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On 22/06/2021 at 11:12, Gotters said:

are we into real diminishing returns if you compare the same coffee in a V60 to a dripper ?


There’s a Hoffmann video on this, something about immersion brewing being the best or something like that (slightly clickbaity title). 
 

V60 and Clever are quite different in how they work and actually immersion, like the Clever, is probably marginally superior. 

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Been drinking the best coffee I've ever had last few days - I think the clever dripper and a decent grinder is the perfect combo for my taste buds.

 

I lack the language to describe what I'm always drinking so trying to reverse engineer it by keeping notes of what I like and then adding in their descriptors - like caramel notes or toffee etc. I always think these phrases and words are a bit OTT but I'm hoping it will help me as a buying guide going forward to discover the words associated to those I like.

 

Finally I promised myself no more brewing gear, but after a long YouTube session couldn't resist this, which is some baby burping device people have found work really nicely as mini bellows to blow thru the grinder ! The Niche retains very little, about 0.1g or less in my experience but even still be nice to give it a blow thru to keep it clean

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HNLNLZP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/06/2021 at 13:49, Gotters said:

Coffee-Compass-1024x1024_1024x1024.jpg?v

My journey down the rabbit hole found this, which is a nice representation of fixing unsatisfactory pour over type brews

 

https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/the-coffee-compass/

 

 

This compass is really useful, just used it to vastly improve a new bean I'm trying out and the first cup built up a quite astringent taste in my mouth, just a simple correction reducing the brew time and I've got a far nicer cup out of the same beans, that astringency is totally gone. 

 

Spiller and Tait still my favourite overall roaster, they have a lovely limited Indonesian coffee at the moment which is really nice, and my other half loves their decaf.

 

Trying some Brown Bear now, it was their Blue Mountain 'inspired' (i.e. not the actual mega expensive beans) which needed tweaking this morning.

 

So many coffees to try and I can only handle a couple of cups a day, and try to limit how many bags I have on the go at any one time to avoid spoiling. 

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I got a Pret subscription for the month and while £20 for 5 drinks a day is good, their coffee really isn't up to much. I can't drink anything black - not even their cold brew, which should be pretty hard to mess up. So I've been getting into various milk drinks - mainly lattes and flat whites. Chuck a sweetener in there and it's basically a warm milkshake.

 

Anyway, I stumbled across a random coffee van in town yesterday, offering lever pulled espresso, using locally roasted beans and thought I'd try a flat white, and it was delicious! One of the best coffees I've ever had and didn't need a drop of sweetener. Makes me wish there were more decent coffee shops near me.

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Proper flat white should be small, strong (double shot) and naturally sweet, a side effect of steaming the full-fat milk. Most chains don't get it, and do at least one of serving them single shot, only doing a bucket-sized cup, or using semi-skimmed milk, resulting in something fairly indistinguishable from a latte.

 

Since I left NZ I've only had decent ones at independent coffee shops (Spring Espresso in York is ace), and oddly at Cafe Neros, where Flat Whites aren't (or certainly didn't used to be) on the menu, but if you got the right barista (young, not yet crushed by the job) they'd be very happy to make you one to show what they could do, then ring it through as a latte.

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yeah, flat white from what I recall is quite technical, is it a straight double shot or extra coffee in a lesser amount of water, making more intense.

 

then you need the full fat milk to get the microfoam tiny bubbles throughout the body of the milk, which isn't possible in semi skimmed.

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Yeah, I had one from Pret this morning for comparison's sake, and it was bitter, as is de rigueur for their coffee, but also the foam/milk just wasn't right.

 

I've also been trying a few different alternative milks, just because I'm a bit lactose intolerant, and while an oat milk latte isn't bad at all, anything that requires proper microbubbles just isn't right. The bubbles are very light and brittle, like washing up liquid bubbles.

 

I thought this was an interesting review of the milk James Hoffmann has been pushing fairly hard recently:

 

 

 

Apparently it's still not really comparable to a good old fashioned bit of moo-juice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's interesting as I've tried a few roasters now and one stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of hitting what my palette seems to be after in coffee. Once you find them it's hard to order from elsewhere and its very personal I suspect.

 

I've tried several types from Horsham Coffee, Brown Bear, Dark Woods & Boun Beans which were varying degrees of nice once I got them dialled in but none of them come close to any of the 5 types so far we've got from Spiller & Tait. Had their signature blend, south american blend, indonesian single estate, Columbian & decaf and every one of them is better than anything else from elsewhere. 

 

I will try the odd bag from other places now but think I'm going to work thru all of their varieties first as they just hit our tastebuds perfectly. 

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Workshop coffee doing a virtual tasting with 4 sample bags on offer - always fancied doing one of these things to see if I can learn some language beyond it all tasting like coffee and smooth/bitter.

 

https://workshopcoffee.com/collections/coffee/products/virtual-tasting-event-pack-02

 

I ordered the set with spoons too as always jealous when Hoffman slurps from them

 

 

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Always enjoyed Workshop beans whenever I've bought them.

 

If pushed, I'd say that my 5 favourite coffee roasters in the UK are as follows (in no particular order):

 

James Gourmet (among the cheapest of the "good" roasters that I've tried)

Atkinsons

Cartwheel

Origin

Fortitude

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought some Urnex Grindz to give my grinder a clean, and I'm not particularly impressed. You're meant to run a cap-full through the grinder but it just seemed to cover up or replace the coffee goo stuck in there. This is the top burr before and after:

 

z4LmF9wh.jpgEJEfFtqh.jpg

 

 

Maybe it's because I haven't cleaned the grinder properly since I've got it. Will give it another go in 4-6 weeks and see if it makes a difference having since cleaned all that gunk off. Maybe it makes more of a difference if you use very oily beans.

 

You have to chase some coffee through after to get rid of the aftertaste, so all in all I think it works out to about 4 quid a pop, I think.

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I saw those cleaner beans a while ago and decided against for exactly that reason that they must leave different residue in there which I didn't want to ingest.

 

The Niche is very easy to get to the burrs and give them a quick brush every month or two so decided that was the safest option.

 

Got the Workshop taster kit thru, 5 100g bags with a card for each and a guide how to brew up and grind for the tasting video next Saturday - also got a couple of cupping spoons too for maximum fanciness.

 

Having sworn not to go beyond my clever dripper for brewing I'm now really really tempted by one of these fellas (the Robot not the hand grinder)

 

IMG_20200622_173340-paoxlayqlk2qek2rugy7

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They’re basically just made of various wheats and what not, so there’s nothing harmful about them, they just leave a residual taste if you don’t put about 60g of coffee through after, apparently. 
 

To see if they worked I ended up taking the grinder apart anyway so don’t think I’ll be buying them again in future unless they do a stellar job of the next clean. 

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I am taking delivery of a Gaggia Pro classic today but still haven’t decided on a grinder. Any suggestions?  Stock seems to be an issue for some of the main recommendations. Would love a Niche but quite pricey (for my wife’s liking anyway) and non existent stock. 
 

May go for a Sage Smart Grind Pro as they seem to be a good starter grinder. They are all so bloody huge though!

 

Mainly need a grinder for espresso. Any good shouts?

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James Hoffman has done a lot of grinder reviews (oo er) on YouTube recently at all price points so that is a good research start point. 

 

The Niche review well for espresso and I love the thing and have been using exclusively for the Clever Dripper -it's just so nice to use and look at.

 

There is that DF64 which is a cheaper alternative and I think exists in a few guises from different manufacturers - a lot of people like it (Hoffman thought it was messy IIRC).

 

What I have learnt myself, and see mentioned constantly in coffee forums, is how important the grinder is to the end cup you get - its a major factor in getting good results.

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I’ve been obsessively rifling through the Hoffman channel and has seen the DF64. I don’t like the sound of the mess to be honest. I think a problem is the Niche really looks attractive too as well as getting good reviews. 
 

I hear good things about Eureka models too. Keep looking on eBay for a used bargain but they seem a bit short in supply. 

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grinders seem in massively short supply, guess with so many more people at home its been one of those popular things with more and more folks making their own coffee.

 

worth keeping an eye on eBay, I picked up my Niche which was barely used and only a few weeks old for a very small mark up over list price, got lucky with it I think. There isn't a lot to go wrong with them and they seem pretty robust and built to last so a little light use isn't that detrimental - unless you really want that box fresh brand new thing of course. 

 

a quick look now has loads up for auction and one with a buy it now below list

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I’ve plumped for the sage smart grind pro in the end. I was sick of agonising over it. I doubt I will notice the difference straight away as I’m moving over from nespresso capsules. Fairly certain I’ll be selling it on after a year or so for something better. 

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I like my Sage grinder, though I don't use it for espresso. Let us know how you get on with it.

 

 

I asked someone to pick me up some beans from Newground and they asked if they sold instant coffee and asked me why the lady looked so aghast at that. Also was wondering why I want wholebean when they'll happily grind it for you. For free!

 

Does anyone know how to sign up for stock updates for the niche? I think I've basically justified it in my head and if it were in stock I would have bought one today. Nearly put in an order for the EU model but thought that's daft.

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On 27/06/2021 at 16:18, Gotters said:

Been drinking the best coffee I've ever had last few days - I think the clever dripper and a decent grinder is the perfect combo for my taste buds.

 

I lack the language to describe what I'm always drinking so trying to reverse engineer it by keeping notes of what I like and then adding in their descriptors - like caramel notes or toffee etc. I always think these phrases and words are a bit OTT but I'm hoping it will help me as a buying guide going forward to discover the words associated to those I like.

 

Finally I promised myself no more brewing gear, but after a long YouTube session couldn't resist this, which is some baby burping device people have found work really nicely as mini bellows to blow thru the grinder ! The Niche retains very little, about 0.1g or less in my experience but even still be nice to give it a blow thru to keep it clean

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HNLNLZP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Imagine buying that for its intended purpose. Wtf

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1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

@Gotters I saw workshop had their coffee tasting yesterday, but I was busy so didn’t buy any beans. What did you think?

 

literally just done it and washed up.

 

it was really enjoyable thing to do (if not incredibly hipster being guided thru your coffees by some bloke in a baseball hat), was better to do on delay so you can pause and skip where you want but the 5 coffees were all quite different and really interesting to hear the descriptions and be taken thru them.

 

we got some of the language and smells and fascinating to smell/observe the ground coffee, first wetting then sample at several time points to see how your perception of the flavour opens up and alters as the coffee cools. my other half was delighted to self identify herbal notes in one before being told, we couldn't get mangosteen in another but I don't know what that is anyway, then the Kenyan AA was really different and we both got the berries and rhubarb in it which was really surprising. 

 

overall really educational, good fun and well worth doing for the £20, we both thoroughly enjoyed it

 

Screenshot_15_08_2021__10_58.thumb.jpg.1f7342cdbe4213acd835bdde01e48cf4.jpg

 

 

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The Workshop crew are all painfully hipster, but they certainly know their stuff.

 

Sounds like a great tasting session. I’m hoping to do another at some point. I really liked Hoffmann’s and tasting all the different coffees back to back is just brilliant.

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This is the stand out from the Workshop taster pack, at £17 for a 250g bag you'd expect something decent, its almost a new kind of drink as doesn't taste like what I expect coffee to be. Even to my limited tastebuds or expertise I'm really getting the fruitiness out of it and its very confusing to drink, its very enjoyable but my head is constantly wondering what I'm drinking. 

 

https://workshopcoffee.com/collections/coffee/products/kaiguri-aa

 

I never considered that something like coffee had such a wide range of flavour profiles so that tasting really opened my eyes to what is available. 

 

The workshop decaf is really nice too and if tasting blind don't think most people would have a clue it was decaf. 

 

250gProduct_Page_Kaiguri_AA_large.png?v=250gProduct_Page_La_Serrania_Decaffeinat

 

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