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Thread: Supermarket beans, THE HORROR.

  1. #51
    Senior Member Beanz.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordL View Post
    Earlier this year, I miscalculated my roasting and totally ran out of roasted beans.
    So I slipped down to Aldi and bought a bag of their medium roast, and hid the bag and passed it off as mine.
    I couldn't help asking subtle questions afterwards, thinking that I'd be told that it wasn't as good as usual. I'm afraid that all I got was compliments. I didn't feel that I wanted to let on that they actually came from Aldi.
    You raise an interesting point. If the same beans were in different bags, with fancy marketing logos, sold in upmarket outlets by hipsters how much would it influence opinions ?
    It will not turn them into the best beans in the world but they may not be judged as harshly either

    I have had a couple of bags of high priced specialty roasted beans in the past that were undrinkable so I guess it can go either way at times

    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    .. I too wish I could have truffles every meal - reality is, the plain $5 button mushroom...
    I wish I knew where you get your button mushrooms for $5 they are more than double that at the Vic market !!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavCN View Post
    For the people who have experimented with Aldi beans, which tends to be better for Espresso machines like the Breville, the medium or dark roast? - or doesn't it much matter.



    Which more palatable beans are only 1.5 x the price?
    Well I thought it was pretty obvious but just to clarify, my comment was not specific to buying 1 kg of coffee. As has been discussed one can buy some very high quality coffee for 1.5 X the price of Aldi, but the bag will only have 250g in it...

    Breville dual boiler will happily pull great shots with any coffee that is roasted well, coupled with a skilled / knowledgeable operator.
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    Well I thought it was pretty obvious but just to clarify, my comment was not specific to buying 1 kg of coffee. As has been discussed one can buy some very high quality coffee for 1.5 X the price of Aldi, but the bag will only have 250g in it...

    Breville dual boiler will happily pull great shots with any coffee that is roasted well, coupled with a skilled / knowledgeable operator.
    Some common sense here! well done Steve.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Away from home visiting a friend in the Riverina over the past 10 days, took the LaPavoni, however, underestimated my coffee consumption and was forced to go searching for a source of roasted beans about 2/3rds of the way through our visit, could locate nothing within striking distance of our base, soooooo, visited the local supermarker and bought 1 kg of Vittoria espresso beans in the gold packaging, use by date indicated, best before some time in 2017, paid something like $35 for the kg.

    Have not used supermarket beans in well over 10 years, regardless was not prepared for what I was about to experience.

    The beans looked to be well roasted, nice and even, approx CS 8, even smelled a bit like coffee, that's where the wheels fell off, ground the first 16 grams for the LaPavoni at the same setting I was using for the home roasted batch I was using prior to running out, lifted the lever on the Pav and the water flowed through the puck almost unrestricted, adjust the grind down, another 16 grams, similar result, I might add the resultant coffee flowed in a foul watery looking jet black stream and tasted foul, even though the beans looked well roasted the coffee tasted as if the beans had been on the verge of incineration when the roast was stopped.

    No matter what I tried could not get anything like a decent shot on the Pav.

    So, back home.

    Not to be beaten, have been trying for two days to pull a decent shot using the same beans in the Bezzera, hah! same result, thin watery black bitter tasting crap with a bit of crema floating on the top.

    So, for them about to ask the question, nope, you cant pull anything even close to a decent shot using Vittoria espresso beans, even though your using decent machinery, your technique is good and the beans are well within the best before date, at least I cant with the batch I bought, perhaps I was just unlucky.
    Here's an interesting observation, have been doing some tests grinding beans and leaving for various lengths of time to see just how long they will retain freshness, I've been using freshly roasted quality SO beans, I've found the ground coffee has deteriorated markedly after a few hours, Left one batch to sit in the doser for 24 hours, and virtually duplicated what I described above "the resultant coffee flowed in a foul watery looking jet black stream and tasted foul,"

    Form your own opinion, however my thoughts are even the best Arabica beans can be reduced to little more than crap if mishandled.
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  5. #55
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Here's an interesting observation, have been doing some tests grinding beans and leaving for various lengths of time to see just how long they will retain freshness, I've been using freshly roasted quality SO beans, I've found the ground coffee has deteriorated markedly after a few hours, Left one batch to sit in the doser for 24 hours, and virtually duplicated what I described above "the resultant coffee flowed in a foul watery looking jet black stream and tasted foul,"

    Form your own opinion, however my thoughts are even the best Arabica beans can be reduced to little more than crap if mishandled.
    So I think that probably is as good as a confirmation of what we all think - the worst of the worst is vac packed, preground, supermarket coffee. Eeeewww.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    So I think that probably is as good as a confirmation of what we all think - the worst of the worst is vac packed, preground, supermarket coffee. Eeeewww.
    Thanks Leroy, was having trouble expressing what I meant, obviously the message got through, you too can convert your freshly roasted premium Arabica beans into the equivalent of outdated supermarket crap very quickly and with little effort simply by poor handling.
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    Unfortunately supermarket beans will be all my budget permits, though given I've never even had a grinder before I probably haven't been missing much by not going to a better quality of bean. And heck, still no worse than some café coffee I've had. Will have to try Ali

  8. #58
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
    Unfortunately supermarket beans will be all my budget permits, though given I've never even had a grinder before I probably haven't been missing much by not going to a better quality of bean. And heck, still no worse than some café coffee I've had. Will have to try Ali
    I'm not one to tell people how to live their life, but I personally would rather drink half as much good coffee.
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  9. #59
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    I'm not one to tell people how to live their life, but I personally would rather drink half as much good coffee.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
    Unfortunately supermarket beans will be all my budget permits, though given I've never even had a grinder before I probably haven't been missing much by not going to a better quality of bean. And heck, still no worse than some café coffee I've had. Will have to try Ali
    In that case, owning a grinder and grinding fresh before use will make the biggest leap of improvement for you. A Sunbeam EM0480 conical grinder will do and can often be bought for <$100.

    It's about $100 outlay initially, but the improvement would be >100% coming from pre-ground. However, from spending $12/kg to $30++/kg, the improvement leap wasn't as much as to me - more like 20-30% improvement. Maybe others can't stomach anything less than a godshot, I'm still of the opinion that the Aldi stuff isn't that bad and is palatable (and can be enjoyable) to me.

    And this is after spending $33/kg on a mail-order Ethiopian Harrar (which actually tasted worse than the Aldi - figure that).

    Speaking of which, is Beanbay's roasted beans the gold standard around here? What should I go for if I want something that blows my mind and stops buying Aldi (I still home roast but I would like a reference of what's everyone's drinking)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    I'm not one to tell people how to live their life, but I personally would rather drink half as much good coffee.
    Drink coffee every second day only?? haha
    Hey, I've been on pods for the last year or so, and before then was supermarket bought beans in the cheapest Espresso machine and only a blade grinder (or pre ground). I think any change I make will improve it!
    (and my new grinder is awaiting collection in the post office as I type)
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    In that case, owning a grinder and grinding fresh before use will make the biggest leap of improvement for you. A Sunbeam EM0480 conical grinder will do and can often be bought for <$100.

    It's about $100 outlay initially, but the improvement would be >100% coming from pre-ground. However, from spending $12/kg to $30++/kg, the improvement leap wasn't as much as to me - more like 20-30% improvement. Maybe others can't stomach anything less than a godshot, I'm still of the opinion that the Aldi stuff isn't that bad and is palatable (and can be enjoyable) to me.

    And this is after spending $33/kg on a mail-order Ethiopian Harrar (which actually tasted worse than the Aldi - figure that).

    Speaking of which, is Beanbay's roasted beans the gold standard around here? What should I go for if I want something that blows my mind and stops buying Aldi (I still home roast but I would like a reference of what's everyone's drinking)?
    Thanks for the advice - I actually invested in a Breville Smart Grinder Pro BCG820, I'll have it in my hands tomorrow! Very excited(sorry for dbl post, editing not working)

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    That's supposedly an even better grinder than the Sunbeam. Congrats!

    Just placed an order for roasted Ethiopian Sidamo Ardi myself from the BeanBay. It came up to $32.50 per 500g. I am not asking much, but it better be at least 3 times better than the (6 times cheaper) $11/kg Aldi. Pressure's on ya Andy.
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  14. #64
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    It came up to $32.50 per 500g. I am not asking much, but it better be at least 3 times better than the (6 times cheaper) $11/kg Aldi.
    Some odd math there as you included the freight and purchased the Ardi at the highest per kilo rate. You can buy in larger quantities for as little as $35/kg.

    The real math comparison is:
    Aldi beans $11 + Car $25,000 + Rego $700 + Insurance $1,000 + $15 fuel and maintenance + your time to drive there and back and stand in a pack-your-own queue for a long time = $13,000/500g

    The Ardi fresh roasted to order and freighted to your door is a bargain.



    No guarantees it's any times better but I know which I would rather in my brewer.

  15. #65
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The real math comparison is:
    Aldi beans $11 + Car $25,000 + Rego $700 + Insurance $1,000 + $15 fuel and maintenance + your time to drive there and back and stand in a pack-your-own queue for a long time = $13,000/500g
    You've forgotten to include the going to do your grocery shopping and somehow walking out with a whipper snipper, 3 safety cones and a cement mixer
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  16. #66
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    ...I thought that was only Bunnings that happened.

    I'm heading to Bunnings after the post office tonight, for "just one thing dear"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Some odd math there as you included the freight and purchased the Ardi at the highest per kilo rate. You can buy in larger quantities for as little as $35/kg.

    The real math comparison is:
    Aldi beans $11 + Car $25,000 + Rego $700 + Insurance $1,000 + $15 fuel and maintenance + your time to drive there and back and stand in a pack-your-own queue for a long time = $13,000/500g

    The Ardi fresh roasted to order and freighted to your door is a bargain.



    No guarantees it's any times better but I know which I would rather in my brewer.
    Andy, didn't expect you to pop up here! Certainly made the $32.50 worth, haha! Rest assured I am not implying the beans are overpriced (it's a fair/good price - comparing to Aldi just isn't fair). I was just basing that went out of my pocket from my end and it's definitely a different perspective from your end (you're probably cursing the freight company for that 1/3 that went to them for doing much less!).

    I have certainly contemplated to go the 1kg pack route but it'd be $50 all up (40+10.75 freight). Like I said, living on a limited budget here so $30 is what I feel comfortable with for luxury spending. Just hope I would be pleasantly surprised with the coffee.

    Ah, and no car here (still technically a 'student' ). Free tram in Melbourne back and forth. The time? I think I've spent way more time contemplating whether if I should grab a bag this week (or should I roast at home), rather than the act of grabbing the bag itself - just too convenient to grab a bag when I am doing my compulsory weekly grocery (Damn the Aldi for putting the coffee section first thing up in the shop front - no way you'd have missed it).


    p/s: Just realized - Ardi Aldi Andy - Must've been fate!
    Last edited by samuellaw178; 25th July 2016 at 06:11 PM.
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    tried these beans for fun/backup - not too good even for supermarket beans

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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Aldi beans is actually OK if you get desperate and can't get hold of any real beans, but the regular supermarket stuff is unbearable.

  21. #71
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 50mm View Post
    Aldi beans is actually OK if you get desperate and can't get hold of any real beans, but the regular supermarket stuff is unbearable.
    Seems that a number of people have sprung to the defense of Aldi beans recently declaring them good.

    I have some more good news for them, I somehow doubt that proclaiming the beans to be "actually OK" is going to result in traffic jams around Aldi stores, caused by hoards of Coffee Snobs descending on Aldi desperate to score a bargain.

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    If you are happy with your own coffee, that is perfectly okay. I love the discussions and the chatters, but being condescending (above did come out that way if it was not intended) is not really the spirit of Coffeesnobs, I hope?

    I thought coffee forum was more in the spirit of sharing information and exploring new things in coffee - yes, includes exploring what was perceived to be rubbish supermarket beans. If Andy ever ends up selling his fantastic roasts in supermarket, I will no doubt give it a fair go with no preconceived notion. Ending up in supermarket doesn't automatically disqualify the quality. Yes, if it goes stale, it's bad - which is the classic problem of supermarket beans.

    Of course, you can't expect a $11/kg beans to better a well-done $40/kg roast. Starting beans quality for one is certainly on two different levels. But I've also seen roasts that tasted worse for my preference and cost way more.
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  23. #73
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Guess you can take my remarks any way that suits you!

    I've never bought a supermarket bean that I would classify as average, let alone good, that includes Aldi.

    The name of the site is (Coffee Snobs) a pretty fair indicator that members are seekers of excellence in all things coffee, and in my opinion supermarket beans simply have nothing to contribute.

    However if your happy with the quality of Aldi beans and they suit your palate, who am I to judge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I've never bought a supermarket bean that I would classify as average, let alone good, that includes Aldi.
    Well, fair enough from your perspective. PM your address through and I'm happy to send some 100-200 g over. And no, I ain't no secret undercover Aldi's agent and takes no single cent commission. All in the spirit of sharing as mentioned above.

    I am not sure what's the variation between roast quality/date difference among different Aldi's location. But I do have a hard time believing this is not up to par even for a Snobs palate - not saying it's better than the best out there, but it is at least palatable and drinkable for the desperate times (if you will). Certainly much better than culprit used in the OP.
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    For anyone visiting New Zealand just a little tip - supermarkets here don't only stock 'supermarket coffee', they also stock a variety of coffee from all sorts of independent roasters, big and small. I've seen the state of the coffee aisle in Woollies in Sydney and it's not very inspiring. It's quite different here as some supermarkets, especially smaller independently owned ones like New World will stock as many as 7 or 8 different roasters. You do need to know what you're looking for as there are a few of the big boys marketing stuff that looks the similar. Of course you've then got the job of searching for the freshest bag, but again if you know what to look for you can often find coffee less than 4 weeks old. I rarely resort to this anymore now that I'm roasting at home, but am happy to pass on any tips for anyone spending any time over here in paradise.

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    So I finally got around to trying out the Aldi beans the other day.

    Freshness wise they were pretty good - about 3 weeks post roast. For a supermarket bean that's pretty good.

    The imported stuff like Illy and Lavazza is months old by the time it gets here.

    However, the negative is the taste. Fairly bland, with a distinct taste of... BACON.

    I have to say that weirded me out.
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  27. #77
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    Two of my breakfast passions right there in one cup. What's not to like??
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickR View Post
    Two of my breakfast passions right there in one cup. What's not to like??
    Funny. "Everything tastes better with bacon". This seems to be the mantra on just about every chefy US cooking show I watch.
    Last edited by ScottyF; 8th August 2016 at 07:51 AM.

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    But you judging. And you right - who are you to do so?

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    I have a theory that taste is like energy - and if I tell you all about the Lavazza beans I bought last night, it will somewhat transfer some of the bad taste in my mouth from last night to you guys (that is still there after an activated charcoal teeth brush and hydrogen peroxide gargle).

    I was desperate - I didn't have a chance to roast during the week and realised I ran out at 7pm - Aldi had just shut, Woolies was open.

    Went for the Lavazza Oro because everything else was in Woolies' double price phase legitimising future 50% off sales. Normal price of Lavazza is $19 for 500 g, really?

    Also a coffee snob friend swore Lavazza were good.

    Best before date 30/10/17. I know Vittoria roast 1 year before the best before date, but Lavazza - 2 years? Surely they weren't roasted in 2015. I assumed 18 months - making them nearly 5 months old.

    The smell - like an ashtray. The beans were dull, zero life, like those 18 month old McDonald's fries in that Supersize Me movie.

    I fined the grinder up heaps in preparation and nailed a 25-30 pour first go, but talk about diarrhea--I've seen more crema in the surf at Bondi. Had to wash the outside of the portafilter from splashback.

    Even my rosetta wilted.
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  31. #81
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    I was amused to read your post Yelta.
    I have never used Vittoria beans in my machine as I once (about 15 years ago) used them in my Dripolator and the result was horrible.
    About this time I started refusing to enter a Cafe that had the Vittoria sign on the front.
    Once, on holiday in Sydney we got to the counter of a Cafe and in a moment of insight, I asked what bean they used before we ordered. On hearing that it was Vittoria, I was out the door in a flash with wife and friends trailing behind wondering if I was about to be sick.
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    Am loving this thread and would like to see it revived.
    I guess the main conclusion here is this: supermarket beans are horrible but if you're going to buy horrible beans, might as well pay as little as possible. The price on those Aldi beans is just staggering IMO. How they managed to make beans of such low quality taste at that level of acceptability is beyond me. It was really nice to see the snobbiest of snobs in this thread(you know who you are) take the time and money to try them for themselves. Has anyone tried the Coles brand fair trade coffee beans? They are the same price point as Aldi at $12/kg. It would be interesting to see how they compare to Aldi's.

  33. #83
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Most of the beans i buy are around the $12/kg mark. Of course i then have to roast them myself
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    Have to smile, the general consensus by the more knowledgeable among us is that you get what you pay for, the question has been answered over and over, until, the next naive punter surfaces and claims to have discovered a miraculous roasted coffee at the ACME supermarket that defies all of the rules and is selling for $12 kg roasted, and expects us to embrace the claim, seek out said beans to give em a go before passing judgement, ain't gonna happen, I've well and truly served my apprenticeship and have learned by bitter (pun intended) experience exactly what to expect when I pay $12 kg for roasted beans, not much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    OFF TOPIC, OFF TOPIC--------The title of the thread is
    "Supermarket beans, THE HORROR."
    Not the joy of supermarket beans, sooo lets hear more horror stories.
    Your rant thread made me chuckle Yelta as I had a similar "encounter" with Vittoria beans recently.

    My father in law to my disgust will occasionally put this aforementioned bean in his cupboard when I'm not looking or not roasting enough to keep him in beans. shakes head He kept on assuring me that it was drinkable.

    So I tried to make an espresso with this bean and faced the same experience you came across, that you could not grind fine enough to stop the watery trotts that this roaster [cough cough] specialises in.

    After an involved exorcism of my machine and grinder I was back in the black'n'gold *no, not home brand people!

    Tasting notes:
    Coffee quality... Wish it smelled like mud.
    Taste... Undrinkable swill.
    Score... 1/2 a bean for looking like coffee.

    Reminds me of a Blackadder sketch...

    Edmund: Now, all we
    have to do is wait. Baldrick, fix us some coffee, will you? And try
    to make it taste slightly less like mud this time.

    Baldrick: Not easy, I'm afraid, Captain.

    Edmund: Why is this?

    Baldrick: 'cause it is mud. We ran out of coffee thirteen months ago.

    Edmund: So every time I've drunk your coffee since, I have in fact been
    drinking hot mud...

    Baldrick: With sugar.

    Edmund: Which of course makes all the difference.

    Baldrick: Well, it would do if we had any sugar, but, unfortunately, we ran
    out New Year's Eve 1915, since when I've been using sugar substitute.

    Edmund: Which is...?

    Baldrick: Dandruff.

    Edmund: Brilliant.

    Baldrick: Still, I could add some milk this time -- well, saliva...

    Edmund: No, no, thank you, Baldrick. Call me Mr Picky, but I think I'll
    cancel the coffee.


    Yelta, you'll be happy to know I have been known to make bags of Vittoria beans carefully stored in the fridge at work mysteriously disappear in to the bin. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Have to smile, the general consensus by the more knowledgeable among us is that you get what you pay for, the question has been answered over and over, until, the next naive punter surfaces and claims to have discovered a miraculous roasted coffee at the ACME supermarket that defies all of the rules and is selling for $12 kg roasted, and expects us to embrace the claim, seek out said beans to give em a go before passing judgement, ain't gonna happen, I've well and truly served my apprenticeship and have learned by bitter (pun intended) experience exactly what to expect when I pay $12 kg for roasted beans, not much.
    I'm a little amazed at the misrepresentation you're making of what people are saying here. I'm even more amazed that you keep on doing it after people have clarified. No-one has claimed that Aldi beans are up to the standards of good beans. Just that, in a pinch, the Aldi beans are a hell of a lot better than most supermarket beans and that at a lower price. The name of the place is 'Coffee Snobs,' yes - but does that have to extend to 'coffee shaming' when members are sharing experiences of how best to deal with the situation where they are out of 'the good stuff' and have to resort to an alternative? Do members really have to feel ashamed if they buy a cheaper bean in the situation where, as is sometimes the case for a lot of people, there just isn't $40 available for great coffee this week, if decent coffee can be had for $11?

    If the Mercedes needs work done on it, I don't walk to the shops. I take the Corolla.

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by JensHansen View Post
    The name of the place is 'Coffee Snobs,' yes - but does that have to extend to 'coffee shaming' when members are sharing experiences of how best to deal with the situation where they are out of 'the good stuff' and have to resort to an alternative? Do members really have to feel ashamed if they buy a cheaper bean?.
    Yes, from my point of view they should. But not for the reasons you might think. I am against anything along these lines in coffee because what you're doing by supporting sellers of coffee this cheap is perpetuating poverty amongst agricultural workers in the 2nd and 3rd world countries that this coffee is produced in. If they are managing to sell the end product for $12/kg roasted how on earth do you think anyone at the beginning of the life of those coffee beans is going to be paid anything close to a living wage? It's deplorable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Yes, from my point of view they should. But not for the reasons you might think. I am against anything along these lines in coffee because what you're doing by supporting sellers of coffee this cheap is perpetuating poverty amongst agricultural workers in the 2nd and 3rd world countries that this coffee is produced in. If they are managing to sell the end product for $12/kg roasted how on earth do you think anyone at the beginning of the life of those coffee beans is going to be paid anything close to a living wage? It's deplorable.
    For the same reason I don't like buying fresh fruit and veg from the same supermarkets

  39. #89
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JensHansen View Post
    I'm a little amazed at the misrepresentation you're making of what people are saying here. I'm even more amazed that you keep on doing it after people have clarified. No-one has claimed that Aldi beans are up to the standards of good beans. Just that, in a pinch, the Aldi beans are a hell of a lot better than most supermarket beans and that at a lower price. The name of the place is 'Coffee Snobs,' yes - but does that have to extend to 'coffee shaming' when members are sharing experiences of how best to deal with the situation where they are out of 'the good stuff' and have to resort to an alternative? Do members really have to feel ashamed if they buy a cheaper bean in the situation where, as is sometimes the case for a lot of people, there just isn't $40 available for great coffee this week, if decent coffee can be had for $11?

    If the Mercedes needs work done on it, I don't walk to the shops. I take the Corolla.
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Jens, great introductory post.

    You don't by any chance have an affiliation with Aldi do you? as usual with first post whingers nothing in your profile to give us an insight as to who you are or what your about, and not so much as a word of introduction, well done.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, supermarket beans, including those from Aldi are terrible, however if your happy with the quality and they suit your palate, who am I to judge? I'd rather stick slivers of bamboo under my nails than drink the stuff.

  40. #90
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Jens, great introductory post.

    You don't by any chance have an affiliation with Aldi do you? as usual with first post whingers nothing in your profile to give us an insight as to who you are or what your about, and not so much as a word of introduction, well done.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, supermarket beans, including those from Aldi are terrible, however if your happy with the quality and they suit your palate, who am I to judge? I'd rather stick slivers of bamboo under my nails than drink the stuff.
    Yes, it was an interesting post for someone that's been a member for quite some time. There may not be an affiliation with Aldi, but definitely an affinity. On my last trip to Sydney on October I went to an Aldi for the first time ever. Not because I wanted to or was intrigued, mostly just because I ended up parked in front of it. What an awful experience, never again. The only good thing I can see about Aldi is that they're shaking up things in existing markets such as Australia's supermarket duopoly as well as in some specific product areas. Other than that I left the shop with the uneasy feeling that the poor third world factory worker was paid a dollar a day to pack the food I bought.

  41. #91
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Yes, from my point of view they should. But not for the reasons you might think. I am against anything along these lines in coffee because what you're doing by supporting sellers of coffee this cheap is perpetuating poverty amongst agricultural workers in the 2nd and 3rd world countries that this coffee is produced in. If they are managing to sell the end product for $12/kg roasted how on earth do you think anyone at the beginning of the life of those coffee beans is going to be paid anything close to a living wage? It's deplorable.
    Buying green beans from Andy through BeanBay (as I have done since 2009) sees a percentage of every purchase donated to FairCrack, started by Andy on this forum in 2007 http://coffeesnobs.com.au/faircrack-...ck-coffee.html

    Check this link CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - FairCrack Stats for a list of the projects carried out by FairCrack since it was set up.

    Some may be interested in the figures, wonder if Aldi or the supermarkets have a similar scheme?

    Total raised so far:
    $233,662.55
    Total donated: $111,781.09
    Current FairCrack balance: $121,881.46


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  42. #92
    Senior Member BalthazarG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Jens, great introductory post.

    You don't by any chance have an affiliation with Aldi do you? as usual with first post whingers nothing in your profile to give us an insight as to who you are or what your about, and not so much as a word of introduction, well done.
    Jon - having reading your comments (while chuckling), I felt it mightily appropriate to quote you from a recent post:

    "He has all of the hallmarks of a number of other stirrers who have mysteriously come and gone recently."

    Would it be fair game to put Jens on Snob Watch? Or do you think he'll up and disappear like a fart in the wind before any further chance of redemption?

  43. #93
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    Coles and Woolworths, a duopoly as LeroyC mentioned (but not by name) need competition but Aldi, at least here, is nowhere near a competitor IMO.

    The general presentation of the shop is that it is understaffed by the general untidy presentation of the store. On occasions, there has been a pallet to walk around or stock still in boxes on the floor. Even wheel marks from pallet jacks sometimes. All first world problems but don't compare with the big two.

    My biggest dislike though is that if I need one or two items, I often have to wait behind three or four full trolleys to buy my one item. Also no service desk if an item is faulty or needs refunding and no self serve checkouts.

    Quite happy to go to Coles as it is near my favourite coffee shop.
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  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    What an awful experience, never again. The only good thing I can see about Aldi is that they're shaking up things in existing markets such as Australia's supermarket duopoly as well as in some specific product areas. Other than that I left the shop with the uneasy feeling that the poor third world factory worker was paid a dollar a day to pack the food I bought.
    They apparently treat their suppliers far better than Coles and Woolworths.

    Nocookies | The Australian

    It was telling that Aldi announced plans for 80 new store openings in 2016 in a note to its suppliers, not a press release.

    Aldi is often described as secretive, but it talks to its suppliers all the time: they are like its shareholders and its relationship with them is one of the foundations of its success.

    The shareholder, by the way, is Germany’s richest man, Karl Albrecht, who split the business with his brother Theo in 1966. Theo got northern Germany plus Denmark, France and Poland; Karl got Ireland, Switzerland, UK and Australia, among other countries. They both operate in the US, Theo as “Trader Joe’s”.

    Both Coles and Woolworths have finally cottoned onto the subversive danger of the Aldi business model and specifically its rapport with suppliers and its disregard of brand power.

    But it’s hard for them to fight it. The business model of Australia’s supermarket duopoly is based on a combative, almost master/slave relationship with suppliers, especially those that don’t have a powerful brand.

    The supermarkets are basically shelf space landlords, renting their in-store real estate to tenants according to the money they have invested in brands and how successfully they’ve done it. Prices are dictated to suppliers and for the past decade, food deflation has been a crushing (for suppliers) 4-5 per cent.

    With Aldi, brand power is irrelevant because each line only has no more than two house brands.

    Suppliers are given one price — no shelf space or marketing fees — and they are always paid on time. Sure their margins are tight, but volumes are growing, they trust Aldi totally and can plan their businesses accordingly.

    Suppliers to Coles and Woolworths are serfs, living in fear of getting the lords of the buying department off-side and are constantly subject to new taxes (shelf and marketing fees) and edicts on volume, price and payments.

    Aldi’s suppliers simply get a cheque each month, on time, and requests to supply more please, as they did recently from buying director Jordan Lack foreshadowing a 20c per cent uplift — disclosed in a report yesterday by Eli Greenblat in The Australian.

    “This should be considered in addition to any current growth rates you are experiencing on the basis of revised retails, packaging changes, case mix variations etc,” he added.

    Happy days. Australia’s food and grocery manufacturers are falling over themselves to supply Aldi.

    The problem for Coles and Woolworths is this is unfamiliar turf.

    If it was purely a price war, well that’s a battleground they know. Red spot specials, everyday low prices, $1 a litre milk — these things are in their DNA.

    And it’s not as if Aldi is fighting them on profit margin anyway: its gross margin is a moderate 5.2 per cent while Coles’ is 4.7 per cent and Woolworths is 7 per cent (that number is Woolworths’ second big problem by the way — the first being the Master’s home improvement disaster).

    But the big two don’t know how to be nice to suppliers, not convincingly, or for long, and they don’t really understand the modern world of social media, where product quality and price matter more than brand, and word of mouth matters more than advertising.

    Aldi doesn’t advertise, and it certainly doesn’t spend money marketing its house brands — establishing Westacre cheese, Choceur chocolate or Expressi coffee in consumers’ minds. The brands are on the jars and packets, but they don’t matter.

    Moreover, there aren’t many of them: Aldi stocks an average of 1,350 lines compared to 15,000 to 25,000 in “full service” supermarkets, so in a world where everyone’s too busy to wander around vast, complicated supermarkets, its stores are small and simple — in and out.

    And more broadly, as discussed here recently, the business of creating and maintain powerful brands through mass interruption advertising is coming under increasing threat from the growth of social media and more targeted advertising.

    Aldi’s model is part of that revolution: no brands, word of mouth marketing and an almost loving relationship with suppliers. And like the Australian government, it doesn’t talk about “operational matters”.

    Suddenly the supermarket duopoly looks vulnerable to disruption, but not the one they expected — online shopping.

    Maybe that will come with groceries in future, but for the moment the challenger is just opening stores.
    Last edited by herzog; 23rd January 2017 at 12:13 PM.
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  45. #95
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    They apparently treat their suppliers far better than Coles and Woolworths.

    Nocookies | The Australian
    Without reading the article I'm not surprised to hear this at all. It's probably just a product of the fact that they have less buying power than the big two. Also the big two have acted fairly badly in this area for quite some time due to the power they hold. Certainly no harm in making things better one way or another for suppliers, especially the smaller independent ones (I'm sure the likes of Coke, Nestle, Unilever and Kellog for example do just fine). It's much the same her in NZ with just two big, powerful players and as yet no competition to give them anything to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Jens, great introductory post.

    You don't by any chance have an affiliation with Aldi do you? as usual with first post whingers nothing in your profile to give us an insight as to who you are or what your about, and not so much as a word of introduction, well done.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, supermarket beans, including those from Aldi are terrible, however if your happy with the quality and they suit your palate, who am I to judge? I'd rather stick slivers of bamboo under my nails than drink the stuff.

    Thank you, Yelta. My compliments on your welcoming message.

    No, I have no affiliation with Aldi. Neither, honestly, have I ever bought as much as a gramme of coffee there. If you care to take up reading sometime, you might recognise that what I wrote was not extolling the quality of Aldi's coffee, but was rather a comment on the quality of your commentary.

    It's clear that your preoccupation with, and enjoyment of good coffee has more to do with ensuring that others know you possess such a superior palate, than it does with actually enjoying the coffee itself. There are words for that type of snobbery (and I speak as a great supporter of snobbishness), but I think such words might be considered crass.


    Yes, that was apparently my first post. I've been lurking on and off, buying coffee through the site on occasion and enjoying the wealth of knowledge this board has to offer. I thought I'd made my first post a couple of years ago but it seems I hadn't. My sincerest apologies for failing so gravely in that regard.

    Did you know, by the way, that only by sticking slivers of bamboo under your nails while enjoying coffee made from the most superior bean, can you truly be said to have walked the full path in showing the world how supremely trained your palate is? Try it sometime; it'll give you no end of credibility with yourself – as long as you believe in it.

  47. #97
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    And now that you both have had your say let's all return to the regularly scheduled programming.

    Any further such off-topic posts will be deleted.


    Java "Click, click" phile
    Last edited by Javaphile; 23rd January 2017 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Added additional comment
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  48. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Yes, from my point of view they should. But not for the reasons you might think. I am against anything along these lines in coffee because what you're doing by supporting sellers of coffee this cheap is perpetuating poverty amongst agricultural workers in the 2nd and 3rd world countries that this coffee is produced in. If they are managing to sell the end product for $12/kg roasted how on earth do you think anyone at the beginning of the life of those coffee beans is going to be paid anything close to a living wage? It's deplorable.
    Leroy, I agree with you entirely on that front. As mentioned elsewhere, I haven't actually bought the beans from Aldi at any point. That said, if anyone is buying Lavazza or Vittoria, you can be absolutely sure that the pinch on the growers is no less than it is in the case of Aldi's coffee brand. There's just a bigger margin at the supermarket and brand end of the supply chain.

    Yes, there are those brands and roasters who buy sustainably and I absolutely prefer to support them, too. But let's not kid ourselves and think that because we pay twice as much for something at Coles or Woolworth's for brands that haven't made commitments on sustainability, that any more money reaches the growers themselves.
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  49. #99
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JensHansen View Post
    Leroy, I agree with you entirely on that front. As mentioned elsewhere, I haven't actually bought the beans from Aldi at any point. That said, if anyone is buying Lavazza or Vittoria, you can be absolutely sure that the pinch on the growers is no less than it is in the case of Aldi's coffee brand. There's just a bigger margin at the supermarket and brand end of the supply chain.

    Yes, there are those brands and roasters who buy sustainably and I absolutely prefer to support them, too. But let's not kid ourselves and think that because we pay twice as much for something at Coles or Woolworth's for brands that haven't made commitments on sustainability, that any more money reaches the growers themselves.
    Absolutely. And instant coffee is probably the worst as it's full of commercial grade Arabica and Robusta being sold at a loss by growers in Vietnam and Africa especially.
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  50. #100
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Gotta smile, most of the supporters of Aldi beans are no longer with us, perhaps the coffee got em.

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