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Larry Greenly

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Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Larry Greenly » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:34 am

On today's program, bags of grocery store whole beans were ground and brewed. The tasters ranked them thusly:

Millstone
Starbucks House Blend
Green Mountain
Dunkin Donuts
Chock Full O'Nuts (particularly bad)

They talked about the percentage of "Quakers," beans that weren't roasted as dark as the others. The higher percentage of Quakers meant the coffee tasted worse.
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TimMc

Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by TimMc » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:54 am

I have to wonder where Tulley's and Seattle's Best are ranked.
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Alan Wolfe

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Alan Wolfe » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:32 pm

I tried Seattle's Best Colombian at Borders Bookstore yesterday. I wasn't much impressed. Starbuck's is better, and less expensive as well.
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:14 pm

Larry Greenly wrote: They talked about the percentage of "Quakers," beans that weren't roasted as dark as the others. The higher percentage of Quakers meant the coffee tasted worse.


What an odd term! Did they mention where that comes from?

(I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends and so always find these non-Friend uses of Quaker interesting.)
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Larry Greenly » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:52 pm

Just to impress you: I like Quaker oats. And, that's not all, I used to live near Philadelphia.

I also thought it was an odd term--one that I had never heard before. No clue about its origins. I'll look.
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Mark Willstatter

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Mark Willstatter » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:25 pm

I read the article when it was in print in the magazine version and if I remember right, "quakers" in this context refers to immature/unripe beans that don't roast to either normal color or good flavor. Relatively few are supposed to have an impact on the overall coffee flavor. I think that was the gist but I'm sure you could find out more with a little Googling.
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Martha Mc

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Martha Mc » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:36 am

Mark Willstatter wrote:I read the article when it was in print in the magazine version and if I remember right, "quakers" in this context refers to immature/unripe beans that don't roast to either normal color or good flavor. Relatively few are supposed to have an impact on the overall coffee flavor. I think that was the gist but I'm sure you could find out more with a little Googling.


The kernels of popcorn that don't pop were always called "quakers" also. (Though if it is a reference to the religious order -- then one could argue that the kernels that DID pop and dance should be called the "Quakers.")
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by Larry Greenly » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:26 pm

Here's a blurb from one site:

A quaker is an unripe or immature coffee bean. It has a wrinkled surface and is smaller and less dense than a ripe bean.

When coffee beans are roasted they darken in colour; dark coffee like espresso has been roasted longer than lighter blends. Quakers, however, remain pale and yellowish no matter how long they are roasted.

Quakers taste bad, and ruin the flavour of otherwise good coffee, so roasted beans are rated for, among other things, how many quakers are found in a batch. Fewer quakers is obviously better, and coffee which contains few quakers commands a higher price than quaker-filled batches. Top quality expensive coffee will contain no more than a few quakers per pound; low quality cheap coffee can contain forty or more. If you're curious about your favourite coffee, pour the beans out on the counter and have a look; it's easy for even the untrained eye to pick out the pale, immature beans.

So the reason why that gas station coffee tastes so bad is that it's made with cheap coffee that contains a high proportion of quakers.
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RichardAtkinson

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Re: Cook's Illustrated coffee taste test

by RichardAtkinson » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:08 pm

Thats interesting...whenever I sort thru a bag of dried beans (legumes)...pinto, navy, kidney etc...I look for beans that fit just that description...wrinkled, less dense. Too many of them can affect a pot of beans.

Apparently with coffee also.

Richard
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