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Because it's arguably one of the most important things to have access to in an office environment, I'm thinking about what I might be doing for a personal coffee stash on campus. I know most labs have a communal coffee or espresso maker, but a lot of the time that falls short for coffee snobs connoisseurs. At my undergrad, a grad friend of mine relied on fair trade locally roasted beans, a hand grinder, and a choice between a one-cup french press or a pourover, which was infinitely impressive. How do you prefer to get your liquid gold?

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Honestly, I've never had a solution I liked. I've considered bringing in my old French press to keep on my desk, or just taking the opportunity to cut down.

 

My old office had Keurig machines all over-- expensive and terrible for the environment. I bought a reusable cup and good coffee for it which made it usable, but the machine we had would make 1/3 cup of extremely concentrated coffee and 2/3 cup liquid that looked like weak tea, which you'd then have to stir together and drink before they separated. Yum! Sometimes I'd walk to one of the hospital cafes, but I really couldn't afford it at the amounts of coffee I drink.

 

My current office has one of those big machines you see in diners and offices, but apparently no one uses it except to get hot water. We're also on the edge of campus so I don't like to leave once I'm here. I now stop at the Dunkin' Donuts next door on my way in (I hate that they insist on adding milk themselves, and I'm sure they hate me for being the anal lady who insists on "a little milk" instead of the 1/4 cup of half and half that is apparently normal there), then drink tea for the rest of the day.

 

On weekends, I drink two French presses of the good stuff every day.

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I drink enough that the acid was starting to get to me, so I drink exclusively cold brewed.

I make it at home and leave a jar of it in my fridge at the office.

That said, the building that houses our labs has a coffee shop built in on the first floor, and they give significant discounts to the regulars, so I end up drinking there a lot.

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The thought of having a french press IN my office seems difficult to clean.  I have one at home that I use, it makes enough for a travel mug and a thermos full to keep warm throughout the day.  Spring/Summer months I cold brew and the thermos is switched to iced coffee.

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Last year when I was cutting myself off from starbucks, I used my work's communal Keurig. Sometimes my boss would even buy enough kcups to last everyone a whole week! But just stashing enough kcups for a few days in my backpack and making sure I had my thermos was all I needed for my morning gold. :) My mom was at a flea market a few weeks ago and came home with a mr. coffee that's keurig compatible! The man told her it was never used and even gave her the warranty information. I was skeptical, and when I opened the box and saw the free kcups missing, she tried to defend him saying that maybe he took them because they weren't fresh anymore. She has a keurig, she knows kcups don't go bad that quickly! hahaha. Then I opened the liquid catcher on the bottom, and what did you know! There was stain and splatter from old coffee! The machine works fine and we got it for about 75% off, so no one's complaining. I just can't believe that she STILL believes these people with all of these amazing deals at flea markets! But I'm excited to be able to brew at home in the mornings. :)

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I don't consider myself quite a snob, but I don't like bad coffee.  E.g., I won't drink Folgers or Maxwell House, but I also don't grind my own beans or use a French press (yet).  I have a Keurig at home (a Christmas gift from my cousin) and I use that to make coffee most of the time.

 

I've had to cut down on the coffee, sadly, because I get migraines.  Also, every lab/department I've been in has a sink somewhere.  One of my labs has it's own kitchen and the other has two pantries on the floor.

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I drink enough that the acid was starting to get to me, so I drink exclusively cold brewed.

I make it at home and leave a jar of it in my fridge at the office.

That said, the building that houses our labs has a coffee shop built in on the first floor, and they give significant discounts to the regulars, so I end up drinking there a lot.

 

I found this post about how to make cold press coffee... I'm intrigued and might try it. I don't have any tummy issues, but it probably wouldn't hurt to go easy on the stomach, and the promise of tasty, non-bitter coffee is enticing, especially with cream and sugar, which is how I like it.

 

http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/

Edited by wildviolet
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I have a Tonx delivery every other week, and I grind my own coffee beans and make a pour over at home. I try to limit myself to one cup a day but sometimes I buy myself a second cup on campus. I've never found a good solution to making my own coffee in the office. We have a Nespresso machine which is not bad, but it's not my favorite. Instant coffee also isn't a great solution, so there you have it.

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Because it's arguably one of the most important things to have access to in an office environment, I'm thinking about what I might be doing for a personal coffee stash on campus. I know most labs have a communal coffee or espresso maker, but a lot of the time that falls short for coffee snobs connoisseurs. At my undergrad, a grad friend of mine relied on fair trade locally roasted beans, a hand grinder, and a choice between a one-cup french press or a pourover, which was infinitely impressive. How do you prefer to get your liquid gold?

This is the single greatest post I have seen in ages. I wanted to create something like this myself, but I was a bit worried I was the only one haha. During my time in undergrad, I worked as a barista at a local/independent coffee shop where we roasted our own beans as well and, needless to say, I am one of those connoisseurs snobs :P I'm starting my program in just under 3 weeks but I haven't seen what kind of desk/office space I'll have, so I'm a bit confused about where I'll be doing most of my work (at home or on campus). By extension, I don't know where to set up my happy coffee lab. I'm not a huge french press fan, cause it's hard to not end up with a bunch of sediment. I plan on going with an aeropress or a chemex with a hario (hand) burr grinder. I am a bit worried about coming off as the department douche if I do that, though :/ I've been known to be a bit ungracious about coffee if people get me talking about it.

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I have a Tonx delivery every other week, and I grind my own coffee beans and make a pour over at home. I try to limit myself to one cup a day but sometimes I buy myself a second cup on campus. I've never found a good solution to making my own coffee in the office. We have a Nespresso machine which is not bad, but it's not my favorite. Instant coffee also isn't a great solution, so there you have it.

Mmm, well done with the pour over! Grinding at the office might be a bit awkward since it makes so much noise... though hand grinders help with that a little :) You should try an aeropress. The downside is that you can only make one cup at a time. The upside is everything else. It is a delicious and extremely clean cup of happiness. Elixir of the Gods, I daresay :) It's really easy and requires virtually no cleanup. 

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This is the single greatest post I have seen in ages. I wanted to create something like this myself, but I was a bit worried I was the only one haha. During my time in undergrad, I worked as a barista at a local/independent coffee shop where we roasted our own beans as well and, needless to say, I am one of those connoisseurs snobs :P I'm starting my program in just under 3 weeks but I haven't seen what kind of desk/office space I'll have, so I'm a bit confused about where I'll be doing most of my work (at home or on campus). By extension, I don't know where to set up my happy coffee lab. I'm not a huge french press fan, cause it's hard to not end up with a bunch of sediment. I plan on going with an aeropress or a chemex with a hario (hand) burr grinder. I am a bit worried about coming off as the department douche if I do that, though :/ I've been known to be a bit ungracious about coffee if people get me talking about it.

 

Haha, ungracious eh?  :D I want to drink coffee with you! The mention of the sediment, plus how unwieldy it is to clean sometimes, is what's keeping me from the french press idea. I would definitely be interested in getting a hand grinder in the lab if not just for snarky comment purposes.

 

On an unrelated note, I wondered how many coffee fanatics considered putting some beans on the dash of their car on hot summer days to make sort of a car-ppuccino scent.

 

Mmm, well done with the pour over! Grinding at the office might be a bit awkward since it makes so much noise... though hand grinders help with that a little :) You should try an aeropress. The downside is that you can only make one cup at a time. The upside is everything else. It is a delicious and extremely clean cup of happiness. Elixir of the Gods, I daresay :) It's really easy and requires virtually no cleanup. 

 

I will need to check this out.

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I found this post about how to make cold press coffee... I'm intrigued and might try it. I don't have any tummy issues, but it probably wouldn't hurt to go easy on the stomach, and the promise of tasty, non-bitter coffee is enticing, especially with cream and sugar, which is how I like it.

 

http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/

 

 

I've done the cold brew thing before, and it's yummy, but it lacks that coffee "punch" for me -- maybe I like the bitter notes? Cold brew is good for iced coffee, but put any milk in it and to me it tastes like melted coffee flavored ice cream. But it is better for the tummy. 

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Haha, ungracious eh?  :D I want to drink coffee with you! The mention of the sediment, plus how unwieldy it is to clean sometimes, is what's keeping me from the french press idea. I would definitely be interested in getting a hand grinder in the lab if not just for snarky comment purposes.

 

On an unrelated note, I wondered how many coffee fanatics considered putting some beans on the dash of their car on hot summer days to make sort of a car-ppuccino scent.

 

 

I will need to check this out.

It's a pretty cheap method.. it's usually between 20-30 dollars. And I agree on the car-ppuccino! I did something similar with candles hoping it would create a nice scent.. it was a bit weak, but definitely pleasant if you were up close to it.

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I make French Press coffee at home because I like that it makes 2 well-proportioned cups (and I like the oils that French Press leaves). If I want coffee in the office, I will make another press worth and put it in a mason jar to take to the office. It holds up well going from boiling coffee to the fridge.

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I've done the cold brew thing before, and it's yummy, but it lacks that coffee "punch" for me -- maybe I like the bitter notes? Cold brew is good for iced coffee, but put any milk in it and to me it tastes like melted coffee flavored ice cream. But it is better for the tummy. 

 

Sounds like you're either not making it strong enough, or diluting it too much. 

 

The cold brew I'm used to drinking has about 3x the caffeine of a normal cup of coffee, and packs quite a punch. 

 

But I brew it strong, and only cut it about 1:3 water to concentrate. 

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Mmm, well done with the pour over! Grinding at the office might be a bit awkward since it makes so much noise... though hand grinders help with that a little :) You should try an aeropress. The downside is that you can only make one cup at a time. The upside is everything else. It is a delicious and extremely clean cup of happiness. Elixir of the Gods, I daresay :) It's really easy and requires virtually no cleanup. 

 

I'm also a huge fan of the Aeropress. My old lab had a water dispenser that could also dispense hot water, so the Aeropress was even more convenient!

 

In the mornings, I may turn to the Italian Moka system though. At my internship, my group has one and every day someone uses it to make coffee for the whole group. I have never had better coffee, and it is turning me into a bit of a coffee snob. :) The clean up is a bit of a pain, but the coffee is worth it.

Edited by spec789
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Sounds like you're either not making it strong enough, or diluting it too much. 

 

The cold brew I'm used to drinking has about 3x the caffeine of a normal cup of coffee, and packs quite a punch. 

 

But I brew it strong, and only cut it about 1:3 water to concentrate. 

 

It could be that I didn't make it strong enough, but I didn't dilute it at all when I first tasted it -- I'm not talking caffeine content, just that coffee taste punch -- the dark, stormy, bitter, sweet, smokey coffee that I like (even from blonder roasts) -- is missing with the cold brew. I'm thinking it's not my technique, since I've tried Chameleon Cold Brew, and cold brew from the best cafe in my area, and my own cold brew, and they all taste similar to me -- mild, sweet, and well... gentle. They certainly pack a caffeine punch, but I guess I'm less concerned about caffeine content and more about taste.

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I'm also a huge fan of the Aeropress. My old lab had a water dispenser that could also dispense hot water, so the Aeropress was even more convenient!

 

In the mornings, I may turn to the Italian Moka system though. At my internship, my group has one and every day someone uses it to make coffee for the whole group. I have never had better coffee, and it is turning me into a bit of a coffee snob. :) The clean up is a bit of a pain, but the coffee is worth it.

 

LOVE the Italian coffee maker. I have one and use it when I want some really strong coffee, but in order for me to use it every day I would need a two-cup size for my SO and I. This might change when I'm actually at grad school, long distance with the SO and can be greedy with my morning joe. 

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UPDATE: I tried another batch of cold brew, this time brewed longer and stronger with the darkest roast beans I could find. It tasted much better to me, but still not the same as regular old hot brewed coffee -- I have deemed cold brew coffee "gentle-milk." 

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If you look hard enough, you might be able to find a small one cup maker.  (my grandmother found hers for $3 at a hardware store out of blue..... in an expensive city.)

 

I used to keep a bag of my own coffee (Zabar's) at the office and made only enough just for me for a travel mug (2 cups) and some for others.  I used to have a desk buddy who was also a coffee snob and I'd make a bit more if she and I were both in the office during her office hours.  She was ever grateful.

 

I've never done the French press thing.

 

Don't forget that Starbucks gives free refills if you're a gold member once you buy the first (small) cup of the day.

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I personally have a terrible addiction to Starbucks. I can drink drip coffee all day and it does absolutely nothing for me so I need some serious espresso in my life. I'm thinking about investing in an espresso machine for my apartment. We have an illy espresso machine at work that I'm super quick with so a smaller version of one would be nice.

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