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Thread: Best "brand" coffee

  1. #1
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    Best "brand" coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone. Im a newbie quickly becoming a coffee snob (eg. the worst thing a friend offered me recently was a cappucino made with his brand new $400 Breville thermoblock machine - he justified the expense because he could fit mugs under the portafilter. What could I do but take the mug and drink it... :(. Prior to that I had been bagging the atrocious Vittoria beans that I used to set up my machine. Of course that just happened to be the beans they were using *:-[).

    15 years ago I fell in love with cappucinos while staying in Rome. I came home only to find that here in Australia, very few people make good coffee. So I bought a simple thermoblock machine (sunbeam club cappucino) and started making better coffee than most coffee shops. One day the local Coles supermarket was eliminating a stock line, Malongo coffee. This included a range of single origin and a blend "Supremo darabica" (all preground). I bought up most of the stock after the first taste... Awesome. The S dA blend was heavenly (within the first day of opening the can). Rich, full and chocolaty are just a few words to describe it.

    Now I have a Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder and no longer use preground. I have been using an organic bean calleed Malaberti (sp?) grown in Mareeba, and before that a local roast by a company called Abrisca. The Maliberti is a nice coffee, but seems to lack body. Recently I bought some Illy beans and tried them (thinking thoughts like, stale, old, expensive). Sure enough, I found it hard to produce reasonable crema from the Illy beans, but the taste was superb. Much fuller and richer than the Malaberti. I had a fellow coffee snob over last weekend and made him an espresso with the Illy beans and he rated it as far better than anything he could produce in his machine and just shy of the best espresso hed tasted - *prompting upgrade fever *;D

    To me the Illy was still short of the mark left by the Malongo Supremo dArabica, and thats comparing across machines.

    Question: Has anyone tasted these branded coffees and can suggest a fresh blend available in Australia that can bring me back to this euphoric taste.

    BTW: I realise that coffee flavours can vary widely. I have experienced the Malongo single origin coffees (Ethiopian -my favorite then Brazilian and finally Kenyan). I have also had a cappucino *made with Don Adan beans (single origin Honduras) which was remarkable and so unlike anything Id had before. *

  2. #2
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    Buy freshly roasted beans from a convenient local roaster. If you want to do mail order I can personally recommend Alan Frew as a very good source of roasted beans: www.coffeeco.com.au.

    Your perception of what constitutes good beans will leap to new heights once you get some freshly roasted beans into you.

  3. #3
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    Ive been using fresh beans for nearly 2 months. Theyre nice, but when compared to the Illy beans, were found lacking. Im not claiming that these "branded" beans could ever surpass good fresh beans, but I have yet to find the beans that taste better than the Malongo blend.

    The search continues. Im just looking for a few suggestions.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    Perhaps you should try another variety or another roaster as is Illy not on a par with any decent freshly roasted bean in terms of body or complexity in the cup. Sounds like you need to try Sumatran or Columbian beans.

    Where are you buying your fresh roasted beans from?

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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    The beans Im using at the moment are Australian organic arabica beans from Mareeba in north Queensland (maybe three weeks since roasting). I have also tried a local Brisbane blend (Abrisca, roasted a few days before I bought it). Both make great coffee, but not exceptional. *

    Im really a newbie at all this. All I started wanting was a consistently good coffee. But when I discovered the Malongo coffee, it went from just an enjoyable drink to an experience that has sent me on what seems like an endless search for truly great coffee. *

  6. #6
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    sent me on what seems like an endless search for truly great coffee
    Me thinks that you have come to the right place Sparky ;D

    Drinking "home roasted" specialty coffee a day after roasting is pretty close to coffee nirvana for most of us here.

    ...well that and the enjoyment of doing it ourselves. ;)

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1112673328/0#4 date=1112706752
    The beans Im using at the moment are Australian organic arabica beans from Mareeba in north Queensland (maybe three weeks since roasting).
    Hhhmmm...You should be able to do much better for flavor. I have found that beans loose a LOT of their flavor after only a week out of the roaster. Starting when theyre 5-7 days old their flavor degrades very noticeably every day that goes by with some beans having a noticeably degraded taste over the course of a single day. If you want the best flavor then you need to be using beans that were roasted less than a week ago and were freshly ground immediately prior to being brewed.

    Java "Coffee, its not just for breakfast anymore." phile

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    Re: Best "brand" coffee


    Ok thanks guys. It really seems like Ive got my work cut out for me. I just bought a breville popcorn popper from Kmart ($19.95), so sometime soon Ill try home roasting. :D

    Im also on the way to PID modding my Classic. It sounds like the most cost effective way to get real consistency. I just got some fresh beans yesterday from Merlo here in Brisbane. The machine was cleaned and de-scaled and ready to go. The grind was right for a 25 sec shot and the crema was thick and golden. Problem was it was bitter! I was hitting it at the top of the boiler cycle, which worked well for the Maliberti beans (medium roast) but seemed too hot for the dark roast I bought. The Classic has a 8 degree temperature variation with the original thermostat. Me thinks this is largely responsible for variations in quality that I sometimes get, especially when changing beans.

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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    If youre based in Brisbane, you might want to try Di Bella. They do a blend called "Fellici" which is full-bodied and flavoursome.
    You mentioned Merlo, but there again, there are quite a few varieties - our favourite is Froza.
    Finally, you might want to try Continental Cafe (I think thats what its called) in the Valley, where you can even buy small quantities of a range of freshly roasted beans.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    You might also want to stay with the lighter roasts. Personally Ive found very few beans that taste best as a dark roast. Most Ive found have their sweet spot shy of 2nd crack. :)

    Java "Smoking the house up again" phile

  11. #11
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    Re: Best "brand" coffee

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks for the input. I just received some Dominican Republic Soliman yesterday. Even though they must be a few days old, they have raised the bar once more... Finally something more complex than the Illy beans.

    I have another fresh blend also ready to try... I just cant drink too much coffee though :o

    Getting the grind right on the MDF grinder is a bit tricky too. I found it will operate on half settings, which is helping me to dial it in.




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