The Coffee Rabbit Hole

Any of you folks have a coffee addiction habit like I do? If so, how do you get your daily fix? Home brewer? Local coffee shop? Fast food joint (McD’s, Dunkin, etc.)? What’s your preferred drink?

My preferred coffee beverage is a mocha latte – the best I’ve had anywhere is at Frothy Monkey in The Nations neighborhood of Nashville. For years at home, I’ve made do with K-cups and a Keurig single-serve brewer that makes mediocre coffee at best. I also have a Nespresso machine for when I want something approaching a cup of espresso.

I recently splurged and bought a high end drip coffee maker, and I think I’ve ruined myself: it tastes SO much better than anything the Keurig can manage that I don’t think I can go back. And now I want to start grinding my own beans at home to improve the taste even further.

And don’t get me started on the espresso machines I’ve been looking at for literally decades.

As evidence that I’ve fallen down the coffee rabbit hole that I’ve more or less successfully avoided for years, I submit the following:

  • I just ordered a special scale to weigh my coffee precisely
  • I am on two different waiting lists for three separate high end coffee grinders
  • There is a bean counter in my shopping cart on a specialty coffee web site
  • I have been reading coffee articles and forums and watching coffee videos for 3 days straight

:man_facepalming:

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Oh man this happened to me but with tea.
I do like coffee and the smell of it, I enjoy coffee chocolates too but unfortunately I can’t really drink any coffee. The caffeine in most is too strong for me it makes me shake and too jittery. So while I may not be able to enjoy coffee like you do, I wish I could it smells so good, I know this hole you’ve fell into with coffee but for me it was tea instead. It is a very consuming habit but it’s so good too.

At first I didn’t mind tea but didn’t really see the appeal to it much either. I then had tea at tea stores and from tea enthusiasts instead of just those commercial basic tea bags, I started to get really into tea. It started with sweet teas like fruit tea and different flavoured black tea then came different flavours of matcha and chai, oolong tea, green tea, powdered tea.
It wasn’t just sweet teas I liked anymore, bitter and sour tasting tea, very floral and fragrant tea, they all started to taste good once I was hooked on black and fruit teas. I bought so much teach that I now have stacks of many different teas for any mood or any craving I’d have.

It didn’t stop there either, I got many tea-wares like different tea strainers, matcha making stuff like a matcha whisk and matcha bowls, many tea metal containers to better store tea, tumblers and different styles of tea cups. And I still want to get more, a matcha spoon for perfect matcha powder measures, specific chai making equipment, many more tea cups I wish to buy and teapots too despite only being me but then again it’s small teapots made for 1 or 2 serves so justifiable.

I also went on just looking at so many teas and how to serve in various ways I learnt recipes that cooked with tea and made food that had used tea in it like sweet berry tea biscuits, black tea cookies, matcha sandwich’s, cakes and chocolate deserts with tea. They all taste so good.

I’ve bought so much tea and tea-wares it’s got its own section in the kitchen that covers like an entire almost meter long shelf with the stacks of tea lining the back of my collection. I am proud of my ever growing tea horde lol.

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That’s AWESOME! I know many people are just as passionate about tea as others are about coffee – I know next to nothing about tea and almost never drink it.

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It was a friend of mine who is a tea enthusiast that started me going down the tea rabbit hole, they would drink tea quite often and it just smelt so nice.
Most teas are just good drinks for relaxing, they tend to be calming somehow as you drink them. Tho black teas could actually make you more awake due to caffeine in it, it’s usually not much but can be felt sometimes.

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Teas always smell so nice – I really like the aromas of mint in some of them. (My administrative assistant likes tea that has spearmint in it, for instance.)

There used to be a chain of stores called “Teavana” that I’d see in the mall. They looked very inviting, with everyone standing around sipping tea and browsing. I don’t know if they’re still around, because I haven’t been to a mall in over 1.5 years.

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Oh yea the unfortunate thing of lockdowns, stores may or may not be gone once lockdowns get lifted. Considering you said it’s a chain I’d assume maybe it might still be there.
If you do want to try out teas but can’t go to any local tea shop, T2 is one that I know ships worldwide, they do have a mint tea but I’d suggest as you don’t really know teas that if you do have a look at T2 to get one of the sample packs that come in tea bags as well. Those give a decent variety of different tea types as well as being enough for one cup.

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Mmmm I wanna ask, you said you prefer mocha lattes, I haven’t actually tried that but more just espressos and normal black coffees. Is mocha latte light on caffeine? What are they like, like cold or hot, much milk or no milk?

There are a lot of recipes for making a mocha, but the general idea is to combine espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk into hot deliciousness :yum:

Here’s a really good video showing how it’s done in a real cafe (i.e., not Starbucks):

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Regarding caffeine:

If you’d like to reduce the caffeine in your coffee or espresso, decaffeinated varieties are available.

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So here is (or rather, will be, as soon as the scale and grinder arrive!) my new setup for making a better cup of coffee:

SCALE

Acaia Pearl S

GRINDER

Fellow Ode

BREWER

Technivorm Moccamaster Select

I’ve been brewing coffee in the Moccamaster for the past few days, and it’s a massive improvement over what comes out of the Keurig: much more body to the coffee, and dramatically more flavorful. I can’t wait for the Ode to arrive so I can try fresh-ground coffee in it!

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REGARDING WATER

I have been using distilled water to make coffee for years and years because I can’t stand the idea of having to run vinegar through my coffee maker on a regular basis to remove the calcium deposits that result from using regular water from the tap. (I used to keep fish and have analyzed a lot of water, so trust me when I say that the stuff that comes from most city water supplies is gross.) Unfortunately, distilled water isn’t the best thing to use in making coffee, because it’s too pure: to extract the most flavor from the ground coffee, you need some minerals in the water. There are a few recipes for adding the proper stuff to RO (reverse osmosis) or distilled water, but the easiest way to do that is to buy pre-measured packets that you just mix into each jug:

I got some of this stuff yesterday, and I brewed my first pot of coffee with water with the minerals added, and there was a very noticeable difference: the coffee had no astringency whatsoever. :thumbs3:

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Good explanation of the basics :coffee:

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Wow you are very dedicated to coffee, that equipment I can only imagine for that price definitely improve coffee taste and such.
Also that’s rather interesting seeing too pure water isn’t good in coffee making as it won’t bring out flavour well enough. Just seeing the equipment and quick summary of water importance in coffee brewing makes it seem like science, it being so methodical and precise. This is fascinating!

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Not my case… yet. My father it’s another story, he needs like two cups of coffee every day before you can even start talking to him, and apparently my sister is following his steps sight.

I don’t really like coffee, I’m more in the tea side. The problem I have with coffee is that it’s scent is way better than it’s taste, whereas tea is doesn’t really smell that much but has better taste, although given how many types of coffee and tea exists it might be hard to compare both, but it would take a whole life to taste all of them.

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Well, everything arrived — I of course had to try out all the new gear right away. The result: the most amazingly flavorful coffee I’ve ever had. Just … wow.

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The coffee beans, I dunno why but they always looks so nice. I can only imagine that coffee smells fantastic

Yeah, I absolutely love the look of roasted coffee beans too. I would like to store mine on the counter (I have some really nice looking airtight storage jars), but I don’t really have the room in my small kitchen.

The coffee does indeed smell delicious! This new morning coffee routine of mine is a real treat for the senses – I have the whole thing down to about 25 minutes on work days, but I definitely stretch it out on my days off so I can enjoy it for longer.

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If you are interested in coffee, James Hoffman is a name you should know! His videos (YT channel link above) are outstanding and cover basically anything and everything coffee-related.

Here’s an example, where he gives a brief history of espresso:

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This is from this Reddit thread – the comments are simply hilarious. My favorite:

winner

Background: the OP just purchased a La Pavoni lever espresso maker, and this was his first attempt at pulling a shot. He made several mistakes: he ground the coffee too fine; he pulled with too much force; and when little liquid came out, he removed the portafilter (the thing that holds the ground coffee) while it was still pressurized from the pull.

I’m about to dive into the world of espresso, so things like this are both humorous and cautionary tales!

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There’s a thread on Home-Barista.com where people can post pics of their home coffee setups. This one blew me away: the machine at right is a top of the line La Marzocco Leva X that costs around $20,000 US :exploding_head:

I find it quite amusing that the owner has it paired with a €500 grinder (the white cylindrical thingy next to that beautiful Leva) – the Niche grinder is excellent, but that magnificent espresso machine deserves a top of the line grinder as well.