Oct 24, 2017

Coffee Newbie

I think I am finally ready to move away from my 12 cup coffee pot. Should I start out with a french press? Please let me know any recommendations you may have!

I went from the 12 cup drip to French press and was very pleased. Then I found pour over and stopped using my French press. Now, this will sound silly most likely, I am using a 1970’s electric percolator that makes 8 cups of coffee. I don’t know why, I can‘t explain it, I have never had better coffee. Maybe I am strange, Maybe its my Finnish side showing.
TL;DR Try a French press.
Try an Espro. It's pretty amazing technology, double filter that makes the resulting coffee that much cleaner tasting and is really easy to use. They have the standard, original Espro and also introduced travel presses as well, which are pretty fantastic. Easy clean up as well...
Kinda depends on where you want to go with it.
All the advice on the various presses is sound. I have both a French press and an Aeropress and like both. They work really well with the local coffee (Kona), which is fairly acidic because of the volcanic soil. It makes for a really nice nutty flavor.
If you're into espresso, a stovetop pot is an easy way to go without breaking the bank. My current one is an UMUSA, about $20USD from Amazon, but really any of them should be capable of making a good cup: https://www.google.com/search?biw=1536&bih=734&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=0e_wWbnfG8GujwPH7Y2ABA
The flavor of an espresso depends on a couple of things: the bean, the grind, and how firmly it's packed. The latter two will determine the ultimate pressure at which the coffee is extracted. Over-pressuring will extract more acid from the bean and will result in an espresso with a lot of bite. Same with using an overly acidic coffee. If your first cup tastes like battery acid, try changing your grind or switching to a lower acidity bean.
Another stovetop method to play with is Turkish or Arabic coffee. These are done with extremely fine ground coffee in a pot shaped a little like an Erlenmeyer flask. The biggest difference between the two is the roast. Arabic coffee uses an almost blonde roast while Turkish coffee likes a darker roast. Here's a Turkish pot: https://www.amazon.com/Dexart-Handmade-Copper-Turkish-Coffee/dp/B074SWWQTM
The toughest part about Turkish and Arabic coffee is getting a fine enough grind. Blade grinders won't really be able to get fine enough. A burr grinder is the right tool for the job. You can get relatively inexpensive hand-cranked burr grinders, but it'll mean having to work for your coffee. Unfortunately some of the less expensive electric burr grinders can only go so fine. I'll leave that choice to you if you decide to go that route.
I've yakked enough. I'll let someone else extol the virtues of cold brew. (Coffee's fun!)
Yes, a French press if you want more than one cup. Aeropress if you are a one cup kinda person.
I'd recommend giving the Aeropress a try. It makes a great cup of coffee, and is quick, easy to clean, portable, and relatively inexpensive.
I would suggest a Chemex. I've used one for years and it is my go-to if I don't use my auto pot (Bonavita). It gives a cleaner cup versus a French press. I have both and use the Chemex far more. It is personal preference, however.