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Thread: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have roasted and drunk a reasonable number of Single Origins over the last couple of months and I have been amazed at the broad range of grind size needed to get the best extractions from each of them. *Eg: in swapping out the Aceh Arabica for a Blue Horse Harrar over the weekend, I had to coarsen my Mazzer Mini by around 7 notches *:o

    So this got me thinking.... (a dangerous thing I know):

    If one wants to achieve a truly sublime espresso blend, wouldnt grind coarseness be an essential consideration? *Ive read a lot of blending guides that speak about ensuring SOs are chosen to ensure complementary acididty / body / complexity etc - but I havent read much about grouping SOs that require similar grind coarseness? *:-?

    Apologies if Ive overlooked a prior post on this or am stating the blatantly obvious, Im just surprised that consistent extraction isnt spoken about as much as it is? *Wouldnt you want to blend SOs that complement each other in flavour, mouthfeel etc and extraction charateristics?

    Thoughts or comments??? *:)



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Yeah I know what you mean -A-. I have been down that road a few times. You have 2 SO beans that are fantastic on their own, but when blended you cant get the extraction or the flavors that you are after.

    As it turned out, the thing that was letting the "blend" down was not being able to achieve a great extraction due to the grind coarsness required. 1 bean needed a very fine grind on the mazzer while the other was on the coarse side. How would one get around this?

  3. #3

    Re: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Try here:

  4. #4
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Im afraid there is no practical answer to that one Alchemist. :-/

    You can roast separately SOs, and grind them separately at the optimum setting... but could be going a little too far to extract them separately and THEN blend! Or maybe not depending on how much of a pedant you wish to be ::)

    With two grinders and a two-grouper no problem. ::)

    ...But practically, try to get the blend of beans you like and then find the grind setting which produces the extraction in the given time...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Thanks for the link Michelle!

    Robusto - yep, I guess there is a limit to how far to take things *:) *That said, I think I want to do a little more research /experimentaion on this ;D

    The quest continues....


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Grind coarseness a factor when blending?

    Thats a good link.

    Interested to see that it also includes Mals reference to blending the same SO with different roast profiles... which relates to my musings in the adjacent 5 tenors thread about whether roast time influence blends. So, Ill take that as a random sample of one yes, I guess (and be grateful for small mercies).

    As for the coarseness/blend issue - I figure that if the correct temperature water is passing a coffee ground for the right amount of time at the right pressure, then you should get the right extraction (thank you Dr Illy)? Smaller grains will contribute more than larger grains however, because of the relative surface areas. But this is a second order issue - the blend should still taste sweet. (I woulld have thought.)

    SD (somewhat dys-topic)

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