Ever tried searching for 'coffee' here? Difficult to tell if there are any threads discussing my most important source of energy, so if anyone is able to give me a useful cough, I'll gladly accept.
I didn't begin my love affair with coffee until my first year of college. All of my older relatives did and still do drink a lot of coffee, and I saw how miserable this could make the mornings for my parents. When offered coffee I would almost always say no, because I didn't want to become addicted, and would receive what I perceived to be condescending smiles in return. Once I began college and also begin partying and procrastinating heavily, I began to consume coffee to help recover in the morning, and to help with overnight catch-up sessions. A couple of years later, I was on my second attempt at college, and living with an Aunt and Uncle who were coffee connoisseurs. I would drink expensive carefully brewed coffee with them at breakfast, at lunch, and on weekends or in the summer at 'coffee' sometime inbetween lunch and dinner. If studying in my room, I always had some Folgers brewed up in my automatic drip-machine, and would frequently drink many full pots a day.
The point is, I've never been very picky about my coffee. I'll drink just about anything, whether it be microwaved 3-hour old junk at home, starbucks, coffee out of a machine ... but I'd like to change that and begin only making the good stuff for myself.
So, I'm looking for recommendations on:
a grinder: I have a cuisinart blade-grinder that was given to me as a birthday gift. It has the advantages of being relatively small and therefore easily portable (I want good coffee at home and at work) and being easy to clean, but is not so great at creating a grind of all one size
a french press: Somehow, I had never taken coffee brewed in such a device until recently, and I think I am ready to convert
beans: There are a ton of places locally I should try, but I'd definitely like recommendations on good tasting beans
I have no specific price ranges in mind, though I would looking for the greatest 'bang for the buck' possible.
I hope GWJ can help me improve the quality of my addiction!