June 21, 2019 8:33 AM   Subscribe

End of another week, let's talk about something else that is not related to politics. Let's talk about coffee. Do you like it? Hate it? Love it? Is it something you struggle with? Is a vice or indulgence? Dark, medium or lightly roasted? Milk and/or sugar? Or do you take it black? Do you grind your own beans? French press, pour over or drip? Starbucks or Dunkin? Beanplating is of course, acceptable. As always be kind to yourself and others.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 8:33 AM (162 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Black. No sugar or cream. French press. This is how we do in our house.
posted by Fizz at 8:36 AM on June 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm fine with instant, espresso or drip for keeping me awake through meetings etc but if we're actually drinking it for pleasure I'm a big fan of arabic cardamom coffee.
posted by each day we work at 8:44 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

It really depends on context. Most mornings, we split a French press - Whole Foods Colombian blend, ground at home. I take it unadorned, and during the week it goes in the travel mug so I can drink it at work.

I usually drink tea in the afternoons, but if I do have a coffee hankering then it'll be a coffee+milk drink like a cappuccino. The cafe in our office is pretty decent for this, and they'll often have a $1 pastry special later in the afternoon. Adding the milk seems to make the coffee do less horrible things to my stomach.

If I have to get up super early - to get to the airport, go fishing, etc. - it's Dunkies. I'll put one cream in their coffee because otherwise it's pretty rank.

Summer is for cold brew. It has not gotten warm enough yet for cold brew, unfortunately.

As an aside, if you come to New England, you may be surprised to find out that regular coffee (or "coffee regular" if you've lived here all your life) is not black, unsweetened coffee. If you order coffee regular at a Dunkies you will get (I think) 2 creams and three sugars. If you order black coffee at a Dunkies, it's about 50/50 whether you will get sugar in the coffee or not. You really need to request "black coffee, no sugar" if you don't want anything in it. On the other hand, the coffee is so vile I can't imagine anyone (but me, for a while...) doing that.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:46 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've moved away from darker roasts the last 10 years and I now prefer lighter to medium blonde roasts. I do enjoy grinding my own beans. Wait, why does that phrasing sound so wrong...
posted by Fizz at 8:47 AM on June 21, 2019 [9 favorites]

A while back I read EmpressCallipygos's Ask comment about a goal-setting exercise that starts with imagining your perfect day. Just like the suggested example in the comment itself, I realized that in my perfect day I brew a cup of pourover coffee at home, and I sit in my beautiful, well-lit kitchen and sip coffee and eat a leisurely breakfast before heading to work. At the time I saw the comment, I was eating breakfast at my desk at the office, because my kitchen was cramped and smelly, and I was beginning to realize I really just didn't enjoy sitting in my apartment. In the next few weeks, I found a place with a huge, open kitchen, and I now start my day at my breakfast table (technically next to my kitchen, not inside it) and the coffee is a huge improvement on the stuff in the urns at work. I like a medium roast with earthy, brown-sugary flavors, which I've come to learn usually means Central American beans.
posted by capricorn at 8:50 AM on June 21, 2019 [17 favorites]

Black, no sugar. My mom, who also drinks her coffee that way, hates it when I say "my mother would SPIN IN HER GRAVE if I ever adulterated my coffee with cream or sugar".

I am not a coffee snob. I unabashedly love Dunkin' Donuts coffee, I drink Starbucks and Peet's and Blue Bottle and Keurig cups and the horrible coffee from the giant robot machine at work, all with at least some amount of enjoyment.
posted by hanov3r at 8:50 AM on June 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

1st and (sometimes) 2nd cup of the day: with 1/2 & 1/2, relaxing with my wife before work.
The other 6-8 cups are black.

I like coffee.
posted by Chrischris at 8:51 AM on June 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

And yes, I gradually went from cream and sugar to drinking my coffee black. Drinking coffee that itself has a flavor I enjoy makes a huge difference.
posted by capricorn at 8:52 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm currently drinking a Starbucks medium roast, black, with a sprinkle of chocolate because the cinnamon shaker was nowhere to be found. I'm often too tired to make my coffee in the morning during the week. But on weekends I do like to grind my own beans and use a French press.
posted by acidnova at 9:07 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

When Ah wuz a little chiald, mah granddaddy would taike mayee own his nay, and pour cream frum his caow until his cawfee was half cream, then put in 4 teaspoons of sugah. He would spoon feed this to me in front of my parents. I still like it that way. When I am good I have water first, the updated version is Cafe Bustelo with vanilla soy milk, maybe orange blossom honey, maybe not. Coffee is a non negotiable part of life. I considered one of the high points of spousal living to be coffee and the paper with my beloved. Now it is coffee and my webbeloveds, and the cats.
posted by Oyéah at 9:07 AM on June 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

I'm cheap and not too picky. I bout a 5lb pound of local piñon coffee from Costco, which was probably kind of dumb if I wanted to actually enjoy the flavor of the coffee, but I recently finished the bag, so I was looking for whatever was local and not too expensive at the grocery store, and I found Community Coffee on sale, a week after drinking it when I was in Baton Rouge, the city where it has been roasted for over 100 years. I bought a bag of Coffee and Chicory, and a bag of signature blend dark roast.

I brew it in a a reusable Keurig filter, because in the morning, I'm not focused enough to use our French press, though I should try it this weekend.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Don't like it. Never had more than a sip.

In general I drink Diet Coke, the breakfast caffeine of champions.

(I also like tea.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:10 AM on June 21, 2019 [11 favorites]

Oh, this is a deep rabbithole for me.

Daily coffee for Dr Bored for Science and I is a homemade espresso for me, homemade cappuccino for her. We have enough espresso equipment to run a modest cafe... that gets used for all of two drinks a day and eats about 18" of counter space in our small kitchen. I've been fairly obsessed about espresso for over a decade.

We've got various other coffee apparatus: pour-over chemex knockoff, french press, vacuum pot... but they don't get used much at all.

The coffee that got us through grad school is the Black Blood of the Earth (full disclosure: Phil Broughton is a friend of ours). These days, it's just Conference Survival Coffee.

We buy most of our coffee from Mountain Air Roasters, because I like the intersection of price/quality that they hit. I'm also very fond of George Howell Coffee, but we don't buy it much.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2019

...and an old lady taught me that brown Melitta filters are reusable. Rinsed carefully and dried I get three uses out of them, even cheaper filters.
posted by Oyéah at 9:20 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Coffee is necessary for me to continue functioning as an adult human in This World.

I tend to flip back and forth in terms of what coffee drinks I like, and then get set on one for a long period of time and that's all I want (I do this with foods and snacks too, right now it's ONLY BLUEBERRIES.)

Some of my previous coffee drink obsessions:

Dirty chai with 4 shots of espresso and coconut milk

4 shots of espresso over ice (yes, I'm serious about not wanting anything else in it, every single barista in the world)

A sort of mocha that I made by combining cold brew and the Minimalist Baker's recipe for Mexican drinking chocolate

Extremely strong pourover from home with nothing in it

Homemade cold brew with a tiny bit of Starbucks peppermint mocha poured in it

Right now I'm on this:
Chameleon vanilla cold brew with a tiny bit of this weird cinnamon bun creamer thing (do not ask me why it's so good, but it is so good!)
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:20 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Like Eyebrows I also dislike coffee and love Diet Coke, but I do like mochas.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:20 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Costco stocks Pete's Coffee Alma de la Tierra and that is my dream cup. Using a Melitta cone system. It comes pre-ground which is a feature and a bug: I find it fun to operate the grinding machine, but sometimes I just want to get out of the store.

I used to love love love French Press but then I became aware that it *could* give you bad cholesterol, and I need to watch that, so... I think once in a while is ok but I don't have it regularly anymore.

Tea is good too - love a good cuppa. PG Tips or Yorkshire.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:28 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

I drink an ungodly amount of very strong coffee every day, thanks to a huge pour-over filter I found a while back that sits on top of an entire coffee pot.
posted by not_the_water at 9:34 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

How I take it changes over time. I go through phases of black no sugar, black with sugar, with milk no sugar, with milk and sugar. Currently in a milk no sugar phase.

I have a friend who loves coffee but not caffeine, so she recently started up a small decaf company that focuses on keeping a good flavor. I've been ordering her coffee and mixing it 1:1 with our regular (caffeinated) blend. For about a week I was feeling extra exhausted at the end of the day, but now I've normalized, and I like that I still get the routine, almost ceremony, of brewing in the morning, but overall I feel less like I need the caffeine boost just to get up to functional.

Though now filthy light thief has me very much wanting to go out and see which of these New England supermarkets might carry coffee and chicory. I'm not sad to have moved away from the Gulf Coast overall, but there are things like that that I sure do miss sometimes.
posted by solotoro at 9:34 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

As a card-carrying British stereotype, I like to keep my blood at about 90% tea. Coffee serves an auxiliary purpose as a special treat, or if I really need to get through a particularly tough morning (it never actually helps as much as I think it will, though).

I am not at all snobby and my palette doesn't seem to know that there's much of a difference between beans and extraction methods etc. My taste does run to dark roasts and and a powerful punch (Scandinavian heritage at play?). Can't abide something light and fruity.

I use a moka pot at home and drink it black, and go for an Americano or oat milk latte when out and about. Always one spoon of brown sugar! If I'm travelling a long way by train and want a special treat I get a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato from the station. Mm.

The main reason for not drinking coffee every day is that I cannot resist having a sweet snack alongside. Faves are hazelnut wafer biscuits, a dense rich pistachio cake, or Amaretti.
posted by Balthamos at 9:40 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

My coffee life has two seasons -- iced coffee season (roughly April to October) and hot coffee season (roughly October to April). When cold brew suddenly became A Thing a few years ago, I switched from ordinary iced coffee to that. I buy my cold brew from Dunkin pretty much every day (once in a while I might get it from another local donut place in my town, or Starbucks, but 95% from DD). I know this will infuriate some people, but I put half&half and sweetener (Splenda) in my cold brew. I have tried making cold brew at home now and again, but I usually forget to do it sufficiently ahead of time to have it when I want it, so I am fine with just going to Dunks.

Once it starts being chilly enough in the mornings that I want to warm up and/or don't feel like going outside to go to Dunkin, I switch over to making hot coffee at home. I've been using a French press for nearly 25 years. These days I mainly use dark roasts from Peet's (Major Dickason or French Roast). Also with half&half and Splenda. I have two thermal mugs that I bought at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters store in Portland, ME that are now almost 30 years old that I drink my hot coffee from.

Either way, hot or cold, I only drink coffee first thing in the morning, and only whatever the cup/mug will hold (roughly the equivalent of 2-3 cups). I have also tried to cut way back on non-coffee caffeine in the past eight or nine months.
posted by briank at 9:42 AM on June 21, 2019

My coffee consumption hit a dire nadir last week when I put Ricola cough drops in my instant coffee because that was the only sweet thing available. Mentholated coffee was actually kind of nice? Or at least a nice change of pace from unadulterated instant (which I am drinking now). I have hard candy on my shopping list for future work coffees.

I used to roast my own beans and actually enjoy coffee, but it hasn't been a priority lately. At work, I have to go to another building to use a Keurig, which makes awful coffee anyhow, so instant made with the water cooler hot tap it is.
posted by momus_window at 9:43 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh cups and mugs! Gotta be the right one for the purpose. Coffee goes in a Moomin mug (Tooticki for preference), or my little mug from Bettys. Tea in whatever mug has my passionate devotion at the time, currently a green mug with a stick figure in a baseball cap with the legend What's Happening Man?
posted by Balthamos at 9:45 AM on June 21, 2019

Capricorn: I'm blushing. :-)

French Press for me; I once had an electric coffeemaker but it broke and I was broke and a French Press was cheaper at the K=mart and I tried that instead and the coffee was way better so I never went back.

Weekdays: I get up about 2 hours before I have to leave for work, so I can ease my way into the day; I have one cup at home so I can dawdle over it. Then at work I have one more cup made in whatever Keurig/etc. office-pantry coffee machine is available. Milk, more sugar than I probably should have.

Weekends: I started making cafe au lait for the weekends so I can pretend I'm in Paris. Easy to make at home; just like you make regular coffee, only double the amount of coffee grounds; heat up one cup of milk per cup of cafe au lait (technically I probably should be using the stove, but I just pour milk into a big mug and zap it for a minute in the microwave), then combine.

During the summer I have started getting coffee from my CSA - they give me a pound every two weeks or so, and it's a variety of types and roasts and it's fun to play (and it lasts a LOOOOOOONG time, I have to turn a lot of it into cold brew just to stay on top of it). During the winter I go for a local whole bean blend that's cheaper than some of the foofy stuff around here (I am spoiled for choice for coffee in Brooklyn) but still is better than major brands.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on June 21, 2019

And during the week, coffee is more of a caffeine delivery system for me. It's a theater thing; in high school theater kids run on adrenaline (at least they did in my day), but once we get into college we have to add caffeine to the mix.

There was an actor with the company i worked with most back in the day who would show up early to every rehearsal and brew an entire pot of coffee - and it was generally understood by all that all of that coffee was his. He would drink his way through it throughout the whole rehearsal and sometimes even start a fresh pot. One time another actor asked him on a break: "D, what would happen if you didn't drink coffee?" D just laughed, and didn't say anything; and no one was brave enough to ask him to elaborate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:49 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Do you like it?

In the same way that I like access to potable water and breathable air, yes.

Darker roasts, black. Lighter roasts are fine, too. Just make it strong.

Drip when making it at home, and we grind our own in a ridiculously loud Cuisinart burr grinder.

When in a pinch: Tim Horton's coffee is beyond terrible. I'll drink it if it's literally the only coffee available, but you will be subject to profane lamentations expressed in my outside voice. I'll take McDonald's coffee over Tim Horton's any day of the week.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:49 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

solotoro: I have a friend who loves coffee but not caffeine, so she recently started up a small decaf company that focuses on keeping a good flavor.

My wife stopped drinking caffeine when she was pregnant with our first kiddo, and hasn't gone back since. I respect it and am impressed. My sleep habits are bad, probably reinforced by a slow drip of drinking coffee up to (and sometimes through) lunch at work from a 24oz Thermoflask (takes two Keurig "large" cups with space for milk*), sometimes chased by a Mountain Dew in the afternoon if I stayed up late the night before (or if we didn't sleep well with bed-sharing boys).

I ordered her some German decaf, which she drinks from time to time, but otherwise, she's a tea fiend, and mostly mints.

* I generally drink my coffee with milk alone, unless it's a particularly bitter brew, then I'll add a bit of sugar or sweetener. Or, if there's some good cereal milk on hand, I'll add that. For a real treat, toss on a bit of ice cream.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on June 21, 2019

We do a 6-cup Chemex at home, but sometimes I'll make a pour-over with a Kalita Wave. I use a Hario v60 at work (with a Porlex handgrinder) or the Hamilton Beach my coworker likes to use. When I go out, I usually get oat or almond cappuccinos. Maybe a Cortado or Gibraltar if I'm in the mood. I also like a good cold brew or iced coffee - not iced Americano.

Right now I'm drinking some coffee from the Hamilton Beach in this mug at my desk.

I used to be fine drinking any coffee, but after severely cutting back when I was pregnant... I just can't really handle the taste of mass produced or pre-ground coffee anymore. I'll drink it if it's the only option, but it doesn't taste well to me. Thankfully I live in an area with a wealth of good roasters, so I just rotate through my favorites - prioritizing women and BIPOC roasters. I love that I can basically drink my politics through some really great coffee. I keep thinking about getting into roasting, but it's so easy to get great coffee around here.

And someday soon I hope we'll get an espresso machine again at home so I can make weird espresso drinks not easily found in cafes. Like espresso and Shasta cola over ice. Or my new muse - the Dirty Sprite from Phoenix Coffee in Cleveland: espresso, Topo Chico, lemon/lime juice, and simple syrup over ice.

I need to replace the burrs and clean our grinder (Mazzer Mini) before we get there though.

I like coffee.
posted by kendrak at 9:52 AM on June 21, 2019

I once crashed on a couch at a friend's LA loft and when I got up, he asked if I wanted to join him. "My friend is opening a new restaurant today. Want to go?" It was walking distance.

We headed over. I was hungry.

As we approached he was opening the door to the public for the very first time. A soft open. No signs. No lineup. I was literally the first person to walk in the door of his restaurant.

But it was not a restaurant. It was a coffee shop. Within seconds he was handing me "Our first cup for our first customer!"

I was 42. I had never had coffee. I hate the smell of coffee. I find it repulsive. But what was I to do as the first customer? I can't be rude by nature. I can't jinx the place.

And that's how I had my last ever cup of coffee.
posted by dobbs at 9:54 AM on June 21, 2019 [17 favorites]

Mentholated coffee was actually kind of nice?

I don't know how to get it anywhere else, but in western Africa, NesCafé does coffee with ginger, which is also weirdly good.
posted by solotoro at 9:55 AM on June 21, 2019

Ever since this one episode of Santa Clarita Diet, I pour my morning cup and quote Timothy Olyphant's bemused wonderment: "It's a bean, that you drink."
posted by Beardman at 9:55 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

The Gibraltar is a revelation. I gravitate toward smaller espresso drinks like the Gibraltar or the cortado (which is essentially the same thing, though not served in a Gibraltar glass.)

At home, I'll sometimes make an Aeropress shot or double shot while brewing a French press for me and the missus.
posted by emelenjr at 9:56 AM on June 21, 2019

Vanilla soy latte is a three-bean soup =)

I don't drink coffee, but I am all about chai. I found a good sugar-free syrup and now I have it most days at home.
posted by soelo at 9:57 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Gather round, Mefites, and hear the tale of the ultimate coffee, a tale of woe, of parents divorced at young Ghidorah’s early years, and of half assed friend of the court rulings, decreeing every other weekends with a dad that had no concrete idea of what kids needed, or how they should be raised, and furthermore, a disastrous sweet tooth he passed on to his children! Hear the tale of COFFEE COCOA a Sunday morning treat with more sugar than any one should ingest at one go, let alone feed to a five year old!

One heaping tablespoon Hershey’s chocolate milk powder
One solid dollop of god awful instant coffee
One heaping tablespoon of full on granulated sugar, because why stop there?
Hot water up to about halfway in the mug, stir vigorously
Top off with I-shit-you-not chocolate milk.

Holy hell, it was delicious, and has permanently warped my idea of what coffee should be.

On the other hand, Doutor in Japan has a honey cafe au lait that is very, very pleasant. Like, honey, and coffee? Weird, right? Wonderful, I says.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:58 AM on June 21, 2019 [13 favorites]

Holy hell, it was delicious, and has permanently warped my idea of what coffee should be.

It sounds o.k. to me, actually.

Despite being a grinder of my own beans, I also strongly believe this:

When camping, instant coffee is just fine (assuming piping hot water) and I'd argue the setting makes it even better.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:04 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

I like my coffee to be cheap or free. I tell the people I work with that I come to work for the free coffee. At home it is whatever was on sale.

Sometimes I go to a conference or something. Their coffee is much better than what I am used to. Oh, well.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

My latest coffee-related discovery was from the book Season by Nik Sharma. The basic recipe involves cold brew (or brewed coffee left to chill) poured over ice cubes, to which you then add 2-3 cardamom cloves (the insides only, crushed in a mortar and pestle) and a few tablespoons of coconut milk. Oh boy, this drink is a revelation! I usually only like well-sweetened and heavy-creamed iced coffee, but I'm perfectly happy to drink this unsweetened, and plan to, all summer long. I also recently discovered Gevalia cold brew concentrate, which is relatively cheap and has a really smooth flavor that I enjoy.
posted by peacheater at 10:07 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I LOVE COFFEE. Adore it. During the week, I use my Moka Pot, and on the weekends I stop by the coffeehouse in my neighborhood for a very dry cappuccino.

The most pleasurable coffee experiences I have had were in Japan—the first, an old cafe near Shinjuku station that made pour-over coffee and served it in antique china with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, all paneled wood inside and no cell phones allowed, and the second, the front room of a woman’s home in Nara that had a polished walnut bar separating two tables from her bedroom and Elvis playing on the stereo that she chose because we were American. Runner up is Cafe Mexico in Naples, Italy, where they serve perfect espresso by a somewhat confusing (if you’re jet lagged and don’t speak Italian) ticket system and give you a glass of ice cold soda water on the side.
posted by sallybrown at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2019

floam, I don’t know if this appeals to you, but I’ve stuck coffee in the fridge before and had it the next day. Some people also freeze coffee in ice trays to use so their iced coffee isn’t watered down. But I don’t have much of a palate and enjoy coffee whether or not it’s stale.
posted by sallybrown at 10:25 AM on June 21, 2019

The only way I like coffee is as ice cream. I am fond of mocha almond fudge ice creams. Mocha-flavored cakes are good, too.

I like the smell of coffee, though.
posted by kristi at 10:39 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love coffee, but it no longer loves me. I used to drink probably a ten mugs a day...but as the years went on my stomach liked it less and less. When even 24-hour cold press was too acidic for me, I gave up the bean for good. I miss it, though.

When I was in High School I worked at one of the original Caribou Coffeeshops. It was the one on 50th, with the roasting room in the back. Yes, it smelled heavenly. Caribou was still owned by Mr and Ms Puckett at the time, who went on vacation to Alaska and thought "hey we know! We're going to quit our wall street jobs and open coffeeshops in the Twin Cities!". They decorated by putting up pictures of themselves in Alaska. It was kind of cute.

Well, that didn't last too long...after a few years they sold Caribou to some bank in the Middle East and went back to Wall Street. Caribou lives on, though. And it's one of the few brands to which I claim fealty: I have only been in two Starbucks in my life. If there's an independent coffeeshop, I'll go there first. Caribou, second. Starbucks, only if I am in an airport and its the only option (which was why I went to the two that I did visit).

EDIT: I do drink a lot of tea. That's why I still go to coffeshops.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:39 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I only drink coffee if I need it to stay awake (long drives, evening meetings, etc.) If there's a Starbucks handy I'll get a mocha from there. Otherwise I stop at a convenience store with self-serve coffee and get about 1/3 hot chocolate and 2/3 coffee with a bit of milk or cream or half and half. If I can't put chocolate in it I don't enjoy it as much but it's okay.
posted by Redstart at 10:46 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was late to the party. Never drank the stuff when i was an east-coaster, but when i moved to the PNW it wiggled its way in and now i'm a 3 cups in the morning guy.
When I want my favorite I grind Italian roast and use an aero-press, and put a mixture of milk and coconut creamer in my frother to pour over. I like strong coffee.

Most days at work i take italian roast without any additives, but it's just pre-ground (Peet's) in a coffee maker.

My favorite thing when i travel is to grab a cappuccino in a coffee shop in the square and people watch in the morning.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:49 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Coffee is bitter and gross. Give me tea. So much tea, all the tea.

That said, the beau is a coffee aficionado, and because I enjoy encouraging other people's addictions, over the years I've gotten a drip coffee maker, a french press, a second french press after the glass one broke, an electric grinder, then a burr grinder, and most recently, a Chemex drip system. Also a countertop steamer and espresso maker that I need to find a spot for on said countertop.

So, about once a season or thereabouts, I walk into coffeehouse of some sort and order a fancy tea latte, because of the note above (coffee gross, tea yum), and somehow, the barista believes that I really did not order a tea latte, because why would anyone drink that? And I get something with a big honking espresso shot in it, and then I take a sip and I cry inwardly a little because why would someone do such a thing? Either that, or the tea latte is mostly warm milk because it wasn't brewed strong enough.

So...tea. Plus the one diet coke/mountain dew I'm allowed a day that gives me a necessary caffeine hit in order to make me a functional member of society. That one soda a day will be pried from my cold, dead hands before I give it up.
posted by PearlRose at 10:49 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

My joke is I like my coffee dark and bitter, like my personality (I am ridiculously cheerful 95% of the time, not today, but what can you do). I used to joke that I liked my coffee dark and bitter like my men but then I dated someone dark and bitter and I don't joke about it anymore.

Anyway: most of the time, black, nothing at all in it except sometimes ice. Weekends I'll often get an Americano instead of having a drip (also frequently iced).

This morning I had a post-dumping iced almond milk half sweet triple shot hazelnut latte because eff it.
posted by wellred at 10:54 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

My (step)daughter bought me a cold-brew thermos brewing kit for fathers day, I am about to try it out today.

Coffee. Any kind, black, cream, latte, espresso, in/with booze, in baked goods... MOAR COFFEE PLEASE!
posted by jkaczor at 11:00 AM on June 21, 2019

Breakfast at age 13 was black coffee (probably Folgers) and a cigarette. Maybe a Snickers bar if I felt like walking to the vending machine at the laundromat.

I still love coffee, still not a snob about it. I drink a grocery-store brand flavored (aka "scented") with double Dutch chocolate. Sometimes black, often with unsweetened chocolate almond milk for TRIPLE chocolate flavor. This sounds way more exciting that it is, but it is warm and comforting and smells like cocoa so I like it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Not a coffee drinker, never a coffee drinker; bought a coffee maker for a recent week-long visit from my mom and her swain.

They stared at the machine in disbelief: "When was the last time we had coffee from a pot?" Um, the last time you ordered coffee in a restaurant?

They spent the week drinking pots of coffee and reminiscing about their much-missed Keurig.

Did I say that MetaFilter taught me Keurig coffee is lousy? Reader, I did not. My mother raised me to have manners.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:10 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

An old-school café near my workplace used to keep a pitcher of iced hazelnut coffee in the fridge. I drank it with half-and-half. With tastes like that, the only snobbery I can afford is anti-snobbery.

During the Obama years, one of my neighbors had a bumpersticker that said


posted by aws17576 at 11:11 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Black. No sugar or cream. French press. This is how we do in our house.
posted by Fizz at 11:36 AM on June 21

Wow speak for yourself I like our French press coffee too but don't act like I don't often take sugar and/or cream when you know otherwise
posted by nightrecordings at 11:12 AM on June 21, 2019 [13 favorites]

I’ve stuck coffee in the fridge before and had it the next day. Some people also freeze coffee in ice trays to use so their iced coffee isn’t watered down. But I don’t have much of a palate and enjoy coffee whether or not it’s stale.

On Mondays I make a full pot of drip coffee for myself and a full pot of decaf for my husband. I shut each pot off when we leave for work, and turn it back on the next morning to heat it back up. It will live on the counter top for days until we drink it all. I suppose it's stale on day 2 but honestly I've never noticed. My husband uses so much almond milk and sweetener he has no idea what coffee is supposed to taste like, other than almond milk and sweetener.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:17 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Sometimes barista and barista-trainer here. I drink all forms of coffee, including instant and those weird coffee-in-a-teabag things. Sometimes I make instant coffee to get me going before I have the operating brain function to make real coffee.

My favorite coffee is the pourover, then cold brew or other cold extract, especially concentrated. I'll drink concentrated cold brew straight by the liter. Barring that I'll do cowboy coffee and chew on the grinds. If I had an espresso machine I'd probably throw shots into pourover coffee and it's probably good that I don't have an espresso machine because my heart would explode like a fusion bomb.

While I'm an artist and gifted witch at foaming, stretching and steaming milk to target, and I my hands are thermometers that can feel the differences between 140, 160 and 180 F and I can make world class drinks, and while I'll make you coffee however you like it even if it's a octo-shot vanilla breve latte or the daintiest macchiato, please keep your milk and sugar and related floofy shit away from my coffee.

My coffee should be so black it's opaque at a couple of centimeters in depth and varnish wood. I like the taste very much, and it is no surprise that I like a lot of other intense and bitter flavors as well.

Shit, I just realized my mug is empty again and I'm totally slacking on getting my super busy day going.
posted by loquacious at 11:19 AM on June 21, 2019 [7 favorites]

Question - has anyone ever tried the swedish method, using an egg to settle the grounds? While I have read of this in novels and "heard of it" in general, at least half my search results appear to be people trolling for lolz... (I thought the point of the egg was to settle the grounds so one wouldn't need a filter, strainer or french press, no?)
posted by jkaczor at 11:22 AM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

So, when I was but a little Sophie, I had severe, life-threatening, hospitalizing on a monthly basis asthma. I was given a prescription for Marax (an amphetamine), prednisone (steroid) and Folger's coffee. I started drinking coffee with milk at 8 years old. I am still, to this very day, in this very hour, drinking coffee with milk. I do not drink flavored coffee. I will drink coffee black, but it has to be good.

In about 1998, my asthma went into pretty full remission. Odd, but that's that. Unless I have an upper respiratory infection, I have no idea where my inhaler is and I currently take no control medications.

I have loads of instant coffee in my go bag and my shelter in place kits. I will not survive without coffee. Excuse me, moar coffee, please.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:22 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Love the smell, tried it once, can’t have it.

Anyway it’s my birthday and I’m drunk on Prosecco so happy “you do your drink and I’ll do mine” day! Love you all no really you guys are the best *hugs MetaFilter, falls over*
posted by billiebee at 11:23 AM on June 21, 2019 [11 favorites]

In college I would mix instant coffee powder and Hershey's chocolate syrup into a tall cold glass of milk. It felt like a crime every time.
posted by beandip at 11:43 AM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I start my day with an 8-shot skinny vanilla latte. Occasionally after lunch I need a quad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:51 AM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

I miss living on coffee and cigarettes. I really do.

I still drink much coffee, but I don't even have friends who still smoke (congrats!), so I can't even do it vicariously anymore.
posted by crush at 11:54 AM on June 21, 2019 [8 favorites]

I have a French press coffee mug, but rarely use it anymore. We used to grind our own beans, then went through a phase of grocery budgeting, and since then have been buying ground coffee in cans. It's okay, but I have to use milk and sugar, been slowly cutting back my sugar amount (5 carbs per teaspoon, ugh, I hate counting carbs, but I still want my coffee, so...).

A few weeks ago, I bought decaf by mistake and didn't notice until the can was almost used up. My husband usually gets the coffee, as it's near his granola bars, while I look at the meat section, then we meet up at the deli. So now I know: green stripe = decaf, brown stripe = medium roast, otherwise the cans are identical.

My dream is to go to Sicily and drink espresso, with brioche and almond granita for breakfast. Not likely to happen anytime soon. I have found a recipe for almond granita, and one for brioche buns. No idea how I will make espresso, there are methods for doing it without a machine, or maybe I'll go to Dunkin, no idea if their espresso is good, will have to stop and try it. There's a new one in the next town over, next to the grocery store.

This video of a chef demonstrating how to make granita, and brioche, then how to eat it, is a joy to watch. You'll notice some of the guests are drinking espresso with theirs. Note: he mentions coffee granita as well.

Waiting for hot weather to try this experience, it's a cool and clammy 68 degrees here today. Overcast, but at least the deluge of rain has stopped, and it will be pleasant this weekend. Soon, I will be able to go out onto the little side porch and drink my coffee in the mornings.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 11:59 AM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Hmmm, I've been drinking coffee since my early teens. First at a coffee shop in the late 60's with an ancient Victoria espresso machine (like this, only bigger) - and my preference was a cappuccino with one sugar cube. Some nights, folks would get so involved in their books/chess, that the machine would build up pressure, and start to whistle. Regulars would dive for the door while the barista would hustle back to release pressure.
After moving from home, I started drinking what is now called "pour over", but which for me was just a ceramic Melitta pot and filter holder, with filter. I'd buy the best ground coffee I could find (which wasn't great in Denver in the late 60's).
Later, after finding better coffee and brewing stovetop espresso (made with a machine like this)and lightening it with evaporated milk (cheaper than cream).
For a while, I went to tea. After a trip to Italy, I came back and found Torrefazione cafe (before Starbucks bought - and ruined) them. That was a weekly treat for a few years.
Fast forward past about ten years of tea-drinking, and I landed a job at Starbucks for about a year, so we got spoiled on cheap coffee out. Once I left that job we found we were spending wayyyy too much money on coffee, so we bought a good-quality home espresso machine which lasted about 8 years. Daily latte/macchiatto during that time. The machine finally gave up the ghost, and we switched to, of all things, Via - because we buy it at Costco (on sale, it's about 41 cents a cup), it never goes bad, and travels well. Drunk with a tbsp of cream and 1/4 tsp of sugar.
It's a journey, my friends.
posted by dbmcd at 12:05 PM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I love coffee so much. I like the darkest roast possible, which gives it a strong taste and cuts down on the caffeine. I always drink it black; milk or cream in coffee just tastes too heavy and rich for me.

I quit smoking years ago, but yes, coffee and cigarettes are the best.

I’ve been getting a lot of heartburn lately, so I can’t drink as much coffee as I’d like. Which is a shame, because I genuinely miss coffee when I can’t have it. I have some low-acid coffee from Trader Joe’s, and I’ll make that sometimes in my little Aero Press (which I highly recommend, BTW), but not as often as I used to.

These days I’m more of a tea drinker. I like it strong, with milk and sugar, and I’ll have about 1-5 cups a day. The local Indian grocery sells pyramid-bag PG Tips for cheap, so that’s my daily driver. I also keep a box of Barry’s Classic, which I love, but which I have to order direct from Ireland for like $7 a box (just your regular 80 bags to a box). My stepmom gave me a bag of imported Yorkshire leaf tea, but I haven’t made that yet because it’s kind of a hassle.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:10 PM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Painfully upset today when I was told that Dunkin Donuts' Butter Pecan iced coffee was no longer available for the year. I only got one.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:56 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Diner coffee is where it's at. Give me your cheap sludge. Your pre-ground beans yearning to cure hangovers.
posted by East14thTaco at 1:00 PM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've flirted with the idea of being a coffee purist. It didn't take. I do occasionally enjoy getting a little bag of Very Nice Coffee and breaking out the French press or Aeropress (regular, not inverted, as I haven't figured that one out yet). But most of the time I'm fine with mid-grade supermarket beans.

I'm currently about to finish a 10oz can of Cafe Bustelo. I may continue down that path, or I may decide I want to go the chicory-and-coffee route (Community or Cafe du Monde, whichever's on sale) next.

Days I go into the office I'll either stop by Dunkin' for a medium black coffee or I go to this neat Somali cafe and get their signature chai.
posted by pianoblack at 1:00 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love coffee. Black is good, I prefer a little bit of cream, generally don't like additional sweeteners. Any method of making it is fine. I have an Aeropress and a Keurig at home, a small desktop one-cup maker at work (there is no communal coffee here (WTF there is 100 people in the office section!! NO COMMUNAL COFFEE is a SIN.)), and generally have a pitcher of cold-brew in the fridge at home during the summer months.

Recent coffee-related amusing anecdote:
I do the Starbucks app ordering/quick pick-up thing on the way to work about every other morning. My standard order is a grande iced latte, extra shot. On Tuesday, I went in, grabbed my food and drink off the counter, and realized when I took a sip and it seemed a bit off that I took someone else's drink. ALISON I AM VERY SORRY. I called the store and let them know, and it was fine. To be fair, Alison's order was a Trenta cold brew, light milk, 3 Splendas. It was the only iced drink at pick-up at the time so there was no size comparison, and, the coloration matched what I normally get.
posted by Fig at 1:02 PM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

I hope Alison is actually on here!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:05 PM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also: coffee story.

My great grandfather was a coffee roaster in San Francisco in the early 20th century. His shop wasn't big (he did not get a sign on the waterfront) but he did well. He had a young buck working for him who got married and took his new bride to France on their honeymoon. He gets back and (correctly) tells my great grandpa that much darker roasts of coffee are en vogue in Europe right now and asks if he'd be interested in going in with him on a company that sells dark roast coffees. Great grandpa takes one sip and spits it out declaring it disgusting and telling the kid he's on his own.

The kid leaves sad, but undeterred and founds his company anyway. That kid's name?

Al Peet.

Thanks grandpa.

Funny postscript, towards the end of his life (when I knew him) his favorite restaurant was Joe's of Westlake which was notorious for having some truly awful coffee. You could expect better from Denny's. I guess the pork chop was worth it.
posted by East14thTaco at 1:07 PM on June 21, 2019 [11 favorites]

I love coffee. So very much.

But it doesn't love me.

Turns out I have PVCs (premature ventricular contractions of the heart) and caffeine of ANY KIND makes my little heart work overtime.

ALSO. I have a diagnosed caffeine intolerance which means an amount of caffeine above I WISH I KNEW THE AMOUNT will make my stomach...unhappy. To put it mildly. That includes all sources of caffeine YES THAT MEANS CHOCOLATE TOO.

So I can't consume too much (some days it's a little, some days it's any at all) chocolate, coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda or Bad Things Happen.

Pity me.
posted by cooker girl at 1:15 PM on June 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

I have always been surrounded by coffee drinkers, without ever becoming one myself. My mother has started her day with a mug of black coffee for as long as I can remember. My husband requires five or six cups of coffee in order to function throughout the day. I'm up first in the morning and when he starts to stir I make him his first one (in one of those Nestle magic press-two-buttons-and-get-hot-coffee things), take a big sniff of the fragrance and wake myself up that way. My colleague A brings a thermos of tea to work, doesn't drink it, and gets through two or three cans of coffee instead.
I can't drink it, unless I've had less than four hours sleep, and then it's medicine and not pleasure. (Sweet coffee milk like those Frappuccinos in glass bottles, though? Yes please.) I kind of envy people who enjoy coffee in its purer forms.
posted by huimangm at 1:29 PM on June 21, 2019

I LOVE all coffee. The entire spectrum. From an old ceramic mug in a diner to the french press I use at home or the cold brew I make almost year round from a Toddy to the Vinacafe' Instant we share at work over nightshift when someone has picked up a value pack of it. I like the process of making it. I like having it made for me.

When I travel I usually search for the coffee houses to spend some downtime and it's a great way to find creative, interesting neighborhoods everywhere. I wish there was a travel guide that was just coffee houses, and local coffee styles (like chicory or with condensed milk!). I have a list I've started of favorite coffee places, here's some of them:

KB Coffee Roasters in Paris, France. Great neighborhood, nice breather from more touristy parts.
Siphon Coffee in Houston, TX. All the standards plus a special brew method that looks like a chemistry set.
New York Cafe in Budapest, Hungary because it's crazy beautiful in this historic cafe.
Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, LA because there is nothing like beignets drowned in powered sugar with an au' lait 24 hours a day.
Cafe Diglas In Vienna, Austria for coffee served on individual small metal trays and beautiful deserts.
Colectivo Lakefront in Milwaukee in a restored river flushing station.
posted by dog food sugar at 1:31 PM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I miss living on coffee and cigarettes. I really do.

I feel like there should be some kind of reference to Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes in here.

And a highlight of his The Dead Don't Die which is out now is seeing Iggy Pop in his cameo as one of the first two zombies out of the ground - the pair shambles to a diner and attacks the head waitress as she's closing up, knocking her down and starting to eat her - but then suddenly Iggy stops and looks up at the counter, and groans ".....coooooooffeeeeeee!" Then shuffles over to the pot. He pours himself first one cup, then another, then takes the entire pot and shuffles out the door, groaning "cooooffeeeee" over and over. Next time you see him he is pouring the entire rest of the pot over his head.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:35 PM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Having had my right hip replaced two weeks ago, I have been trapped in an apartment where a well meaning friend 'cleaned' while I was gone and lost, among many other things, my bag of coffee.

The only thing that saved me from the withdrawal headaches were the pain meds I took home with me.

The neat part was realizing after awhile how little I needed coffee, how little it affected me.

Or so I thought.

I was doing OK sleeping, doing my exercises and hobbling around on my walker when yesterday morning a friend brought me a cup of cold brew in paper with no ice. After two sips, Mon Dieu! Zut alors!

We sat in the courtyard and it was like I turned into this jolly ball of fire who zoomed around and cut her about every old fashioned sweet pea blooming.

And now I look at what's left of that cold brew and tremble...
posted by y2karl at 1:41 PM on June 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

The first few times I tried drinking coffee in college it would make me bounce off the walls which, since I was trying to stay awake and focus on studying, wasn't very helpful. Way after the fact I figured out that's because I was trying to hide the nasty flavor of instant coffee by adding lots of sugary hot chocolate mix - when I was a kid all mom ever had was instant, so I didn't know "real" coffee was any different. Once I found out that I actually liked properly-made black coffee with no adulterants (or "diabeetus and cow-squeezins", as my friend calls them), I developed quite a habit...up through my mid 30's I absolutely had to have coffee straight after waking up before I could even consider doing anything else, and I usually had 3 or 4 more large mugs of it during the day. Since then my consumption has tapered off (I have no idea why) to where I have a couple cups at most during the day. Nevertheless I still want this mug, but $15 is a bit steep for a minor (and honestly rather hostile) joke.

I've experimented with different ways of making it; I went from the ubiquitous Mr. Coffee to pour-over (I think coffee made in a conical filter tastes better than in a basket filter) to French press (too messy to clean up) to Aeropress to a mug-top one cup maker to cold-brewing.

The Aeropress worked great, but cold-brewed medium dark grounds is my current favorite because it takes me less than 10 minutes total on-hands time to make a quart of concentrate that lasts me over a week. I dump a little less than a 1/3 of a cup of it into a mug and top it off with hot water, which leaves it still plenty hot but not scalding. So quick and easy and tasty!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:44 PM on June 21, 2019

There's much that I'd like to say about coffee, except for the want to be at least semi-anonymous...

But I can say that yesterday a co-worker who just returned from Cuba brought me some coffee from there because she sees me making coffee in the kitchen so often. We apparently have a lot of jerks who take the last cup, and don't make more. So yay, especially good coffee. Except yesterday, whenever I went down for coffee, the carafe of dark roast was always full. The nerve!

At least today worked out well - my first time down, the carafe was fully empty, so I "got" to make some. And my next time down, I got halfa mug of it before it was empty, so didn't even have to be mad about someone taking the last of it and leaving an empty carafe (and yes reader, I did make a new carafe, even tho I wasn't planning on drinking more).

I really get irrationally angry at an empty carafe. They're the black opaque ones with a pump, so you don't know if it's empty until you try to get some. And it sputters when one's taking the last of it, so if it doesn't even sputter for you, then someone else *knows* what they did. OK, there's some reason to be angry, but not as angry as I get/feel. It got to the point where I'd be fuming at my desk for a good half hour at the unknown assholes. I took a month off from drinking coffee at work to break the cycle. I'm better now; a mere 2 minutes of hate and I'm fine.
posted by nobeagle at 2:02 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm told that as a human I am around 70% water, and I'm pretty sure based on that that I'm at least around 30% coffee. I roast my own beans on the stovetop in a hand-crank popcorn pot. Usually I brew a pour over (Hario V60), though I'll do a French press if I run out of filters. Generally black, on rare occasions milk or cream, never sugar. I also have a nifty 100% manual espresso maker (basically it's just a big hand-operated lever that presses on a piston), but I need a fancier grinder to really make it sing, so I only use it occasionally.

I'm typing this from a coffee shop. I'm known at at least three coffee shops around town.

Sometimes people ask me when I started drinking coffee. I can't remember my first cup, but I can tell when and why I started a habit. "When" was winter quarter of 2007, and "why" was PHYS 142, the high-octane intro to electricity and magnetism course. It didn't help that I was taking a language course that met 5 days a week at 8AM, either. Combine that with cheap coffee from the Divinity School cafe (I think it was actually named Grounds of Being, but everyone I knew just called it the Div School) and I never had a chance.
posted by egregious theorem at 2:04 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have slowly become more of a coffee drinker over time, but I still drink more tea. I tend to want it more in the winter time to warm me up. I also have to have tons of milk/cream, sugar, and flavorings in them. The S'mores Frappucino at Starbucks is delicious btw.
posted by koucha at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2019

Happy anniversary to me! (I joined this place officially on June 21, 2013. To celebrate I elaborated on my status in my profile, which may delight some and horrify others.)

My coffee story is about my now-dead friend RR, who loved coffee so much and who became such a coffee diva (gourmand, snickity puss) that he ultimately enjoyed only the espresso that he made himself at home on his super duper awesome shiny chrome machine. It was almost painful to watch him pull an espresso to make me a cappuccino because it would often fail to meet his high standards and he would toss it, while I would attempt to remind him, futilely, that I did not have his taste buds and would not be able to tell the difference between what he tossed and the higher quality brew he insisted on serving me.

Normally I drink only fancy coffee, ideally lattes, and then only rarely. But during that long month when I had client deadlines but no functioning ADHD medication, I started running over to my kid's place once a day to beg for a cappuccino from her or her dad. I am pretty sure that coffee saved my bacon, as it were, so I doff my hat to the historic brew. Happily back to tea, however.

(Can you tell its my bedtime here in Europe? It's like, just how many clashing metaphors/turns of phrase/rambles can I squeeze into this text box anyway?) Thanks for the topic, dear Fizz!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:18 PM on June 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh, also! As I've pointed out on the gray at least once before, as a small kid (until I was 3 or 4, at least) I would regularly ingest the coffee grounds and liquid left over in the bottom of mom's coffee cup.
posted by hanov3r at 2:18 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I only drink one mug of coffee per day, so I try to make it count.

I eagerly await the day when our gentrifying Rust Belt town gets a local roaster, at which point I will throw all my money at them. Until then, I make do with beans from the next gentrifying Rust Belt downtown over. This works out okay, because Rockford Roasting Co are wizards.

I hand grind, since I only make the one cup, and also I hate noise, especially first thing in the morning. I used to use a French press, but my cholesterol got out of control so I switched to Aeropress, which is excellent and has a filter to absorb the cholesterol-spiking oils. I use my kettle to heat the water to 180°F, which is a little hotter than it ought to be, but by the time I've finished grinding, which really takes too damn long, I figure it's cooled off enough. I brew using the inverted method.

I am always glad that I learned to drink my coffee black from the start, because then I don't waste any time messing around with cream and sugar.

I will also gladly drink one cup after another of bad diner coffee, which is a different beast entirely.

I also sometimes enjoy a cup of Keemun, or Darjeeling, or puerh, or a nice Tung-Ting oolong, or, well, I like good tea, is what I mean. However, I'm too spoiled to drink bad tea at this point. I'll take bad coffee over bad tea, any time.
posted by BrashTech at 2:33 PM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

I saw this before I got out of bed this morning, and it somehow sent me into a reverie about all the glass vacuum pots -- the only brewers I've used for coffee destined for my exclusive consumption -- I've broken over the last 30 years.

Something like 2 Bodum Santos, 6 Conas (British, and very fragile until they started making them in Germany), 3 GEs, 3 Harios, 2 Yamas, 1 MacBeth (out of Chicago, and really beautiful, could never find any reference to their existence), 7 or 8 Silexes, 8 Corys (also from Chicago, and most an elegant style with ground glass seals rather than the usual rubber gaskets which mainly hardened into uselessness after 50+ years, as well as filter rods made of glass), and 1 Kent.

I like them because I can taste filter paper and even cloth in brewed coffee, and my vacuum pots can be set up so that the coffee touches only glass, because they allow control of brewing temperature from lukewarm to boiling, and because, surprisingly, the ineffectual-looking glass filter rods catch almost all the grounds (about two orders of magnitude better than French press does), allowing me to enjoy the taste of the coffee oils without the cardboardy overtone of grounds.
posted by jamjam at 3:06 PM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

My husband and I used to drink a lot of coffee. So much coffee. We had a simple expresso machine and he had a notebook where he kept notes about what grind, how long, etc in an attempt to perfect his morning cup of coffee.

Then he quit smoking and found all coffee gross for *months* afterwards and we got a bit out of the habit. It was weird. Maybe he could never taste the coffee and never actually liked it! Maybe it was psychological. We have no idea.

He now has two cups of coffee every morning from our fancy bean-to-cup coffee machine (usually! It's away for repairs and we have to use the french press and its fine I guess but we miss our magic coffee button. I am not willing to do much work at all to acquire coffee in the morning). I have one cup of coffee a day, sometimes, and about 6 cups of chai tea. I don't have sugar in my tea so I tell myself it's fine to have tea ALL THE TIME WHENEVER I WANT. I tend to fail at the brewing stage though, those three minutes of waiting are the danger zone, I tend to wander off and get distracted and forget I was making tea.

When paying for coffee I like mochas very much. Costa does a mocha cortado that is my favourite coffee, but I can't bring myself to order it at any independent coffee places where it is never on the menu, so I just get a cappuchino so I'm not that coffee person with the weird fussy order.

I once ordered a chai latte at a small coffee place and was served a tray with a little teapot of chai tea, a jug of steamed milk, and a little dish with syrup and a small spoon. It was the best. I can't order chai lattes anywhere else any more because they are SO SWEET.
posted by stillnocturnal at 3:20 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

In the same way that I like access to potable water and breathable air, yes.

Cosigned. I manage to simultaneously really like/need coffee and Have Opinions when I am making it for myself, but am actually pretty happy with anything (with some exceptions) when I'm out and about.

So personally I like it as dark and thick and bitter as manageable. I have an aeropress that I enjoy the coffee from, but over the summer I stay at a place with a Keurig and that's actually mostly fine for me too (we have those one-hitters that you can fill with your own ground coffee). Just recently I decided to get rid of all the extra coffee frippery in my home so I ditched my moka pot, my camping espresso maker (it never really worked right and I really don't camp anymore) and my pour-over setup. I kept the espresso maker, the aeropress, the regular coffee maker and the french press.

My only coffee beef is trying to order the sort of espresso drink I like (a bone dry cappucino or a macchiatto) and then trying to be happy with what I usually get (basically a latté). Often I'll just order coffee. I also get crotchety with fancy espresso places that don't have half and half, but I'm aware this is a personal problem. We do have a fancy espresso place near me that will give you maple sap shooters to go with your no-half-and-half coffee and that is a pretty good compromise. If I am drinking a sweet coffee drink, I will go out of my way to find a place that has tumeric coconut lattés, but usually I prefer dark and bitter.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:30 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

OH, I forgot to mention the constant bain of my coffee-drinking existence: the coffee place near me that roasts their own beans, to death. And then sells them to all the nice coffee places around me that then go "hey, we sell coffee made with local artisan roasted beans!" and then their coffee is undrinkably bitter. Like, I pull faces like a cartoon character when I try to drink it bitter. It is the worst coffee I have ever had, and now I have to awkwardly ask every place I go where they get their beans from to avoid undrinkable coffee. Ugh.
posted by stillnocturnal at 3:33 PM on June 21, 2019

My only coffee beef

Mmmmmm, coffee beef....
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:49 PM on June 21, 2019

I love coffee and tea for a multitude of different, but sometimes interchangeable, reasons.

Just back from Avebury, where I've been on and off over several days for the summer solstice. There were stones and cake and Druids and pagans and bewildered tourists, and a tall man in a strange t-shirt.

Anyway; happy summer solstice, MeFites! (this also means that - northern hemisphere - the nights are now starting to draw in as we begin the descent to Christmas)

Good night.
posted by Wordshore at 3:51 PM on June 21, 2019 [9 favorites]

Mmmmmm, coffee beef....

I'll take a half-calf tripe L shot...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:53 PM on June 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Coffee tastes like boiled hair. Also, as a native Floridian the idea of drinking a hot beverage under any circumstance short of "advanced hypothermia" is revolting to me. Hard pass.
posted by saladin at 4:02 PM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sounds like someone needs a little pick-me-up...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:09 PM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Well now I have some questions:

What is a “dry” cappuccino?
What am I supposed to do with the little glass of seltzer that sometimes comes with espresso?

This thread reminded me of the amazing all-in-one machines that are popular in Europe that have a big bean hopper and will spit out espressos at the push of a button. I’d probably buy one of those for our kitchen if I could find a decent one in the states.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:16 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

What you're looking for in terms of a machine, backseatpilot is a superautomatic. My understanding is that Krups, of all manufacturers, makes pretty decent ones for the US market in the < $1k bracket (this one, at $600, is well-regarded). If you want it to steam milk for you, I believe it'll do that, but check the details if that's important to you.

My understanding is that the seltzer is a palate cleanser. I actually really like it, because sometimes I don't want to keep tasting my espresso for half an hour afterward.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 4:24 PM on June 21, 2019

I came to coffee pretty late (happens with a mormon upbringing) and while I like the smell, I can only stand the taste with lots of cream/milk and sugar, to the point that I figure I might as well just drink hot cocoa, which I prefer if I want something hot. I use lightly-sweetened (usually iced) tea to get my caffeine fix, usually.
posted by Aleyn at 4:37 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

rather be jorting, I'd say the GEs took a lot of work to break and also made a very good cup of coffee; they're designed to be used with their own glass filter rod, but will take one of the ubiquitous Cory rods, or one of the still available for purchase (at $25+) Cona rods.

Be cautious about buying a vintage glass pot on eBay, though. I just glanced at their offerings, and of ~10 'complete' glass vacuum pots, 4 are Frankenstein's monsters of mismatched parts which would be completely non-functional, and another is a mismatch that might work, but I can't tell for sure.

NICRO (somehow affiliated with Cory) did make an all stainless pot which I tested against my glass pots without being able to taste any difference I could attribute to the stainless, but I just didn't like brewing coffee in metal. If you get one of those, don't scrub off the patina on the stainless filter.
posted by jamjam at 4:53 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am currently living on the road so I have limited luggage space, but one thing I do have is a kilo bag of cheap Pakistani tea leaves that would make tea connoisseurs gag, which I use to make myself a cup of real chai (not the ditchwater drunk outside the subcontinent) every morning.

When I drink coffee I like the lightest fruitiest pourover I can find. I seek out wood and concrete cafés staffed by hipster bearded barristas wherever I go.
posted by tavegyl at 5:02 PM on June 21, 2019

NICRO (somehow affiliated with Cory) did make an all stainless pot

I bought one of those a while back to take on car-camping trips, but it seems to be about impossible to keep it from clogging without using a really coarse grind and spending extra time sifting out any smaller bits, which is more trouble than it's worth. Easier just to take a Mason jar of homemade cold-brew instead.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:01 PM on June 21, 2019

What is a “dry” cappuccino?
The drier it is, the less steamed milk. In my dream world it would be espresso with just foam. A macchiato is closer (literally an espresso "stained" with foam) but less likely to be understood. Really what I want is "espresso with foam on top" and for no one to give me a hard time or lecture me about what it's called in Italian or Portuguese.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:19 PM on June 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

Could you be more specific, Greg_Ace?

If by "clogging" you mean the coffee wasn't all sucked down into the lower vessel, on that coffee maker I'm relatively confident the seal was bad or it wasn't left to bubble long enough.
posted by jamjam at 6:26 PM on June 21, 2019

In my dream world it would be espresso with just foam. A macchiato is closer (literally an espresso "stained" with foam) but less likely to be understood.

Just the other day I ordered a cappuchino and got something that was indistinguishable from a latte. Very disappointing, but I'm sure it is what most people are wanting, so there you go.

Coffee is bad for me, I am way too sensitive to caffeine and even just one cup in the morning impacts my sleep and makes me anxious. But I am addicted (as well as loving the taste) and I never manage to stay off of it for longer than a few weeks.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:43 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

glad to come late to this discussion of coffee. havn't read comments so will just answer fizz's original questions quickly and come back later once i've caught up on the discussion. i'm confident it's already been noted how appropriate coffee is for beanplating.
i like it. i sometimes hate instances of it, to wit: any with flavoring. i love it, generally (with increasing misgivings about market/supply-line ethics and ecology) and it loves me. it is chronically neither vice nor indulgence, though from acute time to time may be either. the right roast for the right bean; too many variables to generalize. no. yes: black. often grind beans; have little whirring electric & delightful hand-crank. almost always drip; can do cafetiere or pourover with some calibration. never the former, the latter maybe.
quick beanplate on the roast question: i love me some ethiopian yirgacheffe, having never carefully considered the roast b/c it was available in the roast that was available, which, until latest bulk resupply was so consistently what i now understand to have been a medium roast that i never even thought of it. but this new batch is dark roasted shiny & oily like a french or vienna roast. i reacted with horror opening the first (of several gift) pound(s) to see those glistening beans, but it was really good: that sharp earthy/grassy yirgacheffe flavor still there, but as a note in a darker broader chord of more robust (or maybe just more normative?) flavor, instead of the focus it is in the accustomed medium roast; it didn't taste burnt as i'd feared b/c to my palate french/vienna roasts often do. among that tranche of gift beans i selected something called "indian monsooned malabar" -- because gotta find out wtf that means -- which i'll go brew up now and read what y'all have been-- nevermind: yesterday's food lion brand ground coffee is there in the carafe. i'll get some & get caught up. a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:49 PM on June 21, 2019

I'm considering getting my first-ever tattoo, and I was planning on getting BE KIND tattooed on my inner arm. I texted this plan to my best friend, who texted back: "knuckles."

So I read this out loud to my spouse, and we laugh, and then I do the thing where I pretend to seriously consider the idea, and she recoils in horror, and I keep committing to the bit, and it keeps escalating, and then after a minute a switch flips in my brain and I realize it would be completely kickass to get knuckle tats that say BE KIND, and I begin seriously considering the idea, out loud, and my dear spouse recognizes I'm no longer kidding, and she tries to snap me out of it

and now I really kind of want knuckle tats that say BE KIND

posted by duffell at 7:11 PM on June 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

But if you have BE KIND on one inner arm, you can have REWIND on the inside of the other. And you can have BE HIND on the first outer arm and... BE KIND again on the second outer arm.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:23 PM on June 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh, and I am one of those jerks who liked butter coffee. It's a bit oily and not quite like coffee with full cream, but it is rich, and if you use salted butter, it's flavorful.

There's no way I'd drink it like that all the time, especially because it's best if you whip it up till it's frothy, but i like it, from time to time.
posted by crush at 7:25 PM on June 21, 2019

I had to get up and make a pot of decaf at 7:30 pm because I couldn’t imagine waiting until tomorrow morning to drink coffee! I am lactose intolerant so learned to drink black coffee in my 20’s. I wonder what my preference would’ve been if there had been the now-ubiquitous non-dairy milks available.
posted by gryphonlover at 7:33 PM on June 21, 2019

I like coffee. It tastes good. I do not like caffeine. I've always wondered what it's like to have caffeine make you suddenly more functional because, for me, it either does nothing or makes me batshit anxious. So all those cartoons where someone is like "this oil tanker full of coffee is humorously not enough" make me jealous in a mildly bemused way.

This is one of the ways I don't belong on the west coast. People actually think it's a worthwhile focus of snobbery here to disdain decaf coffee, and like I'll sometimes walk into a coffee place and ask for a decaf and the pure soul behind the counter will sputter "...coffee?" with a look of incomprehension.

But I like coffee. Cream, no sugar. Once in a while black if it's really good.
posted by Smearcase at 8:00 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't tolerate dairy, and I miss coffee with whole milk. Now I add some stevia and sugar. I've always liked the taste of coffee, and I depend on the caffeine. Sometimes the thought of a nice cuppa joe is what gets me out of bed. I don't care for dark roasted beans, Mocha Java or Breakfast Blend is good. Dunkies is always fresh and hot, which goes a long way. 2 - 3 cups a day, when I start needing more, it's a sign of stress and needing better sleep. I have some nice, not-huge, stoneware mugs of which I am fond.

No caffeine after about 2 p.m. for me. Decaf black tea or Orange Zinger. I recently found a Taylor & Ng mug of 'frolicking' rabbits and it's my favorite tea mug.

It's 11 p.m., so what I'm drinking right now is a beer.
posted by theora55 at 8:26 PM on June 21, 2019

Could you be more specific, Greg_Ace? If by "clogging" you mean the coffee wasn't all sucked down into the lower vessel, on that coffee maker I'm relatively confident the seal was bad or it wasn't left to bubble long enough.

Well, it's true that as soon as all the water had been forced into the top container and air was bubbling out I'd pull it off the heat. Then the liquid would stay there, never getting sucked back into the lower carafe. I even tried rinsing the lower half in cold water to speed up the process, which apparently just made the seal that much tighter. I tried both the plastic filter that came with the unit and a Cory glass filter rod, with the same results. Every time when I tried to jiggle or slightly lift/tilt either filter (which took effort due to the suction) I'd end up completely breaking the seal so everything drained into the bottom, grounds and all.

I also have a Bodum glass vacuum pot that did work fine, but the whole process was too fiddly for a result that didn't taste different enough from a simple pour-over to make it worth the effort except as a showpiece at parties. It hasn't been pulled out of its box for at least two moves; it's practically brand new, I bet I haven't used it more than 8 or 10 times. I should probably do the KonMari thing and put it on eBay to get it out of the house.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:33 PM on June 21, 2019

My parents drank coffee by the urnfull, but I never liked coffee until sometime in my late 20s. We were playing paintball in the woods in late fall/early winter. Either way, it was way cold. One of my fellow combatants had a thermos of coffee and offered a cup. I gratefully accepted and, with one gulp, I was hooked.

These days, I start my mornings with either a double latte or double espresso (depending on whether my milk pitcher is clean) I don’t have any super-expensive espresso machine. I use a perfectly serviceable (and reliable) Mr.Coffee ECMP-50 pump machine.

I make cold brew for an afternoon iced coffee (w/milk and vanilla syrup) but I’ve cut back on those for now because they seem to pack more of a caffeine punch than the double espressos.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:41 PM on June 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

In a diner with a greasy breakfast: black, no sugar. When making it at home: cream, sometimes a little honey. Fast food restaurant: two cream, one sugar.

You'd think I could just stick to black (for my health at least). No, I don't know why I'm like this.
posted by ODiV at 8:47 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I come from long lines of coffee-drinking people on both sides of my family. I hate coffee. I hate the stench of coffee. I despise the stench of a coffee aisle in a grocery store. I loathe the stench of a coffee store, such as I visited last early December so as to purchase some really "good" coffee as a Christmas gift for people who love coffee. The stench of coffee is barely a step above that of ammonia, IMHO. But I'm not an ass to coffee aficionados, and I'm very comfortable with you do you.

"Coke Zero, please. *sigh* Yes, Pepsi's fine."
posted by bryon at 10:14 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I struggled with a small-enough-for-my-Hong-Kong-microhovel brewing setup for years that would yield non-terrible cold coffee, but my Moka pot was only capable of making espresso that would burn your eyebrows off and took on all the fridge smells when I made loads and tried to refrigerate it, and my local shop stopped carrying my favourite variety of ground coffee.

I tried tea for a few months and was mildly alive during that period BUT THEN I got this cold brew strainer thing that lives in your fridge and as a person who only drinks black iced Americanos it's perfect - I grind the beans, dump in the grounds, add water, pop it in the fridge and end up with a litre of concentrate that I pour straight into a cup and add ice and water every morning - it takes five seconds. There's no bitterness and I don't have to heat up my kitchen!
posted by mdonley at 11:34 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

What, 117 comments in and there are no ‚I like my coffee like I like my men‘ jokes yet?

Anyway, I like an Americano as my midmorning drink. My coffee nerd friends in Germany visibly suffer when I describe the process of diluting espresso shots with hot water. ‚Why would you do that?‘ - mainly because the drip coffee beans at my local coffee spot are much worse than their espresso beans and because I like sitting there for half an hour chatting while finishing my drink. But also because addict brains get hooked on stuff that doesn‘t make rational sense.
posted by The Toad at 11:57 PM on June 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Coffee is the devil's drink. Diet coke is the nectar of the gods.
posted by AugustWest at 12:26 AM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like my coffee as I like my cats — not laying on my students’ work when I’m under time pressure.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:12 AM on June 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

My first cup of coffee: I was on a first date in high school to some little faux French cafe, and I was trying to impress the boy, a coffee drinker, so I ordered my coffee black. I took one sip, nearly retched, and went looking for the cream and sugar, but it was too close to closing time and so they’d put it away. Ordering black coffee may have impressed him but I suspect leaving the remainder untouched did not.

I didn’t try again until many years later, when a grad school friend decided I needed a vice. She started sneaking me chocolate covered espresso beans from her professor’s stash in the lab. This was exactly the gateway drug I needed to become one of those people who writes a dissertation mostly in coffee shops.

At various points in my life I’ve been wildly addicted to caffeine. Nowadays I’m struggling with insomnia often enough that we’ve dialed the home brew back to a mix of around one part full strength to two parts decaf. On weekends we do French press, which even at this reduced strength still makes me extra perky (maybe we oversteep it). We used to pick dark roasts but have developed more of a tolerance for the fruitier end of the spectrum. I’ll drink it black under duress, but I still prefer it with cream and sugar.

We went to Australia a couple years ago and our Airbnb host had this magic machine that made long blacks and suddenly I am craving one of those. I mean, it’s basically an americano, except it tastes good, somehow.
posted by eirias at 5:02 AM on June 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love Pilon bodega coffee. To the point that I buy cases of it in bulk. I like it better than 95% of the much fancier whole bean coffees I’ve tried. It is my platonic ideal of coffee.

Drip coffee maker. Half and half, or whole milk if iced, no sugar. 5-10 cups a day since I was a kid. You can keep your estate grown whole bean organic $18 a pound stuff. I know it’s philistine. My yuppie friends can’t believe it. My taste buds don’t lie. I hate most over-roasted high acid coffees. I’m having 5 cups or more, I want my own taste.

And I prefer a street cart to Starbucks or most other boutique coffee shops.
posted by spitbull at 7:01 AM on June 22, 2019

I was introduced to the Aeropress on a metafilter campout. Finally last year, I came across one at an estate sale for $4! It is my go to camping coffee method now! But I'm going on a camping trip with a bunch of people this weekend and I really don't want to make a bunch of individual coffees for people so I'm bringing my french press and praying it doesn't break!
posted by vespabelle at 8:10 AM on June 22, 2019

I used to be an extreme coffee snob: like, roast my own and process control nonsense. I got better. I also used to use absurd amounts of coffee to self-medicate, but it just made me jittery and have to pee a lot. Oh, and it didn't do wonders for the arrhythmia, either.

So my morning coffee is now:
  • Kicking Horse Kick Ass beans from any local supermarket
  • ground in the cheapest reliable burr grinder I can find (for the last 6 years, that's been a Black & Decker thingy)
  • made in a cafetière bought the week we got here in 2002. It gets rinsed daily but never really washed because eww detergent-flavoured coffee.
Served black because putting things in coffee is for kids who aren't old enough to like proper coffee yet. Served in a German porcelain mug from a popular wind turbine manufacturer because it is the best mug.

Just back from staying with the parents in Scotland. Rather horrified that Dad - a man who wouldn't drink tea made from anything but fresh -drawn cold water - is all about their new Quooker boiling water tap. Oh, and Tim Horton's is just as bad in Scotland as it is in Canada.
posted by scruss at 9:01 AM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've tried coffee maybe four times?

Once as a little kid, probably age four, my dad let me try his. I hated it.
Once because it was an excuse to hang out with a girl. I hated it (but dated the girl for a bit).
Once in college when my friend insisted that he made amazing coffee and I had to try it. I hated it, and his feelings were hurt but hurt feelings don't make gross shit taste better.
Once... I'm forgetting, but probably also college. Still hated it.

Best use of coffee I have experienced was when a friend used it to amplify the chocolate in the birthday cake she made me. I was apprehensive because coffee, but I couldn't taste the coffee at all and the cake was amazing. This was probably the largest amount of coffee I've ever had, the times I tried drinking it I basically had a taste and set it down, so I've drank maybe 1/4 cup ever and that was mostly because of the girl I liked.

I've made friends because we both hated coffee and were ranting about it together.

I like tea. More coffee for all y'all who dig it.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:30 AM on June 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

In my past I have been: a competitive barista, an espresso machine rebuilder, and a cafe owner. At one point I knew all the big names in the coffee world. I've given lectures on french press design and why steep times should be less than 60 seconds. I machined my own espresso tamp.

These days I drink nescafe out of a glass boot. I am always amused when someone finds that out - watching the combination of distaste and horror play across their face, followed by the inevitable "why?"

Laziness. That and a raging caffeine addiction. That's why.
posted by weed donkey at 10:06 AM on June 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Apparently I need more coffee. I'm not thinking clearly.

I just accidentally made a post that included some offensive/bigoted commentary. It's been taken down at my request, but for anyone who saw that (while it was briefly up), my apologies. I'm not about that and I was half-paying attention when I put all the links together and I just missed that piece as it splashed on screen during the one video. Fucking gamer-gate bro mentality. Always ruining what would otherwise have been a cool video game to share.


posted by Fizz at 11:51 AM on June 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I must have a cup of very strong, relatively sweet coffee first thing every morning. I do have coffee at other times of the day, but those are treats, not necessity.

I prefer Starbucks beans with flavored Coffeemate. Anything but French vanilla.
posted by lyssabee at 12:09 PM on June 22, 2019

In the winter (and spring and fall) I make hot coffee in an aeropress and drink it black. I think that aeropresses are associated with coffee snobs, but I like it because it's super easy and takes up minimal counter space. In the summer, I drink cold brew coffee with some kind of fake milk in it. Either way, I mostly drink Cafe Bustelo, because it's good, and it's cheap at Aldi. I generally only drink one cup of coffee a day. I used to drink like ten cups of coffee a day, but I've stopped that ever since I got my ADHD properly treated.

For a special treat, I like to drink coffee (either hot or cold) with sweetened, condensed milk in it, but I'm trying to cut back on that, because I probably don't need that amount of sugar in my life.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:19 PM on June 22, 2019

Well, it's true that as soon as all the water had been forced into the top container and air was bubbling out I'd pull it off the heat. Then the liquid would stay there, never getting sucked back into the lower carafe. I even tried rinsing the lower half in cold water to speed up the process, which apparently just made the seal that much tighter. I tried both the plastic filter that came with the unit and a Cory glass filter rod, with the same results.

Aha! Well, as much of an aha! as is compatible with the fact that this has happened to me many times despite years of experience, anyway.

The vacuum pot has to bubble for a while to get rid of all the air that was trapped in the lower vessel when you affixed the upper. When that happens the bubbling will actually diminish sharply because the gas that's bubbling up is finally all water vapor which the cooler liquid in the upper vessel will absorb before it can break the surface. As the liquid in the upper vessel gets closer to boiling temperature itself, bubbling will increase again, but any time after the bubble minimum begins, the coffee should all go down after you take it off the heat.

This exchange reminded me of something I'd been meaning to do for years with my old NICRO, which is to use it to make rice, since the combination of boiling and steaming would seem to be ideal. And it worked! With Lundberg Organic Brown Basmati; the rice grains were more separate and fluffier than I've ever been able to get them before, and I ended up with a cup of thickened opaque basmati scented liquid in the lower vessel. Next experiment will be adding cardamom or chili peppers to the lower vessel to make infused rice.
posted by jamjam at 12:29 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

The vacuum pot has to bubble for a while to get rid of all the air that was trapped in the lower vessel when you affixed the upper.

Aha indeed - I'll give that a try, out of curiosity's sake if nothing else.

Best use of coffee I have experienced was when a friend used it to amplify the chocolate in the birthday cake she made me.

I learned that trick from Nigella Lawson - she used a couple of teaspoons of instant espresso powder. Using her recipe I've made the absolute best brownies of my life (enthusiastically corroborated by a chocolate hound connoisseur friend).
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:38 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

robusta is my jam. drink it black. medium roast. too much dark roast makes me hella on edge for some reason?

cold brew on hot summer days, room temp filter coffee on cold days (hot coffee is something of a rarity since kiddo showed up). love americanos.

get a severe headache by noon if i skip the caffeine in the morning. would drink more than 6 cups a day, but since i'm still breastfeeding, gotta stick to the two. love the taste so much, i'd drink decaf endlessly, but it makes me a little suspicious how good that is for me so i just suck it up and daydream about weaning my kid earlier.

also, finns generally drink terrible coffee.
posted by speakeasy at 1:02 PM on June 22, 2019

Just want to put in a good word for cheesecake, since coffee & cheesecake are a perfect desert.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2019

I’d like to think I’m a coffee snob, but will really drink most anything black though flavored coffees are not my jam. My palette feels more arbitrary than developed, with some things being good, others bad, and only the extremes of bitterness and acidity setting off alarms. Intelligentsia, La Colombe, & Philz all have at least one nice roast to waste money on.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2019

I used to drink coffee all day long. To the point when at conferences/meetings I was grumpy if there was not coffee for the afternoon break. I'd drink it right up to bedtime. Now I've mostly dialed it back to a single cup in the morning. Little Black&Decker four cup machine that I pour one full mug of water in, grind just the right amount of beans, and use the same mug for my carafe. The switch is always on but it shares the outlet with the grinder so I just plug/unplug things. Two sugars in a big-ish mug.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:24 PM on June 22, 2019

speakeasy: also, finns generally drink terrible coffee.

I started drinking coffee at age 15 or so. I would drink Paulig Presidentti or Juhla Mokka whenever we were at my grandparents' place (they got it here in Canada via a local Finn import store).

I haven't had it in ages, so I'm not sure what my palate of today would say about it. I do recall it being a very light roast, though.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:50 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love coffee and drink it every day, but I have stopped making it at home. I still have the drip machine, the french press, the pourover cone, even a combo thermos/press that I bought on Kickstarter. So what changed? I got tired of the process--the buying of the beans, the having to build coffee making into my morning routine--and now I just get it when I'm going to work. Currently, that is a very nice patisserie across the street from my office. Small coffee with half and half, and I'm down to one packet of sugar. The best part is when I walk in and the ladies behind the counter have it ready when they see me park my bike outside.

I also find that the coffee at 9am delivers the caffeine where it's most needed: during the first couple hours at my desk. Occasionally I get an afternoon cup, but it seems to adversely affect going to sleep, so that's saved for dire circumstances.

The weekends I'm either drinking it at the midpoint of my bike ride, or I'm getting an au lait at my neighborhood coffee spot.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:58 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I recently made two coffee-related discoveries prompted by the weather heating up. First: you know those supermarket Starbucks "Frappuccino" iced-coffee drinks? (Not the blended-ice cafe drinks, the bottled ones.) They're an occasional guilty pleasure for me, and I know a lot of folks are addicted to them. Turns out they're hilariously easy to replicate at home. Strong coffee (undiluted Aeropress coffee works, or French press with extra grounds), milk, sugar, and cocoa powder if you're aiming at the mocha flavor. Mix it all up, throw it in the fridge, then shake and drink once it's cold. Dead on the same drink, just less sweet if you used a more reasonable amount of sugar.

Second: that mixture works surprisingly well as a popsicle. Home-made mocha pops are going to get me through July.
posted by skymt at 3:25 PM on June 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

I am slightly precious with my coffee at home (burr grinder, pour over), but I also have a life long affection for crappy coffee - vending machine coffee, airplane coffee, diner coffee. It tastes like adventure, good friends, and grad school to me.
posted by q*ben at 3:39 PM on June 22, 2019 [8 favorites]

Mmmmmm, coffee beef....

It is not coffee, but my British-raised father-in-law used to talk about beef tea, which was given to the ill and infirm.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:44 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Beef tea is one of my favorite subjects! There’s a lot of interesting social history behind stuff like Bovril. I’m especially fond of anything related to the chemist Justus von Liebig and the popularity of Liebig’s Beef Extract. I have a number of Victorian cookbooks that tell you how to make beef extract. It’s really fascinating stuff.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:37 PM on June 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't drink hot things. Ever. No coffee. No tea. No soup.

But I do love the Canadian candy bar called Coffee Crisp.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:19 PM on June 22, 2019

Also I wanted to note I can actually go about without coffee and I'm super thankful I don't get headaches or anything weird without it. Sometimes I just drink water or herbal tea or green tea all day.

And a comment upthread reminded me about workplace coffee. I was a graphic design temp at an engineering firm once and the coffee was fucking horrible. Like the worst, cheapest of those institutional pre-measured single use bags and all-in-one paper sachets you just drop in the drip brew basket.

I had enough bad coffee so one day I brought in some real coffee and made it extra strong as I like it and totally failed to tell anyone about the switch at all.

Well, apparently I got the entire engineering and drafting departments all kinds of jacked up. Within the hour there was an email chain about how good the coffee was that day.

And then several hours later the drafting department manager came over to the marketing department and had some words with my manager about how I wasn't allowed to do that any more because it had caused some kind of pandemonium over there with a bunch of hyper-caffeinated engineers and CAD drafters.
posted by loquacious at 10:27 PM on June 22, 2019 [9 favorites]

I don’t drink hot things. Ever. No coffee. No tea. No soup.

o noooooooooooooooo
posted by Going To Maine at 10:56 PM on June 22, 2019

Strong black pour-over coffee, morning and afternoon with whatever tolerable cheap beans I can find. Better whole beans in the cupboard and the burr grinder come out when company is over. French press mostly collects dust.

Also addicted to the point of headaches within a couple hrs of skipping coffee. In my 20s, I used to increasingly up my coffee intake over the course of a year or two as my caffeine tolerance built up, then quit cold turkey for a few weeks as a hard reset before starting over. I eventually reached a more stable medium dose that I've been on like clockwork for years now.
posted by p3t3 at 12:44 AM on June 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hate coffee. Really wish I didn't, because I have developed a ridiculous caffeine addiction currently supplied via the horribleness of Monster energy drinks, and quitting is going to suck so badly. I get daily headaches anyway (unrelated medical stuff) and adding on the caffeine withdrawal headaches is not something I can handle and still function as a human being. Really annoyed at having gotten myself into this mess; I blame 60-hour work weeks. At least if I could tolerate coffee it would be a more natural way to get my caffeine, but I just cannot stand it.
posted by cgg at 9:24 AM on June 23, 2019

Pretty much every morning, noon and night for almost 70 years, my father would make Chock full o'Nuts Coffee (contains no nuts!) in a little 2 cup Wear-Ever drip pot (makes enough for about one mug full in one go). You just put the grounds in the strainer, pour hot water in the top, let it drip through, and you are good to go. He always drank his coffee with just the smallest drop of milk, and no sugar. Periodically someone would give him some fancier coffee, or an electric coffee machine, but he always went back to Chock full o'Nuts and the little drip pot.

The pot was still in the dish drainer when we cleared his place after he died, and Mr. gudrun and I, moved by a simultaneous impulse, grabbed it and took it home with us. We use it every once in a while to make coffee for guests (like my mother, I'm a tea drinker, though I do like the smell of coffee). It's a nostalgia thing, plus it still makes good coffee.
posted by gudrun at 10:34 AM on June 23, 2019 [9 favorites]

I love coffee. Especially cold brewed with a drop of sweetened condensed milk. Unfortunately caffeine doesn't like me. I have trouble sleeping even without coffee in my life. So only rarely.
posted by Splunge at 1:16 PM on June 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Tomayto, tomahto, beef tea, lite soup

All soup is tea made from food, and I'd rather just have the food please

(Interesting to know "beef tea" is an English tradition - the only place I've ever encountered it was a farming family in Mississippi.)
posted by solotoro at 3:14 PM on June 23, 2019

Coffee always tastes best in my favourite mug.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 3:41 PM on June 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

My daily is Keurig and usually with whatever cups were on sale at Target because I'm trash and impatient.

My aspirational is French Press and I have a Bodum and a grinder but have never gotten anything but weakass dirt water. Can someone give me the version of doing this that assumes I know nothing?

Also, half and half, whole milk, or heavy whipping cream are acceptable. No milk substitutes, no powdered stuff, and no sugar or sweetener whatever is how I take it.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:15 PM on June 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

When other people make coffee for me, then I am all about the honey lavender latte.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:18 PM on June 23, 2019

I use a burr grinder, stovetop Moka and prefer a medium roast nowadays. Mr. Waving and I take turns brewing and bringing it upstairs then wake up over about 45 minutes. He rarely drank coffee until he met me now he's totally hooked 7 years later. One of his favorite parts of Twin Peaks was Doggie holding his coffee cup with both hands and saying "mmmmm, coffee ".
posted by waving at 6:17 PM on June 23, 2019

But if you have BE KIND on one inner arm, you can have REWIND on the inside of the other. And you can have BE HIND on the first outer arm and... BE KIND again on the second outer arm.

There is a far more amusing place to tattoo the words BE HIND.

Coffee: I don't generally drink it. I'm off caffeine-- which is a shame, because it does make me more focused and productive. But I also have anxiety, and I've noticed that the day *after* I drink caffeine, I get sensitive and sad and desperate. So, no caffeine but also no getting anything done.

I strive to make coffee well for others. I live near an Ethiopian coffee importer, so I get ground beans from them and use a French press. But I don't really *know* coffee, so there are nuances of making it that escape me.

I can make you a great cup of tea, tailored to your specifications and personality. I can make hot chocolate that will have you hearing the voices of angels. And I can make a pitcher of lemonade for any summer's day.

But I wish I made better coffee. :(
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:22 PM on June 23, 2019

Oh-- I had meant to link this amazingly written recipe for triple-distilled coffee that "will punch you in the face and leave you smelling colors."
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:27 PM on June 23, 2019

My aspirational is French Press and I have a Bodum and a grinder but have never gotten anything but weakass dirt water. Can someone give me the version of doing this that assumes I know nothing?

We grind ours at the grocery store, on the very coarsest setting. The dry coffee grounds should look chunky, not powdery the way they should for drip coffee. If it’s too fine, you won’t be able to press the used grounds down, and you’ll have to drink around them... Then we add eight big scoops of coffee grounds to the carafe - one per four ounces of drink desired (our carafe makes two sixteen ounce mugs). Note that these scoops are bigger than the 1T scoops that came with our regular drip coffee machine. Did your Bodum come with a scoop? I feel like ours did and if yours did too, use that one. This may actually be too strong for your taste and you can always dial it back, but it should not be too weak. :) We pour in boiling water because we are lazy, though I hear you get more of the good flavors if it’s slightly cooler than boiling, and let it steep for four minutes with the press screen at the top. Then we use the plunger doohickey to press the screen to the bottom of the carafe, and it’s ready.
posted by eirias at 3:00 AM on June 24, 2019

I don't like coffee. I do like coffee-flavoured things, like caramel candy, ice cream and White Russians and even things sold in cafes that are mostly milk and sugar (latte and cappucino...)

And as others I enjoy the smell of coffee.
posted by Harald74 at 3:53 AM on June 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

All soup is tea made from food

Not the pureed kind.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on June 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

After many long years of various forms of abuse, it is now my only substance.
posted by thelonius at 7:43 AM on June 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love espresso drinks that aren't too milky: cortados, short lattes, flat whites. More than a little caffeine makes me productive but jumpy and sleep deprived and then anxious and cranky. I can't even have chocolate desserts any more, unless for breakfast. Chocolate cake or pudding or ice cream for breakfast can be wonderful, but that may be fodder for another Metatalk.

After years of experiments, this is pretty quick, relatively easy, and gives me the taste I want and the minimal-caffeine bump I need: two scoops of Seattle's Best Decaf (owned by Starbucks, apparently) in the Aeropress, ~180° water all the way to the top, and ~4 ounces of milk nuked for 30 seconds.

solotoro, could you please name your friend's small decaf company, here or via memail?
posted by conscious matter at 8:54 AM on June 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

While you are talking about your Fair Trade beans, ground by rocks that have been blessed by the Hold Monks of Kathmandu and made with sprint water, I'd just like some fucking coffee.

My aspirational is French Press and I have a Bodum and a grinder but have never gotten anything but weakass dirt water. Can someone give me the version of doing this that assumes I know nothing?

I normally wouldn't say this, but you did say that you know nothing. You pour the hot water over the grounds and then put the lid on WITH THE PLUNGER UP. Let the coffee steep for a few minutes, then push the plunger down. If you aren't doing that then you get (checks notes) "weakass dirt water".
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:24 PM on June 24, 2019

solotoro, could you please name your friend's small decaf company, here or via memail?

MeMailed you, and happy to MeMail anyone else who's interested!
posted by solotoro at 4:51 AM on June 25, 2019

My current jam: Pourover with Counter-Culture Hologram, ground on the finer side of the 'fine' setting on the Bunn commercial grinder you would find in a grocery store. I use ~3.5 tbsp of coffee, water at 180 F. The result is super bright and tastes like blueberries.
posted by cirgue at 7:17 AM on June 25, 2019

I just bought a portable espresso maker for using on my boat. You put in some coffee and some hot water and use a little hand pump to push it out. Really pleased with it.
posted by night_train at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Cuban-style brick espresso coffee (whatever's on sale) with a teaspoon of honey or sugar.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:09 PM on June 25, 2019

Once upon a time I would have several cups of coffee [with milk and sugar] per day, but I gave up the sugar many years ago.

These days I have 1 [industrial strength] in the morning. At work I'll make it in the espresso machine, at home I use a plunger[1], once a week I'll make cafe au lait.

I haven't even seen a drip filter setup in years - probably the last time I was in the U.S.

If I'm not at home or work I'll usually get a flat white. I never go to Starbucks [that's pretty declasse in this part of the world].

Do Americans really put cream in their coffee? That sounds weird to my ears.

[1] Yes, we have the other kind of plunger as well, but somehow we cope with the ambiguity - context is everything.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:51 PM on June 25, 2019

Do Americans really put cream in their coffee? That sounds weird to my ears.

Just don’t look up Canada, Tim Horton’s and double-doubles. You will be shocked.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:17 PM on June 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like hot coffee better than any cold coffee I've tried, and I've tried hot coffee poured over ice, iced espresso drinks, coffee brewed hot and chilled, cold brew from concentrate, and cold brew at full strength. My wife, though, prefers cold brew in the summer. I also have to limit my caffeine intake because of lifelong sleep issues, but I love coffee, but I also hate decaf (so flat, so boring). So.

Every day I have half a French press worth of coffee. In winter that means my wife and I split a full-size press; in summer I have a half-size press and she drinks cold brew that I also make for her. I buy beans from my neighborhood "micro roaster" and grind them à la minute. I have a decent-ish electric grinder at home and a hand grinder I took to work when I worked in an office (approximately 150 turns for the 24 gram dose required for a half-size press). I used to be a cream-and-sugar guy, but I titrated the sugar away a few years ago after realizing I was habitually reducing the amount of sugar I'd been adding without really thinking about it. I could drink it black but I like the texture with half & half.

Since I'm limited to one 16 oz serving a day, I don't mind spending money on good beans. My big problem with trendy third-wave coffee is that too many of the roasters doing fancy coffee now are into really bright, acidic cups, to an extent I don't like. I don't want my coffee to taste like sucking on a lemon. I like some brightness, but I also like a decent amount of nuttiness, and nuttiness just isn't cool anymore. My preferences thus rule out a lot of trendy roasters. My neighborhood roaster constantly rotates his supply (coffee is seasonal and different places harvest at different times) so every few weeks I have to find a new bean but I eventually caught on to the way they display them in store (brighter on the left, darker and more earthy/vegetal on the right) and I usually want something from just left of center, most likely from Central America, but sometimes from the Pacific somewhere like Flores or Bali.

But also, because of all the different ways we've tried cold coffee, we found a way to make cold brew that my wife really likes. I found that cold brew from concentrate often tastes pretty insipid and indistinct, tasting watered down even when it's still highly caffeinated. I tried making some more direct cold brew and that has turned out well. We use 4 oz beans (by weight, approximately 113 grams), ground as if for press, steeped for 12 hours in approximately 1.1 liters of water in an Oxo Cold Brew maker, filtered through the optional paper filter. Once it's filtered the yield is a bit less than a liter (and the yield varies from batch to batch) so I add water as necessary to get the total volume back up to a liter. This goes into a soda siphon and gets charged with a cream charger (N2O) so it gets that creamy nitro texture. Every part of this turns out to be necessary. 12 hours tastes better than 24; that relatively low ratio of grounds (by weight) to water results in a more coffee-like extraction than the common recipes for cold brew concentrate that use two or three times that much; without the paper filter the fine particulates mess up the nitro texture (and make really messy foam); without the nitro charge the same coffee at the same ratio doesn't taste as rich and satisfying.

And then, amusingly, we found that the fancy coffee I buy for press ends up tasting much more acidic and bright when brewed cold the way she likes. It's also expensive, not even considering how much is used for cold brew. So we tested a whole bunch of grocery store brands to find something more roasty/toasty without tasting burnt. The best supermarket roast for cold brew seems to be Starbucks Veranda blend. We've recently had good results with Mayorga's Roastmaster's Blend at Costco, but last year the same supposed blend was terrible, so every time we buy a bag we feel like we're taking a chance.

Have I overthought these (coffee) beans? Yes. Yes, I have.
posted by fedward at 10:07 AM on June 27, 2019

Iced coffee, please! I really prefer cold coffee to hot, even in the dead of winter. A few years back I think this became a more common thing to do but I remember a long stretch where it was only me.

It's my unofficial life goal to try every coffee place in NYC, so you can often find me and my thermos traversing the boroughs in search of somewhere new. Either that or drinking cold brew made at home with fancy beans, especially Ethiopian ones. A friend likes to order coffee beans with me so we can generally qualify for free shipping and get fresh beans more frequently than if we ordered for ourselves alone, which is an excellent way to keep in touch.
posted by ferret branca at 8:03 PM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I roast my own beans then grind enough for a pour-over into a small Thermos. I like my coffee strong but don't want to OD on caffeine so I grind half caf and half decaf and use that. Lately I've been enjoying medium roast Brazilian, Guatemalan, Honduras but also like Ethiopian. I used to like dark bitter roasts but can't stand them any more.

By the way, if roasting your own sounds too precious, it's not. It's quick & easy and the unroasted green beans are about a half the price of say Starbucks beans, a third the price of fancy roasted beans. After a few months I've earned back what I spent on my little air roaster.
posted by mono blanco at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2019

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