Well, you don't tell us what machine / grinder you are using........but if you enjoy these beans good luck to you.
I know I'm going to get roasted (haha) over this opinion, but hear me out:
For about a year now, I've been buying cheap supermarket beans by the kilo and I can hands-down guarantee I am making the best shots of my life!! I was initially buying "Grinder's" beans from Woolworths at about $22/kg on special and have now switched to the Aldi equivalent "LAZZIO" beans at under $12/kg every day price!!
Anyway, when I was spending $18+ on 250gms, I was precious about every last bean, too scared to hone shots in properly. I wouldn't dump a crap shot and try again, I wouldnt adjust the grinder and take brave shots at different grind size vs dose vs tamp pressure... I wouldn't dump 10gms or so of coffee from the grinder, after it was left for a few days, where I will now, to ensure I'm getting only fresh grind.
As far as actual taste goes, because my shots are now consistently good, even though the beans aren't amazing, I am ticking all the boxes to pull a consistently good shot out of them every time.
Alternatively, when I was buying expensive single origin beans, I was so scared of ditching precious shots, that I was never refining to a point where I was getting the best shot I could out of them! 1 in 10 might have been passable, but by the time I got them to a point where I was happy, I'd generally be just about out of beans and have to start over!
Maybe some of us are made of money, but as a father with a mortgage and young family to think about, I just can't justify the more expensive stuff as an everyday grocery item.
I just wanted to offer this opinion and see what others thought
Well, you don't tell us what machine / grinder you are using........but if you enjoy these beans good luck to you.
As Barry commented, if the beans suit your palate, your a lucky man.
Using "supermarket" beans to hone your skills is a cost effective way of doing things. You'll find what works and what doesn't to get the best you can out of these particular beans.
I also think all beans that are sold at supermarkets are instantly lumped together as "no good". There are those that are absolutely horrid but also some that aren't.
We've tried a few different ones after running out of fresh roasted and the only one we go back to is Lavazza Perfetto Espresso. These are sealed in nitrogen straight after roasting to extend shelf life. I've found you need to open at least 2-3 days before use and get air through them by tipping from one bag to another to get an acceptable flavor when freshly opened. They seem to improve over the next couple of weeks similar in a way to fresh roasted beans. You won't ever get the same thick syrup like pour of fresh roasted but these are an acceptable fill in while waiting for your fresh roasted in my opinion.
Last edited by CafeLotta; 6th March 2018 at 05:00 PM.
I have found the Aldi dark roast beans to be by far the best 'supermarket' beans. They are actually roasted in Melbourne And seem quite fresh. Loads of crema and grind settings are about the same as my home roasted beans. They may not be as exotic as some craft roasted beans but at 12 bucks a kg I have been happy drinking them as have my family and friends for some time now when they come over for coffees.
I've heard about this (Aldi Lazzio) a few times and another one that pops up regularly is Harris Coffee. There was some talk around the best before date minus 1 year is an indication of the roast date but I'm not sure how accurate this is. Would be interested to see if anyone can confirm though!
I've been thinking of trying out the Harris one but like you, am keen to hear other people's thoughts. I am also a milk based coffee drinker so perhaps most of the subtleties in less than 2 week old coffee is lost on me anyway!
This thread really is a carbon copy of a number of other recent threads on the topic of supermarket beans.
I can agree that there is something to be said for being able to experiment, and using premium beans is scary if you have to dump too many shots. I remember when I did a barista training course, I would have done 80 shots in a day. When i asked about the beans they used for the course they told me not to buy them, they were cheap and ordinary.
But the other tip to save money- home roasting! Since getting a Behmor I find it very hard to pay $40+/ kilo for good beans when I know I have them for less than $20!
Experimenting is a big part of this great hobby, so maybe those beans can be your 'regulars', and then every now and then explore specialty coffee and different single origins. I primarily roast my own, but my 'every now and then' is getting already roasted beans from different sources, and I reckon it's healthy to look around and I also learn a great deal from not solely using my own roasted product.
Also, different people are at different levels of enthusiasm and passion for coffee, so it can be a bit judgy to say everyone 'has to' to use only the greatest of the great stuff. I reckon enjoy where you're at, and if you want to go deeper or explore, go for it. Life's too short to go by 'shoulds' I reckon.
And that's the thing, even though not all beans are specialty grade, even when roasted well you can still get a consistent nice end result. I've been keen to give these beans a go myself, not sure about the darkroasted ones but I did hear they had a medium roast I think?
Yeah,Iím another who ,whilst at work, will happily use Aldi beans ,both dark as well as the medium roast.....my opinion!
For coffee at work (recess & lunch),just perfect from our Grinder to the Bezzera (Staff room situated setup).The place has the lovely aroma of a good cafe!
I do look forward to arriving home to fresher beans and a more relaxing homemade espresso,home and work differences I suppose!
Coffee makes the world go around!
Having just run out of my usual beans a week or so ago I had a few too many other things on my plate to go to either of my usual bean places. A recent severe storm resulted in major flooding / roof leaks here - 18mm in 9 minutes in a nearby rain gauge, not counting quite a few cm's of "golf ball hail" first which punched straight through next door's rusty tin shed roof like tissue paper. Oversized colander anyone?
I bought the Aldi fair trade, organic beans which does not even list a region, let alone country.
They are obviously a blend of top quality NG highland (hazelnut overtones) and something else nearby - probably E Timor, possibly lowland NG / Indo somewhere. These are medium roasted: very, very even roast and well formulated as a blend. Considering most medium roasts take 4 to 6 weeks to develop (or even longer) these are well within the time frame called "fresh". Overall a pretty good cuppa - close to 90% of my usual even if it is not my preferred style. Sometimes I feel the S in CS is too prominent. If I normally drank blends, these would take a lot of beating - I have encountered a lot worse at significantly more expense over the decades. Of course, the next batch could be mud from El Salvadore blended with Ethiopian floor scrapings... they could still use the same label. I guess that is a risk when buying "Cafe Anon".
Personally I prefer single origin (from a number of areas - I like changing coffee types every 250g or so), light to medium roasted beans.
Now things have drained / settled down here I finally have a good (i.e. better than just acceptable) Plan B coffee. Kudos to Aldi.
PS: I have never had a Colworths coffee bean worth buying apart from cooking (e.g. "CS Woodvale approved" Russian Black Rye Bread) and every Harris flavour I have tried has been at Folgers instant level. These Aldi ones actually made a nice change from the usual supermarket drek. I didn't expect that!
Thanks for the responses everyone! I posted "unpopular opinion", as I knew most people would disagree with me, just interesting to challenge views sometimes.
I think I've been misinterpreted a little here and there, as I am certainly not saying cheap beans themselves are better, but that I will get a better shot out of coffee I am prepared to be braver with (I.e. cheap shit!) Most supermarket beans are too crap to fit this theory, but I have found three I like:
Republica from Woolworths.
Grinders from Woolworths.
And the aforementioned LAZZIO from Aldi.
Thanks again for offering different opinions here, I'm pretty thick skinned, and certainly have no delusions about the novice that I am, so can take the heat from the real "snobs" all day every day :-)
yeah i know what you mean about being precious with expensive beans. first time i bought a geisha i took ages to go through the bag because i was so nervous about brewing it.
I find it hard though believe dialing in your beans is that tricky but if supermarket beans work for you - go for it. No point buying stuff you donít get value out of :-)
I found as a newby I wasn’t knowledgable enough to know how to change grind settings without chasinging due to not know about effect of retained grinds ie adjust grinder without purging means stale and out setting grinds mixed with new and changed setting grinds gives a mixed result from change.
i brought a bag of aldi dark roast (think I prefer medium roast from memory), a set of scales and played around with grind settings / dose, studied the effect of changes and learnt heaps in that few hours of pulling 20-30 shots. This helped me know how to use my gear more so didn’t need to waste to more expensive beans and a bonus I got more out of those beans by less wastage and better shots.
i roast my own beans now (needed a hobby my wife says!) but reality is that those aldi beans are better then normal supermarket beans (if your store has turn over)
mid you enjoy the result aldi beans awesome, still miles better then instant and pods, but onelce your technic is solid treat yourself and try other beans once in a while. I thought my home roasting was okay but know specialty roasted can/are better but I was given a SO Costa Rican that placed up really high on last years cup of excellence and was blown away. Perk of my job is meeting some great and gracious people.
enjoy the coffee
Totally agree Tampit.Sometimes I feel the S in CS is too prominent.
Coffee Aficionados would be a much better fit for the forum imho.
During my life I have often run across situations where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Likewise, individuals who are capable of optimizing every part of a process to get a better result than one would expect.
KizZ might be one of those people.
But in this case, I don't see any problem....the OP actively invited contrary opinions, and they were presented in a polite manner.
I didn't see any problems either, in fact I appreciated what you had to say and don't doubt it is correct plus, you did present it in a polite and amicable way and you are correct, the author of this thread did actively ask for contrary opinions, as the title suggests...IMO all these opinions, yours included, go to forming a well rounded opinion of my own.
Sometime soon, when I work through my current batch and I remember I will go to Aldi, buy these beans, try them and see what I think of them....Until then I can't completely form an opinion. I agree though, they would be a good bean to roughly practice with although, if it was me, I suspect I may well be quickly working through the batch and itching to hone my skills of "grinding to taste" even further with better beans...
Aldi medium roast beans have been producing great shots through my Unico Splendour and k3 push grinder (surprisingly good). Not a single problem but not as good as a great single origin- but price pays a big part when and if I can afford the better stuff.
... and Mark Prince (HB) once stated that Paul Bassett served him one of the best coffees he ever had from a few hundred dollars worth of thermoblock machine and matching grinder. I often wondered if it was a prototype SB 6910 / 480. Some guys can make the beans dance.
If I have learnt anything since my foray into making coffee in 1970, it is that as long as it is fresh / not burnt / off etc., than a good barista can get a really good drink out of any reasonable coffee. Two of the "baristas" (overused and nearly meaningless term these days) I originally trained could consistently do better coffee than I could out of the same gear. Some people have that magic touch. The rest of us plebs just do the best we can and live Arnold Palmer's (golfer) "The more I practice, the luckier I seem to get".
Enjoy your cuppa, all else is just pissing against the wind.
So I ran out of beans today and decided to give the Aldi medium roast a go. Not going to lie... I didn't like them! Beans did not smell stale or extract poorly. They were by no means undrinkable but I think my spoilt tastebuds demand better.
Definitely jealous of the home roasters. I agree it's the best way to go!
No matter what method you use to brew your coffee, you're always going to get better results with fresh beans. However, milky coffee and sugar is very forgiving and I dare say for this type drink you will get away with Aldi beans.
True espresso lovers know you won't get a good shot unless you use fresh beans. Amen.
Yes, Erimus makes a good point that I often reiterate to my kids.
Milk and sugar cover a multitude of sins but straight shots and Long Blacks have nowhere to hide.
The end result lives or dies on the quality of the bean.
I got curious (those that know me personally would just nod "what's new?") and actually made Turkish (not bad, although darker roasts always works better for Turkish), espresso, latte, "modded stirrer" plunger and cold steep. They all worked about as well as a reasonable medium roasted blend would be expected to. Even the crema was pretty good in the espresso given a 6 week guessimate of the roast age.
Side note: the old "4 to 11 day old is best" chestnut only applies to dark roasts. Light roasts can take well over 6 weeks to come on stream, and stay that way for longer than one week. Needless to say, every "post roast day" degasses some CO2 so the quantity of crema drops with time. The quality of the crema is always best whenever the given roast peaks. That is partially why an older medium roast will be better than a similarly aged dark roast if the batch is from the same beans. So for anyone buying supermarket coffee, avoiding darker roasts is essential if you want a better cuppa (unless you happen to know the roast date is less than 11 days).
Then I told a broke friend about it today - he tried to get some of their "fair trade organic beans" and told me Aldi only have fair trade organic preground at Rockingham today (17/3/18)... Oh well, he is trying their Lazzio medium roast instead. I may give an update later if I experience them first hand. Exit my Plan B coffee for now, however I now have 250g of each of 4 of my favouite light & medium roasted* S.O.'s again at 4 different roasting dates (i.e. my usual order) so I don't need a backup coffee for quite a while. I also picked up some green beans so I could always fire up my Behmor and do a home roast again if I get the time / inclination / need. Sod's Law that a major storm would hit just as was about to top up my coffee stash... "I won't get fooled again" in a hurry even if I did get lucky that time.
Note*: He has what has to be Perth's best roasting setup - air roasted 1.5kg batches are simply incredible out of his 1980's setup. Much as a I love my Behmor, it just cannot compete with that setup. That particular roaster has generated a wall full of gold medals internationally, and several "not to be named / shamed" large coffee companies get that particular roaster to do their "boutique coffees" for entrance into major tasting shows - so no, the "large brand X" preroasted beans you buy have little resemblance to the ones at said shows. Kinda like expecting your street "Falcodore" to be close to those beasts they run around Mt Panaroma...
After reading this thread and being the person I am who will within reason give something a try even if it is cheap, I went to Aldi and bought some of those Lazzio beans like the top picture but instead of the dark roast I got the medium roast in the blue not red packet...I prefer light to medium roast...I must say I was a little annoyed I couldn't find the roast date anywhere but still persisted and bought them anyway...I tried a pour over, pour over milk coffee, and ran it through my coffee machine black and cappuccino...
I used an excellent electric grinder and hand grinder, grinding to espresso and pour over coarseness requirements... I also used a pour over, an espresso machine and my fully automatic machine...You can see I gave these beans a pretty good work out ...
I must say, trying to give these beans as fair a go as I can I'm not impressed. IMO the only thing they are good for is learning about my new electric grinder and learning how to dial it in...They are cheap and it doesn't matter that I go through the whole kilo bag (nearly there) learning how to grind and dial the grinder in as the beans only cost me $12 or $13 for the kilo bag....
Anyhow, I just thought I'd mention that in this thread.
I encourage those who are criticizing these beans to try them out personally with an open mind and give us your honest opinion what you think here.
I look forward to seeing weather you folk agree with me or not.
The ALDI blend actually aren't too bad unlike what most people think of supermarket beans, they've won a couple awards from the GoldenBeans 2017 too.
But 18$/250g is crazy expensive
I've been using the Lazzio medium roast at work for a few months now as I go through a lot of it and it's more cost effective than any other options available to me.
It's always fresh enough for grinder and machine testing and calibration and I don't have to worry about the cost of using it up quickly.
It's in no way a spectacular coffee however I've made plenty of more than acceptable espresso with it and don't mind drinking it every so often. It's also handy if you run out of beans or need some urgently, an Aldi is probably open somewhere close-by to get you out of trouble.
Our Aldi always has stock of the medium roast but usually seem to run low or be out of the dark roast. I'm not sure if that's because it's more popular and it sells out or not as popular so they don't stock as much of it.
I bought a bag of the medium roast to try out, mainly to use on the filter machine. To my taste it was slightly bitter, but with milk and a splash of Paul's pure cream added it was decent. On the Barista Express it extracted well, however, the crema was very thin and the coffee tasted quite bitter. Amazing really with milk added the drink was very good and the equal of what a lot of coffee shops push out. Overall it's very good value for the price if you're into milky and/or sweet drinks. For the purists that drink espresso neat, stay away.
Tehehehe I finally did an Aldi trip today, and decided to grab 1kg of the medium roast blend. I changed my burrs out recently, so I'm gonna run maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag through then try a few shots. Best before date is 28th of June 2019, so I'm assuming it would have been roasted 1 year and 3 months-ish before that? How did we come across this figure hehe?
P.s. And YES the dark roasted ones were fresh out here too, they had heaps of medium roast! The dark one must be popular haha
Nice topic and I have to say that Coles beans are pretty good.
I have an informant in the industry and he told me they are roasted by a well known specialty coffee roaster.
Donít ask though? Iím sworn to secrecy.
It doesn't matter who makes them when they're over a month old and stale. It's no wonder they don't want to be named and shamed
+1 for Aldi beans, if you find yourself on the other side of the Pacific Ocean that is.
These have been tiding me over while I'm separated from my roaster. I've been drinking them from an Aeropress and they taste surprisingly good and for under $5 a bag (340g), there's another bean as well, I think from Honduras.
Whoops! now the cats out of the bag.
In other news Coles admitted that Kelloggs supplied their cornflakes, also that some of their biscuits were made by Arnotts.