Coffee

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Coffee is the best hobby one can cultivate – you can brew lovely coffee regardless of how bad your back is, how much money you have in your account, or how fun your job is – coffee’s always got your back.

Bad jokes apart, this is my quick landing page for my coffee recommendations. For the deep knowledge, please visit the site of my coffee guru: Amitabh Pandey (Quora), over at www.spillthebeans.in

Why I do not recommend Instant coffee

Instant coffee is nothing but dried industrial coffee designed to meet the lowest common denominator of coffee expectations, which is often “strong” or “bitter”. The scale and price constraints ensure that they use fairly mediocre coffee with all sorts of flavor profiles heavily charred and in the end you get a homogeneously bitter outcome.

Life’s worth much more than that! Two minutes more of effort and planning gets you anything you want – with or without milk, cold or warm!

OK – this sounds interesting How do I get started with artisan coffee at a budget of […]?

First, review your budget. Then see the chart below. The broad answers are as follows:

  • Zero cost cold brew – Just buy channi grind size coffee and brew in any jar and use a channi as strainer
  • Hassle free cold brew – The Mizudashi 600ml cold brew is ideal because its SUPER EASY to clean. Just pour and then rinse.
  • Low cost warm brew with zero effort – French press. Pick any from Wonderchef, Instacuppa or ideally the global leader Bodum or the latest on Amazon
  • Minor investment coffee on the Go – Aeropress from any seller in India (Blue Tokai is the importer)
  • Zero effort large volumes in office – Drip machines like Tecnora 206 with v60 filters. Hamilton Beach has a similar device. Super easy to setup or clean
  • Hipster on a limited budget but refined palate – Get the Prestige kettle, Heroger pouring scale with the plastic v60 (I prefer ceramic)

What should I buy at X budget?

What coffees do I recommend?

What roasters do I recommend?

There are many good folks in the business today but my recommendation list is only those brands whose consistency in flavors is incredible year after year.

  • Blue Tokai – bluetokaicoffee.com/ the original artisanal coffee chain. Harley in pourover and Kalledevarapura / Yellokodige in aeropress
  • Curious Life Roasters – https://www.curiouslifecoffee.com/shop/ – my favorite is the Bison and the Kiambara
  • KC Roasters – https://kcroasters.com/ – my favorite is the Thalanar and Red Honey

There are other folks’ whose coffee I have liked, such as Savorworks, Cuppa Cult, Karma Kaapi to name a few. But the above folks are ones where you simply cannot go wrong.

If you just wish to gift coffees, skip directly to this decision tree guide!

Is there a group of like minded geeks where I can improve my daily brews?

YES! I also run a little whatsapp group, NCG aka National Coffee Geeks for coffee home brewers with two clear sub-groups:

  • Basic brewing and gadget discussions: e.g. How do I improve the flavors from my Moka Pot?
    • We love to debate / dissect / critique our coffee: This could be one member saying, “damn this is one bitter coffee, not buying it ever”.
    • I dont want home brewers to hesitate before discussing things? e.g We just agreed that a 300 bucks scale is better than Timemore 5000 or acaia for MOST users except the most discerning or rich. That same question got me kicked out of India CBC. I don’t want that politically correct culture here – members here speak their mind
    • We LOVE questions and cross-questioning. This is not a group for cheer-leading or showoff. Its a lively happy group where only in debate do we learn.
    • Folks who have commercial interests would get defensive and therefore they are welcome in the advanced section only.
    • Over whatsapp – feedback will be direct and may seem harsh but brevity is the nature of the medium. Nothing is personal.
  • Advanced techniques: e.g How can I roast beans at home for a certain flavor profile?

To join these WhatsApp groups – please email me at my first name dot lastname on gmail. But before that, please familiarize yourself with the rules.

Please note that roasters / farmers / equipment sellers are welcome only in the advanced group so that the folks in the Basics group can speak freely, crib or criticize as need be.

Here’s an introduction to the inmates of our lovely asylum!

I just heard of James Hoffmann’s World’s Largest Coffee Tasting. Do you recommend it?

Yes – but only for uber geeks or those part of a coffee geek group, such as ours. Click here for the longer answer.

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