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Thread: Im losing my sense of taste...

  1. #1
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    Im losing my sense of taste...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive got a feeling that its easy as a Coffee Snob to fall into the trap described in the fable of the Emperors New Clothes.

    So, I will risk being candid about something sill and hope Im not the only one. Im looking for solutions, advice, anything:

    Problem: The coffee I have been roasting doesnt taste the same to me anymore, though my friends who buy it off me seem happy enough. However, generally Im not satisfied. Packaged coffee tastes even worse.

    I cant seem to enjoy ANY coffee I drink anymore trhe way I used to. Should I go cold turkey for a while til my sense of taste comes back?

    I do have one island of tranquility. If work takes me to European Foods, I usually snag a coffee there. Mini Mazzer paired with a Mini Vivaldi. Beans into the hopper are virtually always still fresh (sometimes too soon off the roast to taste great, IMHO). Short black really works for me.

    Apart from that, I am semi-miserable. What can be done? Does anybody else ever suffer from angry taste buds?

    Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket. Ouch.


  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    My suggestion: upgrade to a better grinder. That will improve the taste of your coffee.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E7E6E72737F761A0 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
    Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket.* Ouch.*
    Ouch indeed--but youve answered your own question.

    Greg

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Not wishing to offend and I will make a point of apologising openly beforehand, but I cant see any other way to say this....

    It seems contradictory to roast your own coffee presumably in the pursuit of better freshness and quality, and then brew it with the equipment listed in your CP and especially the "grinder". Without a real grinder, even the most basic coffee machine is unable to brew any coffee properly, and I am personally at a loss to see how you could tell the difference between any of your coffees at any time beforehand let alone after you changed from one coffee machine to another.

    My best advice therefore if budget permits, would be to immediately upgrade both the machine and grinder to a more suitable setup for your apparent requirements.

    For my money, the absolutely most basic set up of reasonable quality for the budget conscious or "starter" would be the currently available deal on Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder. A much better set up budget permitting however, would be the Classic paired to a Compak K3 Push grinder. And then if lowest possible budget wasnt an issue I would go a better machine....

    Subject to good equipment management, you then really will be able to start discerning the differences between the coffees that you roast.

    Also do not discount the idea that your palate improves with practice and starts to be able to discern more. In which case your own palate is telling you, through use, that the equipment is not cutting it....

    I can help with the equipment referred to in this post and am only a phone call or email away. The equipment we sell is imported into Australia through the correct channels and is guaranteed in Australia under Gaggia/Saeco/Philips,* and Compak arrangements, unlike machines purchased from overseas vendors which of course are guaranteed, in the country of origin of the sale.

    If we can help, please do let us know.

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323332F2E222B470 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
    The coffee I have been roasting doesnt taste the same to me anymore
    It took me a year or so on a "cheapy" thermoblock to reach that point, then another year to finally save the pennies to do something about it. My coffee quality has exploded. I can seriously tell the difference a K3T makes with an E61. Theres something about the richness and fullness of flavour that I never got with fresh beans, modified BCG450, and unpressurised basket on a thermoblock.

    Take Attilios advice seriously - I bought a 2nd hand and it wasnt calibrated, needed servicing, and caused me grief. Thats not always the case. Depends if you want to insure against that or take it as it comes.

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    I started with a VERY small float from the family and am increasing through selling roasted coffee to friends. Hence, everything is above the budget. As of yet, I havent purchased ANY of my equipment for coffee (well... six years ago I guess I bought the spice grinder off a friend... but thats it) and there isnt a budget for it yet. I reckon the best I can do is skill up while I can (I can taste the difference between my coffees just fine... more easily using a coffee plunger than pressurized basket) and as the budget allows eventually I will start getting better kit - grinder first is the impression I get from most. At the moment, my small float from the family purse is up to 15 kg of green coffee and $15 in the till.

    Doesnt the Good Book say: A man who is skilled at what he does will not go unnoticed; he will serve before kings?

  7. #7
    Senior Member dski's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3434243839353C500 link=1325692318/0#0 date=1325692318
    Ive got a feeling that its easy as a Coffee Snob to fall into the trap described in the fable of the Emperors New Clothes.
    Im not sure how this allegory about vanity applies.

    Are you suggesting that people spend a lot of money on machines but cannot taste the difference? I agree that you have answered your own question.

    Quote Originally Posted by 17223537073F223D313C34500 link=1325692318/2#2 date=1325721007
    ServingRoyalty wrote Yesterday at 2:51am:
    Okay, one of the little voices in my head is pointing out that my coffee started tasting noticeably poorer when I let the ESP4 go and starting pouring from a pressurized basket.* Ouch.


    Ouch indeed--but youve answered your own question.
    It takes time to develop a good palate, and it seems your brewing equipment has outgrown yours. Would you not agree?

    Do take Attilios advice seriously, or consider the many other budget options for making good coffee at home provided on this forum. It need not cost a fortune.

    How are your mates making coffee with the beans that you roast for them? Have you tried their end product?

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good. You quickly adjust to the improved quality just like a newly elected politician adjusts to a bigger salary.
    My reality check is to regularly have a coffee in a really good cafe so that I am reminded what others are doing.

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 162B272F3D440 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
    OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good.
    ignorance is bliss?

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 506D61697B020 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
    Reply #7 - Today at 4:58am Mark & Quote Quote
    OP does raise an interesting point however, that it doesnt take long before what used to taste great now only tastes good.
    I think this is whats happening and Im going to have to work hard to catch up with my picky palate.* re: the Emperors New Clothes, I think the core idea that got me to start the thread is that I might start ignoring my palate in favour of imagining what I was supposed to be tasting.*
    Quote Originally Posted by 506D61697B020 link=1325692318/7#7 date=1325836695
    My reality check is to regularly have a coffee in a really good cafe so that I am reminded what others are doing.
    This is what I reckon I need to do more frequently.

    Thats
    Quote Originally Posted by 6671696B020 link=1325692318/6#6 date=1325805937
    Are you suggesting that people spend a lot of money on machines but cannot taste the difference? I agree that you have answered your own question.
    Not quite the comparison I was intending, but now that you mention it, I think its more spot on than my little abstraction.

    Atilios advice is very seriously noted.* I realize I am exercising way too much delayed gratification when it comes to taking the plunge and upgrading properly.* However, I think the patience is worthwhile.* Up til now I was thinking the next grinder up for me would be the breville conical burr grinder - closer to my price range.* The Compak keeps coming up, though.* Obviously a different price range.* The MDF, on the other hand, is one that hasnt caught my attention and is in the right price range.

    Up til now, I thought the Rancilio Silva was supposed to be the bees knees.* Atilio has now pointed me to the Gaggia.* I can now review posts to try and compare the two or you guys can give your input directly.*

    I am learning about coffee on so many different levels.* Too much for one post...

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Was visiting friends the other night and had coffee (breville or sunbeam blade grinder with multiple settings - didnt look close & plunger). I thought it has been ages since I had a plunged coffee this nice and asked what kind of coffee it was, to which they replied its yours. Panama, medium roast, 4 days old.

    I sometimes remind myself that I sell my good roasts and drink the crap ones and that affects my perception, too.

    Pretty much everyone uses a coffee plunger. One guy has an espresso machine at home but Im not sure what it is. He says hes happy with my Sumatran dark, but time will tell.

    Too late to try and make sense...

    Next capital investment will probably be into roasting and not brewing, yet again. I agree that I deserve the lack of enjoyment I get out of my coffee because I wont put any money into better equipment. Not yet at any rate...

    I think Im going to cave and join all you corretto roasters soon...

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    If you enjoyed the plunger, you will absolutely love the aeropress.....superb for savouring the distinctive flavours of varieties and different levels of roasts without leaving any of the mud normally found in plungers.

    Google aeropress world championships for recipies.
    Mine is 200 grms beans and 20 ml water at 80c.

    Have just finished a super sweet ethiopian, 6 days, and the aftertaste lingers.

    Cheers

    JL

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B3E393F0E1D34353528510 link=1325692318/11#11 date=1325889724
    Mine is 200 grms beans and 20 ml water
    :o Whoa! :o

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Whoa indeed.....should read 20 grms and 200 ml water.

    Crikey!!!

    JL

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    Senior Member dski's Avatar
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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5656465A5B575E320 link=1325692318/10#10 date=1325869813
    Next capital investment will probably be into roasting and not brewing, yet again.* I agree that I deserve the lack of enjoyment I get out of my coffee because I wont put any money into better equipment.
    Surely you deserve to enjoy your home brew?

    There seems to be a lot of love for the Aeropress of late: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1215044815

    That can be got for less than $50...

    The Espropress, which functions like a plunger, gets a mention on that thread too - they are a little more expensive, but not much.

    I think you can get machine envy on this site. While the very expensive machines do make better coffee, at some point the law of diminishing returns has to apply to quality of the end product.* I know it applies to audio gear.

    Such pretty, pretty machines though!

    The good thing is that there are plenty of pointers here as to how to get good coffee on a tighter budget also.

    Im hoping to get a double boiler jobby at some point...



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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Forced to apologise again up front for getting straight to the point (ie blunt answers).....

    When I formulated my first reply to this thread, it was done on the basis of the specific mention of espresso in the question.

    I now ask, what is the point of looking to an "improved" method of roasting, while continuing with espresso brewing equipment that is substandard for this level of interest in good coffee IF espresso is considered (by you) to be important.

    If its not, then by all means continue with the french press that you already have and which will give a great result if the standard of your roasts is good and repeatable. Note however you still have to get a better grinder or you are wasting resources and time on a system that isnt up to what you say you are doing or wanting..... When you buy a *proper*, good, if low end grinder, it will open your eyes to all the characters in the coffee you never before knew existed.* It is THAT important, and therefore I go back to the above comment in this post considering what is the point of upgrading your roasting method if you cant cup the coffee properly (no matter which brewing method you employ)?

    The rest is academic because unless I have misunderstood, I am not sure what this thread is now actually asking or in which direction it is going so until a straightforward question is put on the screen, how can anyone here give a definitive reply?* :)

    I sincerely hope my opinions are helpful,
    Attilio

    PS yes I consider the silvia to be a better machine than the classic for whatever reasons but you are telling us there is no budget allocation for equipment and I advised the cheapest place to start for good coffee which in my view is the classic because it costs less than a silvia.

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    The cheapest place to start for good coffee is to visit Attilios establishment, sit and enjoy, or order online.

    Hopefully we can continue to benefit from your contributions Attilio.

    JL


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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 7575657978747D110 link=1325692318/10#10 date=1325869813
    I sometimes remind myself that I sell my good roasts and drink the crap ones
    Why bother if you cant enjoy a good cup of your own coffee??

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A7E697F64534F636A6A69690C0 link=1325692318/15#15 date=1325897003
    I am not sure what this thread is now actually asking or in which direction it is going so until a straightforward question is put on the screen, how can anyone here give a definitive reply?* :)
    The answer to the original question is two flavours of no.* The first is that the up(down-)grade to a double-walled basket has destroyed my espresso-making ability.

    The second no involves my tongue having become dissatisfied - most likely - with my grinding capacity.* For a newb like me, this empirical evidence that grinders matter is helpful.* I admit that I thought the grinder fuss was over-done, but now I find myself converted.

    What is this thread about now?* Lots fvrom a circular perspective.* Less from a linear perspective.

    Why do I keep trying to roast better when I cant taste it now?* Because I will be able to taste it one day on better equipment.* I am merely improving along the path of least resistance.

    Do my friends enjoy my coffee more than I do?* Seems that way, so I will enjoy vicariously.

    Attilio, apology or no apology your input to this thread is pure gold.* Others, I have appreciated your input as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A7E697F64534F636A6A69690C0 link=1325692318/15#15 date=1325897003
    PS yes I consider the silvia to be a better machine than the classic for whatever reasons but you are telling us there is no budget allocation for equipment and I advised the cheapest place to start for good coffee which in my view is the classic because it costs less than a silvia.
    [/QUOTE]

    Attilio: gold.* Clear advice from a reputable source to help someone make sense out of all the hype and reviews.*

    David

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    I have repaired another hand-me-down. Its not a big step up - not the MDF - but the Breville CG12 is a burr grinder, not a pulveriser. Noisy and messy. But: If it makes me happy, it cant be that bad.

    Tasted good out of the plunger and ok out of the EM3500. I am informed the CG12 has a limited capacity to grind finely enough for espresso (somebody posted a comparison here) hence the shot ran through way too fast - maybe thats not a bad thing until I find a hacksaw thats not dull for the filter basket.

    Obviously this post is more appropriate for the Grinders section but I thought it might give some relief here (I am sure that some of you are smacking your fore-heads that I have traded an awful grinder in for a slightly less bad one) to those who have been advising me and wondering what I am on about.

    Ill give last nights roast a few days to settle and then run a blind taste test of CG2B vs. CG12.

    Probably not a match the seasoned CSers would care to watch, but for all us new guys out there who have to go through our paces, I hope it is a helpful progression. Results will be posted int he Grinders section.

    David

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    What are you roasting with? If its literally a 3L metal drum on a gas stove then im sorry to say that you will pretty much be on your own for roasting research because nobody will have a similar setup to you. With the corretto+heatgun roasters there are alot more of them on this forum so they can share their temperatures and what they look for in their roast. Whereas to my eyes drum roasters are alot less fastidious in recording their roast and theres less of them to discuss results with.


    If your tongue gets tired of coffee i reccommend waiting a few days for the beans to age a bit and trying it again in a drip or plunger. Sometimes you will get something completely unexpected from a bad roast.

    Oh and pickup a sock dripper from la sorrentina and a Vietnamese coffee pot from cuppacoffee, BEST <$10 dollar investments in coffee and they shit on the aeropress. I have all of them and a good sock or viet pot coffee is worlds ahead of the best stuff i have gotten from the aeropress.

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    Re: Im losing my sense of taste...

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D396F7C090 link=1325692318/20#20 date=1326076362
    im sorry to say that you will pretty much be on your own for roasting research because nobody will have a similar setup to you.
    Ive observed some popper posters trying to compare results and roasting times to the corretto roasters.*

    While there are so many things different between different roasting methods, the changes in the beans are similar, as well as the chemistry of those changes, irrespective of external factors of roasting method.*

    As best as I can tell from this forum and the couple friends I now have who roast professionally, different methods give the roaster a different angle on those elements of chemistry.

    If by roasting research you mean strictly imitation, then its true:* I wont be able to imitate a corretto roasters roasting profile.*

    On the other hand, I can (and do!) read posts and learn about the chemistry and patterns in coffee roasting and apply those in my own roasting setup.* Coffeesnobs has been immeasurably helpful to me.*

    All roads dont lead to Rome. Ive learned that with the microwave roasting experiment. However, I suspect lots of them do, when it comes to different peoples journeys to roasting great coffee.

    Apart from roasting advice, Ive also had tremendous input about other coffee equipment.* Your advice about the sock and the Vietnamese coffee pot are no exceptions and I will be looking into them.* Capital investment under $10 doesnt usually attract negative attention from the Mrs. (As does talking about buying an MDF grinder - or a Rancilio Silva for that matter).

    Thank you!* Keep the input coming.* None of it is wasted!
    David





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