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Thread: Coffee horror story

  1. #1
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    Coffee horror story

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Heres a horror story straight that could be straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie; Im making a shot for my teenage boy proudly showing off my skills; its the last shot of a single-origin Brazilian so I get a new bag of my favourite Octavia blend from Belaroma. I make the shot and notice it runs through very fast and there is a sinister odour in the room; I tentatively put a finger in to sample the drop and recoil in utter disgust. I HAVE BEEN POISONED!!! I gasp for breath, take a swig of cold water hoping to dilute the poison; I really want to live long enough to find the culprit who would so mercilessly cut down a fine man in his prime. I throw the putrid puk into its knock-box grave; wash everything; check dose; is water fresh?; is my tamping off? has the grind been sabotaged? is this a sudden and overwhelming episode of advanced senility? has my technique become hopelessly scrambled?

    I make another shot, only to be poisoned again by a bitter burnt horrid fluid; is my life really over so soon, I ask myself; I make another in a last ditch attempt to diagnose how this could have happened; ....poisoned again!!!

    I take a closer look at the beans......ahaa.....something fishy in the state of denmark....the poison became clear.

    The beans are oiler than usual; they are smaller than usual; and they are much darker than usual. As Im only five minutes away from Belaroma at Manly Vale I return the beans and they casually concur that indeed their "quality control processes" may have slipped up. The beans were shit.

    Anyway, this horror story has a reasonable ending; they give me a replacement bag and after running some through the Rocky to get rid of the poison, I finally get a decent cup.

    The moral of the story is dont always presume that your beans are safe......

  2. #2
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    Re: Coffee horror story

    Quote Originally Posted by 786369626B786E6B666B686B0A0 link=1300579932/0#0 date=1300579932
    The moral of the story is dont always presume that your beans are safe......
    Or if you want something done properly, do it yourself - roast your own :)

  3. #3
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    Re: Coffee horror story

    A good outcome in the end :)

    I have had it happen to me as well from a small micro roaster who prior to that had been inconsistent to say the least, the very oily Italian+ roast at a week after roast date was the last straw for me I am afraid.

    If it happens again time to broaden your tastebuds or roast your own or both :)

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    Quote Originally Posted by 12090308011204010C010201600 link=1300579932/0#0 date=1300579932
    I HAVE BEEN POISONED!!!
    It is a pity that you had a problem with Belaroma coffee.*

    I dealt with them when it was run by the founder, Ian Bersten. I donít think he is involved with them now.

    Ian is very knowledgeable about coffee and tea and has written several books on the subjects.

    Did you find out what was wrong with the coffee to make it so bad?

    Barry* *

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    hey Barryd: to my palette, and based on the size, oilyness, and colour of the beans, they were simply burnt. A staff member said something like "there was a batch mixup" !! I cant understand how one 225 gram bag could be totally isolated from any other bag contamination, so my guess is that others had some of the same beans. I doubt they want to elaborate. Ive bought from them for a couple of years now (pre-January I used a plunger) and the quality has been good. I must say I was unnerved by the experience. I know what burnt coffee tastes like: I did a private course with JetBlack Expresso where they deliberately had me taste over-extracted & burnt coffee. The beans from Belaroma tasted nothing like that. It was quiet disgusting and I wont forget it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Coffee horror story

    No the beans were not sh...t, from your description you apparently were sold the wrong blend coffee ie, not the blend you asked for. The blend you got was someone elses idea of good stuff. If they are roasting it, it means there is a market for it and people are buying it.

    What would be of very great concern to the roaster however, is not just that you were sold a totally different product to that which you asked for, but the way their staff mishandled the situation (as described by you).

    Irrespective, people are not machines and occasionaly slip up. Australians are usually quite forgiving and flexible and will return to a business that mucked something up for them but handled the problem professionally and apologised for the mistake. If a client nicely points you to a mistake you made, it is a great opportunity for you to make good and consolidate the client to a better level than previous.

    Under the circumstances then, the idea that you should immediately start roasting your own seems nonsensical. You could roast your own during the weekend, the time available will be shared between you servicing all the family cars, mowing the lawns and doing the garden, repainting the house, rebuilding the fences, redoing the concrete driveway, and building the extension.......All because if you want something done properly.....you do it yourself* :D

    Sorry....but for something like this, I dont agree although if the same staff were to do it again some time down the track I too would probably be looking for a new source of roasted beans. When alls said and done you are only as good as your staff and professional business people are always trying to do better especially if given the opportunity by their clients through their feedback. This is what separates a better business person from the others no matter what industry they are in.

    Rgdz,
    A.

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    "The blend you got was someone elses idea of good stuff."

    Thanks for your thoughts Fresh_Coffee; while my story may display some literary license, I used the word "poisonous" more deliberately. I personally dont think it was drinkable at all; not just a matter of taste or product difference. The sensation played havoc on my taste buds, and I had to eat fresh fruit and drinks lots of water to cleanse the taste from my mouth. It was acrid, acidic and had a noxious nose once hot water got to it. Not nice at all. I also dont mean to be overly harsh on Belaroma; as I said I have been a customer for over two years and will continue to buy there (unless this happens again). However, I did think their response was a bit on the casual side. Cheers.

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    I agree...it is the response that stinks.

    The coffee for example could have been a "medicinal minas". This is highly prized in certain ethnic groups while being poisonous to us ;).

    Rgdz,
    Attilio

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B2F382E35021E323B3B38385D0 link=1300579932/5#5 date=1300590666
    the idea that you should immediately start roasting your own seems nonsensical
    How could you type such evil words...... ;)

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    I got into roasting because the roaster I was buying my beans from was producing inconsistent results. I was paying $32kg and the beans I was getting were mostly excellent but on a few occasions they were average. The only other option would have been to have them shipped to me. From one of the sponsors on here or from another supplier. The reality was though that at $40kg plus about $4 postage once every 2 or 3 weeks was more than I was willing to pay. That would be my argument for home roasting.

  11. #11
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    Re: Coffee horror story

    It shouldnt and isnt necessary to get into home roasting to get good beans well roasted. I like the convenience of using a trusted brown bean straight out of the bag although there is probably a roaster in my future as well. Im a great believer in returning sub-standard products and discussing the problem with the proprietor in a friendly fashion IF possible. I do find nowdays that staff often make it very clear they dont care and then I become very persistent. Ultimately your only recourse with suppliers who dont value your custom is to walk.

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    Re: Coffee horror story

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 132E222A38410 link=1300579932/10#10 date=1301567607
    Ultimately your only recourse with suppliers who dont value your custom is to walk.
    Unfortunately Ive had to do just that with one well known roaster.

    Mind you, its not the beans that are the problem - they are fine - the problem is the ordering process, and trying to communicate with them about it (usually never hear back whether by email or even the phone). After three mix-ups, Ive given up on them.

    There are a couple of others that also really need to look at their online ordering set ups.

    I should be fair and mention here one company that has never caused such problems for me, and that is Di Bartoli. If all online ordering and communication and personal attention to detail was as good as theirs, Id be in nirvana :)



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