OT: Coffee Nerds/ Spro Nerds

Anyone big into coffee/spro like myself, seeing as it's all chemistry?

If so let me ask:
Current machine; favorite roast out right now

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


I don't know what spro is, but I love coffee. I have bottomless subscription. I love it.

Twitter me

Espresso! What kind of beans you rocking with right now bar?

Right now I'm drinking Fiore French Roast (Organic). Here's the info on my past orders:

Twitter me

I've thought of getting a Bottomless subscription. Used to do Trade but had to keep adjusting my subscription because I was either running out too soon or just accumulating bags. Seems like that'd be less of an issue with Bottomless. I enjoy being able to try lots of different kinds of coffee so these subscriptions are fun.

It's worth it, especially with coffee prices rising locally (in-town Atlanta). Most of my go to coffee shops are selling 12oz(?) bags for $18-$26. With Bottomless, I spend $6/month + $16-$18 per bag. It's delivered to my house, and the shipment is automatically triggered when I start running low (wifi scale is provided for free).

I'm not 'obsessed' with my coffee. I just like a full body dark roast. I can distinguish between a light/dark roast, but my palate isn't good enough to taste all the fruity or earthy or whatever notes, but I can tell you if I like/don't like coffee.

And I always enjoy the coffee from bottomless.

Twitter me

I'm a simple man; I drink black coffee.

Home: basic-ass Keurig, SF Bay Espresso pods.

Work: Bunn coffeepot, dark blends from the place the couple down the street run.

For outages or extended maintenance periods I stock up on Blue Horse dark roast Kona.

On the go: most fast food or airport coffee is pretty good. I do not like to get coffee at gas stations and travel plazas, but if it's all I got, it'll do the trick.

I always wanted to know more about that vacuum setup thing they had in the lab in Breaking Bad.

Oh you must be referring to a Glass Syphon Coffee Maker, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000IKLQZK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_1EFK1QVA98W37V...
What isn't cool about fire and water and beakers!? You should give it a whirl; coffee gadgets like this are the gateway drug (into coffee, not meth) plus it looks badass to entertain your guests with. Another science looked gadget is the Yama cold brew tower if you like cold brew.

That's the first time somebody either knew what I was talking about, or knew whether or not that thing was real.

That looks like straight up fun...

I use a Breville grind-and-brew.

I prefer lighter roasts, and I'm discovering a love of the anaerobic process.

I go through a lot of Black & White Roasters (just ordered a bag of their Gasharu Natural Anaerobic). Also a fan of Dragonfly. I've had problems with Onyx (arrives stale because packaging isn't properly sealed, etc).

Interesting! I've got a new lever on order and I was pumped to try running some onyx through it. Did you buy it direct from onyx or third party?

What do you find different about the anaerobic beans? I've seen it's the trend right now but haven't yet got to experiment with them

Direct from Onyx. Had one bad standalone order, and several duds in last year's Advent Calendar, so I've pretty well cooled on them.

I really like the jammy, fruit candy notes, and those seem more prevalent in the anaerobics. Along the same lines, I tend to go with African and occasional Central American beans.

So we splurged on the Breville Barista Pro and at first I didn't like it due to the slight learning curve. But now a year later, I love it and think I'm spoiled. I'm rarely ever satisfied with coffee I buy from the shops now (there are a few exceptions of course). But I'm wondering how you feel about your Breville equipment.

I'm also not sure what the anaerobic process is but I've been buying from a local roaster here in DC called Small Planes. They supply a lot of the local shops and restaurants and sell 12oz., 2lb., and 5lb. bags. They only roast to order and will tell you the next roast date for your beans. Shipping is free USPS to anywhere in the US (might not make sense if your on the west coast but I've never had a packaging issue). They probably don't have some of the cutting edge stuff the bigger roasters have but I've always been happy with their quality and cost. There are 3 or 4 standard roasts on offer along with an assortment of select beans from different regions given availability and quality.

Food Lion Dark Roast. Kurig with reusable pods. Got it down to 11 cents per cup. I really can't tell the dif between FL and national brands. Spro is a high end line of fishing lures to me.😂

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

At home, Saeco superautomatic with beans from Beanetics, a local roaster. Double espresso over ice when the temp is over 65. Otherwise espresso lungo or latte.

While camping, an aeropress.

Have you checked out the picopress yet? Super curious to try it; have an aeropress and find the taste of the product so-so but have read lots of good things about the picopress and it just looks cool.

I have not. That's a crazy little contraption. I love the speed and simplicity of the aeropress, especially when we're camping with friends without hookups and I'm making coffee for 4 people. I'm also pretty happy with the results.

That picopresso could be interesting for the office though. The coffee there is absolute swill.

Just bought an OXO grinder and love it. I've been on Trade Coffee subscriptions but will probably stop that soon and just order locally or something.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

When I was at grad school at Duke my wife and I loved Jubala and they got me hooked on counter culture (Raleigh based roaster I'm sure you've seen all over town) for the first part of my coffee obsession. Got a Crossland cc1 espresso machine with a Vario baratza and had an oxo grinder for pour overs and French press. Nice little grinder for the price, kept it till it broke. Even upgraded to a slightly nicer grinder for the spro machine but kept the oxo on the side for my other brewing methods. Also loved joule down in Raleigh but I heard they closed since I was there.

Jubala is very good but yea Joule closed a few years ago.

Counter Culture is huge here but I've never found one roast I really loved from them. Lots of South American beans which I find taste like dirt, but that's just me.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Jubala used to only use counter culture, didn't realize they've changed. I have been pretty disappointed in counter cultures stuff the last few years; I've had some stale beans and just meh products so I think you're right to look elsewhere for something with a punch. I think they almost got too big for their quality to keep up years back

I'm a Chemex man myself. I find the ritual of making pour over coffee to be calming.

STL has a solid local coffee scene. Northwest Roasting Company does a particularly good job. I drift toward medium to dark roasts, but am happy with pretty much anything.

We use a Jura Ana Micro 5 with organic whole beans from costco - mayorga or starbucks. We disagree on roast, but not enough to change it in the machine, so whoever refills the beans when it's out decides if its dark or medium roast.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I do mostly pour overs (v60 and chemex). Grinder is a 1zpresso jx-pro. I roast at home in a Behmore 1600 but I struggle to get roasts close to as good as commercial. Would love to get more into espresso but can't justify the expense yet.

My Behmore just burned up.
Looking for a replacement.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I'd love to get a Bullet some day

Luna estate blend dark roast. Ground in some cheapo ceramic grinder I got off Amazon. Aero press. Dash of half and half (wife does oat milk from the frother)

Or whatever is in the coffee maker at work

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I have an earlier generation Keurig, that's going on 11 years old now. As far as what's in the mug today, it's Aldi's fair trade French Roast. Not bad. With the volume of coffee I go through, I do have to tend towards cheaper beans.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Wegmans store brand pre-ground Columbian coffee through a Mr Coffee 5-cup drip coffee pot. Black coffee only.

Sometimes I even get impatient and steal the first cup before the rest is done brewing. I bet Juan Valdez is rolling over in his grave hearing that.

I bought a Chemex, reusable filters, and a Timemore hand burr grinder this week!
Previously I had been mostly doing french press with a cheap blade grinder or making cold brew with the same setup. When I get coffee elsewhere I always ordered a pour over when the place wasn't too busy. Plus I was tired of the silt from the low quality grind. So I've been happy to play around with the Chemex instead

In the past I've loved the Trader Joe's espresso blend. It has really deep earthy notes. I also seem to like some Ethiopian coffees for the bright fruity character.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Congrats!! You have just upped your game exponentially then with purchasing a decent grinder. Excited to hear what you think about the timemore. I see a lot of people raving about the Comandante lately so I know there's some quality hand grinders out there.
When it comes to espresso, pour over, aeropress, slow drip, anything; the grind and grinder is THE most important first step to master. Without a decent grinder you could have the most expensive equipment out there and your coffee will be shit. You've just taken it to the next level , I hope you are impressed with the quality difference after a couple runs!

Ethiopians great for pour overs to get that floral fruity pop! Great choice

Yea I've been super happy so far! I'm still dialing in my grind for a pour over to optimize my extraction & flavor, but the quality is so much higher already.

I opted for the Timemore because I'm cheap and I found it on sale for like $65. And given that I'm going from a blade grinder to this, I knew I'd notice an immediate difference and payoff for a much smaller investment.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo is the go-to in our house. It is rock solid and given how much we drink the 3 lb bags are a necessity. However, if / when we see it in-store (or are down to SWVA) I love to pickup Red Rooster (Floyd, VA) beans. I have a Technivorm Moccamaster as my daily w your generic kitchenaide grinder that my mom let me steal (bright pink, no less) when I graduated to buying whole bean.

Technivorm is a great machine! Go get yourself a decent burr grinder and let that bad boy show you how much you can love a cup of coffee even more!

Red Rooster is great. I get a bag of Funky Chicken shipped to SLC every month.

I'd really like to get into espresso, but between upgrading my grinder and getting a decent machine it just feels too expensive.

Right now I just use a clever dripper and occasionally a moka pot. Mostly with light roasts from local shops. Might grab an aeropress soon to keep at the office.

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

I understand and I don't know your budget but you can actually put together a decent starter set up and even snag some used or refurbished machines for a decent price. I've slowly collected and upgraded over the years and sell my old stuff as I go with pretty decent returns with what I paid on them new, so if you maintain your stuff it does hold it's value pretty well! Some of the double boilers out there have solid features for being on the lower end or the price scale.

And if you're more into the tactile making part you could go fully manual and get a decent manual grinder and manual lever (check out "flair lever") for a couple hundred bucks. Will be a little bit of a learning curve because you're manually in control of most of the variables but might be a fun way to learn

After several cheap grinders and makers crapped out on me, I went industrial:

-Baratza Encore Grinder
-technivorm moccamaster

Anything Ethiopian in my cup! OZO 8th wonder currently

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

The GIF is incredible and all of your selections 💯

For comic relief / contrast, I'll add my $0.02. I typically drink Gevalia house blend pre-ground through a Mr. Coffee 12 cup drip maker. Black, or occasionally with a splash of sweetened creamer from Chobani or whatever my wife and daughter have in the frig. Once in a blue moon I'll use Red Rooster beans my wife grinds in who knows what device, probably the Ninja.

To make it even more unpalatable for this audience, I make a 12 cup pot on Monday and Thursday, and reheat a cup or two each day in the microwave until it's gone.

You could say I don't really care about the taste, I just chug a cup to stave off the caffeine withdrawal headache and jumpstart my energy levels for the day's inevitable shitshow(s).

I may roll fancy in my set up... but I would totally suck the mud out of a puddle if it had caffeine in it.
I just an idea for your craft:
Come up with a fancy name for your reheated sludge technique... charge $5.50 for it... sell it out of the back of a leather belt store in The Mission... grow a mustache... congratulations you've started the next hipster coffee revolution.

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

Yeah this is me. I've got a pretty nice Ninja that does a lot more than I even know how to do with it but it just gets the cheapest preground stuff I can find. Drink it black and call it a day. I'll draw the line at reheating coffee like that.

(add if applicable) /s

I use a simple hand grinder and then do a pour over. Super easy and delicious.

Oh, and by the way (selfish promo) I use Arcade Coffee Beans. We were awarded 6th best coffee shop in America by Food and Wine and are a specialty coffee company. We source directly from farmers around the world with fair trade and sustainability requirements. Our roasters are all Q-Graders so the end product is world class.


Aeropress most days, chemex or French press if I'm making for multiple.
Local roaster, I like a good single origin light roast but my daily is a medium roast blend from Blanchards.
When occasion calls for it as weather gets warmer I do a Vietnamese iced coffee, cause fuck it.

Edit: also my daily grinder is a virtuoso, I use a feldgrind for espresso.

The go-to at home is Greenberry's Sumatra beans. Simple grinder, Cuisinart coffee maker.

Edit: Anybody in/near Cville tried Grit Coffee? I've heard good things, haven't tried it yet.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

When I'm lazy, I use my Instant Pod that gives me the option to use K-cups or Nespresso pods. It's nice to have the option to brew a k-cup or go for a ristretto.

I'll once in awhile to pour overs or use my aeropress.

As far as coffee, I've evolved to bold and black. I still don't mind medium and light roasts but it just depends on my mood. A good underrated brand is Don Francisco coffee. They also make Cafe Llave which I prefer for a Cafe Cubano. Nothing wrong with Cafe Bustello because I enjoy that too.

The only method I have yet to try is siphoned coffee. Otherwise, i'm a coffee junkee. ☕️

Let's Go


Counter Culture 46 is our favorite. Even go Elmo's Diner in Durham half because it's their house blend. However the wife and I still brew it in our Cuisinart 12-cup we got for a wedding gift. Damn guess it turned 15 last month too. We do clean it regularly. Do need a new grinder.

"That's my school, this is HOME"

Been roasting beans now for over 20 years but just burned up my roaster. I'm looking for a new one.

I have antique vaccum pots and a modern electric vac pot, the handle just broke off.
Normal now is the french press for a bit.

I need a better grinder, I've had a kitchenaide one the looks like the famous mixer. It's getting long in the tooth and the burrs are starting to wear. I'm getting some fines that are getting through the french press screen.
I'm probably going to go with a burr hand grinder. That way I can afford a better device.

I like Central Americans but make blends with African and Far East sourced.
We have some very good roasters locally that I like to frequent but also use Trade to try coffee from around the country.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Egbert, have I got a deal for you.... we have the old Deets place roaster but need someone to help fund us the install (double wall SS vent flue)... 7kg batch size. Just waiting to be used.

Can do anything with a big enough drill.

Hey, How did you get that?

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Ok, now I'm looking at roasters again and it's got me wondering whether there's a thread of truth to your post.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

TRUTH Diedrich IR-7. Requires Flue to be double wall SS... more expensive than I can afford at this time.
Did you get my e-mail about the TUM students again this summer?

I did not get your email.

Oh, and we know a bit about the cost of stainless right now.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Where you located Egbert?


This is going to be great for the ACC.

First and foremost, how to heck does "espresso" get shortened to "spro" and stick?????

Anyhow, I could swear I commented here yesterday but maybe I navigated away before I submitted? I've heard "life's too short to drink bad coffee" so many times from my friends but I always counter with "life's too short to care that much about coffee". It's a balance.

I do pourovers with reusable filter in my Bodum flask, total outlay for gear was like $29 lol. Sometimes I buy from a local NJ roaster, Rook Coffee. Usually I buy Green Mountain breakfast blend. I don't grind my own beans, it just is what it is. Easy to become an expensive hobby really quickly.

Key thing for me was when a buddy reiterated recently that "all that matters at the end of the day (or in the morning!) is that it gets the job done for you to your liking". Everyone on the internet ha an opinion and if you try to find "the best" way to do it you'll get so granular that people debate pouring clockwise vs counterclockwise and it's not even worth it.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I always counter with "life's too short to care that much about coffee".

Isn't that a little like going into an EPL thread and posting that soccer is so boring?

No, the people who go out of their way to tell you your coffee is all wrong and how could you possibly like that are the same ones who go out of their way to interrupt a conversation about soccer by saying it's boring and the worst sport

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Life's too short to deal with people like that.

If you are looking to order coffee beans, I cannot recommend Coffee By Design out of Portland, Maine enough. When we visited in the fall, we went in to get a few bags and a cup for the morning. The little chalk board has the wifi password on it "Roasteroftheyear". Ok, flex on em.....until I really googled them and found out they were Roast magazine's national roaster of the year for 2019. We brought home several bags from there and have ordered 5 lb bags since being home.

(We brought home 22 bags of coffee from our Maine/Vermont trip!!! Score!)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Based on your post, I'm guessing there is a word missing in your first sentence?

yes, my bad. fixed now. Graicas.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

if you're ever back in that area, Tandem Coffee and Bakery is legit -- the best sticky bun i've ever had and it's not even close. the coffee was p good too

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

We did get some Tandem as well. And we hit Forage for the wood fired bagel with lox...yummy.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

We got Tandem, Speckled Ax, CBD, and Bards from Portland.
From Vermont we got Big Gear, Vermont Coffee Co, Kestrel, Vivid, and Ungrounded.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'll do a different thing for coffee every day depending on what I'm in the mood for. Wife and I got a Nespresso (the regular one not the new fancy kind) for a wedding gift and that gets a decent amount of use when I don't feel like making a pour over or am in a fancy mood. I'll often do pour over. I have a Bodum burr grinder which I love. I'll generally use a V60 or a Clever dripper. Clever is definitely the most frequently used coffee maker for me. My favorite beans are definitely Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans. Love the fruitiness of them. Sometimes I'll do a French press if I'm wanting a couple of cups in the same sitting. I've recently gotten back into making cold brew. I've got an OXO cold brew maker which is great when it's warmer out.

OXO burr grinder
Redline MK1 brewer at home + Aeropress for camping/tailgating

lately have been ordering from Kings Coast

I love my aeropress for camping. Takes up basically no room in our small trailer. Cleanup uses hardly any water. And it makes a damn good cup of coffee.

Currently rocking an Illy Francis Francis and pretty much exclusively make oat lattes. At work, we go with Katz Coffee from Houston and love the Texas Hill Country Pecan flavor.

Little Bobby Tables told me my signature was false

Big fan of Seaworthy coffee. They have a nice documentary on the roasting process on their website. Small batch family owned business.


I prefer local coffee shops for my coffee drinking (im lazy, busy). My go-tos are cold brew, machiatto, or cortado. When looking for a good coffee shop, I judge it by whether the baristas are hipster. The more hipster, the better quality espresso. idk why, but my rule of thumb always seems to work.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Ooh I can jump in here

For daily driver I have a Keurig Duo 2 that can do both K-cups and a 12 cup carafe. Usually use the carafe, with coffee from my "coffee bookie" (local neighbor who has his own roasting business), ground up fresh daily using my Capresso Infinity plus grinder. On the days I don't feel like grinding, have some pre ground Trader Joes or Wawa that I'll use.

Weekends depend - on custodial weekends I'll just use the Nespresso as I'm up too early. Off weekends I have either a 12 cup Bodum Columbia French Press, or the Queensense Syphon Brewer I grabbed off of my local Buy Nothing group

I've personally never tried the syphon. How does it compare to like a French press coffee in terms of taste?

It's a bit different, but not too much. You get much more darkness and flavor, a bit less bitter, since the syphon brew removes a bit more things differently than the French press. I feel like I get much more roasty-ness out of the syphon

Really enjoying this thread, already researching some of the beans, equipment, etc!

Would be interested if anyone has some recs for beans - I prefer nutty/creamy flavor rather than floral/fruity notes. I've tried different beans but haven't really found a good go-to. And I love coffee shops but a lot of them use beans that seem too artisan/crafty for me - I'm not sure if that's because they're too floral or I'm just not a connoisseur but they don't suit my palate, e.g. one of the local shops uses Stumptown and I've started ordering americanos there because I don't like the coffee.

What kind of set up do you have and how are you preparing your coffee?

I have a Technivorm Moccamaster and use that most of the time. Occasionally I'll do french press - I prefer it but hard to find the time to do regularly.

Awesome! Do you have yourself a decent burr grinder? Can make all the difference in finding that flavor you're looking for

I have a cuisinart burr grinder

If you enjoy a certain flavor profile you shouldn't worry too much about what someone else thinks you should be enjoying... Besides, palates have a funny way of changing/evolving over time.

Your experience at the local might have to do with how they make the coffee that you don't like (i.e. maybe the water is too hot and makes the coffee to acidic, etc...). They probably also use different beans for the espresso than for drip (which is often rotating beans). Short of a really time consuming method like pour over, I usually find the espresso process to deliver the smoothest, richest, most consistent, and least acidic flavor (assuming they use decent beans and know what they're doing). For nutty and creamy you might prefer espresso drinks too. Additionally, Colombian and other South American beans typically are know for nutty/caramel/creamy flavor profiles...

Appreciate the info!

Any roasters you would recommend for Colombian/South American beans?

Looks like you're in Alexandria, VA. Check out For Five. They will sometimes carry Colombian and Costa Rican options. You can also order a pour over (if they have it) to sample before buying.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Assuming you're in Alexandria, I'll recommend these guys again.


Try the Gateway maybe. They also do cuppings for all their beans/roasts so the flavor descriptions in the profiles I find to be pretty accurate... to the extent that you get that in to it and trust someone else's test buds.

Awesome, I'll check them out, appreciate the rec!

If you're in Alexandria, check out Beanetics. That's where we get all of our coffee from. Lots of choices and good coffee.


you shouldn't worry too much about what someone else thinks you should be enjoying.

True for a lot more of life than just coffee.

But definitely true for coffee. Figure out what you like (or what you don't care about enough to spend time on), and go with that.

Yak nailed it! One of the best "nutty" and rich coffee drinks I had was espresso from one of the onyx espresso blends with oat milk. Wish I knew which blend it was because they had multiple but tinkering with espresso might be your one up if you ever care to try!

Very much could be water.

These guys don't charge much for a water test.

Select W-5 or W-501.

Post the answers here. Plenty of General chem knowledge will get it sorted.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

My home routine is Baratza Virtuoso+ and a V60 pourover. When out and about I'll usually grab an oat milk cortado.

As for beans, plenty of nice shops in Chicago but my go-to is still to order Wonderstate (https://wonderstate.com/) from Wisconsin. Their single origins are quite honestly the best coffee I've ever had. Roasted and drop shipped fast so it's fresher than almost anything else I find. I especially have loved trying the same beans with different wash processes, which they've done a few rounds of lately.

I'm surprised there are so many Key Play members that really take their coffee seriously.

I'm not a serious coffee guy with the exception of buying whole beans. It sounds like I need to upgrade from a blade grinder to a burr grinder.

I have one question for those in the know. Is it true that the darker the roast, the less the caffeine content? What's the truth and the science behind that?

Is it true that the darker the roast, the less the caffeine content?

Generally the longer you roast the beans, the more caffeine is driven off. So lighter roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts. The process for how beans are roasted also impacts it. If the beans are roasted in a closed drum then the caffeine can't really escape as much. If they are roasted in an open environment then a lot more caffeine is removed.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Generally the caffeine content between roast levels is negligible if the coffee is measured by weight. If done by volume the lighter roast will have slightly more caffeine, but still pretty negligible. This is probably stating the obvious, but what's most important is the dose and sometimes the beans themselves. Robusta beans usually have more caffeine than Arabica, but it's not exactly consistent.

I believe James Hoffmann has a video or two where he touches on this. I'm sure a lot of people in this thread are well aware of him, but if you aren't, I highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel. He gets into the science behind a lot of coffee stuff and just generally presents things in an interesting informative way. Also very transparent with advertising, his biases, etc.

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!