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Proper Coffee

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
18 replies 4.8K views
OhhEnnEmmOhhEnnEmm Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
I was recently gifted a Central Perk themed french press. Obviously I could go out and buy a bag of ground coffee and try it, that's my intention.

Looking about online though, I've found a lot of proper coffee lovers, the sorts who have £1,000's worth of equipment, are all raving about an AeroPress. Which is just a £30 portable coffee maker. Though apparently it makes some of the best tasting proper coffee available!

Obviously I'm very interested in this, and I already know a local coffee roastery who sell some amazing proper coffees. They have various grind options, including french press and AeroPress.

My questions really are:

1. Is it worth the extra cost switching to proper coffee over instant? (I believe I'd be happy as long as it's not stupidly expensive, so not a major issue).

2. Has anyone used the AeroPress? If so, is it much better than a french press as people keep saying?

3. Is it worth me buying a grind for the french press or just go straight onto the AeroPress?

I love coffee, so the first question is pretty much irrelevant as long as it's not gonna be over like £25 a month...


  • edited 17 July 2019 at 2:38PM
    zx81zx81 Forumite
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    edited 17 July 2019 at 2:38PM
    Proper coffee to instant is like a steak is to a McDonald's burger.

    Instant is fine in an emergency or if you're had your taste buds removed in a ski-ing accident or shark attack.

    I normally use espresso machines, such as DeLonghi. I've used French press with decent enough results, but not an Aeropress.

    Get a grinder and see what you think of the French press to start with, since you already have it.
  • edited 17 July 2019 at 8:31PM
    coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    edited 17 July 2019 at 8:31PM
    1. Probably. Some people really do prefer instant, and fair enough.

    You are already heading down the path of the righteous by looking at proper roasteries. If that is somewhere you can walk into to buy, that's ideal to save on postage. Or you could order by post from one of the many online micro-roasters. It's important to check that they are a proper craft roaster though and not just some trader with a warehouse full of old coffee to shift. The bag should bear the roasted-on date, which should be no more than a few days before you received it.

    For low expense options, this roaster selling through eBay will get you a full kilogram of beans delivered for under a tenner, which is great value. Although they aren't going to be the finest beans in the world at that price, they are very fresh which is the main thing, and fine for everyday drinking, in my experience.

    To break down the cost: at £10 per kilo, a standard 350 ml mug of coffee will cost about 24 pence and you will get about 42 mugs from a kilo of beans. So if you have two mugs per day, a kilo should last three weeks.

    Places like Whittard look decidedly expensive by comparison with these options and last time I checked (about 12 years ago) refused to even say when their beans were roasted. Also to be avoided is supermarket coffee, which very often tastes worse than instant (and is probably a reason why instant remains popular in the UK).

    2. Yes. Meh, it's a tad overhyped in my humble. It has a lot going for it -- compact, light, quick, convenient, unbreakable, gives control over steeping time, filters the bits out. But it has some shortcomings, too. With fresh coffee, the bloom tends to fill the tube and there isn't enough room for the water without the thing overflowing. Also with it sat on a mug, as soon as you begin to add water, the coffee starts draining out through the filter and doesn't stop until you manage to fit the plunger in. This is why many use it upside-down ('inverted method').

    That said it can produce a really good rich, smooth brew. I still use mine a few times a week after dinner. Whether it is worth the money is up to you, but if it were my £30 it would go on one of these:


    Ceramic, so you wouldn't want to take it camping, but it offers all the benefits of a steeping method, with all the benefits of paper filter. And none of those problems that the aeropress exhibits.

    3. Yes why not go ahead and give it try. They really do need a coarse grind though or the result is muddy coffee. 60 grams of coffee per litre of non-boiling water is the magic ratio. That Central Perk branded gear looks very cool :cool:

  • LadyDeeLadyDee Forumite
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    I always use an Aeropress when I have ground coffee. Google "inverted" method. Makes excellent coffee. A bit of trial and error to start with but lots of hints and suggestions online.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    I am also very happy with my Aeropress, but would not say that it is spectacularly better than a French press. I suggest that you get yourself a modest quantity of coffee to enjoy with your French press now, and perhaps move on to an Aeropress at some point in the future.
  • edited 21 July 2019 at 7:36AM
    theonlywayisuptheonlywayisup Forumite
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    edited 21 July 2019 at 7:36AM
    I only drink coffee, black and strong at that. We have an inbuilt Miele coffee machine at home which serves us well. When we go on holiday/away I take an Aeropress - it is the nearest thing to my home coffee that I can find. I do not drink instant coffee (haven't for at least 15 years) and cannot abide those awful pods that many hotel rooms have 'upgraded to'. Buy the Aeropress and find a coffee roast you like and you will be sorted. I like the inverted method of Aeropress although my OH can't taste the difference.
  • danmdanm Forumite
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    Try a clever coffee dripper. They are about £15 I think and are essentially a cross between an immersion try brew (like a french press) and pour over (using filter paper) - essentially the same concept as the bonavita I think but plastic.

    I don’t think it has been mentioned but the absolute key to decent coffee is to grind it just before using
  • I use a moka pot as I like short drinks. The coffee will only ever be as good as the beans you're using. Avoid supermarket stuff if possible. It'll have been roasted months ago and potentially sat on the shelf for as long again.
  • OhhEnnEmmOhhEnnEmm Forumite
    56 posts
    My life, I hadn't even noticed all the replies up until now! Thank you so much.

    I've been a little busy lately so put my coffee switch-up on hold, but you've given me a lot to think about!

    I'm gonna get a bag of fresh beans and a grinder asap to try out my french press!

    I'll update as I go on!

    Cannot blinking wait now.
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    I drink coffee ( prefer Italian San Marco arabica) made in a Bialetti ’ mokka pot’
    A few weeks ago someone let me taste some coffee made by their cars 12v cigarette lighter. I forget the name of the device now. It was ok but not great.
    I like strong coffee and prefer Italian.
    Ps what’s a french press
  • A french press is a cafetiere
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