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Thread: Beginner Tips?

  1. #1
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    Beginner Tips?

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    Hey guys,
    My name is Jacob, I am 14 years old and recently I've been getting into coffee. I was wondering if you guys could give me some novice tips/tricks for making some superb instant coffee. I don't want to rush into buying a big fancy coffee machine when I can't even make something simple. Advice on anything else is greatly appreciated.

    - Jacob
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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Hi Jacob, welcome to CS. I'm not sure any amount of advice could get you making superb 'instant' coffee. And this probably wouldn't be the place to give it.

    1st, a warning. You should do some reading about drugs and brains. Your youth means your brain is still developing, and caffeine is a drug that can alter brain chemistry. i.e. NOT a good idea for teens.

    If you still want to get into coffee after that, there are several ways to do it reasonably cheaply. Mostly on CS we are on about espresso coffee, but there are plunger, drip filter and percolator versions as well. All kinds of coffee making tastes better with fresh-ground beans, so whichever way you choose, part of your investment should be in a grinder. Sunbeam make the EM0480 and EM0700 grinders at reasonable price and they can cater for the range of grind to try any of the above styles of coffee. (plunger grind is coarse, espresso is fine)

    Most here will tell you to stay away from pod machines like Nespresso but if you're after something better than Nescafé instant, one of those might suit you.

    Whatever you decide, make sure you try it first - there's nothing cheap about getting something you will not use.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrArtistic View Post
    I don't want to rush into buying a big fancy coffee machine when I can't even make something simple. Advice on anything else is greatly appreciated.
    Besides what Journeyman has said, for espresso, the more you put into your setup, the better the coffee will (generally) be, but more importantly, the easier it will be to get good results. A grinder that responds consistently to grind changes will be easier to use than one that does not. A machine that has regulated pressure/temperature will be easier to get a good shot with than one that's not.

    Instant is what it is; freeze-dried espresso liquid. There's little you can do to mess it up or make it better.

    Since "proper" espresso is way out of your wants/needs, I'd suggest, if you want to make a kick-ass cup of coffee on the cheap, to get a Hario Skerton or Porlex Mini (both hand-powered burr grinders) and an aeropress, along with some reasonably fresh beans (which you can buy from a specialty roaster online or from any cafe where you like the coffee. The grinder + aeropress will run you $50-80 if you look around online or probably ~$100 locally.

    If spending 3-4 minutes making a cup of coffee (from start to end of clean-up) is too much effort, you might try a pod coffee system, but the cost of the pods add up very quickly; you pay vastly more for beans that will give you a cup of coffee that's far less tasty than what you'll get out of an aeropress with fresh-ground beans.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrArtistic View Post
    Hey guys,
    My name is Jacob, I am 14 years old and recently I've been getting into coffee. I was wondering if you guys could give me some novice tips/tricks for making some superb instant coffee. I don't want to rush into buying a big fancy coffee machine when I can't even make something simple. Advice on anything else is greatly appreciated.

    - Jacob
    Morning Jacob, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    Well done on your first post letting us know who you are and your coffee experience.

    Like JM, my advice would be to give instant a miss, regardless of what the celebrity endorsements would have you believe, there is no superb offerings from any of the instant manufacturers.

    If your budget will allow it I would also recommend a pod machine as a first step, some of them make quite a reasonable brew, way ahead of any instant you will buy, the machines are cheap to buy, but can be expensive to feed.

    Good luck with your quest.

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    Hope you didn't really mean instant coffee!
    Cheapest way might be a stove top machine or a coffee percolator of some sort. Can often get one at an op shop.
    Your parents might have one on the cupboard!
    This sort of thing
    http://www.coffeecompany.com.au/imag...p-espresso.jpg
    Not perfect but will get you going. Other option is an aeropress.
    A grinder is harder. We snobs don't like pre-ground but it might be the way to go for a start.
    Hand grinders are $50 plus. Blade grinders are cheap but not that good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    1st, a warning. You should do some reading about drugs and brains. Your youth means your brain is still developing, and caffeine is a drug that can alter brain chemistry. i.e. NOT a good idea for teens.
    I don't drink the coffee I make, I enjoy making it for others like my grandparents.

    Also thank you for evveryone's advice, I think I will invest in an aeropress and a hand grinder. Should I also start saving for Breville expresso machine? I always see the $400 machines on sale for like 25% off. Are those good enough? and what's the difference between those ones and the ones ranging in the thousands.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Welcome Jacob...

    Excellent decision young man. Even though I have access to some very decent espresso machinery, I still very much enjoy the results from an AeroPress when ever I don't feel like firing up all the hardware on the bench. Makes a superbly tasting brew...

    Happy brewing mate and be sure to let us know how it all works out.

    All the best,
    Mal.

  8. #8
    TC
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    Welcome Jacob,

    The Breville YouBrew currently at $129 via Billy Guyatts represents a wonderful way to get great drip filter coffee with minimal time commitment. It has an inbuilt burr grinder.

    Grap a popcorn popper, buy some green beans here and you can roast and brew your own!

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of pour over: I have a Hario V60 ($30) a pulse grinder ($20 Woolworths) and Melitta paper filters ($3 Coles; Woolworths). All you need is a kettle to heat the water and good, whole bean coffee.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1401631834.552486.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    I'm a big fan of pour over: I have a Hario V60 ($30) a pulse grinder ($20 Woolworths) and Melitta paper filters ($3 Coles; Woolworths). All you need is a kettle to heat the water and good, whole bean coffee.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1401631834.552486.jpg
    a v60 with a hand grinder and hario filter paper (get the white bleached papers instead of the brown ones) will do a much better job if you can invest in them though

  11. #11
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I'd like to get a hand grinder - I've been looking at them lately (can you recommend a good one?) and yes, the Hario-specific filters do taste better. I get lazy and forget to order them and end up running to Woolworths for the Melittas.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    @Talk_Coffee mentioned that they'll soon be stocking Lido 2 grinders. It'd be a good option if you want something better/more durable than a Porlex or Hario hand-grinder but don't want to break the bank.

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    to the v60 fans: in what ways is it better than an aeropress?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    @Talk_Coffee mentioned that they'll soon be stocking Lido 2 grinders. It'd be a good option if you want something better/more durable than a Porlex or Hario hand-grinder but don't want to break the bank.
    I'll take a look, thanks!

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    to the v60 fans: in what ways is it better than an aeropress?
    Aeropress is awesome - I love 'em! I'm just a struggling espresso machine technician from the U.S. and can't afford all the toys.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Ah, if you're in the US you'd want to talk to Orphan Espresso rather than an Aust. retailer.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I really admire OE I've used some of their repair techniques which work great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    to the v60 fans: in what ways is it better than an aeropress?
    Not better really, just different. An AeroPress brew lies somewhere in between a good pour-over and an espresso, in respect of intensity of flavour and body... For my palate, that is...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    to the v60 fans: in what ways is it better than an aeropress?
    Since taste is a subjective thing, I'd say v60 is easier to clean. 1 thing to rinse vs 3-4 (metal filter).

    Aeropress, however, is the best brewer so far. Other than a grinder, you don't really need a scale or goose neck kettle. Different recipes will produce different cup. That's what made it so interesting to "play" with.



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