Yeah, I'm still using the included set of filters and I'm not totally convinced I need to change them every month. As far as I'm concerned, buying one pound of coffee at a time is good enough for me to keep things fresh whether or not the filter is totally up to date or not.
I’m in New York, and my hotel room has a Keurig machine. I’ve been extremely skeptical given the machine’s obvious limitations, but the idea has been nagging at me that I might be missing a way to make easier coffee. I’m not all fond of the 10 minutes or so I spend making coffee every other day. So I bought some half-and-half at a nearby grocery (yes, they have grocery stores in Times Square, even if they’re foo-foo), and tried it out.
I was expecting something bland, and hoping I’d be surprised. What I got was weak. Very, very weak. The machine didn’t produce coffee, it produced coffee-flavored water. I couldn’t tell if it had any flavor nuance beyond the basic coffee bitterness that doesn’t go away even with very stale coffee, because I could barely tell I was drinking something that was supposed to be coffee.
It just never crossed my mind that the original Keurig couldn’t adjust the water : coffee ratio, and that the default setting would almost certain be very low, to avoid offending the millions of Americans who like weak coffee. I gather the new 2.0 DRM-laden machine has a “strength” setting, but I’m kind of doubting it’s going to go up to the 10:1 water:coffee ratio that I typically use for my Aeropress. (Yeah, I know 10:1 is stronger than the SCA standard, but I dilute to about 15:1 with half-and-half when I drink it).
You can make Keurig coffee a LITTLE less weak by choosing other pods and by using the 1 cup setting instead of 2. But yeah it’l still be weak Keurig stuff…
I flip-flop between an espresso machine here (2 shot americano) and the Keurig. I don’t find the Keurig to be particularly weak (and I like strong coffee), but there is a HUGE variety in the type of pods you can use. Some we have here (ie. Italian) are weak. Something like Amazonia is much stronger. Might just be a taste thing. I do like that the coffee comes out hotter on the Keurig than the espresso machine though.
The hotel machine doesn’t have any cup settings, though it does have the Keurig label. I suspect it’s a bit different than the regular consumer models.
The pod I tried was Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend. Obviously fairly generic compared to what I’m used to buying from the small roasting companies, where they usually specify the origin in great detail.
I seem to be constantly chasing better coffee and should probably look at a new machine and/or start grinding my own.
We have a Keurig that I like, but we buy something like this to be able to use our own coffee that we load in each time mostly because the pods are so damn expensive.
Solofill K3 Chrome Cup Chrome Refillable Filter Cup For Keurig
I tend to fill mine up more to try to get a stronger cup of coffee and I believe it mostly works.
We had trouble with other brands not lasting long, but this one I have been using for months and months. I bet I would get quite a jump in quality just by grinding myself each morning even with my current setup before looking at better machines to actually do the brewing.
The other trick to get stronger coffee in a Keurig with a ‘fill your own pod’ setup is to take a regular pod, use it, then empty it out. Then place your re-fillable filter cup inside it and use it as usual. The empty pod allows the coffee to infuse a little longer.
And on the complete opposite side of the spectrum:
Turkish coffee. And out of respect to the Greeks, Arab world, etc. yes I understand that the name varies but the product is still sublime. So since I love this but there don’t to be any places nearby that serve it, I’m going to get the accoutrements to create it myself. More to come…
Breakfast blend is a very light roast. Green Mountain offers a lot of different coffee’s and they go into more detail about where the beans come from in their catalogs at least. My go-to lately has been the Dark Magic decaf. It’s a much stronger flavor which my co-workers have gotten me used to with what they buy for the office. There are a number of stores starting to pop up where you can go and buy the pods individually so you can try out different blends without committing to a whole box.
Light roast doesn’t mean it has to be bland. Generally speaking, the darker the roast, the more you’re trading the natural flavors of the beans for the more generic flavor of roasting. Up to French Roast, where you’re more-or-less left with a burned flavor and nothing else. Of course, if the coffee is stale, the natural flavors are pretty much leached out, and then it feels like the darker the roast the stronger the flavor.
Well I’ll be the first to say I don’t really belong in this thread, I love coffee, but I’m in no way, shape or form picky about it. Gas station coffee, convenience store coffee whatever, if its hot and tastes like coffee I’m good. Hell I even like the flavor of instant coffee. But I am a huge fan of the Keurig though and love it for the convenience and variety it gives me and the family.
Personally, I’ve degraded from using a high-end burr grinder with gaggia semi-automatic machine, to (for several years) an aeropress. And now, I just get cold brew coffee in bottles delivered from the supermarket and pour it over ice with milk. It’s delicious (Stumptown cold brew, not cheap) and easy.
Not quite down to the instant coffee level, though. Jesus, dude.
My enjoyment of coffee is a little weird. I don’t fit the traditional roles at all. I don’t drink it first thing in the morning to wake up, and I never drink it when I’m eating something, because it spoils both the taste of the coffee and the taste of whatever I’m eating. Sometimes I really like cold coffee. I don’t mean iced coffee, or refrigerated coffee, I mean coffee that started hot and has cooled to room temperature, but still remains tasty.
However, it has to be fresh, because coffee that has lost the bean flavor doesn’t do much for me. I can hardly say my wife’s Starbucks French Roast is bland, yet that’s how I think of it, because there’s nothing there but the burned flavor of over-roasted coffee. It you subtract that there’s no flavor underneath it.
The Keurig does seem very convenient, and I really, really want something that’s less work, but the end result is something I don’t care about. It’s not that it tastes bad, it’s that it’s nearly tasteless.
I did get an Esatto scale for Christmas, and that helps a little. I used to weigh the coffee, put it in the grinder, and then weigh the grounds because I had to divide the ground coffee into 3 equal parts for the Aeropress, which just doesn’t make enough in one shot. Now I just push a button and the Esatto shuts off the grinder when it’s reached the right weight. This is much more helpful than I expected.
I still want something more automated, but I’m just not happy with the results of my wife’s Bonavita drip brewer, which is supposed to be as good as drip brewing gets.
You prompted me to do a web search. I ran into a site that compared bottled cold-brew coffee, and Stumptown was the only one they thought was any good.
Neat, I read seriouseats regularly but missed that article. I also buy the Grady’s on occasion when I feel like New Orleans style iced-coffee.
It’s very important to buy the stuff fresh and not keep it around for more than 2 weeks. When it goes bad it tastes sour, very unpleasant.
So Stusser, why did you give up the grinder and machine?
As I grow older I find I prefer things minimal. I used to have 5.1 speakers at my TV; now I’m down to 3.1 and if I had it to do over I’d just get a soundbar. I used to build giant computers that sounded like helicopters taking off, but now what I really, really want is a macbook air and an external GPU. I used to have 10s of thousands of books stacked 3 deep everywhere, now I get ebooks and read on my phone. I used to have tons of cheap furniture filling my tiny apartment, now I have a few really nice pieces in my much larger apartment and the rest just sits empty. there’s nothing like empty space in a NYC apartment. More than anything I hate clutter.
The ritual of making espresso on a semiautomatic machine was cool and all, but the machine took up a ton of space, took time to heat up, etc, I almost always drank it over ice with milk, and the cold brew is actually extremely tasty.
Heck if I can find the original thread where I read about this, but this one is quite similar so good enough - finally bought an AeroPress, having come from a lifetime of nothing but drip coffee (and usually prepared pretty weakly at that - wife doesn’t like it strong. Not sure I’d even call it medium). This thing is amazing, and I haven’t even gotten into grinding my own beans yet - I’m still just using pre-ground stuff. I can’t even really compare it to drip coffee - this is a different drink entirely. If grinding my own is as big of a jump as going from drip to the aeropress… hmm.
I don’t really have time most mornings to mess with it, so I really look forward to my weekends now.
Do you make a lot of coffee in the morning during the week? If not, it really only takes about a minute longer than it takes to heat the water up to use an AeroPress with pre-ground coffee. I got a cheap, temperature controlled, electric kettle to heat my water and I love it. With a hand grinder, it makes for a nice, zen like ritual every morning.