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Are the beans bad if...?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Are the beans...  
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 5:11am
Subject: Are the beans bad if...?
 

Beautiful cone, 30 second pull, ridiculous amounts of crema...but the aroma seems off, a little earthy and unusual to the beans. I figured they were stale but I thought gauging crema volume was a good way to tell (I'm probably wrong). Thoughts?
I'm also curious what makes one blend give a tidy pour with every shot, and another ends up runny and with endless channeling. I know these are broad questions, but I'm always trying to figure out if my technique is ever at fault before I blame my beans.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,950
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 8:08am
Subject: Re: Are the beans bad if...?
 

There are some blends of beans I really do not like. FTO from Klatch is the main one, to me it tastes like dirt. Perhaps it is your blend you do not like.

 
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Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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sweaner
Senior Member
sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,133
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 8:14am
Subject: Re: Are the beans bad if...?
 

Perhaps some Robusta in there? That would explain the crema as well as the taste. I do like Robusta on occasion.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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dspear99ca
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Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Are the beans bad if...?
 

I had the same reaction a couple of weeks back after roasting some of my own Sumatran.  Not bad, just... off.  I've come to realize it's a characteristic of the coffee and in fact have grown to quite like it.  One poster here noted that he often got the comment "why doesn't this taste like coffee?" when he served up different varieties to the masses... maybe they're not all supposed to taste the same.  What type of beans do you have?
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 9:51am
Subject: Re: Are the beans bad if...?
 

Not a ton of info to go on. I may be way off but I am trying to put together a string of threads, are you trying out an Imported ItLian Roast? Did you get the issues with your grinder sorted out?  Have you figured out the routine that fits the mods you did to your machine? Any of those questions may be the answer as well.

I have had a few unruly beans that needed the most anal prep to get them to behave but if dose, grind, prep, and water temp where all correct it made all the sink shots worth it, if it isn't that special it is compost when the challenge is over. I am not a fan of single dosing only because it allows for error, a Vario was designed for the hopper to be filled, grind changes even when it goes below 1/2 full and becomes unpredictable below 1/4 full IMO. I never liked stock NS baskets, almost anything was more consistent. Good baskets, consistent grinder, consistent shot prep and proper technique for equipment, and being consistent with water temp management of equipment being used where the things I learned to make great espresso everyday. There will always be a curve ball and I even look forward to them, it makes coffee always interesting.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:16am
Subject: Re: Are the beans bad if...?
 

The blend I'm using is a Kona Blend. I think it was roasted about 12 days ago, so it is getting a little long in the tooth. I just figured if it was going bad, it would be show in the shot.

I do single dose almost exclusively and find the Vario to be a challenge. I watch the levers jiggle ever so slightly against their stops when grinding on occasion and I always feel like I'm chasing the settings. It's one of the reasons I've stuck with the Kona, because it seems to make perfect (looking) shots each time on the same grind setting with the same tamp, etc. I really love trying different coffees day to day. Is the Vario-W the wrong choice for this?

One of my favorite coffees is SO Tanzanian Peaberry (I know, weird). I used to be able to make perfect shots with it, but now all I get are sprites and more channeling than DirecTV. I don't use the stock NS baskets anymore, I use a ridgeless VST 18g. I gently sift the grounds directly into the basket before giving a firm, nutating tamp. It works perfectly on the kona, works well on the Organic Sunrise Blend from Cafe Tierra, seems to piss off my SO's and cause messy pours with partial donut extractions.
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