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Looks great, though owners of the Hario hand grinders tend to report that they don't do as well with the coarse grinds, which you'll use for a french press. They're a bit inconsistent. Still will be miles better than where you are, but if you're not totally satisfied, that's the thing I'd look at next.
And I'd look at a food scale to get your proportions exactly right. The fewer variables in your brewing, the better, and a scale is a great way to nail down the coffee:water ratio. I like this one, for about $25. You can weigh your beans on it, then grind them, then brew directly on it, so you can watch the weight of the water you're adding as you add it.
I’ve used the Jennings CJ-4000 for a long time now. It was pretty much the standard in cafes before Acaia. [link]
It’s a .5 scale, not a .1, but that doesn’t matter much unless you’re doing espresso.
Doesn’t seem to be sold by Amazon directly right now, but I know they’ve sold it before and for cheaper around $24-28.
i haven't made something that my CJ-4000 hasn't been able to weigh. Sometimes I'll pour the stew or whatever into another bowl if the pan is just too unwieldy to weigh. It's good up to 4kg
amazon dot com/Jennings-CJ-4000-Compact-Digital-Adapter/dp/B004C3CAB8
Nice! Yeah looking back I’m surprised it took me so long to switch to an electric kettle vs stovetop. That plus my scale were my two best coffee investments for sure, IMO more so than my Encore or Lido grinders. I’d take a cup brewed with pre-ground coffee using the right ratio and temperature over freshly ground coffee with a crapshoot for temp and ratio any day.
This is the scale I use. It’s pretty basic but it’s all you really need IMO.
Jennings CJ-4000 Compact Digital Weigh Scale 4000g x 0.5g PCS JScale Black AC Adapter [link]
Aeropress is versatile, makes a good cup, and is fun to experiment with but IMO I wouldn’t go to it as a substitute for a proper French press. It’s similar but different. Like the mesh filter I have for my Aeropress (which doesn’t come with the Aeropress) seems finer than the ones I have for my French presses, so mouth feel might be different. You’ll have to do it in the inverted method since you’ll be using a mesh filter so you’ll have to flip it before you plunge, which will add agitation that you wouldn’t have in a traditional French press. Plus the plunge would add agitation as well. If you want French press coffee, you’d be better served with one of the small single-cup presses you can find on Amazon for decently cheap.
Don’t get me wrong, Aeropress is a great brewer, but IMO it’s very much its own thing just like all the other brew methods.
I want to like the OXO scale but it is laggy and doesn't do well with amounts under 5 grams.
I think people are generally better off with the Jennings CJ-4000, which is half the price right now
As others have said, better grinder is definitely the first thing that jumps out. Looks like you’re going with a Baratza Encore; that’s a great start. Since you’re doing French press primarily, you definitely want as consistent of a coarse grind as you can get. Alternatively, you can have Trader Joe’s grind it for you.
Other than that, I’d suggest a scale. I use this one but any that has a zeroing/tare function and at least 0.5g increments should be fine. Jennings CJ-4000 Compact Digital Weigh Scale 4000g x 0.5g PCS JScale Black AC Adapter [link]
Scales are well worth their small investment. This is the $26 scale I like:
I like it more than the more expensive OXO Good Grips scale, which I also have. The OXO seems to do poorly in the 0-5 gram range.
I have the Acaia Pearl and The Jennings I have used the Hario scale many times.
The three are very different versions of the same thing. The Jennings is still my go to scale for everything except pour overs because it's dead simple to use, and durable.
The Acaia is better in almost every way EXCEPT it is kind of finicky to use, the touch input is a little strange to get used to and it has so much functionality that it is difficult to just weigh things sometimes. That said, it is beautiful,accurate,smart and very well designed.
The Hario is about halfway between. The screen on the Hario is small and somewhat hard to read from a distance. It does have timer functionality that is really nice to have.
My best value pick is the Jennings. But get the Hario if you need a timer and the Acaia if you need it all.
Darker roasts stick to the sides more. It seems like most of the videos use a very light roast where it is much easier to keep the ground bed flat. In addition, light roasts take up less volume in the filter if you are measuring by weight, which you should be.
I don't know how much water is lost due to steam or whatever, but if you want to be repeatable with a v60, then you definitely need a scale. This one is very popular, because it is cheap and well made.
Oh you will be fine, the only time I run into issues with the chamber size is if I'm grinding a 12-16oz bag of coffee for a Toddy cold brew. I mostly do a pour-over method but for about 24oz of brewed coffee I'm using 35g of coffee. for a 40oz pot I'd start with 50g of coffee and see how that tastes. The first week you'll probably spend experimenting and dialing it all in. If you haven't yet I'd pick up a scale to measure the coffee, the best bang for your buck is this I use it at my shop and the battery lasts a super long time for the amount of use it gets.
This is the one I have. Great scale, 4kg capacity (so usable for other kitchen stuff), 0.5g resolution. Also comes with a nice tray to measure coffee in.
One more thing that will really help is a scale, like this one. (Though that's way more expensive than it is on the US Amazon, so I'd shop around.) Weighing your beans and water will help you be more precise in your ratios, and will make it easier to duplicate successes.
I have the Jennings CJ4000 that /u/Epinephrined mentions. I think it's great! I don't need accuracy to .1g, so it's fine on that score. And I love that it goes up to 9 pounds; I can put a full Chemex on there with 85g of coffee and measure 1400g of water. I use it to weigh my roasts, too, and my cold brew, and tons of other food! It also plugs in to the wall if you want, so you don't have to worry about battery. I highly recommend it.
For pourover, I am a big fan of the Jennings CJ4000 Amazon
I've been doing pour over coffee at home for awhile, and can definitely recommend this Jennings scale if you don't want to drop $100+ on a digital scale. It's accurate to .5g, and has a large enough capacity that I also use it to measure out ingredients for ice cream and day-to-day cooking. Not exactly A E S T H E T I C, but it lives in my cabinets when I'm not using it.
I also picked up a pair of Karhu sneakers that I absolutely love. I wanted something more deliberate than my All-Birds and more unique than New Balances. I've never been a sneakerhead, and the all-white leather shoes that get recommended on /r/mfa all the times don't really fit my style, so these are perfect for me.
Lastly, for Christmas I picked up the Leopold FC750R keyboard with Cherry Silent Reds and it's amazing. I didn't particularly feel like waiting half a year for a group buy, so I'm glad I was able to find a prebuilt that's a huge improvement over what I've been using. I'm currently fighting the urge to buy a giant switch tester to see if I can squeeze a few more drops of enjoyment out of my daily typing by changing switches. Wish me luck.
This one from Amazon, I believe I found it on Sweethome, it's been a good scale but it's probably overkill for regular kitchen use. Any of the cheapass ones on Amazon or wherever would be fine. That said, a scale is absolutely indespensible. Fuck ever measuring flour by volume ever again...
Edit: Indeed, it is the one on Sweethome.
It's $27 on Amazon.
I like my Jennings CJ-4000, but it seems to be pretty expensive at the moment on Amazon. I got it for ~$26: [link].
It only does .5g increments, but it updates quickly.
I’d recommend anything but the Hario scale. I’ve been using this Jennings scale for years and it works perfect.
The aeropress and hario are a great suggestion. With the leftover money get a digital kitchen scale or something similar, if you don't have one of those. Save up for a variable temperature electric gooseneck kettle, maybe like this one.
I have been using this scale for a few years. Not sure if everyone needs 0.5g resolution. I use this scale daily for coffee and occasionally for baking and home brewing.
If you have a few extra bucks, step right on up to a nicer scale like this one.
DEFINITELY A SCALE! When you start looking up brewing recipes/instructions, you’ll find that everything is measured in grams. Along with my Lido 2, this has been my best investment so far:
Jennings CJ4000 4000g x 0.5g Digital Scale
I’m terms of brewing methods, I second Aeropress if it’s just you, or French press if you want to make more than just one cup in one go.
As for French press cleanup, it takes me maybe a minute to dump out my used grounds. After that, you just have to rinse off the filter etc and wash the carafe. Once a week I’ll hand wash the metal parts and I’ll soak the filters in soap and water.
You could also go pour over but that takes a lot of practice to get right, though IMO it’s gonna be better than a K-Cup regardless. I use a Beehouse with Melitta filters but the Hario V60 is pretty well beloved here. You’d need a goose neck pot though.
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper (Size 02, White) [link]
Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper - Large - Drip Cone Brewer (White) [link]
Hario V60 Buono Pouring Kettle (1.2L) [link]
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need a better grinder for French press than for Aeropress or pour-over like that Handground grinder that was listed. French press requires coarse grounds and the cheaper options (Porlex, Skerton, Mini Mill, etc) aren’t great for consistency at that level whereas they’re fine (but slow) for a decent medium grind.
As for grinders, I’d suggest the Baratza Encore (electric) or the Lido 2 or 3 (manual) personally if you have the money. I love my Lido 2 and invested in it because it can handle just about anything you throw at it and it’s honestly the last grinder you’ll have to buy for a really long time. I haven’t used the Encore personally but everyone in the community swears by it, its not that much more expensive than the Handground grinder, is electric, can be fitted with upgraded burrs to make it function more like the much more expensive Baratza Virtuoso, and can be DIY repaired very easily with tons of tear down and instructional videos available.
Here’s what I’d suggest for grinders at different price points. Do NOT go with cheap knock offs like the Javapresse; I did and regretted it.
Hario Skerton Pro (~$60) - basically an improved Skerton. Still not amazing for coarse grounds but better than a Skerton/Porlex/etc for a comparable price
Baratza Encore (~$140) - electric, consistent enough coarse grind, though I’ve heard it’s not great for espresso.
Lido 2 or 3 ($195) - again, love this thing. It’s manual but it doesn’t take long to grind beans with it like the cheaper manuals. A little bit of a learning curve out of the box but worth it. The 2 and 3 are basically identical save some design features on the 3 to make it more portable.
[Edited to add pour-over gear]
I have this one. It plugs in. You know for if you have a spare outlet in your kitchen which I do.
Even getting some low-cost gear like a CJ4000 and a Cusinart burr grinder will significantly improve your cup. And a thermometer is quite an inexpensive investment. Just remember that quality coffee is 100% chemistry, and chemistry requires precise measurements that must be repeatable over and over for consistency. However, you don't necessarily need $500 to make a great cup of coffee at home in the morning
Any scale is fine, just make sure it has .1g or at least .5g resolution. Here's a couple starter scales: [link] or [link]
Temperature isn't too terribly important as long as you keep it consistent and dial in that way. Without a temperature reading, it's easiest to do this by using boiling water. You can also get a PID kettle if you want to experiment. Bonavita, Fellow, and Brewista all make PID controlled gooseneck kettles.
Your grinder is less consistent than what he's probably using (I'd guess an EK43). You're also grinding way too coarse, which leads to a lot of fines on a grinder like that.
Way too coarse. French press does have a reputation for taking a very very coarse grind, but really it's not hugely more than drip. Check out the French Press grind on this page for a starting point: [link]
I'd just search for it on Google and look through what they've offered in previous months to see if it's quality. I'm not Canadian and haven't tried these, but I've heard good things about Propeller Coffee and Pallet Coffee.
I've enjoyed Tim Wendelboe's videos. Good stuff.
I got this one
I tend to do around 60-80g of protein. This lands me around 1.2g/kg of protein. I might bump it up toward 100g if I really want to up my protein at around 1.7g/kg. If I recall, muscle gains tend to be maxed out for naturally trained athletes around 1.875g/kg. at the upper limits of intensity and volume (for me, ~110g of protein.) Ymmv.
Beyond this level of protein intake, you do run into some toxicity concerns (just ammonia for example, is a neurotoxin... and you run into more potential metabolic toxins / problematic issues the more you ingest -- like homocysteine, which is a causative factor in vascular dysfunction, etc.) But, if you find a particularly high protein intake is more satiating and helpful for your goals, then the pros probably outweigh the theoretical cons. I would think that something like a hearty stew with lots of meat would provide more satiation than a fast-digesting powder if you're looking to increase protein intake at a caloric deficit.
If you really want to dial in your protein intake, this was a cool video with an interesting tip:
Maybe investigate calorie+macro cycling to view your deficit on a weekly average (which allows for "cheat day" wiggle room to naturally balance out some of your hormones.) Figure out some highly-satiating meals that work with your goals -- eg. stews + soups full of fiber + vegetables are the shit. Ideally, you can allow for higher post-workout calories and carbohydrates while targeting lower non-workout day calories and carbohydrates. In the past, this worked great for me... might not be optimal for others.
Vitamin C seems pretty easy to get -- you take a bell pepper, cut that in half... and just that little bit of fruit (~25 calories) provides two days worth of vitamin C... before you've eaten anything else. That said, I often supplement some vitamin C. For vitamin D, check blood serum levels first, then supplement, then re-test to hit optimal levels. I suppose if you're concerned with vitamin intake and you're not eating much food, you could do something like a two-a-day multi. Magnesium is often a safe bet, if you're thinking you're low on nutrients while eating at a deficit... it's hard to fit meaningful quantities into a multivitamin and food isn't usually concentrated with the mineral. Other minerals might be worth investigating, but it's more dependent on your dietary intake.
This guy has a great outline, if you really want to hit the vitamins hardcore, one at a time:
You might invest in something like this guy:
I get a surprising amount of use out of that thing (awesome for making coffee.)
Maybe look into ashwaganda, that stuff tends to balance me out, particularly at a caloric deficit (via lower cortisol?) Along this train of thought, I believe phosphatidylserine is also effective at lowering cortisol. Green tea is often associated with insulin sensitivity and increased lipid oxidation, where you could start up a matcha tea habit. Ymmv. /random-thoughts.
Don't forget to buy a scale. Measuring your beans by weight instead of volume is essential if you want good, consistent cups. I use a CJ-4000 and I've been happy with it.
As far as grinders go, the Hario Skerton and Mini-Mill are typically recommended for inexpensive hand grinders.
If you're doing pourovers, a gooseneck kettle is strongly recommended.
You can see some gear recommendations on our wiki.
Measure by weight whenever possible. It is always more consistent and for pour-overs it is more convenient. Most scales will do, I use this one. This article, though about espresso, discusses the inconsistencies of measuring by volume versus the consistency of measuring by weight.
Since a scale solves the problem of needing to see the level of your coffee and can help you brew more consistent cups, I would put the money towards a scale first. You'll want something accurate to at least 1g. The Jennings CJ4000 and American Weigh SC-2KG or SC-2KG-A are good choices for around $20.
It's the industry standard.