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im a pod man myself however on the plot its instant

I think that coffee made the espresso way can be the best.  It does have a reputation for being really full-on and bitter because of the kind of high roasted beans people tend to use for italian espresso.  For this reason I drank filter coffee for years - but making a whole filter just encourages you to drink it all the time - and it tastes sour after half an hour anyway.  What people often don't realise is that you can make espresso type coffee with medium roasted beans that are full of aroma and not bitter at all - and you can just use more water if you don't want a small strong drink.  The traditional espresso machines are difficult to learn how to use and horrendously expensive - so I went with a semi-automated bean to cup machine.

I use the cheapest DeLonghi Magnifica bean to cup machine they do - it was a hundred and something pounds in the sales a few years ago.  They're easy to use, fairly easy to clean and allow you to control the grind, strength and volume of water if you want to - but most importantly it grinds the coffee as and when you need it so it's always fresh.  Just add beans and water!  It probably won't last for ever - but I bet the really posh expensive ones don't either!  We love it.

Waitrose - it's free and if you use the disposable cups you get free plants labels.
I suspect like tea, the taste of coffee is often something to do with the type of water in your home area any beverage made with hard water will taste different to the same one made with soft water.

so maybe ask your neighbours

Espresso should never be bitter or sour whatever the bean!!  If it is it has not been made properly..which is where the dark art of the genuine barista (not some half trained kid with barista on his/her teeshirt) comes to the fore.  In NZ and Australia pretty well every eatery has excellent coffee whereas in the UK most place manage to produce pretty awful coffee even when they have the right kit to do it properly. 

It is like wine really..if you like the cheapest plonk all well and good but there is a whole world of tastes and smells out there to experience if you make a little effort.  One you have explored coffee types and their terroir ())for example  a smooth  Monsooned Malabar or a fresh tasting Kenyan) you will never IMHO  go back to drinking instant!

Making good coffee is like growing tasty veg ... obvious and simple to those in the 'know' but often incomprehensible to others!

PS My dark secret is that sometimes I  drink instant  at the allotment .. but I am sure the water boiled from my water but makes it more palatable.

We have two filter machines on the go, one for leaded before lunch time and one for decaf.  We are currently drinking Ethiopian fair trade leaded and Lavazzo decaf.  We make a full pot and then turn it off so it doesn't stew.  Re-heat by the mug in the microwave as needed.    The range of decaf is limited here and generally not nice but this one's good.  The water makes a difference too.  Softer here.

If I find myself in the UK and needing a hot drink I look for a Pain Quotidien or a Café Nero.  Other wise I drink hot chocolate.  Can't be doing with the r*p in Starbucks and Costalot for dishwater and the like.   Don't drink tea more than once or twice a year.


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