Post By herbie
Homegrown problems - cant get a good cup
After 5 years, the coffee trees in my garden have burst into fruit, providing me with an abundance of fresh beans. I've had fun learning how to to ferment, dry and roast them. Obviously i'm keen to taste my rewards, however when i tried to brew my first cup the grounds provided too much resistance, resulting in a huge pressure build-up in the espresso machine. The small drop I got out of the machine resulted in an extremely satisfying 'fresh' tasting brew, almost at the expense of destroying the work coffee machine!!!
I have tried many combinations grinding the beans to a coarser grade and packing the grounds loosely, however this has just resulted in weak coffee. I've ground and brewed store bought beans before, so I don't think its my technique, I guess its something to do with either my particular beans (unknown arabica variety) or with my roasting technique. My hacked popcorn maker can only reach a full city roast, but I don't mind lighter roasts, besides i'd like to preserve some of the flavour of the beans given they are unique.
Has anyone any experience with a similar issue? I'm having difficulty using the correct terms to undertake an accurate search online. One thing i haven't tried is using a cafetiere, however I do prefer espresso.
Welcome to the Forum Rattusrattus,
I have also found my home grown beans need a coarser grind than Bean Bay coffees. My trees are dwarf Arabica Rojos and I roast to about CS 10 in my Gene Café. Interestingly I do not get first cracks sounding like all other beans so just stop the roast when I think they are the correct colour. The grind on my BCG800 is about 5 to 8 notches coarser than other beans but of course all varieties have different grind settings and this varies with roast depth, humidity, time since roast and other factors. If you can afford a Behmor, Gene Café or Hottop they will give a wider range of roast profiles to try.
Happy home growing and keep experimenting.