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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    than the automatic The two largest manufacturers of domestic espresso machines are Saeco and Krups In general the Saeco machines in a given price bracket will outperform the similar Krups unit in terms of reliability and espresso quality There are a number of smaller manufacturers with home units which are better than either Saeco or Krups and often cheaper as well and it s worth looking up internet reviews of domestic espresso machines at www coffeekid com before committing your cash My personal wishlist for a home espresso machine would include a brass boiler stainless steel body and professional standard portafilter and a minimum of gadgets like crema and froth enhancers IF you have a machine the next most important thing is correctly ground coffee Real espresso coffee is the finest grind next to Turkish and if the grind isn t right a good espresso can t be achieved The best espresso is produced from freshly ground coffee otherwise you need a supplier with a good grinder the knowledge of how to use it and fresh coffee blush If you re a serious espresso fanatic a good burr grinder is a must The chopper blade thingies just can t cut it pun where espresso is concerned Given that you ve organised your machine and your coffee the next steps are fairly standard and should produce good espresso Lock your portafilter groove handle thingy into the grouphead with no filter basket in it and run hot water through it until the light comes on to tell you that the water is heating Remove the portafilter insert your filter basket fill with coffee 7g for the single basket 14g for the double wipe off excess grounds from the edges with the flat of your hand then tamp The finer your grind the lighter your tamp needs to be Coarser grinds need a harder tamp In all cases you re trying to get a reproducible grind tamp combination which will give you a 25 second shot Insert the filled portafilter into the grouphead and lock it in Turn on the brew switch for 3 seconds Wait a further 5 seconds then turn it on again and brew your shot This is the equivalent of commercial machine preinfusion Your shot 30ml single 60ml double should be rich and unctuous with a thick layer of reddish brown fine bubbled crema and a smooth aftertaste Now if you are making an espresso drink you ll want to froth up some milk You will need a stainless steel jug about 1 3 filled with cold milk The type of milk you use can affect the frothing process but I normally recommend starting with plain ordinary homogenised pasteurized MILK and playing with fat and or protein modified variations later Fill your jug about 1 3 full of cold milk Turn on your Steam switch On some machines this is a separate switch but others simply require you to open up the steam valve after which a microswitch activates

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage4.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    they can t all be wrong The major features of the standard stove top moka pot can be seen below The Top Screw it on to the base firmly before brewing The steam formed when you heat the water in the base pushes the coffee up through the tube and it collects in the top The rubber washer holds the filter screen in place Take them out for cleaning after you brew The Basket sits in the base Fill it with coffee level but do not tamp The Valve Never cover it with water The Base Fill it with water up to the bottom of the valve Coffee for the Espresso pot should be coarser than espresso grind but finer than for filter grind although at a pinch a decent filter grind is O K The basic steps for brewing can be broken down as follows 1 Fill the base with water to just under valve 2 Fill the basket with coffee and level it off so it s reasonably firmly packed Do not tamp 3 Insert basket in base 4 Screw the top onto the base tightly enough to get a good seal with the rubber ring 5 Place

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage5.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    are a number of bells and whistles added to various machines including timers settable thermostats milk steamers and internet connections Internet connections are pretty rare at present but they DO exist although not on home appliances When it comes to the different filter types paper or mesh my personal preference is always for the mesh type Paper filters preferentially retain the coffee oils which carry flavour and aroma and for me this always means that the resulting coffee lacks something The mesh filters do not hold back anything from the coffee extract but may produce more sediment depending on how finely the coffee is ground A correct filter grind is finer than that for plunger but not quite as fine as used for an espresso pot The coffee to water proportions are critical as is the temperature of the water used for brewing Below are some guides to getting the best out of your filter brewer Manual Filters 1 Use 10g of finely ground coffee per 180 ml cup 2 If you re using a paper filter wet it with a splash of hot water before adding the coffee This will cut down on the absorption of coffee oils into the paper 3 Smooth out the coffee so it sits in the lowest part of the filter 4 Bring your hot water to the boil then remove the heat immediately Wait 30 seconds for the water to cool to 95 C then pour a little onto the coffee to wet it thoroughly Continue pouring your water into the cone making sure that it does not overflow 5 When all the coffee has dripped through into the jug remove the filter and serve immediately Filter Machines In my experience the definition of a cup depends on who makes the machine and

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage6.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    90 seconds Insert the filter lower the lid then push the filter about 2cm under the surface of the coffee Wait 30 seconds then plunge all the way with a slow steady pressure Serve immediately Basically the extended stirring provides the maximum extraction at the right temperature leaving you with a rich hot coffee Most plunger instruction manuals say something like pour on hot water insert filter allow to stand for 4 minutes but in my experience fresh coffee brewed this way can end up underextracted and too cool The froth gas adsorbed air etc on the surface of the coffee means that particles never wet properly and as a result significant amounts of coffee are wasted Other Methods There are probably at least as many other ways of brewing coffee as the ones described above but they tend to occupy minor niches in the overall scheme of things One method is the Napoletana or Neapolitan upside down brewer where water is boiled in the bottom half of an espresso pot like device with the coffee in the middle and it s then flipped over The hot water actually filters through into the base and is poured from there It tastes like coffee brewed using a gold filter Vietnamese screw down filters are another variation usually one cup affairs that drip into a cup which already contains sweetened condensed milk an acquired taste and often mostly VERY dark roasted robusta coffee In Singapore and Malaysia you sometimes still see the coffee sock used for kopi o and kopi susu black coffee with heaps of sugar and white coffee made with sweetened condensed milk respectively The preference for sweetened condensed milk in the tropics is a holdover from the days when this was the only type of milk product which didn

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage7.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    beans they can find THE COFFEE SYPHON MY IN HOUSE BREWER These brewers are still manufactured around the world especially in Taiwan and Japan but also by Cona in Britain and Bodum in Denmark The Bodum Santos coffee syphons the correct name for the glass brewers are the least expensive but old Sunbeam Silex Cory Farberware etc versions can still be bought at various junk shops and internet auction sites I use and sell the Bodum Santos brewers and below is my how to for them The major problems of the Bodum syphons are that they only come in one size the handle of the jug is as un ergonomic as possible and the plastic plate filter can be more prone to blockage than the glass stick types I also use Cona syphons but these are an expensive indulgence The Conas come in a variety of sizes with the glass stick type filter but I can buy 4 Bodums for the price of a same size Cona I have yet to see a well designed and supported mass market range of syphons although Cona could have gained this position years ago sadly it appears that they have lost interest The reason I use Coffee Syphons to brew in is that they are simply the best No other brewer that I have seen can give the same purity of flavor and lack of bitterness I believe that this is due to the exquisite temperature control since the coffee brews at about 2ºC below boiling point without ever actually boiling This model can brew a minimum of two cups and a maximum of eight It works well on either gas or electric hotplates I use gas at home as long as it can sit level If the hotplate doesn t allow this

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage8.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    400 years or more In the late 18th Century a new type of grinder the ROTARY GRINDER first appears Copied from flour mills it relied on gravity to feed beans into a gap between a rotating bladed cone and a stationary conical wall The cone type grinder is capable of very precise grinds and high throughput at relatively low rotary speeds A later variation was the plate grinder where coffee is fed between two bladed plates with an exactly set gap between them with one rotating and one stationary plate This generally requires higher RPM for the same output as a cone grinder If you cut the centers out of the plates and make them hollow disks you can feed coffee into the middle of the plates and use centrifugal force to throw the grounds out around the circumference This design is the basis of most commercial espresso grinders In all 3 types of grinders the bladed cutting surfaces are called burrs and they are generally known as burr grinders The thing that needs to be appreciated about a good quality burr grinder is its particle size distribution For a given gap setting you will get a range of sizes but the maximum and minimum sizes will fall within a definite narrow range A cheap burr grinder where the gap between the burrs is not precisely maintained will produce an uneven grind with too much dust and a poor particle size distribution The absolute worst variation in particle sizes comes from chopper blade type grinders which cut the coffee up rather than grind it They are marginally useful for percolator plunger and perhaps filter grinding but even there do a fairly poor job Most hand grinders are of the conical burr type and you can do anything with a good

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage9.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    boot will ever recover from the experience The valve lets excess gas OUT but does not let oxygen and moisture IN thus prolonging freshness The laminated foil provides an effective barrier to gasses and also to the light Finally the initial vacuum pack draws off most of the oxygen and moisture and the later outgassing of carbon dioxide from the coffee fills the bag with inert gas The first thing I recommend with these bags is to put them into the freezer unopened if you are not going to use them immediately I ran an experiment to see how long freshly roasted and ground coffee packed in this way and then frozen will stay fresh The result was 12 13 weeks before taste changes became apparent to me The same coffee stored at room temperature in a pantry was losing its fresh taste after 4 weeks so packaging can only do so much Note that whole bean coffee would probably have at least double the lifetime of the ground coffee It s important to note that the vacuum brick packed ground coffee you see in supermarkets has to be stale before you open it All the gases and flavour have escaped before packaging otherwise the bags would blow up The second important thing to note about storing coffee is that unground beans will keep much longer than ground coffee the reduced surface area cuts the exposure to all the staling factors Grinding just before brewing has always been the best way to go The third important factor is commonsense food handling ONLY FREEZE AND THAW COFFEE ONCE Right So you ve got your bag of ground coffee out of the freezer thawed it out and opened it up and brewed your first fabulous cup Now you ve still got the

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage10.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    slow roast will bring up the body at the cost of some front palate flavour Some people believe that there is an ideal roast for each bean but in my experience this is only true for certain bean varieties Kenya AA is a fabulous coffee at every level of roast from light to dark but Yemeni Mocha only gives the true body acidity and chocolate aftertaste when exactly correct For many years Starbucks building on the work of Alfred Peet promoted an extremely dark Full City roast as being ideal earning for their troubles the appellation of Charbucks Somewhere along the way they lost Peet s concentration on FLAVOUR and instead went for COLOUR These days Starbucks have started to offer a variety of roast levels Lighter Notes but of course they are trying to promote the idea as if it s a new invention This is generally known as marketing spin The original coffee roasting apparatus is an iron pan with a well fitted lid shaken vigourously over an open fire for 20 minutes or so This is incredibly labour intensive and exhausting especially considering that the amount of coffee involved is rarely more than 100g at a time This is also probably the reason that home coffee roasting is women s work in Africa and the Middle East If you ever try this method you soon learn why peaberries were prized they roll around so easily that a great deal less shaking is needed to prevent burning the beans Bulk commercial coffee roasting simply enlarged on this with a bigger wok shaped pan more fire and more guys around it with shovels furiously turning the beans Around 1800 or so some bright spark came up with the idea of putting the coffee in a horizontal drum and rotating the drum over the fire this is the basis of most modern roasters The advent of electricity and electric fans has also resulted in Fluid Bed roasters where the beans are suspended in heated air but this is a relatively recent development The guys with shovels concept is still widely used in Arabia and South East Asia though these days the fire is usually gas Up until the mid 1800 s most coffee was roasted at home but after this large commercial ventures took over An American viewpoint of these developments is available in Mark Pendergrast s book Uncommon Grounds Coffee went from a luxury to a commodity within 50 years and home roasting virtually disappeared However the advent of the internet and the odd communities it creates has seen a resurgence in home roasting in the last half of the 1990 s The major nexus of this revolution is at http www sweetmarias com with Tom as its prophet another one of the early converts was Ken David at http www2 lucidcafe com lucidcafe aboutcoffee html whose book has nurtured a new generation of home coffee roasters My personal favourite method for home roasting is using a popcorn popper

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage11.html (2015-11-27)
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