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Buying pre-ground

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  • Buying pre-ground

    Hi all,

    Been a long-time lurker, but this is my first post.

    Im after some advice on buying pre-ground coffee. Hate the store-bought. Too coarse, and too old. Ive been buying from Caesars at Erina (Central Coast NSW), but, although its fresh and they grind it well, Ive come to the conclusion that its just not to my taste.

    So I want to try something else.

    1) No supermarket pre-ground.
    2) I dont wanna have to buy a grinder - so it has to be pre-ground.
    3) Being on the Central Coast, I have to have it delivered.
    4) I like it rich and strong. When I go out (even in Sydney) I order double-strength lattes. Its a rare occasion that I get something nice (to my taste).
    5) Having said that, the best coffees I remember having in the city were from pretty mainstream looking places. And two of them were working with Vittoria coffee. (I suspect they must get it fresher than the supermarkets?)

    My machine is a Spidem Trevi Plus. Entry level, I know, but does a better job than the Breville-types, I believe. It puts out a rich, dark result, with a nice tall head of dense crema.

    If all else fails, Ill invest in a good machine and grinder, but I really dont wanna spend that much money before exhausting all options. As the Caesars blend is the only freshly ground stuff Ive tried, Id like to see if theres something else out there to my taste.

    Any advice gratefully accepted.



  • #2
    Re: Buying pre-ground

    Hi Glenn, the problem with pre-ground beans is that it loses its freshness rapidly. Even if you purchased a cheap Sunbeam EM450 for around 130-150$ you would get far better and fresher, tastier shots than pre-ground.
    Once you pull some good shots you will realise how bad the pre-ground stuff was, think about getting a grinder, its the way to go!!!
    Good luck ................cheers


    • #3
      Re: Buying pre-ground


      Welcome to CS!

      As Trevor said above..... you really need to get yourself a grinder....

      The flavour changes considerably within minutes of grinding - so unless you live next to the roaster (or where you are getting your coffee ground) and use it all as soon as you get it home.... it will stale before you use it - very stale!!

      The freshness of the beans and especially the ground coffee is far more important than the machine... so get yourself a burr (not a blade) grinder, freshly roasted beans and the whole world of great tasting coffee will open up to you.


      • #4
        Re: Buying pre-ground

        You said if all else fails youll "invest in a good machine and grinder".
        Its failed already!

        But no need to get a machine yet.
        Buy a grinder first and youll benefit enormously.

        Ive taken a grinder to work for use with a Sunbeam 6910.

        Now that my grinder is there, so many people have started using the machine that just the other day I couldnt get near it to make myself a coffee because the line was so long.

        I may have to consider locking the grinder in my drawer.


        • #5
          Re: Buying pre-ground

          I fully agree with the above, get a grinder but to answer your inital question with a business plug...

          We grind beans to order and deliver.


          • #6
            Re: Buying pre-ground

            Thanks guys. I have absolutely no doubt youre right about the freshness. But theres one other thing I should have included: even when the grind is absolutely new (i.e. I make a coffee the day I get a fresh batch, which is ground as I stand there, when it is freshly roasted), I still dont like the taste...


            • #7
              Re: Buying pre-ground

              That part was understood dw.

              For that problem youll have to shop around to find fresh beans that do appeal to you.

              Why not get yourself a grinder then try CS sample pack?
              That will give you 4 different ones to try for a start.

              Alternatively start looking for another local roaster.


              • #8
                Re: Buying pre-ground

                Originally posted by Thundergod link=1203051064/0#6 date=1203126797

                Alternatively start looking for another local roaster.
                Yeah, not sure there is one though (except me of course ). Caesar does have a bit of a range though, have you tried them all?

                A grinder is definately the way to go. Even buying freshly ground coffee, itll be stale by the time you get home.


                • #9
                  Re: Buying pre-ground

                  Thanks for all your help guys. I ended up buying some online here. Cant wait for it to arrive!



                  • #10
                    Re: Buying pre-ground

                    There used to be a lovely little shop just down the road from work that made great coffee.
                    He used to grind up batches of coffee throughout the day, depending on sales.
                    We would go down for a morning drink just as he was opening up, and that first coffee from the fresh grind was the best we could get. Even the second cup wasnt as nice.
                    Buy a grinder and some fresh beans!


                    • #11
                      Re: Buying pre-ground

                      Just received my ground CoffeeSnobs coffee. Very fast! Thank you!!!

                      Unfortunately, I dont have any milk in the house, right at the moment, so I havent been able to test it. :-/

                      Re buying a grinder, Ill definitely do it if I have to. But I think I have other paths to test first. Im sure youre right, but it may be that Im not that discerning... In either case, when Im doing coffees for myself and my wife, Im also making brekky for the kids (who are 1.5 & 3.5 yrs), and all the associated craziness that kids bring. While Id usually relish the prospect of introducing another step to the coffee process, its already busy enough. As is our kitchen bench. So unfortunately my real-life situation is not too conducive to grinders at the moment. Its definitely a last resort. (Mind you, I wouldnt be too disappointed if I ended up going that way... )



                      • #12
                        Re: Buying pre-ground

                        Originally posted by divinewrite link=1203051064/0#10 date=1203377000
                        In either case, when Im doing coffees for myself and my wife, Im also making brekky for the kids (who are 1.5 & 3.5 yrs), and all the associated craziness that kids bring. While Id usually relish the prospect of introducing another step to the coffee process, its already busy enough. As is our kitchen bench. So unfortunately my real-life situation is not too conducive to grinders at the moment. Its definitely a last resort. (Mind you, I wouldnt be too disappointed if I ended up going that way... )

                        I feel your pain Glenn(and your joy ) ,. it is absolute madness in the mornings here too,.. I have three kids that Im also making breakfast for as well as giving instructions to, on where to find lost shoes,. ties,.homework etc... utter chaos I tellya. The last thing I needed was to be spending time in that chaos stuffing around with grinding,.dosing, tamping, heating extracting and frothing aaaaaargh,.. last year I thought there was no way I could add one more thing to my already hectic life with these kids or I would implode (you sound like you know exactly what I mean here!!),..but you know what?.. Im doing it all and more in the mornings this year and its a breeze now (even have time for me to relax for a short bit and enjoy some real nice coffee )after doing it every week morning for a month now. You just need to get into a nice but very organised routine and youll be doing it all seemingly without much more effort and soon without even thinking.

                        At the beginning of the school year I trialed a new breakfast routine which is working very well and Im keeping it  . At least there is less squabbling and madness and 15mins of relative peace while the kids wake up nicely as they dine(youll know what I mean by the time yours are pre-teens).  

                        With my eyes still half closed at 6:50, I stumble downstairs and go straight to the coffee machine and turn it on, then wake each child, turning their lights half on (they know this is their first call and they have about 10 more mins). I then go get all the breakfast foods, milk juice, glasses, plates, bowls, spoons, knives and coffee/choc making stuff out of the pantry and fridge and arrange breakfast stuff in the middle of the kitchen bench for them to be able to reach without moving from their seats  . I deliberately make a bit of noise too while Im at it . I make three frothy hot chocolates complete with marshmallows and put at their places at the bench. Pop muffins in toaster as I go to give the kids their second and final call turning their lights fully on. Not "its time to get up for school" cos thats not very appealing to them it seems, and they bury their heads under the covers when I say that... but "your breakfast & hot choc is ready for you".  I toss the cooked muffins and/or toast on a big plate in the middle and they stumble out to their seats.  They sit and sip hot choc and poke marshmallows for a few minutes,. then slowly butter their muffins/toast and make their cereals while sitting there. By this time,.. I have woken up properly(Im not a morning person),..its all quiet,.. peace.. arrrr.... its then that Im able to measure a little scoop of beans to throw into the grinder,..few seconds later I have fresh ground straight into my portafilter,. a few quick tamps and pour two shots as I froth enough milk for both cups. I leave the kids to eat and go sit at the computer for the next 10-15mins and enjoy one cup,..then the other. By the time Im finished,.. the kids are finished and heading off satisfied to get showers and dressed(and not cranky & arguing all the time like last year) and I can clean it all up at once while I give instructions to the kids about lost items etc. Then its a quick shower for me and all out the door by 8:15.

                        Last year we were all over the place,.. kids getting their breakfasts at different times, me cleaning up mess after mess,.or them clashing and trying to get their breakfast at same times some mornings and fighting cos theyre tired and cranky and not wanting to start another school day. Me not having time for me in the mornings, or for coffee(instant back then urgh) and me being angry because of it all.  Im never going there again, it is bliss now by comparison and Im really enjoying the mornings,.... OMG..who said that?

                        Yep,.. treat yourself to a grinder,.. work out a regular measure of beans that will give you just enough grind for your portafilter  (Im using a spare double basket, but often estimate by hand now that I know what that much looks like in the hopper). This step will take you just a few more seconds and soooh worth the trouble.