Post By Barry O'Speedwagon
The never ending search for good beans continues here in Brussels. Didn't have this problem in Hong Kong.
Anyway, recently bought some Nepal Everest, lipsmackingly good and produces a dense balanced espresso (good crema and tiger stripes) at a courser grind than many other beans I have tried. Today, I had Kenya Masaii, PNG Sigri and Nepal on my counter all from the same shop (pic below). The Kenya and PNG required a whole number up on my grinder (Eureka Mignon) in order to even get close to a 30 second extraction compared to the Nepal. The shots tasted under extracted and dominated by a citrus type tartness with a thin and light crema. The Nepal has nice long pre infusion 5-8 seconds but the others basically start spewing out straight away even after I changed the grind finer in order to get a 30 second shot. What I experienced with the Kenya and PNG is common for most other beans I've bought here in Brussels, dark, medium, blend it doesn't seem to matter. The roasts are all medium IMO, same rancillio basket and 15g of ground coffee 1:2 ratio. Ideas? Thanks in advance!
Are the beans actually freshly roasted? Is there a roast date on the bag?
I'm not sure what their international freight charges are like, but UK roaster Hasbean (easy to find if you google them) produce excellent roasted beans of many varieties, roast to order and ship very promptly. I use them extensively when I'm in the UK and they are pretty good.....and always arrive fresh.
I roast my own beans and one of the benefits of that is knowing exactly how old they are.
I have the same grider as you and I regularly need to change the setting as the beans age.
The changes that I make to the grind are based on what the pour looks like rather than the "30 mls in 30 seconds" .
This "rule" really is only a guide. Your taste buds should always be the deciding factor, so adjust your grind based on the pour and see how that goes.
No roast dates printed but I ask every time. The PNG and Kenya were recommended based on my request for the most recent roast. I'll take a look at Hasbean! There is another roaster in the Netherlands that seem to offer similar to Hasbean. I think I am going to go online for the next order. See how it compares. It's no fun when you spend €20 euro on 500g of beans to just get disappointment in your cup. Thanks for the advice Barry.
No worries. Hasbean are pretty good. Just make sure you read their advice on suitability for espresso as opposed to filter etc.
Originally Posted by KoffiePlease
I lived in Antwerp for a while and really struggled to find decent beans (and generally to find decent coffee....though there was one tiny shop up near the University that was excellent).
Home roasting is something I've been looking into. The Bullet looks to be the best option at this stage. A friend recommended the Behmor or Hot Top as a more affordable option too. I tried the PNG in VST 18g basket this morning. Still flow rate is way too quick... stopped after 19secs and producing a super bitter cup. I think they are old beans but will keep tinkering to try get the best out of them. Cheers K
Belgium is a beautiful country but geez their coffee sucks. haha. I have literally tried everything from weekend markets, direct through the roaster, cafes and high end shops. The inconsistency is astounding. Only thing I can put it down too is the age of the roast. I had someone at a 'Gourmet' store which sold 'Gourmet' coffee try tell me that the roast date wasn't a major factor 8/ Anyway, online will hopefully produce better results!
Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon