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When a 250g bag of beans doesn't contain 250g of beans

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  • When a 250g bag of beans doesn't contain 250g of beans

    So last night I picked up 250g of decaf beans from a cafe on Northcote High st. (a very good cafe with lots of SOs, with beans from a local roaster) and I'm stunned that they charged $19. (Their other beans, including COE, are all normal Melbourne quality-roaster prices)

    So when we got home I was looking at the package for a reason for the price when I start to think it feels light, so I decided to weigh the bag and it was just 249g, including the bag. I then weighed the beans and they were only 237g!

    I looked up the relevant weights and measures laws, to see what the latest legal position is. To my complete surprise, a bag marked 250g can have as little as 232g of beans and be legal!

    It's not quite as much of a rip off as that, under one of two allowable schemes, when a sample of bags is checked they need to average 250g, with no bags below 232g, so overall consumers aren't being ripped off. But geez, I bought a 250g bag of beans and it only had 237g in it, so I'm hacked off.

    I'll be letting the roaster and cafe know later today that I'm not impressed with their weighing abilities.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jonathon View Post
    So when we got home I was looking at the package for a reason for the price when I start to think it feels light, so I decided to weigh the bag and it was just 249g, including the bag. I then weighed the beans and they were only 237g!
    Wow- pretty poor form. The right (honest) thing to do is to zero the bag before filling it.

    We only do 500g bags but they will always contain 510-520g beans.

    You're welcome to pop in to us Jonathan. You will get 500g of one of our blends for what you paid yesterday.

    Chris

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    • #3
      This is my biggest fear when packing coffee, so I always go 2-5g over just to be sure. Also, someone's scales might be a bit off.. who knows?

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      • #4
        For the sake of that roaster you would hope thats a one off. If by chance it wasn't, word on something like that could spread very quickly. You should take them back and tell them to see what their response is. You would hope they are very sorry but glad you told them. You could end up with a free bag of coffee.

        But yes poor form for sure.

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        • #5
          Hmmm that's pretty ordinary form, maybe it was an accident, it would be interesting to see if it is standard practice for them to do that, not that you would want to shell out $ again for an under dosed bag. I have occasionally weighed bags of beans I've bought from various roasters about the place & like talk coffee & reedburg above I have found they generally are 5-20g over the stated weight. Anyway feedback is good.....

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          • #6
            It would be poor if it had been done on purpose. Otherwise it could be a mistake....or nothing (keep reading please).

            It will be best if you havent opened the packet yet, and take it back.

            Note there *could* be a difference in what your scale reads, to what theirs read. Business has to use scales that are "trade certified".

            In the old days when trade had (accurate) electronic scales but households only had machanical dial scales and it was easier to explain and or prove (which was correct).

            These days with everyone having access to electronic scales, everyone (incl traders) forget that they are not all tared properly and can fluctuate.

            2 weeks ago I checked two new electronic kitchen scales (weighing in 1 gram increments) , side by side, with the same wieght, They did not read the same as eachother, and they are not trade certified or tared by "weights and measures" at required intervals, by govt inspectors, as ours are....

            That is not to say that your bag isnt light on....just that there is always more to this than meets the eye at first.


            Take it back for them to check and see. Either way if it were me, I would give you another bag in addition to the one you paid for. It's good will, and it also gives them a heads up to check what they are doing in the back room.

            Oh and for the record, we also tare the packet BEFORE filling, we check weigh ramdom samples, and we keep a close eye on the speed of the packing machine (too fast and it will over weigh which then is no good for us....fair is fair). You can set both speed as well as accuracy...if you set too much accuracy, your speed goes to the pot, and there is a happy medium that gives accuracy in weighing and good speed of packing.

            Did someone say $19.00 per 250 grams.....??????????????????????

            Farrrr ouT. Gold plated beans?

            We picked up a packet of coffee in a major capital city last week. It had all the usual BS written on it to make you think they are doing you a favour by letting you buy it......and its a Certified "Research Facility" if that means anything to you. And at the bottom of it all it says....Established 2012.

            This is the sort of stuff that should really be worrying people.

            Attilio
            very first CS site sponsor.

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            • #7
              I think if I was paying nearly $80 a kilo I would want the full 250 grams. But then if I was selling at $80 a kilo I wouldn't want to give to much away either. Just thought I'd weigh in there.

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              • #8
                That's amazing you can perceive a 13 gram variation in the hand. You are Human Scales. Libra?
                Clearly it was weighed "in the bag", possibly in a hurry, possibly by an inexperienced casual or a rogue anti-decaf activist.
                249 grams vs 250 grams; that's just scales variation.

                13 grams under...that's one shot. They shouldn't do it but really, why sweat the small stuff?

                -PW

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                • #9
                  Weighing the bag and beans together rather than weighing the beans then pouring them into the bag is the reason one retailer lost my business.

                  To add insult to injury they were always on the light side of the weight tolerance, without fail.

                  I should thank them though as this was a large part of the reason I decided to start home roasting.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee View Post
                    And at the bottom of it all it says....Established 2012.

                    This is the sort of stuff that should really be worrying people.

                    Attilio
                    very first CS site sponsor.
                    Hey Attilio! I established my business last year, doesn't mean anything other than that is when I was capable of affording to start it, granted I don't have a certified research facility.. maybe that's where I am going wrong! (I know that's not what you are saying )

                    I have a tip for anyone who wonders about exact weight. Go to any post office and ask them to weigh your bag, tell them you want to know how much it will cost to post it locally, their scales are accurate and are tested (and calibrated if need be) once a year.

                    As a side note, my $15 kitchen scales show 105gm where my business scales (that I know are accurate) show 100gm, which means that there is between 98 and 102gms but certainly not 105gm. Just tested this now.

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                    • #11
                      When a 250g bag of beans doesn't contain 250g of beans

                      Interesting replies guys.

                      My scales are definitely accurate to <1g, I test them regularly with weights.

                      Despite the $19 price, I'm more bemused than annoyed - the decaf is for my wife and she normally doesn't get through the full 250g within a week or two before we get a new bag, so we're not really missing out.

                      Chris - no doubting the quality of your beans, I loved the Shed Shandy I got from you a while back, just hard to get to you in office hours.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pwp View Post
                        ..

                        13 grams under...that's one shot. They shouldn't do it but really, why sweat the small stuff?

                        -PW
                        So at what point is it worth worrying about being short changed? 20g? 25g?

                        I'd take it back or at least tell them about it.

                        The 250g coffee bags I use average 13g in weight when empty on non certified scales, so the minimum that goes into my bags is 263g. As I do these by hand (upwards of 4 bags a week in 'sales'!) I find it easier not to tare once the bag is on the scales.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fatboy_1999 View Post
                          So at what point is it worth worrying about being short changed?.....

                          I'd take it back or at least tell them about it.....
                          Too right.

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                          • #14
                            When a 250g bag of beans doesn't contain 250g of beans

                            I wrote to the cafe last night explaining the issue. They replied within an hour or two, on a Saturday night, apologizing and offering to send me a free bag from their next roast run.

                            Perfect customer service. Mistakes happen to everyone, it's all about how you handle the customer and these guys did it perfectly.

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                            • #15
                              Good result, a positive for both parties....
                              You get a free bag of coffee and they see the error and can work to rectify it so it doesn't happen in the future.

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