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Coffee, Coffee Pots, Tea & Tea Pots - What are Your Favorites?

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cstout Dec 17, 2011 07:42 PM

Seems like I am buying a new coffee pot more often than usual lately..am really hating this "throw away" syndrome, but they only last a few months & then start to get slow even though I do the vinegar routine (yuck). Also would like a really good cup of tea once in a while. Share with us your favorite brews & vessels for preparing a heavenly sip? Speaking of sip, do you add a nip of anything in your brew for enhancement?

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  1. dbchun RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 01:33 AM

    can't go wrong with a Technivorm Moccamaster, theres a few models available, I love my KBT741!

    Also, I use bottled/filtered water for brewing as to prevent calcium buildup

    3 Replies
    1. re: dbchun
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      cstout RE: dbchun Dec 18, 2011 08:10 AM

      dbchun, I have never heard of that brand, must go research that now. I live in the country & have well water with no chemicals or salts added, but do have a lot of lime, so I guess that is what might be causing my problem. Thanks for suggesting the bottled water, will definately get some when I get a new pot.

      1. re: dbchun
        fini RE: dbchun Dec 20, 2011 03:34 PM

        +1 on the Technivorm.

        I've had mine for about ten years and it's never given me anything but great drip. Now I still prefer espresso and or vacuum pot coffee, but for everyday simple, the Technivorm is the way to go.

        Just think of it as an investment..like All Clad.

        1. re: fini
          mcf RE: fini Dec 20, 2011 05:26 PM

          I love mine, I just wish the plastic parts weren't so cheap and cheesy and that the cost were more in line with the value. I've had to replace (free under warranty service) the filter holder bracket and one carafe when the lid cracked, but it makes the right temp coffee with good spray distribution. Oh, and I wish it had an automatic off, my husband forgets.

      2. Scrofula RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 01:44 AM

        I brew coffee with a Melitta pour-over cone and tea with a Finum brew basket. Pretty much the simplest devices you could use, and they both work really well. I use the single cup versions, but they come in larger sizes too.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Scrofula
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          cstout RE: Scrofula Dec 18, 2011 08:12 AM

          Scrofula, definately like simple things...cannot handle much of anything in the morning until I have that first cup & am too lazy to set things up the previous night. Thanks for sharing.

          1. re: Scrofula
            John E. RE: Scrofula Dec 18, 2011 09:40 AM

            Since I only drink at most one cup of coffee per day and am the only coffee drinker in the house I too use the Melitta cone. When brewing tea I prefer a similar method in that we have tea cups with strainers so we use bulk tea and not tea bags. I actually do not mind the 'ritual' that goes into making coffee and tea using these methods.

            1. re: John E.
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              cstout RE: John E. Dec 18, 2011 10:14 AM

              John E., yes I do think it would be a pleasant ritual, especially if you knew you were going to be rewarded by an excellent taste treat. Do you have a particular tea you enjoy?

              1. re: cstout
                John E. RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 10:27 AM

                Right now in the cupboard we have Earl Gray from Whole Foods and a blueberry tea and rhubarb/vanilla tea both from Ikea. I'm certainly no tea connoisseur. These teas have already been around longer than 6 months so that shows the frequency we have tea. I don't know why we bought them during the heat of summer.

                1. re: John E.
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                  cstout RE: John E. Dec 18, 2011 10:50 AM

                  John E., well maybe it's time you get out the pot & make some tea...that blueberry tea sounds wonderful about now with maybe a bacon chedder scone. Or maybe a ham biscuit with bacon jam. Heck, let's just have breakfast now with the tea....mix it all up.

                  1. re: cstout
                    John E. RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 12:33 PM

                    Heck, right now we're having a heat wave. I might make some lemonade. (It's 47° and I'm zesting 15 lemons to make lemoncello).

                    1. re: John E.
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                      cstout RE: John E. Dec 18, 2011 03:47 PM

                      John E., well sir, I don't know where you are, but here in Tx, 47 degrees calls for long johns & coat, you poor child, you do not know what a Heat Wave is all about, may the wrath of a Tx scorcher never descend on your body. Anyway, care to share that lemoncello recipe? I have never tasted it, but it looks so lucious in pictures on the internet. I was seriously thinking of getting some lemons this week to make up a brew, but I cringe at making a recipe off the "net", sometimes those recipes are a total flop, & I know darn good & well that I am not that bad of a cook. How do you drink your lemoncello?

                      1. re: cstout
                        John E. RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 05:32 PM

                        I'm in the Twin Cities and we have had a mild winter thus far, only a couple inches of snow but it looks like we'll be having a brown Christmas now.

                        The lemoncello recipe is from this thread:

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/802307

                        I made it years ago using a different recipe and this is my first time using this particular recipe. As indicated in the thread, I would keep the bottle in the freezer, pour some and sip it.

                        The post with the link to the lemoncello recipe is about 2/3 of the way down by katcancook, but here is the link:

                        http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bevera...

                        1. re: John E.
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                          cstout RE: John E. Dec 19, 2011 11:50 AM

                          John E. well, I better get started on that limoncello right now since the article says it takes 80 days. All good things will come to those who are patient, I guess. Wonder if a spoon of that would work in some hot tea. I have never tasted it before, but it sure does look delicious. Thanks for sharing.

            2. re: Scrofula
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              cstout RE: Scrofula Dec 21, 2011 07:51 PM

              I have researched the Melitta pour over cone & finum brew basket & really do love the simplicity of both. The more complicated an object is, the more things can go wrong & life is complicated enough. I like your choices a lot.

              Oops, this reply was meant for scrofula, even my screen is jittery now. Sorry.

            3. Kagemusha RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 07:39 AM

              Love my Zojirushi coffee maker. For tea, depending on type, it's old school Denby or Iwachu tetsubin.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Kagemusha
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                cstout RE: Kagemusha Dec 18, 2011 08:15 AM

                Kagemusha, your maker is another one I have never heard of . I can tell right now I have been hanging out in Wally World way too long. Time to move up & seek out the "finer" things in life, Mr Coffee, you are going to the thrift store in a very short while!! Thanks for inviting me into your kitchen.

                1. re: cstout
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                  Chowrin RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 05:45 PM

                  zojirushi is top-end Japanese gadget manufacturer. consistently mentioned everywhere 'round here.

                  1. re: Chowrin
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                    cstout RE: Chowrin Dec 20, 2011 04:48 PM

                    Chowrin, I found the zojirushi web site, very interesting. Yes, some pretty impressive gadgets. Thanks.

              2. tim irvine RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 04:11 PM

                I use a press for the morning coffee most of the time. You can't get much easier. I have a double walled stainless that keeps coffee fairly warm. I also have a 37 year old glass one. To keep it hot I slip the tea cozy over it. As regards teapots, Brown Betty. As for coffee, I like dark roasted Sumatras. For tea I love Darjeeling if going for hearty tea. For lighter tea I love my great grandmother's mix of two thirds Oolong and one third gunpowder, brewed very light.

                7 Replies
                1. re: tim irvine
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                  cstout RE: tim irvine Dec 18, 2011 04:26 PM

                  tim irvine, gunpowder????? Please expound on that one, I am very gullable & dumb, so please don't try to confuse me. Sounds like you have been drinking tea for quite some time. I can't seem to get away from the morning coffee, but winter afternoons just feel like it calls for some fragrant tea to warm the soul. Thanks & do explain about the gunpowder thing.

                  1. re: cstout
                    tim irvine RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 05:03 PM

                    It is a green tea that when fired curls up in little balls, giving, I assume, the appearance of gunpowder. Check a good tea site, like Murchie's, for more info.

                    1. re: tim irvine
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                      cstout RE: tim irvine Dec 20, 2011 09:29 PM

                      tim, Murchie, here I come, just as soon as I became comfortable with a tea called "gun powder", you now say it curls up in little balls. Strange stuff is all I can say at this point, but I am all for trying it. Hope you don't come up with any other surprises like that though.

                      1. re: cstout
                        escargot3 RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 09:57 PM

                        I've been buying different blends of black tea from Murchies for many many years.
                        Love 'em

                  2. re: tim irvine
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                    cstout RE: tim irvine Dec 20, 2011 11:17 AM

                    tim irvine, well, I went online to search gunpowder tea & there it was, that is how much I know about tea. The most exotic tea I have ever had was a couple of bags shaped like a little pyramid..it really tasted strange. You people are going to educate me yet!!! Bless you for all for overlooking my stupidity. I learn so much here & wish to thank everyone for contributing.

                    1. re: cstout
                      tim irvine RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 07:24 PM

                      Ain't pickin up tidbits of info fun? I too learn just about every time I am on this site!

                      1. re: tim irvine
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                        cstout RE: tim irvine Dec 20, 2011 09:04 PM

                        tim irvine, I am of a certain age & sometimes I wonder just what rock I have been hiding underneath all this time, these folks here are really educated! And not just about one subject either. I am beginning to recognize the names & some of these folks are all over the place. But it sure is wonderful that you & the others help the 'tupid ones like me. I hope some day I can contribute to Something around here instead of just lurking & gawking. Yes, tim, it is a learning adventure. Now I shall go back to finding my perfect cup of joe & if everything goes as planned I shall be sipping tea with the best of them, gun powder & all!!

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                    honu2 RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 04:28 PM

                    I've tried a lot of different electric models (including Mr. Coffee), plus non-electric Chemex with filters, Melita cones with filters and the french press. What I like the best is a stove top moka pot (ususally called an expresso maker in the US), stainless steel rather than aluminium., where the coffee is made not by dripping water into coffee grounds but by the passage of steam. Bialetti is the best known brand; the one I use is made by Laroma. You can make expresso by using a finer grind of coffee from Ily and tamping it down or you can make strong coffee by using a regular grind of coffee (ex. Starbucks packaged Italian Roast) and not tamping it down. It definitely becomes a slow food ritual, but one with wonderful smells while the coffee is brewing.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: honu2
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                      chuckl RE: honu2 Dec 18, 2011 06:29 PM

                      what is "expresso?"

                      1. re: chuckl
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                        cstout RE: chuckl Dec 19, 2011 11:54 AM

                        chuckl, I guess you would say it is a very strong type of coffee. Please anyone, if there is a better defination, help chuckl out. Thanks.

                        1. re: cstout
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                          chuckl RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 12:55 PM

                          I know about "espresso," but I don't know what "expresso" is. Espresso is much more than "very strong coffee"

                          1. re: chuckl
                            rosetown RE: chuckl Dec 19, 2011 05:30 PM

                            Expresso is French in derivation and espresso derives from Italian, both are in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Sorry but this is an international website, albeit, primarily American. As a Canadian, I prefer espresso in print and pronunciation, but can live with expresso. ;) They have the same meaning.

                            1. re: rosetown
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                              chuckl RE: rosetown Dec 20, 2011 08:42 AM

                              Thanks, the reference was to a moka pot producing "expresso" apparently under the mistaken impression that you can make espresso using them if your grind is very fine. I thought it was some sort of term for faux espresso.

                              1. re: chuckl
                                rosetown RE: chuckl Dec 20, 2011 12:51 PM

                                It's true that 'espresso' is extracted at about 9 Bar - 1 Bar being atmospheric pressure at sea level. A moka pot extracts at about 1.5 Bar. So moka coffee doesn't meet the strict Italian definition of espresso. Still, it's very common to call moka pot extraction 'espresso'.
                                For those that don't know, the lore, surrounding Achile Gaggia, that he in the late 1930s, in pursuit of faster extraction to enable greater efficiencies, serendipitously, stumbled upon extraction at 9 Bar which produced the wonderful emulsion known as crema.
                                Back to 'expresso' - it's usage is declining rapidly - now used primarily by older folk like me - prior to the Seattle spawned second and third wave coffee revolutions that spread across N. America like a wild fire - and indeed the world.

                                1. re: rosetown
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                                  cstout RE: rosetown Dec 20, 2011 02:57 PM

                                  rosetown, wow, that made my skirt fly up!! Wonderful bit of information there, how in the world do you folks know all these things? I guess that is what encyclopedias are for. Perhaps you are a chemist? Anyway, thank you. I do believe this is what chuckl was hoping to find out.

                                  1. re: cstout
                                    rosetown RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 04:52 PM

                                    You sure know the power of six words followed by two exclamation marks - I have visions of the famous B&W photo of Marilyn Monroe standing over an air vent. Help, don't know if I can pick myself up off the floor!! - Thanks for that. :D

                      2. re: honu2
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                        cstout RE: honu2 Dec 20, 2011 03:58 PM

                        honu2, the stove top moka looks really nifty, but I too wanted to stay away from aluminum. When branching over to Stainless Steel, the pot looks like a perculator...I lhave lost that cute 2 piece thingy that impressed me so. I shall revisit the Bialetti & Laroma again. Thanks for the details. The choice of coffee is a big plus in getting that great cup.

                      3. k
                        kagemusha49 RE: cstout Dec 18, 2011 10:29 PM

                        I have a keurig single cup coffee maker and it is great. Got fed up paying around 45 cents for each cup so I bought a couple of those reusable stainless foil k-cups and now grind my own beans. Not sure what my cost per cup is - (need to count the number I get from my next batch) but it has to be below 20 cents. My present favorite coffee is Reggie's Roast blend of blue mountain negril blend - I get it on Amazon for $23 for 3 12 ounce cans. I tried buying pure blue mountain and frankly the blend tastes more like the blue mountain I remember.

                        Being a Brit, I'm used to strong tasting tea - blends from Assam really pop your eyes open. I'd worry more about using really boiling water than lime build-up - and this may include pouring some hot water into your teapot to heat it up before you put the tea-leaves and boiling water in.. You can control the lime in various ways or get rid of it or treat your water.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: kagemusha49
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                          cstout RE: kagemusha49 Dec 19, 2011 12:05 PM

                          kageusha49, thanks so much for sharing your current coffee flavor & pot. I think I would like some strong tasting tea also. So many of those gourmet teas have such strange flavors, it does not even come close to my idea of what tea should taste like.

                          I really like to drink my well water, it is crystal clear & taste wonderful. But the lime sure does build up, I guess I will just use bottled water to make tea & coffee. I am going on Amazon to check out the keurig coffee maker. There are so many suggestions posted here, it is hard to decide, but one thing for sure, I will never buy just a plain Mr Coffee again. Thanks.

                          1. re: kagemusha49
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                            cstout RE: kagemusha49 Dec 21, 2011 08:04 PM

                            kagemusha49, I am revisiting your post because after considering all factors, I think the cost should be geared toward the beans, their freshness & quality. The stainless foil k-cups are an excellent idea. What is the brand of your grinder?

                            1. re: cstout
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                              kagemusha49 RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 08:18 PM

                              I have a Braun grinder - pretty cheap - maybe there are better grinders out there but I am not really qualified to judge. On the beans, I paid 3 times as much for pure Jamaica blue mountain and got tired old dry beans that did not tasts as good or as much like blue mountain as Reggie's Roast. I agree that it is better to focus on good beans and not screwing them up.

                              1. re: kagemusha49
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                                cstout RE: kagemusha49 Dec 21, 2011 09:30 PM

                                Is the Braun grinder a "burr grinder"? Don't know what that is, but I just thought I would ask. Yes, I believe Reggie's Roast has been mentioned here somewhere. Thanks for the info.

                                1. re: cstout
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                                  kagemusha49 RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 07:28 AM

                                  I don't think it is a burr grinder - that sounds expensive and mine was cheap.

                                  1. re: kagemusha49
                                    mcf RE: kagemusha49 Dec 22, 2011 07:42 AM

                                    I used my Braun blade grinder for spices, but if you care about coffee, a burr grinder really does make a difference in quality, IMO.

                                    1. re: mcf
                                      John E. RE: mcf Dec 22, 2011 08:23 AM

                                      I have a 100 year old burr grinder for coffee that was my grandmother's. I have the original glass jar that is threaded on both ends. I suppose there was an original jar at the bottom to catch the ground coffee, but I don't remember it. We don't use it now but I think we'll put it on the wall at our place in northern Minnesota.

                                      1. re: John E.
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                                        cstout RE: John E. Dec 22, 2011 03:46 PM

                                        John E. how wonderful to have something from your grandmother. Yes, I would definately put it at your place....is it a cabin or what?

                                        1. re: cstout
                                          John E. RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 04:51 PM

                                          It's getting to be a cabin. When we bought the place over ten years ago it was just a tarpaper deer shack in the woods. We have since put on a new roof, siding, and tongue and groove paneling on the inside. We still have no running water or electricity. Back to coffee, since I detest percolated coffee I bought an old aluminum manual drip coffee pot at a flea market. Since it only brewed a maximum of 9 cups it was a little small for the group during deer season but I was lucky enough to find an 18 cup aluminum manual drip coffee pot for $6 at a thrift store. The grinder is handcranked and my father remembers when they used it. The coffee man used to come to their house on Saturdays. It's amazing the number of door to door salespeople there used to be in the old days. I only remember the Fuller Brush Man and the Avon Lady, on different days of course.

                                          1. re: John E.
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                                            cstout RE: John E. Dec 22, 2011 07:25 PM

                                            John E. can you image that a coffee man would make those rounds? I live down the road from 2 creeks that are less than a mile apart, one is called 1st Coffee Hollow Creek & the other one is called 2nd Coffee Hollow Creek.. Story goes that a driver of a coffee truck overturned on the slick road & dumped tons of coffee out. Well, a few months later he does the same thing in the next creek turn. This time he got killed. That was over 80 years ago, but when it rains or it is damp weather you can smell coffee grounds in the car vent when you drive by there. Don't know if it was a horse & buggy type thing or what but it gives me goose bumps to smell that coffee. Do you all hunt elk at your cabin or what? Don't forget the vacuum cleaner & encyclopdeia salesmen. They really worked for their money back in those days. Yes, I have one of those camp pots too, we called coffee in that pot "river coffee". If someone's coffee was extra bad, it was called that too. Thanks for sharing. Wish I had a cabin to sneak off to, just me & the coffee pot.

                                            1. re: cstout
                                              John E. RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 07:49 PM

                                              The only elk hunting in Minnesota is in the extrem NW part of the state and there only about 30 annual permits. We mostly hunt deer and grouse although geese do land in our farm fields.

                                              Oh, that coffe guy story was interesting. Sort of like the molasses in Boston.

                                              When I was a kid my mother actually 'won' a Rainbow wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Apparently this was so the salesman could say that Mrs. E. had one (my father was fairly prominent in our small town).

                          2. Chemicalkinetics RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 12:24 AM

                            Are we talking about what is most convenient or what is most traditional? I have a single-cup Tassimo. It is pretty good, but I am not a big coffee/tea drinker, so I don't use it very often. As for tea, I used to use Yixing clay teapots or known a Purple sand teapots, which is as classic as it get for Chinese tea:

                            http://www.google.com/search?q=%E7%B4...

                            it is not necessary, but it is an art form by itself.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                              cstout RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 19, 2011 12:14 PM

                              chemicalkinetics, oh I truly enjoyed looking at all those tea pots on the google site, they are absolute works of art. Is your pot listed on there? I cannot imagine which one I would choose. So many shapes, is one shape preferred over the other? The clean lines are a sight to behold. I am going to get one after you let me know if I should choose one over the other. What a pleasant journey into the world of teapots!!

                              1. re: cstout
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 05:13 PM

                                Sorry about the bad link, but it seems you were able to remove all the "amp". One of my pot looks very much like this one:

                                http://www.51pot.com/attachment/knowl...

                                A very generic and simple look. I used to have one or two when I was younger, but they got lost during moves. Or I should say that my mom probably has them with her now.

                                These teapots are bit of an art and frankly I am not so picky anymore (or ever). These teapots are also said to have ability in incorporate tea flavor since they are porous.

                                Here is a video of using these clay pot. You can see some of the interesting steps in making Chinese tea.

                                http://youtu.be/EYG5_8YK-Aw

                                You use hot water to warm up the pot at 1:20 min

                                You discard the first brew of the tea at 2:20 min

                                It is some what like the Japanese tea ceremony but probably not quiet as intense. Still, I am a bit too lazy to follow all these rules. Maybe I will pick this up one day when I get into tea again.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                  cstout RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 20, 2011 10:39 AM

                                  Chemicalkinetics, the teapot you showed was exactly the one I had picked out that I would like to buy. The youtube ceremony was amazing....all that for a cup of tea!!! I am sorry, I will have to cut that in half. Thanks so much for sharing.

                                  1. re: cstout
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 07:24 PM

                                    :)

                                    If you ever come across one of these teapots, then it may be a good idea to get one. You can use it if you want to get "traditional". Alternatively, they look really great as an art display. There are many different looks. This one is call "Tai Chi" and looks very creative:

                                    http://news.xinhuanet.com/collection/...

                                    Now, if you are up something modern, you can always go for this (not my preference):

                                    http://images2.china.com/culture/zh_c...

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                      cstout RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 20, 2011 09:18 PM

                                      Chemicalkinetics, the xinhauanet one was too modern for me, reminded me of bull's horns, I don't think I could get past that. But a work of art for sure. The modern post did not bring up any posts, sorry. Yes, many people collect tea pots & I can see why. As for me, I have never been one to collect, I absolutely love to see other people's collections though. Less is more, has been my motto for a long while now. Thanks for sharing.

                                      1. re: cstout
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                                        comestible RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 02:36 PM

                                        Having been a tea-head for a long time, I do it Chinese gongfu-style and have a few zisha-style pots as CK mentioned, but also ceramic gaiwans, which are very handy. Being glazed, they don't absorb tea flavors and can be used for different teas daily. Between the clay pots and the gaiwans, I'm all set. Along with an inexpensive electric kettle for boiling water and a few odds and ends like tea scoops.

                                         
                                        1. re: comestible
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                                          cstout RE: comestible Dec 21, 2011 07:04 PM

                                          comestible, we got involved in the coffee thing & it is refreshing to see some other ideas pertaining to the art of tea. I am going to search out the gongfu-style pots. I really am a novice at tea, but do want to get a proper set up so that I may enjoy a cup too. I see some people having their tea at a dim sum restaurant & it is just so pleasurable to watch them do their little ritual. Thanks for sharing.

                            2. j
                              Jane917 RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 07:43 AM

                              I second the recommendaton for Technivorm. I would love to have one of the stainless steel pot styles, but my 9 year old CD Moccamaster just won't quit. Sweet Maria's and Boyd's Coffee are good sources for purchase.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Jane917
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                                cstout RE: Jane917 Dec 19, 2011 12:28 PM

                                jane917, geez, I don't know if I can get a Technivrom, going for 299.00....I am sure it is worth it., wish I would have known about it several Mr Coffee pots sooner, probably could have afforded one after trashing all those. Well, that pot is another work of art....you are lucky to have one, pour a cup for me while you are at it. Thanks for sharing.

                                1. re: cstout
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                                  Jane917 RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 12:37 PM

                                  We used to buy coffee pots at the rate of once/year. That was as long as they would last. Our Technivorm has lasted 9 years with daily use, sometimes more than once/day. We are way ahead of the game, plus they were cheaper 9 years ago. I realize it is stretch of money to put out at one time, which is why I have not "upgraded" to the model with the stainless pot.

                                  Our "Saturday" pot, for when we have more time, is often the Chemex.

                                  1. re: Jane917
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                                    cstout RE: Jane917 Dec 19, 2011 04:40 PM

                                    jane917, yes, I can certainly see how the Technivorm will definately cost out, I have never had a drip pot more than 6 months, much less 9 years, gosh that is really getting your money's worth. I watched a youtube video for both the Chemex & the Technivorm....am impressed with both. Thanks so much for opening some doors for me.

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                                Felila RE: cstout Dec 19, 2011 12:23 PM

                                I drink several cups of tea a day. I have a traditional English stoneware teapot, but when it's just me, I use my Bodum YoYo: a glass mug with a large mesh infuser that fills the cup. Heat water in the cup in the microwave, dunk the infuser in the cup, let sit until the tea is as strong as I want it (easy to see in a glass cup), take out the infuser, and drink. The large infuser gives the tea leaves room to expand.

                                Tea leaves are used for several infusions and then saved, to be used in my little backyard garden.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Felila
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                                  cstout RE: Felila Dec 19, 2011 04:51 PM

                                  Felila, well, now I shall venture out there to see what a Bodum YoYo is.....just love the sound of that. You also mention an English stoneware pot, I just love beautiful objects & that sounds so like TEA. The Chinese teapots that were mentioned earlier are fantastic also. Venturing into the world of tea & coffee is a great pastime in itself. Loved the idea of your tea leaves finding a happy resting place in your garden. So simple, so fulfilling. Bless you.

                                2. j
                                  jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 09:50 AM

                                  For tea, loose tea brewed in a pure glass container. Then filtered through a fine mesh metal strainer.

                                  For coffee, I prefer an aeropress or vacpot. The aeropress is perfect for 1-2 cups, if it's just me or just "me and she". The vacpot is great when i have guests over and am too lazy to make espresso / capuccinos.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  1. s
                                    sueatmo RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 12:33 PM

                                    I own a Cuisinart and I follow the directions in the manual for a clean. I recommend this if you want a counter top drip coffeemaker. http://www.cuisinartwebstore.com/deta...

                                    I have a teapot now that I truly love. Here is a link: http://www.chantal.com/tea-steep.html

                                    Mine is only a 1 qt. size, but the shape of it is the same as in the link. It is by far the best performing teapot I've ever owned or used. The spout does not drip uncontrollably, the handle is balanced and comfortable, and it makes a nice pot of tea. I've broken or abandoned so many teapots. This is my keeper.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sueatmo
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                                      cstout RE: sueatmo Dec 20, 2011 03:16 PM

                                      The Cuisinart looks like a good buy at about 80 dollars. How long have you been using yours? I am totally confused right now, as soon as I settle on one thing, a poster comes along with something else to add to the pot.

                                      Same thing for tea pots, I just love the blue Chantal, unfortunately that color is out of stock. I too would choose the 1 qt. size. Most of all, from what you say, it is very functional. I have had a tea pot or two that seemed like it was made mostly for looks, now I am looking for something that works. Thanks sueatmo for sharing. My list is becoming longer & longer.

                                    2. jnk RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 01:32 PM

                                      I've had coffee from the Technivorm and it is VERY good, but to be brutally honest we've used the Zojirush now for the past 2 years and we get a spectacular cup of coffee from it. I for one
                                      think we made the right decision. I'm adding an Amazon link that has a sale price. I think you would be happy with this machine. Good luck in you decisiion making.
                                      http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-EC-BD...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jnk
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                                        cstout RE: jnk Dec 20, 2011 03:48 PM

                                        jnk, went to Amazon to look at the Zojirush, am quite impressed, someone earlier mentioned this brand. Finding bargains everywhere. I am frantic, each one of you folks have a wonderful pot, all a matter of taste, pardon the pun. Thank you so much for posting that link.

                                      2. dbchun RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 03:48 PM

                                        Also keep in mind the limiting factor to good coffee, aside from the beans itself, is the grinder. Some kind of conical burr design should suffice for drip

                                        For teas, just saw a TV commercial for the Breville Tea kettle that adjusts soak time depending on the tea...looks spiffy!

                                        26 Replies
                                        1. re: dbchun
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                                          cstout RE: dbchun Dec 20, 2011 04:09 PM

                                          dbchun, life is definately getting complicated here....now we must sort out a grinder for that magic coffee pot. I think I read somewhere about burr designs versus some other kind, I just closed my ears to that, I can't take too many decisions at one time. Geez, I need a cup of coffee to calm me down & all I have is one jar of instant, absolutely yucky. Hold on a minute while I sling that Mr Coffee out the back door, it is not even worthy of going to the thrift store.

                                          OK, now I am back & have settled down, Let's talk grinders, who has what brand?

                                          1. re: cstout
                                            mcf RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 05:49 PM

                                            Don't forget that you're going to need a roaster for fresh beans. It'll pay for itself with savings on buying them green.

                                            1. re: mcf
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                                              cstout RE: mcf Dec 20, 2011 09:51 PM

                                              mcf, listen here, I cannot make all these decisions...now you are telling me I need a roaster for beans, what in the world do they look like? Well, I shall be back after searching about bean roasters. Here, take my credit card & get a darn roaster & a burr grinder & a bag of beans & a filter....oh yes, get a coffee pot to go with all that. Geez, this is exhausting...you people have me running all over the internet. I shall just lie down & wait until somebody brings me a good cup of coffee. Oh heck, maybe I shall just have a little spot of tea instead.

                                              1. re: cstout
                                                mcf RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                LOL... I haven't got one, but with the cost of the coffee I like, it would pay for itself fast. I meant to put a smiley... you don't *have* to do anything about roasting, it's up to you. :-)

                                            2. re: cstout
                                              j
                                              jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 06:50 PM

                                              Hi Cstout,

                                              Bottom line - quite honestly - if you have FRESH roasted coffee, and then freshly grind it ... just before you brew in whatever way you want - you are WAY ahead of the game. You can roast your own in one of those used air popcorn poppers. If you get "into it", you can always get a nice roaster for not too much money.

                                              The grinder that one might need is closely tied to what type of coffee you'll be making. I'm quite a coffee geek roast my own - and have most machines that one might have.

                                              Again, I'd maintain that if you just want a simple way of making truly excellent coffee - 1-2 cups at a time, then the aeropress should be on your short list. The quality is superb - reasonably close to a true americano. For $30 this is an excellent device. Clean-up is a snap.

                                              For an aeropress, it won't require a good grinder since it just needs "a pretty fine grind" - and that is easy to do with a manual-pulse electric blade grinder.

                                              Most decent burr grinders are about $100 and is really nice if you have a vac pot and absolutely essential for espresso. Moka Pots can be pretty sensitive - a decent grinder is recommended, but I feel that they won't produce as good a cup as an aeropress.

                                              Truly decent burr grinders are available around $100 from a number of companies like Capresso and Baratza. It MIGHT be possible to get a decent one for less - see the detailed reviews on coffeegeek.

                                              Some people really like fully manual grinders - it is often possible to get one of these and have a very controlled grind for a reasonable price. But ... you will be grinding that wheel yourself. I own one and just like it for looks - they are cool. It's readily possible to get nice used one's on ebay, etc.

                                              Have fun and feel free to ask more questions, here and coffeegeek.

                                              1. re: jkling17
                                                mcf RE: jkling17 Dec 20, 2011 08:09 PM

                                                I hate hate hate aeropress coffee! Tried it a few times, then sold it at my yard sale this year.

                                                1. re: mcf
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                                                  cstout RE: mcf Dec 20, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                  mcf, please tell us why you hated the aeropress.

                                                  1. re: cstout
                                                    mcf RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                    Flat taste, seemed like weak coffee without many notes. I tried and tried it, and got rid of it.

                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                      j
                                                      jkling17 RE: mcf Dec 21, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                      Really? Well there are a lot of things that can affect the end result. We don't know what coffee you used, how fresh it was, how it was ground, what temperature your water was, or what type of filter you used. I can't guess what was off but something must have been.

                                                      If I really want tons of "notes" and crema, I'll make an espresso or cappuccino. For great easy coffee ... the aeropress really does the trick. Some people prefer the aeropress metal filter for a more complete extraction and perhaps I'll get one someday.

                                                      1. re: jkling17
                                                        mcf RE: jkling17 Dec 21, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                        Well, when I posted about it, folks mentioned that it does tend to flatten out certain flavors, those tend to be the ones I like best, for fuller, rounder taste. I used more than one kind of coffee, experimented with grinds, quantities, roasts, etc. It's just a product that some folks love and others find very disappointing. I just don't think we can ever guarantee anyone that they're going to love something we do. You may be right that I'd enjoy a metal filter more, but frankly, I'd rather use a single cup Melitta cone with filter than an Aeropress any day. Easier and tastes great every time.

                                                2. re: jkling17
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                                                  cstout RE: jkling17 Dec 21, 2011 08:10 PM

                                                  jkling17, coffeegeek is a great site, much useful information there. I had no idea the site existed - I certainly learned a lot there. Thanks for your help.

                                                  1. re: cstout
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                                                    jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 09:18 PM

                                                    Yeah it is one sick site. Like "chowhound on crack for coffee freaks". Fortunately, someone beat me to mentioning it on this thread so please do blame them rather than me, if you end up spending a lot of money on "coffee stuff". About the only thing that is really on my list is a truly good grinder but that'll just have to wait until we redo the kitchen ... I'm "pretty sure" I can hide a new grinder into that budget.

                                                    1. re: jkling17
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                                                      cstout RE: jkling17 Dec 21, 2011 09:28 PM

                                                      jkling17, what brand of grinder are you wishing for?

                                                      1. re: cstout
                                                        j
                                                        jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 10:07 PM

                                                        Oh gosh ... there are so many REALLY good one's at the high end. Honestly, I don't have a CLUE which one I'll get at this point. The list would include a lot of choices from Mazzer, Rancillo, Gaggia, and many more. A really good grinder is necessary for espresso but not so much for coffee.

                                                        If you can get a good deal on a used good grinder then that would be pretty exciting. I'd rather have a used grinder that would have cost $250-600 new than a brand new $100 grinder. IMO that would be a better deal.

                                                      2. re: jkling17
                                                        mcf RE: jkling17 Dec 22, 2011 07:43 AM

                                                        I posted about coffeegeek and sweet maria's... both are terrific, I think, and I like to throw my business to SM for being such great folks to do business with.

                                                  2. re: cstout
                                                    j
                                                    jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 08:32 AM

                                                    Here's the thing - you don't "have to" have a grinder. I merely have a $100 capresso grinder. It's great for anything other than espresso. I "get away" with it since one of my machines has a pressurized portafilter and I roast my own coffee. Eventually, I really do need a much better one.

                                                    Really fresh roasted coffee is the big difference. Here's a really quick primer on coffee.

                                                    Green, unroasted coffee beans, can stay fresh for a very long time. Ideally, we try and keep them in a nice dry environment around 65-70 degrees, and sealed bags if possible.

                                                    Ok .... but then we ROAST them. Now ... they will have tens or possibly hundreds of subtle flavors. Some of these will deteriorate faster than others. Ideally, you will want to use beans that have been roasted within the last 1-2 weeks, and of course are kept in a sealed jar or sealed vac-pac - and again in a nice environment away from sunlight and heat.

                                                    But ... if one takes that nice fresh roasted coffee and GRINDS it ... it will oxidize VERY quickly. It helps if it's very fresh to start with, but the basic rule is that one should grind the coffee only just before using it.

                                                    You don't have to roast your own coffee to have a nice cup. Some of us do. The main thing is just getting whole bean coffee that is freshly roasted. Grind only what you need, before you brew and you will have a pretty darn nice cup of coffee.

                                                    By comparison, whether you use a drip, french press, aeropress, vacpot, etc - is of little concern compared to what really fresh roasted coffee provides. i'd also suggest that you try 2-3 small batches of a few coffees, starting at medium (city) roast or just city+ Most of the coffee that is sold is overroasted and therefore can tend to be bitter.

                                                    If you must drink some commercial whole bean coffee, with questionable roast dates ... try "breakfast blend" - lighter or medium roasts. They will at least taste more like real coffee instead of the typical over-roasted burned stuff that most of us are used to.

                                                    1. re: jkling17
                                                      c
                                                      cstout RE: jkling17 Dec 21, 2011 10:28 AM

                                                      Well, I think I have been concentrating too much on the coffee pot. I think I will buy something simple like a Chemex with a handle or an Aeropress & buy quality beans, a roaster & grinder. The end product is only as good as the ingredients. Am I finally thinking correctly, or is there still something haywire here?

                                                      1. re: cstout
                                                        mcf RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                        If I were you, I'd make one change at a time, until you reach a result you're happy with. You might not want or need to do all those things. Or you might decide you want to once you have the method and the coffee down.

                                                        1. re: mcf
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                                                          cstout RE: mcf Dec 21, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                          OK, I shall narrow it down even more, method & coffee. You mentioned using a Melitta cone with filter....what type of vessel do you put this in, or does it just go over the cup or what? Or does a Melitta cone come with a vessel, so sorry I don't get some of these things?

                                                          1. re: cstout
                                                            mcf RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                            Yannow, it *is* possible to overthink these things. :-) I put it on top of a coffee mug or travel mug (Only Contigo autoseal). Here: http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Ready-S...

                                                            You can buy it with a mug as a set, but it's not necessary. They have one with a wide, flat bottom to sit atop a large, wide mug, or a standard one for travel or regular sized mugs.

                                                        2. re: cstout
                                                          j
                                                          jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                          >> Well, I think I have been concentrating too much on the coffee pot. I think I will buy something simple like a Chemex with a handle or an Aeropress & buy quality beans, a roaster & grinder. The end product is only as good as the ingredients. Am I finally thinking correctly, or is there still something haywire here?

                                                          WELL SAID. Yes - good quality fresh roasted beans are the key. I don't have a chemex but they are very well regarded by people I trust. Apparently, there is something truly special about their filters. You already know how I feel about the aeropress. The easiest to clean-up will be the chemex, though I find the aeropress easy for cleaning - more so than my vac pot or french press.

                                                          If your budget allows, then a decent grinder is more important than the "coffee machine". There used to be really good deals on refurbished baratza grinders but I don't know if these are around anymore.

                                                          1. re: jkling17
                                                            mcf RE: jkling17 Dec 22, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                            Someone recently posted about a very cheap Procter Silex drip pot that makes coffee at the same temp and spray pattern of my Technivorm. The PS pot was like $10 or $20.

                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                              c
                                                              cstout RE: mcf Dec 22, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                              mcf, where where was that posting? I have been taking notes but maybe missed it. Will review all posts to see. I was leaning toward the Chemex..a lot of good reviews for the one piece pot with a handle. Looks so simple, but seems someone on this post had one & then bought something else. Thanks for pointing that out. Will let you know what I find.

                                                              1. re: cstout
                                                                mcf RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 04:17 PM

                                                                I don't know where it was, but it was within the past month or so. I had a Chemex years ago, maybe it broke or I replaced it. There's nothing bad to be said about it, it's pretty and makes good coffee. I like a full pot of coffee to nurse, so use a drip Technivorm with a thermal carafe. The glass pot doesn't suit my needs, but might suit yours very well.

                                                                1. re: mcf
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                                                                  cstout RE: mcf Dec 22, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                  mcf, well, I don't need a full pot, but I do drink 2 mugs which equal about 12 oz each, maybe that 3rd cup if it's cold & dreary outside. I don't know if Chemex has falllen out of favor or what but not too much was said. Yes, the Technivrom is definately on my "wish" list.

                                                        3. re: jkling17
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                                                          chuckl RE: jkling17 Dec 21, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                          I've never felt the need to roast my own beans, but then again, I live in an area with easy access to freshly roasted beans. You can also order roasted beans online from places like intelligentsia that people say are pretty fresh, though I've never felt compelled to do so.

                                                    2. mcf RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                      You might find a lot of useful information, including editor and consumer reviews at coffeegeek.com Has guided my buying for years. Also, sweetmarias.com Great people with great customer service. They do their own testing and reviews.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: mcf
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                                                        cstout RE: mcf Dec 20, 2011 05:37 PM

                                                        mcf, thank you so much, I shall visit with the coffeegeek folks & then go over to sweetmarias, see you later.

                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                          j
                                                          jkling17 RE: mcf Dec 20, 2011 05:56 PM

                                                          Second the notion. I also roast my own coffee. I have bought my vac pots from sweet marias but very little green bean coffee from them so far. They are a good site.

                                                        2. rosetown RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 07:07 PM

                                                          As much as I love coffee, all you need is a kettle, a thermos, and a melita filter. I know it's heresy and in my world it will yield a terrible cup, but if one has to rise at 5 o'clock and leave by 6, and needs a fix, there is little time to enjoy a good cup. Good coffee is a vocation and requires time, pure and simple.

                                                          Edit: the wine has addled my brain - mean thermos not vacuum pot - have changed the text

                                                          30 Replies
                                                          1. re: rosetown
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                                                            cstout RE: rosetown Dec 20, 2011 10:09 PM

                                                            rosetown, I read somewhere that a mason jar & filter will get the job done too. You just sit right there & have your wine while all these other folks sort this thing out.

                                                            1. re: cstout
                                                              rosetown RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                              First morning cup - made it myself - no other folk around to sort it out. ;)

                                                               
                                                              1. re: rosetown
                                                                j
                                                                jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 21, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                                VERY pretty! I can only admire as I have no particular talent for coffee art. About all i can do is just the standard starburst pattern using chocolate syrup.

                                                                1. re: jkling17
                                                                  rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 22, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                  It's around my 5,500th pour - over an 8 1/2 year time frame. I'm slowly getting better - I always try to make a rosetta. One big advantage to pouring rosettas - one is forced to get the stretched milk right - like silk - it makes for a great mouth feel.

                                                                2. re: rosetown
                                                                  mcf RE: rosetown Dec 21, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                                  Pretty!

                                                                  1. re: rosetown
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                                                                    chuckl RE: rosetown Dec 21, 2011 01:26 PM

                                                                    what's your espresso setup, Rosetown? how about posting a pic of your espresso machine and grinder?

                                                                    1. re: chuckl
                                                                      rosetown RE: chuckl Dec 21, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                      Will do, but later, at the moment I've got my stove's oven on clean cycle, the range hood at full blast, windows and doors open - it's -3 degrees Celsius outside - I'm starting to tear - soon my smoke alarms will trigger and I will be running around like crazy. Man, I hate this with a passion. I'm only going into the kitchen when absolutely necessary - hope you understand. :)

                                                                      Edit: my smoke alarms have triggered and I am now totally crazed!!

                                                                      1. re: rosetown
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                                                                        cstout RE: rosetown Dec 21, 2011 07:31 PM

                                                                        rosetown, what in the world are you doing???? Didn't you just say this was a Christmas party, what a time to be cleaning the oven!! Talking about chaos, you have just set off the alarm & now chuckl & the rest of us can't see your espresso machine & grinder because of all the smoke, much less hear anything. Please try to stay focused while we are deciding what is the best way to get a good cup of coffee & a sip of tea.

                                                                        1. re: cstout
                                                                          rosetown RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 09:16 AM

                                                                          'rosetown, what in the world are you doing????"
                                                                          I'm going from dumb to dumber!! Maybe I should clean the oven frequently instead of occasionally.

                                                                          So here are two photos
                                                                          o - 2nd cup of the day
                                                                          o - coffee setup

                                                                          The grinder is a Mazzer mini - built like a tank - and great burrs - it micro slices the beans - sorta my Rolls Royce - The espresso machine is a Gaggia Baby class - The 2nd Gaggia I've owned.
                                                                          The manual grinder is a Birchleaf - cast iron - and heavy - a steal - at less than $50.00

                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                          1. re: rosetown
                                                                            j
                                                                            jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 22, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                            Wow ... 1 - very nice coffee art. And 2 ... grinder envy. It's a work of art.

                                                                            1. re: rosetown
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                                                                              cstout RE: rosetown Dec 22, 2011 04:39 PM

                                                                              rosetown, your kitchen could be turned into a coffee shop...love that kinda stuff, so functional, yet so good looking. As for the coffee art, that just knocked my socks off. I never did know people played in their coffee like that. I am trying the easiest way possible to get a good cup of coffee & here you come up with something like this. Can you tell me in a few short words how that is accomplished? Is there some kind of site that teaches this stuff?? I just know I won't be able to do that at 6am, I can barely find the kitchen, much less sit there & do that. I am curious though as to how it is done.

                                                                              1. re: cstout
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                                                                                jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 05:14 PM

                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/results?search...

                                                                                1. re: jkling17
                                                                                  rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 22, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                                                  Good post - I particularly like the one:
                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NItrlT...
                                                                                  Because he states that "it's a way to show that the espresso that you pulled and milk that you steamed are pretty much perfect" and later " It's all in the pour"

                                                                                  1. re: rosetown
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                                                                                    cstout RE: rosetown Dec 22, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                                                    Does it have to be espresso coffee? Do I need some kind of steamer to steam the milk? Absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing. Do you make art every day in your coffee or reserve this for the weekends or what?

                                                                                    1. re: cstout
                                                                                      rosetown RE: cstout Dec 23, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                                      "Does it have to be espresso coffee? Do I need some kind of steamer to steam the milk?"
                                                                                      I would say that you need a decent espresso machine and grinder. I've never tried it without so can't say with certainty.
                                                                                      I'm retired and I bought my equipment after retirement, so yes, I make a couple of capas daily - with latte art - mornings only. I've got the time.

                                                                                      The coffeegeek forums are great - I used to post there in the 2003 -05 time period. It covers pretty much everything in the coffee world - equipment, brewing methods - steaming milk - latte art - home roasting.

                                                                                      What I do is just the tip if the iceberg. Home roasting has 10 times the complexity. There, you need to know your coffees (Sumatrans, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Central Americans and the list goes on. Then, there's the equipment, roasting profiles (temperature, 1st crack, 2nd crack, - cooling, and a clipboard to note all changes so that successes are repeatable. And I forgot to mention the smoke. I really admire home roasters. It's not a criticism. But for me, it's too daunting.
                                                                                      Start with purchased good quality fresh coffee beans and a grinder. If it's a whirly grinder think drip and a thermos. Not a big investment. Peruse the coffeegeek site some more, at you leisure, always making sure it's a pleasure. You will find a path. I've been into coffee for 40 years but only seriously after retirement.

                                                                                      1. re: rosetown
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 23, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                        Hi Rosetown,

                                                                                        Please reconsider. If I can roast coffee then it should be easy for someone like you.

                                                                                        Newer roasters have made it all much easier. I've got the Behmor 1600 and it's all a snap. If I recall correctly, and I might be wrong - this roaster came out only in 2007 or 2008? Lots of people have written up exactly how they use it with what type of bean, what profile and what batch sizes.

                                                                                        I'm not so scientific. Here's my "process". I do 8.5 ounces at a time, no matter what bean I am using, set the roaster for 1 pound, dial it back from 18 to 3.5 min and hit start and set a timer so i can do something else for a while. This uses P1. Once it's about 12 min, I'll sit there and listen for the very end of 1st crack and then count about 30-45 sec and hit Cool. Then I can either walk away and let it do it's cool cycle or let it run a few min and then open the door to speed up cooling.

                                                                                        Some people like "just before 2nd crack", at the very start of 2nd crack or somewhere into 2nd crack but I prefer something like a city roast or some variation of city+. You can easily let it go as long as you like for a darker roast.

                                                                                        With smaller batches, you will definitely have the head room to add all the time you want. Where people get into trouble is trying to do a full pound AND dark - that can't be done with harder beans but maybe softer beans. If you limit your batches to nothing higher than 10 ounces, control is really easy to maintain

                                                                                        What you have already achieved is tougher than roasting up some green beans.

                                                                                        I'm curious about your coffee - are you getting fresh roasted stuff locally, via the Internet or both? If locally, what do you pay for fresh roasted?

                                                                                        1. re: jkling17
                                                                                          rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 23, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                          A great looking machine - decent price - times have changed from the 2005 and the i-Roast - is the Behmor pid controlled? it appears to have lots of settings - how does it handle smoke.
                                                                                          Since I always make cappuccinos, I prefer a darker roast. Presently I'm buying from the local supermarket - good turnover - it's a blend - called West Coast - not stale at all. It's really good with milk based coffees. I pay about 6.50/lb - it's obviously not ' fair trade coffee'. I used to drive to a local roaster over 1 hour round trip and was twice refused my fix because they might need it in their coffee shop - wasn't happy.
                                                                                          Still, it's not impossible to rekindle my interest - that machine really looks promising. Regards Duane

                                                                                          1. re: rosetown
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 23, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                                            Hi Duane,

                                                                                            $6.50 a pound seems like a pretty decent price. If you are getting a good amount of crema then it's gotta be pretty fresh. That would be a good deal indeed.

                                                                                            I don't think there is a PID and would be surprised if they would go to that extent. The web site says "Thermostatically controlled quartz roasting elements".

                                                                                            I do savvy why a PID is invaluable for pulling a great shot. I have to do things the old fashioned way and temperature surf my machine.

                                                                                            The Behmor has 5 profiles, but I've only used P1. I'm sure there are good reasons for some of the others though. P1 is your basic "get it hot then keep it hot" profile. Most of my beans are fairly hard central american beans so P1 is generally considered good for those. But ... I just traded 10# of Panama for 10# of Kenyan so I may need to do some reading now!

                                                                                            The smoke is really very minor. There is some special smoke suppressor built into it. I can't say that I know how it works but it does. I roast right in my kitchen, year round and the nearby smoke detector has never gone off once - not from the coffee. At the very end of the roast, if you open the door to accelerate the cooling, there can be just a bit of smoke. It's not necessary to do so, but I usually do it after the first 2-3 min of cooling with the door closed (protects the electronics).

                                                                                            I understand that the refurb versions are usually $200, which is about what I paid for mine back in 2008. Happy holidays.

                                                                                            Jeff

                                                                                            1. re: jkling17
                                                                                              rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 23, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                              Jeff
                                                                                              Damn you - damn you - damn you - I've sinced watched the video of it in operation - truly impressive - not good for darker roasts - but not a show stopper. - I'm sure I can find a suitable blend that goes well with milk. As for the coffee I purchase, it is indeed, inexpensive, a good blend and does produce decent crema. If it was only about the money I wouldn't consider home roasting. But that machine seems to hit a sweet spot.
                                                                                              Happy Holidays
                                                                                              Duane

                                                                                              1. re: rosetown
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                                                                                                jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 23, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                                                Hi Duane,
                                                                                                LOL. It's not my fault .... you bought up the subject! :-)

                                                                                                It IS good for dark roasts - it's just that to do that, one MUST limit the roast size. It can't do a whole pound AND dark. But it CAN easily do 8.5 - 10 ounces to ANYTHING you want. I personally just don't roast super dark anymore - the folks in Panama taught me one or 2 things about roasting and convinced me to use a medium or medium + roast.

                                                                                                You are lucky to have a blend for that price that is fresh enough to give you crema!

                                                                                                Gotta get on a plane now - happy holidays!

                                                                                                Jeff

                                                                                                1. re: rosetown
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jkling17 RE: rosetown Dec 24, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                                                                  Hi Duane,

                                                                                                  Chocolate Alchemy has several Behmor 1600 refurbs currently available for $199. Please note these come with the standard drum. The smaller grid drum is also available for $10. This is needed if you wish to roast smaller beans like peabody etc.

                                                                                                  Jeff

                                                                                    2. re: jkling17
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                                                                                      cstout RE: jkling17 Dec 22, 2011 07:34 PM

                                                                                      jkling17, I really enjoyed the videos, thank you. Do you do this art also??

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                                                                                        jkling17 RE: cstout Dec 22, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                                        Gosh no. It's really cool to watch but I have no such talents.

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                                                                                          poser RE: jkling17 Dec 23, 2011 04:52 AM

                                                                                          Here is a great instructional video for latte art using dish soap instead of expensive milk for practice.

                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxAvYo...

                                                                                          1. re: poser
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                                                                                            jkling17 RE: poser Dec 23, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                                                            Hi Poser - brilliant - thanks!

                                                                                            1. re: jkling17
                                                                                              rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 23, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                                              Wow - How a commercial coffee shop can train a barista in a day, what took me 8 years to learn.

                                                                                      2. re: jkling17
                                                                                        rosetown RE: jkling17 Dec 23, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                        Thanks again for those videos - it's time to explore pouring more than rosettas - the videos are so much better than they were 6 -7 years ago. Love youtube!!

                                                                          2. re: cstout
                                                                            rosetown RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 11:15 AM

                                                                            " You just sit right there & have your wine while all these other folks sort this thing out."

                                                                            I will enjoy my wine - it's a great Christmas party - the topic is so sweeping that it requires a number of books - and you have invited everyone - 'the cooks, the bakers, and the candlestick makers' - and we have all attended your party. I only see chaos - but that is an important ingredient of a great Christmas party. Still, you seem to able to find order in disorder.
                                                                            I'm reminded of the opening line in 'A Tale of Two Cities' - It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So far it has been the best of times.
                                                                            Thanks for the party - we need them now and then!!

                                                                            1. re: rosetown
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                                                                              cstout RE: rosetown Dec 23, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                              rosetown,about that Christmas "party", thanks to you it all came to life! I pictured an old gypsy muttering to herself while staring into a bowl of tea leaves, "it is the worst of times". In another dimension of time a court jester is laughing & balancing a stack of priceless china cups filled with the world's finest coffee & laughing "it is the best of times". The characters faded quickly in & out while the room was filled with sounds of ancient gongs & Tibetan bells tinkling the arrival of yet another treasure. Kings & Queens mingled with paupers & vagabonds. Aromas of deep dark secret brews & lilacs & jasmine hovered in the air. Perfumes of the Gods. Just wanted you to know that was the most wonderful party I ever attended. Your choice of words were a treasure for everyone. Thank you.

                                                                              1. re: cstout
                                                                                rosetown RE: cstout Dec 23, 2011 10:43 AM

                                                                                A great hostess, and interesting guests, makes for a good party So thank you.:)

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                                                                          rasputina RE: cstout Dec 20, 2011 08:33 PM

                                                                          Zojirushi hot water pot good for coffee, tea, instant soup, hot water for whatever need. My husband uses a French press for his coffee and I use a tea pot.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: rasputina
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                                                                            cstout RE: rasputina Dec 20, 2011 09:22 PM

                                                                            rasputina, yes quite a few others have liked the Zojirushi pot, a multipurpose object is a good thing. What kind of tea do you like??

                                                                            1. re: cstout
                                                                              mcf RE: cstout Dec 21, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                              I think Rasputina was speaking of the airpots with the pump on top for storing hot liquids, if I'm not mistaken, not the drip coffee pot.

                                                                              1. re: mcf
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                                                                                cstout RE: mcf Dec 21, 2011 07:34 PM

                                                                                Thank you for correcting me.

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                                                                            jljohn RE: cstout Dec 23, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                                            I take a very simple approach. I boil freshly drawn cold water in a Simplex chrome plated copper kettle; I then let it stand one minute; then I pour it into a french press (Bodum) of freshly ground (in a Baratza Virtuoso) Peets coffee every morning. Been doing it for a long time, and it makes an absolutely wonderful cup of coffee. For Tea, I do the same thing over loose leave in a 24 ounce Beehouse teapot of loose leaf tea. The amount of time I let the water rest depends on the tea I am brewing.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jljohn
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                                                                              cstout RE: jljohn Dec 23, 2011 07:41 PM

                                                                              Hello jljohn, I love your approach, simple just seems to work better for me too. I searched online for Simplex kettles...the company has gone out of business, so the only place is to look is on Ebay, things are usually overpriced there, but what is a person to do? I will look into the Bodum french press & Baratza Virtuoso...hope I can find those. Your tea ritual sounds just like it would suit my needs too. Thanks for sharing.

                                                                              1. re: cstout
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                                                                                jljohn RE: cstout Dec 24, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                                                Yes, I heard about Simplex closing up shop, although I later read that someone had purchased what was left of the company and planned to go on making kettles. I checked ebay--WOW, I could sell my used kettle for three times what I paid for it. Yikes. But I wouldn't let it go even for that! I have seen them pop up in thrift stores at very reasonable prices, especially copper kettles in need of a good polish.

                                                                                Most any brand of French Press will do--I happen to like the look of the Bodum, with its chrome and black. The Virtuoso is a fantastic coffee grinder, but for 1/4 the price of the Virtuouso the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is very good grinder (if much louder!). My Cuisinart stood up to about 5 years of daily use before I upgraded to the Virtuoso. Really, any decent burr (as opposed to blade) grinder will do the trick.

                                                                                I think with teapots, it is more important to select a good one. All French presses allow the coffee to float around the interior of the vessel, but many teapots have mesh inserts that are too shallow or too narrow to allow the leaves to open and infuse properly. Of course, if you just forget the insert and strain the leaves upon pouring, then it really does not matter.

                                                                                Enjoy!

                                                                                1. re: jljohn
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                                                                                  cstout RE: jljohn Dec 24, 2011 08:07 AM

                                                                                  jljohn, I am one of those idiots bidding on a Simplex on Ebay now, probably will drop out of the bidding war since I have seen what the others have sold for, but I have no choice but to find one online. The "thrift stores" really are tourist traps...I live in one of those areas where everyone is hip to what they have & tourists are willing to pay top dollar for junk. Anyway, I am going on Amazon to get a Bodum or Chemex for sure. I looked for beehive tea pot, but did not find one. I have opted out of roasting my coffee beans, will just concentrate on purchasing good quality whole beans. Oh yes, the Cuisinart grinder is another thing I am off to Amazon for. Thank you so much for taking the time to get the brand names etc. for me to search for, sure helps a lot. I am so wanting to make me a good cup of coffee & tea.

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                                                                              HazelM RE: cstout Dec 15, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                              If there is already a thread about this, please direct me. Otherwise, I would like to hear what particular coffees that are sold in grocery stores are favorites. The coffee that I've been drinking and enjoying for years has suddenly gone tasteless. It doesn't even smell like coffee when I brew it. Nor, when I open the bag and sniff. And there is no expiration date on the bags. That would tell me if I was getting outdated and stale coffee but no help there. I want a mug of coffee every morning that tastes like coffee. Does anyone have a suggestion? Thanks.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: HazelM
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                                                                                cstout RE: HazelM Dec 15, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                                I have tried tons of expensive coffees & am now sipping Folger's French Roast, which is a med/dark roast & next want to try Folger's Black Gold, a dark roast. I fill a quart canning jar with coffee to leave on the counter & store the rest in the freezer. Yes, it's been around for years, but always delivers fresh consistent coffee at a good price.

                                                                                I ended up buying the Melitta cone single serve & completely enjoy it. Fresh cup every time! Bought a Simplex coffee maker, but got tired of washing it & trying to keep it sparkling clean. Melitta is the fastest, best cup of coffee around for me.

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