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  • Tips on everyday brew

    Hi everyone,

    Posting from South Africa - been loving coffee for years, but I can't seem to find a quick, easy, inexpensive way to obtain a really great cup of coffee.

    If there are threads with similar info, I'd be happy to be pointed in the right direction. I've read a great article here on Mocha Pot vs Espresso Machine. That's already answered some of my questions. But I would like to please ask for some advice from the gurus.

    I can make a great cup of coffee with my filter machine - that seems to be my best so far. I enjoy it, and that's what matters. But it's like not having a bed and saying I'm enjoying sleeping on the cold floor because I get the rest I need, and when I go to my favourite hotel I get to sleep in this incredible thing called a bed. I know there must be a way to brew something better. The french press is good. The "espresso" machine was ok, but finicky (and bulky and messy, so I gave it away). The filter machine is the best of what I have (except this fantastic contraption my brother bought me - more on that below). I can't afford a proper machine, and if I could, I'd probably buy one I'm not satisfied with. I would be completely satisfied with my filter coffee if the coffee at work was fine - we have an espresso machine, but the coffee it makes is bitter and harsh.

    The contraption mentioned above is a koffie kan. It takes over half an hour to brew, but makes some of the best coffee I've tasted. Problem? You have to make more than 5 cups (mugs) at once (and if you brew it indoors it really makes the whole house stink). You can't make 1, 2 or 3. So my big question is: with the correct grind and correct heat, will a Mocha Pot be a good solution and give me a brew similar to what I can get in a coffee shop? Or is there a better solution to brewing a better cup at home?

    Many thanks for any advice!

  • #2
    It would help to know what your budget is and whether you are looking to make milk based or black coffee (or both) as your ideal.

    Sean

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    • #3
      Clever coffee dripper. Course grind 3-4 minutes brew drain it out. + grinder, +plus good brewing water, +good quality, fresh and lightly roasted beans.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by muppet_man67 View Post
        Clever coffee dripper. Course grind 3-4 minutes brew drain it out. + grinder, +plus good brewing water, +good quality, fresh and lightly roasted beans.
        If filter is your thing I would agree 110%.

        The clever coffee dripper is almost as close as it gets to idiot proofing a great cup of coffee!

        Sean

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        • #5
          Wow! You could drive to Ethiopia!!! (Kidding.)

          Aeropress can be had for about $55AU. A smoother cup than a French press, but the same principle.

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          • #6
            Hmm, not sure the mocha pot will give you a brew close to what you'll get from a coffee from a commercial espresso machine. Done correctly they can brew a great coffee under pressure.

            Another less expensive way (possibly the least expensive of them all) is to try a cold brew. All you need is a jar with a lid, freshly roasted coffee, a grinder, good water, a filter, and some time.

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            • #7
              Thank you for the ideas! That clever dripper sounds great - I'll have to look for something that can work. I'm guessing a funnel could be used to do the same thing?

              Sean - my budget is literally tiny. Times are tough in South Africa, even for someone earning quite well like me. And if the coffee is really great, then black no sugar espresso is my thing. Else a dash of sugar and milk in a cup (Americano style). If it's good enough, then milk based drinks are also a favourite of mine and my wife's.

              I bought a small mocha pot (about 9.44 AUS$). I brewed myself a staunch cup now and it beats the filter machine by a long way. I just struggled with the heat so it brewed a bit hot. I must try find my gas burner and give that a go. I'll just have to have mug after mug all in the pursuit of refining my brewing skills...

              Cold brew sounds interesting - I'll look it up and see what I can do. I'm all for experiments and DIY.

              Thanks again!

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              • #8
                If your budget can stretch to about US$22 you should be able to buy a clever coffee dripper from a large (non sponsor) international online retailer. These then just take a standard #4 filter paper (such as Melitta) that are commonly available in supermarkets.

                If you are not that familiar with the clever coffee dripper this video gives a good overview.

                http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m_-wyjaCPj8

                Sean
                Last edited by STS; 13 July 2014, 07:52 AM.

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                • #9
                  If you want to home make a clever dripper style brew, you could try brewing in a separate vessel, i.e. a your plunger jug, and then after 3-4 minutes pass the whole brew through a paper filter.

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                  • #10
                    Many a strong espresso later, and the mocha pot is brewing me the coffee I want. It's rich and full bodied and not bitter at all. The main parts of my method are to use hot water to start with, then to brew on gas at the lowest possible flame (my small camping gas cooker works a charm). Then, I don't brew all the water - a bit more than 2/3. If you brew all the water, you inevitably end up with some bitterness. I bought a house blend from a local Italian coffee and bread specialty shop (they use clever drippers), and the blend is mostly medium roast. I grind quite fine, I'd say half to 3/4 finer than ground coffee you buy in a supermarket for filter machines. It's cheap, easy to clean and proper. I'll still experiment with the other methods. Thanks for the replies!

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                    • #11
                      Its always great to hear when someone makes brews they are happy with. Keep it up and enjoy the journey, oh and keep us posted.

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                      • #12
                        Good luck with your journey.

                        Sean

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