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Thread: Foul taste, are my beans stale?

  1. #1
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    Foul taste, are my beans stale?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Bought a bag of roasted beans that were dated 31st oct, so it's been two weeks and I've been making some decent coffees from them during that time. Always using only what I need and sealing the bag, storing it in a cool, dry cupboard.

    Anyway, made a cup yesterday morning and it had a really foul taste. Bitter, almost a metallic taste and a really bad after taste in the mouth that lingered throughout the day. It was completely undrinkable. Yet, the cup the day before was fine. I just assumed beans gradually degrade in quality, not just suddenly go really bad one day. Tried a couple more cups afterwards and still the same bad taste. Can beans go this bad overnight?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Hi shaneric,
    Lots of questions pop into the mind, but a series of good pours followed immediately by really bad pours tends to rule out the bean which just doesn't turn from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde overnight (at least not in my experience)
    The obvious conclusion is that there is something radical that has changed in relation to your pour - i.e. technique or machine.
    It would be helpful to know a bit about :
    The bean used
    The machine involved
    Your experience
    Cheers,
    Rocky.

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    Sorry... a bit more background - I'm using the em6910 and em0480 grinder. I have had this setup for a few months and haven't made a coffee as bad as the one yesterday. Haven't changed any settings or techniques that I can think of. I used some supermarket beans before this and they lasted a good 3-4 weeks - I did notice a slight degrade in quality after a couple of weeks which was expected but just not as bad and sudden as this batch of beans. I bought this roasted to order from a local online supplier. Maybe I won't try them again.

    I've since tried a to make a few more coffees whilst varying grind size and tamp pressure slightly but I still get the same bad results. I think I'll just go and get a fresh bag of beans to be sure.

  4. #4
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    Might also pay to do a chemical backflush on your machine.
    Could be rancid coffee oils but that shouldn't really happen "over night".

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I agree with both the replies above, unlikely that the beans turned bad overnight and cleaning is the first place to start.

    It might have been a bad bean in the roast though, that's more likely. You only need one "stinker" to make a cup bad, try another shot and it might be ok?!?!

    I would also suggest mentioning it to your roaster, he might have thoughts too and I expect he/she would want to know.
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  6. #6
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    hi I'm gunna go against the grain here because I've had a coffee go bad on me overnight yeah hard to believe I know!! it
    was a Sumatran Mandehling beautiful one day undrinkable the next,same roast batch same storage and with every grind adjustment and different pour
    imaginable I still haven't worked out a logical reason for it .

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    Thanks for the help and suggestions everyone.

    I make sure I try and backflush once a week, with chemicals or at least water. I used a descaler a few weeks back as well. I have made a few more shots since pouring the bad one and they were rubbish as well. When I said 'overnight' it probably was more like 36hrs between a good cup and the bad one... still I would have thought it may degrade a bit slower. Maybe I accidently left the bag open slightly? Anyway, I think will grab a fresh batch and test that and report back with how it goes. Thanks again all.

  8. #8
    Member RaymondParker's Avatar
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    Unscrew the shower cup and clean it and the underpant of the brewhead manually - no matter what machine you have. You will then:

    - be stunned how sticky coffee oil residue can become
    - find out, that a chemical cleaning would most probably would only have dissolved the black mess it if the whole machine would have been soaked for a year in xxx forbidden acid
    - be surprised, how well a coffee tastes after that

    good luck

  9. #9
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    Just an update - just grabbed a small pack of beans from the shops and first shot was much better, how it should be. No foul aftertaste. I guess I will be chucking out the old batch.

    Thanks again everyone

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Shaneric - just another observation.
    Most CS would agree that the first variable to control is the bean.
    It's a bit like computers - rubbish in - rubbish out.
    It's worth any extra $$ to buy a quality bean from a reliable supplier. It's one variable eliminated straight away.
    Have you tried any from the Beanbay on this site? If you have been getting sub-standard bean before, it will be a revelation.
    Good Luck.
    RaymondParker likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    The Italians have a saying that goes Mano, Macinazione, Miscela and Macchina.
    The hand that makes the coffee, the grinder that grinds the beans, the blend of beans and finally the machine which makes the coffee.
    I've seen them put in different orders but ultimately it's the hands of the barista that determines the outcome of the coffee in the cup.
    The hands, with the guidance of the brain, control the grinder, the bean selection and the operation of the machine (or device).

    I have seen a skilled barista with a super jolly make an extraordinary coffee ( a blend containing Uru ) on a 30 yo old banger of a thermonuclear device,
    masquerading as a coffee machine. No thermosyphon, e61, or saturated group, no pid, no temp stability, not much at all, just a boiler a pump and 2 groups.
    The barista considered the coffee to be as good as any of the top 10 in Melbourne.
    The blend was mine 8-) but the hands were his.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Shaneric - just another observation.
    Most CS would agree that the first variable to control is the bean.
    It's a bit like computers - rubbish in - rubbish out.
    It's worth any extra $$ to buy a quality bean from a reliable supplier. It's one variable eliminated straight away.
    Have you tried any from the Beanbay on this site? If you have been getting sub-standard bean before, it will be a revelation.
    Good Luck.
    Thanks Rocky. Totally agree. Haven't had the machine all that long, and what I have got has just been what I could get my hands on quickly. I have been looking into all the various suppliers though and will be trying beanbay in future. It's just trial and error until I get a combo I'm pleased with. Cheers

  13. #13
    Member RaymondParker's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Shaneric - just another observation.
    Most CS would agree that the first variable to control is the bean.
    It's a bit like computers - rubbish in - rubbish out.
    It's worth any extra $$ to buy a quality bean from a reliable supplier. It's one variable eliminated straight away.
    Have you tried any from the Beanbay on this site? If you have been getting sub-standard bean before, it will be a revelation.
    Good Luck.
    "It's first the bean, then the bean,
    and finally the bean that counts"


    This entry should be hammered in gold and put on top of every new page as lead sentence!

    Rocky is right on the mark.
    Folks put in most expensive gear cheapest shit and expect magically the outcome of excellent Ristretto and are wondering and discussing why it won't work. By the way, a barista is a highly overrated helper job. The quality of a good espresso is determined not by his deeds or qualification (that is?) but by the beans sort, preparation, mixture, roast and grind - this is were the science is at work - the rest a well trained gorilla can execute quite properly.
    As long as any gear provides 93 Celsius hot water at 9 bar for about 20 seconds.

    In my view a barista is in all aspects, especially his widely overrated importance in the whole interlocked, highly refined and specialized business driving the theme, a "Miss Universe" - minus her stunning beauty.
    Last edited by RaymondParker; 16th November 2012 at 01:56 AM.



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