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JavaGator
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Joined: 27 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: Orlando FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 25, 2013, 5:01pm
Subject: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

I love my coffee.  I would say I am an advanced novice.  I use the Brazen, and grind beans about 75% of the time.  As for coffee, I use whole bean Dunkin, Horton fairly often.  I'll mix in some Starbucks, and the like.  I also joined the Mistobox sample coffee club, where I get around 50g of 4 different micro roasters each month. To the point of my post, I currently have a Mr. Coffee burr grinder.  It is adjustable, and I keep it in the middle range for the Brazen.  Having read numerous posts and searched on line, I see there is a wide range of burr grinders.  The Mr Coffee I have cost around $40.  So my ultimate questions are; 1.  Is my grinder adequate based on my coffee palate?, 2.  Would a novice like me really taste a substantial difference in the cup with a better grinder?, 3.  If you think so, what would be the next step up that won't break the bank? Thanks for your input.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Nov 25, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

First, yes you'll see a big difference, Mr Coffee grinders are more like bean mashers/gnawers (don't have good burr sets). Something like the Baratza Encore is cheap (about $130) and will far excel the Mr Coffee grinder. Second, throw out the Charbucks, DD, and Horton beans :) ... their all stale when you buy them, and in Charbucks case their burnt so all you taste is the ashy roast and not the beans.

Get some fresh roasted beans and the Encore and you'll see a massive difference. I've never used Misto but there are plenty of good roasters online that are affordable, never really cared for any of those subscription clubs as in some cases you get smaller amounts but usually you can go right to the roaster themselves for cheaper. Do you know what ratio your using for coffee to water when brewing? That'll help us know if your in range of a good extraction.

You in Orlando and have some roasters around you like Lineage and Ruby, pry some others if you yelp/google your area but FL doesn't have as many roasters as other states.
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JavaGator
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Joined: 27 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: Orlando FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 25, 2013, 6:03pm
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

CMIN Said:

First, yes you'll see a big difference, Mr Coffee grinders are more like bean mashers/gnawers (don't have good burr sets). Something like the Baratza Encore is cheap (about $130) and will far excel the Mr Coffee grinder. Second, throw out the Charbucks, DD, and Horton beans :) ... their all stale when you buy them, and in Charbucks case their burnt so all you taste is the ashy roast and not the beans.

Get some fresh roasted beans and the Encore and you'll see a massive difference. I've never used Misto but there are plenty of good roasters online that are affordable, never really cared for any of those subscription clubs as in some cases you get smaller amounts but usually you can go right to the roaster themselves for cheaper. Do you know what ratio your using for coffee to water when brewing? That'll help us know if your in range of a good extraction.

You in Orlando and have some roasters around you like Lineage and Ruby, pry some others if you yelp/google your area but FL doesn't have as many roasters as other states.

Posted November 25, 2013 link

Thanks for the reply.  I use about 35g to 1 liter of water.  I do get a better cup with the micro roasts from Mistobox then I get with the others, but I guess i have been used to DD and Hortons for a longtime.  The Encore looks like the basic model of the line, I will look for Santa to drop one off. I will look into the local roasters, never really searched for them locally.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Nov 26, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

You will see the difference with a good grinder. Sadly though, likely as not you will not like the change as the grinder will bring out the nasty flavor of the stale beans you are using. For espresso, beans go bad at about two weeks post roast. For other brew methods, I find I can get about a month from them. Anything from a supermarket is hopelessly stale. Forget about a BEST BY or USE BEFORE date. If you see those on your bag-o-beans, you should just keep on walking. A ROASTED ON date is the only information you need, most people can add two to four weeks to a date without much problem.

 
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Jerry43
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Espresso: Carisma
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Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Huky 500
Posted Thu Nov 28, 2013, 6:59am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

I have the Brazen and use a Virtuoso grinder. In fact I'm drinking my 99th cup right now as I have one filter left.  I experimented with brew temps and pre soak times. But the biggest improvement in the cup was adjusting my grinder 2 clicks finer. Which on the 40 click Virtuoso wasn't  a huge change. That change opened up the fruity notes that I like in light roasts. There's no doubt you will be taking your coffee experience to the next level with your very first cup made with a real grinder. Enjoy!
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GarryG
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Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 12:47am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

Agreeing in part and disagreeing in part with previous posters:  better, fresher coffee will make a bigger difference than a better grinder with your Brazen.  If you were talking espresso, that Mr. Coffee grinder would be hopeless.  But filter coffee makers are less sensitive to grind, so you can make pretty good coffee with your grinder if you get to know it well enough to produce reasonably consistent results.   A whirly-blade grinder heats the coffee more and produces a more uneven grind than a good burr grinder, but that isn't necessarily fatal to the quality of the brew with a filter brewer.  But if your grind varies randomly between coarser and finer, your results will be uneven.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

GarryG Said:

Agreeing in part and disagreeing in part with previous posters...

Posted December 9, 2013 link

And I will respond to yours with the same caveat.  ;-)

If the OP is using paper filters, then the advice that better coffee might make a bigger difference, depending on the OP's taste in coffee. Cheap grinders create more dust- not a coffee law" but certainly close enough to count as one. Dust creates bitterness. Paper filters tend to deal with that while metal filters do not do so very well and that creates mud in the cup and thus increased bitterness.

As mentioned in another post here, the Virtuoso is a god choice to use with the Brazen.

"Don't feed your champion dog Skippy."

 
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

GarryG Said:

Agreeing in part and disagreeing in part with previous posters:  better, fresher coffee will make a bigger difference than a better grinder with your Brazen.  If you were talking espresso, that Mr. Coffee grinder would be hopeless.  But filter coffee makers are less sensitive to grind, so you can make pretty good coffee with your grinder if you get to know it well enough to produce reasonably consistent results.   A whirly-blade grinder heats the coffee more and produces a more uneven grind than a good burr grinder, but that isn't necessarily fatal to the quality of the brew with a filter brewer.  But if your grind varies randomly between coarser and finer, your results will be uneven.

Posted December 9, 2013 link

Gotta disagree, even fresh roasted with a whirly bird or cheap grinder is still gonna suck, though be a little better then stale burnt store/charbucks type beans. Like said above they produce uneven particals and fines which can make the brew taste like blahhh even with fresh roasted. Case in point in-laws had a whirly bird and used Charbucks and DD beans, I found a roaster right by them and actually right next to her work lol, bought some beans. Did it make a difference, mehh not really, slightly better. They bought an Encore, and that + fresh roasted beans was a huge difference even on the regular Mr Coffee drip machine they have.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,082
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

CMIN Said:

Gotta disagree, even fresh roasted with a whirly bird or cheap grinder is still gonna suck, though be a little better then stale burnt store/charbucks type beans. Like said above they produce uneven particals and fines which can make the brew taste like blahhh even with fresh roasted. Case in point in-laws had a whirly bird and used Charbucks and DD beans, I found a roaster right by them and actually right next to her work lol, bought some beans. Did it make a difference, mehh not really, slightly better. They bought an Encore, and that + fresh roasted beans was a huge difference even on the regular Mr Coffee drip machine they have.

Posted December 9, 2013 link

+1  A good grinder and fresh coffee are key.  My work uses a blade grinder with fresh roasted coffee.  Compared to what I roast and brew at home (Macap burr grinder) even though both coffee's are fresh theses a very noticeable difference in taste.  I used to think I knew really good espresso until I moved to a stepless to really be able to dial in grinds, Now my eyes are wide open... For drip the Encore + some freshly roasted coffee will blow your taste bugs away.  Even a few dials on the Encore can completely change the taste.  Plus if your using a Behmor Brazen brewer you gotta match it with a good grinder. :p
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al_bongo
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Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 450
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

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Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: Could I Tell Noticeable Difference with better grinder?
 

Difficult one.

My thoughts are that it would be relatively cheap to buy some freshly roasted coffee on line from a recognised roaster and see what you think with your current set up. No idea what the Mistobox sample club is but if they don't have a roast date within 7 days or so its not really a valid way to taste good coffee since roasted coffee goes stale so quickly.

If you're happy with your brew and you are planning to stick mostly with Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons I'm not sure I'd be rushing to buy a better grinder.

It does seem a shame since you've got a great brewer though not to go for some amazing freshly roasted coffees and then you could justify the Baratza Encore for instance which would I imagine produce some great coffee in your set up. But only if you're putting great freshly roasted coffee in at the front end.
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