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  1. #51
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    oh wow this is a fun read

    I like pourover, but I have one of those drip units with a timer and a burr grinder unit that grinds beans directly into the metal filter while the water heats. It's the only way to get freshest ground coffee that you can set up the night before when you gotta wake up at 2AM or 5AM for a shift.

    The idea of getting the freshest roast into that grinder always interested me. I would like to roast my own if I could find the time. I've looked at some of the popcorn air poppers for roasting... I get the impression that roasting in my kitchen would make a lot of oily steam that would be bad, and it should be done outside?
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  2. #52
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    Best thread in years

  3. #53
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    Part of me wants to have a shot of espresso made by tgapp, and part of me knows that I would have to live the rest of my life disappointed in my coffee after that.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Part of me wants to have a shot of espresso made by tgapp, and part of me knows that I would have to live the rest of my life disappointed in my coffee after that.
    Brown water thereafter.
    Uno mas

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Part of me wants to have a shot of espresso made by tgapp, and part of me knows that I would have to live the rest of my life disappointed in my coffee after that.
    If you want I can put together another post on how to do fucking excellent coffee for cheap. It's not hard, and while I've spent quite a bit of money on coffee kit, I'm well past the point of diminishing returns. You can do all styles of coffee (including espresso) at a world class level for relatively little money.

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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    +1. This thread jumps from page. Craving tgapp's beans now. My wife is essential but I'll be happy to donate. Thread demands flavor.
    DM me ur deets and i'll get some beans out to you

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cravenmorhead View Post
    I went through a beer brewing phase, but coffee roasting has a lot more going for it than beer brewing does. My beers were never great - Sierra Nevada and just about every craft brewery produced a better product. But my coffee rivals $20-$30/lb roasted coffees, at least to my taste. And it takes 15 minutes or so to roast a pound, which gets me a week or two, so it's not a big time-suck. And its cheaper than buying off the shelf, which wasn't the case for my brew setup.
    Interesting, I too did some brewing but just never got to the point of always making good beer, and ran out of motivation. This thread makes coffee roasting seem like something I would enjoy though.

    Good TR Tgapp, I learned a lot. The wife and I are essential, I'll have to hit you up when we aren't in the middle of planning a move and have an address we can give you lol.

  8. #58
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    okay - sorry for the million posts, but i thought this also warranted a follow up.

    first - sourcing good beans:

    so, the deal is, there are TONS of people doing good coffee right now, and a ton of people doing really shitty that looks like good coffee. it's really hard to tell them apart sometimes, but some of them are absolute shit (cafe ibis in utah, i'm looking at you).

    best advice i can give is - if you like the coffee, drink it. but if it's super cheap, it's because they're using cheap green, which is objectively worse. you get what you pay for in most cases - if you really want to nerd out, ask them whether it is speciality grade (85+ points). don't bother with a roaster who tells you something generic about the coffee like "it's columbian" - it should be a specific farm, and they should also tell you the process (natural or washed), and the roast date. that's all basic stuff though, and even shitty coffee can appear fancy, so you still have to be saavy to whether or not it tastes like good coffee.

    okay, so, on to how to save money on coffee. if you don't care too much about novelty, my recommendation is to find a roaster that will sell you a 5# bag at a wholesale price (most will! they save money on packaging and labor in splitting bags and will often roast to order. usually you save around 30-40% off of individual bag price doing this). if they don't roast to order, ask them when they roast and plan on snagging your 5LB bag after that. then, get a bunch of sandwich sized ziplocks, and put 8oz of coffee in each zippy. squeeze the air out of them, and freeze that shit as soon as you can. bonus points if you use a vac sealer.

    remember how we talked about how coffee naturally degasses after roasting? the goal of freezing coffee ASAP after roast is to interrupt the degassing process, and then when you thaw it, it'll continue on as normal (and will taste 98% as fresh as when you froze it). so, just take out 8oz at a time, drink it, and then take out another 8oz when you need it.

    again, i'm not super hip on who is doing amazing coffee right now, but my 100% recommendation for doing this bulk buy & freeze tek is JBC coffee out of Madison, Wisconsin. these guys will give anyone who asks a wholesale account, and their coffee is world class (much better than what i'm capable of). here is their site: https://www.jbccoffeeroasters.com/.

    seriously, these guys are coffee gods. fucking killer shit. i don't even know how they do it, it's like they're cheating. and the prices (when you buy in bulk) are the best i've ever found.

    some other good recs for mail order coffee - especially if you want novelty and like the idea of a coffee subscription.

    https://www.cimarronroasters.com/ - cimarron roasters out of montrose, colorado. great sourcing, owned by a really cool dude, he does a fantastic subscription service - most of his coffees are light/medium, and VERY well done.
    https://paradiseroasters.com/ - paradise coffee, they have a lot of exclusive lots, and they roast really cool shit. a little pricey but they have a decent blend (blue sky breakfast blend) that's like $55 for a 5lb bag. not bad.
    https://www.klatchroasting.com/ - again, these guys roast really cool shit. they're one of the ones i follow as a home roaster because they are pushing their craft.

    cheap coffee tl;dr: buy a 5lb bag of whatever you want, save $$$, put in 8oz ziplocks, freeze.​

    okay - now let's talk about brewing. i'm going to break this down by budget, with recommendations at every price level. other mags please chime in, this is just my own opinion and i'm full of shit - but i have thought a lot about this.

    a few basics before we get into the weeds:

    1. ALWAYS GRIND FRESH.
    2. use a scale, and learn coffee ratios. it's not hard.
    3. you'll need a way of having hot water handy. in the civilized world, we do that with an electric kettle.
    4. learn a brewing method and stick with it, or use a high quality auto brewer.


    okay with that out of the way, let's begin. at whatever budget level, the most important thing is your grinder. always. you should plan on spending more on a good grinder then whatever brew method you want. grinder is KEY to good coffee. and again, in the hierarchy of quality, fresh ground coffee reigns supreme. and yeah there's a reason why home brewers spend $6k on a grinder (https://www.wholelattelove.com/produ...coffee-grinder), because that shit actually makes a difference. but, we're not dentists, so let's do this fucking cheap:

    so, as basic as this might be for some people, you want a good burr grinder. do not use one of those whirlypop fuckers, save that for grinding weed to make edibles. and do not, for the love of god, buy preground coffee. fucking grind it yourself, you heathens.

    with burr grinders - you can either choose the convenience of an electric grinder, or the quality of a hand grinder. dollar for dollar, hand grinders will get you better coffee, no matter what, then their electric counterparts. i use an electric grinder for espresso, and a hand grinder for brewed coffee, but i used hand grinders exclusively for years.

    hand grinder beta:

    the best entry-level hand grinder is this guy here: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/hario/mscs-2dtb - at $40, it's a steal. it's honestly kinda shitty to use, so if you can spend more i would, but it gets the job done and is great for french press to pourover.

    if you wanna go a step up with a hand grinder - this is my next pick: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/knock/aergrind - this one clocks in at $160, but it'll last you for life, and it's capable of making world-class coffee.

    one other grinder pick - and this is what i use every day - is the lido 3 (or any lido grinder really): https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/o...spresso/lido-3 - this guy is designed by a couple in idaho, and it's amazing. comparable to the knock but a few bucks more. i would recommend it in a heartbeat, for what it's worth.

    electric grinders:

    ok, so if you don't want to fuck around hand grinding coffee, here are my picks. and no judgement - i use an electric grinder for espresso and i fucking love it.

    the cheapest good electric grinder is this guy: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/baratza/485. baratza is a great company and that is a great product. still, the grind quality (at $140) doesn't even come close to the grind quality of a $160 hand grinder, but it is very convenient to use, and baratza has an incredible warranty.

    for a big step up (brew grinding only, no espresso) - this is the move: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/f...s/ode-fe-pr-sp. fucking killer specs, and made by one of my favorite coffee companies of all time. at $300, sure, it's an investment, but remember - if you want good coffee, the secret is in the grinder, not the brewer.

    if you wanna do espresso, you'll need a better grinder than either of those, or one of the nicer hand grinders i mentioned above. i used my lido hand grinder for espresso for years and loved it.

    okay on to brewing methods:

    so now that you've spent all your money on a grinder it's time to brew coffee. two options for brewing cheap coffee:

    1. a plastic v60 - this is what i use. seriously. every fucking day. and guess what, mine is cracked and i still use it. plastic is actually better for brewing coffee, believe it or not, because it retains heat better than glass or ceramic, and leads to a more stable brew temp. plus, if you're a fuckup like me, you can drop it and it doesn't break. https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/hario/vd-03t. the thing costs fucking $8, and it's amazing. trust me. get the big one, which is what i linked above.
    2. an aeropress - fucking classic, and amazing for coffee for one. the reason i prefer a v60 is because i am often making coffee for two, but aeropress is just as awesome. https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/aeropress/aeropress. i would upgrade it with either the prismo attachment (https://fellowproducts.com/products/prismo) or a metal screen.

    now fucking find a recipe online and follow it. this is the one i use for v60: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Qe_ASxfNM - scott rao is a legend in the coffee world, AND his recipe is super easy to follow, and i don't really think about coffee on a daily basis, i just fucking drink it, and i make it the same way every time. i don't really know aeropress recipes because i haven't used that as a primary method for some time now, but just find something and stick to it.

    a few accessories you might need...

    so you have your $8 v60 and your $40 hand grinder now, but a few other pieces will help you out.

    1. get a scale. seriously, start weighing your coffee. it takes two seconds and i swear to god you'll get better results. this is the one i use, and it's amazing: https://www.amazon.com/AMIR-Electron...s%2C184&sr=8-4 and it's cheap as shit and it lasts forever. in our house we call this guy "drug scale".

    2. it is not the 19th century and if you're not using an electric kettle then gtfo. seriously. this is a must have. and guess what, you really don't need a fancy gooseneck kettle (though i have one and fucking love it - here's mine: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/f...roducts/fp1137) - you can get away with a much more basic model. like this: https://www.amazon.com/Bodum-11883-2...598384&sr=8-14.

    more in pt 2

  9. #59
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    PART TWO - autodrip makers and espresso at home:

    okay, so you might have noticed that i haven't included autodrip coffee makers in my ted talk. those are fine - but most run of the mill, 12 cup electric coffee makers are shit. they don't control temperature very well and they also don't control coffee ratios, and those are the two things that matter most when brewing (beyond grind/quality of coffee). my recommendation would be to not use your basic bitch 12 cup maker, but if you have one and love it, just improve other parts of your game. if you have one and want to upgrade it, check this shit out:

    https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/bonavita/bv1500ts - makes great coffee, $109, highly recommend it. it is a little small (like 30oz brewed), but i like it.
    https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/te...-brewer-kbg741 - this is the rolls royce of home coffee brewers. a fucking tank of a machine. incredibly well respected. also like $300, and it pretty much does the same thing as my $8 v60 and my electric kettle. but whatever, people love 'em, and they're amazing. super convenient.

    okay if you have made it this far through my post then you must really love coffee - let's talk about making espresso at home. espresso is really something that either dentists or coffee nerds do, but it can be done for reasonably cheap. if you have an electric kettle and a good hand grinder (like a lido - i would actually get a model called the LIDO E), you can do espresso better than any cafe in a 100 mile radius for pretty cheap. here are my two picks:

    https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/c...green-cafel-pp - this guy is amazing and cute, and if i were to do it all over again this is what i would buy. fucking killer espresso machine. and i'm not kidding - better than cafe quality espresso, for $400. i know that's not cheap, but if you're drinking one or two espressos a week, this will pay for itself over a year or so, and it'll last a lifetime.
    https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/f...22357-fl-es-pp - this is what i have for camping. i rarely use it but i am not kidding when i say that it is capable of making espresso as good as that from $10k machines. i've had it side-by-side against this machine: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/s...r-single-group and it was seriously just as good. downside is it's a bitch to clean. i'd get the first one i linked.

    i think that's it for now, lmk if you have any questions

  10. #60
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    reading this drinking coffee #1 of the day. great stuff!

  11. #61
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    tgapp,
    how do you control the roasting smoke? And who makes your roaster? Are the controllers and thermocouplers part of it or did you hack them. I haven't seen one that looks like that before.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowderAlltheTime View Post
    tgapp,
    how do you control the roasting smoke? And who makes your roaster? Are the controllers and thermocouplers part of it or did you hack them. I haven't seen one that looks like that before.
    this is what i roast on:

    https://www.coffeeshrub.com/the-ques...e-roaster.html

    the thermocouples are an addition, but really easy to do. it's set up to accommodate them already, so fairly plug and play.

    for smoke - smoke is really only a concern when pushing into and past second crack. i rarely do that, so smoke isn't as big of an issue. that said, i do have a duct setup to vent outside if i'm roasting inside, or if the weather is pleasant i just go outside.

  13. #63
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    coffee for mags - a coffee roasting trip report (& free mag coffee)

    Thanks T. All good info. I couldn’t agree more about the bean quality & roast date + fresh grind element of your advice. That is such a jump for anyone that is buying a lb. of “fresh” ground coffee and drinking it from their cabinet for week. Dead on arrival. I shudder when people talk about how much they love coffee and support their local roster blah blah but buy ground and/or don’t even own a (reasonable) grinder. Even some high end cafes will ask you if you want your whole bean bag purchase ground. I hold back my contempt and politely decline.

    Freezer tip a great one too that I implemented sometime ago and have had great results. I buy 5# bag, let it degas ~6 days and then freeze it believing I am then preserving an ideal brew state (espresso). Bag only leaves the freezer for about a minute a day as I weigh out what I know I will need for the day ahead and plop the balance back into deep freeze.
    Last edited by Doremite; 08-17-2020 at 08:41 AM.
    Uno mas

  14. #64
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    /\ /\ /\
    I would worry about moisture, opening a cold bag then returning to freezer.


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    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    /\ /\ /\
    I would worry about moisture, opening a cold bag then returning to freezer.


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    ehh yeah but i would fuck with that strategy if i needed to - it doesn't sound like a terrible plan, honestly. i might consider some way of preventing moisture in that big of a bag though.

  16. #66
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    coffee for mags - a coffee roasting trip report (& free mag coffee)

    Yeah but what about those freaks that spritz their beans in the hopper? Seems they advocate for adding some moisture lube. Half joking. I open bag throw like 4 1/4 cup scoops in the grinder and get as much air out as practical and drop it back in the deep freeze. Exposed to non freezer world for <2 minutes a day but I may not get moisture cares not about my efficiency.

    I pull 5 shots a day if time is the concern.

    I am all ears. Making this shit up. I honestly haven’t noticed a drop off but my pallet isn’t world class. I do have to eff w the grind slightly as the bag depletes so I know I am not at 100% steady state.

    I should also add I typically do this w/ a 2# bag. 5 atypical but rocking a 5 now and not the first time but I can speak more confidently to flavor holding at 2 vs limited experience w this technique w 5. Local roaster sells 32oz at the 24oz price and holds steady regardless of the #s but perhaps should inquire about wholesale. In these times I am happy to pay them

    So we are taking like 10 days life for 2# and 25 for 5#s
    Uno mas

  17. #67
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    I spritz my beans before their baptism, religiously.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    I spritz my beans before their baptism, religiously.
    Sorry was using “freaks” jokingly. I don’t believe the spritz-type moisture is the variety I am being potentially warned about.
    Uno mas

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    but my 100% recommendation for doing this bulk buy & freeze tek is JBC coffee out of Madison, Wisconsin. these guys will give anyone who asks a wholesale account,
    I'm pretty obtuse and my repressive upbringing has left me paralyzed when it comes to asking for any kind of deal/favor. I'm genuinely curious; do you suggest simply asking for bulk pricing like an every day Joe looking to save money? Or do you go deep undercover into the "I'm looking to set up an account for my cafe'" and soft-con them into a business account complete with payment terms and swag? Or do you go soft BS like the guy who uses his eBay account to get a business membership at Costco? I'm the guy who will just pay full price to keep it from getting awkward.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremite View Post
    Yeah but what about those freaks that spritz their beans in the hopper? Seems they advocate for adding some moisture lube. Half joking. I open bag throw like 4 1/4 cup scoops in the grinder and get as much air out as practical and drop it back in the deep freeze. Exposed to non freezer world for <2 minutes a day but I may not get moisture cares not about my efficiency.

    I pull 5 shots a day if time is the concern.

    I am all ears. Making this shit up. I honestly haven’t noticed a drop off but my pallet isn’t world class. I do have to eff w the grind slightly as the bag depletes so I know I am not at 100% steady state.

    I should also add I typically do this w/ a 2# bag. 5 atypical but rocking a 5 now and not the first time but I can speak more confidently to flavor holding at 2 vs limited experience w this technique w 5. Local roaster sells 32oz at the 24oz price and holds steady regardless of the #s but perhaps should inquire about wholesale. In these times I am happy to pay them

    So we are taking like 10 days life for 2# and 25 for 5#s
    yeah you're fine honestly. do the beans come up all the way to room temperature?

    it's really not a bad idea, though i'm sure the coffee elite would somehow frown on it. whatever. the difference between 95% perfect and 100% perfect is about $15k and a level of anal retention i have no interest in. fucking freeze 5# a time, lord knows i would do the same thing if i wasn't roasting.

    also you probably know this but the fact that you are tightening your grind is a good sign, not a bad one. you should be tightening your grind as you move through coffee, all a freezer does is slow down the rate of change.

    spraying ur beans has more to do with eliminating grinder retention when in the espresso range than anything. i don't do it - and i live in utah, where retention (caused by dry air/static) is insane. never been an issue for me though - one more reason to use a hand grinder

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    I'm pretty obtuse and my repressive upbringing has left me paralyzed when it comes to asking for any kind of deal/favor. I'm genuinely curious; do you suggest simply asking for bulk pricing like an every day Joe looking to save money? Or do you go deep undercover into the "I'm looking to set up an account for my cafe'" and soft-con them into a business account complete with payment terms and swag? Or do you go soft BS like the guy who uses his eBay account to get a business membership at Costco? I'm the guy who will just pay full price to keep it from getting awkward.

    nope no BS, just tell them that you want to buy 5# bags and would like to set up a whole sale account. they're great to work with, and i'm not kidding when i say that their coffee is truly top tier. way better than mine.

  22. #72
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    I’m a long time listener, first-time caller with two noob questions:

    - some of the coffees from the places you list seem to have hybrid processes where they are washed and then dried and fermented, or some combo. How does that affect flavor?

    - caffeine? Where does it come in and how do we manipulate levels? I love coffee for the taste, but at the same time decaf seems like a waste of time to me.


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  23. #73
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    tgapp, thanks so much for the schooling. Great info, I wondered why my buddy always used a little cone filter thingee to make his coffee. Thought he was just too cheap to buy a bodum. Keep it up.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
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  24. #74
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    coffee for mags - a coffee roasting trip report (&amp; free mag coffee)

    double post
    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do."

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo View Post
    I’m a long time listener, first-time caller with two noob questions:

    - some of the coffees from the places you list seem to have hybrid processes where they are washed and then dried and fermented, or some combo. How does that affect flavor?

    - caffeine? Where does it come in and how do we manipulate levels? I love coffee for the taste, but at the same time decaf seems like a waste of time to me.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    yeah so there really are a million different ways of processing coffee, but two main families - washed and naturally processed coffees. washed are still pulped and fermented, and then rinsed off, whereas dry processed are totally left to rot/ferment. there are a ton of different, experimental processing techniques coming out now though, and a kenyan washed coffee will have undergone a slightly different protocol than a columbian washed coffee. speaking broadly - there's like a spectrum. washed > giling basah (indonesian coffees) > honey process > anaerobic fermentation shit (weird, i don't get it, but i see more and more of it lately) > dry processed. even among dry processed coffees, there is such a huge range - brazillian dries taste nutty and chocolatey, whereas ethiopian dry processed coffee tastes boozey and berry-y.

    caffeine is tough; can't do much about it. your best bet is to source good decaf, and blend that with caffeinated coffee. the best decafs on the market are either swiss water process or mountain water processed, and any roaster worth their salt will tell you that. aim for natural ethiopians or sometimes guatemalans, those seem to hold up well to water-based caffeine removal.

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