Post By Barry_Duncan
stupid newbie question that will make you bang your head on the desk
I posted a while ago mentioning that I'd recently bought a Breville Infuser BES840 and a Breville Smart Grinder. I've been using it for a couple of months now and basically just trying different settings, etc. trying to keep the pour pressure in about the middle of the espresso range on the pressure meter.
I've found, though, that when I first buy a bag of beans, I have to set the grind setting about 5 clicks coarser than I did at the end of the previous bag otherwise the pressure is way too high and the espresso only drips out, but then gradually over the next couple of weeks I have to make the grind finer and finer otherwise the opposite happens and it starts to pour out on the lower setting with very little pressure at all.
Is this something to do with the freshness of the beans? Am I doing something wrong? Or just crazy?
I have been buying 1KG bags of beans, which you'll probably all whack me over the head for, but I've just gone back to university and they're about the same price as buying a 250gram bag of beans from Merlo or wherever else...
I'm still a mega coffee n00b and I don't really know exactly all of the variables and factors that come into making a good coffee, but I'm trying to learn so plz be nice haha
David, welcome to CoffeeSnobs.
Your adjustment of your grinder as the coffee ages is quite normal.
thanks Barry, I'm glad to hear that.
Do you happen to have any tips on how to get the grind right other than through trial and error?
Unfortunately, it does come down to trial and error. Sometimes you have to accept that you're gonna have to waste coffee to make coffee. Just when you're adjusting, always adjust one knotch at a time. It avoids over adjusting and just wasting more coffee!!
This is what I find also and no need to be hard on yourself, you should be commended for stepping out and having a crack at a new pursuit! I also buy beans 1 kg at a time, open them 10 days post roast and usually finish them at 20-22 days post roast. I have a simple ordering system which is as soon as I open a new bag of beans I order another KG. I second Michael's advice. In time you will get to know what the right grind looks like and how it feels between your fingers for your machine, basket, taste.
Have fun, enjoy the learning and all the best with uni!
When you get your kg break it into 250g lots and seal each one separately. It stays fresher if not regularly exposed to air and I get much less deterioration than you do.
Originally Posted by davidlr
+1 beans vary over time. For the "mythical average roast and sound storage method" they follow something like the following pattern:-
Starting with a fresh roast, they change rapidly & also degas a lot of CO2. Best not to try them until day 4 until you lose your P-plates, as they are a rapidly moving target. From day 4 to day 11 they can make a good cuppa, however they still change noticeably (& they are still degassing for most roasts). Day 11 to 21 happens to be when they are the most stable, so Andy (post #4 above) is skilled / lucky enough to nail the easiest period to get the best out of a roast with minimal effort. Most humans outside a cafe do not have that luxury... After day21 they very slowly lose flavour & some finer taste characteristics. IMO (expecting flames here) if stored well, most roasts are still well worth drinking for 3 to 4 months. After that, you may as well get them from the nearest Colworths.
+1. Check the CS site for storage details. There are a few different approaches, however beans hate light, moisture (including humidity changes), airflow & heat (temperature changes).
Originally Posted by richard_m_h
FWIW, I store my beans in a "one way sealed" bag with all air espressed. That is kept inside one of my "almost airtight" tins which each hold 2 * 250g bags with almost no extra airspace. I found the "almost airtight" was important after my earlier method of using a sealed container "popped" due to the degassing mentioned above. The tins are kept in a cool dark cupboard which has very slow (almost none) temp / humidity shifts.
The other issue you may find useful: most grinders (probably including your Breville) use the weight of the beans to feed the mechanism. Adding a tightly fitting weight above the beans in the grinder reduces the airflow there and also helps the mechanism to feed properly. Adding a cover to the grinder keeps the light out...
You have already worked out that the beans vary over time, now you can start to control the process a little more.
Good luck with your studies: You sound like just the kind of observant person most employers will appreciate.
thankyou for the great replies!
I'm glad I wasn't just imagining it and all of your tips are extremely useful and it's also interesting to get a bit more perspective on how roasting works!
Now if only I could get some advice on how to not spill coffee all over my keyboard, which I did the other day