Coffee Catch-All

I've always been curious about Stumptown Coffee's Grand Cru beans. They're crazy expensive, and I've always assumed that they aren't worth it. However, I figured I'd try them one time juuuuuust to be sure. I got some coffee from Extracto once that smelled like strawberries and kind of blew my mind, but I was never able to get any beans before it went away. One of the Grand Cru coffees that becomes available this Monday is their El Salvador Aida's Grand Reserve. The flavors are supposed to be as follows:

Flavors of strawberry, raspberry and chocolate prevail in the Grand Reserve, rounded out by honey, red apple, blackberry and Assam tea which culminate in a long finish.

I stopped by a Stumptown shop yesterday and asked about the roasting schedule just to make sure when I order online I'll get the beans right after their roasted. The guy actually gave me 4 oz or so of some week old Grand Cru beans from the same farm to try for free! So, I'm going for it and ordered the above. I will let you guys know if I think it was worth it. The free beans were great but not $36/12oz good in my opinion. I tried a bit french pressed last night and some vacuum potted this morning. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. It'll probably be a one time or at most once a year thing for me. I suppose it's not even as expensive as buying 2-3 nice bottles of wine.

Looking forward to hearing the results, Tuffalo.

To the cleaning discussion. When I worked in coffee shops we used to use a granulated cleaner that was amazing. I'm not sure what brands are available globally, the one we used was called Detain IIRC. If you're buying from a roaster or high end supplier they should be able to hook you up or point you in the right direction.

It's a tannin remover. Good stuff but highly caustic so you need to be obsessive about rinsing, but you should be with any detergent anyway. You can do the job with ordinary dishwashing liquid and a scourer, but the right product is easier.

A quick bit of heresey:

It's fall (sort of, no New Englander would ever call what NC does fall) and I'm greatly enjoying all the fake pumpkin coffees that are availible in the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks type places around. Dem PSLs! 500 calories of cream, cinnamin, and pumpkin filling really hits the spot, even if no actual coffee beans got used.

I got the Stumptown Grand Cru beans in the mail today, made a couple cups and took some photos during my lunch break. I'll put together a big post with my thoughts. For now, I'll just say that the coffee was pretty effin incredible.

KingGorilla wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
jonfentyler wrote:
I ve even resorted to disposable paper cups.

You are the worst thing.


Now now, we do not know if he is also wearing crocs.

hey dont hate the crocs! ok maybe you should, but when you forget your travel mug at work one day and you NEED that coffee in the morning I went scrounging in the cupboard for something and found some paper cups... it worked, no residue oil... but also not very sustainable.

I recommend looking through our coffee shops tumblr some time for some good coffee porn.

[font=Courier][size=16]Tuffalobuffalo's First Adventure with Stumptown Coffee's El Salvador Aida’s Grand Reserve[/size][/font]

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vRAkW.jpg)

This is my favorite looking packaging of Stumptown's. Some of the Grand Cru coffees come in jars. I'd much rather have the bag because it went into a vacuum container right after I opened it. That being said, it's also the dumbest packaging. It's a little ridiculous to have to cut open the seam and inside the bag you just find their normal packaging with a tasting notes and info card.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/wT64T.jpg)

Here are the tasting notes:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/9L9xp.jpg)

For those who are curious, grand cru is really more of a wine term and originated as a french term meaning "great growth". I was curious the other day and looked it up on wikipedia. These are the most expensive beans I have ever purchased at $57.00 for a 12 oz bag. They were roasted on Monday and came in the mail today. The only way to purchase them is via the website, apparently. It's probably the best way to do so to make sure that you get them very fresh.

The beans are Peaberries and very small. They are apparently a combination of beans from 3 different farms processed 3 different ways. There's lots of info about that on Stumptown's website if you are curious. There's also some fun pictures of the place. It's a blast to click on the geographical coordinates because it takes you to google maps. I switched it to google earth mode and it looks like an amazing place. It's right on the hillside of an old volcano that has a lake in the crater.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/xkMfA.jpg)

The beans smell so nice, but really explode once you've ground them. They are massively pungent. I think I stuck my nose up to them for 20-30 seconds. I used a press pot to make the coffee. I'm still pretty sure this is my preferred method over a vacuum pot.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/H2YLt.jpg)

My first impression upon slurping up a bit was the chocolate. I've never had coffee with a chocolate flavor this wonderful. It's not so much milk chocolate or even dark chocolate. It's somewhere in between. Also, a mild raspberry flavor hits the back sides of your tongue. I didn't get strawberry so much. The flavors sit there for a long time. After each sip, I could run my tongue around my teeth and gums and enjoy a wonderful sweet saltiness. As it cooled, the fruity flavors came out a bit more.

It's kind of weird, but this coffee reminded me of a much more mild, subtle, and less sweet version of the raspberry cocoa pictured below. At any rate, it sure made me remember drinking that when I was a kid.

IMAGE(http://www.allchocolateshop.com/images/cocoa%20raspberry.jpg)

So, there you have it. Was it worth $57.00? It was to me this one time but I don't think it would be to many people. I've had a blast with it so far and there is much left. It's going to be a great coffee week. I can't wait to make coffee for a few friends to get their opinions. Was it the best coffee I've ever made or had. Yeah, it was. It was basically perfect and very interesting. When I took a sip, I just wanted to close my eyes and melt into a chair.

I'll definitely be picking up another grand cru one day, but I'll probably limit it to once or twice a year. I'll provide an update for whenever I get around to vacuum potting this one.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I got the Stumptown Grand Cru beans in the mail today, made a couple cups and took some photos during my lunch break. I'll put together a big post with my thoughts. For now, I'll just say that the coffee was pretty effin incredible.

I miss Oregon and Stumptown. And the coffee culture there in general.

Great pics by the way.

Thanks for taking the hit for us, Tufalo, nice vicarious AM reading as i'm brewing a cup:)

Espresso machine advice requested!

My Krups XP1020 is starting to fall apart and is also not great at making espresso (just fine for frothing milk, but I tend to like my 'spresso straight or americano). I'm thinking abotu upgrading to something that'll deliver crema, but without being too large (space is an issue) or super expensive.

Help me, Gamers-Wan Jobsi (Gamer Bon Jovi?).

In the off chance that you don't already know about this site, I'll point you at CoffeeGeek.

Don't you mean expresso machine??

On the topic of beans, I picked up a couple of pounds of Hula Daddy coffee on Tuesday(right at the source :D). I got a tour of the plantation, tried some coffee as it was coming out of the roaster(beans were still hot, smelled incredible as they were ground), and ended up with a fancy blend of coffee from the their upper and lower fields. It is surprisingly sweet, and great in both my drip machine and my Aeropress. No raspberries or chocolate, but the apt description from the website says it has a, "caramelly sweetness." Too expensive for me to buy regularly, but I'll probably order more next year.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Don't you mean expresso machine??

I hate you, stupid.
Your stupid face: I hate it.
I hate you so much.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Don't you mean expresso machine??

What, no comment on his "abotu"?

Minarchist wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
Don't you mean expresso machine??

What, no comment on his "abotu"?

It's in UD. Look it up.

I just moved in to a new house with a full kitchen, so now I have space to start doing some coffee craziness. I used to drink the coffee at work, but I'd like to start making my own. I own no coffee making equipment besides a standard drip machine.

I'd like to get in to grinding and enjoying my own coffee. Suggestions on where to start with beans and grinders would be much appreciated.

Press Pot

Burr Grinder

Coffee Beans

Brewing Guide

Assuming you have a way to boil water, that will make you a perfect cup of coffee. If you're going to make some to travel with to work. I would get a ceramic travel mug rather than a stainless steel or plastic travel mug. The steel and plastic ones retain oils and flavor the coffee in a negative way.

Edit: Noticed your from NC. Get coffee beans at Counter Culture if there is one near you.

Kraint, if you want a less expensive but equally delicious (and certified organic) Kona, try Pele Plantations. Another boutique plantation, very nice folks and they win lots of awards. They only compete in tastings that require brewing in front of the judges, rather than bringing the coffee in pre-made, which can lead to shenanigans. Their own plantation, and two others that they sell for, are Gevalia Cupping first place winners.

They also have really good Mac nuts which they have processed by a local facility.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
[font=Courier][size=16]Tuffalobuffalo's First Adventure with Stumptown Coffee's El Salvador Aida’s Grand Reserve[/size][/font]

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vRAkW.jpg)

This is my favorite looking packaging of Stumptown's. Some of the Grand Cru coffees come in jars. I'd much rather have the bag because it went into a vacuum container right after I opened it. That being said, it's also the dumbest packaging. It's a little ridiculous to have to cut open the seam and inside the bag you just find their normal packaging with a tasting notes and info card....

I've never been super impressed with Stumptown, they keep sending samples trying to get our local shop to carry them at large but each time a new (they are fresh) batch comes in he doesnt want to give the shelf space to them over something like Detour. Detour is very similar in there offerings but they charge less and usually out perform. Mind you this Grand Cru appears to be a class of its own and I will have to try them sometime.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Press Pot

Burr Grinder

Coffee Beans

Brewing Guide

Assuming you have a way to boil water, that will make you a perfect cup of coffee. If you're going to make some to travel with to work. I would get a ceramic travel mug rather than a stainless steel or plastic travel mug. The steel and plastic ones retain oils and flavor the coffee in a negative way.

Edit: Noticed your from NC. Get coffee beans at Counter Culture if there is one near you.

fun little thing you can get is a timer/brewing guide app for your iphone called Bloom that has weight, brew times (including steep times etc) for various methods of coffee.

Just got an Ariete 1375 via assorted Amazon credit, only it's not working. Water isn't getting drawn in by the pump, though it sounds like it's trying. I'm pretty sure the water tank is properly seated.

The support number is not toll-free, and goes to a answering machine in New Jersey. I am unhappy.

Do any of you, my fellow caffeine addicts, produce your own latte-class frothy milk without an espresso machine/expensive stand-alone appliance? I am looking at getting a Moka pot, but that doesn't solve the dairy content issue. Do those little wand things plus a pot on the stove get the job done?

You can froth up milk quite nicely with a French press actually. I've made some very capps with an Aeropress and the French press method.

LiquidMantis wrote:
You can froth up milk quite nicely with a French press actually. I've made some very capps with an Aeropress and the French press method.

Details please...

It's as simple as it sounds, really. Just heat up some milk then pour it into a French press carafe. Agitate with the press's filter.

Ah, perfect. Youtube has a bunch of videos on it.

LiquidMantis wrote:
It's as simple as it sounds, really. Just heat up some milk then pour it into a French press carafe. Agitate with the press's filter.

Ah, perfect. Youtube has a bunch of videos on it.

You, sir, are a fine gentleman, and I tip my hat to you.

Nifty!

Tried the french press/aeropress latte method last night, and it was AWESOME! Used some Ugandan beans from a local free-trade roaster, and it was extremely good. That's going on the regular rotation.

I use a fine wire whisk.