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Making A Great Coffee - Reasonable Article  
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1140 times:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/home...r-a-top-coffee-20110523-1f07l.html

I was just reading this interesting article about making great coffee.

Although coffee price increases largely haven't caused me a problem yet, I do have a decent coffee machine at home. I have no trouble getting a decent espresso shot, but texturing the milk on my new coffee machine is very hard for me to master, it heats the milk so fast that the milk doesn't really texture properly. I had no troubles with my old coffee machine doing that, but this new has so much steam power that it's way different.

Anyone here have tips on that?

I watch the coffee shop in the morning texturing the milk and they make it look so easy - just put the milk in the jug, put it on the bench beside the coffee machine (an Astoria), put the steam wand in it (at the side) and then they set it going, leave it for about 10 seconds, then stop it, bash the jug against the count twice and it's done - perfectly! And yet I can't for the life of me manage that. I've tried using the same milk as they do, with only slight improvement.  

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMarSciGuy From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1061 times:

I was hoping he was going to talk about standard coffee (not espresso...)   I'm still trying to figure out the "correct" proportions of (pre-ground) beans to use when plnning on filling a 12 cup French Press...


"There weren't a ton of gnats there where a ton of gnats and their families as well!"
User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1037 times:

Quoting MarSciGuy (Reply 1):
standard coffee

Espresso is standard coffee in this part of the world!  

I too have the same milk texturing issue at least 50% of the time at home when I do do it - but drink ristrettos, and my wife long blacks (espresso shot into hot water), so it's rarely an issue.....

And I found that article useful as well, as I hadn't seen the logic behind the extended draw on a shot for milky coffees before, but now it makes complete sense.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1031 times:

Quoting MarSciGuy (Reply 1):
I was hoping he was going to talk about standard coffee (not espresso...)

Heh, it's actually quite uncommon to find any takeaway places serving "normal" style coffee these days, everywhere has a big machine of some sort (Astoria, Nuova Simonelli, etc).

I actually asked the barista where I get my coffee for some tips, for what I'm doing wrong. I'm not actually doing the wrong thing, it's just practice and feel to get it right. I think I'll also be getting a thermometer to use with the jug to make sure the milk isn't getting too hot (which I think it might be).

Gah, that whole coffee thing, it's not easy!


User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1025 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 3):
I think I'll also be getting a thermometer to use with the jug to make sure the milk isn't getting too hot (which I think it might be).

Hand on the bottom of the jug seems to be a fairly faithful thermometer, unless you're hands are pretty beaten up.

Is there anywhere other than McD's that regularly serves filter coffee in Oz any longer?

Also, for our European friends, why do we call a coffee plunger a "French Press", yet the French seem to call it an "Italian Press"?  


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1002 times:

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 4):
Is there anywhere other than McD's that regularly serves filter coffee in Oz any longer?

haven't seen any, they are mostly all McCafe now as far as I can tell.

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 4):

Hand on the bottom of the jug seems to be a fairly faithful thermometer, unless you're hands are pretty beaten up.

Unfortunately I can't do that, because of the way my coffee machine is set up. Mine has a lever to activate the steam wand, rather than a knurled wheel. This is what I've got:

http://www.nuovasimonelliusa.com/musica.html

The black lever on the right side of the machine must be pushed backwards in order to activate the steam wand, if you let it go, the steam stops. So you have one hand holding the jug, one hand holding the steam lever, it's not ideal. In some ways it's not bad, but in other ways it's not a great design - the traditional rotary switch is a better idea. Still, the machine is fantastic - it has a huge water capacity and it can do a lot of cups of coffee one after the other with consistently hot temperatures. It can even steam milk at the same time as doing an espresso shot.

The other thing is that the wand isn't quite long enough to leave the jug on the counter. I guess I'll work out the touch needed to make a good capuccino in time.   For now, I'm contented with non-milk coffee.  

[Edited 2011-05-24 19:54:44]

User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1248 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 999 times:

Coffee before or after sex always tastes great.   

I've come to the conclusion that coffee is an art, and only through trial and error I have developed my "perfect coffee" cup.



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 991 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 5):
haven't seen any, they are mostly all McCafe now as far as I can tell.

An Australian concept, of course, which seems to be a comment on our coffee culture. It's been so long since I've had coffee there, I didn't twig that they no longer do filter stuff.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 984 times:

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 7):
An Australian concept, of course, which seems to be a comment on our coffee culture

Yeah, it's amazing isn't it - even the little magazine/newspaper stand on the side of the street seems to have a big Astoria machine in their booth and does the full espresso/capuccino thing.  

I didn't even know they had water plumbed into those little stands (which you generally need for the big machines).

As a nation, it seems we are addicted to our coffee, among other things including football, meat-pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.  

It's the Italian heritage for sure when many Italians left Europe and migrated to Australia post WW2 and brought their culture with them, something we eventually picked up on.  


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 2 days ago) and read 946 times:

I ended up getting professional intervention from a barista who does coffee everyday - I followed her advice to the letter, and what do you know, better results this time with the milk texturing. Not 100% perfect, but I'd give it a 70% mark. It was a lot better, and the cappuccino tasted just like what they make in the place where I get my coffee in the morning.   I used the same coffee beans, and the same A2 milk (an Australian brand).

I put the tip of the steam-wand just below the surface of the milk, keeping the steam wand against the side of the stainless steel milk jug (leaning against the spout of the jug), and once the jug started getting hotter, I put the steam-wand lower in the jug and increased the steam pressure to make a swirling vortex (swirling around the jug in a circle).

As soon as the jug was too hot to touch, I stopped. Put the jug aside, tapped it a couple of times against the bench and then poured in a swirling motion around the edge of the cup.

In fact, I did two cappuccinos that were both okay.  


User currently offlinehighlander0 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 935 times:

This site has a great guide for the perfect coffee.



http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/guides/


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