anyone here doing the coffee thing?

because i'm really trying, but its pretty hard to tell them apart, to me they all taste, some minor, subtle differences, but after 1 sip its all the same, and if brew too long end up just really nasty bitterness... i'll try to go buy some different 'gourmet' coffees, but i'm already skeptical...
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Try I shifted to tea because I had to drink coffee with creamer (lots) and sweetner. Toci
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well, i'm asking the tea heads here if they taste coffee in the manner we taste tea...
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Sort of. I'm not much for coffee, but if I do have a cup I drink it straight black. I only enjoy the non-acidic and non-bitter coffees. I do find that my tastes always go to the fresh expertly roasted coffee or the more expensive ones even with no prior knowledge. Breakfast blends, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Peruvian blends, Kona, and a few others. I do love a proper espresso too.
I have a trip to Kauai coming up so I'll be enjoying some fresh coffee there which I'm looking forward to, but outside of those special occasions it is a take it or leave it thing with much more leaving being done. (I'd much rather have some shave ice, and a cup of tea later.)
- Dominic
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Dominic T.

Well, it can be very good but there are a few rules. It has to be freshly roasted, within about 5 days or so. It has to be not over-roasted, and at the same time if it's under-roasted, it will be sour, so it's hard to get the balance just right. The second thing is that it has to be ground right before brewing, and preferably in a burr-type of grinder, not the blade type, because the one with blades will leave some large pieces and pulverize the rest, which will make the coffee bitter.
Finally, the best way to brew is to use a vacuum maker, and second best is with a cone filter over a mug or a carafe. Coffee makers usually (always?) do not do a good job. Percolators are supposed to be really bad, the worst in coffee making. There is a type of faux-espresso brewer that's usually made of aluminum, with a handle, with a swinging closing top, where coffee is pressed in the middle and then is boiled over from bottom to the top through that pressed coffee, this maker goes directly on the gas range, and it doesn't make very good coffee, although it will be very strong. French presses are supposed to be very good, but I haven't been able to make nearly as good a brew as with simple cone filter. Water temp has to be just about under 200 degrees, never boiling.
I haven't tried real espresso but it's supposed to be really truly good when done right, but the absolutely cheapest good machines are at least $200. Espresso can be compared to gong-fu tea making.
The most practical way to make good coffee is to buy green beans at, use a popcorn popper to roast them (but it has to be the right kind of popper), use a zassenhaus or a similar grinder, and use a cone filter holder with an unbleached filter. The most expensive part here is the grinder, I think they're at least around $50-$80.
Teas are still better for health and for taste as well, but coffee can be actually quite good with some luck and when prepared right.
The biggest difference, coming from tea, is that it goes stale much faster, within a few hours after grinding and within 5-6 days after roasting, while with tea obviously you have many months of storage time.
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Yes, to a point. I roast my own coffee, because there are internet sites that sell green beans from all over the world and then I can control the roast exactly. The freshness doesn't hurt either. BTW: good beans, properly roasted and freshly ground and brewed are never bitter. I use a french press, sometimes steeping my grounds for 5-7 minutes. Never bitter, or I just have a high tolerance for bitterness. I usually roast my beans just into second crack.
But I understand your point: IMO tea presents a much wider range of flavors and styles than coffee does. Nuts, chocolate, earth, wood, spice - these seem to be the predominate flavor components in coffee for me. But the variations are, I think, much smaller than in tea or wine, for that matter.
I drink my coffee like I do red tea - no milk, just a little sugar. Usually one cup a day, after dinner.
Regards, Dean
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