Where Can We Get The Best Coffee For Our Enjoyment?
Let’s explore which coffees are available and how to obtain them.
First we’ll decide whether we will grind our own or purchase ground coffee. The vast majority of coffee sold is already ground. Most are satisfied with brewing this and that’s fine. We have discovered how much more flavor and aroma is released when you grind your own beans.
Our first encounter with whole bean coffee was at the local A&P Supermarket and their good old Eight O’clock which you could grind right in the store. You’ve probably seen these if you’re in the US. Later on more and more supermarkets offer whole bean coffee and have in store grinding stations. We were satisfied with brewing coffee obtained in this way. Then we found a whole new world!
Freshly Roasted Whole Bean Coffee. An acquaintance began asking me if I had tried gourmet coffee. I was intrigued and ask him to tell me more. He spoke of friends that were aficionados of fine coffee. Then he promised to get me a bag of recently roasted coffee.
Here we always buy whole bean and grind it as needed. So we’ll need a grinder.
We recommend this Encore Home Grinder from Baratza. This conical burr grinder is the closest to a professional we can get. So the best coffee is right in your hands. Follow this link to MyEspressoShop and find out how to get one: https://www.myespressoshop.com/collections/baratza?aff=25
As soon as I first began to grind my own beans I never wanted ground coffee again. We started out with an inexpensive stainless blade coffee/spice grinder. Krups has one for under $20.
However, when we upgraded to a burr mill the results were surprising. After a friend gifted me a bag of whole bean coffee after his visit to Colombia I found the coffee to be stale. Preparing this using the blade grinder wasn’t so good. Then one day is a department store I saw a GE burr coffee mill for about $20! I took it home and ground some of this coffee and found the brew to be vastly improved. I felt I was brewing the best coffee available. Henceforth, we never went back to the bade grinder.
Freshness Is Paramount
The question as to which is the best Coffee is the one that is freshest. How can we know if the coffee we’re buying is fresh or not? When you look at a bag or can of ground and see an expiration date, what does this tell us? Not much! What we really need to know is the Roasted On date. Most providers don’t want you to know. Our feeling is that we want to consume coffee not more than fourteen days from it’s roasting. This might not be easy, depends upon where you’re living.
We’re very fortunate to be located in Costa Rica in the heart of the coffee growing zone. I’m able to buy coffee on Tuesday that was roasted Monday. Those of you in the US have some options.Having a Whole Foods supermarket near is a really good thing. They Air Roast green coffee right in the store. My first trip in their store I saw a Costa Rican blend selling for under $10. When I reached for the scoop it was still warm! I took a half pound home, ground it and prepared it in my home espresso machine. The result was very satisfying.
Local Sources Of Fresh Roasted Coffee
We have a friend in Westfield NJ, Ahres Coffee Roastery at 104 Elm Street. There you can get Colombian Supremo for $14.25 and Jamacian Blue Mountain sells for $60 a pound. I’m sure with the proliferation of coffee shops you can find freshly roasted coffee almost anywhere.
Another way to get really fresh coffee is to roast it yourself.
This is for the serious coffee aficionado. Our friends at MyEspressoShop have the Gene Cafe CBR-101 home roaster at $585. This is a whole new story for very serious coffee brewers. My dream is to have of these! Follow this link to see how: https://www.myespressoshop.com/collections/roasters?aff=25
Preparing The Best Coffee
Next we’ll want to choose a preparation method.
I’d like to tell everyone how I got to where I am today with my coffee. My background as a chef taught me that satisfying our customers was the principal thing. I applied this to my home endeavors as well. How can I prepare the best coffee possible. As a youth I remember that we had a Corningware Percolator and they brewed Martinson coffee purchased in one pound cans. They were happy with this system and I didn’t give much thought to it. Later after my career as a chef was developing I began to expand my thinking to encompass a complete meal. Soup to nuts if you will.
Most all restaurants have espresso machines and that’s where I first encountered fresh roasted and ground coffee. My eyes were opened to new horizons. Coffee is usually ground for each cup to extract the best flavor.
Then I was gifted a bag of coffee from Gavilia, which is a mail order coffee subscription. We really liked it and became members. Gavilia gifted a coffee maker with your first purchase. We selected a four cupper that was supposed to retain all the coffee’s flavor. I think it was a gimmick but the brew was good.
They also offered quarterly specials. Coffees from around the world. Especially selected by their experts. The first offering was four bags from different coffee regions. One from Africa, one from Mexico, one from Guatemala and I can’t remember the other. These were single bean selections. Wow! My eyes were opened to a whole new world of coffee enjoyment. Next I received a Krups Espreso Machine as a gift.
Now we were brewing select single bean coffee beans freshly ground and brewed in a tried and true method. Had we found the best coffee? Yes and no, at whatever moment we drink a cup of coffee in any place and find true enjoyment.
You Don’t Have To Spend A Lot Of Money To Get Great Coffee
One day while shopping I saw a French Press on sale for $10. I quickly purchased one and went home to try it out. Very simple ton brew and the coffee was great.
For those who like a full-bodied cup this is the way to go. Just place the desired amount of coffee in the carafe then add recently boiled water. Place the top and wait five minutes tho depress the screen and voila! Great full-bodied brew. This system doesn’t employ a filter so the oils and some particulate end up in your cup. You can adjust your brew by how much coffee you use and the brew time as well.
Stove Top Espresso, The Moka Pot
Another day while visiting Panama City we saw one of these in a department store. Our dollars go far in Panama so we bought this for under $10. This is the good old method to prepare coffee in the comfort of your home. Many European households have one.
This hourglass example is most popular.
One More Advancement
Again while shopping in NJ I saw a Melitta 10 cup Pour-Over Coffee system on sale for $9.99.
We found we like this the best.
Have we found the best way to prepare coffee? Yes and no, we want to get the best coffee into our cups but we don’t feel the same every day. Most days I prepare our coffee in the Pour-over but these days I’m using the French Press. A great advantage with this system the control you have. The grind can be adjusted to get the best flavor according to the freshness of the roast. Water temperature for the altitude where you are. Also, the brew time for the personal taste.
There’s Much More To Learn
We still haven’t tried the Cold Brew, Chemex or Vacume Pot systems.
We hope you have found this article informative. We want to help improve your quality of life a little if it’s just in your morning cup. Please leave comments, suggestions and questions here.
Stay well and get the best coffee into your cups till we meet again!