More Flavour Less Gear #crisis

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
Gm7dha
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#1: Post by Gm7dha »

Ok, I just typed out a whole spiel about how I'm simplifying my life, minimising my material goods to only what's essential and gives me joy... however, it was a ramble but that sort of mentality is partly why I'm posting this.

I think I'm ready and possibly more interested in actually getting to know coffee beans, origins, terroir, processes, flavour profiles etc and just enjoying coffee rather than what machine I'm using to make it. As long as I'm still roasting my own beans.

My questions are:
  • What is your preferred method for extracting the most flavour?... Espresso? Pourover? Drip? Aeropress? French Press?
  • Espresso seems to be touted as the pinnacle, but why? Is every other brew method then inferior?
  • Has anyone ever given up their expensive espresso equipment and now enjoying purely making non-espresso brews at home? And how was that change for you?

BodieZoffa
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#2: Post by BodieZoffa »

After having tried many forms of coffee/extraction methods the only thing that does it for me is espresso. I like the challenge as it never gets that repetitive/boring due to constant changing variables. For my preference the taste and especially texture will never be matched by anything else as most methods are seriously diluted/boring in the process.

You mention home roasting and that's my main focus as well. I have a capable/predictable/dependable espresso setup and my focus for yrs now has been on green selection and dialing each batch in to get exactly what I want in the demitasse. The coffees being used is of course by far the most important part of the equation and definitely not the equipment upgrade fever that seems to plague the masses.

Jonk
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#3: Post by Jonk »

Gm7dha wrote:Espresso seems to be touted as the pinnacle
It's not. There's just a lot of fancy gear for it.

Even for espresso, you can get by with less gear, like a manual lever and a hand grinder. I don't think there's a method that "extracts the most flavor", but there is often one method that does a bit better with a given set of beans. So at least for me it makes sense to have a few things; a kettle, dripper of choice, perhaps a cezve, cupping bowl and spoon. You can skip some things, I'd be happy without both the aeropress and french press even though I have those as well :wink:

I enjoy pour over more often than espresso. If I could only pick one I'd probably go with V60. I don't brew cevze as often as I'd like, I guess I'm lazy, but it's a more versatile barebone choice IMHO.

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baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

Gm7dha wrote:What is your preferred method for extracting the most flavour?... Espresso? Pourover? Drip? Aeropress? French Press?
Cupping, with the extraction then filtered through a V60 ... but that is two methods :D, so I'll say syphon, which is pretty much the same thing. Syphon is just so time-consuming, though.
Gm7dha wrote:Espresso seems to be touted as the pinnacle, but why? Is every other brew method then inferior?
It does the best with mediocre (green) coffee and mediocre roasts, which is what most aficionados drink most of the time.

Note that I am not making a judgement; I am not saying mediocre coffee is bad, or tastes bad. However, there are relatively few people that will only drink '90+' coffee all the time, every day.
Gm7dha wrote:Has anyone ever given up their expensive espresso equipment and now enjoying purely making non-espresso brews at home? And how was that change for you?
I'll go months without making espresso, but also months only making espresso ... I'll only make milk drinks every day for weeks, and then not buy milk for two years.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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yakster
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#5: Post by yakster »

I don't consider espresso to be superior to other brew methods, but it's a different experience that other brew methods can't quite replicate so if that's what you enjoy then you'll want to go for espresso. Mostly I brew pots of coffee on my Behmor BraZen for the family in the morning because it's convenient and brews a great cup of coffee. I think that the temperature setting and spray head really help with this. For one cup of coffee I'll use a flat bottom brewer like the December Dripper or a Kalita Wave.

When drinking coffee, I'll notice some flavors in brewed coffee that I can't quite pull out and identify until I brew it as espresso which magnifies the flavors. (good and bad) I remember one time not being able to pin down a flavor from some coffee until I pulled it as espresso and then decided it tasted like peanut brittle. After that, I could pick it out in the brewed coffee. For more thoughts on espresso, see this post and thread.

What's the big deal about espresso?

I did simplify my espresso routine and use a Robot now instead of a more traditional home vintage lever espresso machine which works well because I can keep the Robot on a shelf and pull it out and pull a shot whenever I like. It works for me since I don't normally add milk to my drinks.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

buckersss
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#6: Post by buckersss »

I personally find espresso the most flavourful by far.

I don't dislike v60, or French press, but given the option I'd take espresso every time.

That said, lately I have been making cold brew regularly. My method is simple (which is attractive) and I very much enjoy the different flavours. It also allows me to explore different origin beans, that I wouldn't otherwise use to make espresso.


Craig,

Any syphon equipment you would recommend?

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Sal
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#7: Post by Sal »

I fell into the espresso rabbit holes twice in the past. The first time was about 7 years ago. I did not go too far, I just bought a cheap "appliance" with a pressurized portafilter. I modded it with a bottomless portafilter and changed the overpressure valve with a fitted manometer. The process of modding was the most fun part. But in the end, the resulting cup was not something I enjoyed. I totally forgot about espresso for the next 5 years.

Time passed, and a couple of years ago, I fell into the espresso rabbit holes again. This time, I got myself a Sette270 and Cafelat Robot and played with it for almost a year. But again, in the end, I did not enjoy the cup. Espresso may extract more flavor, but it was not coffee I enjoyed drinking. Just too intense, either too sour or too bitter, and not enough liquid. I sold the Robot.

I like sipping a large volume (~340 ml) mug of coffee over a long time, enjoying the ever-changing flavor as it cools. Now, I am back to mostly filter-brewed coffee. I use my "appliance" on rare occasions when I want a large cup of milk drink. But my go-to brewer is Aearopress for its versatility and consistency, but have tried a few other brewers. I like Delter Press a lot. Also like Mugen. But lately playing with Cafec Deep27 dripper. V60 is fun, but it is just too finicky, so I don't use it often anymore. All brewers I have used have pros and cons, but they all produce an immensely more enjoyable cup of coffee than any shot of espresso I have had.
I am a home-roaster, not a home-barista...

Capuchin Monk
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#8: Post by Capuchin Monk »

yakster wrote:espresso which magnifies the flavors. (good and bad)
That is the key aspect of espresso.
As for other brewing methods, the way they do in cupping sessions gives the unadulterated flavor of coffee, no paper filter to take out the coffee oil. :P

coyote-1
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#9: Post by coyote-1 »

Gm7dha wrote:Ok, I just typed out a whole spiel about how I'm simplifying my life, minimising my material goods to only what's essential and gives me joy... however, it was a ramble but that sort of mentality is partly why I'm posting this.

I think I'm ready and possibly more interested in actually getting to know coffee beans, origins, terroir, processes, flavour profiles etc and just enjoying coffee rather than what machine I'm using to make it. As long as I'm still roasting my own beans.

My questions are:
  • What is your preferred method for extracting the most flavour?... Espresso? Pourover? Drip? Aeropress? French Press?
  • Espresso seems to be touted as the pinnacle, but why? Is every other brew method then inferior?
  • Has anyone ever given up their expensive espresso equipment and now enjoying purely making non-espresso brews at home? And how was that change for you?
1. Fresh beans, ground just before brewing, is what makes the biggest flavor difference. Regardless of brew method.
3. There are other possibilities. Just as you are seeking to familiarize yourself with the coffee, one may also familiarize themselves with the machinery. Thus, getting consistently good extraction from very inexpensive espresso equipment becomes not only possible, but desirable as a component of the overall hobby. I didn't give up expensive gear; I never laid out the many thou$and$ most here seem to revel in and brag about spending in the first place.

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baldheadracing
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#10: Post by baldheadracing »

buckersss wrote:Craig,

Any syphon equipment you would recommend?
Cona (Made in England) is the classic. There are different versions; some more collectible than others.
Hario (Japan) is readily available
Tokio (Japan) is similar to Hario but doesn't seem to be readily available anymore (this is what I have)
Yama (Taiwan) is the best bang for the buck, and available at coffeeaddicts.ca I have other Yama stuff and I'd say that their glass is as good as Hario's.

Sizing is important as you generally want to brew at the stated capacity.

Note you should ignore the alcohol burners these come with and get a butane burner. Most of the butane burners used are made by Rekrow and labelled Hario, or Yama, or just Rekrow. They all are about the same, except for the Akirakoki version, which might be better. Most pros now use halogen beam heaters, but those are a few hundred dollars.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada