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How to make coffee correctly?

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It has been a while since this thread and there have been so many changes in the coffee culture over the years.

Best way to make coffee?
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/288623

Open topic. I have no preferences as far as bean or brew method

How do you make what you consider the perfect cup?

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  1. No mention on that earlier thread of cold-brewed coffee, to which I am a convert. I don't have any special equipment, just let it sit in a jar, then pour through a coffee filter. This takes a while but is not hands-on, and I am making a concentrate to keep in the fridge for several days' worth of hot and iced coffee.

    5 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Blue Bottle cafe in SF uses what they call Kyoto Style coffee, which is a cold drip.
      http://www.chow.com/blog/2008/05/blue...

      They are the ones who also offer individual siphon pot coffees.

      1. re: greygarious

        A San Francisco cold brewing article that is making its appearance in other papers

        http://www.seattlepi.com/food/423404_...

        1. re: paulj

          I read about this a while back and kept meaning to try it. I wonder if I can do it in my french press-- just pour in cold water and let it sit overnight before pushing the plunger down?

          1. re: jvanderh

            That's how I make my cold brewed coffee!

            1. re: cheesymama

              Good to know :-)

      2. On Youtube I did a search for 'hand drip coffee'. There are several 'slow drip' videos, one where a 'professional' takes 5 minutes using a #2 paper filter. Most have Japanese or Korean captions.

        There is also a vacuum pot demo. I saw on Foodcrafters (Cooking Channel) that a San Francisco coffee shop uses these to produce individually brewed cups.

        1. While I don't have cold brewed coffee in my refrigerator all of the time, each time I drink it I ask myself why I don't make it more often. I have a couple of the Melitta manual drip coffee cones, but don't use them often. I confess I mostly use a regular electric drip coffee maker.

          4 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            That, my friend, is completely unacceptable.
            I do the same thing. I do like a more gourmet coffee, from time to time. It's just much easier, for everyday coffee, to do it the electric drip way. I have an Aero Press, that I love. It's easy enough to use and makes a super great espresso strength base for that and other drinks. It's just easier to have the timer set on the drip and have it ready when I get up.

            1. re: heathus

              Uhm...is it possible you meant to write 'acceptable'?

              (I have another confession. I don't drink coffee every single day).

              1. re: John E.

                No. It was supposed to be a joke. I would prefer a gourmet coffee every day, if someone else is making it. If I have to make it, I drink drip most days.

                1. re: heathus

                  It's a little how without voice inflections (or emoticons) how humor is often missed on these threads. Every time I have a really good cup of coffee with fresh roast and ground beans I think 'wow, I should buy better coffee to make at home'. But then I end up not doing it because I gave up my daily coffee habit several years ago.

          2. For me, it's fresh ground beans of a decent quality, and brewed in a way that does not keep heating the coffee after brewing (like a percolator or coffee pot with burner), drunk freshly brewed. At home I use a French press, in part because it's good for making coffee for one or two people.

            I also prefer coffee with cream that actually came out of a cow at some point, but I'm just not going to get it, so I've learned to live with non dairy creamer (liquid, not powder). I have a hard time finding just plain coffee when going out (drip or press vs espresso based), so I'm generally happy if a coffee shop or restaurant has drip coffee.

            When it comes to the details of French press vs hand poured vs decanted by virgins on a moon-lit mountaintop at the spring equinox, I find that these details tend to be be fairly minor compared to the different between good coffee and bad coffee.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              I'll be honest, I do kinda like having my coffee decanted by virgins...

              Most of the time the differences are going to be very insignificant.
              I'll agree with the fresh ground, good quality bean. Fresh roast makes a difference too.

              1. re: heathus

                Fresh roast makes the most different, in my opinion. But then again, I've never had coffee decanted by virgins, so maybe I just don't know what I'm missing.

                I currently do the hand-poured thing because it's the cheapest option. My boyfriend insists on unbleached filters, because the bleached ones make him sick (I didn't believe it either, but the man has an incredibly sensitive stomach). I used to have a french press, and loved it because I had complete control over the strength of the coffee (and I like my coffee strong). When I have some extra money, I might buy another.

                My parents, however, make the best coffee I've ever tasted, and they just use a standard drip machine. Perhaps having a full understanding of your method is more important than the method itself.

                As for the other variables, I agree that fresh ground, high-quality beans are important. It seems to be trendy in California to spout nonsense about how medium roast beans are far superior to all other beans. I prefer a dark roast, myself, but excellent coffee comes in all shades. It really just depends on personal taste.

              2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                Why are you drinking non dairy creamer? Have you tried Land o Lakes Mini Moos? It is those little half and half containers that you get in restaurants
                http://www.landolakes.com/product/257...

                I LOVE these. I have a problem remembering to buy milk. These don't require refrigeration and stay good forever (or almost). They are a fabulous backup when I forget or don't have time to buy milk.

              3. My perfect cup:.
                since 2003 - two to three times a day - mornings only

                cappuccino - double espresso with stretched milk -3 times volume - silky - pour a rosetta - many times unsuccessful, but getting better every year. Hopefully will master it before I die.