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Beginner Coffee Questions

TimmyBoston

Moderator Emeritus
I never really got into coffee, but recently I've been inspired by many of the reviews and writings of the members here and I think it's time to me to try some good coffee and see how that goes over. The only coffee I've ever enjoyed was Kona.

First off, like I said I never got into coffee. I've never bought a cofee maker as there was no need. So what products do you guys recommend to get started?

Now to the coffee, I have no idea where to start, so any advice of coffee to try it would be appreciated.

Also is there anywhere to get good quality decaf coffee?

Thanks all for any advice on coffee to try and products.
 
if you live alone, I have heard great things about the aeropress (though a family man could have one too, you would just have to make several batches, I guess..lol). I have never tried it myself, but you can squeeze out a cup at a time. Sounds good to me. I have, use, and enjoy, a mokapot. It make a few demitasses of something in the neighborhood of an espresso, add more water and you have a poor man's americano. (same with the aeropress, too i think) Also, you could get a french press. Personally, I am not a fan as I find the coffee to be muddy, but YMMV. Of course, not much beats a good old coffee maker for brewing large pots if you are entertaining, etc. or just want a few cups. which brings me to the next point. Caffeine, to state the obvious, is addictive. YMMV, but if I don't have that morning cup, all sorts of things go wrong with me. I have tried to quit, but the siren plays her song too loudly and sweetly. "Kona" is really just a type of coffee bean (or more correctly, seed) that although is very sought after, depends entirely on the roasting process (like all coffee) to bring out its smooth taste. Actually, you can do better IMHO trying out some other mild and medium roasts. I recommend that you start in this range to more appreciate coffee's more subtle nuances. Charbucks should be avoided initially. They tend to over roast their beans for my taste, and though it imparts a valid and distinct flavor, a beginner should avoid the off putting bitterness and acidity that it releases. another note, the black oiliness that you see on the french roast and italian dark roast coffee's actually is "bad" if you really want to taste "coffee" per se, stay on the medium roast, as it still has much of the aromatic oils that give coffee its flavor inside the bean, and not roasted out.

Might I suggest that you try to limit your drinking coffee to afternoons/early evenings, rather than mornings. I have a theory that you might not get the dreaded "morning addiction", though I have no real evidence to support this. Just a theory. have fun.

another thing, in trying out mild and medium roasts, you could easily avoid the "cream and sugar" trap that I believe, (again a hairbrained theory) comes from over roasted, bitter, and too strong coffee. go w/o cream and sugar if you can. I like it once in a while if I am having dessert or "as" a dessert, but go w/o in general.
 
gevalia--a swedish company makes good if a little expensive coffee.join their coffee club and get a different style each month,usually they sweeten the deal with a coffee maker.a friend subscribed for several years, he was happy with the deal. or buy an inexpensive coffee maker and visit the supermarket or wal-mart and wander the coffee aisle.low-caff and half -caff versions are available now.many stores have grinders so you can make your own mix.i love a good hazelnut or french vanilla coffee,but for a standard cup of coffee JFG is hard to beat.JFG is a regional brand available in the southern u.s. states it is a very mild with little bitterness product.also you will see new orleans style coffees with chicory root added,the chicory milds down the coffee.i enjoy it occassionally. happy brewing.
 
+1 for Gevalia. I have been a member for about 20 years. They offer excellent quality everyday coffees and even better special, occasional offerings. The variety is huge and they do offer everything, as far as I know, in decaf.

But, why get in to coffee and get decaf? Do you drink non-alcohol scotch? Or smoke nicotine-free tobacco? Caffeine is what coffee is for.

Tim
 

TimmyBoston

Moderator Emeritus
But, why get in to coffee and get decaf? Do you drink non-alcohol scotch? Or smoke nicotine-free tobacco? Caffeine is what coffee is for.

Tim
Bad ticker, I can't handle very much caffeine at all, makes me very, very sick
 

Scotto

Moderator Emeritus
If you can't tolerate caffeine, my suggestion is to not get into coffee. Decafs, even from some of the best roasters out there, just don't hold a candle to the real thing. Stick to tea.
 
If you can't tolerate caffeine, my suggestion is to not get into coffee. Decafs, even from some of the best roasters out there, just don't hold a candle to the real thing. Stick to tea.
If he can’t stand caffeine, then tea is a bad idea as it contains alkaloids.
 

Scotto

Moderator Emeritus
I know Timmy is already a tea drinker, hence my suggestion. Of course, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.
 
if you live alone, I have heard great things about the aeropress (though a family man could have one too, you would just have to make several batches, I guess..lol). I have never tried it myself, but you can squeeze out a cup at a time.
The Aeropress can make up to four cups of Espresso or Americano style coffee at a time. That is ideal for me because I usually start my day with four cups (about three mugs worth) of Americano style. The coffee that it produces keeps so well in the refrigerator that there is no diminishing of the quality when it's reheated. The Aeropress also offers near total control over the brewing process which, along with the fact that the coffee it produces is not bitter, is probably the ideal device for someone new to coffee. And it works just as well with decaffeinated blends.
 

TimmyBoston

Moderator Emeritus
I know Timmy is already a tea drinker, hence my suggestion. Of course, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.
Tea doesn't really give me a problem and my cardiologist has checked me out with tea in my system as well, the same for chocolate. Now if I have 6 cups of tea then I'm in trouble but a couple doesn't seem to do any harm. Now a couple cups of regular coffee or caffeinated soda, that's a different story.
 
Tea doesn't really give me a problem and my cardiologist has checked me out with tea in my system as well, the same for chocolate. Now if I have 6 cups of tea then I'm in trouble but a couple doesn't seem to do any harm. Now a couple cups of regular coffee or caffeinated soda, that's a different story.
:eek: Man, I hope my ticker holds out. No troubles yet, but the day I have to give up coffee is the day I go into mourning!

I know DJ has a decaf on Ristretto Roasters, but I'm with Scotto...decafs never did ANYTHING for me. And some might say you can't taste a difference, but I can.
 

TimmyBoston

Moderator Emeritus
And some might say you can't taste a difference, but I can.
I don't know from first hand experience but I have also heard many people say they can taste the difference with decaf as well, especially with high quality products.

My doctor gave me a brief answer of why tea affects me differently, he told me that tea delivers caffeine over a longer period, while coffee delivers a larger amount (in total) over a much shorter period of time, the same with caffeinated soda.
 

rtaylor61

Moderator Emeritus
Tim,

I would think that if you haven't sampled the "leaded" version, you would probably enjoy the "unleaded" version.

Randy
 
The Aeropress can make up to four cups of Espresso or Americano style coffee at a time. That is ideal for me because I usually start my day with four cups (about three mugs worth) of Americano style. The coffee that it produces keeps so well in the refrigerator that there is no diminishing of the quality when it's reheated. The Aeropress also offers near total control over the brewing process which, along with the fact that the coffee it produces is not bitter, is probably the ideal device for someone new to coffee. And it works just as well with decaffeinated blends.

dang, now I have to get one. couldn't you let me have my delusion?:sleep:
 
I was going to suggest Kahlua... but, it's probably not available in Decaf. :rolleyes:

Probably best to stick to Häagen-Dazs "Coffee". :wink:

Seriously, if you have a ticker issue... get an opinion from your cardiologist.

The Faux Horn B&B Brushes are a bit coffee-colored. Pick up a few of them instead! :biggrin:

chop-chop
 
Whole foods has some pretty good decaf in thier bulk organic coffee beans section. I'm referring to the section near the bakery and to-go foods, not the aisles section.
 
Bad ticker, I can't handle very much caffeine at all, makes me very, very sick
Find some high quality decaf and see if you like it. If you do, I would suggest roasting your own. Check out Sweet Marias for information and a source of green beans. You don't have to invest a whole lot if you don't mind experimenting and taking some time to learn. Home roasting can be done with something as simple as a cast iron skillet.

I bought my parents an air roaster a few years ago. It was a risk as they aren't gadgety types. It was one of the best things I've ever given them. They regularly order green beans from Sweet Marias, both regular and decaf. A couple of the decafs I have had at their house have been some of the best cups of coffee I've ever had.
 

boboakalfb

Moderator Emeritus
I would say give DJ's Decaf Colombian a try. While I agree that it is not in the same league as the other beans if you did direct comparisons, it is much better than the regular decaf coffee you come across.
 
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