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Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
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AustinJerry
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

OK, I see I need to be really detailed with you guys.  I purchase my coffee from a specialty coffee shop here in Austin (Andersons Coffee, https://andersonscoffee.com/homeMain.php).  They roast coffee on Monday's and Thursday's.  I always ask when the beans were roasted, and select a roast less than a week old, usually only a day or two old.  I have done a bit of research on types of roasts, and normally alternate between a dark city roast and a dark roast.

No need to bash my grinder.  I doubt it is the primary reason for my issues.  As for retention, I agree the design leaves some ground coffee in the "chute" between the burrs and the glass container, but after the coffee is ground, I tilt the grinder and give it a couple of good pats on the back to ensure the chute is clear.  I just graduated from a Cuisinart blade grinder, so I think I have made some forward progress.  I don't want to toss the Bodum and spend hundreds of dollars more at this time.  I don't notice any significant consistency issues with the grind, but then, what do I know?

I don't know how to test the temperature that my coffee maker (Cuisinart) is using during the brew.  I rinse the insulated carafe with hot water immediately before brewing so that the destination container is not cold.  How can I check the water temperature?

I also have a French press, and a single cup pour-over brewer.  I find both a lot of trouble for a small amount of coffee.  My preference is to have 4-6 cups of coffee that I can casually drink during the course of the morning.  I don't want to brew coffee more than once.  BTW, the WSJ ran a nice article on pour-over brewers a couple of weeks ago, with detailed instructions on how to brew, a list of equipment, etc.  Very interesting article.

As far as my consumption habits, I make a pot of coffee first thing when I wake up in the morning.  I then drink several cups while reading the morning paper and watching the morning news.  Usually, at least an hour elapses between my first cups of coffee and breakfast, sometimes longer.  (I am retired, so every day is like a weekend day...)

I appreciate the advice I have been receiving, thanks.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

AustinJerry Said:

No need to bash my grinder.  I doubt it is the primary reason for my issues.  As for retention, I agree the design leaves some ground coffee in the "chute" between the burrs and the glass container, but after the coffee is ground, I tilt the grinder and give it a couple of good pats on the back to ensure the chute is clear.  I just graduated from a Cuisinart blade grinder, so I think I have made some forward progress.  I don't want to toss the Bodum and spend hundreds of dollars more at this time.  I don't notice any significant consistency issues with the grind, but then, what do I know?

I appreciate the advice I have been receiving, thanks.

Posted July 16, 2013 link

LOL. Jerry, you're on a "Coffee GEEK" website, where many have grinders costing 1k and up, so we normally attack a grinder like yours with sinister glee! :>D
Seriously, your journey is similar to ANY here, myself included, and I glad you realize we're only wanting to help.
I suggested using a pour-over mainly for you to get water at 200f, and a proper coffee to water ratio. For a Hario, about 12oz water, to 16 grams coffee. (that's what works for me. I actually get about 10.5oz of coffee in the cup)
Again, a too fine grind will be bitter, from over-extraction, a too coarse grind, the opposite. Thus, your grinder now comes into play.
It is notorious for producing an uneven grind, especially as it would relate to a French press grind. Compared to say, a Baratza Encore, or Capresso Infinity, you're getting chunks and 'fines." It's the fines that are particularly deadly when brewing with a french press.

I'm not sure this has any relation to your problems with caffeine, but know that those fines are giving you significantly more caffeine than the chunks.
In fact, the longer the brew time, the more caffeine you're ingesting.

In addition, Darker roasts produce less caffeine, lighter roasts the opposite.

This leads me to a question:
Would you be willing (if you had say, $500-600) to try going to espresso based drinks?
The process of pulling a double inn 25 seconds, then adding water (an Americano) will give you a cup of full bodied coffee with significantly LESS caffeine, due to the shortened extraction. You could steam milk for a lovely cappa.

A refurb Gaggia, or similar machine, and perhaps a used Rocky, refurb Baratza Preciso and you'd be there. You'd make darn fine espresso as well, with a bit of practice, as good as many upscale cafes. You are already using quality coffee, a great start.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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AustinJerry
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 6:19am
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

Touché!  I get it now, coffee geeks.  I forget sometimes how empassioned coffee lovers can be.

So, in the interests of addressing one issue at a time, can I get some advice with regards to my drip coffee maker?  As I was brewing this morning, I opened the basket and used an infrared thermometer to check the brewing temperature, which registered 185 degrees.  If I understand correctly, this temperature may be too low.  

Since I use quality beans, and since I have a workable (though not the best, I understand) burr grinder, would the next logical step be to upgrade the drip coffee maker?  The advice to try espresso is interesting, but for the time being, I would like to stick with a drip maker.  And I have become used to the insulated carafe, which I also would like to continue to have.

There are many threads on this site that discuss various drip makers (Behmor, Bunn, etc.).  It would be helpful if someone could recommend several of the top makers so that I could narrow my research.  And am I off-course to consider a new coffee maker as the next step?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 6:25am
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

For the money, the Bonavita. I don't know if the 185 reading is accurate, I have an infrared reader too and it depends if the beam is being reflected even slightly etc. But those Cuisinart brewers and similar in general don't get to the right temps or stable as well, and anything below 195 is way too low. Bonavita is around $150, and is so simple, basically on/off and that's it. Hit's the right temps and is stable.

Say you go for the Bonavita and still haven't trouble, I'd sell that Bodum and get a Baratza Encore which is only around $120 but is a far far better coarse grinder. I actually almost ordered coffee from Anderson, may still have to, I was putting a list together of roasters in states I would find Googl'ing.... like finding the lesser known places to order from.
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AustinJerry
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 6:52am
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

I just checked a number of Bonavita reviews, and they are quite favorable.  A number of the reviews stated " Much better than the Cuisinart I was using".  That's encouraging!
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AustinJerry
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

Well, I just ordered the Baratza Encore and the Bonavita.  Let's see if these make a difference.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 11:47am
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

AustinJerry Said:

Well, I just ordered the Baratza Encore and the Bonavita.  Let's see if these make a difference.

Posted July 17, 2013 link

Bravo!!!
Yes, it will make a huge difference in consistency, sweetness, and less coffee waste.







Edit: Jerry, did you purchase your Encore from Baratza or your vendor?  
The Encore allows one to fine tune the grinder internally. It has a "jumper" of sorts, with 3 positions. The middle position for general use, the finer one for those wanting to do espresso, and the coarser setting for easier adjustment for French press, etc. I set my friends to the middle position. If you can find out where yours is set, that will get you up a bit quicker. Truthfully, changing it takes about 15-20 minutes, and there is an instructional pictorial on the baratza website. For grins, when you get yours, read the MANUAL to familiarize where things are, then set it about halfway between fine and coarse. (or espresso and press, whatever, I don't remember.)
If the resultant grind feels a wee bit coarser than table salt, you should be good to go. You'll have enough "play" to go lots coarser for Press pot. That should fee like Kosher salt, maybe a wee bit coarser.

Also, the burrs will need about 5 #'s through them to hone them perfectly, to break in, so to speak. Those first 5 #'s will still be real good, but better after.
And...NEVER adjust the grind finer when beans are in the hopper, UNLESS you run the grinder motor. Otherwise, beans can get jammed.
This is a rule for ALL grinders, even the 2k Mazzers.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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AustinJerry
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Am I using enough ground coffee in my drip maker?
 

I ordered both from Seattle Coffee Gear.  Thanks for the tips.  The new gear should be here by late next week.
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