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  • FIRST POST
    • OhhEnnEmm
    • By OhhEnnEmm 17th Jul 19, 1:05 PM
    • 56Posts
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    OhhEnnEmm
    0 WOW
    Proper Coffee
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 19, 1:05 PM
    0 WOW
    Proper Coffee 17th Jul 19 at 1:05 PM
    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...
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 17th Jul 19, 1:30 PM
    • 23,305 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 19, 1:30 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 19, 1:30 PM
    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.
    Last edited by zx81; 17-07-2019 at 1:38 PM.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 17th Jul 19, 6:42 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
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    coffeehound
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 19, 6:42 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 19, 6:42 PM
    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:



    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonavita-BV4000ID-Porcelain-Immersion-Dripper/dp/B00C0NZWT4

    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

    .
    Last edited by coffeehound; 17-07-2019 at 7:31 PM.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    • 3,837 Posts
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    LadyDee
    • #4
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jul 19, 4:13 PM
    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.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 19th Jul 19, 9:35 PM
    • 13,237 Posts
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    Voyager2002
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 19, 9:35 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 19, 9:35 PM
    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.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 21st Jul 19, 6:34 AM
    • 13,566 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #6
    • 21st Jul 19, 6:34 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Jul 19, 6:34 AM
    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.
    Last edited by theonlywayisup; 21-07-2019 at 6:36 AM.
    • danm
    • By danm 27th Jul 19, 6:53 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    danm
    • #7
    • 27th Jul 19, 6:53 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Jul 19, 6:53 PM
    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
    • amberhen49
    • By amberhen49 28th Jul 19, 2:36 PM
    • 22 Posts
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    amberhen49
    • #8
    • 28th Jul 19, 2:36 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Jul 19, 2:36 PM
    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.
    • OhhEnnEmm
    • By OhhEnnEmm 31st Jul 19, 1:01 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    OhhEnnEmm
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 19, 1:01 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 19, 1:01 PM
    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.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 31st Jul 19, 3:36 PM
    • 17,522 Posts
    • 13,660 Thanks
    hollydays
    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
    • OhhEnnEmm
    • By OhhEnnEmm 2nd Aug 19, 11:20 AM
    • 56 Posts
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    OhhEnnEmm
    A french press is a cafetiere
    • couriervanman
    • By couriervanman 2nd Aug 19, 11:23 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    couriervanman
    A french press is a cafetiere
    Originally posted by OhhEnnEmm
    And unless you have serious money to buy a proper machine is the next best option
    • ToastLady
    • By ToastLady 3rd Aug 19, 6:19 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ToastLady
    One thing that people haven't mentioned it the actual grinder itself, you are better getting a conical burr grinder, rather than one with blades.
    Before you go to the expense of getting a grinder, I'd get the roaster to grind you some coffee for you to try out using your French press, and see how you get on with it. If you know your favourite coffee, well and good, if not, get a few samples ground to try out to see what suits.

    I don't have an aeropress, have an espresso machine which is used on a daily basis. I have kept the cafetiere which I've had for years, which comes in useful from time to time. I prefer the coffee from the espresso machine, but the cafetiere does still have its uses when travelling, a larger crowd for coffee and the odd power cut.
    • shopbot
    • By shopbot 3rd Aug 19, 3:00 PM
    • 1,007 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    shopbot
    I am a big fan of the Aeropress. I use the inverted method.

    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 3rd Aug 19, 10:11 PM
    • 13,237 Posts
    • 9,108 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    I think we need a dose of realit here...


    The upgrade from instant "coffee" to real coffee is spectacular. And that is true even if you use supermarket ground coffee.


    I have to say that the ground coffee sold in supermarkets is a better product than you might think from some contributions to this thread. It is vacuum-packed, and so retains its flavour for extended periods on the shelf.


    And yes: if you move from supermarket ground coffee to freshly ground coffee (whether purchased ground in small quantities or ground at home from beans) you will notice an improvement, albeit a modest one. And of course you can roast beans at home, or buy freshly-roasted beans from an importer rather than old but vacuum-packed beans from a supermarket, but you may not consider the improvement worth the additional trouble and expense.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 4th Aug 19, 5:43 PM
    • 8,961 Posts
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    esuhl
    You can't compare instant coffee to ground coffee -- they're so different in taste. It's more than worth the extra cost!

    I've never tried an AeroPress, but have also heard good things about it. I've tried various other methods of making coffee, but the best taste for me comes from a cafetière (French press) -- even compared to expensive commercial espresso machines, which are just a bit too bitter for me.

    I have to say that the ground coffee sold in supermarkets is a better product than you might think from some contributions to this thread. It is vacuum-packed, and so retains its flavour for extended periods on the shelf.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    I used to buy my coffee from Whittards -- it was a big step up from anything you could get in the supermarket, but double(?) the price.

    Smaller producers of "artisan" coffee seem really hit-and-miss, and more expensive than Whittards. I've had some that was exquisite, and some that was worse than supermarket coffee for 1/4 of the price.

    When my local Whittards closed, I found that the range and quality of supermarket-sold coffee had improved. So, I agree -- in a fairly-big supermarket, you should be able to find one coffee you really like. Or (if you're a super-fussy connoisseur) can tolerate if your favourite type is unavailable.

    Even supermarket own-brand coffee can be good! If you drink your coffee black, and like a dark roast, with a unique spicy/smoky/earthy flavour, I definitely recommend Waitrose' own-label Monsoon Malabar. You can buy either the beans or ready-ground.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 4th Aug 19, 6:02 PM
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    esuhl
    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'.
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    I have a very wealthy friend who drank instant coffee, and thought it odd that I'd bring my own cafetière, beans and grinder every time I visited.

    One day she told me she'd bought a proper coffee machine that made real coffee, so I didn't need to bring my own stuff any more.



    And that's how I first tasted coffee made from a "pod".



    It was a little Tassimo machine, and... I have never tasted coffee so bad. Even bog-standard instant Nescafe would have been better... actually... quite a lot better. And that really is saying something! *shudder*

    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.
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    It's comments like this that really make me want to try the Aeropress! How different is it to good cafetière coffee?
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 4th Aug 19, 6:20 PM
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    esuhl
    And yes: if you move from supermarket ground coffee to freshly ground coffee... you will notice an improvement, albeit a modest one.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    Yep -- once coffee is ground, it will go stale much more quickly, and not taste as good. Contact with air is the problem, and grinding coffee gives it a much larger surface-area.

    The way it's stored is important too -- again you want to minimise air-contact, and I find that keeping it in an airtight bag and squeezing out the air before resealing it helps. I then put the bag in an airtight box.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 4th Aug 19, 7:30 PM
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    theonlywayisup
    It's comments like this that really make me want to try the Aeropress! How different is it to good cafetière coffee?
    Originally posted by esuhl
    Hard to explain, but perhaps if I said I find it fresher, would that make sense? If I had my favourite coffee in a cafetière I would like it (a lot), in the Aeropress it's better. Neither are as good as my home machine but then neither cost the same. The Aero taste just seems more freshly brewed, more vibrant and (with the inverted method) just a tad more layered.....I'm sounding ridiculous now but if you compare the same coffee done three different ways (inverted is one) you might just agree.
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