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Thread: What is blonding ?

  1. #1
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    What is blonding ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,
    As a new member i keep reading about "blonding" and i dont know what it is, apart from my wifes hair.
    Would somebody explain it to me please.

  2. #2
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Hey, Blonding is when you pull a shot and towards the end the colour becomes lighter and eventually clear water(only if you decide to keep going for a long time)

    Probably not a good definition.

  3. #3
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Hi, dennisl :)

    One way to gauge how long to pour your shot is to time it - 25 or 30 seconds in most cases. This works when your equipment, grind etc is set up correctly for the beans you are using. Another way is to watch the stream of coffee and finish the shot as soon as the stream starts to lighten in colour, or "blonde".

    Ideally your shot will start to blonde after 25 to 30 seconds :)

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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Ah Ha,
    thanks for that, now i know. My shots are only taking about 15 secs no matter how fine i grind, or how hard i tamp. I am using lavazza beans through a rocky grinder set to 10. I am getting reasonable creama but not as good as i would like, sometimes it blondes and sometimes it looks like dark caramel, any ideas please?

  5. #5
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    LaVazza beans will "blond" very early because they are imported from Italy and by the time that they get here they are stale. The time frame for coffee to make decent espresso is probably in the order of a week or two out of the roaster ... so its impossible for coffee shipped from italy to be sufficiently fresh. The solution to your problems is probably to buy some freshly roasted coffee. A good exercise would be to keep some of the freshly roasted stuff for a month, then use it and see how it behaves.

    Its usually best to stop your shots before they blonde, rather than being overly dogmatic about time. I have noticed that it is often best to cut my shots off short at 22 seconds or so at home because blonding is sudden and quite apparent, whereas the colour change is so gradual at work that I could probably get 35 second/40mL extractions that tasted good if I wanted.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  6. #6
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    thanks luca,
    is there anywhere in the eastern suburbs of melbourne around ringwood,that i can get good quality fresh beans.
    Regards

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Hi dennisl,

    Theres a really great explanation of the process here... http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-skills.html on Home Barista along with a quite useful colour/time chart. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisl link=1154656251/0#5 date=1154670718
    thanks luca,
    is there anywhere in the eastern suburbs of melbourne around ringwood,that i can get good quality fresh beans.
    Regards
    Considering this is my neck of the woods Ill do my best to answer. *The only place I know of is Yarra Coffee in Lilydale. *I picked some beans from them once. *I think Dr Java on Smith Street use their beans.

    You may want to shop online instead.

  9. #9
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewG link=1154656251/0#7 date=1154683792

    Considering this is my neck of the woods Ill do my best to answer. *The only place I know of is Yarra Coffee in Lilydale. *I picked some beans from them once. *I think Dr Java on Smith Street use their beans.

    You may want to shop online instead.
    Not sure about Dr Java, but Solera, a takeaway shop up near Johnson st use yarra.

  10. #10
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Thanks Mal for the site recomendation,great help. I should become an expert shortly ????

  11. #11
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisl link=1154656251/0#9 date=1155102552
    Thanks Mal for the site recomendation,great help. I should become an expert shortly ????
    Hi again dennisl,

    We all certainly aspire to become as "expert" as we can ;D, but I dont know about the "shortly" part ;). All the best mate,

    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    trying hard though (must be worth a few points?)

  13. #13
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Blonding is the point at which the soluables (numerous compounds relating to flavouroids & aromatics) being released from the coffee grinds have diminished - i.e. once the available soluables have been captured by the water passing through the puck during extraction, further extraction (during blonding) no longer contrinbutes to desirable compounds being transferred into the cup.

  14. #14
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisl link=1154656251/0#3 date=1154667525
    Ah Ha,
    thanks for that, now i know. My shots are only taking about 15 secs no matter how fine i grind, or how hard i tamp. I am using lavazza beans through a rocky grinder set to 10. I am getting reasonable creama but not as good as i would like, sometimes it blondes and sometimes it looks like dark caramel, any ideas please?
    Are you saying that blonding occurs only 15 seconds into the pour OR, that you are pulling an entire espresso in 15 seconds. If it is the former then yeah, get some fresh roasted coffee.

    If it is the latter:
    If you keep grinding finer, you should reach a point where the water pressure developed ( as regulated) in the machine is not enough to push water through the puck ( assuming all other variables are correct).

    If you keep grinding finer & still get a gush of coffee out in 15 seconds, then it sounds like you are underfilling the filter. This single problem will wreck all attempts at making good brew no matter how good the coffee beans are, or arent, and is the primary rule of all espresso making...fill the filter to correct level.

    When it isnt filled to the correct level, the effect in the cup is wrong, and it sends people off on wild goose chases such as adjusting the grinds finer to try & slow the pour. That invariably leads to poor quality brew anyway even when slowed up to within "spec" because the brew has then been made with underdosed grinds that were ground too fine just to slow up the pour. This makes thin brew with no body & bad flavour, that some then proceed to blame on their coffee brand instead of on the operator of the machine.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.

    [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif] Great info FC,
    Mal.

  15. #15
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    One way to delay the onset of blonding until well into the pour is to pack the puck tighter.

    Lightly-packed or coarsely-packed baskets will blond from the beginning of the pour.

    A very tightly packed basket with very finely grouund coffee will emerge initially as almost a brunette, then change into a near redhead. It too will blond when all the goodness has been extracted. But by then, youll have stopped the pour.

    Robusto

  16. #16
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    Re: What is blonding ?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    WOW, what a response,for all interested i am now grinding a little finer(9 on the rocky) filling the filter with a bit more, and tamping about the same as i have always done, AND getting a great looking shot that doesnt taste tooo bad either.
    Thanks all.
    What a great site!!!!



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