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Gadget WEEKENDS

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Deozaan:

HMDX Jam Plus Portable Speaker (Blue)
I went camping last weekend with a group of friends/acquaintances and someone brought one of these things. I was so impressed with the quality of the sound and the battery life (rechargable from a microUSB port) that I bought two of these. They just arrived moments ago. They're awesome. I can pair them up for stereo sound and put one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen or whatever fits my needs.

Great for my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, because even though it has stereo sound already, the speakers aren't great quality and sound a bit "tinny".

These Jam Plus speakers are surprisingly good, considering how small they are. I can feel the bass when I hold them in my hand. :Thmbsup:

mouser:
Time for another coffee gadget..

Back on this post in the gadget thread, superboyac mentioned the AeroPress, though he never posted a link to information about it.

It's basically a $30 manual one-cup-at-a-time french press thingy:

http://aerobie.com/products/aeropress.htm

I've been using it for a while now and I like it -- it's sort of fun, and it cleans up fairly well, and its good for if you only have an occasional cup of coffee.


Now the next logical step after getting one of those fellas is to grind your own beans (the home-roasters can talk about that process -- i won't be going there).

As for grinding -- the serious coffee folks will tell you that the more expensive "burr" grinders do a better job of grinding than the cheaper blade grinders.  Personally, i'm not sure i really buy it.  The burr grinders certainly produce more consistent sized grinds and may not leave you with some of the fine particles that the blade grinders will, but i'm not convinced that would be such a big deal.

However, as someone who has a great appreciation for small gadgets that don't take up much room -- the idea of a big burr grinder (and they are all relatively big) is aesthetically offensive.

Which brings us to these little hand (burr) grinders, which take some effort but can pretty quickly grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee.

Here's the one I picked up:

http://www.amazon.com/Hario-Coffee-Mill-Slim-Grinder/dp/B001804CLY

Like I said I don't care much about burr vs blade, but what I like is that the coffee gets ground right before use and doesn't sit around for weeks, and it takes up almost no space, and cleans up super easy.  Just dumps the ground from the grinder into the Aeropress (or whatever) and you are done.

If you don't mind doing a little work before each cup of coffee, this is a fairly nice combo with minimal counter space requirements and minimal cleanup.

Renegade:
Now the next logical step after getting one of those fellas is to grind your own beans (the home-roasters can talk about that process -- i won't be going there).

As for grinding -- the serious coffee folks will tell you that the more expensive "burr" grinders do a better job of grinding than the cheaper blade grinders.  Personally, i'm not sure i really buy it.  The burr grinders certainly produce more consistent sized grinds and may not leave you with some of the fine particles that the blade grinders will, but i'm not convinced that would be such a big deal.

However, as someone who has a great appreciation for small gadgets that don't take up much room -- the idea of a big burr grinder (and they are all relatively big) is aesthetically offensive.

Which brings us to these little hand (burr) grinders, which take some effort but can pretty quickly grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee.

Here's the one I picked up:
(see attachment in previous post)

Like I said I don't care much about burr vs blade, but what I like is that the coffee gets ground right before use and doesn't sit around for weeks, and it takes up almost no space, and cleans up super easy.  Just dumps the ground from the grinder into the Aeropress (or whatever) and you are done.

If you don't mind doing a little work before each cup of coffee, this is a fairly nice combo with minimal counter space requirements and minimal cleanup.
-mouser (September 20, 2013, 10:23 PM)
--- End quote ---

This is the grinder I have:



http://www.brevilleusa.com/conical-burr-grinder.html

There are better ones out there, but it does a great job.

For size, I just have it on a high shelf so it's out of the way.

As for burr vs. blade, I had a blade grinder in the past, but I much prefer the burr grinder. The blade grinder was sporadic, inconsistent, and relatively time consuming comparatively as you'd need to grind for longer to get a decent fineness. Also, it couldn't handle a lot, so you'd end up doing a couple batches if you wanted to grind more than a cup. I'd have no clue about taste differences - the only thing I can see there is the grind size.

I've also used a hand cranked burr grinder - not all that fun for more than a cup, though certainly more decorative. The one above certainly looks more practical than the one I used. (It was sort of a decorative meat grinder/chest of droors/something/made of wood.)

I'm not too picky about grinding just before using it. I grind up enough to last a day or two at a time. That's good enough for me. (I do like Turkish fine strong coffee though.)

My particular model needs the base to be cleaned of grounds every so often. It's a tad messy, but nothing serious, and not a worry for anyone that isn't obsessive compulsive about being tidy.

tomos:
Loads of goodies here today:

that mini grinder might be a good introduction to coffee grinding mouser - could it also be used for expresso coffee, or would one have to get - never mind, I see from the amazon reviews that it can do different 'grades' so would be suitable :up:

==========

And those mini-speakers look very interesting Deozaan
These Jam Plus speakers are surprisingly good, considering how small they are. I can feel the bass when I hold them in my hand. :Thmbsup
-Deozaan (September 20, 2013, 07:15 PM)
--- End quote ---

http://www.hmdxaudio.com/jam-classic-wireless-bluetooth-speaker.html
they're only 2.5" (65mm) tall :tellme:
I was looking-at/listening-to a cube speaker at a friends a while back. I was amazed by the sound coming out of the thing. It was around 3.5" cubed. (I'll have to get onto to them and ask about the brand/model - I see lots of that type of speaker on sale). It did have the advantage** that one could put a mini SD card in it - it would then just shuffle or play random tracks though.

** advantage to me at any rate: I'm not a smartphone user and never use portable music players - I get 'ear clausterphobia' when wearing earphones for any length of time.

Renegade:
Oh - quick note about coffee...

If you like a bit of sweetness to take away some of the bitter taste of coffee, instead of sugar try malt extract. It has a distinct flavour, but nicely removes that bitter edge like sugar.

Also, it's full of vitamin B. :)

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