Any coffee dorks?


I ended up buying a Breville Infuser.

Somewhat infuriatingly, it’s $50 cheaper than it was when I bought it? I guess I will be immediately getting in touch with them to see if they want to refund me the difference…

It’s awesome, though. I’ve been having a lot of fun dialing everything in. Pulled the first shot I was really happy with just a few minutes ago – 32 seconds with the pressure right where it should be. Steamer works okay. Not as good as a commercial one, of course, but far better than the ones I’ve used on less expensive machines.

I was also moved to buy one of these, which feels like a ludicrous extravagance.

It’s a box with nested screens to sift out only the grounds of the proper size. It seems like it makes sense in theory. I’m not sure whether it’s just a coincidence that my first good shot was pulled the first time I used this… I did stick with my Encore grinder, which is on the low end for espresso use. According to the Kruve, it was definitely not grinding much that was fine enough. I ended up grinding some extra and basically throwing away my “boulders”. Not the most cost-effective way forward, so I will have to think about what to do.

Overall, though, I’m super happy with the espresso machine. Recommended so far.


You can always make pour oven with the boulders. Getting uniform grind/size is definitely what you’re shooting for with espresso. Congrats on your purchase!


Congrats! Sounds like a great setup!


I’ll be in San Francisco for a few days just after New Years, staying near the Moscone Center. What I want is either an awesome espresso (not an ‘espresso drink’) or straight black coffee. Maps tell me there is a Blue Bottle in easy walking distance - is that likely to be the best option, or does anyone know of a better spot?


You can probably also check out Equator in the lobby of the LinkedIn building. There’s also Red Door that serves Four Barrel, and a bit more of a walk would be Philz.

You’d also be extra SF-hipster with these options, as Blue Bottle got acquired by Nestle while these roasters are still local.

A fun novelty for LOLZ/“let me tell you about the coffee I got from a robot barista” is Cafe X at the Metreon. If you go that route, I have a referral code for a free coffee or something, I think.


Equator sounds promising - the Market St location will be right on the way to where I think I will be parking the rental car.

I would poo-poo Blue Bottle over the Nestle bit, too, but I have a Nespresso machine sitting here in my office that I use most every day. Even if I wasn’t already sold out to Nestle, what really matters is if Blue Bottle have changed their roasting, etc since the takeover.

Speaking of sellouts, I’m not sure if I’m going to go over to the East Bay, but it would be both nostalgic and really sad to pop in to the Walnut St Peets that I used to hit on my way to class in the late 70s.


Using NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Mini Me Automatic Coffee Machine. Anyone tried it?


Equator at the Market St location proved to be a winner. I went ahead and splurged $4.50 for a 10 oz pour-over of their Panama Finca Sophia. I’ve been preferring African coffees lately, and I rarely describe what I taste with anything like the puffery typical in “tasting notes” - but this was really excellent. Even I came away wanting to describe ‘fruit notes’ and such. I went back for another the next day. And at $39 for a 4-oz bag, I guess $4.50 for a 10 oz cup is a relative bargain. I came home with a 12 oz bag of their “dwarf Geisha” from Columbia.. Haven’t tried it yet.


That’s the most expensive coffee I’ve heard of outside of Kopi luwak. $160 a lb is a bit steep for me, though I’d definitely try a 10oz pourover at 150% of that price…just to try it.


Heh–that’s a bit steep for me too, by an order of magnitude! I’d love to try it, though.

Curious about the fruit notes, which I usually associate with Kenya. But Central America is my usual go-to.


Well. like I said, I don’t really go for those ‘hint of ginger-infused sweatsocks, balanced by the most delicate of fresh concrete’ kind of descriptions.

But I will say that I thought ‘strawberry’ when I first tasted it.

The price is interesting to think about. Lots (and lots) of people happily shell out $4.50 for a bunch of frothy milk with some lousy coffee and a bunch of flavored syrups, and do so every day. If I lived near an Equator cafe I would only visit every once in a while as a treat, but $4.50 is in no way out of line for such a unique coffee experience.

The beans would, if I did all my maths right, work out to about $4 for a 6-oz cup. Way outrageous, and I wouldn’t do it (more than once, anyway) - but that makes the 10-oz cup they prepared for me seem even more reasonable.


Well, maybe not as much as they used to

in 2018, Frappucino sales have fallen by 3%. Last year, sales of the sugary blended beverage were up 4%, compared to 5% in 2016 and 17% in 2015.


Bought a nice hand grinder - an Aergrind, made by Knock, who is basically one dude in Scotland. Works great, way nicer than the plastic Hario Slim I’d been using.

It’s intended as a travel grinder - it fits right inside an Aeropress, thus the name - but I use it at work and it grinds plenty of coffee for me for one cup. (a bit over 20 grams of beans will fit, if you need more you’d have to empty and refill it) Lovely Italian-made steel burrs, the same ones Knock use in their larger hand grinders.

Why all the sales-type prose? Well, their web site screwed up on me and I did not realize until I got the confirmation email that I had bought two! Tried to contact Knock with a couple of emails and a couple of times by their “contact us” form, but never got a response (did I mention that the company is one dude in Scotland?)

Anyone here want to buy the extra off me? I’ll take half of the total bill on my credit card for the transaction (so 1/2 of $219). Otherwise, I’ll wait until their current £75 special price to revert back to £100 and put it up on ebay. It is, by the way, the newer version with the metal cap.

edit: this would save you ~$10 vs just ordering one yourself, as shipping 2 from Scotland was the same £15 as shipping just one. I’ll pay shipping within the US


I don’t suppose you still have this, @gruntled? I’ve found a local source of really good coffee beans and let’s just say that the $30 Breville bladed “coffee grinder” that’s been gathering dust in a cupboard for the last 13 years just isn’t all that.


Nice grinder. That looks pretty much like a Porlex Mini. Ceramic burrs?

When I go camping I take the portable drill and attach it to the Porlex; hand grinding gets old fast.


As a matter of fact, I do. I wonder how to find out shipping cost to Australia.

@SergioBAM steel burrs. I don’t mind the hand grinding, but I’m usually only grinding ~15 grams. Takes 35-40 seconds - the Hario takes almost twice as long and what comes out of the Hario is a way less consistent grind.


Depends on its size obviously. It can get super expensive pretty quickly. Can you tell me dimensions and weight, I’ll look into it. I have a friend in LA who occasionally sends me stuff, he’ll know the best way around it.


Oh my, I thought your Aergrind was long claimed. Also, your trip to Equator pre-dated me buying stuff like a Baratza Encore, an Aeropress and a Kalita Wave. I would still have recommended Equator, but also talked about Mazarine (not a roaster, but a cafe that serves a great rotating selection of roasters both SF local and all over the US), Coffee Culture, and getting Sightglass from SFMOMA.


So @krayzkrok I roll with one of these.

Burr grinders give you the most even grind; whatever your preferred method. Mine is French Press. In the US, I swear by Sweet Maria’s for supplies.


Tom Petty, coffee dork:

The article is longer than it needs to be if all you want to do is read about what Petty thought was the best cup of coffee. It’s not really a spoiler I believe, so I will put it here: Maxwell House. Read the article if you want some more insight into Tom Petty and see how he came to prefer Maxwell House. He was serious about his coffee. Hey, I went out and bought a can after reading this, and it is good is you want a smooth, mild-tasting coffee. I use it to make my own K-cups since that’s my brewer at home.