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  • Im losing my sense of taste...

    Ive got a feeling that its easy as a Coffee Snob to fall into the trap described in the fable of the Emperors New Clothes.

    So, I will risk being candid about something sill and hope Im not the only one. Im looking for solutions, advice, anything:

    Problem: The coffee I have been roasting doesnt taste the same to me anymore, though my friends who buy it off me seem happy enough. However, generally Im not satisfied. Packaged coffee tastes even worse.

    I cant seem to enjoy ANY coffee I drink anymore trhe way I used to. Should I go cold turkey for a while til my sense of taste comes back?

    I do have one island of tranquility. If work takes me to European Foods, I usually snag a coffee there. Mini Mazzer paired with a Mini Vivaldi. Beans into the hopper are virtually always still fresh (sometimes too soon off the roast to taste great, IMHO). Short black really works for me.

    Apart from that, I am semi-miserable. What can be done? Does anybody else ever suffer from angry taste buds?

    Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket. Ouch.


  • #2
    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    My suggestion: upgrade to a better grinder. That will improve the taste of your coffee.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

      Originally posted by 7E7E6E72737F761A0 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
      Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket.  Ouch. 
      Ouch indeed--but youve answered your own question.

      Greg

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

        Not wishing to offend and I will make a point of apologising openly beforehand, but I cant see any other way to say this....

        It seems contradictory to roast your own coffee presumably in the pursuit of better freshness and quality, and then brew it with the equipment listed in your CP and especially the "grinder". Without a real grinder, even the most basic coffee machine is unable to brew any coffee properly, and I am personally at a loss to see how you could tell the difference between any of your coffees at any time beforehand let alone after you changed from one coffee machine to another.

        My best advice therefore if budget permits, would be to immediately upgrade both the machine and grinder to a more suitable setup for your apparent requirements.

        For my money, the absolutely most basic set up of reasonable quality for the budget conscious or "starter" would be the currently available deal on Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder. A much better set up budget permitting however, would be the Classic paired to a Compak K3 Push grinder. And then if lowest possible budget wasnt an issue I would go a better machine....

        Subject to good equipment management, you then really will be able to start discerning the differences between the coffees that you roast.

        Also do not discount the idea that your palate improves with practice and starts to be able to discern more. In which case your own palate is telling you, through use, that the equipment is not cutting it....

        I can help with the equipment referred to in this post and am only a phone call or email away. The equipment we sell is imported into Australia through the correct channels and is guaranteed in Australia under Gaggia/Saeco/Philips,  and Compak arrangements, unlike machines purchased from overseas vendors which of course are guaranteed, in the country of origin of the sale.

        If we can help, please do let us know.

        Attilio
        very first CS site sponsor

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

          Originally posted by 2323332F2E222B470 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
          The coffee I have been roasting doesnt taste the same to me anymore
          It took me a year or so on a "cheapy" thermoblock to reach that point, then another year to finally save the pennies to do something about it. My coffee quality has exploded. I can seriously tell the difference a K3T makes with an E61. Theres something about the richness and fullness of flavour that I never got with fresh beans, modified BCG450, and unpressurised basket on a thermoblock.

          Take Attilios advice seriously - I bought a 2nd hand and it wasnt calibrated, needed servicing, and caused me grief. Thats not always the case. Depends if you want to insure against that or take it as it comes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

            I started with a VERY small float from the family and am increasing through selling roasted coffee to friends. Hence, everything is above the budget. As of yet, I havent purchased ANY of my equipment for coffee (well... six years ago I guess I bought the spice grinder off a friend... but thats it) and there isnt a budget for it yet. I reckon the best I can do is skill up while I can (I can taste the difference between my coffees just fine... more easily using a coffee plunger than pressurized basket) and as the budget allows eventually I will start getting better kit - grinder first is the impression I get from most. At the moment, my small float from the family purse is up to 15 kg of green coffee and $15 in the till.

            Doesnt the Good Book say: A man who is skilled at what he does will not go unnoticed; he will serve before kings?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

              Originally posted by 3434243839353C500 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
              Ive got a feeling that its easy as a Coffee Snob to fall into the trap described in the fable of the Emperors New Clothes.
              Im not sure how this allegory about vanity applies.

              Are you suggesting that people spend a lot of money on machines but cannot taste the difference? I agree that you have answered your own question.

              Originally posted by 17223537073F223D313C34500 link=1325692318/2#2 date=1325721007
              ServingRoyalty wrote Yesterday at 2:51am:
              Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket.  Ouch.


              Ouch indeed--but youve answered your own question.
              It takes time to develop a good palate, and it seems your brewing equipment has outgrown yours. Would you not agree?

              Do take Attilios advice seriously, or consider the many other budget options for making good coffee at home provided on this forum. It need not cost a fortune.

              How are your mates making coffee with the beans that you roast for them? Have you tried their end product?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good. You quickly adjust to the improved quality just like a newly elected politician adjusts to a bigger salary.
                My reality check is to regularly have a coffee in a really good cafe so that I am reminded what others are doing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                  Originally posted by 162B272F3D440 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
                  OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good.
                  ignorance is bliss?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                    Originally posted by 506D61697B020 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
                    Reply #7 - Today at 4:58am Mark & Quote Quote
                    OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good.
                    I think this is whats happening and Im going to have to work hard to catch up with my picky palate.  re: the Emperors New Clothes, I think the core idea that got me to start the thread is that I might start ignoring my palate in favour of imagining what I was supposed to be tasting. 
                    Originally posted by 506D61697B020 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
                    My reality check is to regularly have a coffee in a really good cafe so that I am reminded what others are doing.
                    This is what I reckon I need to do more frequently.

                    Thats
                    Originally posted by 6671696B020 link=1325692318/6#6 date=1325805937
                    Are you suggesting that people spend a lot of money on machines but cannot taste the difference? I agree that you have answered your own question.
                    Not quite the comparison I was intending, but now that you mention it, I think its more spot on than my little abstraction.

                    Atilios advice is very seriously noted.  I realize I am exercising way too much delayed gratification when it comes to taking the plunge and upgrading properly.  However, I think the patience is worthwhile.  Up til now I was thinking the next grinder up for me would be the breville conical burr grinder - closer to my price range.  The Compak keeps coming up, though.  Obviously a different price range.  The MDF, on the other hand, is one that hasnt caught my attention and is in the right price range.

                    Up til now, I thought the Rancilio Silva was supposed to be the bees knees.  Atilio has now pointed me to the Gaggia.  I can now review posts to try and compare the two or you guys can give your input directly. 

                    I am learning about coffee on so many different levels.  Too much for one post...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                      Was visiting friends the other night and had coffee (breville or sunbeam blade grinder with multiple settings - didnt look close & plunger). I thought it has been ages since I had a plunged coffee this nice and asked what kind of coffee it was, to which they replied its yours. Panama, medium roast, 4 days old.

                      I sometimes remind myself that I sell my good roasts and drink the crap ones and that affects my perception, too.

                      Pretty much everyone uses a coffee plunger. One guy has an espresso machine at home but Im not sure what it is. He says hes happy with my Sumatran dark, but time will tell.

                      Too late to try and make sense...

                      Next capital investment will probably be into roasting and not brewing, yet again. I agree that I deserve the lack of enjoyment I get out of my coffee because I wont put any money into better equipment. Not yet at any rate...

                      I think Im going to cave and join all you corretto roasters soon...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                        If you enjoyed the plunger, you will absolutely love the aeropress.....superb for savouring the distinctive flavours of varieties and different levels of roasts without leaving any of the mud normally found in plungers.

                        Google aeropress world championships for recipies.
                        Mine is 200 grms beans and 20 ml water at 80c.

                        Have just finished a super sweet ethiopian, 6 days, and the aftertaste lingers.

                        Cheers

                        JL

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                          Originally posted by 1B3E393F0E1D34353528510 link=1325692318/11#11 date=1325889724
                          Mine is 200 grms beans and 20 ml water
                          Whoa!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                            Whoa indeed.....should read 20 grms and 200 ml water.

                            Crikey!!!

                            JL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

                              Originally posted by 5656465A5B575E320 link=1325692318/10#10 date=1325869813
                              Next capital investment will probably be into roasting and not brewing, yet again.  I agree that I deserve the lack of enjoyment I get out of my coffee because I wont put any money into better equipment.
                              Surely you deserve to enjoy your home brew?

                              There seems to be a lot of love for the Aeropress of late: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1215044815

                              That can be got for less than $50...

                              The Espropress, which functions like a plunger, gets a mention on that thread too - they are a little more expensive, but not much.

                              I think you can get machine envy on this site. While the very expensive machines do make better coffee, at some point the law of diminishing returns has to apply to quality of the end product.  I know it applies to audio gear.

                              Such pretty, pretty machines though!

                              The good thing is that there are plenty of pointers here as to how to get good coffee on a tighter budget also.

                              Im hoping to get a double boiler jobby at some point...


                              Comment

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