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So who here is a coffee fan?

I've really started to get into my morning coffee, but I've never explored having my own coffee machine. I make do with instant coffee, which I'm sure is nothing like the real thing. My favourite brands include:

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and:

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I also buy Fair Trade coffee for my first-world country dwelling guilt issues.

Are there any caffine maniacs here who can advise on potential decent coffee purchases? I want to learn!

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I use one of these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B...1472309-7635912

I have tried all the other options suggested to you and always gone back to the bean grinder/ bodum cafetiere combo - you can't beat it really! B)

This man speaks the truth, although I like my rancilio espresso machine there's no method that is as easy and consistently good as quality beans, a grinder (although it's better to not use a blade grinder for consistency) and a cafetiere. It's cheap too, so you can spend more on good beans.

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Depends on what you like, I like very strong, but non bitter coffee.

As I said above, pop to Whittards and pick-up a few packs of 100g coffee - You can pick out what you want and they will grind it for you, that way you can see what you like - The 100g packs are about £1.25

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Blue Mountain Jamaica ftw.

Only for special occasions, mind ^_^

Coffee to me is an essential part of the day. Every morning at work - open the shop > go to Starbucks. Hell, at night I find myself looking forward to the next morning's coffee.

At home when I can be arsed I do like to do the whole cafetiére thing, but being the lazy bugger that I am though at the moment I'm loving the instant mocha things from Nescafé. Pour in hot water while stirring and you get a quite respectable mocha.

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we got one of them "Tassimos" for xmas. its "ok", but its never quite hot enough for my liking, and the flavour is nothing special (although i've not tried all the different discs). its just ace that it reads the barcodes though :ph34r:

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I hate that stuff. Tastes like dung. No idea why its expensive.

I think the same, a chap in work brought some in and I gave it a go (we have a filter machine on our desk).

He asked what I thought, I told him it was nasty - He then started moaning that it cost him an arm and a leg and its lovely stuff, blah blah blah.

I just have to say - Ew....

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Hill & Valley - best coffee I've tried, bourbon espresso in particular. Better, fresher and most likely cheaper than buying your beans from the high street.

As for coffee making equipment it really comes down to how much you enjoy the stuff, how much money you're willing to throw at it and what style of drink you want to make.

As previously stated if you like normal everyday coffee by the mug then a £20 filter machine or cafetiere and a decent grinder will do very nicely.

If you like espresso, latte, capucino, mocha etc. then you need to start thinking upwards of £100 for a decent pump machine (Gaggia, Jura, Rancilio etc.). Cheaper espresso machines are available in Curry's a whatnot but they tend to be staem pressure rather than pumped and aren't capable, IMO, of making a decent drink.

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I'm not a fan of black coffee! I give it a go every now and then. Hey Sabreman - I look forward to my morning's coffee at night too. I thought I was the only one.

I've only been drinking it for the last 6 months or so. I used to hate it.

You don't need to justify it dude, I like mine with milk and 2 sugars as well.

I also like coffees from here

http://www.boaters.co.uk/48flav.htm

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I've been a big coffee drinker all my life (I grew up with the kettle constantly on, and started on filter coffee at 16 where it was free at work), but I gave up a couple of weeks ago. I didn't like being dependent on it.

The headaches have gone now.

Tap water ftw!

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Has anyone given that monkey coffee a go (its the one where the monkeys eat the coffee beans, then poop them out)?

Think theres also one where a roadent or similar, eats the beans then throws them back up :D

Weasel Coffee. We bought a packet but Ross went and gave it to his dad so I never did get to try it and they still haven't gotten round to drinking it.

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Think theres also one where a roadent or similar, eats the beans then throws them back up :D

Someone I know was just given some of the weasel-regurgitated coffee as a gift, so I'll try and get a report on that.

As I've said before, you shouldn't treat instant and 'proper' coffee as the same thing; freshly-ground and filtered stuff is very nice (you'll surely have a little shop or market stall somewhere selling the beans, and an electric grinder won't be more than a tenner or so), but it's not just a case of it being 'better' than instant. Instant has a different job to do and it does it with brutal efficiency; brain change. It's not to be savoured or enjoyed on an aesthetic level any more than paracetomol tablets are.

There are three varieties of coffee that concern me:

1: Regular instant. Kapow, dirty kick juice. Here I think it's necessary to strike a balance between much too cheap and ridiculously overpriced. Cafedirect does the job for me. If you get into those fancy Nescafe numbers in the black jars, you're fooling yourself and being fooled. Setting ehtical considerations aside, the most powerful and holy form this beverage can take is those enormous containers like paint tins that can be found under the sink at work. The spirit never leaves those tins, even when they are emptied. Secure one if you can and keep your secrets in it.

2: At the other end of the spectrum, freshly ground and filtered coffee straight from bean to cup in your own kitchen. Occasionally you may have recourse to call upon more esoteric gods; this is the path to take. Elaborate preparation ritual, but don't be fooled into thinking the preparation for a cup of instant is any less important; if you have a special spoon for instant coffee - either consciously or through being 'drawn' to a particular spoon - you're on the right track. With filtered stuff you likely have specific equipment anyway, so the ritual is largely set up for you. Slightly lazy therefore. Preferably use a percolator rather than something with a disposable filter. NEVER USE A PRESS. This is an act of aggression against the coffee and NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT. It's like eating a eucharist host with a knife and fork. Spend some time with the beans before you grind. If you wish, you may spare one bean to accompany you on your journey as a guide. Stick on some googly doll's eyes for the best results.

3: Filter machine coffee, preferably well stewed, such as can be found in Little Chefs at 3am. After a certain period of sitting on the hotplate, this coffee is in effect consecrated and gains particular properties that the initiated will appreciate. Must be drunk from short white cups before the orange glow of motorway lights. Guaranteed every time but cannot be replicated in the home. Service station staff are the secret priests of this coffee but will not enter into a discussion of its properties or their duties. Some argue that this is because their duties are so secret that they themselves are not aware of them.

All these coffees are fabulous and magical in their own way. Seeng as I have identified a trinity I will follow through and classify ground coffee as the father, instant as the son and hotplate filtered as the holy ghost. Try to keep this in mind next time you're thirsty, though to be honest if it's thirst that leads you to coffee you've got a way to go yet.

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