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kotmj

Coffee

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Once upon a time, I abhorred coffee. I found the thing undrinkable. I had a doctorate Hungarian roommate and the thing he prized most apart from his laptop was his espresso machine. He would drink three shots a day.

 

I developed my coffee habit out of necessity. I was writing a thesis in a dorm room I rented in my favourite city, and the hours after lunch would be entirely unproductive without my making a trip to a cafe and downing a mug of house brew. By the end of my thesis, I could no longer function properly without at least a mug a day.

 

I've tried making coffee in a French press, and the results were quite undrinkable. I've never understood the popularity of the press. I've used several presses including the stuff from Bodum and none delivered an acceptable brew.

 

A far better solution is a drip machine. This is very popular with the Germans. I would grind the coffee in an electric grinder then put them in a paper filter and the machine would drip hot water into the filter. A jug beneath the filter collected the coffee. The problem with this arrangement is that most of the oils would get stuck in the paper filter. The coffee is bland. I drank lots of drip filter coffee.

 

Until I discovered the mocha maker.

Moka.jpg

 

I actually bought the most advanced model, the Brikka, whose operating principle is not unlike that of an espresso machine:

 

 

This delivered the best coffee I could make at home. I guess I could just buy an espresso machine...

 

When not at home, I mostly drink illy coffee. Madam Kwan's make illy coffee, Häagen Daaz makes them, Espressemente in Pavilion makes them. Another place for exquisite coffee is this French-run cafe in the Hartamas Shopping Center, topmost floor. Cafe Vienna in KLCC is great too.I find Starbucks and Coffee Bean stuff undrinkable.

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for the slightly more pedestrian route, i would recommend san francisco coffee over starbucks or coffee bean.

 

unfortunately, there aren't many branches of sf coffee.

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They say SF coffee used to have their roasters here in KL. Not sure about nowadays.

 

My usual cup is a double shot cafe latte, or sometimes without milk; a double espresso. I get my Highlander Coffee Supremo Blend beans from Coffee Ritual in PJ (usually less than 2 weeks old roast), grind em with my Isomac Professionale grinder, and brew the espresso with my Gaggia G107 maker. All very entry-level stuff, but makes one helluva cup.

 

Pics of my gear (taken off the net- exact same models shown):

 

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The Mokapot has it place....that's what I used to use before getting the Gaggia (off the net at RM80, can u believe it?). I actually blind-tested my mom once on the same grinds using a: the mokapot and b:regular brewing. The mokapot's coffee is much, MUCH more 3 dimensional. Oh...by 'the net' I mean mudah.my. That was 3 years ago, maybe.

 

My grinder is currently my 2nd; my first was a Krups burr grinder (always get burr grinders, the blade ones are inconsistent and produce a lot of dust). Got it off this guy who has a coffee-lovers community in Malaysia. Its mid-range for home use, cost me 1.2k.

 

Kotmj, perhaps the first step to up-the-ante in your coffee experience is to get some freshly ground beans. Those at coffee ritual are really good. Oh...and stay away from 'dark' roasts...they're akin to a well-done steak: definitely roasted, bitter and tasteless. Go for medium roasts. I used to mistake 'bitterness' for 'body'. U can ask the grinder to grind really fine, since you're using a mokapot.

 

BTW, when I was in Rome, I noticed the locals drinking coffee (espresso, they'll have none of that 'americano' stuff) with sugar and a side order of plain water (to wash it down?).

 

KF Chan's blog (coffee in Malaysia) has lotsa useful info, including some nice watering holes.

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I made the pilgrimage today to the Temple of God Shots. This is the cafe opened by KF Chan (thanks carbman).

 

coffee2.jpg

 

It was almost impossible to find. Someone by the name of Danny welcomed me. I asked for a latte.

 

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I asked for sugar to go with it as I normally do, but Danny looked at me disapprovingly. "Try it without," he suggested. My God, it was the best latte I had in my life.

 

Danny showed me all kinds of stuff, how grinders work, espresso machines, beans, Coffe Ritual in PJ etc. When I finished my latte, he suggested I try an Aeropress. "You really get to taste the coffee that way."

 

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There was no bitterness. Just the most aromatic stuff I've ever drunk.

 

I bought myself an Aeropress and 250g of Highlander Supremo roasted on the 11th. I will buy a Hario handgrinder next and start making my own coffee at work instead of drinking the Lavazza espresso my bosses like so much (they drink 5 shots a day).

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Thanks for the review......I've never been there myself. You really work fast. Glad u bought the Aeropress.....the best thing is that its fairly portable. I wanted to buy it once, but was concerned about the availability of filters....any problems there? I see you going full-on espresso-maker in a few months....heh heh heh.

 

Oh yeah...check out the discount: its a way to reward loyal, regular customers.

 

Must drop in someday.

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coffeestuff.jpg

 

Carbman, on the left are the paper filters that come with the Aeropress. I believe they can be bought off the net. Not as convenient as buying the normal conical paper filter (I recommend Daiso).

 

I bought the handgrinder today. A Kyocera, much more expensive than Hario, but it is more advanced. Now I can make good coffee wherever I go.

 

I do not really see an espresso machine in my apartment because it would only be used once a week on Sundays. I limit myself to one cup a day, so Mon-Fri I have my cup in the office. On Saturdays, I have bad coffee near the sifu's workshop. It's only on Sundays that I'm home.

 

I tried a cap at SF Coffee today. It is inoffensive but not very good. I like that they have good bananas at RM1 apiece though.

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I tried a cap at SF Coffee today. It is inoffensive but not very good. I like that they have good bananas at RM1 apiece though.

 

it's not too bad, i suppose. probably wouldn't hold a candle to your DIY setup though.

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So the Kyocera uses a ceramic cornical burr. Much like my Isomac, apart from the material used. Can judge much from the residue, so how exactly are the grinds? Uniform? Any dust? How much can you grind at one go? What kind of grinding speed are we talking about? Looks interesting indeed.

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Tell you what, next time I go buy beans at the ToGS, I'll bring along my handgrinder and compare the quality of grounds with their professional grinder.

 

It takes me about 3 minutes to grind out 1.5 Aeropress scoops.

 

I've been busy demo-ing my coffee setup to my colleagues. I'll put beans in the grinder and let them grind their own coffee then show how the Aeropress works. I think I'm a born door-to-door salesman.

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Fuuh, I met KF Chan today in his cafe. Very friendly, I was able to hold a fluid and interesting conversation about coffee with him. I felt his grounds and they are very fine. Each grain of coffee was well-defined, unlike what I get with my handgrinder. He says to use a coarser setting on my handgrinder.

 

Superlative cappucino, too.

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In Brisbane, I've been having my daily brew from the nearby Campos cart. I can see why there's so much hype about this coffee, the latte is extra fluffy and creamy, and yet still strong enough to give you a decent caffeine hit. Fantasic coffee. Wait time is pretty bad from 8-10am though, as it seems the whole Brisbane CBD gets their coffee from this little cart. I'm not complaining though as the cart is "manned" by smoking hot baristas.

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I've recently been informed that there's a great coffee place called "Artisan Roast Coffee" at TTDI (along the same road as Sid's) which serves great coffee.

 

Next meet-up there? Would love to get a taste of its latte or even long black with a shot of milk on the side. Mmmph.

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I went to Artisan a week or two ago. The cappucino is great. Not sure if better than Espressemente, which is still my reference. I bought a pack of Rwanda Musasa Red Bourbon coffee beans. Expensive at RM40 for 250g. It makes for a sour brew -- I cannot finish that pack since I keep reaching for the Highlander Supremo.

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It makes for a sour brew -- I cannot finish that pack since I keep reaching for the Highlander Supremo.

 

Must be the high acidity. Some affectionados state that the brewing method (the tamping, the grind & the pull) can affect the acidity in the final brew. I think its 99% the beans.

 

Coffe Ritual has moved and been renamed to "Jin Ya" in Damansara Uptown....has anyone been? I hope they still stock the Supremo.

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Must be the high acidity. Some affectionados state that the brewing method (the tamping, the grind & the pull) can affect the acidity in the final brew. I think its 99% the beans.

 

Coffe Ritual has moved and been renamed to "Jin Ya" in Damansara Uptown....has anyone been? I hope they still stock the Supremo.

I was looking for Coffee ritual over the weekend, couldnt find it.

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