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- Jun 29, 2017
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Thanks for the info, will checkout your store. I need to pickup some Claris smart filters. Which beans would you recommend I try?I'm an owner of the East London Coffee Company, though arguably its my dads passion project. I do very little other than help roast beans and make a few sales from time to time (with my other job taking all my time). Hopefully I can impart some of the basic advice I've learnt over time. Any more in-depth questions, I'd have to ask my dad (he's a big connoisseur when it comes to coffee). We import raw coffee beans, roast them ourselves and supply to a lot of cafe's and shops in the area. We also ship all over SA. We are also reps for Jura coffee machines (which I really like, though I'm probably biased) which we sell or rent to businesses.
1. Coffee pods are a complete waste of money
Not only do they contribute a huge amount of plastic waste, the price you pay per pod is ridiculous. If you do the maths, buying a cheap-o pod maker, but then include the price of pods over time, you are way better off getting a nice bean-to-cup machine, and going with the more traditional, and flavorful coffee. The only nice thing about pods is the different flavors, if that's what you're in to, but then I dont know why you'd be in a "proper coffee" thread.
2. Stove-top espresso makers and french-press's are woefully underrated
Not only are they relatively cheap, but if used correctly, the extraction ratio of coffee from the grounds is really really good. Better than most coffee machines, aside from those expensive barista machines. Couple them with some freshly ground beans, and you cant go wrong. These are the cheapest way to enjoy good coffee. The only downside is it takes more time than a machine to get your coffee fix than a simple button push. Learning how to use a French Press properly is important; a lot of people get this wrong. In terms of bean-top-cup machines, I'm quite fond of what Jura has to offer. Expensive, but worth it, and the support they give is fantastic.
3. Freshly roasted > all else
I cant emphasize the importance of fresh coffee beans enough. The quality of the coffee taste rapidly decreases over time. Grounds are especially susceptible to this, as the surface area is exposed to air for far longer, reducing the strength of the coffee. When buying a bag of coffee grounds, try get something that was recently ground, and not sitting on the shelf for a week. A good idea would be to buy a bag of beans instead, and grinding them at home before use. The beans are also susceptible to strength degradation over time, but not nearly as bad as grounds. Buy beans, put them in a bean-to-cup, or grind them at home for a french press/espresso maker, or even filter coffee pot, and you will have good results.
There are so many more things to talk about, but I dont want this to turn in to an essay. Its important to note that not all beans are created equal (Robusta vs Arabica), and not all roasting profiles are the same. You would be shocked to learn how many coffee places over-roast their beans for more of the traditional "coffee taste" when in actual fact they're just burnt beans.
Also, be aware of some of the pop-up local hipster-ish places. A lot of the time they arent great, and are quite expensive. People buy-in to the whole aesthetic more than the coffee itself *cough* deluxe coffee works *cough*. We do a lot of blind taste-tests with customers/shop owners that swear by some of their favorite brands, only to pick our beans on top without knowing. Not tooting our own horn here (maybe a little), but its just proof that so many people buy into brand rather than the coffee itself.
I purchased a Saeco minuto a few years ago, I thought it brewed a really nice cup of coffee till I got the Jura machine. It's incredible the difference in taste using the same beans I always have.
I see the current price of the E8 post covid is R23000 I remember checking in December and it was around R18 000.
Even the Claris filters lol R170, R230 seems to be the new normal.