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Real coffee

(17 Posts)
Tinkerisdead Sun 02-Oct-11 20:47:51

I need some help. Dh really likes coffee, I just drink one cup of instant in the morning. We went to a food show and he started lusting after coffee beans etc. We used to have a tasso type thing where you shoved a cartridge into a machine but the cleaning cumbersome machine was soon redundant.

We really cant afford or justify a proper machine and so im thinking he prob needs a good cafertiere. (sp?) but i have no idea how to use one, which beans etc it would need or how to "brew" it. Do you brew coffee?

I'd like to get him a nice kit for xmas im im lost and google doesnt really help as it assumes i know about coffee already?

jacksgrannie Sun 02-Oct-11 20:58:26

I am a coffee fanatic and after much experimentation prefer my coffee made in a cafetiere with ready-ground coffee. Ours is a glass Bodum one, (8 cup). You can buy them in John Lewis in various sizes. DH bought me an espresso machine for my birthday one year, but we rarely use it as it is a lot of faff with the cleaning etc. I really prefer my coffee straight, with hot milk on the side.

Grinding your own beans is lovely (love the aroma) but as I drink so much we do usually buy our coffee ready ground.

I really love Sainsbury's Fairtrade Columbian ground coffee. I find it is just the right strength with a lovely nutty flavour. Blue Mountain is fab if you can afford it.

Would suggest buying him a nice cafetiere, with a coffee grinder and a couple of bags of beans. But leave buying the beans til the last minute as they get stale very quickly.

I am sure you will get hooked once you get into the habit!

Tinkerisdead Sun 02-Oct-11 21:04:00

Thats fab advice thankyou. I assume beans have directions/quantity on them? And how do i work the caferiere? I assume i put coffee grounds in then water. Stew it up and the plunger keeps the grinds at bottom so not in the cup? Does it need filters? I know im thick but i truly only drink nescafe.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Oct-11 23:26:00

Place enough ground beans in the cafetiere (this is a little trial and error), add boiling water, stir briefly and, when the grounds settle, slowly push the plunger down. No need for filters.

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 02-Oct-11 23:30:29

A cafetiere is definitely the way to go! A tablespoon of ground coffee makes a good mug.

We have a standard 8 cup one (cups usually refers to dinner cups, which are quite small), and two large tablespoons of ground coffee is usually enough. (You may need to experiment to make sure it makes the strength that you like).

Spoon the coffee into the cafetiere, pour boiling water on till it's full, then put the plunger in and press it down. That's it. No need for filters.

Many of the supermarkets grade their coffees in terms of strength, from 1 - 5 - so a good starting point would be to choose something that is a 3.

PigletJohn Mon 03-Oct-11 00:08:02

I keep my ground coffee in the freezer, otherwise, once opened, I can taste it going stale within a week. However there is some dispute over whether this really helps.

Close the pack tightly, squeezing out air, and clip it shut with a bulldog clip or clothes peg to make it fairly airtight.

Unless you are a voracious coffee drinker, buy small packs that will get used up before they go stale. if you drink a lot of proper coffee, the caffeine might affect you and you might get the shakes, sleep and stomach problems, and a physical dependency that gives you a headache by morning when it has all gone. I used to and have cut down to a pint a week.

Beans stay fresher than ground, but the task of grinding them every day means most people end up not doing it.

Keep the coffee making equipment very clean. Unlike a teapot, stained old coffe pots impair the taste.

If you have not already got a cafetiere, you can use a teapot or jug. Stir several times then stand to let teh grounbds sink, and use a fine-mesh sieve/strainer.

Percolators and any other device that boil the coffee or keep it hot will spoil it.

I like Columbian blends, medium roast, not French or Italian which are dark roast and too bitter for me. "Which" tested ground coffee this month.

Asda Extra Special Fairtrade Colombian Roast and Ground Coffee (£2.78) and Taylors of Harrogate Guatemala Cloud Forests Ground Coffee (£3.59) tasted best

Rombouts was more expensive and not as good. Starbucks was very poor.

PigletJohn Mon 03-Oct-11 00:10:19

p.s. if using a cafetiere, I think you will find you get more flavour if you stir it well and leave to stand for 4 or 5 minutes before pushing down the plunger.

startail Mon 03-Oct-11 00:59:07

Google a company called has bean.
Can't do links easily on an iPod.
DH spends far too much money with them, but it is nice coffee.
Would second a cheap grinder, beans keep much better. Beware real coffee is a slippery slope, DH mow has an expresso machine siting in his study. It was in the kitchen, but it spreads coffee grounds everywhere. If it lives on his desk he has to clean up as he some times works from homegrin

Jux Mon 03-Oct-11 02:11:01

My dh and my bro are both coffee fiends. Dh won't touch a cafetiere, he says it's revolting coffee! He grinds the beans and uses one of those Italian things - the metal octogon things, where you put the coffee in one part and the water in the bottom and then put it on the hob. They're easy to use and to clean.

My bro used Nespresso machines, which a lot of people love. You have to buy the pods on the Internet and they are massively expensive. It's really easy to use though, and also very easy to clean.

Sometimes, though, dh will use instant, but only Percol!

Tinkerisdead Mon 03-Oct-11 10:03:58

Wow, Thank you for some much information. Thats brilliant. I feel like a coffee expert now. You've all given me so much great advice I'm thrilled. Off now to google it all and work out what to buy him.

queenrollo Mon 03-Oct-11 10:19:21

as we have coffee officianados on this thread can you answer this one for me.

I have always been told never to pour just boiled water onto coffee, as it 'burns' it. You should wait a few minutes for the water to settle and then add it to the cafetiere....

PigletJohn Mon 03-Oct-11 11:16:14

95 degrees C is supposed to be the ideal temp. Water at sea level boils at 100C which drives off some of the oils. However if you take the kettle off the stand and carry it to the pot, it will have stopped bubbling, and by the time you have poured it onto the grounds it will be at about the right temp.

Percolators boil the coffee which is why it tastes so bad.

Interestingly espresso machines are above 100C due to steam pressure, so they smell stronger but taste weaker (with the same amount of grounds).

I prefer also to pre-heat the cafetiere as otherwise it absorbs heat from the water and cools the coffee

SunshineJen Mon 03-Oct-11 16:43:55

I would check whether Dh prefers a mug of coffee or espresso. I am an espresso drinker and only use a mocha coffee maker (the Italian metal octogan device mentioned in an earlier post). Mine is the Bialetti brand which is widely available in department stores. They come in different sizes and I confess to using the 6 cup model all to myself. Instructions come in the box but it is quite simple, add the cold water to the bottom chamber, coffee in the middle and pop on the hob, the coffee will brew into the top chamber.

A little bit of a faff to clean but oh so worth it if you want good espresso.

Weaken the coffee down with extra hot water if you don't like it so strong and keep trying it over a few weeks. I swear you will never be able to go back to instant soon enough

Popbiscuit Mon 03-Oct-11 16:52:35

If you get the Bodum French Press, a wooden chopstick is ideal for stirring as the glass is easily broken!
We use ground Starbucks espresso in ours (so technically the coffee is like an Americano). 4 level Bodum scoops is perfect for the 8 cup cafetiere.

Tinkerisdead Mon 03-Oct-11 17:00:17

Oh should I be worried if glass is easily broken? Is that with all cafetiere's? He def prefers a mug of coffee rather than espresso and no way would he consider using anything on the hob. The cooker is alien to him!

PigletJohn Mon 03-Oct-11 17:59:40

they do break from time to time. You can get replacement Bodum glasses fairly easily, although they do cost more than an own-brand cafetiere from the supermarket.

Do not fit a different-make glass to a Bodum as the size may be slightly different causing the glass to crack when you push the plunger down. This is very messy with grounds and scalding coffee gushing out.

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 03-Oct-11 19:10:27

Or buy a metal one! Whittards sell them.

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