Point me toward homemade coffee nirvana!
July 1, 2014 2:09 PM Subscribe
I love coffee. I've been known to geek out pretty hard over food and spirits. But I've never geeked out my coffee. I'm looking for the best way to make a better cup, hopefully without a ton of extra fuss.
posted by escape from the potato planet to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Currently, I make my morning cup with a cheapo blade grinder and a Cuisinart drip maker. I know this isn't the favored method, but I'm not sure which of the many alternatives out there is Right For Me.
Obviously, better coffee starts with better beans. Assume that I'm using the best beans that are available. Aside from the beans, though, what about:
- Burr grinders. How much will a burr grinder really improve my coffee?
I'm looking at the Baratza Encore, which gets good reviews, and is quite affordable compared to others on the market. Still, $130 ain't cheap for a one-trick kitchen gadget.
- Can I expect to realize the benefits of the burr grinder with my drip maker, or would I also need to invest in a new coffee maker before I can expect to taste a real difference? (I probably will make that investment; I'm just wondering.)
- I keep hearing about pour-over, cold-brew, AeroPress, and Chemex. Other than the longer brewing time for cold-brew, are there any specific advantages or disadvantages to any of these? How would I choose between them? Are there (affordable) alternatives to my department-store drip maker that would be just as good as the more manual methods?
- I tend to put a lot of milk in my coffee, because black coffee upsets my stomach. I hear that some of the above methods produce coffee with less acid content. Is that likely to help with the stomach thing?
- If I want to wade gradually into these rich, flavorful, dark-brown waters, instead of buying all new stuff in one go, should I start with the grinder or the maker?
- Relative to the grinder and the maker, how important is water? I use filtered water from my Brita, if I remembered to fill it, or tap water otherwise. I know, I know—real coffee snobs use artisanal spring water harvested by Tibetan monks in the Himalayas. I'm just saying, are we talking about a 1% improvement in flavor, or a 10% improvement, or what (assuming that I'm using great beans and good equipment/technique)?