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Thread: Help me choose cheap beans

  1. #1
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    Help me choose cheap beans

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After quite a few failed attempts at finding the right beans I thought I'd better consult with the pros. Having recently tried the expensive roasters I'm trying to find the closest substitute that'll be friendly to my student budget. I realise the mass-market old roast beans are not going to match the local ones but I'm willing to compromise.
    In my opinion most brands do a pretty bad job at describing the flavour palate, it's almost like a horoscope, any description applies to any other coffee.

    Ones I've tried this week, with descriptions from the websites...I'm leaning towards the more acidic I think
    Perfect: 5Senses - Harvest: Clean, elegant acidity & sweet finish
    Very close: Loaded Coffee - Seasonal blend:Fudge, stone fruit and berry. Stewed orange acidity following into a cherry and cacao finish
    Pretty bad: Rubra - Chantico: Smooth and sensuous blend (??!)

    Cheaper options
    Lavazza - Arabica Gold -
    - Il Perfetto
    - Tierra Intenso
    Harris - Reserve Colombian
    - Espresso


    Sorry if this comes off as a rant, but now that I'm hooked on a good cup of espresso I'm just desperate to find a cheaper alternative haha
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Where are you located and how are you making the coffee (i.e. what machine / device, what grinder)?

  3. #3
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    I don't roast coffee. Many on here do, though. It's a very cheap way to drink coffee, fun ( well , I've tried it once) , and you don't have to spend a fortune on equipment . Back to the experts, though.

  4. #4
    TOK
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    In Australia, and in consideration of the kind of coffee our market now expects, the coffees you listed under the heading "Cheaper options" are actually extremely expensive at any price because after you brew the first cup you will understand the necessity to run out and buy something else that is more palatable.

    Too often people are trying to buy and drink fancy labels. We dont know where you are, but I would suggest trying any established professional roaster local to you. I also advise buying/trying a roaster's "house blends" instead of their most expensive or "fancy" origins, for the reason that a good pro roaster will put out a range of blends made with good "FAQ" ingredients that make good drinking.

    Remember, whatever you buy, FRESH IS BEST, you need to brew it properly for whatever method you are using, and you need to have a good/ suitable grinder. Buy beans not grinds, & buy regularly so the coffee doesnt go stale on your watch (ie dont stockpile, its counterproductive).

    Hope that helps.
    Dimal, TC and CoffeeNewb1 like this.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reply guys.
    I completely realise that the brands that I listed won't hold a candle to a fresh local roast, just thought there might be a 'sleeper' blend that some of you may like.

    I'm in Perth and use a Sunbeam em7000 with a basic Bialetti blade grinder.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sketchy's Avatar
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    You could try Dimatini in Osbourne park. Good range of blends and SO to try.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeNewb1 View Post
    I'm in Perth and use...a basic Bialetti blade grinder.
    The best thing you can to to improve what's in the cup would be to buy a burr grinder. Using a whirlybird grinder just doesn't cut it.


    Java "Bad equipment = bad coffee" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  8. #8
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    A burr grinder is definitely on my purchase list.
    I think I should've emphasised my student life atm..... 'champagne lifestyle on a beer budget'

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Even with good beans you won't get a great espresso using a smash'em up grinder. First things first. Get a burr grinder, then worry about the beans.

    Put up a Wanted to Buy ad in the For Sale section explaining your position and stating how much you can afford to pay. You might be surprised at the responses you get.


    Java "Gotta have a burr!" phile
    Dimal and tashie like this.
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  10. #10
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    Thanks Java "burr is a must" phile...I'll get on it

  11. #11
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quite a few sunbeam cafe series owners and they are known to be able to deliver decent espresso shots, but without a burr grinder you have no chance to get anything decent no matter how much you tamp and try to squeeze into the portafilter. Since you have a sunbeam why not try finding a used EM0480? You can pick one up upwards of $50 if you look out for them. Even the EM0450 is reasonable. These are conical burrs and really do a good job for the price. I've used both EM0480 and EM0450 and both are more than able to grind espresso with the consistency you need. No need to break the bank.
    CoffeeNewb1 likes this.

  12. #12
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    +1 on buying a burr grinder. Will definitely make the biggest difference in your setup. Then you can more accurately narrow down what beans you like/dislike.

    As said before, even the cheapest like the sunbeam em0450/480 will do fine look for one second hand in the snob 'hardware for sale' forum!

  13. #13
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    Ok resounding Yes to upgrading my grinder.

    However, the budget beans question still remains. Surely there are a couple of brands (when used with a burr grinder) which have the flavour profile that I mention in the op?

  14. #14
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    When you talk about brands, nothing from a supearket could be considered reliable in what you're after. I'd have thought ( from the other side of the country) that anything from a local roaster would be a bargain at $13 per 250g.
    If you find a small roaster, experiment with their range til you find what pleases you.

    difficult to provide quality coffee for less than that I imagine, and it seems to me like you're ready for quality.

  15. #15
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    Yeah probably time to face that I've got the bug haha...I'll start with 5 Senses. Thanks!
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  16. #16
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    Good place to start. I get 5 senses locally to me for $14. Shouldn't be that much for you.

    should say my $13 is a rough figure. Depends upon the scarcity of the bean among other factors. A local fave of mine has beans ranging from $12 to $18 usually. Must be dependent on supply . I'm guessing its more that than a question of quality. The quality is always good. As for my taste/ what I like, it bears no relation to the price (ie dearer doesn't necessarily = that it's going to be a favourite coffee).
    CoffeeNewb1 likes this.

  17. #17
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    Firstly I agree with all comments recommending a burr grinder. Only then will you be able to pack the portafilter with anything near consistency.

    I suspect the reason nobody has addressed your repeated line of questioning seeking a povvo reliable bean is likely because there is simply just too much variation with regard to preroasted supermarket bought beans. You have no control on how long the beans have been in storage for starters.

    Personally I roast my own with a bemour however I used a popcorn popper before that. At work its store bought beans but we go through a lot and take it in turns of buying the beans there and while its not ideal it sure beats instant and nespressi! We also have a rancilio lucy with built in grinder there.
    CoffeeNewb1 likes this.

  18. #18
    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    If you're after competitively priced and award winning beans (you can have both) delivered to your door check out mycuppa or the beanbay here. I'm on to my second KG of a mycuppa blend for $30 per kg delivered. Can't go wrong for freshly roasted beans.
    CoffeeNewb1 likes this.

  19. #19
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    Yeah. Mycuppa Yirg. $16.50 for 500g + postage. Online. Fresh. Quality.

    and of course, beanbay.

  20. #20
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    Great suggestions. Thanks everyone

  21. #21
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    have a search online for "coffee test/packs/mini packs" Its a cheap way to find suppliers that will send you a small batch of beans for a few bucks, great way to get around a lot of different flavours cheaply.
    CoffeeNewb1 likes this.

  22. #22
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    Have you considered a hand grinder?
    I use a Porlex when I'm away from home and am very satisfied with the grind quality.
    To get the same quality from an electric machine will cost a lot more.

  23. #23
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    I won't harp on about the burr grinder because I think you've got the idea. Get one.

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Di Bella. Great value at $38.50 a kilo + free delivery over $50 I don't think you'll find anything better at this price point.

  24. #24
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    CoffeeNewb1 I put together my 1st try at a corretto roaster for

    $15 - 2nd hand bread maker - just make sure it has dough cycle
    $30 - ozito heat gun (save a few $$ when on special at bunnings)

    and for cooling
    $15 - 2nd hand blower vac
    $8 - plastic bucket with lid
    $4 flyscreen offcut

    whole lot from bunnings or gumtree for $72. Search "corretto" here and you'll see heaps on instructions / variations / etc
    My original roasting setup is still going strong; I upgraded the cooler to a bucket/seive/extractor fan further down the track (suck thru beats blow thru).

    ----------------------------------

    Now say you buy 10kg of green beans from beanbay here @ approx $14.50/kg inc delivery.

    You've spent ~$220 and gained ~8kgs of roasted coffee = $27.5/kg.

    You're in front of any other recommendation here price-wise.

    Your coffee is always fresh.

    You have 4 beans (x 2.5kgs) to roast & blend different ways chasing your flavour profile.

    You have a new hobby and lots of new friends.

    You know much more about coffee than you did before.

    And from now on you're paying around $18/kg for fresh roasted coffee (allowing for delivery charges and roasting weight drops)

  25. #25
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Good suggestion KiteStyle3, however...

    Java "...a burr grinder is still needed first." phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  26. #26
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    fairly cheaper option, would be the re-store in northbrige or leederville. They have various blends at different prices. Also explore some of the allyways inthe cbd you'l be surprised at what you find



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