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Quality Coffee on a Budget

gearchow

Moderator Emeritus
Or like I do, pretend the coffee your drinking isn't coffee but a coffee flavored drink. A long time ago on a swing shift, my only alternative to coffee was from a machine. I pushed the sugar and cream buttons. I thought of it as an "energy" drink. It was consistently despicable though.


-jim
 
though I enjoy freshly roasted and ground coffee I still enjoy a cup of basic Folgers.

There is a difference but I enjoy the taste of just about every coffee I have ever tried.

Herein lies a fundamental secret in life. The capacity to make lemonade out of lemons,
I use a combo of grocery store ground coffee in my Bunn commercial when I make a 1.5 liter air pot. Had a cup this morning from a pot I made late last night while I waited for the water to come to temp to brew my latest 3 bean home roast blend (Rwandan, Sumatran, Brazilian).

Yes there was a BIG taste difference. The pre-ground grocery store blend was ok. Not very exciting but good coffee (with my taste buds anyway). The second up was of my fresh roasted fresh ground and the difference was day and night. Many more flavors running around my mouth.

When I use grocery store pre-ground I try to blend a number of brands/roasts to get a drinkable cup. I can pretty much take consumer (robusta) coffee and blend it with other consumer products to end up with an interesting cup of coffee. Current grocery store blend for me is Folgers, Javatime, and HT Colombian. It is drinkable, no better than drinkable but it does not take my breath away like my home roasted fresh does :001_smile

Here is my current Rwandan, Sumatran, Brazilian blend. The Brazilian is dark roasted and the other 2 are light/medium roasted.

 
Glad the descaling got the gunk out. 175 isn't ideal, but hey, it's not 150, right? I couldn't afford a Technivorm either, and use a weird DeLonghi with terrible reviews just because it hits 200-205. Fresh beans ground per pot is going to make the biggest impact.

Touch one of those coffee filters to your tongue. Nasty isn't it? It's a little bit of a hassle, but rinse them out with a cup of hot water before you use them. I fold the edges and put it in the dripper, then carefully pour the hot water, as they are difficult to handle wet. Then add the coffee and brew. Most of the time I use a Swissgold filter, some darker roasts I use the paper filter.
 
Here the past few years I have been trying to minimize because I travel for work. I've gone to a hot pot for heating water, a #4 single cup filter, Costco beans and a manual grinder. The grinder is on its last leg and looking at a counter top grinder but will still need to replace the small grinder for short travel. It works great, travels good and I can take enough beans to last a week without going overweight or having to immeadiately scurry to a store to get beans ect the day that I arrive.
 
I must say, I can't believe how much of a difference fresh beans make. I made a pot this morning in my freshly descaled coffee maker. And even in that thing it is like heaven compared to what I am used to.
 
I must say, I can't believe how much of a difference fresh beans make. I made a pot this morning in my freshly descaled coffee maker. And even in that thing it is like heaven compared to what I am used to.
ding ding ding ding ding..... we have a winner :a50:

Hopefully you have a specialty roasting house close by so you can pick up a pound every week and always have fresh beans.
 
That I do, but... Scott(life2short1971) has been showing me a thing or two about home roasting. So i wouldn't be suprised if I found myself in my garage with a hot air popcorn machine shortly lol.
 
ding ding ding ding ding..... we have a winner :a50:

Hopefully you have a specialty roasting house close by so you can pick up a pound every week and always have fresh beans.
A pound a week? Really?! That lasts me almost a month drinking a well packed french press every day.
 
A pound a week in a French press is nothing. I upgraded to costco when the wife started coffee. Man, she took me ten years to convert to the Godly black brew.
 

gearchow

Moderator Emeritus
I can drink any coffee with enough cream and sugar. I prefer though to keep my beverages 0 calorie and thus like my coffee black. Actually, that's how it all started. I was cutting all the sugar out of my diet and had to find coffee I could drink black and well, one thing led to another.

I certify that McDonald's does have good coffee. Their drip coffee is better than starbucks drip coffee, by far. By nature, since so many people get the coffee from mcdonalds, their coffee will more often be fresh.
that's the trick - turnover. Man, I've had some gas station coffee that had been sitting on the warmer for hours. Should of bought a Mountain Dew instead.

-jim
 
So I think its safe to say that I will be following the route of roasting my own coffee. I'm researching my options, but am sure that I will have a nice little wish list put together by next payday lol.

I also had a chance to stop by my local roasting house. The coffee was great, and the owner was very friendly. We talked shop over a cup of coffee, and I ended up leaving with 1/2 a pound of the house blend as well as some samples. The prices were way up there though, and I see how a home roasting setup could pay for itself pretty quickly.
 
Look into the stir crazy turbo oven setups too. I think those and the Behmor are the best bang for your buck while roasting a 1/2 or 1lb at a time when your ready to move on from the popper.
 
I wouldn't worry about Mr. Coffee and would buy a hot air popcorn popper, some green coffee beans, and would roast my own. I have two poppers. I roast about two batches a week. Beans are less expensive, even with shipping.
 
That's a sweet setup you have there Scott. Thanks again for those YouTube links as well. I've been flipping back and forth between them and straight razor tutorials, trying to decide how to spend my hard earned cash lol.
 
I make an expresso every morning with fresh beans from a local roaster. I also get my regular coffee beans from the local roaster and they are very good. I use French press, pour over, and my Cuisenart drip machine. Home drip makers do not get hot enough on their own. You can, however, help them along with a few tricks. Here's what I do: 1) Pour hot water into the carafe to warm 2) heat up a kettle full of water to 150-160* 3) Grind the proper amount of beans (many different methods, but I use approximately 7.5g per 6ozx cup) 3) pour the number of cups of hot water in your coffee maker from the kettle. 4) Brew. The output temp is a good bit higher than from a cold machine and the coffee is much smoother and tastier. Also, when I make a full French press, I pour whatever doesn't fit in the first cup(s) into a warmed thermal carafe. If not, the coffee will continue to brew and taste dramatically different than the first cup. There is also the rule of 15. Ground beans stale in 15 minutes, fresh beans stale in 15 days, and green beans stale in 15 weeks (or something like that?)

So, on a budget, I'd heat up the Mr. Coffee and spend money on some good beans first. Next would be the grinder (most important piece of equipment for coffee) and when you feel you've gotten everything out of that, decide on your next type of maker. Good Luck!
 
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