Making coffee

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narcoleptish
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Making coffee

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:46 am

I don't understand how our coffees flavor can vary so much. I keep the coffee maker clean. I buy good beans (we share Duca's taste with the JC Bike Fuel). I use a consistent amount and grind time and I remove the grounds as soon as it's done brewing. Then there's the water (see below).

Sometimes it comes out smooth and flavorful and sometimes it's bitter and day-old tasting.

I almost always use tap water. We have an office cooler type dispenser and get water delivered from Hinckley Springs but I can taste no difference when using it and it can come out either bad or good just like with tap.

Any thoughts?

jman111
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Re: Making coffee

Postby jman111 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:01 am

What kind of coffee maker are you using?
I would guess that's where your inconsistency is coming from.

narcoleptish
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Re: Making coffee

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:11 am

Bonavita, 2-3 years old. Similar to this one:

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/ ... 1518196002

Went through 3 Cuisinarts before this and always had the same problem. Bought this one because it supposedly heated the water to higher temp than most.

Like I said I keep it pretty clean and even if it was a cleanliness issue I would think the coffee would always be bad.

Cadfael
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Cadfael » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:28 am

I suspect old coffee in the line, left behind in inconsistent amounts. If there's enough old coffee in there, it affects the taste.

By "keeping it clean" we mean running about a cup of vinegar through it every ten days or so, and then a pot of clean water, right? We have to do that with ours. In fact I ended up buying a coffeemaker that beeped when it was time to clean.

Roy
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Roy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:37 pm

I also use distilled water to keep the minerals down. They are great for drinking water but add nothing to coffee taste. They do mean more often cleaning.

Ducatista
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Ducatista » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:59 pm

Our coffee is really consistent. (Consistently awesome, IMO.)

The ingredients:

Good beans, ground immediately before brewing in a cheap Krups grinder. I know burr is better, but every burr grinder I've seen looks like a PITA to clean. It takes 15 seconds to get the Krups clean as new after each use. I grind beans for an 8-cup pot in two batches, and each batch gets three long pulses with a shake in between. Not perfect but it works.

Filtered water. I've used three kinds of pitchers: Brita (hated the taste but it made decent coffee), ZeroWater (really hated the complete absence of taste but it made good coffee), and our current Mavea (water tastes good enough to drink on its own, and makes great coffee).

Good machine. I liked our Cuisinart with the burr grinder, and you couldn't beat it for convenience. But once its consistency started slipping we replaced it with a Technivorm Moccamaster. Simple, elegant, brews a full pot in 5 minutes. Bonus: It's Dutch! I don't think I'd've spent that much on a pot, but my husband has one in his studio and loves it, so he took it upon himself to hook us up at home.

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Re: Making coffee

Postby jman111 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:16 pm

Hmm. That Bonavita shouldn't be the problem. We've been using a similar machine, after the "super fast" percolator gave up on us. Now I'm stumped too.

Bwis53
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Bwis53 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:45 pm

My Sunbeam Hotshot boils a cup fast. I use ground Verona, filtered water, brew in a pyrex cup for five minutes, pour through filter. Perfect every time, saves me a lot of coffee house money. The whole works is a breeze to clean.

Stebben84
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:25 pm

French Press. Regular tap. Some sort of tree hugging hippie beans.

Consistent every time.

narcoleptish
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Re: Making coffee

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:46 pm

Stebben ? First I've noticed you back. Welcome.

I don't like the taste of french press. M'lady is a fan but not a fan of cleaning it. That and I'm the early riser/coffee creator.

I think Bwis' system is what a friend of mine uses and makes great coffee but I need 6-8 cups which translates to 4-5 mugs.

Cadfael wrote:By "keeping it clean" we mean running about a cup of vinegar through it every ten days or so, and then a pot of clean water, right


Well, not as often as you but regularly. I use Dip-it brand cleaner and run 3-4 pots of clean through. Again though, if cleanliness is the problem I would think the coffee would always suck. I might as well clean it right now while it's on my mind.

Cadfael wrote:I suspect old coffee in the line
Not sure what the line is? Only water passes through the heating line.

Ducatista wrote:Technivorm Moccamaster.


That's pretty sweet looking. I can't justify, nor afford to, spend that much but it will definitely be sticking in the back of my mind.

Cadfael
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Re: Making coffee

Postby Cadfael » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:03 pm

narcoleptish wrote:
Cadfael wrote:I suspect old coffee in the line
Not sure what the line is? Only water passes through the heating line.

Yeah I should have said water. But now that I think about it, stagnant water left in the machine shouldn't affect the taste that much even if it's an issue.

I still think you have an issue with your machine. Even the best ones let a few get through that should have been rejected.

But maybe you should try it with distilled water for a week or so to see if that makes any difference at all.

jman111
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Re: Making coffee

Postby jman111 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:31 pm

Not sure how much/what types of "cleaning" you're doing, but have you looked up above the basket-- on the downward-facing surface with the multiple water openings? That area can get pretty cruddy from splashes out of the basket and generally doesn't get much cleaning with the usual process. Maybe you've got some gunk that's getting broken loose from there on occasion? I wouldn't think that would affect a whole batch, though.

Maybe just a failing heating unit resulting in temp variations? Any sense of hotter or colder batches?

Ours has an optional "pre-infusion" mode that gives the ground coffee a shot of water that "wets freshly roasted ground coffee to allow degassing before brewing". I've never tried it, but it may be worth a run if yours has it too.

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Re: Making coffee

Postby universitylad » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:16 am

I'm also keen on French press. Recently, I've also been using a home pourover system: https://ratiocoffee.com


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