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  • A scary coffee story

    Earlier today I was invited to accompany my teenage daughter and wife on a shopping trip to Robina. Teenage daughters being what they are (anyone with one can explain further) I was firmly and almost politely told my presence was required. So I went browsing and found myself killing time in the appliance section of BigW. To my surprise they stocked a Sunbeam EM0480.

    A customer ask me if the Delonghi or the Sunbeam was the better grinder. As we were talking a couple near us asked me about a Sunbeam package selling for under $200 - EM4800 I think, plus crap $30 spice grinder.  Thinking they wanted an entry level machine I showed them the critical differences in the various grinders and so on and the shortcomings in features of that model Sunbeam. (I did add that I owned one for years and was happy at the time.)

    Now the scary part...
    It turns out the couple had just bought a coffee shop. They had signed up with Merlo, done some courses with them and had just been given some beans to try at home. I told them they should go to Caffe Silipo (Hi Richard) but they were obviously enamoured by Merlo. They did know about 30ml/30 secs but did not know about 3 weeks/3 minutes. Merlo had just told them not to fill the hopper and not to fill the doser.

    Now for the extra scary bit.
    Merlo staff had advised them to store beans under refrigeration.I must of given them a really strange look because it was at this point lost them. It was okay to tell them extra info and they seemed guininely thankful for it, but there was no way in the wide world I could *contradict* Merlo.

    So somewhere out there, another coffee shop or cafe is about foist substandard coffee on the unsuspecting public. If anyone from Merlo Southport is reading - shame on you. If I have the story twisted (and I dont think I do) then youd do well to contact any new trainees and make sure to set them straight.




  • #2
    Re: A scary coffee story

    1) You only have one side of the story
    2) It is possible to store coffee in a refrigerated (particularly a wine cooling type fridge) environment and preserve freshness by doing so, and,
    3) Did you know it can easily get to 60 degrees Celsius in a cafe overnight thereby storing coffee on a shelf a far less attractive prospect than a fridge

    So maybe, just maybe, Merlo know more about coffee than the people who were shopping for their coffee needs at big w

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A scary coffee story

      + me too.

      You only heard one side of the story and that apparently came from one of the very common statistics that buy a coffee shop with no prior experience or knowledge anyway......

      Its best to let them get their info from their supplier, who has their clients best interests as well as their own, at heart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A scary coffee story

        There is another coffee chain that is very popular on the Gold Coast.
        It is called Zarraffas Coffee. it is very popular with many people, especially teenagers. They do a lot off iced drinks and syrup based drinks. Coffee is average to poor, depending on the store.
        They also sell beans and keep them in sealed bags, in a fridge. I have not paid too much attention as I do not buy their beans, but did overhear them explaining to a customer that storing them in such a manner, under constant temperature, helps preserve freshness. Not sure what the fridge temp was set at. Their head office stipulates that they keep beans like this.
        As Dennis said, shops can heat up enormously overnight, especially on the Gold Coast in Summer. The humidity does not help either.
        I also think that the couple were suffering from information overload. Merlo do know there stuff, and it is in their interest to look after their clients. The Merlo shop at the Ferry Road markets does a roaring trade.
        They roast in the shop, using a fluid bed roaster. They do know a few things about coffee, and have been known to make a good brew.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A scary coffee story

          Forgetting for a moment about the idiots who buy coffee shops (and all sorts of other businesses) without any knowledge or experience, the previous post made me think about how soul-destroying it must be for the ones who know coffee and care about their product, only to find that 90% of their customers only want iced/syrup-based/supersized/bucket of slop.
          I guess it explains why so many lose the plot.
          (the Zaraffas in this neck of the woods has been pretty good to date, and likewise we have at least one good Merlo outfit - nice to have some choice)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A scary coffee story

            i have tried numerous coffee shops on the gold coast and disagree that Zarraffas cofee is at best average. The Zarraffas coffee that i have tried as late as yesterday i would say is well above average and the shop was tested at the time as the cars in the drive through were backed up and the shop was full inside and also their beans are very good a bit dear but good tasting and fresh.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A scary coffee story

              Originally posted by 686D63606568676D090 link=1334384898/5#5 date=1334440369
              i have tried numerous coffee shops on the gold coast and disagree that Zarraffas cofee is at best average. The Zarraffas coffee that i have  tried as late as yesterday i would say is well above average and the shop was tested at the time as the cars in the drive through were backed up and the shop was full inside and also their beans are very good a bit dear but good tasting and fresh.
              I agree, there are two zarrafas that I visit when Im in the area, and have been impressed almost every time. Its the only chain store Ill frequent.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A scary coffee story

                Originally posted by 3C393A3A343D2A580 link=1334384898/0#0 date=1334384898
                Now for the extra scary bit.
                Merlo staff had advised them to store beans under refrigeration.I must of given them a really strange look because it was at this point lost them. It was okay to tell them extra info and they seemed guininely thankful for it, but there was no way in the wide world I could *contradict* Merlo.
                Im sorry, but at this point you lost me as well...

                Why is it so horrible to store your beans in the fridge? :-? Were told constantly that to keep them fresh, they need to be in a cool, dry and dark environment. That sums up the fridge pretty well in my eyes. Especially in warmer climates.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A scary coffee story

                  Hi Dabbler,

                  Thank you for supporting the site sponsors such as your referral to Caffe Silipo.

                  I know that it can be frustrating listening to other people just starting out with what there suppliers tell them, but as a few others have said, it is best to listen to their supplier whether you agree or not.

                  I applaud you for trying to educate someone you felt needed help and your advice was correct, coffee is best stored in a cool, dry, dark environment and as Dennis has said a wine fridge is a great way if the heat is high. The reason for this is wine fridges have de-humidifier in them, which doesnt cause moisture.

                  Unfortunately the heat does get quite high in a lot of the shops we supply and if there is no wine fridge available a fridge can suffice.

                  To answer Laughin@fate question. The reason coffee should not be stored in fridges/freezers etc. is the fact that upon removal the beans gather moisture.

                  Natural enemies of coffee are heat, direct sunlight, water(moisture) and oxygen.

                  Try an experiment and keep 100g of coffee beans in heat(such as sun hitting it), fridge/freezer and room temp(cool dark place) and youll find out which is best, second best and of course bad!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A scary coffee story

                    Originally posted by 646661616E6269623433070 link=1334384898/8#8 date=1334532705
                    The reason for this is wine fridges have de-humidifier in them, which doesnt cause moisture.
                    Sorry, but as a wine lover, I can tell you thats totally wrong. Wine fridges are designed to keep the humidity high - at least the better quality ones are anyway. Its well known that wine needs to be stored in 70%+ humidity so as to not dry the corks out. The better wine fridges keep the humidity up around that level.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A scary coffee story

                      which is probably why they were advised to use a normal fridge. If you take it out when youre customers are in and your aircons are on, your condensation will be minimal to none. I can tell you the heat in my office at 8am in the morning during the wet season is unbearable. When I take my cold water out of the fridge, water doesnt condense on the outside (unless its a super hot day but thats because the air-con is underrated).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A scary coffee story

                        It really IS a case of using your common sense and handling your bean according to the conditions with which you have to contend.
                        Here in Central Queensland, bean simply has to be stored in a cool place otherwise it quickly goes greasy and stale. That means the fridge. My pack of bean leaves the fridge only long enough for me to get what I need for my pour (about 15 secs) and I find brown bean holds well for up to 5 weeks.
                        I recently posted a thread about storage of bean in wall-mounted cylinders in a local cafe. Close inspection revealed this fortnight-old bean was greasy and slightly stale.
                        Not too many universal rules unfortunately - we all have to work it out for ourselves.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A scary coffee story

                          I apologise for the incorrect statement in regards to the wine fridge. Just did some research on that and Bill is right on that one. They do go up to 75% Humidity for the cork reasons.

                          I have learnt something new today, and now Im having a good day.

                          The reason for my ignorance lays in the fact I was told Merlo had a purpose built Fridge of the specifications of a wine fridge for holding beans quite some time ago.

                          If anyone has confirmation on this Id love to know exactly. That is where I first learnt of this storage.

                          Obviously it lies in the fact that the temperature range is more acceptable than the outside temp. I have just had some dealings with someone that also has a fridge built like this for chocolate.

                          If anyone has any info on this type of fridge and storage. Id like to have you PM me as we are currently looking at ways to store as Rocky is right a couple of days in storage outside of the right temperature range will stale and start greasing quite quickly.

                          Thanks,

                          Richard

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A scary coffee story

                            Originally posted by 373532323D313A316760540 link=1334384898/12#12 date=1334549717
                            If anyone has any info on this type of fridge and storage. Id like to have you PM me as we are currently looking at ways to store as Rocky is right a couple of days in storage outside of the right temperature range will stale and start greasing quite quickly.
                            Im not pm-ing you because Im not the expert, and "share the knowledge" but I did work with small industrial sized dehumidifiers and airconditioners for power electronics purposes. In our case, if you let too much humid air in, big-fella inverta go bang bang, and cost little fella lotsa money and maybe his eyes and ears too...

                            There were a couple of factors that probably apply to coffee beans, depending on how anal you want to be:

                            1. temperature != humidity. Dewpoint lowers as temperature lowers, and if you keep airconditioning a sealed system with occasional humid air intakes, youll eventually raise the humidy to condesning point (100% relative humidity) even if its 2 degrees. This is where the dehumidifier comes in. (And why you get ice in a non-frost-free freezer)

                            2. speaking of air-intake, you have to limit the effect of opening the door - we used multiple doors, but you could do something like plastic curtains as well as doors, or a top-opening fridge or drawer. Youd have to maintain stock rotation though.

                            3. Keep the fridge close to the temperature of your air-conditioned room to stop condensation when you take the goods out (assuming ~22degrees is a good bean storage temp) as wherever there is a temperature difference you run the risk of condensation.

                            4. air flow - youll need internal convection if you stack it full as a chocka block fridge will cool but not effectively remove the water. Even worse, if you pack air-tight bags of browns in a humid room and then refrigerate them, youll get dew forming inside your bags (ouch!)

                            This may be as easy as a frost-free chest freezer with an add-on thermostat set to 20 degrees, not sure. Hope that helps

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A scary coffee story

                              Originally posted by 072C2929450 link=1334384898/9#9 date=1334546246
                              so as to not dry the corks out. The better wine fridges keep the humidity up around that level.
                              Ah yeah - I remember wine with corks in it - havent seen anything but screwtops for a while though. And not cheap wine either.

                              Comment

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