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mceuph
LSU Fan
Montevallo, AL
Member since Dec 2005
604 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Used my freebie at French Truck this morning on the Ethiopian pour over. Had to add about a half teaspoon of sugar (hoping to cut it out completely soon). Really enjoyable. I can’t pick up individual flavors yet, going to grab a bag of Big River for home brewing. For fresh roasted coffee in NOLA I’d add Mojo to the list. They recently opened a small cafe at their main roasting facility on Tchoupitoulas near Napoleon. When I was last there several guys were tasting samples (I think “cupping” is the correct term?). The only downside to this thread is that I can now see myself going fully down the coffee rabbit hole.

PS you get a free coffee for every 7 you buy at French Truck. Every other place in town is 10.


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Wanted to send an update on the Onyx coffee advent calendar. Arrived today, can't wait to start breaking into these. Here's the box LINK
Here's the list of coffees: LINK
I think I'm most excited to try #18, but all should be crazy good.
Will report back when I start brewing.
They also threw in a Xmas day surprise gift. Went ahead and opened—lump of coal


Poule Deau Gravy
LSU Fan
US of A
Member since Aug 2019
57 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I'm looking to buy my parents a solid coffee making station for xmas. I'd like to do a grinder, scale, Chemex, etc. Are there any quality kits or is it better to buy independent pieces? TIA


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Sounds like a great gift idea.
I'm not familiar with too many kits, but you may find some here: LINK
As for a good "wish list" of items:
The best grinder for the $$$: LINK
Kettle: LINK
or if you want to get crazy (I have this one and love it): LINK
Scales are a little tricky. I use a $10 basic scale, but here are a few:
LINK
LINK
We use Acacia Pearls in our stores, top of the line but definitely a learning curve:
LINK
For brewers:
Aeropress is super versatile and no parts to really break. Can brew concentrated esppreso-type coffee, drip style, or even Kyoto style cold brew as a dripper. I've been using mine daily for a while:
LINK
Chemex is also a great option. Can't fault you there!
Add in a monthly coffee subscription from a specialty roaster and they should be all set. I would go with a "roasters choice" type subscription so they can try lots of different coffees.
Best of luck, I hope your parents enjoy whatever you decide on.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 7:34 pm


ABearsFanNMS
Citadel Fan
tLandmass or NE South America
Member since Oct 2014
9495 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
BRPHXCoffee, I was wondering what your thoughts are in the Ratio 8:

Ratio 8 Pour Over

I love this thread and I ordered the Onyx Holiday sampler! Could somebody make sure this doesn’t disappear!


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Hope you're enjoying the Onyx advent calendar as much as I am! And I'm so glad you found some of the info in this thread useful. I broke into bags #18 and #13 so far, made an aeropress and chemex of both. #18 is one of my new favorite coffees, and I think they nailed the "bubble gum" tasting note.

I've played with the Ratio 8 a few times. Solid construction, gorgeous on the counter, made in the USA—checks all the right boxes. Other than the price I think it's a great solution as an automated pour-over. It's pretty wild how hard it is to automate the process cheaply, I've been brainstorming for over a year and am still at the drawing board. The only other available option is the Chemex Ottomatic, which is cheaper but gets bad reviews on reliability, and I don't think it pulses or blooms the coffee. Here's a great comparison vid of both by Gail from Seattle Coffee Gear: LINK

I'd totally buy one if I had the budget for it!
This post was edited on 12/1 at 8:17 pm


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
40716 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA


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Trout Bandit
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Dec 2012
8178 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I thought my Chemex was fancy. Now I see there's a $500 coffee maker. Damn son!!


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Poule Deau Gravy
LSU Fan
US of A
Member since Aug 2019
57 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Thank you for all the info! I might buy double of most of this for myself!


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Even outside of espresso setups, I think it's fascinating how broad the spectrum can be when it comes to equipment and price point.
A ton of coffee pros don't own a "coffee maker"—myself included.
Joe Rogan had a specialty coffee expert on back in 2014, and he explains some of this as well. Well worth a listen: LINK
You can brew coffee in just about anything. Even a mason jar, funnel and a filter can give some amazing results. But if I had my dream machine, it would definitely be a Clover (about $11,000). Unfortunately, Starbucks bought the company in 2008 and you can't easily purchase one or get parts. Here it is in action: LINK
Most of the high end brewers utilize full immersion, pressure, and filtration for a clean cup. This is basically what an Aeropress does, which is why I think it's been so successful.
Some of the super high end brewers found in specialty shops:
Seraphim by Curtis ($4,000-$5,000): We used to have these in all of our stores LINK /
Ground Control ($7,800-$9,600): Beautiful machine, tried it at the SCA expo last year and was very impressed LINK
Bunn Trifecta ($3,500): We had these in the past as well. Basically an automated Aeropress. LINK Ended up selling them on Craigslist, and they were gone in a day.

The craziest home brewer I've ever seen is this guy: LINK /
Roast, grind, and brew all in one machine. It never really took off, but a very unique concept. I think they failed due to the proprietary green coffee control (you could really only buy packs from them, kind of like what Keurig tried to do). Tons of moving parts as well, lots of things to break or malfunction.
This post was edited on 12/2 at 6:40 pm


BAYOUBUCKEYE
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lafayette, La.
Member since Nov 2007
1228 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Awesome thread. About four years ago I had access to an almost 100 year old Royal #5 coffee roaster. Old school perforated drum over open flame. Roasted on it for about year and sold coffee at my local farmer's market. Loved learning how to use that thing and loved learning about coffee. Don't have access to it anymore but still roast on my little popcorn popper, which produces far better coffee than what's on grocery store shelves. Thanks for info!


tewino
Member since Aug 2009
727 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Would the flavors and nuances of the premium specialty coffee be apparent if using a really good (prosumer grade) espresso setup?


ABearsFanNMS
Citadel Fan
tLandmass or NE South America
Member since Oct 2014
9495 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
quote:

BRPHXCoffee


Thank you so much for the advise in this thread. I have been a French Press fan but based on all you input I am switchIn to pour overs. I just ordered the Ratio 8 and the scale you referenced (already had an electric goose neck). Will keep you all updated on what I find with it.


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Great question!
Short answer: absolutely yes.
Long answer: Espresso is an "expression" of coffee. When not properly dialed in, it can taste sour, astringent, salty, and downright terrible. Dialing in consists of adjusting your variables (pre/post infusion and grind size). You want to keep dosage (I like 18-19.5 grams) brew time, and yield (30 grams) consistent, and basically adjust the grind in small increments to achieve a "dialed in" shot.
A good shot of espresso should set off a tuning fork on your tongue, and have flavor profiles that continue to develop for 30 seconds after tasting. It should never taste burnt or harsh. I think about espresso a lot like whiskey. You can get a $10 bottle that tastes like straight alcohol and corn, while a high end options can have crazy flavor profiles that make you think while you drink them. In this case, quality of coffee and roast profile is everything.

If I take a fruit bomb naturally processed Ethiopian, (something like this LINK ) I should taste similar notes no matter how I brew it (as long as it isn't under or over extracted). Some methods will bring out different characteristics, Chemex and Kalita are both pour overs but produce pretty different brews. I also like to brew espresso over a cup of ice, the temp change can intensify some fruit notes and when it starts to melt it's very refreshing.

Right now I'm drinking an Aeropress of #9 from the Onyx box, tasting like straight strawberry. You can brew a very espresso-like coffee with an Aeropress, here's my recipe: inverted, plunger halfway between the 2 and the 3, 20g coffee ground on baratza #6, 185* F water to the rim, stir for 10 seconds, cap and press for 20-30 seconds. I brew over ice, and then top off with more ice. It comes out like a short iced americano, and makes fruit forward coffees shine.
This post was edited on 12/4 at 1:49 pm


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I really miss roasting as well! Looked up some pics of the Royal #5, beautiful machine.

This was my old setup: LINK
It's a Probat P25, incredible heat control and it was a beast. 44lb batches, could do some crazy things with temps and slow RoR to an almost standstill. We've since moved into a better space and added a second P25 to go along with our p12.

I went on a local news program a few months ago to talk about home roasting and brought a few easy setups (cast iron pan, heat gun, popcorn popper). Roasting coffee is basically cooking, and there are a ton of ways to do it. It feels like alchemy, but it's definitely science—though we don't really understand all of it. I gave away most of my home roasting stuff when I "turned pro", but I'm itching to get back on a roaster soon.
This post was edited on 12/4 at 12:18 pm


AUbused
Auburn Fan
Member since Dec 2013
7679 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Great thread. Been a coffee nerd doing pourovers religiously for about 7 years now. Used to brew Chemex but broke 2 and switched to V60 a few years back and stuck with it.

For years I was all about the fruit/acid with my absolute favorite, like you,being natural Ethiopians with the huge dark berry notes. My local coffee house buys beans from a different roaster every couple weeks so Ive tried a lot. Natural is still my GOAT but at some point the acidity of the current coffee roasting scene got pretty old and I started seeking out that classic nutty coffee flavor. My staple is Counter Culture Big Trouble and it really is the perfect “classic coffee” flavor to me but I would really love to find someone doing that profile but with the complexities (fruit, floral) etc of the lighter roasts.

Is that even possible? If so, I feel like it would have massive adoption with huge crossover potential for the traditional coffee drinker. Are their methods of brewing that can reduce acidity while still maintaining the character of the coffee? My standard brew is 28g to 400 grams water, 30 second bloom w/ 2:30 brew in the V60. Med grind in Baratza Virtuouso.

ETA: Not sure why I never Googled this but here is a great article on my last question

Controlling Acidity

Gonna buy something with acidity and do some experimentation with my grind.
This post was edited on 12/8 at 6:05 pm


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DFWAggie09
Texas A&M Fan
DFW
Member since Oct 2011
1260 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
This thread has inspired me to embark on my own coffee making journey starting tomorrow morning. Amazon'd a Chemex, Baratza Encore, scale, and kettle the other day. Picking up some beans on the way home tonight. Pretty pumped to give this a shot.


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