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  • List your coffee myths

    I was talking to a friend the other day who is a coffee roaster by trade. He was talking about the myths surrounding coffee making.
    All of the myths we hear have their foundation in truth, and I suspect many come from commercial coffee making where you have to standardise a lot just to keep going.
    Here are a few to start the ball rolling:

    If you buy a silvia and rocky youll make perfect coffee (great pairing but quirky?)

    If you follow the 25 sec rule youll get a perfect extraction (great guideline if you regularly check that there is a corresponding 30 ml and no blonding)

    The professionals can always do it better

    The better the machine the better the coffee

    Feel free to argue whether or not these are myths or the extent to which they are or arent


    Brett

  • #2
    Re: List your coffe myths

    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
    If you buy a silvia and rocky youll make perfect coffee
    Its true!!

    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
    If you follow the 25 sec rule youll get a perfect extraction
    I dont follow too many rules when it comes to making coffee, I just stick to technique and making my technique consistent. :P

    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
    The professionals can always do it better
    ;D Yes we can!

    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
    The better the machine the better the coffee
    This one I will be serious about because its been said here ad infinitum. You cant make great coffee with just a machine, you need all the ingredients. It would be like making a cake with just an oven. Unless you include everything youre not going to end up with cake are you? If you dont have a grinder, beans, water and an operator youre not going to end up with coffee! Youll just have a great machine sitting there looking great!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: List your coffee myths

      Well I think coffee making is more an art than a science.....

      And if you had asked Picasso could a painting be made with a four inch paint brush and house paint.... he would have said no (probably not quite in those words!!)

      But Rolf Harris does an excellent job (in my opinion) with those very tools.

      Comparison between machines, grinders, beans, techniques etc can never be absolute...

      The result is, like paintings, in the eye of the beholder..... and the method and tools which are best are those which suit your style and achieve what you want...

      Ill never be a Picasso or a Rolf Harris and my coffee will never be the best in the world (not by a long way)..... but as long as I (and hopefully others) enjoy it... Im happy! ;D

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: List your coffee myths

        That "Instant Coffee" is coffee! :P


        Java "Yuck!" phile
        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: List your coffee myths

          Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
          The professionals can always do it better
          Its probably largely true in that the more experience, the better. Conversely bad habits can become ingrained.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: List your coffee myths

            The professionals can always do it better
            Experience means nothing.
            Learning and improving from that experience is the key.


            The better the machine the better the coffee
            True (all other variables being equal).

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: List your coffee myths

              ^
              Experience means a lot but youre right, learning and improving from that experience is the key.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: List your coffee myths

                Originally posted by Thundergod link=1160879403/0#5 date=1160907205
                The professionals can always do it better
                Experience means nothing.
                Learning and improving from that experience is the key.


                The better the machine the better the coffee
                True (all other variables being equal).
                Unfortunately the other variables arent always even present when it comes to buying the latest fashion accessory. Whos old enough to remember that item of male jewellery from the 70s and 80s- the 35mm camera slung around the neck with brand advertising on the 2" wide strap. I wonder if the results were often better than those of more lowly camera toting happy snappers. Any parallels in the coffee world?
                A case of image is everything.
                Brett

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: List your coffee myths

                  Experience comes from Good Judgement unfortunatly a lot of that comes from Bad Judgement

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: List your coffee myths

                    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
                    If you buy a silvia and rocky youll make perfect coffee (great pairing but quirky?)
                    I dont know that theyre any better or worse than anything else in the price range, but the good domestic HXs certainly seem to me to be a lot easier to use and a lot more consistent. But "good" is relative - it depends entirely on your frame of reference.

                    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
                    If you follow the 25 sec rule youll get a perfect extraction (great guideline if you regularly check that there is a corresponding 30 ml and no blonding)
                    That ballpark is always a good starting point. But I dont understand why people try to characterise perfect extractions by different characteristics to what they ultimately judge them by. If your perfect extraction is the one that tastes the best, surely you adjust all of your variables to achieve the best taste?

                    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
                    The professionals can always do it better
                    Whats a professional? Charging money for coffee that comes from a commercial machine or charging money from roasted coffee says nothing about quality. That description would apply to both a kid working the superauto at your local McCafe and the current WBC.

                    There are certain advantages to making coffee in a cafe compared with doing it at home. The biggest that I can think of is that you would usually dial in the machine in the morning with throw-away shots and make heaps of coffees throughout the day, enabling you to adjust the grind and get into a bit of a rhythm.

                    Generalisations are always dangerous, but I suspect that the different environments probably mean that a good home barista will dial in a familiar blend with less wasteage than a good professional barista, both might pull equal shots, but the professional barista will probably be faster and might be a bit more consistent. That said, how many good baristas are there?

                    Originally posted by telemaster link=1160879403/0#0 date=1160879403
                    The better the machine the better the coffee
                    If you define the better machine as the one that makes the better coffee, then obviously that must be true.

                    I guess the myth that I most often see is that a hard tamp will make the shot pour a lot slower than a normal tamp. I havent really found that to be the case.

                    Cool, Ill have to return to this ...

                    Luca

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: List your coffee myths

                      Im really enjoying the responses on this post- have we hit a raw nerve?

                      The bit about professionals is interesting Luca- Id heard that in general in the US if you want to be a professional anything you do a course. In the UK you just charge for it? Where do we fit?

                      Better machines- as Thundergod said, All things being equal, but what I hear constantly is the upgraditis before people have come to terms with what the equipment theyve got will do. If we make crap coffee on a domestic will we make great coffee on an hx- better maybe but not unless the biggest factor in the equation is operating at peak- us!

                      Brett

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: List your coffee myths

                        Actually, the funniest thing I get is this...

                        When an espresso is offered and drank, the comments are Geee, this will keep me awake for hours... but when an "Instant" coffee is drank, no such thoughts are even thought about, not to mention spoken... when its possible the instant coffee could have more Caffeine in it...

                        So, the Myth is, an espresso has more caffeine then instant... well, we all know the answer to that....

                        Its all in the mind.. I confronted someone about it once.. and I said, you know you probably had less caffeine in that drink (espresso) than the Instant you drink at home... the puzzled look you get is priceless... it provides its all in the mind most of the time....

                        The general public really have no idea... I find it funny :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: List your coffee myths

                          Originally posted by marcstolk link=1160879403/0#11 date=1160957120
                          Actually, the funniest thing I get is this...

                          When an espresso is offered and drank, the comments are Geee, this will keep me awake for hours... but when an "Instant" coffee is drank, no such thoughts are even thought about, not to mention spoken... when its possible the instant coffee could have more Caffeine in it...

                          So, the Myth is, an espresso has more caffeine then instant... well, we all know the answer to that....

                          Its all in the mind.. I confronted someone about it once.. and I said, you know you probably had less caffeine in that drink (espresso) than the Instant you drink at home... the puzzled look you get is priceless... it provides its all in the mind most of the time....

                          The general public really have no idea... I find it funny :-)
                          Interesting...

                          I think theres also the issue of extraction- I get the same thing with the anti coffee league at work- the old Can you make me a really weak coffee or I cant drink coffee after lunch it keeps me awake
                          I began to wonder whether the caffeine level of a well extracted espresso mightnt actually be lower than the badly made over extracted 1/2 cup of dirty coffee grounds drinks they get at local cafes. Interestingly I rarely get told my milk drinks are strong, even with the 18g basket. They are usually described as creamy, smooth or rich.
                          Brett
                          p.s. marcstolk I see your tag about chinese machines. Heres another myth:

                          Italian made machines are over priced and unreliable.

                          I had a Via Venuto stovetop espresso thingy (also steamed) for 20 years, a Saeco Via Venezia since 2000 (my son now has it with non pressurised p/f) and have ECM botticelli which is built like a tank, also free gift of antiquated bezzera commercial. All are low electronics (only switches or nothing), made of stainless steel and fully repairable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: List your coffee myths

                            Originally posted by marcstolk link=1160879403/0#11 date=1160957120
                            So, the Myth is, an espresso has more caffeine then instant... well, we all know the answer to that....
                            This question has come up in the past and the consensus of the research appears to be:
                            • a single shot of espresso contains 40-60mg
                            • a cup of brewed coffee contains 100-250mg
                            • a cup of Instant contains 100mg


                            Your milage (kilometerage?) will vary but from the data out there those are the numbers.


                            Java "Hhhmmm...Data!" phile
                            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: List your coffee myths

                              Originally posted by Javaphile link=1160879403/0#13 date=1160959011
                              Originally posted by marcstolk link=1160879403/0#11 date=1160957120
                              So, the Myth is, an espresso has more caffeine then instant... well, we all know the answer to that....
                              This question has come up in the past and the consensus of the research appears to be:
                              • a single shot of espresso contains 40-60mg
                              • a cup of brewed coffee contains 100-250mg
                              • a cup of Instant contains 100mg


                              Your milage (kilometerage?) will vary but from the data out there those are the numbers.


                              Java "Hhhmmm...Data!" phile

                              Wow Java Im impressed- that makes a lot of sense because I used to get the Sunday afternoon jitters when drinking stove top and percolated coffee but very rarely get any of that sort of effect with espresso.
                              Thanks
                              Brett

                              Comment

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