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Thread: Suggestions for plunger?

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for plunger?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Its just about time to order in a new batch of coffee (pre-ground unfortunately) and its also about time I expanded my range. I usually buy from either here, Sevenseeds or The Coffee Barun and figured I should try a few other coffees for a change.

    Im not going to list any particular preferences, other than being for a plunger, because Id like to try a variety of things to expand my palate.

    Im slightly concern that this is not the right section for this post...

  2. #2
    brett230873
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Suggestions for a Plunger? Budget for a grinder and a Popcorn maker. One of the Sunbeam grinders will last you years and do a very good job... especially for plunger coffee. Then with the popcorn machine you will save approximately 3/4 the cost on beans, and the beans that you enjoy from the specialty retailers wont stale as quickly either.

    <-------- Site Sponsors can help you source the right gear and at surprising low prices coming into Christmas.

    Having said all of this I am a big fan of Merlo Riviera in a Plunger.

  3. #3
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    African and Central American coffees are normally nice in Plungers. A few of my favourites are Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Limu, Kenyan, Costa Rican and Panama. If you dont like sharp/bright coffees, then try some Indonesian coffees. Try to look for beans that are specially roasted for plunger/filter, as normal espresso roast tend to have a lot of "roast flavour" and will deminish the delicate flavours.

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Ive been doing lighter roasts of Tanzanian Tunduru and has been most enjoyable as a pourover/plunger ;)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    MY favourite SO to use in a plunger is Kenyan peaberry pulled right after 1st crack.

    Having said that...i havnt used my plunger for a few months so i think ill dust it off and go roast something light to use in it :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    The sunbeam grinders are good for home espresso, but i have found them to produce a consistantly muddy plunger, perhaps due to the uneven distribution and shape of fines. Better than no ginder at all though. Ethiopian harrar oramia co-op was my favorite plunger for 2009.

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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A564559564444370 link=1260218231/5#5 date=1263013476
    Re: Suggestions for plunger?
    Reply #5 - Today at 16:04 Mark & Quote Quote
    The sunbeam grinders are good for home espresso, but i have found them to produce a consistantly muddy plunger, perhaps due to the uneven distribution and shape of fines. Better than no ginder at all though. Ethiopian harrar oramia co-op was my favorite plunger for 2009.
    Conical grinders are generally not very good for Plunger/filter as they produce too much fines. Best to use a flat burr grinder for that purpose, a Rancilio Rocky should solve that problem. Thats why most of the retail/deli grinders are flat burrs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F2C2E22232028243E39283F4D0 link=1260218231/6#6 date=1263016476
    Conical grinders are generally not very good for Plunger/filter as they produce too much fines. Best to use a flat burr grinder for that purpose, a Rancilio Rocky should solve that problem. Thats why most of the retail/deli grinders are flat burrs
    I agree but can be solved with a paper filter if it doesnt have to be plunger, or use an aeropress. I use a sunbeam for pourover even with both swiss gold methods and yes there are some fines but nothing nasty.

    Bit OT sorry :-/ but some would argue an aeropress is a plunger ;)

    Enjoy !

  9. #9
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Best ive used in plunger by a long shot would have to be Nicaraguan, couldnt get enough of it in my early plunger days, works particularly well light to mid roasted (for me anyway)

    Also found PNG to be quite nice as well

  10. #10
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    What you should try depends on what you like. The USA and a few european countries tend to be the most active in talking about specialty brewed coffee and, so, whats talked up as good for plunger online will tend to reflect the preference in those countries. Seeing as they have always had a filter coffee culture, the coffees that are regarded as best tend to be sweet, clean coffees with a fair bit of acidity. The stereotypical filter coffee for these countries is a roast of a lighter level seldom seen on the Australian market. This roast level preserves the acidity, sweetness and aromatics of the coffee, but it might be at the cost of developing body. With our espresso background, Australians tend to like coffee with a lot of body and low acidity. The slightly darker roasts that this requires dull the aroma of the coffee as well as the acidity. Of course, all of those are generalisations. Taste preference is very individual. And some coffees let you have your cake and eat it too; they either have so much body that you can roast them light to preserve aroma and still get good body or they are so aromatic that you can roast them darker to bring out more body and still have good aroma. No surprise that these coffees tend to be more expensive! If youre trying different plunger coffees, it would be good to focus on body and acidity to try to work out where your preferences lie. (Incidentally, this roast level tradeoff is a powerful argument for blending!)

    With all of that behind us, Ill list a few typical traits that you should look for. Bear in mind, though, that these are very much just what coffee industry people have in mind as a typical coffee from that country. As communication makes the world a smaller and smaller place, we are starting to see more and more producers experimenting with different processing techniques. Consequently, we are starting to see more and more very good coffees that do not fit the typical generalisation from that country.

    BRAZIL
    (commonly dry processed mundo novo, cattura, catuai and bourbon cultivars)
    Flavour: low acid, high body, can be salty/lacking in sweetness
    Aroma: peanut, can get some ferment

    COLOMBIA
    (commonly wet processed typica cultivar)
    Flavour: mid to high acidity, mid body
    Aroma: milk chocolate (good colombians can have a nice hint of tomato/coffee pulp to them)

    ETHIOPIA - YIRGACHEFFE REGION
    (commonly wet processed heirloom varietals)
    Flavour: high acidity, low body
    Aroma: black tea, bergamot, lemon

    ETHIOPIA - HARRAR REGION
    (commonly natural processed heirloom varietals)
    Flavour: mid to low acidity, mid body
    Aroma: ferment (the vast majority of harrars that I have tried are fermented to an extent that would commonly be considered defective in the industry; think of the smell of garbage water; that said, some people love it)

    KENYA
    (commonly Kenyas version of wet processing, applied to SL-28, SL-34 and bourbon derivative varietals)
    Flavour: high acidity, low to mid or mid high body
    Aroma: raspberry, blackcurrant, tomato, wine (occasionally you get a hint of leather, which I really enjoy as part of the experience)

    SUMATRA
    (commonly wet hulled, various varietals such such as typica ... but indonesias typica ... ask Tony Marsh!)
    Flavour: low acidity, high body
    Aroma: earthy, rubbery (can be slightly defective)

    (BTW; I used flavour and aroma to distinguish what you can perceive with your nose blocked.)

    Off the top of my head, thats probably where Id start - Im sure someone will chime in if I have missed something obvious.

    As I said before, though, just because you buy a coffee from an origin it might not match with the above stereotype. For example, if you buy a Brazilian coffee from a great specialty roaster, you might find that you dont get any peanut because too much peanut is considered a defect by some. Conversely, ethiopian coffees vary enormously in quality and attributes ... so much so that you might even find it difficult to track down a stereotypical yirgacheffe. I think that you can judge the skill of a roaster by how effectively they can communicate to you what their coffee will taste like (presuming that it is brewed correctly).

    If you want to build your palate, there are really only two things that you need to do, but you need to do them as often as you can: taste and think. I have an article on palate building coming out in a coffee journal shortly; Ill have to remember to come back to this thread when it is published.

    All of that said, I have to say that you have received very good advice in this thread: you need a grinder. You are unlikely to have a moment of revelation with preground coffee. People seem to think that you can "get away with" a really bad grinder for plunger. This isnt the case. If you grinder produces excessive fine particles, the brew will be bitter. Fortunately, though, you can compensate for a poor grinder somewhat by sifting fine particles out with a fine sieve. The resultant brew might lack a little complexity. This technique also helps: http://vimeo.com/2222293

    Hope that helps,
    Luca

  11. #11
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    Re: Suggestions for plunger?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 223B2D2F4E0 link=1260218232/9#9 date=1263122635
    I have an article on palate building coming out in a coffee journal shortly; Ill have to remember to come back to this thread when it is published.
    Please do, luca. Should be an interesting read.




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