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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Foreign objects...  
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Mandheling
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 3:08am
Subject: Foreign objects in beans...
 

Hi all,

I was just grinding some beans and my grinder started struggling for a few seconds then finished as normal... When I checked the grounds, there was a white crystalline powder mixed in with the grounds - I couldn't tell what it was so I dumped the grounds and ran some more beans through the grinder which were fine...

I know I've had a couple of stones in my beans lately (which have pretty much done for the burrs on my el cheapo grinder), but I was wondering in your experience - how common are foreign objects in beans and should I realistically be checking them before loading them into my hopper?

Simon
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NobbyR
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 3:18am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

I guess it's rare, but on the other hand it's also so common, that a lot of people report similar experiences. The question is whether you want to go through the pains of checking each and every batch of beans for stones or the like. I don't know anybody who does systematically.

 
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Mandheling
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 3:32am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

I really don't know how many beans there are in 250g and I've no real desire to find out - the last stone I had looked exactly like a coffee bean so I'd have to have inspected every bean individually to have found it and that's bordering on obsessive!

It's interesting that it's a common occurence.. I guess it's the nature of the product!
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 4:42am
Subject: .
 

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Mandheling
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 5:38am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

I tend to put enough beans in the hopper to grind a few double espressos - it works for me as a balance between convenience and maintaining the freshness of the beans, but it does mean that I pour beans from the bag straight into the hopper and therefore don't really inspect for foreign objects...

Thankfully I've never had anything like the head of a nail to deal with!
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CraigA
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 5:53am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

It's not uncommon for patio dried coffees (bits of detriorated broken bits of concrete patio), Sumatran coffees that are dried just about anywhere they can find, jungle floor, side of the road/s, etc. D.P. Dry Processed Ethiopian coffees.

See here at Sweetmarias what Tom has found: http://www.sweetmarias.com/foreign.matter.in.coffee.shtml

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 5:58am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

I didn't catch if you were roasting yourself or not but as the others have said, stones happen (and other stuff too)
Good roasters have destoners in their roasting setup to remove as much of the debris as possible. Buying from quality vendors, I have not had a stone etc yet. It may happen one day though!

 
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Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Mandheling
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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 6:06am
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

calblacksmith Said:

I didn't catch if you were roasting yourself or not but as the others have said, stones happen (and other stuff too)
Good roasters have destoners in their roasting setup to remove as much of the debris as possible. Buying from quality vendors, I have not had a stone etc yet. It may happen one day though!

Posted September 12, 2012 link

I'm not roasting myself, but I do buy my beans from a reputable source... I've not found anything in my beans that didn't actually look like a bean, but I'd definitely worry if a nail (or even a finger!) turned up in my next pack!
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 11:07pm
Subject: Re: Foreign objects in beans...
 

What is the worst that could happen anyway?

The burrs in the grinder get damaged and have to be replaced, or worst case scenario, the motor in the grinder gets jammed?
(I would assume that the barista would notice the loud abnormal buzzing/humming sound coming from the grinder and would
shut it off before the grinder started smoking.) Has that happened to anyone before?

I would think that roasting beans would be far more dangerous....

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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