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Old 09-14-2007, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Coffee Drinkers Unite!

I'm sure there will be some crossover from the tea thread, and that's okay.

I love coffee. Sometimes I worry that I love it too much?

How do you drink it? What's your favorite kind? How much do you drink it?

Unfortunately, I drink coffee every day in the morning. Occasionally I drink it in the evenings when I go to cafes, have to drive, meet up with friends.

My favorite way to drink coffee is dark roast, strong, with a little bit of half and half or soy creamer, no sugar.

I haven't gotten to the point with it that I have favorite regions, I just know that I don't like light or medium roasts.

I try not to buy from big chains as that's just how I roll, but what about Starbucks et al? Do you like their coffee? What's your favorite big name coffee?

I'm a big fan of the taste of Starbucks, I like the slightly over-roasted taste.

Dunkin Donuts has decent coffee. A different taste, but worth the price.

I'm also a HUGE fan of Cuban cafe con leche which is more or less expresso with sweetened cream. It's incredible, and something I haven't had in forever.

Italian espresso based coffees are also great, particularly after dinner (if you want to stay up) as I find them a bit too much for a morning cup.

And how does caffeine in coffee affect you? Coffee definitely perks me up, but I'm not uber sensitive. I can drink coffee in the evenings (up to 9pm) and usually fall asleep okay. I have been kept up, though, so I'm not immune.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:26 AM   #2
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Life without coffee would not be worth considering.
I like Cafe du Monde coffee with chicory. Our supermarket has quit carrying it, but I can order it from New Orleans, and even with the packing and shipping it's cheaper than Starbuck's. Speaking of which, I used to like Starbuck's Sumatra, but starting a couple of years ago it got somehow weaker and less flavorful...you had to use a ton of it to get any coffee taste. I think their quality has declined over the years. Dunkin' Donuts has always had good coffee. Never could stand Chock Full 'o' Nuts, though.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Starbucks Venti Vanilla Latte, 4 pumps vanilla, low fat milk, extra hot, no foam. I start my day with one every morning. I love the creamy, sweet texture of the steamed milk. Starbucks puts only 2 shots of espresso in each Venti drink, so there is not an overbearing coffee. I don't like Starbucks coffee (or any coffee, for that matter) ... just the warm, milky lattes.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:46 AM   #4
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Ah, coffee

My one grandfather was generally a man of few words, but one of his sayings was "There is no such thing as strong coffee, just weak people." That feeling seems to have been passed down

Actually, I first started drinking coffee at all in the last part of high school, while living in France, when I would occasionally have an espresso or cafe au lait. Then I came back to North America, thought the coffee I had was crap, and didn't touch it all through university. Eventually out working however I was drawn under its spell, and promptly started my quest for good coffee.

It has taken years to get the right knowledge, bean knowledge, and equipment, but we are getting to the point of having generally satisfactory coffee at home.

We buy whole beans from a local coffee shop which only carries fair trade beans. Our current favorite is Ethopian Yirgachefe (spelling?), which they roast medium-dark--but they are not always available. My preferred back up is the Mexican shade grown, not quite as tasty, but supporting shade grown is a good thing I think. In the morning we actually make our coffee ~60% normal, and 40% decaf beans. There is less choice in the decaf, so we generally get the mexican shade grown, water-process decaf beans.

We use a ceramic press pot ('Bodum' is the best know brand of press pots, but theirs are only glass ones I think). I pre-heat the pot with some water from the kettle while I'm grinding the beans. We have an OK grinder, not a proper burr grinder but not a blade either. It seems to get the beans to a fairly even sized grind without burning them, but I'd like to get a proper burr grinder some day. The current grinder has the virtue that it was cheap (~$20 at Zellers, IIRC).

If all goes according to plan the water boils just as I finish grinding the beans. Then I dump out the pre-heat water from the pot, put in the grinds, scrape out teh container to get the last of them, and by then the water has had a minute to cool down to a bit below full boil. Then add the water, then give it a quick stir to make sure the grinds have not trapped air pockets. Then put the plunger in to just below the surface, let wait 4-5 minutes, then plunge, and pour our coffees. If all done right I can then bring my wife her coffee just as she's getting out of the shower.

And a quick word on cups. A "cup" of coffee is actually meant to be about 6 ounces, not a massive 12 ounce jug! We had to hunt hard to find mugs that were not overly big--the ones we have are eight ounces when totally full, so about six-seven ounces of coffee for normal drinking.

For my first cup of the day I normally have a dash of whole milk and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Second cup and after I generally have black.

My current work place has only one big perk, but it is a nice one--it has a great espresso machine, which is free to use. The machine actually grinds the beans once you make your selection, and makes very nice espresso.

Note that there are two main types of beans: arabica and robusta. The former generally has a nicer taste, is more expensive, and has less caffeine. The darker the roast, the less caffeine left in the beans. And caffeine is water soluble, so the longer the water is on the grounds, the more caffeine is extracted. An espresso made with arabica beans is therefore not all that high in caffeine--lower initial level, much burnt off in the roasting, and the water is on the grinds only briefly. So at work I can have a couple of espresso over the course of the morning without getting overly hopped up :-)

There is a local chain of coffee shops, Bridgehead, where we buy our beans, and which is my preferred place to drink a coffee if we are going out for coffee for some reason. When traveling I'll deal with Tim Horton's coffee, with lots of cream and sugar--yummy candy coffee!

When traveling in the states I tend to try to make our own if camping, or have our coffee at friends who we can trust to make good coffee, or seek out coffee houses. If you see my buying the overly large buckets of horrible coffee at a donut place in the states you know that I'm truly desperate for a caffeine fix! In general there is lots of good coffee in the US, but there is also an incredible amount of truly terrible coffee sold down south of the border.

In other words, yes, I'm a coffee snob

-Ed
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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I prefer it the Vietnamese way, with condensed milk on the bottom of the glass, with strong coffee dripping through a filter on top of the mug. I defintely prefer my coffee sweet and light! I'm the total opposite of my grandma who was a total masochist and drank it black without sweetner. Yes she did have a coffee machine and bought decent beans but still, can't imagine drinking anything without a hint of sugar.

Anyway for me it must be light or death. I also usually like it cold because there's a Dunkin Donuts in front of my usual bus stop. Their doughnuts don't lure me in, but an icy caffienated beverage does the trick every time.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:54 AM   #6
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Oh yes, count me in to the cult of coffee. Cult? Maybe not the right word.. Having a good coffee for me is (like good, BASIC food), doing myself a big favor. Something that i totally enjoy.. and would miss more than most of those things that are usually important for other people.

For me it's all about Segafredo, the 'red' quality, made with an espresso can. I know that other people prefer more sophisticated machines. But that's the way i like it, for many years now. The only alternative for me would be the 'red' Lavazza but that happens only when the Segafredo is sold out for months. And no, you don't get me to Starbucks or similar places. I want a coffee with character, with 'body' in its taste, not the water from the kitchen sink BTW i always have it straight, no milk or sugar.

BTW espresso contains less acid that's why it's supposed to be healthier, despite it being 'stronger'. Not really an argument for me, would drink it anyway, nonetheless mentioning it.

Quite rarely, when i'm in a real hurry, or just for a change, i have a moccha - Loumidis (a Greek brand) or the Turkish Mehmet Effendi. But i would try another brands as well. Moccha is a very enjoyable experience too. I usually have it with a lil bit of milk and sugar.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:39 PM   #7
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I don't drink coffee often, but when I do I prefer a milder roast with a goodly amount of cream and a little sugar. Sometimes I go to the coffee shop in my town and get a cafe au lait or cafe mocha. Not with espresso, just with the generic medium roast coffee. I have had some of the stronger drinks before, but they don't sit well with my stomach.

A friend gave me a little portion of her Kona peaberry coffee beans and said to try them. I did and loved it, it was rich and flavorful but smooth and less acidic and I did not have a sour stomach or nasty taste in my mouth after drinking it. So, when I'm in the city and near a well stocked coffee shop, I splurge on a fourth of a pound of them. I use a Bodum press coffee maker, just the generic glass beaker type pot, I've had it for ages. I drink so little coffee that it's the perfect amount for me to brew up at a time. And we have the little generic electric grinder.

I had tried another very mild light roast from South America that the clerk at the Whole Foods coffee counter reccomended once. I liked it too. If I were to drink coffee regularly, I'd probably drink that.

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Old 09-14-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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afg, I'm with you, minus the soy, add just a little sugar. I love a dark, bold roast.

However, I'm not a huge fan of Dunkin Donuts--it's too mild for me, it tastes totally watered down. It'll do in a pinch, but I'd prefer something bolder if I can find it.

I love Starbucks coffee, also Seattle's Best (which, incidentally, is owned by Starbucks). The SB Breakfast Blend is superb, and is usually what I'll brew at home. There are a few local coffee roasters that I like, too, and get their beans when I can, but I'm usually limited to grocery store fare.
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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I very rarely drank coffee until I started my new job. It's a very social thing here and someone offered me a latte one morning and I was hooked.

Because i'm diabetic it's also a treat I can have as most of their flavoured drinks come in sugar-free versions.


Grande non-fat sugar free Vanilla latte, please!
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:19 PM   #10
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My grandmother was a lousy cook, but she made great coffee. I have kept the flame alive. Her recipe was 8 O'Clock pre-ground coffee in a percolator. Chock Full O'Nuts will do too. (Are 8 O'Clock and Chock Fulla regional things? I'm not sure if I've seen them outside metro NYC....) You add 1 tablespoon coffee for each cup of water and one extra. Then a pinch of salt and let the percolator do it's thing. When I'm feeling wild, I put in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.That's how I make it at home. They don't make percolators the way they used to. My grandmother has had the same one for - not kidding here - over 40 years, and I've gone through 3 in 10.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #11
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I truly like my bean juice, and take mine with cream and sugar. If I'm getting it to go, however, I get a double-double, as it can cover up a mediocre coffee.

One of the things I truly abhor is a cup of weak coffee that still manages to be bitter. Wut up wi' dat?

I generally go with Tim Horton's coffee, because it's everywhere, but I will support an independent if their product is good.

I haven't been able to brew a pot at home that I like, though. I think the commercial equipment must be better than most home-brewers (although I once had it from a bodum, as Ed described, and found it quite tasty).

Caffeine?

Caffeine doesn't have any impact on me other than the diuretic effect, necessitating more frequent trips to the restroom. For this reason, I will have decaf if I'm doing a long drive, but plain ol' unleaded if facilities will be readily accessible.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:33 PM   #12
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Peet's Coffee is the best I've had in my life. They're a growing chain - I heard Peet was an early partner of Starbucks but split off. At home or at work I use the drip-thru method (the sorta deal pictured below except in a less hideous color) making a cup or few at a time, pouring the heated water a little at a time through the filter-full of coffee on top of the cup.

For a huge chain Starbuck's has a really good product, IMO, but I always way prefer Peet's if available.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Santaclear View Post
At home or at work I use the drip-thru method (the sorta deal pictured below except in a less hideous color) making a cup or few at a time, pouring the heated water a little at a time through the filter-full of coffee on top of the cup.
I sometimes use this method with milk instead of water.

It usually gets pretty mucky in the filter towards the end of the pour, particularly if you're making a large cup, so it's possible to spend several minutes waiting for it to go through, and some of the coffee is unused due to parasitic losses. Of course, I'm using 1% milk, and I imagine anything richer would take more time and grounds.

...But my, is it tasty!
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:01 PM   #14
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Forgot to mention:

My coffee has to be hot.

Stupidly hot.

Dangerously hot.

I generally drink it quite quickly, too, with an extra large sometimes disappearing in ten minutes. Restaurant coffees in china mugs have disappeared in as little as one minute for the first cup. After that, I tend to slow down and savour it some more.

Yay for unlimited refills!
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:35 PM   #15
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Cafe, cafe con leche, cafe cubano, cafe espreso, mmmmm!
Day or night mmmmm!
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:45 PM   #16
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I sometimes use this method with milk instead of water.

It usually gets pretty mucky in the filter towards the end of the pour, particularly if you're making a large cup, so it's possible to spend several minutes waiting for it to go through, and some of the coffee is unused due to parasitic losses. Of course, I'm using 1% milk, and I imagine anything richer would take more time and grounds.

...But my, is it tasty!
Wow, never heard of that idea. You brew your coffee using hot milk instead of water? Sounds tasty. (I probably wouldn't do it tho since I don't drink milk anymore 'cos of my high cholesterol - I use soy milk or a blend of soy and rice milk.)

The key to getting the coffee strong and not wasting it is pouring it very slowly, just a little at a time.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Santaclear View Post
Wow, never heard of that idea. You brew your coffee using hot milk instead of water? Sounds tasty.
Just once in a while...the last time was a few years ago. It's nice for a special treat. The idea just occurred to me one day.

Does anyone know if there's a name for coffee prepared that way?

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The key to getting the coffee strong and not wasting it is pouring it very slowly, just a little at a time.
That slow pour is especially important with this.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:51 PM   #18
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I hate coffee. 'specially Starbucks.

Okay, okay, ya got me. I'm a worshipper of the bean. I love coffee -- the drink, the ice cream, and even the bean covered in chocolate. But I'm very picky and refuse to drink bad coffee. We have a lot of drive thru places in town, but their coffee is either weak, bitter, or occasionally even both. So I stick with Starbucks which is predictably good, and on those rare times that it's not, I need just bring it to the barista's attention and they fix it AND give me a coupon for a free drink.

We have another local brand here, Kaladi's, which considers themselves top dog here in Anchorage. Truthfully their coffee is okay, and I used to drink it -- usually as a mocha. One time I got a latte and it tasted both weak AND bitter. I brought it back, told the barista (very nicely), that there was a problem with the latte and it was undrinkable and she said, "it's supposed to taste that way" and refused to remake it for me. Um.... great marketing there... "Kaladi's. Both weak AND bitter. What's not to love?" That was the last Kaladi's drink I bought since they won't even stand by their product.

Like ed, I have a blade grinder, not a burr grinder, and mine's old and doesn't work well so I buy coffee pre-ground. We buy a pound for French press, another for drip, and a third for espresso. I prefer lattes, with no flavoring, just the coffee, 2% milk, and a little foam. But this time of year I'm also partial to pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks; that's pretty much the only sweetened latte I'll drink.

At home I definitely take the time to make my own lattes, and they taste pretty good, given that we have a Krups drip/espresso maker. I used to have a rockin' Starbucks barista machine but it gave up the ghost from over-use and I haven't been able to justify buying another at retail price. I got that one for less than $150 since I worked for Starbucks at the time.

As for the different blends they have, some I like more than others. I'm not a fan of French roast, House blend, or any of the South American coffees. I tend toward the African blends, or the darker roasts like Gazebo Blend or Christmas Blend. Caffe Verona is always a nice stand by, and comes in decaf, too.

Right now Starbucks Anniversary Blend is out in the stores and I'm hoarding pounds of it in my freezer as I do every year. I LOVE that blend, and always start anticipating it in the fall when it comes out. It's a nice bold blend. Very nice, made as drip, french press, or even espresso.

I also like tea, too, and will probably post in that thread, but my tastes in that regard are pretty dull.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:01 PM   #19
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I love coffee, but I don't like strong, dark roasts. I'm more of a light, mild girl...call me a coffee wimp, but I like what I like. I used to drink my coffee black, years ago, but now I prefer it with cream and one sugar.

I love Dunkin' Donuts Coffee. I could drink the stuff all day! I don't like Starbuck's at all, though.

Different strokes for different folks, eh?
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Old 09-15-2007, 04:36 AM   #20
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I just love me some coffee! My favorite way to take caffeine is with a latte (hot or iced), because since its mostly milk its a little easier on my tummy. My fave latte is Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte. But I love almost any flavored latte, and flavored is also the way I take my coffee! I try my best to go to smaller independently owned places, but Starbucks is just so danged convenient and comfy that I end up there alot.

If anyone else shares my passion for flavored coffee (which I know is considered sacreliege by many) try http://www.necoffeeco.com/ for LOTS of great flavors. They have awesome ones like Choc raspberry, Cinnamon Sticky Bun, BLueberry Cobbler, Almond Macaroon and Maple French Toast. There are loads of others I havent tried yet. They are all really great iced as well! The website also gives tips on how to brew coffee specifically for iced coffee. There are also recipes on the site.

Speaking of recipes, I love coffee SOO much, that I like to add some to my coffee cakes and chocolate chip cookies before baking. Gives them a nice flavor.

One last thing...Bring on the Coffee Ice Cream!
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:40 AM   #21
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I consume a 24oz. cup of coffee at home almost daily. I say almost because sometimes I mix it up and go to a cafe instead. Usually either Cafe Appassionatto or Starbucks. I only do Starbucks because it's in the same building as my grocery store(I'm not a huge fan of SB's).
The best I've found so far for home use is Don Francisco; either their Columbian or their Hawaiian Hazelnut (a personal favorite).
Coffee should only be enjoyed with half and half.
Sugar or any sweeteners makes your coffee a complete abomination against nature and God!!!!!
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:52 PM   #22
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I'm and a coffee and tea loving girl. I think coffee is what I prefer to get my ass going in the morning fast. To have a nice slow morning, I think tea works better for that. I've worked my way up to 3 shots in a drink now. My friend Lindsey amazes me with her 5 shot mocha's. I don't think I'm going THAT hardcore anytime soon. I think a coffee stop on the way to work is needed tomorrow now that I think about it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:34 AM   #23
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At home, I am more than content with Kroger's Breakfast Blend. Typically 3 cups with creamer and 1 Sweet N Low in each.

Now if I go to Starbucks, my fave hands down is a Caramel Frappucino. I'm also fond of the mocha version and the Caramel macchicato ,too. What I miss though is the Mint Chocolate Chip frappucino. They were SO good.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJo67 View Post
Starbucks Venti Vanilla Latte, 4 pumps vanilla, low fat milk, extra hot, no foam. I start my day with one every morning. I love the creamy, sweet texture of the steamed milk. Starbucks puts only 2 shots of espresso in each Venti drink, so there is not an overbearing coffee. I don't like Starbucks coffee (or any coffee, for that matter) ... just the warm, milky lattes.
Is it only 2? I have been hooked on their iced lattes. The lady told me they use 4 shots in there. What a rip-off if the hot version cuts the caffeine down by half, lol.

At starbucks I go for the venti iced latte with 2% milk. Then I usually add 2 splendas.

When I feel like going crazy I will have a Mocha Caramel Frap. Its a milk shake that gets the heart pumping.

At Dunkin Donuts I have a large Coconut Iced coffee, extra light, 3 splendas.

They started a line of lattes too. The caramel one is soooooooooooo sweet! It taste like a milk shake.

I had a Mcdonalds Iced coffee and it was really good. I read that MD is biting into Starbuck's profits. They say more people are opting for MD because they are using a quality roast, it is cheaper and they offer more locations than Starbucks.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:52 AM   #25
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The coffee at my work is bad. We have one of those two pot industrial machines that keeps hot water in it at all times. We get coffee from a vendor that brings it to our door, little packets of colombian roast. I don't know if it's the machine, our water, the coffee--or all three combined--but the end result is not good.

It's usually bitter, leaves a strong taste in your mouth, doesn't have a good aroma, and burns the tummy.

I definitely still drink it, but it does make me consider bringing in a 4 cup machine and making my own. (if this is the most i have to be sad about today, that's pretty awesome!)
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