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Optical Feedback For Perfect Coffee 140

FOLICOR writes "One man's quest for the perfect cup of joe leads to a new coffee maker" Somehow I have to hope that this is fake, but it looks like he's using an led to make sure his coffee is brewed reliably. I brew mine on my stove in a syphon cheerfully referred to as The Coffee Bong. Super primitive.
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Optical Feedback For Perfect Coffee

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    only in the US could somebody send a light beam through coffee, try that with a real Italian espresso. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    American coffee is like making love in a boat - f*cking close to water... ;) This invention only makes sure it always tastes of the same sweet nothing. Get a nice Italian or Swiss made Espresso machine to feel the difference. :)
  • There was a patent issued in the UK a couple of months back for an internet connected toaster that put the weather forecast on your toast. Toasted the bread to a light colour and then put a weather symbol mask in between the element and the toast for the final minute (or however long) so that you had a darker weather symbol actually on the toast. The weather information was obtained over the internet connection.
  • Maybe he should connect a clock and teach it to make stronger coffee in the morning and progressively weaker coffee as the day progressed as that you could still sleep at night.
  • Anyone that thinks Columbian coffee is he 'best coffee' needs to stop using chock-full-o-nuts, and grab a half pound of Jamacian Blue at your local beanery...
  • but remember kids - Starbucks are evil!

    Well, we'll find out just how evil. Australians have had a serious espresso culture for quite a few years now, well before any American franchises got into the act. (I gotta say it was a shock to get to the US and find that we were well ahead of a cultural trend :) ).Starbucks, however, has just opened its first Australian store. Moreover, they've stuck their head straight into the lion's mouth, as they've chosen Lygon Street in inner Melbourne, arguably the place where Australians first discovered proper coffee, as the place to open their first store. Bring on the challenger . . .

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • Then his patents will fall under via prior art if he ever tries to enforce them. While it is fun on Slashdot to talk about people patenting the wheel, etc., there are quite a lot of checks (though perhaps not enough...) to ensure that even though you might get a patent, it might not be worth the bits that compose the digits that define it if you tried to do anything about it.

  • I've an old percolator here with a little knob on the bottom you can turn from "weaker" to "stronger" - I think all it is is a thermostat.
  • My office has these thermos-based coffee brewers - they work pretty well but you never know how much coffee is actually left in the pot! Now if only I could get them to use a better quality coffee :-( I am sure you can get purchase such coffee makers in North America although I have to admit that I haven't seen them in the retail stores. The standard glass carafe and heating element type brewer are undoubtedly cheaper - but they really do ruin the coffee if it sits around on the heating element for more than a few minutes. It would seem that many Americas are simply used to rotten tasting coffee.
  • I have a Khave coffee maker at home which is coffee science to it's limit for me. I don't need an LED.

    My coffee maker turns the cone with the filter in a circle while it makes the coffee so you can filter all of the grounds instead of just the grounds in the center, giving you a true cup of coffee for the grounds you toss into the thing.

    Now, a spinning filter tray and an LED? Perhaps a little too much. :)

  • Even a good coffee shop will throw away coffee sitting on the warmer for some time, because it taste awful!!! Coffee will turn acidic and burnt under constant heat.
  • I didn't know they grew pot on the Blue Mountain in Jamaica. . .too busy growing coffee on it. . . .
  • I'm gonna cop it for this, but frankly, _nothing_ amuses me more than coffee snobs. Not a damned thing. Makes me laugh every time I come across it.

  • The Gaggia Classic [] is what I'm going to be getting. It has most of the guts of their commercial machines: the group and portafilters, anyway. It's all electric pump for the espresso, and it comes with a sleeve on the wand for the amateurs, which is removable for anyone who knows what they're doing.
  • Boiling water impares the taste - Too cold and you don;t extract all thr flavour.

    The grind of the beans and the relative humidity also affects the flavour. High humid days and a small grind can result in the coffee tasting burnt.

  • Sure, if you like it oily and heavy, you cheese-eating surrender monkey.
  • This guy loves coffee way too much! You'd think he'd be happy with one of those combo grinder/coffee pots and some Brita water.
    Steve Jackson
  • No boiling water, huh? I use those coffee bags for ultimate convenience, and find that when I let the kettle scream nice and loud, the coffee tastes better.
    Steve Jackson
  • pretty sure it was Dennis Leary...
  • I'm surprised slashdot ran the story considering the guy has patents on it. Intellectual property, patents, evil, un-American, blah blah blah, etc.
  • That was Denis Leary.

    He also said: "i didn't quit drugs because they were bad for me, its because i didn't want to build anything."

    Or something like that.
  • I find it weird how everyone speaks about coffee machines. It is not the machine that makes the coffee, it is how you use the machine to make your coffee. A good espresso is reliant on how good you are at using your tools (such as a machine).

    Oh, and as for percolators, filters and plungers, they don't make coffee. They make murky water. The only real coffee is espresso ;) (there goes my karma)
  • - He is inventing coffee technology but can't spell espresso

    - He thinks that coffee gets darker as it gets less fresh

    - He doesn't take into account the dirtiness of the water or the pot

    Yeah, this oughta work real well.
  • no, you have it wrong again, coffee is coffee, espresso is NOT the same thing, you cannot compare them. Expresso on the other hand is a Dodge Neon package and I can't for the life of me decide why you'd want one of those over coffee for your drinking habits

  • I very much enjoy espresso and cappucino, however you are correct there is a big difference between American coffee and Swiss espresso. Most notably that coffee and espresso are two totally different drinks made from the same substance. Comparing the two would be like me saying German beer is watered down because it doesn't have the same punch as a bottle of Everclear.

  • An embeded linux computer opens valves and reads sensors allowing automatic home brewing. Drop in malt, hops, yeast and water in one end of the device and connect a beer tap to the other. This could be a good project to get hosted on SourceForge.

    Free beer software. Even RMS likes it.

  • ...where's the ethernet interface?
  • That would explain why Cheach Martin [] is endorsing it.
  • > 93 degrees centigrate at 18 bar pressure will produce the ultimate coffee.

    Do you really mean that? 18 bar == approx 18 atmospheres, or the pressure at 170m below sea level. Where the blazes do you work/live? Or do you have a coffee machine that creates a seal then pumps up the pressure before it makes the brew? I'm fascinated, please tell this wasn't a typo - it'd be so disappointing.

    Alex W
  • > Yes, it's commonly called an espresso machine...

    Mea culpa, sorry didn't think of that one, not a coffee drinker myself.


    Alex W
  • It is that GPL virus infecting everyone. Throw in the use of patents on something that is new and novel and the zealots shall talk about "lumination coeffecients" and generally discredit the damn thing without even actually using it ;p ITs the typical a geek knows it all syndrome. Oh well.

  • Nope, but this [] one comes close!
  • actually, Krups did manufacture such toaster some years ago. (and it used the IR light from the heating element for this (why use another illumination source, if it's already there?!?))
    Indeed, its pricetag killed it...
  • If you look at the ingrediants on most of those "bags", they are 40%-60% instant coffee. Always read the labels before purchasing. =)
  • I'm sure that this device, when activated, invariably provides a plastic cup filled with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
  • The pipe is built with a little tiny piece of plastic PVC

    Dude, don't use PVC! It gives off fumes when exposed to heat, and isn't very good for you over the long term. Stick with for me!

  • It won't. But I think he means something like, if you put in too much, then it will add more water, until the desired strength is achieved, and if you put in too little (barring really miniscule amounts, I guess) it'll add less water, as the 'strength' is preserved. You could express it as a ratio, or something, I guess, you want 'brown sludge', aka .5, so, if you add 200g of Coffee, it needs to chug in 400 mL of water. If you only add 175 g though, it only needs to add 250 mL. Or would that be litres? =]. I dunno. Anyways, that's my take on this amazing new technology... Of course now it needs to be interfaced to a computer, so that a small tray/dock app can be used to distribute the status of the coffee across an entire network...

    So, while yeah, your law is valid, there are certain adjustments that can be made. Ofbiouvlsy, you can't get anything stronger than your grinds with no water, but you can get a strength closer to what you want with less water, if you put in less grounds, or more water if you put in more grounds. Sound kosher?

  • he's an ex-coke head [that's cocaine, not the sugar drink]
  • If the led can see through the coffee it ain't coffee.
  • what is a toddy? I am fascinated by this cold brewing process, please provide more detail... E.
  • Personally, I make my coffee probably as simply as Taco does - boil 300 ml of water, and pour it through a Melitta #2 filter in the appropriate simple plastic cone. I use a standard stainless steel coffee measurer from Lechter's to measure out some Eight O'Clock 100% Colombian Coffee. This either goes into a travel mug for the journey to work, or my Tux Mug.

    I was wondering, I have found Border's Mocha au Lait to be something of a taste of heaven, and was wondering if there is a similar item at Starbuck's - I haven't checked. It is coffee w/Mocha, and steamed milk - accounting for the needs of sweetness and smoothness.

    This comment was written whilst drinking a cup of Starbuck's House Blend at a college coffee shop.
  • Actually, it is documented by the Australian police, that there was a new type of crime being committed - People were reporting their garden hoses being shortened by around ten centimetres, overnight.

    Investigations determined that the cause of this was due to pot users looking for 'construction materials'.

    Drug paraphenalia, indeed.

  • Or at least here in Australia.

    If the beer is slightly a different color than is expected you can dismiss the bottle. The train of thought is that if it is a different color there is something different. i.e. unwanted additive or too much or to less of a product, so throw it away.

    The theory is you don't have to actually open the bottle to taste test it and it is more reliable to use a machine then a human to spot the difference.

  • Actually, there's a Rival coffeemaker with (fancy-looking mirrored) thermal carafe [] that I absolutely love.

    It's been churning out tasty hot coffee for the office for years, at both my last (failed) startup and my current one--the same unit, not just the same model. My best guess is that it's made upwards of 800 pots, and it works just as well as when it was brand new.

    I think it's cheaper than an equivalent Krups, at least in the US. Downside is its small capacity--it uses #2 cone filters and only makes 8 cups. But it's so good.
  • All he really needs is a decent thermal pot, so he can scrap the heating element entirely (not to mention the cost of his product). A good thermal pot will keep the coffee hot for hours, without that after taste associated with glass carafes. What use is an LED to measure just how bad your coffee is? As long as it's sitting on a warmer some time, bad coffee is basically inevitable. I haven't really read about his brewing technique, but using a sensor to monitor the badness of bad coffee seems almost comedic.
  • Oh, one thing's more amusing than a coffee snob on a rant. A martini snob on a rant!

    "First you add the gin, you see. And not the cheap stuff from a grocery store! You need to get the good stuff, imported directly from the juniper fields of Bombay. Then you take a bottle of vermouth. DON'T OPEN IT or you'll spoil not only your martini but every one in a 3-mile radius! Shine a light through the vermouth bottle so that the light falls on the gin. It's best to use a blue LED as your light source, because the monochromatic nature will transfer just the right amount of 'vermouthness'..."

    Yeah, yeah... Just admit that you like plain gin straight up.

  • My Dad came back from Colombia (spelled correctly) and brought me 1 pound of 100% pure beans. When brewed in my favourite little 4 cup Mr. Coffee (RIP - broken carafe), they gave a smooth, strong cup. A very consistent, great cup of coffee, every time.

    As for Chock Full of Nuts n Bolts, or friggin Maxwell House, yes, I think they're shit too. But I'll put Kona over Blue Mountain, but only just slightly.

    Oh, and french presses suck, IMHO. They're a bitch to clean, so why bother?

  • Best coffee (restaurant): Victory Cafe, Toronto

    Worst coffee (anywhere): the Toronto to Chicago Amtrak. :)

    Worst method: Greek / Turkish. At that point, why not just suck on the damn beans?

  • Somthing to regulate the temperature would be better.

    Even consumer level espresso machines do this. Ours does anyway, so this doesn't even approach being a holy grail.

    Now, a consumer espresso machine where the steamer had some semblance of power in it? That's a holy grail.

  • a telephone handset (think about it!)

    Whoa! Dead mobile phone, I even have one around.

    Make no mistake, you are the one.
  • In this limited space we cannot do justice to the complex chemistry occuring during roasting and brewing but can supply a simplified primer and encourage the interested reader to delve further into the subject.

    [...]Clearly, the cellulosic components (hemicellulose, celullose and lignin) are little effected by the roasting process as are the ash (mineral) and fat components (fatty acids, trigylcerides, waxs) since the roasting temperatures are low relative to their decomposition temperatures. Whereas the sugars, organic acids and proteins are dramatically reduced upon roasting. So it is apparent that the rich aroma and pigmentation occurs because of chemistry occuring to and between these components, the sugars, proteins and organic acids (chlorogenic acid). Indeed non-enzymatic browning reactions, called Maillard reactions involve interactions of amino groups of amino acids of proteins and other compounds and reducing sugars to form glycosamines(2,4,5). These condensation reactions with subsequent fission produces aliphatic and aromatic volatiles comprising the aroma. Much of the distinctive aroma arises due to the presence of sulfur and oxygen bearing aromatic (heterocyclic) compounds such as furans, furfurylthiol or furfurylmethyl sulphides and a host of other similar compounds. As of 1985, some 660 separate compounds in the aroma of a roasted coffee have been identified by gas chromotography and mass spectrometry.

    [...] the heavier molecular weight components possess varying degreees of extended conjugation [...]. These components which have a molecular weight distribution from 5000-25,000 (1) or greater have energetically closely spaced highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO-LUMO) which leads to a myriad of optical transitions spanning the uv-visible range into the near infrared. As a result of the great multiplicity and heterogeneity of the associated compounds the optical absorption spectrum of a brewed coffee is smooth and monotonically decreasing from the far ultraviolet (uv) to the near infrared wavelengths.

    Isn't unecessarily complex language one of the signs of a bad patent?

    Excuse the long quote, but my intent was to pick out a few sentences that uniquely illustrated that the author is obviously trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes by distracting them with big words. Unfortunately, the whole "simplified primer" is such an exercise in 10$ words for 10cent concepts that I had a hard time choosing just one or two examples.

  • He's not measuring turbidity (at least, not intentionally).

    The principle of tghe measurment is more like that of UV-Cis spectroscopy, measuring some set of exitation bands. This is, of course, overlaid onto the turdibity measurment that is also made, but not used.

  • The circuit cuts the water supply when the coffee reaches the desired strength. I skimmed the pages to find that one tidbit in the first place, because I wanted to see how he regulated coffee strength. It's pretty simple: a partial feedback loop... kinda.

    I'm pretty sure that I didn't see anything about pouring more/b> water over the grinds, and you didn't quote or point to anything that suggested this.
  • 8 to 9 bars is where the best espresso extraction occurs. And good espresso is the ultimate coffee.

    Many good espresso machines have high pressure pumps that can sustain 15+ bars, but the extra pressure is for headroom: The machines are engineered to deliver 8 to 9 bars of pressure to the compressed coffee puck, assuming proper packing. Higher pressure can leach undesirable flavor compounds from the coffee and is to be avoided.

    For more, see David Schomer's "Factors in a Perfect Cup (of espresso)" [] or for deep coverage read Illy and Viani's Espresso Coffee : The Chemistry of Quality [].

  • My office has these thermos-based coffee brewers - they work pretty well but you never know how much coffee is actually left in the pot! Now if only I could get them to use a better quality coffee :-( I am sure you can get purchase such coffee makers in North America although I have to admit that I haven't seen them in the retail stores.
    Philips makes one that's sold at Target [].
  • The espresso machine uses steam head to generate the ~18bar pressure (ideal) to force the water through the coffee. I froth a mean pitcher of milk... mmm, foamy..

    Check out the rec.drugs.caffeine FAQ (or, perhaps). What happened to the usenet people? :)

  • a well established science. Surprisingly accurate.

    Can't remember the fancy ....iometry name, but there is proper apparatus to do this - you calibrate with stock solutions using a lightbox and coloured filters, then use it to measure test solutions.
  • Why doen't someone make a toaster with optical feedback? The perfect toast colour is at a critical point as the drkness makes it absorb more heat and get blackened.
  • "...and a telephone handset (think about it!)."

    To quote the Dr. Rev. Dennis Leary:

    "Duuude! I made a bong out of my head!!! Put the pot in this ear, suck on the other! Give it a hit, man!"

    Or something to that effect...


  • My God, they've realised that to defeat the rabid hordes of Linux geeks it may be necessary to patent coffee!
  • From his description of how it works: "This method of optical feedback makes for very reproducible coffee strength, independent of the amount of coffee grinds used"

    I must be missing something here. If I put in a small amount of coffee grinds, and dial in strong coffee, how in the hell is pouring more water over the grinds going to ever make the coffee sufficiently strong? Coffee makers only extract so much from the grinds. I know this, because I've tried reusing grinds in the past, when really desparate (and broke..). All that you will end up with is lots of weak, crappy tasting coffee. Even percolators, which continuously flow the partially made coffee back over the grinds can only achieve certain strength coffee based on a set amount of grinds.

    What it boils down to (no pun intended) is that you _must_ put in enough grinds for whatever strength brew you are looking for.

    That, my friends, is the law of conservation of coffee.
  • I love the smell, but I can't stand the taste.

  • "One man's quest for the perfect cup of joe leads to a new coffee maker"

    Speaking of Joe and coffee, your coffee will have more caffeine in it (i.e. it will be better) if you use Water Joe instead of regular water.

  • For perfect coffee, don't use a coffee maker! FRENCH PRESS!!!!
  • I thought the first Australia Starbucks was in Sydney, rather than Melbourne...on the corner of Castlereagh and Park streets. There's at least 2 more that I know of in at Wynyard station, and another at Central station...and they're always *packed* whenever I go past them.

    Seems all those reports in the media about Australians having a 'coffee culture' that couldn't be displaced by a US import were as shitty as our apparent taste in coffee.

  • Those who know me can attest to this;
    As I have maintained for the better part of 1/3rd of my life, It aint Coffee, Nor is it beer if you can shine a 1mw neon laser through the mug and see it on the other side.

  • Seriously, brewing just seems like a slow, agonizing, skunky way to make ground coffee fester.

    Make mine an Americano.
  • *Glares at LinuxHam*

    You can NEVER love coffee too much! Bow before the URN, infidel!

    My sig does not apply when coffee is involved
  • can be obtained from Willoughby's Coffee [] in New Haven, CT. Their 1998 Kenya AA Karakuta was pure ambrosia - the best I have ever had, EVER. They also have fabulous Celebes-Kalossi and related Indonesian varieties.

    (Ironic note: turn off java before going to their website.)

  • Ick. Percolators repeatedly pass overheated coffee through old grounds - getting you burnt coffee.

    I strongly prefer a good drip maker, and really good coffee - preferably Sulawesi or Kenya AA. It depends on the year, though: this year's Starbucks Gazebo Blend is amazing.

  • ... though I'm not sure that's a color I'd prefer for my coffee.


  • "the problem with marijuana is that it leads to fucking carpentry"

    Well, that explains Jesus then...
    "Shit man, like these fish, they're so totally huge, they could feed like five thousand."
    "Nah, screw that dude, I feel so light I bet I could walk across that water over there, then float away on a cloud!" "Yeah bro, I dig what you're saying. All these glowing joints [later recorded as coals] in our mouths and it feels like I can understand every language there ever was!"

    In the now lost final book of the new testament, they went on to talk interminably about Star Wars as all stoners seem to do, thinking their every word pure genius. Understandably, when they came down, they realised how stupid it was and destroyed it.

  • The "inventors" have not bothered to learn much about coffee and how to make it. They propose to regulate the strength of the coffee by adjusting the amount of water passed through the grounds, but this method is guaranteed to produce an unpalatable drink. If, for some misguided reason, it is necessary to create weak coffee, one first makes normal coffee (espresso) and adds hot water. Exposing the grounds to water for too long extracts undesirable flavor components.

    The ESPRESSO is the answer! poster had some good points, but he should know that "bitterness" is one of the main flavor components of coffee and is not considered undesirable, in the proper measure.

  • At first I read "biofeedback" for "Optical Feedback" in the title "Optical Feedback For Perfect Coffee", which immediately set off in my mind the idea that you have a feedback loop to adjust the amount of sugar and cream in your coffee, as well as its "strength" (the slidable thing that looks like the sliding scale on your toaster [y'know "bread/charcoal"] ). This isn't what the article actually is, the article just makes sure that there's a 1:1 correlation between the strength you ask for and the strength you get. My problem is I don't know what strength I want, and I don't know how much sugar I want and I don't know how much milk I want. My wife makes me the perfect cup of coffee, but that's because she spent years trying different combinations and thereby adjusting her own internal feedback loop, until she got a "feel" for how much of each setting made for the best cup of coffee.
    Now if in addition to this new machine in the article, which makes sure that the setting specified is the setting received, there were a second machine that adjusted this setting, and also doled sugar and cream out for you, based on a feedback loop whereby after each cup you would specify 1) how much you liked it. Or, for advanced users, 2) whether it was too sweet for you or too bitter and 3) whether it was too strong for you or too dull. (Too hard coffee or too hard cream). The beauty of this is that with even the most modest OS and statistical software the first variable alone (how much you liked it -- even if you don't know why you did or did not like it) would let the average user approach PerfectCup after about 7 cups (rough estimate) of more grossly suboptimal coffee.

    Further tweaks could perfect the milk/cream ratio ("Half and half" is just such a ball-park estimate :]) -- think "alpha channel", where RGB is coffee-strength/sugar level/milk level.

    Of course each coffee bean would be associated with a particular set of settings, and each member of your household would also. (Just don't let Microsoft find out or you'll need a Passport(R) to get your morning cup of joe.:])

    Oh, and you could sometimes ask for something more jolty and sometimes something more sweet. Like one bean for one person might have a "morning" (jolty), "meal" (nice good cup) and "desert" (rather sweet, milder) setting. What do we say, gang? Worth starting on sourceforge?

    this reminds me. Tell someone "Say boast three times fast." ("okay. boast, boast, boast.") "Now what do you put in a toaster?" ("toast") "No, you mentally deficient individual, you put bread in. Toast is what you take out." [joint polite laugh.]

    Disclaimer: I am vegan. I would exploit the above software to get me a decent cup of coffee with real-non-dairy-creamer (the kind that isn't laced with whey) or else with soy milk. The real reason I want to make the OS opensource is so I could compile me these custom mods. That and ssh'ing into my coffee maker. ("What are you doing?" "Oh I'm just logging onto my coffee server [ha] to set the timer for a nice big cup of coffee when I get back home. Wait a minute lemme check the web cam to see if I left my mug in. Yep." How cool is that?)
  • I have every right to be arrogant and elitist, because you are not willing to educate yourself, and when I mention some facts to you, you come up with haphazard refutations like "oh but animals suffer anyway". I suppose you wouldn't mind supporting even those kinds of sweat-shops which are illegal now to import from, because, well, people suffer anyway. Man, people are such closed-minded things.
  • I know, and Lincoln, too, wanting to emancipate the slaves -- he just needs a good psychotherapist that can help him understand things and put them in perspective. I think he just has issues and can't understand that slaves aren't people like he's a person -- they're african savages. end satire.
    animals aren't people, but they can feel pain and are made institutionally to suffer. why support that?
  • HaHa, Your IQ, Uh oh Vegan the Genius is here stop animal suffering. So you go out and pick all your food in the forest? No? Then what do you think happens when they make farm land to grow your crap? Animals suffer. What happens when they destroy forest to build highways, animals suffer. What happens when you drive your car and emit toxic fumes into the air, animals suffer. Do you think there where no animals living in the forest that was torn down so some capitalist can grow coffee to sell to wanna be hippies at a coffee shop? You seem to waste alot of time thinking about this for someone who claims to have a big IQ, but regardless i really hope your not one of those _really_ pathetic vegans that spouts on about saving the poor animals while wearing some oh so stylish leather hiking boots while in a cofee shop in downtown San Fransisco.

    Vegans are on about the same level as bible thumpers, but hey, if that's what it takes to fill your empty life, go for it.
    I can take your argument and adapt it against not producing slave-produced goods 200 years ago: "HaHa, Your IQ, Uh oh Mr. Compassionate the Genius is here to stop slavery by not buying slave-produced goods! So what, will you go live in a country where there are no slaves? Anything you contribute to the economy will be changed (via money) in exchange for slave-produced goods, so you'd better either go live in a country where there are no slaves (and doesn't import from countries with slaves), or make everything you need yourself so you won't contribute to the economy!"

    Your argument is as childish to me as if you were to tell me "you can't draw a one-to-one mapping of positive integers to positive rational numbers, because there are more rational numbers, since there are some between every consecutive integer!" (this is false. taking the set of all integers, you CAN draw them one to one to the set of all positive rational numbers). The fact that you can't UNDERSTAND this, even when it's explained to you is just something that aggravates me. The fact is, if there were a group of people that decided not to buy slave-produced goods two hundred years ago, then I would be directly decreasing the amount of slavery in the world by joining it. If there is a group of people who decide not to buy things from the animal industry, then if you believe that the animal industry is cruel, and insitutionally cruel (not just because of a few isolated incidents), then you are decreasing the amount of that cruelty by joining that group of people. It's as simple as that, but you just don't understand it.
    As for "filling my life" -- you're the ones who started insulting my choice not to support animal suffering directly, by buying the flesh of its results. I have never mentioned my veganism on slashdot before this came up now, because someone started insulting my intelligence for being vegan, which I mentioned in relation to my coffee-making post (since I don't drink milk). If someone insults my intelligence, it implies that they are able to grasp fundamental facts if given to them, so I thought I would share. The fact is, there are a billion animals raised in the animal industry every year for food in the US. You cannot compare collateral damage to animals from the things you mention in your post with those kinds of numbers. I don't support this industry, and you do. You think if you didn't you wouldn't be changing anything, and that's a childish rationalization, because if you really cared about how much you changed you would do some research. (After which, incidentally, you would probably agree with me that it's better not to buy meat.)

    And no, I don't wear animal products.

    ~. ps. While we're on insulting intelligence, "your" from your post doesn't even /sound/ like "you're" (what you meant). "Your" rimes with "more" (or "for"), "you're" with "moor" (or "tour" [not "tore"])

    and yes, rhyme is spelled rime.

    Every positive rational number can be expressed as a over b where a and b are both positive integers [this is from the definition of "rational number"]. Therefore, if you make a grid whose columns are a and whose rows are b, and extend it infinitely in both directions, you will have expressed every positive rational number. At the upper-left corner you have:
    12 3456789
    Now starting in the upper left corner, we can fill this whole grid like so:
    1234 56789
    1abfg op
    And you see how there is a single line going a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u? Well, you have to modify it a bit by skipping any numbers you've already mapped to (like two over two after you've already done one over one) but at that point, if you extend the series a,b,c... infinitely in the same pattern then for any place you can point to on the big (infinite) grid of all positive rational numbers, I can give you an exact positive integer that represents that number, and only that number. Since this is true for ANY rational number, it's true for ALL rational numbers. (the converse is true too. you could give me any integer and I could follow the trail starting in the upper left until I came to it, then divide the column by the row and get the corresponding rational number.)

    Yeah you could say "but there are more rational numbers than integers! You can't map them 1:1!!" but because we're dealing with infinite values, your argument would be wrong. I can't stand when people say "but 0.9999 repeating isn't exactly 1 because it's always 1/10^some power LESS than 1!" No, not if it repeats infinitely. Again, a proof:
    x = 0.9999etc.
    10x = 9.9999etc
    10x-x = 9.9999etc - 0.999etc.
    9x = 9.0 (since even if you subtract one from infinity, there are still infinite nines after the decimal point, so they ALL cancel out).
    x = 1.0
    But noooo, "0.999etc CAN'T equal one, because then it would be 1.0 and not 0.999etc. We can't have two different decimals represent the same number, that's not how our number system works!!!"

    This is what I meet with on a daily basis. Your closedmindedness is of the same caliber. Punk.
  • Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going out to enjoy a bloody, freshly-killed dead cow. I like my meat fresh, so that I can still taste the fear in the quaking muscles. Mmmmm.

    haha, nice. Say "atrophy" for "fear" though -- I don't think animals are afraid at all in the animal industry. They don't know that they're going to be killed, and they wouldn't care if they did. I have no problem with killing animals. I just don't like how most of them are raised -- barely able to turn around, etc.
    Enjoy your hormones.
  • He has two for "Brewed beverage maker with optical feedback system" (any beverage, not just coffee) and one for adding an antioxidant to coffee to keep it fresh.

    Have the US patent examiners never read the ingredients list on a jar of instant coffee? Antioxidants have been added to nearly all processed foodstuffs (including coffee) for decades.

    Better pay him a royalty for the cup I'm drinking now...

  • Okay. That link shows the Capresso machines. Wanting to know more, I found them at [].

    What I don't get is why the C1000 [] is a dead ringer for the Krups Orchestro [] (with that form factor they've got to have the same guts), but costs a good $100 [] more.

    Besides, if it doesn't have a genuflecting duck [] on it, it ain't really an espresso machine...

  • In my humble opinion, what makes a great cup of coffee is what one is used to drinking.
  • Different brands probably would have different translumination coefficients. Things like particle size of coffee grounds also would effect this....
  • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) <> on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @10:12PM (#107911) Homepage Journal
    No boiling water, huh? I use those coffee bags for ultimate convenience

    Coffee bags? What kind of philistine are you? :-) I tried those once...they're hella nasty. (You are talking about the ones you brew like tea, right?)

    There's no substitute for proper brewing (drip) of freshly-ground beans. Ideally, you use a coffee maker that takes a cone-shaped filter (nearly the only kind you'll find in Europe; the inferior basket-type coffee makers are much more common in the States), and a permanent filter (one of the gold-plated thingies) won't impart flavors in the way that paper filters can. With the same beans (Colombian supremos), I noticed a big difference going from a 4-cup Mr. Coffee with paper filters to a regular-sized Krups with a permanent filter; the latter rig produces a smoother cup.

  • by hqm ( 49964 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @05:23PM (#107912)
    In the 1970's my father made a visit to Brazil, where
    as you know they are serious about coffee. He
    invented a coffee strength tool using the same principle, but
    somewhat simpler, no computer required -- you just take a plastic ruler
    and dip it into the coffee, and then read off the
    strength by seeing where the last tick on the ruler is that you can still see. A manual optical
    strength meter.

  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @05:47PM (#107913)
    Or do you have a coffee machine that creates a seal then pumps up the pressure before it makes the brew?

    Yes, it's commonly called an espresso machine...

  • by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @05:52PM (#107915)
    I never got into the whole Starbucks thing. I like good coffee and I like coffee made right, but I can do it pretty simply.

    First of all, you start with good coffee. Most people can get it at their grocery store (I'm not talking Folgers). Second, you get a coffee maker. Even a Mr. Coffee is fine, but I prefer a percolator myself. Once the coffee is made, you put it in a thermos. The only thing that makes good coffee go bad is to let it cook.

    I may be a simple person, but just like I know good beer and wine, I know good coffee, and the mechanics don't make much of a difference.

  • by MrBlack ( 104657 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @05:32PM (#107916)
    A friend of mine did the "teaspoon test" on every cup he made. If you can see the bottom of the teaspoon it's too weak. He is VERY particular about his coffee. When he drops in for a visit he brings his own device and supply with him. He stopped just short of growing his own beans.
  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:47PM (#107917) Homepage
    That's all the optical feedback I need.
  • by NaturePhotog ( 317732 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:49PM (#107918) Homepage
    I find that putting the same amount of good quality coffee (e.g., beans from my local organic coffee shop, or from Peet's [] and filtered water makes for a good pot of coffee every time. Put garbage in, and you'll get garbage out. If you're worried about the coffee getting stale, put it in a thermos to keep it hot so it doesn't get that skanky burned taste that leaving it on the hot pot can give. It uses less electricty that way, and you can take it with you to your computer^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H breakfast table with you, too. My sister in Germany has a coffee pot where the carafe is a thermos, and it shuts off the heating element as soon as the coffee is brewed.
  • by FallLine ( 12211 ) on Thursday July 05, 2001 @05:00AM (#107919)
    I don't care what he's using to brew his coffee, but using a glass carafe and keeping it warm on a hot plate is quickest and easiest way to get bad coffee. If he was serious, he'd at least use a thermal/insulated coffee pot and scrap the heating element. A good thermal pot can keep your coffee hot for hours. Of course, Krups seems to be the only decent manufacturer of thermal coffee brewers that sells in the US and there is some kind of import restriction against that product :(

    PS: If anyone knows of an online retailer that sells Krups thermal coffee brewers (without that new fangled "Aroma" crap), please reply! Thanks
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @05:05PM (#107920) Homepage Journal
    This is for real. If you head over to [] and type in the patents numbers that are on the guy's web page then you will see the patents come right up. For those of you who like links, here they are: I reckon the best thing about is that it will probably sell as the marketing guys will love the idea. I suppose it is up there with fuzzy logic washing machines, which were a big hit in Japan
  • by irn_bru ( 209849 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:56PM (#107921)
    Someone should tell this guy that if he's looking for the ultimate coffee he ain't going to get it from a drip method.

    Coffee needs to have its flavour force extracted by water at about 18 bar pressure....

    Take a look at:

    Gaggia []
    Capresso []
    Seaeco []

    and remember, the more money you spend - the better it gets. Or go to your local coffee emporium, but remember kids - Starbucks are evil!
  • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:49PM (#107922) Journal that DESERVES to be patented!
  • by rark ( 15224 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @04:46PM (#107923)
    Who was it who said that "the problem with marijuana isn't that it leads to other drugs, the problem with marijuana is that it leads to fucking carpentry"?

  • by tmoertel ( 38456 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @08:50PM (#107924) Homepage Journal
    There's no need for any of this monkey business. Just drink good espresso.

    Let me be blunt: If you aren't drinking espresso -- good espresso -- you haven't tasted coffee. And I mean espresso, not cappuccino, not latte, not frapparichinomochalaloopy. That's the kind of stuff you make when you want to cover up the taste of bad espresso.

    Good espresso is nothing like the over-roasted, over-extracted, bitter and charred-tasting stuff you've had when you finally worked up the courage to try an ``espresso'' at *$s or some other gourmet coffee chain. If you're lucky, they gave you 3 or 4 ounces of unspeakably bitter drek. If you weren't lucky,... Well, I'm just thankful that you're still with us.

    Good espresso is like heaven in a cup. Deep, rich, dark, and luxurious, good espresso has no bitterness. Its potent perfume only hints at the depth of complexity that awaits you upon the first sip. Creamy, caramelly, exploding with flavor, with a touch of sweetness on the tongue: This is what good espresso tastes like. No need to add sugar, the real stuff is quaffed straight.

    Oh, and does espresso help your coding? You betcha! Nothing cuts through code fog like a double ristretto. Fires up the brain into smooth working condition. Clarity? You own clarity. With espresso cup in hand, ease in to the Captain's Chair: You are in command.

    Face it, you need the real stuff. Here's how to get it:

    1. Stop buying stale coffee at stores and ``gourmet'' shops.
    2. Get an old hot-air popcorn popper and start homeroasting []. It's cheap, it's easy, and it's so worth it. You won't believe how much better truly fresh coffee tastes. If you go no farther than this and get a french press and a cheap grinder, you'll have better coffee at home than you'll be able to find anywhere else.
    3. Get a decent espresso machine. No steam toys. Read the user-contributed reviews [] on []. Plan on spending at least 250 USD for a decent machine. Spend the money: you'll pay for it in under a year from your coffee-chain savings.
    4. Get a good grinder. You can't make real espresso without one. This is the one that people skimp on and later wonder why their fancy 1000-USD espresso machine can't make good espresso. Plan on another 200 USD, minimum. Again, it pays for itself.
    5. Lurk in [] and drink in the wisdom. Learn how to pull a ristretto [] that extracts the deep, beautiful essence of 15g of freshly ground, freshly roasted coffee into 1.75ounces of pure bliss. Once you've had a "god shot" [], you'll never be able to go back to bad coffee again.
    Do it. It will change your life.

    P.S. Here's a good starting roast/blend for espresso: 2 parts brazillian cerrado, 1 part sumatra mandheling, 1/2 part monsooned malabar, 1/2 part monsooned cherry aa robusta. Roast each part individually, just a bit into the second crack. Blend and store in an airtight glass container. The next morning, open the container and try to contain your amazement at how great the stuff is.

  • by talonyx ( 125221 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @04:00PM (#107925)
    Thinking about that...
    Basically, a coffee percolator is an inverted bong, as the heat comes from the bottom, forcing the water around instead of suction forcing air around.
    Thinking along those lines two weeks ago I took an old percolator, and with the help of some duct tape and a hacksaw I made a bong! The top, where the glass knob normally is where you can see the coffee bubbling, has been replaced by a bowl, which leads down into the former coffee chamber that has been sealed airtight except for the tube leading down into the water.
    There's a pipe-tube-hookah thing leading into the spout, also sealed airtight. The pipe is built with a little tiny piece of plastic PVC so it's easy to disconnect it and put it inside for safekeeping.
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, ANYTHING can become pot smoking paraphenalia. Just be creative!
    My other pipes include an old wireless Nintendo controller (where the thumbpad was,a bowl is now) and a telephone handset (think about it!).

    Enjoy, and study plenty at four twenty.
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:44PM (#107926) Journal
    Is it RFC 2324 [] compliant?
  • by DankNinja ( 241851 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @04:59PM (#107927) Homepage
    My friends and I were doing something similar for potheads all over the world. Ours was a regular straight-pipe bong with a red LED and a CdS photo-detector. This controlled a small air-pump near the top of the bong. One started, the airpump would shutoff once the voltage dropped to a sufficient level due to the smoke in the chamber.
  • by Glenda Slagg ( 464228 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2001 @03:41PM (#107928)
    Somthing to regulate the temperature would be better. Boiling water impares the taste - Too cold and you don;t extract all thr flavour.

    93 degrees centigrate at 18 bar pressure will produce the ultimate coffee.

    Also, I would imagine that the use of different beans would create variations in colour which this machine could never deal with.

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