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RealityMonster's Profile

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Do flavors really stay in burr grinders even after beng washed?

I run about 1/3 cup rice through the grinder after I finish a bag of coffee. The rice picks up the oils and helps flush out the old flavour. Then when I start a new bag, I send through a few sacrificial beans to take out the residue rice.

If I were going to use my coffee grinder for spices (which seems a bit overkill to me; I've never had that much to grind), I'd flush it every time I changed ingredients.

Sep 05, 2010
RealityMonster in Cookware

Weber Charcoal Grill Question

I gotta say, I just got the 18.5" One-Touch Gold, and it's perfectly fine for two people. I did 4 large chicken legs and 4 veggie skewers tonight, and that was an awful lot of food for two of us. A smaller grill is going to heat faster and use less charcoal. Unless you really spend a lot of time entertaining other families, just buy the smallest you can get away with.

The 18.5" fits great on my balcony, which is what primarily influenced my decision. I don't regret it at all.

Jul 26, 2010
RealityMonster in Cookware

Which Burr Coffee Grinder Would You Recommend?

I second on the Bodum. I use it for my French Press coffee, and some of the best roasters I know (Transcend coffee in Edmonton, AB) sell them and recommend them personally for home use. They're inexpensive, the grind is even, and it's pretty easy to clean. I kind of want a more upscale grinder simply for aesthetic reasons (and because I love new gadgets), but I can't justify that sort of purchase in the least because the bodum does such a good job.

Feb 21, 2010
RealityMonster in Cookware

Quality Baking Chocolate

Are all those brands available at the location that you mentioned? I've got a friend coming and I want to make truffles. I've always used Callebaut chocolate, but you can't just buy it at the supermarket like you could in Alberta. :/

(Yet another) Wok Seasoning Question

It's surprising how little dust sticks to it. It's probably easiest to get a lid that goes overtop, though, if you're still worried about that.

Nov 22, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Technivorm, Zojirushi, or Capresso coffee maker?

If money's the concern, go out and buy 2 or 3 different sizes of Bodum french press. Then you can control the water temperature and the coffee is going to be as good as from the Technivorm.

I'm all for the Technivorm, but I simply don't drink that quantity of coffee all at once; a medium sized press does just fine. When there's two of us, the larger one comes out. If we have company, we use more than one. It only takes 4 minutes to brew the coffee anyway. Presses also take up less counter space. :)

Technivorm if you want the best possible drip maker.

Sep 27, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Using Pre-Finished Wood Flooring in a Kitchen

While I actually think cork is the best choice, the engineered bamboo I put in my basement stood up to a lot of abuse, including cat barf and minor liquid spills. I suspect bamboo is a better wood for this, though, since it seems to be used in pretty much every wood product that's meant for high humidity environments.

Cork is cheaper, too.

Sep 22, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

What is the best coffee maker under $200? And...

This is 100% true. Technivorm if you want an automatic coffee maker, a kettle and a french press otherwise. Don't forget to get a good grinder and good coffee. If you're going to work with beans from Starbucks, it doesn't matter what kind of coffee maker you have, you're always going to have bad coffee.

Jul 19, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

how do you wash your knives?

I use soap and a stiff vinyl brush. Then I carefully use a towel to dry it before putting it back in the rack.

May 10, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

What am I doing wrong???

Here's a trick with eggs: pour a very small amount of water in around the edges of the egg, especially where there's a bit of oil keeping the egg off the pan. As the water boils, it'll also insinuate its way underneath the egg, where the boiling action lifts it off the pan. It DOES rely on you having enough oil to keep at least a bit of the egg off the pan, but that's how I've managed when using relatively sticky cooking surfaces. (And when you put the lid on, obviously the steam helps cook the top of the egg, too.)

May 10, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Bosch Dishwasher Problems

I had a Bosch for 4.5 years, and it came with the house that I bought. Best washer I ever owned. Quiet, super-tall top rack, always got the dishes clean. Now that I've moved, I miss my Bosch. I really do have to rinse the dishes thoroughly before I put them in the washer. I usually wash by hand now. :(

May 06, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Coffee maker shopping, suggestions?

I have. I mixed it with hot chocolate powder and milk so I couldn't taste too much of the 'coffee' and it was fine. :P

Mar 29, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Coffee maker shopping, suggestions?

Yeah, but the coffee you get out the other side could be said to be a *replacement* for drip, right? I mean, both are actually brewed coffee, in my mind.

Technique aside, they're intended to give you the same-ish cup of coffee, as opposed to one giving you an espresso.

The Clover, properly used, gives a seriously better cup of coffee than just about anything, though.

Mar 29, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Where Do You Buy Kitchen Tools, Pans, Appliances?

I suggest http://transcendcoffee.com. The shipping is reasonable, and I know the owner and roaster and they're top notch. The owner is the kind of guy that actually flies to visit the farms that he's getting beans from, and the roaster has won barista championships and really knows his stuff. They sell only a little bit of green stuff, but they also believe in appropriately ageing the coffee after roasting it. Sometimes freshly roasted stuff isn't ready to go straight into the grinder.

They even have a coffee subscription where you get a new, interesting roast every month. Well worth it, especially if you're in Canada.

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Transcend Coffee
9869 62 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E, CA

Mar 29, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

using a french press? how hot can the water be?

Humidity changes the flavour of coffee rather significantly; taking it in and out of the freezer is effectively messing with the humidity at any given time. It's impossible to freeze *any* food with no effect, coffee isn't special. I agree that if you freeze it, you can only do it once. Pull it out, and you're done.

The real answer is to buy only enough coffee that you can drink it within about 2 weeks. (1 week is better, obviously, but 2 is good enough.)

Is it really such a chore to go get new, fresh coffee every 2 weeks? That's the best way to ensure quality. If you don't want to put in even that minimal amount of effort, why even bother with a grinder and whole beans, anyway? You're just wasting your time. :/

And greenbeanery.ca and transcendcoffee.com both deliver. I get my stuff from Transcend because I used to live in Edmonton and trust the quality of their roast and expertise. The prices are pretty good, too, even with shipping. :)

Mar 29, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Stainless Steel Skillets: Better Then Non-Stick?

That's really cool. Thanks for that. :)

Mar 15, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Stainless Steel Skillets: Better Then Non-Stick?

I recently heard the whole 'hot pan, cold oil' thing and tried it out.

The trick is that the pan ACTUALLY has to be hot. Since it's usually recommended that you don't ram the heat up to full blast when you start, you have to actually turn it to something moderate and then walk away for a couple minutes. I've been using a fairly small amount of olive oil once the pan heats up, and you can see immediately how the oil thins and spreads differently compared to if you just put it in the pan at the beginning.

Crack the eggs in, do your thing. I've been using a non-stick flipper, and I can 'scrape' the more cooked egg bits right off the pan with no fuss. Runny yolk eggs are no problem.

I don't know the science behind it, but it really appears to work. Of course I discovered this just after ordering a small cookware set that includes two non-stick pans. :/

Mar 08, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Any experience with Cuisinox, citychef.ca?

So I'm Canadian and trying to fill out a few pieces of my kitchen set. I need a few saucepans and maybe a small, non-stick frying pan and that's about it. I've priced out a few Paderno pieces at Overstock.com, but the shipping is fairly high, so I've been doing a bit more hunting.

http://citychef.ca/xcart/customer/pag...

The cuisinox stuff is a bit tempting, but I have no experience with it, and reviews are pretty scarce. I have a Paderno frying pan right now, which I quite like, which is why I went for that again out of the gate, but I'm not going to turn my nose up at other brands if they're honestly good.

Viking Professional, Le Creuset and Mauviel all have obviously excellent reputations, but they cost enough or are packed into high-priced sets to the point where paying the extra shipping for the Paderno stuff would actually be worth it.

Any advice? Anyone ever shopped through citychef.ca?

Mar 01, 2009
RealityMonster in Cookware

Best Coffee in Montreal?

Espresso is its own art. If you've only had terrible espresso, I suspect that you've only been places where the person making it didn't know how, or the beans were improperly roasted or both. It's not an easy thing to pull a consistently good espresso, and a lot of baristas in cafés that I've been to don't even taste their own work.

I'm currently attached to a Kenyan Peaberry that I love as a brewed coffee. I also love a good Yirgacheffe or Harrar, and I've recently picked up on a coffee from Honduras; the Coarene.

Now does anyone know where I'd be able to get something like that in Montreal? I'm getting all this stuff from a café that does its own roasting here in Edmonton: Transcend. I'll be moving out in about a month, though, and I don't want to give up that fresh-roasted experience.

recommendations for good coffee to buy

Are there many places that do their own roasting in Montreal? I'm going to be moving there in about a month, and I've gotten used to exceptional roasting from a place called Transcend here in Edmonton. I can always get their beans shipped to Montreal, but I'd love to have somewhere good that I could rely on for non-espresso roasts.

And does anywhere there use a Clover (and know how to use it?) I love coffee from a press, but the clover IS considerably faster for the same quality.