Etc.

Howdy, all. Busy week here in the tech realm. We had the Win8 Phone announcement with Nokia yesterday, and today Amazon should unveil a new Kindle Fire. Next week, I’ll be out at IDF getting the lowdown on Haswell, and just across the street from that event, Apple is expected to be unveiling the next iPhone.

Meanwhile, we’re working hard behind the scenes here on various things. I have a quick write-up of the Xeon Phi architecture in the works, but I had to put it aside to concentrate on an upcoming review. Geoff and Cyril are working on projects, too.

In the wake of the site changes this past weekend, we’re preparing some follow-ups that should speed page loading times. The server side of that equation is very fast already, but we have some in-page code that could execute more optimally on the client, speeding web browser rendering. I’d really like to deliver a more old-school-TR type of experience, with near-instantaneous page loads. Sites like reddit are still that quick. Getting there will require a series of changes, some of it to third-party code, but Bruno could well have the first step or two implemented very soon. I think you’ll appreciate the improvements.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a caffeine addict (I believe I’ve dedicated a review or two to the substance), but I’m not sure I’ve said that I’m really a coffee drinker, to be specific. Like, a serious conical-burr-grinder-and-espresso-machine-owning coffee snob. I regularly use about four different brewing methods, but just recently, I’ve been experimenting with a new one: cold brewing. The pitch for cold brewing is that brewing with heat releases more of the acids and astringency in coffee, adding to the bitterness. By brewing at room temperature for a longer period, you can purportedly extract lots of flavor without the downsides. Judging by the results I’ve been getting, there’s something to those claims. The iced coffee drinks I’ve produced have had a pleasant profile that’s markedly different from what you’d get with any other brewing method. I’ve been using a Guatemalan coffee, light roasted, with a strong fruit taste. Cold brewing brings out that flavor in a nice, clean fashion. Worth trying, if you get the chance.

Comments closed
    • Pettytheft
    • 7 years ago

    But I like the bitterness. Crave it really. Why would I want to take that away.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Yes I’ve tried cold brewed coffee. It is different and fruity. Why do you have to sound so pretentious about it though? It’s not really anything special but a different way of dripping out brown expensive stuff. Mmmm brown expensive stuff. I love the stuff.

    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    This is Friday poll material Scott. Coffee, tea, or neither?

    • ordskiweicz
    • 7 years ago

    You might enjoy checking out George Howell – a Massachusetts coffee guru. He has YouTube videos of coffee making by several methods and his beans are the best (unless you like over-cossetted star*****s stuff).

    [url<]http://www.terroircoffee.com/[/url<] I have long found the quality and freshness of the beans to be the key - though water, grind and time in contact also matter a lot. Guatemalan's a fine iced choice, so is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (more chocolate and nut). Enjoy. Stay buzzed.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Hmmm… perhaps this is why coffee ice cream works out so well?

    • dmjifn
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah, maybe I’m a hick but my cold brew method is putting a couple scoops in some spaghetti sauce jars and leaving them in the fridge for a week. I don’t have a refined palette but I notice a slight difference between “overnight”, “couple day” steep times. Longest I’ve left it was ~2 months. Anyway, I do agree it’s better than my coffee pot.

    • WillBach
    • 7 years ago

    Instead of learning to make better coffee, I got a prescription for Adderall. Partially kidding, I did learn to make a mean (good tasting, not acidic) espresso. The truth is, because I use soy-based creamer, there’s not a lot I can do to make the coffee I make better or worse. I do enjoy [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club-Mate<]Club-Mate[/url<], and flavorful medium-roast coffees when I visit coffee shops that don't sell amphetamines.

    • Oldtech
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve been drinking cold brew for 5-6 years now. I also have a french press and a vacuum coffee maker.
    If you like your cold brew hot, slowly warm it on the stove. Never nuke it as it ruins the taste.
    And you should drink your coffee black. Adding anything ruins it.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    My BIL introduced me to cold brewed coffee and it’s become a staple in our house. It seems much less sensitive to the beans used as well as the grind. Add coffee to water, wait a day, filter, drink. Heat it if you must, or just put in some milk and sweetener for a wonderful iced coffee.

    We’ll probably go back to brewed coffee for the winter months, though.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    I’m a bit of a coffee snob myself. About 6 years ago, I spent some money on a pilot coffee roaster (good for up to 1/2 lb or a bit more at a time), a proper espresso machine – with a real solenoid 3-way valve, marine brass boiler (for durability and temp stability, and full size porta-filter – and a proper espresso grade beast of a grinder – I think the motor alone weighs almost 10 lbs – (though it only has flat burrs, not conical 🙂 – you can argue the esoteric minutia of each ad nauseum on some of the coffee forums). However, recently, I’ve seemed to develop a bit of a caffeine sensitivity (digestive system, etc) and don’t drink much espresso these days…

    And after playing with that equipment, I can wholeheartedly agree, that, after making sure you have freshly roasted beans (to your preference), the most important piece of equipment (especially for espresso) is the grinder. Basically, the more even and consistent the grind, the better.

    Some of the best results I’ve gotten with non-espresso coffee is with the relatively cheap and simple [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047BIWSK/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=aerinc-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=B0047BIWSK<] Aerobie AeroPress[/url<]. The device is similar to a Bodum, except that it uses filters (so you don't get any grit and can use much finer grounds if desired). Furthermore, it works via manually generated air pressure, allowing for the water to be strained through the grounds and filter with even force, resulting in more consistent brews and smoother coffee in the cup. The device is also portable (for a coffee maker) so you can have great coffee on the road and very easy to use and clean. Best $30 or so you can spend on personal coffee maker. Only downside is that it's only good at making one or two cups at a time. I don't know about room temperature brewing, but I do find that my coffee tastes a lot smoother if I let the water cool down to around 175-180 deg after boiling before using in the Aeropress. I'll have to give cold brewing a try some time.. Edit: I imagine, due to the extra pressure inherent in the Aeropress brew method, that it would work great for cold brewing...

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Since you seem like you’d be willing to experiment, try heating water and using it before it boils rather than letting it cool down after it boils.

      • nerdrage
      • 7 years ago

      I own two AeroPresses myself and love the coffee it makes. I agree with the 175-180 brewing temperature, it seems to be the optimal range for this particular device. I have a sensitive stomach now as well, and can only drink one small cup a day 🙁

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah. Caffeine sensitivity sucks. I often roast half – or even 2/3 – decaf blends which don’t sacrifice too much on taste so I can enjoy a full sized cup a few times a week. The decaf process does make the flavors more flat, so I find using beans that have more body and are not too “floral” or “citrus” – like a nice heavy Sumatra – for the decaf base works best. I do find, however, that full decaf, no matter how high quality the beans, just doesn’t quite do it for me.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    Chocolate > coffee

      • ShadowTiger
      • 7 years ago

      I stopped going to Starbucks when they discontinued the drinking chocolate.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      More than 2/3 of this country will agree with you on that, too.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      False. However, the very best coffee does tend to taste like dark chocolate and vice versa.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      God forbid you mix the two together!

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        Mocha?

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Cacao > Chocolate

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Man, iced coffee doesn’t really do it for me, but could you cold-brew to avoid the bean acids, then heat it by steaming it or something?

    I refuse to nuke coffee, it does something to the flavour.

    • alloyD
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for linking the recipe! As a cooking nerd, I’ve found that America’s Test Kitchen and Alton Brown are my favorite sources for good recipes.

    • Vrock
    • 7 years ago

    You coffee lovers are an enigma to me. “Acidic, astringency, and bitterness” are words most people use to describe things that taste bad.

    Coffee is a vile substance not meant for human consumption. The fact that you have to add so much to it to make it palatable is proof alone of that.

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Which is why cold brew is amazing. You don’t use any of those words to describe it. To me the tastes move into the ranges usually used for ciders, dark beers and dark chocolates.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      I drink my coffee black or with a very small amount of milk, never sugar in hot coffee.

      Also, only cheap coffee badly prepared is strongly acidic, astringent, or bitter. The easiest way to make coffee ‘good’ is to get a carafe and take it off the heater immediately after brewing.

      • glacius555
      • 7 years ago

      I am sure ethanol is a vital compound to humans 😛

      • spuppy
      • 7 years ago

      Any of those flavours can be good or bad, just like sweet, salty, and umami. You don’t have to add much to coffee to make it palatable, in fact the best coffee has NOTHING added to it.

      • bowman
      • 7 years ago

      ‘Add’? Adding anything to coffee ruins it. I cringe every time i see someone defile their coffee with milk or sugar.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 7 years ago

      no, please, tell us what you really think!

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t add anything to my coffee. If it’s roasted and brewed right, I enjoy the natural flavours in an espresso, ristretto or americano.

      Then again, I also like whisky straight up and [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karela<]karela[/url<] is one of my favorite vegetables, so I'm probably not a good yardstick for taste bud response ;).

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        I love a properly pulled espresso, ristretto or otherwise, without anything added. Sugar ruins espresso if it is half decent or better. Period. With sugar, you just can’t taste the subtle sweetness inherent in the espresso.

        However, adding a bit of steamed milk (as in a macchiato -and no, not the thing they call macchiato at Starbucks which is essentially a latte with syrup) is nice once in a while. Plus, you can make latte art!

    • demani
    • 7 years ago

    Looking forward to the other stuff, but wanted to highlight that cold brewing is fantastic. Prior to having a child I was a low caffeine person-maybe just a cup of tea on the weekends, and not even an iced tea after 5pm. Now I need it just to get to going in the morning. Hot tea is usually my source of choice (PG Tips is usually a solid brew), but on hot muggy morning that just isn’t going to do it, so I’ve learned to like iced coffee. I don’t like hot coffee at all, and iced coffee made from cooled hot coffee is only tolerable to me with a lot of half and half and sugar. But cold brew? I like to lighten it a bit, but that’s it. And it’s utterly awesome.
    Particularly awesome given the overnight road construction that’s been going on for the last three weeks, and the toddler-caffeine is my only hope of making it through the day, and two of those do me right every time.

    Edit: I just checked the recipe-that’s exactly what we do as well (similar experiments and all, so I guess I can reproduce and confirm the findings)-well up to the salt, but I’ll have to try that since it does a nice thing with hot cocoa as well.

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    That looks like a good recipe. What I do sometimes is take a dark roast and brew it in the fridge overnight. Makes a great refreshing morning pick me up! If you haven’t tried Japanese sumiyaki (charcoal roasted) coffee, check it out if you can. UCC is the big brand there

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This