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DarthNinja

Really REALLY Good Coffee

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Can anyone recommend really, really good coffee that one can get handily in the Lower Mainland?

I've tried the usual, including Kicking Horse (Pacific Pipeline is my fave) as well as Latin Organics (Coastal Peak is my fave) but I'm looking for better.

Anyone know a good place to get some really good, goopy, oily beans?

I prefer only whole beans and prefer a medium-dark or just medium roast.

Yes, I am pretty anal about my coffee, since I much prefer drinking coffee over sawdust like Maxwell House or Folgers...:ph34r:

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I am pretty anal about my coffee, since I much prefer drinking coffee over sawdust like Maxwell House or Folgers...:ph34r:

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Moja Coffee on the North Shore at 1412 Rupert Street, North Van.

Moja small batch roast their own beans on-site in their Probat coffee roaster and use a classic manual handmade Victoria Arduino espresso machine.

http://www.mojacoffee.com/subpages/coffeeshop.htm

3306388869_f6c56b5c6a_m.jpg

Highly recommended.

3307218962_367dcbda94_m.jpg

If it is not too busy check if Doug, the owner of Moja Coffee is around. He loves to talk about coffee and it is like have the Discovery Channel HD for 24 hour coffee programming on hand. Also ask him about making his specialty of cocoa zucchero... Thomas Haas chocolate and espresso. I am not usually a big fan of coffee and chocolate but for this I would make an exception.

http://www.mojacoffee.com/subpages/coffeeshop.htm

At home when I make my own espresso I use a Saeco Via Veneto(Italian made) espresso machine and beans ground with my hand grinder - a Zassenhaus Manual Knee Mill. What is a knee mill you ask?? Well try holding a manual mill steady while you grind the coffee beans - hard to do - the knee mill is... you guessed it - held between your knees.

zass156ma_ctrd.jpg

http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/grinders/manual-grinders/zassenhaus-knee-mill.html

I use Moja's beans - either Espresso Imara (very smooth) or the slightly bolder Espresso Bora. If I cannot get to Moja I will use Lavazza gold whole beans.

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If you want great tasting coffee try the AeroPress. A friend of mine who is an espresso aficionado (some would say fanatic) introduced me to this completely new method of making coffee. When I first saw it I told him yup got a couple of those French press makers already.

aeropress280.jpg

However he said this make coffee nothing like French press. Some may have heard of the legendary Clover coffee maker - sort of across between the French press and vacuum pots. Fantastic coffee brewed by the cup in about 30 seconds. The coffee was so good that Starbucks bought the company so that other coffee shops could not use the machine. Problem is at more than $11,000 per unit not something many people would buy as home machine.

As one review that raved about the taste of the Clover machine prepared coffee noted:

The AeroPress

Bummed that you can't bring the Clover home with you? Frustrated by the time it takes to use a French press or a vacuum brewer? You might be interested in the AeroPress, which is starting to draw comparisons to the Clover for the taste of coffee it produces. The AeroPress uses air pressure to pull the immersed coffee grounds through a filter. Like the Clover, the brewing time is short -- about 30 seconds. The Aeropress makes both coffee and espresso

My friend saw this review and said what the heck.

Here is how it was developed and the principles applied:

The AeroPress is the resulting of years of applied research by inventor/engineer Alan Adler. Adler’s numerous brewing experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were the keys to obtaining excellent flavour. He then designed and tested dozens of brewing methods before settling on the AEROPRESS design.

After the methodology was settled, further trials were conducted with different prototypes being tested by households to finalise the design. The full AeroPress story is told in great detail here, complete with explanations of the different brewing methods and the advantages of each.

People see some similarities between the AeroPress and a French Press. Both use total immersion and pressure. But the similarities end there.

The filter in the French Press is at the top of the mixture. Because coffee floats, the floating grounds clog the filter and makes pressing and cleaning very difficult. Users are instructed to use only coarse ground coffee. But this reduces the amount of flavor that can be extracted from the coffee and necessitates long steeping times which extract bitterness.

Furthermore, even coarse ground coffee includes many fine particles. These small particles pass through and around the filter resulting in a bitter, gritty brew. The particles in the brew continue to leach out bitterness. Consequently French press users are advised to drink or decant the brew immediately. Also, some particles clog the filter screen making pressing and cleaning very difficult.

AEROPRESS coffee is micro-filtered. It so pure and particle-free that it can be stored for days as a concentrate. The concentrate can be drunk as espresso, mixed with milk for lattes, or diluted to make American coffee. French presses cannot make espresso or lattes.

Finally, cleaning the French press is quite a chore. The AEROPRESS chamber is self-cleaning. A ten-second rinse of the plunger is all that's required.

http://www.gizmag.com/go/5051/

BTW he has an espresso machine at home that he paid over $3500 for so... He tried out the AeroPress because he was tiring of leaving his office constantly to get his coffee fix and did not want to spend another fortune on an in office machine. He has his fresh coffee by the cup in under a minute and does not leave the office.

Oh yeah and did I mention it costs less than $40.00? :shock:

http://www.espressotec.com/store/pc/Aerobie-Aeropress-c144.htm

http://www.aeropress.ca/

My take after tasting the coffee - very espresso like but no bitterness at all. The espresso from the AeroPress LOOKS nothing like an a espresso pulled from a machine as there is little crema... but the taste... amazing. And in 30 seconds per cup freshly made. :shock:

It will take varying grinds all the way down to espresso - the only caveat is to make sure that if you are using an espresso grind use only one scoop (measuring scoop included). Also the coffee brews best when the water is not boiling but about 175 to 185°F (80 to 85°C). Also the paper filters can be rinsed and re-used several times if you really want to penny pinch

Got to get me one of these. Great in the office or travelling.

Here is an in-depth review and recommended preparation instructions:

Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker from Single Serve Coffee.com

The staff here at Single Serve Coffee.com have been kicking the tires on the new Aerobie Aeropress for over a month now. Did you notice something about the title of the coffee maker? Yes. The same company that makes the Aerobie flying discs and other fun outdoor products makes the Aeropress. If you've ever thrown an Aerobie you know it really works. The frisbee like rings are much easier to throw than frisbees and go very far. So we had high expectation s for the Aeropress coffee maker from such an ingenious inventive company.

Since this is a little different than other single serve coffee makers we normally review we want to ensure you that it is in fact a single serve coffee maker. Yes - you will need espresso ground coffee from either your grinder or by purchasing some pre-ground coffee from coffee companies like illy but making a cup of Aeropress coffee is very easy and intended to make one cup of perfect coffee or espresso.

Grinding Some Aeropress Coffee

You'll need a decent coffee grinder to get the nice fine grind the Aeropress likes. If you want to compare the grind of a coffee to get it right, pick up a can of illy espresso grind coffee to use as a benchmark. We used various Pete's coffees for our Aeropress testing along with our grinder from Starbucks we had received as a gift.

Once you've ground up your coffee to a nice find grind the Aeropress comes with a measuring spoon to make sure you put the right amount in the chamber.

Making a Cup of Aeropress Coffee

The Aeropress really is an entirely new way to make coffee. Yes, you could compare it to a french press but you would be wrong. Because of an almost giant syringe like coffee gadget you build air pressure by pushing espresso ground coffee through the chamber with a filter paper on the bottom of the Aeropress. Though a french press has this plunger like action the amount of pressure you build up in the Aeropress and extraction is much much higher.

You can push as fast or as slow as you want and creating different strengths of coffee but Aeropress recommends letting the coffee mix in the main chamber for about 20 seconds, and then a slow push of 30 seconds or so to make your coffee. We also recommend keeping the water temperature in the 174-180 degrees F range. The coffee will come out without any bitter aftertaste provided you keep the temperature a little down.

Here's what you do in a nut shell:

* First you put a filter on the bottom of the Aeropress

* You put the Aeropress on top of your favorite coffee mug

* You then put a scoop of coffee in the chamber

* You then pour in the amount of hot water you want in the chamber

* You use the stirrer to mix up the contents

* You put the plunger on the top after waiting 20 seconds for things to mix up

* You then push very slowly feeling the extraction

* Take off the plunger and walk over to the trash and pop out the espresso grounds

* Enjoy a perfect cup of bitter free coffee

We would also like to say if you want to make a Cafe Americano cup - just add a little water at the end in your coffee cup and be sensitive to the crema on the top.

Cleaning up the Aeropress is also very easy. Since everything is plastic you can pop out the espresso cookie, and then quickly wash up the parts and place them in a dish rack or on a towel. We were surprised how easy the plunger cleaned up but the coffee isn't all over the inside like in a french press it's in a tight compact cookie like wad in the bottom.

Our Impressions of Aeropress Prepared Coffee

Delicious. Very non-bitter and always got the flavor of the coffee we were using. We could also depending on the mix time and the amount of time we took pressing the coffee out of the Aeropress get various strengths of coffee. We really enjoyed having almost total control over the type of coffee we produced and it all felt very zen like when you would get in tune with the Aeropress.

We tried various combinations of water temperature, grind, and time to press. In the end we got what we wanted with 176 degrees F water, 30 seconds of mix time, and around 35-40 seconds of press time using a Pete's Coffee or the illy dark espresso pre-ground coffee.

Conclusions

The Aeropress works and is really fun and makes terrific cup of coffee. We really enjoyed using it and will continue to use it. Since the clean up and preparation is very simple, we think if you want to really get into creating your own signature coffee pulls (a little espresso term there for pulling a shot) then you'll want to pick this up. It's fun and best of all very affordable at $30 for the quality of coffee and espresso it delivers.

http://www.singleservecoffee.com/archives/004326.php#more

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Can anyone recommend really, really good coffee that one can get handily in the Lower Mainland?

I've tried the usual, including Kicking Horse (Pacific Pipeline is my fave) as well as Latin Organics (Coastal Peak is my fave) but I'm looking for better.

Anyone know a good place to get some really good, goopy, oily beans?

I prefer only whole beans and prefer a medium-dark or just medium roast.

Yes, I am pretty anal about my coffee, since I much prefer drinking coffee over sawdust like Maxwell House or Folgers...:ph34r:

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Thanks for the all the detailed info WC. The Aeropress looks really interesting and I just might have to give it a shot.

I'm not a huge fan of paper filters (or any real filters for that matter) as I only use a French Press but I'm convinced after reading the article and hearing your own testimonial!

It's funny because recently our company changed our coffee to keep up with "Corporate standards"...I was of course excited about this and when I inquired with my boss he just shook his head and smirked and said "the company could never keep up with your standards"!

So I still bring my own grounded coffee and keep a French Press in my office!

Being primarily an espresso drinker, you would of course be drawn to a darker roast...but I assume Moja would host a selection of medium and medium/dark roasts?

Are the beans goopy? :D

It's a bit of a trek from where I live but if the coffee is really that good I wouldn't think twice about the trek!

Nice to know I'm not alone!

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Order the real premium stuff online, South American, African, Blue Mountain, Kona, whatever, just make sure your grinding and brewing setup is worthy of those or you might be underwhelmed.

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if thats the case then Coffee Luwak sounds to be right up your "alley"...

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Thanks for the all the detailed info WC. The Aeropress looks really interesting and I just might have to give it a shot.

I'm not a huge fan of paper filters (or any real filters for that matter) as I only use a French Press but I'm convinced after reading the article and hearing your own testimonial!

It's funny because recently our company changed our coffee to keep up with "Corporate standards"...I was of course excited about this and when I inquired with my boss he just shook his head and smirked and said "the company could never keep up with your standards"!

So I still bring my own grounded coffee and keep a French Press in my office!

Being primarily an espresso drinker, you would of course be drawn to a darker roast...but I assume Moja would host a selection of medium and medium/dark roasts?

Are the beans goopy? :D

It's a bit of a trek from where I live but if the coffee is really that good I wouldn't think twice about the trek!

Nice to know I'm not alone!

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Ok, I drink a lot of coffee, but usually just StarBucks, JJ Beam, Tims, etc.

So for all of your coffee veterans, what is the main difference between some of these specialized & expensive coffees & everything else?

I'm sure just like wine there is a big difference, so I just wanted to know... Would love to try some of these!!

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best coffee i ever had was in Guatemala. it was picked about two weeks before hand, dried in the sun, roasted that morning and went straight into the grinder from the roaster. all other coffee has paled in comparison since that.

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best coffee i ever had was in Guatemala. it was picked about two weeks before hand, dried in the sun, roasted that morning and went straight into the grinder from the roaster. all other coffee has paled in comparison since that.

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Italy

Sorry I know that doesn't help you much but if you're ever in Italy, try their coffees. completely divine.

I just got a Tassimo machine. Not bad but definitely tastes a little artificial and not authentic.

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Cowboy Coffee in North Van roasts their beans locally. They supply their Bean Around the World shops. Really good stuff. I use a Saeco Aroma machine.

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Freshness is key, I always buy Level Ground because it's roasted in Victoria and it's always fairly fresh, they don't have much backlog.

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Ok, I drink a lot of coffee, but usually just StarBucks, JJ Beam, Tims, etc.

So for all of your coffee veterans, what is the main difference between some of these specialized & expensive coffees & everything else?

I'm sure just like wine there is a big difference, so I just wanted to know... Would love to try some of these!!

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Moja has all sorts of coffee beans - most single origin and not blends except for espresso:

http://www.mojacoffee.com/coffee/

Try the Kenya AA. In any event ask for Doug (the owner) and tell him what you are looking for and he will be happy to make a recommendation.

The AeroPress is amazing - way mo' better than a French Press. And I was French Press fan prior to tasting Aero-Press coffee. If you are anywhere near City Square Mall (near Vancouver City Hall) the coffee bar at the top of the escalators in front of the Food Fair sells the AeroPress.

Note Moja does roasting for companies, get a quote and see what your boss has to say.

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