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Looking for ways to make better coffee while out-n-about.

In a marina, I can usually walk to a coffee shop for a decent cup of coffee.  Even in tiny Rosario, the little shop makes a decent drip.... under way, so far, I've mostly been doing instant, and while not a coffee-snob, it isn't cutting it.  I *hate* the taste of Starbucks "via" instant, and Folgers - while drinkable - is pretty lame.

Have been experimenting with a manual bean-grinder and a french press.  No problem converting beans to grounds without 120v, and no problem converting grounds to coffee with hot water from the stove... but it tastes very different from what comes out of the Seattle's Best machine at work, or the Keurig at home (see, I told you I'm not a coffee snob).  I've recently been playing with the ratios, thinking I might be making it wrong with the french press, but... don't know.

Any tips?

ETA - not looking for espresso or anything that takes 18 words to at the coffee place.  Just a good, tasty mug full of drip... without needing anything but propane and 12V power...

 

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I use a chemex onboard.   It’s glass, so you need to store it accordingly, but it makes the best cup of coffee you can get and it’s also as simple as it gets.  I’ve never been a fan of French press coffee, and as it turns out, French press has been linked to heart disease whilst pour overs and other paper filter methods are not.   

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The French Press on a friends boat is the best "boat" coffee maker I've ever used - small * stores easily, S/S so as unbreakable as possible, makes coffee quickly and well etc. etc.

Basically no downside except only 3 cups at a time.

One table spoon per cup and that's it. If you don't get a cup you like, change coffee.

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We brew a batch of cold-brew concentrate at home before we leave for cruises, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do it just as easily on the boat. Grind a pound of coffee at a time, leave a Filtron out on the counter overnight, and you’ll have great coffee for a week, iced or hot (just add cold or boiled water when you want a cup).

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There are things that I like about the idea of a pour-over (Chemex, Melitta) approach.  Starting with, picking up a filter full of grounds and putting it in the trash, rather than dealing with a press-pot full of muck.

From what I've read, though, the pour-overs are a more involved process for getting a good cup.  Friends tell me that it takes a goose-neck pot full of not-quite boiling water, and then a sequence of slow pours in concentric circles... one to make the coffee "bloom", and then several more over several minutes to do the "extraction". 

Compared with putting grounds into a press-pot, pouring in hot water (yeah, I've probably been using too-close-to-boiling, so far), waiting 4 minutes and then pressing down the thingie.... the press-pot seems more idiot-simple and requires less operator-time.  Plus I can probably do most of it on deck, if I need to.  Dunno.

So far, in an attempt to minimize the number of variables while I'm learning, I've been keeping to the same kind of coffee
-- Seattle's Best ("signature blend #3") at work
-- Seattle's Best "Portside blend" (same as "blend #3") K-cups at home
-- Seattle's Best "Portside blend" beans, ground coarse by hand, in the press-pot

The third one tastes VERY different than the first two.  Stronger, much more in-your-face flavors, etc.  Not sure how to quantify the difference, but... my thinking is that if I can get the press-pot coffee to taste like the other two, I'll be onto something, and can translate that into other/better coffees underway (Kauai coffee is my favorite)

What should I mess with?  coarseness of grind? ratio of coffee to water? steep time?  water temp?  something else? 

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47 minutes ago, sledracr said:

There are things that I like about the idea of a pour-over (Chemex, Melitta) approach.  Starting with, picking up a filter full of grounds and putting it in the trash, rather than dealing with a press-pot full of muck.

From what I've read, though, the pour-overs are a more involved process for getting a good cup.  Friends tell me that it takes a goose-neck pot full of not-quite boiling water, and then a sequence of slow pours in concentric circles... one to make the coffee "bloom", and then several more over several minutes to do the "extraction". 

Compared with putting grounds into a press-pot, pouring in hot water (yeah, I've probably been using too-close-to-boiling, so far), waiting 4 minutes and then pressing down the thingie.... the press-pot seems more idiot-simple and requires less operator-time.  Plus I can probably do most of it on deck, if I need to.  Dunno.

So far, in an attempt to minimize the number of variables while I'm learning, I've been keeping to the same kind of coffee
-- Seattle's Best ("signature blend #3") at work
-- Seattle's Best "Portside blend" (same as "blend #3") K-cups at home
-- Seattle's Best "Portside blend" beans, ground coarse by hand, in the press-pot

The third one tastes VERY different than the first two.  Stronger, much more in-your-face flavors, etc.  Not sure how to quantify the difference, but... my thinking is that if I can get the press-pot coffee to taste like the other two, I'll be onto something, and can translate that into other/better coffees underway (Kauai coffee is my favorite)

What should I mess with?  coarseness of grind? ratio of coffee to water? steep time?  water temp?  something else? 

OK... for starters, you want a ratio of 17:1 by weight water:coffee.  Once I figure out how much this for my situation is I just use a cup measure for the beans or grounds.  

For French press: I add a splash of cold water to my kettle after boiling to get the temp from 212 down to around 200-205.  Main variables are grind size and steep time.  I like around 3:30-4min of steep time, and a grind size coarser than standard drip - you need to experiment with this.  Too fine and it'll be bitter.  

For Chemex, I think it's less important since the water cools over the course of pouring over.  No steep time to mess with, so your only variable is grind size.  It should be coarser than french press by a bit, again, if your coffee is bitter, go coarser.  

Fresh beans are the biggest impediment to good coffee if you're out for a while.  

Edit: oh, and a regular kettle is fine for pour-over.  The fancy long-necked ones are nice but not essential.  I usually play around with a new method for a while, find what I like, and then stick with it.  Usually I end up with a method that's substantially less fussy than what was originally recommended.  Particularly when on a boat.  

I agree that French Press is the best tasting un-fussy-est method.  I did have some concerns with the health impacts mentioned above, so I switched to chemex when on land (99% of the time).  Also, you can certainly get French presses that'll make more than 3 cups.  

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2 hours ago, eliboat said:

 as it turns out, French press has been linked to heart disease

WTF?

Pushing it through the filter VS letting it drip through will give you a heart attack?

Cite?

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34 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

WTF?

Pushing it through the filter VS letting it drip through will give you a heart attack?

Cite?

It was a cholesterol thing as I recall - something about the paper filter straining out oils present in the beans. 

It certainly wasn’t settled science, but since I enjoy pour over and French press equally and have had high cholesterol in the past it was easy to switch over. That way I can eat more bacon and potato chips before dropping dead. 

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1 hour ago, socalrider said:

OK... for starters, you want a ratio of 17:1 by weight water:coffee.  

Heh. 

My first experiment with the press-pot was 4 TBSP of ground coffee and 20oz of water.  Should be about 17:1.  Made my eyes bulge out of my head

So I got a scale out of the garage and weighed things.  20gr of ground coffee to 350 ml of water.  Just about 17:1  ditto.

Apparently (between the machine at work, the Keurig at home, and the occasional big-cup-of-drip from the roadside place on the way to the marina) I'm used to really weak coffee.

In my testing, roughly 25:1 (28gr of coffee, 24 oz /700ml of water) seems to be working better for my taste-buds and my ability to see things without bright lights dancing before my eyes.  Thats with a 4:00 steep time, using coarse-ground coffee.  I'll probably try a shorter steep-time next.  And not-quite-boiling water.

ObNote, the press-pot I'm experimenting with is a 34oz ("8 cup") model, because my boat-mug is a big double-walled/lidded thing that holds ~28oz of coffee and keeps it warm for an hour or more.   But I think filling it with 28oz of 17:1 would probably kill me.  (maybe that's where the heart-disease issue comes in.)

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One day I noticed with my glass French press that if you add grounds to the top of the lower metal band of the frame and then add water to the top of the upper band you will have a perfect bean to water ratio.  I steep for  10 minutes. 

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1 minute ago, nebe said:

One day I noticed with my glass French press that if you add grounds to the top of the lower metal band of the frame and then add water to the top of the upper band you will have a perfect bean to water ratio.  I steep for  10 minutes. 

We do roughly the same, but a five minute steep.  Always comes out right. 

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Aeropress with a stainless filter is the easiest cleanup (much less than a French press) and no waste. 
 

I work at the same place as sledracr. The Starbucks iCup machines make pretty diluted coffee, if you like it then add more water and mix it into your coffee after the brewing is done.  If you look carefully when the iCup makes your coffee you can see that they make a normal brew and water it down. 
 

French Press works well but cleanup is a pain. Pour over works well but not when you are sailing on a heeled boat and it involves waste or annoying cleanup.  Aeropress solves both problems. 
 

A downside of the Aeropress is that it does best with a fine grind, which is more work with a manual grinder. 
 

Having looked inside the iCup I think it approximates an automated Aeropress. 

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Coarse grind, 4min at 195-200 Frankenstein into a SS insulated pot. I don't like noise on the boat so I use a Hario hand grinder. The infra-red thermometer from the tool-box makes sure the water temp is correct. Genuine buffalo china my parents bought for their boat ensures the coffee mugs don't break. 

On land a have nice FeiMa 600N coffee grinder I bought in Taiwan. Big olde skoole high torque motor and low RPMs, so it's not too loud either.  

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45 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Gotta have good water.  I don't drink coffee anymore due to heart issues, but used to make it with distilled water.  Makes a difference, at least that was my preference.

All the water we drink on board goes through a Brita filter before consumption, including (especially) with tea. We're not coffee people. Makes a huge difference to the taste.

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I roll out of bed directly to filling the kettle and lighting the stove. At the same time if possible. Instant coffee... Nestlè Classico if available... splash of milk... stir... down the hatch.

A fellow addict shocked my senses by just using hot water from the tap. Apparently the few minutes saved was that important. 

Sure, I have taste, but that can wait for Second Breakfast. Then I’m with the best of you in finding or making the best possible cup.

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man am I ever a heathen

in the winter when bird watching I chain drink instant coffee and eat toast - mainly to keep me warm

the Origo is  to stb of the companionway hatch. I can stand there drinking hot coffee (the only place you can stand up on the boat is when the hatch is open ) while the heat from the stove comes past keeping me warm - best birdwatching place I have ever discovered

when it is really cold I put a dash of cheap scotch into the instant coffee to keep me going

 

after six or seven at night I switch to tea

 

when jill is aboard or we are at home we use a french press and freshly ground coffee

D

 

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Last season at 6:08 am, I re-learned something.

With the water boiling, I opened the coffee and it's aroma filled the cabin. That's what's often missing in my coffee, freshness not only of the ground bean but of the roast itself.

This bean, while it was ground the afternoon before at my house,  was a superb - fresh -roast,;dark and hearty (my preference - bold taste). It had a powerful aroma which is important.  

252213353_Perry6-08.thumb.jpg.62f499bbe93f3a329c1b702270ac8135.jpg

So forget the means, I think it's all about the beans. Those that grind their own on the boat can be closer to the good cup, but it's still about the roasted beans, first. 

I keep a one cup drip cone filter onboard. It's simple and fast and works (I have to put a tooth pick in the hole to regulate the brew rate).

Having said that, my favorite way to brew is a Mocha pot.  The Bialetti is perfect on a boat; low center of gravity, easy clean, no extra parts and all SS.

I like strong coffee and this method gives you more of that(2-3 times strong than drip - it's no an espresso maker). 

Bialetti_.thumb.jpg.5f8460d82d21549092f9d542701da9e6.jpg

 

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Man I love a good coffee (especially since I gave it up a few years ago..)

This thread is giving me cravings.  I've had a half a cup here and there but every time I do it makes my heart beat outta whack.  When my wife and I went for a week cruise this past summer, we had no coffee onboard.  She wanted to try going without it, she used to drink a massive mug every day, musta been 20 to 25 ounces, and she'd be bouncing off the walls (which was almost a necessity for her job as elementary school principal in Baltimore).  On the 2nd day of our cruise, she slept about 15 hours.  On the 3rd day she had a massive headache to the point where she couldn't function well.  It took another week for the headaches to die off.  Makes me wonder if the stuff might be a bit unhealthy...

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Been looking for the ideal for both home, camping, and on the boat for a while too. Just use the Keurig at the office but I'm the only one at home that drinks coffee and typically one cup in the morning only. With that kind of usage, simple is key for me. 

I've tried and like the aeropress. I also came across this kickstarter a while back https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/146423791/rite-press-the-no-mess-french-press and ended up with one of their 1/2 liter ones. They ended up with financial and manufacturing problems, so I apparently was one of the lucky ones that received product. It is less messy than a normal french press, but still pretty messy. Generally it's pretty well thought out and works pretty good. It has a built in thermometer and hourglass to help you get the temp and steep time just right. They sell a plastic version on Amazon too. I might eventually get one for the boat. 

Through the backpacking crowd I've come across these, https://www.kujucoffee.com/ . They are a type of filtered pour over that seem to get good reviews, but I haven't tried them yet. 

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I think my collection of coffee gadgets includes everything mentioned here and maybe a couple more, that I have packed around the world.  There was a time in the 90's when if you left the PNW for a work project in flyover country, you experienced shocking withdrawal from decent coffee and beer, unless you packed the proper equipment and supplies.  But... gradually I have lost interest in corporate deadlines, lost taste for expensive coffee stuffed with fat and sugar, and high blood pressure.  I've gone over to a collection of mostly herbal teas that don't take so much fuss to prepare and clean up.  

However, for a long winter or night passage on the boat, I'll still make a pot of ordinary coffee with the stainless percolator and pour it into a thermos to keep for the whole watch. Well... of course I still hand-grind the beans. Wouldn't want to actually become completely barbaric.  

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There was a cruising coffee thread last year that yeilded a lot of good info. 

I've come to the conclusion if the boat is underway , whatever coffee you hand me is the best coffee ever. I may not get it all down but I'll thank you just the same. Tied up with shore power I'm using a Nespresso mini, wife gets what she wants ( dont underestimate this) and I get what I want. We've tried it all , I just want basic easy coffee. 

I have all the fancy pants gizmos at home, I'm on the boat to simplify my life.

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16 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

Last season at 6:08 am, I re-learned something.

With the water boiling, I opened the coffee and it's aroma filled the cabin. That's what's often missing in my coffee, freshness not only of the ground bean but of the roast itself.

This bean, while it was ground the afternoon before at my house,  was a superb - fresh -roast,;dark and hearty (my preference - bold taste). It had a powerful aroma which is important.  

252213353_Perry6-08.thumb.jpg.62f499bbe93f3a329c1b702270ac8135.jpg

So forget the means, I think it's all about the beans. Those that grind their own on the boat can be closer to the good cup, but it's still about the roasted beans, first. 

I keep a one cup drip cone filter onboard. It's simple and fast and works (I have to put a tooth pick in the hole to regulate the brew rate).

Having said that, my favorite way to brew is a Mocha pot.  The Bialetti is perfect on a boat; low center of gravity, easy clean, no extra parts and all SS.

I like strong coffee and this method gives you more of that(2-3 times strong than drip - it's no an espresso maker). 

Bialetti_.thumb.jpg.5f8460d82d21549092f9d542701da9e6.jpg

 

Very fond of the Mocha pot for some 50+ years, since early university days. The sound, the steam, it's an event. The aluminum ones can melt if you forget them on the burner, though. Yours looks ideal. 

You manage to make photos of the most mundane things into works of art- I see those pictures and think- "that's where I want to be right now..." 

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19 minutes ago, Oceanconcepts said:

Very fond of the Mocha pot for some 50+ years, since early university days. The sound, the steam, it's an event. The aluminum ones can melt if you forget them on the burner, though. Yours looks ideal. 

You manage to make photos of the most mundane things into works of art- I see those pictures and think- "that's where I want to be right now..." 

Tom is a very good photographer. I enjoy his work.

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Tired of cleaning the French press. Grabbed an oil funnel and put a coffee filter in it with some grounds. Warm up the water in a tea kettle. Direct drip into the Yeti. Fast & easy coffee while ripping under spinnaker or at the dock. Nothing to spill or break. Easy clean up. 

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30 minutes ago, airacer said:

Tired of cleaning the French press. Grabbed an oil funnel and put a coffee filter in it with some grounds. Warm up the water in a tea kettle. Direct drip into the Yeti. Fast & easy coffee while ripping under spinnaker or at the dock. Nothing to spill or break. Easy clean up. 

You don't mind the oily taste?

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We're 35 posts in and no one has mentioned the lowly coffee percolator...fresh, coarsely-ground beans (that's why cruising boats have inverters), cold water, an open flame, and timing - seven minutes on the hob after it starts percolating - voila, my perfect boat coffee is ready. There's something about the smell of a coffee perc in the galley, at anchor in the morning...

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37 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I grew up (as much as I was going to) with campfire coffee. A handful of coffee grounds dropped into a pot of boiling water, then left until it was cool enough to drink. It was awful.

Supposedly this is the right way. Never tried it. 

 

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18 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

The Aeropress is the simplest, least-trash, easiest-cleanup, I know of. I have a perforated metal sieve for it.  When I press the water through, I am left with a ‘puck’ of pressed coffee grinds which dispose tidily. Quick rinse of the gadget and done. Small stowage footprint, too. 

Also a second degree burn hazard waiting to happen on a sailboat. 

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One frosty morning, many years ago, I prepared breakfast for the whole camp at dawn, including a pot of cowboy coffee. This was before I ever started drinking coffee, so I didn't taste the stuff.  People got a few bites into the meal and I could see jaws working and... thoughtful expressions started dawning on faces.  So, the thing about springtime streams in the Cascades, is that the water is full of glacial silt.  Rock flour.  80-grit coffee.  On the bright side, brushing teeth was redundant after that.  They'd already been sanded down. 

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11 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

We're 35 posts in and no one has mentioned the lowly coffee percolator...fresh, coarsely-ground beans (that's why cruising boats have inverters), cold water, an open flame, and timing - seven minutes on the hob after it starts percolating - voila, my perfect boat coffee is ready. There's something about the smell of a coffee perc in the galley, at anchor in the morning...

You beat me to it. I use this on the boat https://www.backcountry.com/gsi-outdoors-glacier-stainless-percolator.

Stainless, compact, does the job well.

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17:1... riiiiiggghhhtttt. It doesn't matter how YOU like it. There's only ONE way. And, actually, of course, you can't reeeaaallly get good coffee outside of Italy.

Coffee snobs are worse than wine snobs, though both are obnoxious, because I drink coffee everyday. 

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Silicon filter funnel and an electric teakettle.  Throw the microwave away.   

Cleaning the French press was a drag.  Paper filters are easy clean up.

https://nextadventure.net/ust-flexware-coffee-drip.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&scid=scplp023779&sc_intid=023779&gclid=CjwKCAiAi4fwBRBxEiwAEO8_HuK3F0DY80Gk1AIQy_bKVqaJYGZj2Z8oSRFX2UyTFuPIWvRVFj9bcBoCs3wQAvD_BwE

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I agree that the stainless Bialetti is probably the best machine for boat use - or actually any use - ever. Not only does it make good coffee (espresso style), it also takes standard ground beans (no pads, no capsules, no other funny business), it works on any source of heat from a campfire to a thermonuclear induction oven, and it is built so sturdy that it can also be used for self defense. Add a pot and a whisk for milk and you'll have a pretty good cappuccino for a relatively low price (depending on the coffee you use, of course).

However, the OP asked for drip-drip coffe and that is a totally different thing. I wouldn't recommend a Bialetti for making Americano or lungo.

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13 hours ago, 10thTonner said:

I agree that the stainless Bialetti is probably the best machine for boat use - or actually any use - ever. Not only does it make good coffee (espresso style), it also takes standard ground beans (no pads, no capsules, no other funny business), it works on any source of heat from a campfire to a thermonuclear induction oven, and it is built so sturdy that it can also be used for self defense. Add a pot and a whisk for milk and you'll have a pretty good cappuccino for a relatively low price (depending on the coffee you use, of course).

However, the OP asked for drip-drip coffe and that is a totally different thing. I wouldn't recommend a Bialetti for making Americano or lungo.

The best description of the taste of mocha pot coffee for me is, 2 to 3 times stronger than drip coffee. But it's not true espresso as it lacks the mechanics of a pressurized espresso brewer.

 

For those wondering how they work, the lower chamber where the water is added boils on a small burner. The boiling water is then forced up through a small pipe into the middle chamber basket with pin holes that contain the grounds.  

 

From the middle chamber, the boil brewed coffee, sans the grounds, is forced up through a second pipe into the third chamber on top, which is the receptacle of the finished coffee. 

 

Here's a photo of the finished brew (amber foam a the top of the pipe), pulsing up through the second pipe and into the top chamber. 

2108479861_Bialettibrewed.thumb.jpg.80006918a74df8f3b835f7ac980fc6e2.jpg

If you don't like a strong brew of coffee (think French roast beans or even Italian espresso roast - darkest/strongest roast), the mocha pot isn't for you. 

 

Somebody mentioned you can only get good coffee in Italy. I think there is some truth to that. I can't look at my Bialetti without thinking of Italy. That's a bonus. 

 

1755463516_MJTTPPantheon.jpg.befa53fb50386030f2667a8404fc5c5a.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

2108479861_Bialettibrewed.thumb.jpg.80006918a74df8f3b835f7ac980fc6e2.jpg

 

Hey that's exactly what I put on my gas stove every morning! :) I am using freshly ground Lavazza pink label. Ok, it is not technically espresso, but it comes close... maybe a bit acidic because of the high temperature / low pressure, but it's almost perfect for making cappuccino.

If you want "real" espresso - to drink without milk - you'll need something with a thermometer and a pump.

 

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23 hours ago, kgatesman said:

Silicon filter funnel and an electric teakettle.  Throw the microwave away.   

Cleaning the French press was a drag.  Paper filters are easy clean up.

https://nextadventure.net/ust-flexware-coffee-drip.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&scid=scplp023779&sc_intid=023779&gclid=CjwKCAiAi4fwBRBxEiwAEO8_HuK3F0DY80Gk1AIQy_bKVqaJYGZj2Z8oSRFX2UyTFuPIWvRVFj9bcBoCs3wQAvD_BwE

Now that's the cats ass!!  Nice and tidy storage  :-)

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On 12/21/2019 at 5:08 PM, sledracr said:

There are things that I like about the idea of a pour-over (Chemex, Melitta) approach.  Starting with, picking up a filter full of grounds and putting it in the trash, rather than dealing with a press-pot full of muck.

A good cup of coffee is great, but years ago I had many an early start with a quick cup of freeze-dried instant, and found it satisfying.

That being said, a friend of mine brought his Chemex aboard for a weekend trip this summer, and made the most fantastic coffee ever enjoyed on my 32-year-old boat. I still have some reservations about keeping what is basically a glass beaker safely stowed underway.  But it makes a Hell of a good pot of coffee.  Wonder why they don't develop an unbreakable version for travel/recreation?

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4 hours ago, Israel Hands said:

...Chemex ...the most fantastic coffee ever

I've heard the same thing from a number of directions.

My question is.... is there a functional (or qualitative) difference to the Chemex, compared to other pour-over/filter things?

i.e., if I took the same coffee, the same ratio of water-to coffee, the same water and water temp, the same pouring technique, etc.... through a Chemex into its glass beaker, vs. through a Melitta thingie into my boat-mug.... would they taste the same? 

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4 hours ago, Israel Hands said:

A good cup of coffee is great, but years ago I had many an early start with a quick cup of freeze-dried instant, and found it satisfying.

That being said, a friend of mine brought his Chemex aboard for a weekend trip this summer, and made the most fantastic coffee ever enjoyed on my 32-year-old boat. I still have some reservations about keeping what is basically a glass beaker safely stowed underway.  But it makes a Hell of a good pot of coffee.  Wonder why they don't develop an unbreakable version for travel/recreation?

Ceramic coated stainless steel double walled/vacuum sealed,  with an adjustable drip vacuum walled tank on top and all of it on a gimbal mount.   Hell, make it gyroscopically stabilized while you are at it.

"Can't start the coffee until all the gyros stabilize at 50k rpm!"

- Stumbling

 

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On 12/22/2019 at 5:37 AM, Kris Cringle said:

Last season at 6:08 am, I re-learned something.

With the water boiling, I opened the coffee and it's aroma filled the cabin. That's what's often missing in my coffee, freshness not only of the ground bean but of the roast itself.

This bean, while it was ground the afternoon before at my house,  was a superb - fresh -roast,;dark and hearty (my preference - bold taste). It had a powerful aroma which is important.  

252213353_Perry6-08.thumb.jpg.62f499bbe93f3a329c1b702270ac8135.jpg

So forget the means, I think it's all about the beans. Those that grind their own on the boat can be closer to the good cup, but it's still about the roasted beans, first. 

I keep a one cup drip cone filter onboard. It's simple and fast and works (I have to put a tooth pick in the hole to regulate the brew rate).

Having said that, my favorite way to brew is a Mocha pot.  The Bialetti is perfect on a boat; low center of gravity, easy clean, no extra parts and all SS.

I like strong coffee and this method gives you more of that(2-3 times strong than drip - it's no an espresso maker). 

Bialetti_.thumb.jpg.5f8460d82d21549092f9d542701da9e6.jpg

 

Kris, I'm surprised you're still alive with than companionway. Beautiful boat, by the way.

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I tried a percolator my parents used cruising, I tried moka pots that I used camping with camping gaz stoves, but I keep going back to the French press. I don’t see how a French press is harder to clean than anything else. 

In my mind silence is the key; the first things people should wake up to is the smell of bacon in the pan, biscuits in the oven, and the smell of coffee steeping in the French press. My Simplex kettle has a soft note and my hand grinder is nearly silent. I use a footpump run through a seagull water filter which makes even the tank water decent. 
 

I mostly get up when the lobster boats “wake” us at 5am. 

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The press was full of wet grounds that I was running down the sink or throwing overboard all the time.    I suffer through paper filter coffee in a sili-cone as it’s just tidier to throw the filter and wet grounds in the trash in a flick. 

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46 minutes ago, kgatesman said:

The press was full of wet grounds that I was running down the sink or throwing overboard all the time.    I suffer through paper filter coffee in a sili-cone as it’s just tidier to throw the filter and wet grounds in the trash in a flick. 

I enjoy my morning coffee more knowing that the grounds are in the sea rather than the landfill (assuming that you're not sorting your 'trash' into compostable and non-compostable...)

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Morning coffee on the water is a precious time. Maybe I'm reading more into this but my dog looks forward to my dawn coffee ritual. Always before anyone else stirs onboard he's restless to go out on the bridge deck where he waits as the coffee brews. I doubt he likes the smell but the aroma is a signal he understands.

199466238_Sunrise.thumb.jpg.1cfa91ddca615204128ab387c2e5709f.jpg

Once my cup is full and I'm in the cockpit on a cushion, he's anxious to climb up and sit in my lap.

From there - and at that point - he's perfectly content to enjoy the solitude. His senses are tuned to the surroundings. He'll pick up and sort out scents, lock his gaze on a distant ripple, but stay put.

Interested in his surroundings yet he seems content not to stir (a feat for a Jack Russell),  aware this is too special a time to interrupt. 

2139966783_Sunriseheat(1of1).thumb.jpg.26ac8616d0869b371656df2c9a50e592.jpg

 

 

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On 12/28/2019 at 5:42 AM, kgatesman said:

The press was full of wet grounds that I was running down the sink or throwing overboard all the time.    I suffer through paper filter coffee in a sili-cone as it’s just tidier to throw the filter and wet grounds in the trash in a flick. 

Based on decades using a French Press at home, my method for cleaning is to keep a container handy for collecting used grounds, emptied once a week or so.  Currently a glass cereal bowl under the sink, I first decant yesterday's water off the top of the bowl before dumping today's grounds from the French Press (with enough liquid left to keep them from caking up).  Loosen the strainer and spin it while "scrubbing" briefly (with my hands) and rinsing.  The few grounds left in the strainer and beaker rinse off quickly and down the drain.

Also, despite "common wisdom", "Fine" ground is much better in the French Press than "Course".  Uses less coffee and tastes better.

Much as I like being able to see through the glass beaker, there are plenty of stainless steel alternatives for boat use.

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On 12/21/2019 at 9:23 PM, eliboat said:

I use a chemex onboard.   It’s glass, so you need to store it accordingly, but it makes the best cup of coffee you can get and it’s also as simple as it gets.  I’ve never been a fan of French press coffee, and as it turns out, French press has been linked to heart disease whilst pour overs and other paper filter methods are not.   

Heart disease?? Is there anymore information you can share? 

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37 minutes ago, mad said:

Heart disease?? Is there anymore information you can share? 

Just scrolled through the rest of the thread and found the link. 
Quick question, is the Bialetti unit healthier than the press?? 
 

I don’t think I drink enough to worry about it, but would be interesting to know. 

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My understanding about heart disease and French press and other non filtered coffee is that the oily sheen that you get with these methods is the culprit.  Using a filter eliminates the sheen, and if you drink black coffee (as you should if you’re not a pussy) it actually ends up being good for heart health so long as you don’t drink 10 cups a day. 

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I picked up the Italian attitude on coffee, less is more.

US coffee culture is/was big gulp cups. 3 sizes; large, extra large and enormous.

In Italy, I watched locals worship their small cups of espresso for a few seconds standing at the coffee bars. You could see a pause in life for them, brief but usually contemplative. Then it was gone and they soon followed out the door. 

I've never had even mediocre food or drink in Italy. I think that is partly due to Italian scale in eating. I prefer small cups or espresso sized vessels for coffee these days. 

582425153_GiudeccaBreamgrilled.thumb.JPG.308b51056670210c4d40e5ec220a3d5b.JPG

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1 hour ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Worrying about essential oils in French press coffee will cause stress that will damage your heart and kill you fucking dead!

Its coffee. Live a little (not less).

Sure.  However since a French press is garbage compared to a chemex pour over, I would prefer to live a little with a much mire refined cup of coffee while I enjoy my morning at anchor.   

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On 12/21/2019 at 4:25 PM, SloopJonB said:

The French Press on a friends boat is the best "boat" coffee maker I've ever used - small * stores easily, S/S so as unbreakable as possible, makes coffee quickly and well etc. etc.

Basically no downside except only 3 cups at a time.

One table spoon per cup and that's it. If you don't get a cup you like, change coffee.

We found a 1L steel french press which seems to be insulated as it keeps coffee warm for a while.

That's our go-to.

We've had coffee makers and melitta cones. We prefer the french press for a lot of reasons, from indestructibility to not needing any outside consumables.

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On 12/21/2019 at 5:08 PM, sledracr said:

rather than dealing with a press-pot full of muck.

Really non-issue...it rinses right down the sink.

Maybe I'm caffeinating the fishes, but it doesn't strike me as any more of an ecological disaster than rinsing off your plates.

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On 12/23/2019 at 6:05 AM, Jim in Halifax said:

We're 35 posts in and no one has mentioned the lowly coffee percolator...fresh, coarsely-ground beans (that's why cruising boats have inverters), cold water, an open flame, and timing - seven minutes on the hob after it starts percolating - voila, my perfect boat coffee is ready. There's something about the smell of a coffee perc in the galley, at anchor in the morning...

We tried perked coffee early in our sailing days. Pain in the rear and we didn't love the results.

For us, the french press works great for another reason - we don't use ANY propane making coffee.

We have one of those snazzy 220V electric kettles the Brits/Aussies/Kiwis use and with our lithium batteries it's really not a big hit on power to run a 2,000W kettle for four minutes to make a pot of coffee. Or three or four.

Huge-ass batteries...they're not just for blender drinks any more.

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On 12/24/2019 at 11:15 AM, kgatesman said:

Silicon filter funnel and an electric teakettle.  Throw the microwave away.   

Cleaning the French press was a drag.  Paper filters are easy clean up.

https://nextadventure.net/ust-flexware-coffee-drip.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&scid=scplp023779&sc_intid=023779&gclid=CjwKCAiAi4fwBRBxEiwAEO8_HuK3F0DY80Gk1AIQy_bKVqaJYGZj2Z8oSRFX2UyTFuPIWvRVFj9bcBoCs3wQAvD_BwE

Easy to clean up...not always easy to acquire though.

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On 12/27/2019 at 11:49 AM, sledracr said:

I've heard the same thing from a number of directions.

My question is.... is there a functional (or qualitative) difference to the Chemex, compared to other pour-over/filter things?

i.e., if I took the same coffee, the same ratio of water-to coffee, the same water and water temp, the same pouring technique, etc.... through a Chemex into its glass beaker, vs. through a Melitta thingie into my boat-mug.... would they taste the same? 

I learned a valuable lesson a few weeks ago when we ran out of #4 cone filters where we're staying, and I found some Chemex filters in the closet.

Lessons:

1) A Chemex filter will fit in a #4 cone filter coffee maker.

2) You should never, ever do this.

The coffee came out shockingly weak. Light brown water with barely a coffee taste.

I had no idea the filters are so different, but whatever the Chemex thing does, it somehow steeps the coffee a lot longer in that filter than the Melitta cone.

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28 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

We tried perked coffee early in our sailing days. Pain in the rear and we didn't love the results.

For us, the french press works great for another reason - we don't use ANY propane making coffee.

We have one of those snazzy 220V electric kettles the Brits/Aussies/Kiwis use and with our lithium batteries it's really not a big hit on power to run a 2,000W kettle for four minutes to make a pot of coffee. Or three or four.

Huge-ass batteries...they're not just for blender drinks any more.

Minor hijack, can you post up your mudslide recipe again please?  My search abilities aren’t good enough to find it in the forums. Thanks. 

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I haven't seen much about the coffee here, but this may have already been mentioned.  If you are used to buying something from a good shop you will probably have noticed almost all the chains use too dark of a roast and tend to cook the crap out of what they serve.  If you use a light to medium roast you can make something to suit your taste with just about any of the methods above.  For espresso a light roast with a super fine grind.  We use a French press and I usually make very strong and can add water to taste.  If you have 110 the la Pavoni press is the best I have ever had but super impractical for a boat.  We have had a few hand grinders but they are usually messy and we got a little lazy. French press is super easy just need the right roast and try verying levels till you get what you want.

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7 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

If you are used to buying something from a good shop you will probably have noticed almost all the chains use too dark of a roast and tend to cook the crap out of what they serve. 

Burning your beans cover a lot of sins when it comes to using lower quality product to start with.

I've always been of the opinion that if you need 500 calories of cream, sugar and good to make your coffee drinkable, it's crap coffee. I've never warmed to Starbucks for that reason - I take my coffee black.

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On 12/22/2019 at 5:37 AM, Kris Cringle said:

Last season at 6:08 am, I re-learned something.

With the water boiling, I opened the coffee and it's aroma filled the cabin. That's what's often missing in my coffee, freshness not only of the ground bean but of the roast itself.

This bean, while it was ground the afternoon before at my house,  was a superb - fresh -roast,;dark and hearty (my preference - bold taste). It had a powerful aroma which is important.  

252213353_Perry6-08.thumb.jpg.62f499bbe93f3a329c1b702270ac8135.jpg

So forget the means, I think it's all about the beans. Those that grind their own on the boat can be closer to the good cup, but it's still about the roasted beans, first. 

I keep a one cup drip cone filter onboard. It's simple and fast and works (I have to put a tooth pick in the hole to regulate the brew rate).

Having said that, my favorite way to brew is a Mocha pot.  The Bialetti is perfect on a boat; low center of gravity, easy clean, no extra parts and all SS.

I like strong coffee and this method gives you more of that(2-3 times strong than drip - it's no an espresso maker). 

Bialetti_.thumb.jpg.5f8460d82d21549092f9d542701da9e6.jpg

 

Thanks a bunch for the toothpick idea. It has changed my coffee for the better.

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I've got one of those "unbreakable" one-cup French Presses on the boat.  I can't bring myself to grind beans on the boat, so I grind up enough for a few days before I go and keep the bag sealed.  Pre-race mornings without coffee?  NO. Just NO.

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On 12/22/2019 at 10:56 PM, airacer said:

Tired of cleaning the French press. Grabbed an oil funnel and put a coffee filter in it with some grounds. Warm up the water in a tea kettle. Direct drip into the Yeti. Fast & easy coffee while ripping under spinnaker or at the dock. Nothing to spill or break. Easy clean up. 

 

Oil funnel and a PAPER coffee filter?  You're living in the Stone Age man.

These have the filter built in, and they're available in multiple sizes.

I've found that the non-food-grade plastic combined with hot water gives the coffee a wonderful flavor profile....

Filter_Funnel.jpg

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I have had coffee made in a sock in Puerto Rico but didn't realize that it is a Costa Rican thing. 

Not sure about the butter thing at the end from this gal though.

Here is Major Mike with his version.

 

Seems like a good solution on a boat, at anchor maybe...

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On 12/21/2019 at 4:23 PM, eliboat said:

I use a chemex onboard.   It’s glass, so you need to store it accordingly, but it makes the best cup of coffee you can get and it’s also as simple as it gets.  I’ve never been a fan of French press coffee, and as it turns out, French press has been linked to heart disease whilst pour overs and other paper filter methods are not.   

OK...explain this freaking thing to me. We're in Coffee Crisis mode.

We're staying with my FIL. The girlfriend-in-law makes the coffee; they drink decaf but we drink way more caffeinated so we've commandeered the drip coffee maker since my wife and I will drink two pots of that to their two cups of decaf. My MIL, when she was alive, always fussed with a Chemex which is still her in the place but we can't figure out how to make non-crappy coffee with it*.

First day...it wouldn't drip through. I think the GIL put WAY too much coffee in, and it may be too finely ground. And she didn't wet the filter. It did not end well.

Second day...less coffee. Wet filter. Still slow, but it's the finer decaf still. But it was weak AF and didn't taste like much, and my GIL likes very strong coffee. So not good.

Tomorrow we're planning to try a cheaper, coarser decaf my wife and I keep around for late-day coffee drinking (Folgers...yeah, I know...but it's decaf so it already sucks).

Any other wisdom?

 

 

 

* Anyone want to tackle the wisdom of talking about how my MIL used to make coffee with the GIL? I think not...

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19 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

OK...explain this freaking thing to me. We're in Coffee Crisis mode.

We're staying with my FIL. The girlfriend-in-law makes the coffee; they drink decaf but we drink way more caffeinated so we've commandeered the drip coffee maker since my wife and I will drink two pots of that to their two cups of decaf. My MIL, when she was alive, always fussed with a Chemex which is still her in the place but we can't figure out how to make non-crappy coffee with it*.

First day...it wouldn't drip through. I think the GIL put WAY too much coffee in, and it may be too finely ground. And she didn't wet the filter. It did not end well.

Second day...less coffee. Wet filter. Still slow, but it's the finer decaf still. But it was weak AF and didn't taste like much, and my GIL likes very strong coffee. So not good.

Tomorrow we're planning to try a cheaper, coarser decaf my wife and I keep around for late-day coffee drinking (Folgers...yeah, I know...but it's decaf so it already sucks).

Any other wisdom?

 

 

 

* Anyone want to tackle the wisdom of talking about how my MIL used to make coffee with the GIL? I think not...

Well the grind definitely matters, meaning you want a coarser ground, like medium coarse.  When you put the unfolded filter into the chemex, line the portion of the filter that has more layers on it with the pouring spout.  The next trick is to just pour a little bit of water, just enough to get the grounds wet gently into the coffee.  Let that soak in and bloom.  The grounds will now swell up and the greatest coffee aroma will come out.  Wait 15-20 seconds, whenever it looks like the beans are not blooming anymore and then slowly pour water in a circular motion into the coffee until your're done.  That's my basic method, and I always seem to end up with delicious coffee.  I'm sure some dick with a handlebar mustache will have further instructions on exact weights on coffee and water and temperatures etc., and I'm actually sure that following the more anal methods will probably produce a more consistently excellent pot of coffee, however the method I described above works quite well.  As far as the amount of coffee goes, I have the large Chemex, and I usually put in 4 or 5 heaping spoons (as in regular table spoons) of grounds, depending on how strong the coffee is.  Since I only regularly use the Chemex on the boat, I usually have to calibrate a bit at the start of the season, but 4-5 heaping spoons is a good baseline.  Also, obviously the coffee that drips out first is going to be really strong, and it gets weaker as you go, and the trick is to not get alarmed that the drip later in the brew looks paler than the earlier bit.  It should all mix into something perfect.  One last tip would be to use a proper pourover kettle so that you can control a nice even volume of water during your pour.  This makes a big difference to say just dumping hot water in there.   

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14 minutes ago, eliboat said:

Well the grind definitely matters, meaning you want a coarser ground, like medium coarse.  When you put the unfolded filter into the chemex, line the portion of the filter that has more layers on it with the pouring spout.  The next trick is to just pour a little bit of water, just enough to get the grounds wet gently into the coffee.  Let that soak in and bloom.  The grounds will now swell up and the greatest coffee aroma will come out.  Wait 15-20 seconds, whenever it looks like the beans are not blooming anymore and then slowly pour water in a circular motion into the coffee until your're done.  That's my basic method, and I always seem to end up with delicious coffee.  I'm sure some dick with a handlebar mustache will have further instructions on exact weights on coffee and water and temperatures etc., and I'm actually sure that following the more anal methods will probably produce a more consistently excellent pot of coffee, however the method I described above works quite well.  As far as the amount of coffee goes, I have the large Chemex, and I usually put in 4 or 5 heaping spoons (as in regular table spoons) of grounds, depending on how strong the coffee is.  Since I only regularly use the Chemex on the boat, I usually have to calibrate a bit at the start of the season, but 4-5 heaping spoons is a good baseline.  Also, obviously the coffee that drips out first is going to be really strong, and it gets weaker as you go, and the trick is to not get alarmed that the drip later in the brew looks paler than the earlier bit.  It should all mix into something perfect.  One last tip would be to use a proper pourover kettle so that you can control a nice even volume of water during your pour.  This makes a big difference to say just dumping hot water in there.   

We don't have a tea kettle, so it's being poured from a sauce pan...

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