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Thread: Technology and Coffee

  1. #1
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    Technology and Coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Did anyone catch the Courier Mail today page 20 - Local Brisbane Coffee shop using Ipad and a REFRACTOMETER can tell if the coffee is under or over extracted. Cant help think surely there was some human intervention in actually setting this up to a specific setting to identify this. So therefore is reliant on the human factor again...may its me or man flu I have today brain not working. ;D

  2. #2
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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Not sure what you are saying there but I think they would be using mojo to go and it can be used for espresso. It is more useful for brewed coffee and is gaining acceptance in speciality coffee, James Hoffmann has blogged about it if you want to read more.

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    There is an iphone app for extract mojo to do the calculations, but you still need the extract mojo. If you want to understand brew strength, the "Everything but Espresso" by Scott Rao, sold by The Espresso School is a good start

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Hmm think my point was lost....in short we taste, view play around with over and under extraction coffees....the use of technology as highlighted all great, BUT who actually decides or programs the actual decision to call it over or under extracted.

    Maybe working in IT too long makes this funny to me I dunno - light hearted look at things - its not serious just an observation ;D

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 40505C5F5F5C4340330 link=1277269164/3#3 date=1277278727
    Hmm think my point was lost....in short we taste, view play around with over and under extraction coffees....the use of technology as highlighted all great, BUT who actually decides or programs the actual decision to call it over or under extracted. *

    Maybe working in IT too long makes this funny to me I dunno - light hearted look at things - its not serious just an observation *;D
    Reading some of the literature, you will find there are agreed guidelines on what is a recommended TDS (total dissolved solids) to get the best result for brewed coffee

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    haha this is funny....but surely it actually comes down to how it tastes in the cup right ? What one person regards as under/over maybe great to someone else - soooooo its someones recommended setting. Its like bling and guages on a machine I ve come to ignore them as its more what my tastes are that matters to me.

    Interesting though..... ;)

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    True it is down to taste but what you have is a measurable outcome that relates to taste so that you can set up variables to achieve a repeatable result (more related to brewed coffee). I suggest you go and read some more about it and make up your mind then.

    I would love to have a play with it and see if it works for me.

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 5759545B4C5A5B350 link=1277269164/6#6 date=1277280350
    True it is down to taste but what you have is a measurable outcome that relates to taste so that you can set up variables to achieve a repeatable result
    Err the PR will get a hold of this and release the next model Super Auto and the numbers will all say GREAT.

    I will go with

    Quote Originally Posted by 5759545B4C5A5B350 link=1277269164/6#6 date=1277280350
    True it is down to taste
    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by 46565A59595A4546350 link=1277269164/5#5 date=1277280041
    how it tastes in the cup right ?
    And guess what... Dont care what you taste... *It what I want / expect cause my taste buds are different..

    Some might say... But coffee A is more correct and has the right balance and is the GOD shot.. * SO.. If I dont like it that is my right... *As my pallet changes / Matures etc I may change my mind..

    In the mean time... Yep numbers help to guide some on the way... But I still like to do it as a *sensory art... *

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F6F636060637C7F0C0 link=1277269164/5#5 date=1277280041
    What one person regards as under/over maybe great to someone else
    I used to think so too. What I have learned is that our sense of taste is not as personal as many of our other senses. For example and in simple terms, what tastes sweet to me will also taste sweet to you, unless one of us has a disorder of taste. It can be more complex, as our sense of smell usually works in partnership with our sense of taste.


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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 414F424D5A4C4D230 link=1277269164/6#6 date=1277280350
    True it is down to taste but what you have is a measurable outcome that relates to taste so that you can set up variables to achieve a repeatable result (more related to brewed coffee). I suggest you go and read some more about it and make up your mind then.

    I would love to have a play with it and see if it works for me.

    100% agree with this. Say for example you play around with grind, steep time, water quantity, coffee quantity and get a great result.

    You can measure that result and repeat it with a lot more ease

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 07262D2D2A30430 link=1277269164/8#8 date=1277281954
    For example and in simple terms, what tastes sweet to me will also taste sweet to you
    I agree with what you say in principle Dennis, however there are degrees of perception, whats sweet to me may need sweetening to others, we see this constantly with tea and coffee, and preferences for sugar, milk, flavouring etc.
    Tasting coffee is very much like wine tasting, they have yet to invent a machine that can equal the human palate, sure there are scientific instruments to assist with the fermenting/brewing process but when all is said and done its down to taste, the instruments may say its the perfect drop but if it dont taste good people wont drink it. :)

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    What the technology does is allow the user to end up with a certain level of extraction, and what I have read the more people use it the more useful it becomes. It is not there to replace the end consumers view of the product but to allow the barista more control over the process so they can produce it time after time, knowledge is power.

  13. #13
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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 222C212E392F2E400 link=1277269164/11#11 date=1277289211
    What the technology does is allow the user to end up with a certain level of extraction, and what I have read the more people use it the more useful it becomes. It is not there to replace the end consumers view of the product but to allow the barista more control over the process so they can produce it time after time, knowledge is power.
    Perhaps there is a screaming need for this type of technology in cafes etc, given that most dedicated members of this forum profess to being able to produce superior coffee to most commercial establishments, I can just see em at lunch time, pulls a shot, places a drop in the spectrometer, tells customer sorry its under extracted dumps in sink, pulls another, sorry this ones over, you get the picture, ok, Im being a little cynical, but Ive a feeling it boils down to the fact that (as has been said before) some people get it and some dont. ;)

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 172B223A2F4E0 link=1277269164/12#12 date=1277291204
    I can just see em at lunch time, pulls a shot, places a drop in the spectrometer, tells customer sorry its under extracted dumps in sink, pulls another, sorry this ones over, you get the picture, ok,
    Sorry... INTJ Vs ENFP etc etc

    The "rational" (judging) functions: thinking, numbers, facts etc

    Vs

    The "irrational" (perceiving) functions: sensing, intuition, art, hindsight, foresight, insight


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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    My person opinion coming from my personal taste is that a well extracted shot from poor grade coffee (old beans, old grind, bad quality beans, etc) tastes worse then a poorly extracted shot. Kind of like looking at an ugly face in High Definition.
    If this thingy ends up in an establishment like Charbucks or GJs it may make the coffee worse.

    It also seems that this thread is becoming a bit of a black and white argument. This thing is a tool. In the wrong hands it is next to useless. In the right hands it could be a useful aid and that is all. Like a thermocouple in a roaster doesnt turn the roasting machine into a foolproof machine that any idiot can use. Put an average driver into a F1 car and see what happens.
    I like to over extract some coffees and like to under extract others.

    My cynical mind thinks that the wrong hands will buy it and right hands wont.

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C4F5D5D594F572E0 link=1277269164/14#14 date=1277333559
    My cynical mind thinks that the wrong hands will buy it and right hands wont.
    Go and read this: http://www.jimseven.com/2009/06/16/extractmojo/

    Search the rest of his blog for more information on the tool.
    Read Scott Raos new book

    I think the best point James Hoffman made was:

    "People will always dismiss tools like this as missing the point, that taste is always more important than numbers. Taste does of course win. Yes, you can create a brew that falls within the 18-22% range that is poorly/unevenly extracted and tastes bad. This is missing the point."

    Personally, I would love to use a tool that could teach me more about coffee extraction and allow me to replicate a great brew on a more consistent basis

  17. #17
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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 43646F5E52010 link=1277269164/15#15 date=1277338917
    Go and read this: http://www.jimseven.com/2009/06/16/extractmojo/
    Another $500 piece of must have equipment that will finish up on a shelf gathering dust.
    Quote Originally Posted by 43646F5E52010 link=1277269164/15#15 date=1277338917
    Read Scott Raos new book
    It would need to be a big improvement on his first, The Professional Baristas Handbook was well presented and full of information that the average person could care less about, once again full of facts and figures that mean nothing to the average person wanting to pull a shot.
    Quote Originally Posted by 43646F5E52010 link=1277269164/15#15 date=1277338917
    "People will always dismiss tools like this as missing the point, that taste is always more important than numbers.
    As well they should.
    Quote Originally Posted by 43646F5E52010 link=1277269164/15#15 date=1277338917
    Taste does of course win.
    Of course it does.
    I can see a small role for a refractometer in the very early stages of a baristas education, once the principle of extraction and TDS is grasped it back on the shelf never to be looked at again. ;)

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    I think everyone is entitled to an opinion, just find James Hoffmans (and Scott Raos) insights, opinions and thoughts to be very worthwhile based on actually using the tool and their experience and credibility.

    I am no where in their league of experience or knowledge or even ability to discern via taste and admit to a weakness for toys. I think time will tell on how the tool is accepted and used within the industry.

    Good thing about coffee is there are so many different views, opinions and paths to discovering your own preferences.

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D7A71404C1F0 link=1277269164/17#17 date=1277345791
    I think everyone is entitled to an opinion,
    I agree Ben, certainly makes for an interesting discussion. :)

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    Re: Technology and Coffee

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5655474743554D340 link=1277269164/14#14 date=1277333559
    I like to over extract some coffees and like to under extract others.
    Yes Ive pulled some S-L-O-W shots and almost sinked them only to find somehow sometimes they dont taste like you think they should or dont taste like what you watched :-/

    All good, would love to have a play the the extractmojo gear especially for brewed coffee, just a tad pricey though :o

    Chris



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