found a Tanzanian peaberry at The 'Zon that suits my taste perfectly. Whole beans, burr ground before the drip brewing in a Moccamaster machine that "Cook's Illustrated" picked as the best machine therefor.
And then I screw it up with whole milk and fake sweetness. (shrugs) It's the way I like it.
Currently grinding Eight O'clock Whole bean French Roast. Mix in a few beans of Eight O'clock Hazel Nut for additional flavor. Best buys at Big Lots about 3.50 a bag.
Looney Bean is the best here in Montrose, Co. I've yet to find anyone here that disagrees.
Have Nespresso pod machines taken off in the US yet? Big in Europe and starting to spread down here in Australia. I find them a good each way bet between your favourite coffee made by a good barrista at a local cafe and the quick, easy, cheap, instant coffee.
I used to be a coffee snob but gave it up.
The pod market here is dominated by the K cups; Nestle is trying to get in but has a very small percentage.
Normal/daily: Folgers Colombian (both at home and through the office coffee fund at work). We used to buy beans (100 Colombian), grind'em ourselves & then run them through a chemex. Made some really good coffee. Now just run it through a Mr Coffee.
Sometimes, eight o'clock or other if folgers isn't available or reasonably priced.
Once in a while: Starbucks at work (too expensive, though)
Once in a while: Reconstituted concentrate (Bunn) at the dining facility at work (Hospital).
Treat: Lion brand 100 percent Kona.
Normally: I drink my coffee black. Used to sugar-cream it. Then spent too many years on shift in the Army. No sugar or cream available, so wound up drinking it black, now that's my preference. Still will add half-and-half at hotels or restaurants, very rarely sugar, though.
Coffee good. I like it so much I figure it'll be illegal in a few years the way things are going.
The best coffee is served in New Zealand. We are so used to good coffee that even being SEEN at a Starbucks is considered
a social disgrace and explains why Starbucks here barely breaks even. I suspect there is some truth in the saying "Americans don't know shit about coffee".
Amazing! Now there are three of us, right here, who know that Costco's Kirkland brand is a very good coffee - for the money.
That having been said, on to the truly good stuff.
I'll second opinions about Royal Kona and Blue Mountain. If one must have an expensive addiction, these are two of the best.
A surprise is the "Joshua Grindle" blend roasted by the Big River Coffee Company (Mendocino, California). It is available from the Joshua Grindle web site; look in their gift shop.The blend is a little bland, so be sure to make it a bit stronger than you normally would.
For espresso, one of the very best blends is La Llave. This is an excellent blend at a ridiculously small price. Be sure to press at 196 degrees, no more, no less, if you have the option.
Finally, a comment about sugar. For reasons that are beyond me, most folks use white sugar. Don't. If you use sugar in your coffee, use only brown sugar. "Golden" will do in a pinch. Sheer heaven is to use the "dark brown" (some Molasses restored) in properly brewed coffee. "Properly Brewed" means no "Brun vasser". This is one thing our European cousins got right.
I like navy coffee like we had on the FID . It was made with over chlorinated water with jus a hint of diesel. About 200 gallons was made at a time and was kept at a low boil all day. The next morning 200 gallons more was made on top of what remained to give it that rustic kick. After a month or two the 2nd Lt. would notice that that the coffee machine hadn't been cleaned. Then I would start getting my coffee from the maint. shop because the messcook would clean it with Comet and that made my shorts have brown spots. Ahhh those were good days.....
Maverick's Coffee out of Visalia CA
Mexican Pluma Altura and Midnight Ride are my favorite beans for grinding.