Review of the fantastically complicated 9Barista stovetop espresso machine

Coffee YouTuber James Hoffman reviewed the 9Barista stovetop espresso machine.

Here's a half-section illustration from the  9Barista website so you can see what's going on. It has two boilers, a heat sink, a coiled heat exchanger, and a spring-loaded valve:


It's available from the 9Barista espresso website for $385. Read the rest

Taste test: what is the best supermarket instant coffee?

Coffee expert James Hoffman tried a bunch of different supermarket instant coffees to find out which one tastes the best. He entered into the test with a strong bias against instant coffee for two reasons 1) "convenience, by and large, results in a sacrifice of quality," and 2) "instant wants to be cheap." But he was still curious, so he went to a delivery website and ordered every kind of instant coffee they stocked. After receiving 38 different kinds of coffee, he tried them all. The winner was Little's Colombian Premium Instant Coffee, but he reminds viewers that instant coffee is just a "snapshot" of fresh ground coffee. Read the rest

What happens if you drink two gallons of coffee?

Your heart will race and your skin perspire, of course, but the real magic happens in your kidneys. Dr. Bernard Hsu reports on B.B., a 21 year old man presenting to the emergency room unconscious, having been found collapsed while studying for his final exams. Unfortunately, his worst subject just happened to be chemistry. Read the rest

Should you put salt in your coffee? "Hopefully not, but maybe"

James Hoffman, "the weird coffee guy," looks at the benefits of adding salt to your coffee. Usually you shouldn't do it, he says, unless your coffee has the bad kind of bitterness. That's because ordinary table salt can mitigate bitter flavors. Read the rest

Watch these two Popular Science editors quit their coffee habit

"I feel so brain dead I can't even speak." Find out what happens when two editors from Popular Science quit their six-cup-a-day coffee habit for two weeks.

From the YouTube description:

Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug on the planet. Like all good things in this world, it should be consumed in moderation—but PopSci editors Jess Boddy and Claire Maldarelli were definitely not following that unwritten rule, guzzling between six and ten cups of coffee per day. That put them at risk for disrupted sleep, heart palpitations, unusual nervousness, and more. So they decided to detox. Will their torturous 14-day cut regulate their sleep patterns and teach them to respect caffeine for the powerful drug that it is? Find out on this week's episode of Test Dummy.

Read the rest

Pandemic reveals continued existence of Taster's Choice

I am currently sequestered with my parents.

I live on coffee.

The drip coffee maker died.

It will take several days for a new one to arrive, due to Trump's mismanagement of the United States response to the pandemic.

My mother and I are drinking Angel City from Groundwork, perhaps the last good pound of coffee in the house, via a French Press. It is wonderful.

My father prefers Taster's Choice. I had no idea you could still buy Taster's Choice.

Taster's Choice. Read the rest

People perceive coffee to taste differently in different sizes and shapes of cups

The size and shape of a coffee cup has a factor in how people think the coffee in it tastes, reports Mental Floss.

[R]esearchers showed 309 online participants images of eight different coffee mugs and asked them to rank the mugs on how aromatic, bitter, or sweet they would expect the coffee inside it to be. Participants hailed from China, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. Across the board, they said they expected that coffee in narrower cups would be more aromatic and taste more bitter, and they agreed that coffee in mugs with a wider diameter would taste sweeter.

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash Read the rest

The Moka Express coffee maker will last forever

Kitchen appliances wear out. When they do, it usually means it's time to toss it and buy a new one. But in recent years, it's become easier to buy replacement parts, thanks to eBay and Amazon. This trend has kept my Bialetti Moka Express stovetop coffee maker alive and well.

My Moka is one of my favorite possessions. I use it a couple of times a day. I have the 6-cup Moka, which I bought in December 2014. (I use it to make one-regular sized cup of coffee, not six espresso sized cups.) I've made over 2,000 cups of coffee with it. I get excited every time I use it.

The handle melted off a few years ago when my daughter left the burner on. A replacement handle kit is available, but I opted to make one from a bamboo cutting board. You can buy 3 replacement rubber seals and an aluminum filter.

It's harder to find a replacement safety valve. I have one, scavenged from another Moka, if I need it. But they rarely wear out. When I find it acting up, it's because it's dirty and needs cleaning. Here's a good troubleshooting guide.

If you want a coffee maker that outlives you, it's hard to beat this one.

Read the rest

This Bodum pour-over coffee maker works great and looks pretty cool

This Bodum pour-over coffee maker with a permanent stainless steel filter works great and is one of the cheapest I found.

This thing works to make pour-over coffee and costs less than $20. If you want pour-over coffee this is a pretty good way to get there. I started drinking pour-over a few weeks back and prefer the smooth taste.

I also prefer hot coffee to cold so there is that.

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter, 1 Liter, 34 Ounce, Black Band via Amazon Read the rest

Espresso is better with fewer beans, more coarsely ground

Going against conventional wisdom, researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK say the way to consistently make better espresso is by using fewer beans and grinding them more coarsely, reports Interesting Engineering:

"When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing," Dr. Foster said in a press release announcing the research. "These clogged sections of the bed are wasted because the water cannot flow through them and access that tasty coffee that you want in your cup. If we grind a bit coarser, we can access the whole bed and have a more efficient extraction. It's also cheaper, because when the grind setting is changed, we can use fewer beans and be kinder to the environment. Once we found a way to make shots efficiently, we realised that as well as making coffee shots that stayed reliably the same, we were using less coffee."

Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash Read the rest

Watch this fantastic coffee ad

How did Dad rescue those glasses? Read the rest

Incredibly groovy TV commercial for "Good Strong Coffee" (1968)

That's quite a scene, man. No wonder I'm addicted to the stuff. According to the Sweet Jane blog, a young Bruce Robinson is one of the hep cats. From British Film Institute:

Little is known about this kaleidoscopic cinema short advocating the use of coffee as a stimulant, other than that it was produced by advertising agency Battey, Barton, Durstine and Osborne. Intriguingly, it does not promote a specific brand of coffee.

Far fucking out.

Read the rest

Starbucks adds oat milk to vegan non-dairy options

If you can't or won't or just don't drink cow milk, Starbucks has a new option for you. Read the rest

Review: Aeropress Go, the best travel coffee you'll ever brew

I've been writing about the Aeropress coffee maker for years, an ingenious, compact, low-cost way of brewing outstanding coffee with vastly less fuss and variation than any other method. For a decade, I've kept an Aeropress in my travel bag, even adding a collapsible silicone kettle for those hotel rooms lacking even a standard coffee-maker to heat water with.

Starbucks apologizes after two cops claimed they were ignored by the baristas

Starbucks has apologized after two Riverside County sheriff's deputies reported that baristas ignored them when they waited to place an order. This comes just a couple weeks after an Oklahoma Starbucks employee was fired for printing the word "PIG" on a police officer's hot chocolate order label (above). And back in July, a Starbucks barista in Tempe, Arizona requested that six cops leave the store because their presence made a customer "not feel safe." From CNN:

(Of the Riverside County incident,) Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNN the deputies were ignored for nearly five minutes -- and there's no excuse for that.

"We are deeply sorry and reached out to apologize directly to them. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend every day to keep our stores and communities safe," Borges said.

The deputies were "laughed at" and "completely ignored," (Riverside County Sheriff Chad) Bianco said in a video. "They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them," he said.

Eventually, they left, Bianco said.

Read the rest

Watch 12-week-old kitten take 'coffee break'

This adorable 12-week-old kitten needed a snooze during their little 'coffee break.' Read the rest

Folgers and Arnaud's apparently engage in fraud, swap out expensive coffee for crap

I never understood how they got away with this. Read the rest

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