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Coffee Drinkers? (or other hot beverages)


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Just now, EdipisReks1 said:

What setting are you at, out of curiosity? I would definitely suggest recalibrating. Make sure the burr carrier is tightly to the right before using the calibration ring  

Having said all of that, I’m at around a 15, a little coarser or a little finer depending of course. This is going to vary by individual calibration, but I’m curious as to where you are currently on the dial.

I'm lower.  14 - 15 is always too coarse.  After I opened it up, cleaned it (all per the Niche video) and put it back together I was at 11-12 to the a medium dark Ethiopian bean about where it needed to be.

HS

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Had a couple oat milk cortados at a local shop this morning. They were very good, but the milk was textured in a way I haven’t had before. Sort of halfway between micro foam and hard foam, but evenly distributed if that makes sense. Make cappuccino milk and then stir it up with a spoon? 

I might try to replicate it tomorrow. 

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I was perusing my local Marshall’s while I waited for an Apple repair, and I noticed that they had a ton of coffee stuff. Like, good stuff, too. Bodum and Breville kettles. Lots of slightly wonky but interesting pour over stuff. An open box Brim pour over brewer for $60 (if I had a need or space, I would have gotten it).

Just an FYI that holiday returns seem to be hitting close out stores now. 

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Paypal took care of the Clive issue so I am now in the market for a grinder that handles espresso for the Flair 58 and Chemex switchoffs. I am going to be much more particular in my selection this time.

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Do you want to single dose or have a hopper? And how much do you want to spend? Unlike with IEMs, where the answer is always “JH13,” my answer is not going to be “get a Niche,” and I really like mine.

Espresso this morning was a Rao blooming as described by Covered_ears. We are sure lucky to have her here on this dumb forum. This shot was… one of the better espressos I’ve had. Pic where I pulled up the shot for the bloom: just about to drip but not quite. I sure love levers.

D2D12901-4399-4D4E-99F3-7CC44D738E7B.jpeg

Edited by EdipisReks1
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I broke my rule and did latte art, just a rosette, but I also drank from this before taking a photo, so I think I still count as a contrarian hipster: Silk “next milk” is a winner. You can see the layers and the way it clings to the cup. Right there is the pour after the initial mix (after I drank some: I was drinking layer by layer). First time trying this stuff.

It steams exactly like whole milk, more or less, and is delicious.

028AA0A1-4F72-4848-9F23-317D3412D171.jpeg

Edited by EdipisReks1
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Well way less than the Mignon XL. Not unlike audio stuff, spending huge does not guarantee your gear will even work...the first time. The Niche is a contender as most of the grinders I am finding in my searches  are either ugly, have questionable controls, or state that they can only do pour over grinds or espresso only grinds, I need both. And most importantly, I need the grinder to work without field stripping it each time I use it.

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Niche, then. It’s not perfect, but the next level is the Lagom P64, and it’s twice the price. And it’s also not perfect. I have the same burr set as the P64 (SSP multipurpose, which is one of the options and would be the burr you would want if you got the P64 and wanted to use it for both espresso and pour) in my modified Ode and it’s not a better burr than the Mazzer conical in the Niche. It’s… different.

I use the Niche for espresso only (I actively prefer conical for espresso; I like the texture), but I would happily use it for pour. I’m in a position where I don’t have to use one grinder for everything, but I would keep the Niche if I had to choose one.* I do prefer the SSP flat burrs for filter, but this is super coffee dork preference stuff. 

*That’s not true: I would keep the Orphan OG, but I don’t think you are looking for a hand grinder. :)

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I'm tempted to say "Augsburger, buy a Lagom P100". But I know that's mostly because I want one, not because I think that's the best grinder for this case. I definitely think Jacob is happy with his Niche, so there's one option.

Another option is getting a grinder for pour-over and another grinder for espresso (if you have the space, mainly). A Baratza Encore or Virtuoso plus a Sette 270 is affordable enough; I have an Encore M2 mod plus a Sette 270 and if nothing else they've been reliable while getting the job done. I'm not sure if this is a boon in your use case, but having dedicated grinders means you don't need to purge anything (even if your grinders retain grinds).

And yeah, I'd say be careful with which type of burrs you're getting if you can choose. For the SSP 64mm, unimodal apparently suits longer ratio espresso and pour-over, whereas high uniformity suits shorter ratio espresso (only if I'm remembering correctly here; going off what I think Hoffman said). Burrs are such a rabbithole -- I was telling Jacob a while ago that SSP sells tungsten carbide burrs, which are rated for 20,000 pounds of coffee. AKA "are you sure this grinder isn't going to be a family heirloom at that point?"

 

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Well I’ve made a mistake: I normally have a pour over first thing in the morning and then a bit later make espresso. I went with an AeroPress this morning. Basic recipe. It was delicious. But hooo boy do I feel the caffeine. 
 

But I want espresso now!

Edited by EdipisReks1
Obsolete post repurposed so as to not waste valuable posts.
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I pulled a Rao blooming, or as best I can without a Decent or the SEP. I ground too fine, the shot never really came together (it peaked fast and I had to ramp down) and it pulled both short and long (1:1.8 in 40 seconds, not including the bloom). I took a sip just to calibrate, expecting to toss the shot down the sink and start over. 

It’s… not bad. Acidic, but I drink light roast espresso; I find it rather pleasant. It’s not what I would call “sour.” Nippy, but also chocolate covered pickled limes. Really nice texture. Apples? Not a hint of bitterness. It was under-extracted of course  

It’s not what I was going for, but it was interesting and not unpleasant. Certainly different flavors than I’ve had from this bean before. 

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Not coffee, but adjacent: where the Ember mug truly shines is with green tea. I’m much less discerning with tea than I am coffee, but I still enjoy a good cup or 3, and it’s just *perfect.* It’s lovely for coffee, but this is going to have me getting back into tea. PID kettle is also a tea game changer; no more putting an ice cube in the pot while I brew and hoping for the best!

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I'm actually curious whether there would be any interest in a separate tea thread, since there's a significant overlap between discerning coffee drinkers and discerning tea drinkers (just look at all the renowned roaster-cafes serving Song Tea, which in Sey Coffee's words is "just as intentionally sourced as our coffees are"). Anyone have thoughts on this? I think another consideration would be that some people drink tea exclusively due to its milder effects.

4 hours ago, EdipisReks1 said:

I pulled a Rao blooming, or as best I can without a Decent or the SEP. I ground too fine, the shot never really came together (it peaked fast and I had to ramp down) and it pulled both short and long (1:1.8 in 40 seconds, not including the bloom). I took a sip just to calibrate, expecting to toss the shot down the sink and start over. 

It’s… not bad. Acidic, but I drink light roast espresso; I find it rather pleasant. It’s not what I would call “sour.” Nippy, but also chocolate covered pickled limes. Really nice texture. Apples? Not a hint of bitterness. It was under-extracted of course  

It’s not what I was going for, but it was interesting and not unpleasant. Certainly different flavors than I’ve had from this bean before. 

Yeah, I'm always curious about how the grind fineness' sweet spot changes with blooming espresso. I used to pull Slayer shots on my Nomad, which would be 2.5-4 bars for 15 seconds before actually brewing without a gap (unlike the blooming espresso); this almost always necessitated a finer grind. I'm inferring that a finer grind is also necessary for the blooming espresso, though maybe not as much of a difference -- blooming by definition releases some CO2 and that'd likely reduce the resistance it causes. Not that I want to try dialing in something without the blooming recipe, as it's something of a correction for my setup not being top-notch.

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I looked at the Baratza line because they are in Washington where my youngest is going to school. So that makes a good reason to start, yes? From what little I could gather the Baratza line tends to do one thing i.e. espresso or pour over well and the other so so. The Sette 270WI was on the short list but lost it's place to the Niche. 

As for the Lagom P110/P64, as I told Jacob, when they have a 50% off sale I will be all over that.

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5 minutes ago, Augsburger said:

I looked at the Baratza line because they are in Washington where my youngest is going to school. So that makes a good reason to start, yes? From what little I could gather the Baratza line tends to do one thing i.e. espresso or pour over well and the other so so. The Sette 270WI was on the short list but lost it's place to the Niche. 

As for the Lagom P110/P64, as I told Jacob, when they have a 50% off sale I will be all over that.

Yeah, I'd say that's pretty accurate! The Vario+ and Vario W+ (and the Forte AP) are supposed to be all-rounders, but the Encore/Virtuoso/Forte BG/Sette 270 are all what I'd consider specialists (with all but the final one being best for manual brewing). Incidentally, when I got my Sette 270 it had a shim installed to make all the settings correspond to finer grinds, and the coarsest setting would be still a bit too fine for my average pour-over, I think.

 

And yeah, the main thing holding me back from the P110 is its price. Even if I had the funding for it to not be a silly purchase, I'd still need to really think twice about buying it. Tight tolerances in the machining sounds good though.

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How much is the Mahlkoenig X54? It’s sort of a high retention grinder, from what I’ve read, though. The DF64 is probably a worthy consideration, but even the 2.0 version seem kinda clunky to use, unless you have a 3D printer. 

The Niche is hard to compete with at its price point, assuming you can get one. It’s performance is better than good enough, even for pretty high standards of what “good enough” means, it’s well built, and it’s easy and intuitive to use. It’s also just… pleasant to use. They could probably sell it for 50 percent more.

I think the Vario+/W+ are worth looking at, and if I can check them out when I’m at Prima I will. I believe the W+ is the same burr set as the X54, but it’s designed to be low retention. I think it’s a very good burrset. 

Alex, I think there was a tea thread years ago, but I don’t know if it has been active for a while. I sort of got to the point with tea where I was getting good enough results from the cheapest tea I could get away with, which was a consideration because I used to drink a lot of tea, and quit paying attention. I’m pretty happy with my cheap and cheerful Numi gunpowder; I get honey and bright, sweet jasmine, which is what I’m looking for with a gunpowder. I’m not sure I have found coffee beans that are at a similar place for me. Coffee is sort of like beer; the price difference between “acceptable” and “very good” is either small or non existent, so you might as well get very good.  I find tea to be much more like wine. 
 

Edited by EdipisReks1
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Oh this is a good espresso day. That’s… just damned good. Coarser and no particular bloom time, other than the pre infusion that is simply part and parcel to the Flair, and a standard pressure profile for the 58 (hit 7-8 quick, then ramp down). 

Complex, well textured (wonderful mouthfeel), sweet and bitter and astringent vanilla, and just huge, huge cocoa. Malic acid. Apricot. Strong apricot, This was a blend of beans that was the dregs of three other light-medium “espresso roasts,” so I’ll never reproduce it. 

edit: Lychee at the back end. Usually when I taste lychee at the back of the palate I know I rode the line on extraction and came out on the right side. 

Edited by EdipisReks1
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That option-o is uber modern.  Looks like an impressive piece of kit.  I have not gone down the rabbit hole on grinders as for whatever reason the Niche just spoke to me so I jumped in when it was pointed out here a long while back and haven't looked back.  The Lunar has pointed out I can lose about .1 grams or not in back to back espresso grinds.

Covered Ears - I have no problem whatsoever if you want to post tea stuff here.  It's not my jam, but I find it interesting to read about it.  Had a couple of friends at work that were really down the rabbit hole on aged, very strong smelling teas and then I converted them to proper coffee...LOL.  Two chem-e's so they went down hard and started making roasters, boards for the timers on the roasters, etc...  

Jacob - I'm using the Lunar in mode 1 to weigh the beans and mode 4 for brewing.  I agree...there is a lot of functionality there.  I enjoy using it more if I keep it simple...was driving myself a bit nuts at first w/ it.

I'm profiling with some nice results on the Bianca.  Taking it to 2 bar for a few seconds and then ramping up to somewhere around 9-bar, then I bring it way down right at the very end of the ~2:1 ratio (20 in 40 out).  Very nice with the medium-dark roast Nigerian beans from Memli that arrived.  I need to adjust the pump pressure.  For some silly reason it came with a default of almost 12 bar....odd.

HS

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Thanks for the reassurance HS. I'll try to keep any comments about tea contextualized by coffee.

I think pu'er (or other aged teas perhaps) if that's what they were drinking, is the closest thing in tea to coffee. One challenge I experience is going from an espresso in the morning to a high-end green tea in the afternoon. The latter is admittedly something I'm not acclimated to, as I drink espresso or pour-over daily while I drink tea quasi-daily.

Interesting story about my percussion mentor and his former mailman. My mentor loves coffee and definitely has the palate for it, as he collects and ages some rather fine wines. His mailman at the time loved high end green teas, purportedly dropping hundreds on a purchase of longjing (tl. Dragonwell) one year. My mentor then went, "I wonder how it tastes?" The mailman said "I don't know if you could appreciate it-- you are a coffee drinker after all!" As much as I'm sure the mailman was poking fun at my mentor, there is some merit there. A good espresso is not sharp, but nonetheless strong. A high-end green tea in comparison is always weaker than a well-pulled espresso; even the unusually strong (by green tea standards) "Hunan Gold" I have is no exception. This changes for oolong tea and red tea (black tea in the Anglosphere) which have the necessary strength to be less of a drastic change from espresso; white tea may be somewhere in between.

Anyway, anyone who wishes can message me or reply here for tea recommendations. Though, I haven't ventured much outside the incredible teas of Red Blossom and Song (both in San Francisco), and they are completely willing to recommend things too. I guess I have used proxy services to acquire certain teas from China's Zhang Yi Yuan though.

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  • grawk changed the title to Coffee Drinkers? (or other hot beverages)

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