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I rarely drink coffee as I'm always disappointed when it doesn't taste as good as it smells, although I find a shot of hazlenut syrup helps. I've just started drinking redbush tea and really like it - very refreshing and no caffeine so ok even last thing at night.

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I am a coffee drinker and until recently I rarely drank tea. I was brought up a tea drinker but I think I stopped drinking it because nobody made a cup as good as my Nan. She would make a pot of tea using loose leafs and then, once brewed, pour into a cup over three teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of condensed milk. It was fantastically sweet. I also drank my coffee (instant of course) with three sugars and white. I stopped taking sugar when I started using Coffee Mate which is made with glucose and is consequently slightly sweet. Then I gave up Coffee Mate and now take my coffee black. I don’t mind it white and will occasionally have a cup of coffee with milk or cream. Cream is better.


I have had to cut down my coffee intake recently and now drink coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon and evening. My usual cup of tea is Co-op 99 made strong with a little milk but no sugar. I also like Yorkshire Tea, Earl Grey and Darjeeling , the latter two without milk or lemon. I drink about six or seven mugs of coffee in the morning and about four mugs of tea in the afternoon. If I have tea in the evening I will probably only have a couple of mugs.


I make my coffee in a cafetiere for convenience. I have a Bialetti Espresso Maker but have never managed to make a good cup with it. I have a three cup La Cafetiere which makes the right amount for a mug. I add a rounded desert spoon of coffee and brew with very hot but not boiling water. For subsequent cups I add less coffee to the existing grinds and by get a better brew each time. Eventually, I have to clean out the cafetiere and start again. I drink my coffee black of preference but I don’t mind it white and will occasionally have a cup with milk or cream. Cream is better.


At work we use a filter machine, which we bought for £7.99 from Argos. It makes a very good cup.


I don’t but beans because I have never got on with them. I used to buy ground coffee from a shop in Eastbourne that roasted their own beans. I would have a mix of Kenyan and Costa Rican. Now I tend to buy from supermarkets. I usually go coffee from Ethiopea or Kenya but try anything. I had a very good blend from Sumatra last week.


I rarely drink coffee in restaurants of coffee chains because they are too expensive. The best cup I had was in Canada at Coffee Time. Their donuts where very good as well.

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For those people who said that coffee is bitter, there are probably two reasons for that: brewing method and the beans.


I suggest using either an AeroPress (the all-round greatest coffee making device ever invented; but it doesn't make espresso) or else a pour-over method. Also, since many on here are from England, you could check out Square Mile Coffee Roasters (<--link) in London or Has Bean Coffee (<--link) in Stafford. Has Bean also has a Coffee 101 course (<--link) by email (I've tried it: you don't get any spam). It's informative and really good for beginners.


* Use good water.

* Buy fresh, good quality beans (within a few days of roasting; try to use them up in less than two weeks of roast date).

* Grind just before brewing (use a decent burr grinder for best results, maybe an inexpensive hand grinder if you don't want to pay too much for a grinder).


Also, there's no crime in using sugar and milk/cream in coffee.

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You Londoners apparently have access to some pretty good coffee and pretty talented baristas. The UK contestant won the World Barista Championship this year. The last three years have all been dominated by Square Mile Roasters and their friends. This year was Gwilym Davies, who has some sort of stand/cart in a market on Whitecross Street and Columbia Road.

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