Baratza has finally announced new grinder addition to their lineup: Baratza Forte. Its a commercial grade Vario-W but with both time and weight based grinding. What that means is that you can calibrate the grind time using pre-set weight and then use time to grind directly into portafilter.
For example say you want to grind 18 grams of coffee. You set the grind by weight to 18 grams, grind into the bin and grinder will remember how long that took. Then you can remove bin and use that time to grind by time directly into portafilter. Very neat idea!
Many parts from Vario are replaced with metal parts in Forte. Motor is stronger, hoper is new and removable. It uses same good ceramic burrs (or drip metal one its your choice) and its priced at $950.
Today on my menu is Single Origin Espresso Kanzu - Rwanda from Olympia Coffee. I made it like this: 18g IN, 32g OUT, 25 sec @ 200F.
Really clean coffee. Green apple with some pear. Medium creamy body and on finish I swear I could taste little of apple pie. Tasty.
This is nice coffee and I recommend trying it while they carry it.
Its best notes though get lost in even small amounts of milk so I recommend this as straight espresso.
nbehan asked: Hi There, I've read that you have tried many grinders - I'd like to upgrade to either the Mahlkonig K30vario or the Versalab M3 in order to get more consistent and low residual grinds - can you comment on your experience with both of these? Thanks, Niall
They are both stellar grinders and very good. If you single dose, i.e. add pre-measured amount of beans to grinder only, then K30 will not work well in that case. It works best when you have some beans in hopper. With Versalab there are people that had problems, if you do research you’ll find it, but in general it works just fine.
So if you keep some beans in hopper then get K30, but if you insist on single dosing then your only option is Versalab (between these that you listed).
I see that you might prefer flat burr grinders, in that case make sure you research Mazzer Major. I have one and its extremely nice flat burr grinder with probably larges flat burrs you can buy and rock-solid, tank build quality of Mazzer. That would be my top choice for flat-burr grinder.
Hope this helps.
Some time ago I noticed that all my espresso roasts are going stale much quicker than commercial roasts.
After 6-7 days, my home roasts during espresso extraction were flowing noticeably quicker, appeared thinner and have noticeably reduced crema. Taste was indeed affected. Type of coffee did not matter and I’ve seen it happen with many different coffees.
I noticed that lot of commercial roasts, even of same coffee, pull good at 10 days post roast. But, I have also noticed that some commercial roast age extremelty quickly just like my roasts. 5-6 days after roasting and they are done!
I set out to find out why this is happening. I think that my roast profiles are fairly text-book. 4 to 5:00 min till 300°F, 8:30-9:30 till 1st crack and then 3:00-4:00 min until end of the roast. End is at FC or FC+1 some at C+. Total roast times are between 11:30-13:30 minutes.
I did lot of searching and I found no conclusive answer, but couple of suspects: Type of roaster i.e. heat transfer, aggressive cooling and post roast bean storage.
I roasted with HotTop, Huky, so both perforated drums, but different heat source. I roasted with Quest M3 with solid drum. Profiles are the same. I cool beans to room temp in 1:30-2:00 minutes. Beans are stored in one way bags just like commercial ones.
From this it was obvious to me that constant is me, i.e. how I roast, my roast profile, but until couple of months ago I could not pinpoint what exactly in my roast profile is doing this. Finally, I think I have found out what is causing this.
Based on all my observations and testing, the amount of power you have through first crack directly impacts how beans age. I have found that low power through first crack will cause beans to age quicker and be done within one week. And this was indeed without roast stalling, at least as indicated by my telemetry which is different on each of my roasters so one could argue it can be discounted as source of problem.
I found that entering first crack with more power than I used to do fixes the problem of roasts getting stale quick. They also taste better to me.
So, if you see that your roasts are going stale fairly quick, try adding more power through the first crack and see whether that fixes the problem. How much more? I think its hard to say since that depends on each roaster but generally aim for significant increase of power when entering first crack and see what happens. Key is to experiment.
storeforthewinter asked: Hey - nice work with this tumblr! Great to see someone investing so much effort in pursuit of perfect coffee. I have just started using a CC1 and am pretty new to home espresso. My question - I can get really great tasting espresso with lots of complexity and crema if I grind as fine as my Rocky will go but the shot volume after 30 seconds of flow is really tiny. When I make the grind coarser or tam less hard, the taste is much less complex and a little more burnt in flavour. Any suggestions?
Thank you. CC1 is nice machine. Always go by taste. If you get good tasting shot that’s all that matters. If you need more coffee make second one :-)
But generally if you grind coarser what you are doing is extracting less out of coffee and the shot might be less complex, less caramels more on acid side. What you want to do is grind coarser AND increase your dose to get taste back. What you are doing with this is balancing your acids and caramels. Usually if you grind coarser or finer you should accompany that with the dose change since what you are trying to do is change the extraction yield.
Hope this helps.