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  • Freshness vs grind

    Greetings Coffee Snobs!
    Here's a question - what do you think matters more, Freshness or grind?
    We have a (cheap) plunger and a (cheap) stovetop machine, and we’re going to either repair or replace our (cheap) espresso machine. And of course, we normally only buy cheap supermarket coffee.

    Yes, I know that’s a sin around these parts and you’re probably going to ban me from ever returning :P
    It’s a simple matter of economics.
    At the moment I only have a blade ‘grinder’. Useless I know – and I know that buying pre-ground coffee is a pretty ordinary way to go as well as it won’t match the extraction method.
    So basically am I correct in saying that given my current (cheap) approach to purchasing stale coffee coffee, a burr grinder should still see a noticeable improvement to my highly untrained palette?
    I guess it’s a bit of a question as to whether the lack of a grinder or the supermarket shelf coffee is the biggest weakness here :P

  • #2
    If you're not going to buy a grinder, forget repairing or replacing the espresso machine. Spend the money instead on a low end burr grinder and continue to use the plunger with some decent coffee and you'll be miles ahead of what you're doing now or what you could ever achieve with an espresso machine and no grinder

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
      Here's a question - what do you think matters more, Freshness or grind?
      Both! Fresh quality beans are of no use without a decent grinder and vice versa.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Yelta View Post
        Both! Fresh quality beans are of no use without a decent grinder and vice versa.
        +1.. couldn't agree more

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        • #5
          Thanks guys, just as I figured. At the moment I don’t even like plunger coffee, but the wrong grind + stale beans….well, currently I’m on pods and really keen to get back to ‘coffee’. (pods are so bad I’m using them purely for caffeine, not ‘coffee’, if that makes sense!)

          Grinders seem to start at about $150 or so for a burr grinder, but from what I gather the Breville Smart Grinder Pro seems to be a good place to start

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          • #6
            If you really want to save money on coffee, the best thing you can do is home roast. We use around a kilo a week at home, so a years worth of savings from home roasting has paid for our big conical grinder and it's a fun hobby as well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
              Thanks guys, just as I figured. At the moment I don’t even like plunger coffee, but the wrong grind + stale beans….well, currently I’m on pods and really keen to get back to ‘coffee’. (pods are so bad I’m using them purely for caffeine, not ‘coffee’, if that makes sense!)

              Grinders seem to start at about $150 or so for a burr grinder, but from what I gather the Breville Smart Grinder Pro seems to be a good place to start
              Unless you are drinking copious amounts of coffee, a manual burr grinder will give you great results for very little expense. Combine that with good beans (not supermarket) and you won't recognise what you can get from cheap brewing methods.

              Greg

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              • #8
                Cool. Well I'm sold, just ordered a Smart Grinder Pro

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
                  Cool. Well I'm sold, just ordered a Smart Grinder Pro
                  As well as some quality beans I trust.

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                  • #10
                    Nah, no need. There's some beans in the cupboard. Says the best before date was June 2015, but hey, I haven't opened them. I'm sure they'll be fine

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CapnGusBloodbeard View Post
                      Nah, no need. There's some beans in the cupboard. Says the best before date was June 2015, but hey, I haven't opened them. I'm sure they'll be fine
                      Well you did store them in a cool dark place and presumably in a bag with a one-way valve. I reckon all will be good. Expiry dates are just a recommendation, of course.

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                      • #12
                        Well, either way they won't be any worse than pods or plunger with espresso grind (coffee generally shouldn't be crunchy........)

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                        • #13
                          Well, let's see. It's July 2016 now, best before date is June 2015, bought from a supermarket so roast date can't be more than 1year prior to that surely, so maybe only 2 years old. ������
                          Last edited by Brewster; 21 July 2016, 05:27 PM. Reason: Wrong quote

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                          • #14
                            I think these should be regarded as matured beans; they've been carefully set aside and stored to allow for subtle flavours to become more distinct. They've taken on some of the aromatic characteristics of the storage environment. I present to you, Mélange de Café, HP Sauce.

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                            • #15
                              Haha, awesome.
                              Well, I set the grinder up last night. Espresso machine still needs a bit of work to get running again, but so far it’s probably about the best plunger coffee I’ve had – and that was just using store bought Vittoria beans!

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