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My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
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JavaGator
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Joined: 27 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: Orlando FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Oct 28, 2012, 4:28pm
Subject: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

Had the Brazen for a week or 2.  Been grinding and brewing once or twice a day.  Been using fresh roast i picked up in Tampa Fl from El Molino Roasters in Ybor City.  The cups I have made are delicious.  However, since I was using a Cuisinart previously, and rarely using fresh beans, I really couldn't compare the taste to what I was making before.  I often get a cup of Dunkin decaf after lunch at work.   So i picked up a bag of pre-ground Dunkin decaf at the grocery store.  They didnt have whole bean decaf.  I put in 1 tbsp grounds for each 6oz as the bag suggests and brewed about 30oz. My Brazen produced a cup identical to the Dunkin store.  That's my test and confirmation that the Brazen makes coffee the way it should be made.  Oh yeah, I did a 45 sec pre-soak and brewed at 200 deg.  Perfect.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Oct 28, 2012, 5:53pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

That shows that you are getting as much out of the beans as Duncan gets out of them. Assuming that they are using the usual commercial brewers (Bunn, Curtis, etc.) I would theorize that the coffee didn't have that much in it to start with.

 
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brazen1
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Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Location: New England
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Oct 28, 2012, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

The coffee I've been making with Dunkin Donuts whole beans in the Brazen stomps all over the two or three cups I've gotten at DD stores in the last couple of weeks. The store brewed DD coffee tastes nasty in comparison.
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IMAWriter
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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 Sun Oct 28, 2012, 8:54pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

Mitch, truly even the cheapest $60 burr grinder with fresh beans will produce MUCH better coffee in the BraZen (or any machine most likely) than reground commercial coffee.
You can get a refurb Baratza Maestro for around $70, or the Maestro plus for around $99. Either will be pretty much all the grinder you'll need for a while, till you're ready to step up to a Preciso or some such.

The BraZen brings out SO much in a good coffee, that you owe it to yourself to purchase a decent grinder and find a good source for fresh beans...or roast them.
Would you put ultra crap gas in a Rolls Royce?




EDIT...not to imply DD is crap, it's actually, in my experience quite decent at the shop. Just not nearly as good as specialty coffee ground fresh by you.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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brazen1
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Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Location: New England
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 12:17am
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

I think a whirly blade grinder would be just fine for the Brazen with paper filters. Consistency of the grind is not gong to be terribly important. I think the difference between packaged ground coffee and grinding your own beans before brewing (even if you bought DD beans at a DD) will be bigger than the difference between grinding DD beans and grinding fresh roasted beans. Don't get me wrong, the fresh roasted beans are significantly better than DD beans. But, the difference between pre-ground and grinding your own (even stale beans) is night and day.

BTW, the whole beans at DD stores are usually cheaper than the DD beans at the grocery store. The grocery sells 12 oz bags. The DD stores sell 16 ounce bags.
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 805
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 4:33am
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

The issues around 'uniform grind' have been reviewed many times in this forum.

Briefly, if you have a brewing pond that lasts for 5 or 6 minutes, the fines will over-extract giving the cup a bitter character and the coarse pieces will under-extract yielding a weak and somewhat sour character.  If you have lots of fines the result is unpleasant.  All grinders have ...some... fines but the whirled-bird is the worst.

The first place to spend money is on a good grinder.

 
Jerry
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brazen1
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Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Location: New England
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 10:16am
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

The issues around 'uniform grind' have been reviewed many times in this forum.

So have the issues around using stale pre-ground coffee. :)

I stand by my statement that grinding beans fresh, even using a whirly blade grinder with a paper filter, will be significantly better than using preground coffee. The uniformity of the preground coffee will not be sufficient to offset its staleness!

My point being that, if cost is an issue, you are still far better off to pick up a whirly blade grinder and grind your own whole beans than to buy preground coffee.

If you can afford a decent burr grinder, by all means go for it.

The biggest real-world limitation of whirly blade grinders is when using a gold filter or some other brewing techique where the fines end up in the coffee. That particular problem is not an issue with paper filters.
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germantownrob
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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 Mon Oct 29, 2012, 1:39pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

The issues around 'uniform grind' have been reviewed many times in this forum.

So have the issues around using stale pre-ground coffee. :)

I stand by my statement that grinding beans fresh, even using a whirly blade grinder with a paper filter, will be significantly better than using preground coffee. The uniformity of the preground coffee will not be sufficient to offset its staleness!

My point being that, if cost is an issue, you are still far better off to pick up a whirly blade grinder and grind your own whole beans than to buy preground coffee.

If you can afford a decent burr grinder, by all means go for it.

The biggest real-world limitation of whirly blade grinders is when using a gold filter or some other brewing techique where the fines end up in the coffee. That particular problem is not an issue with paper filters.

Let's be honest, this place is called coffee geek not coffee decent. Grind is what is making your coffee taste proper, from then on out it is only a hot water delivery system and technique. A person can easily spend less then $20 on  a pour over and a kettle and have plenty of money to get a good burr grinder to make a proper coffee, a $200 brewer will make crap if that is what you put into it.

A quick example of 3 burr grinders from the same company that I have, the Virtuoso, the Vario, and the Preciso. The Virtuoso was my first burr grinder and it was night and day to what a spice grinder could do, My Vario while excellent for espresso is on par with what the Virtuoso can grind with a slight flavor profile difference, my Preciso is like night and day to what the Virtuoso (with old style burrs) and the Vario can do for all brews coarser then espresso. The lack of fines for the Preciso burrs makes it brew coarser style of grind brews as even as I have ever tasted. If the biggest problem is the silt that gets into the cup from the fines  then wait until you taste a brew that does not create very many fines and therefore is not over extracting all those fines.
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EvanOz85
Senior Member
EvanOz85
Joined: 9 Jul 2011
Posts: 268
Location: Lafayette, LA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario and Preciso
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos, Yama 5-cup
Drip: Chemex, Kone 3, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Hottop B, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

brazen1 Said:

I think a whirly blade grinder would be just fine for the Brazen with paper filters.

Posted October 29, 2012 link

You're "thinking" very, very wrong. This is, as Rob stated, a board for coffee geeks in pursuit of the best cup possible. This is not a board for nonsense speculation from new members who are basing their false recommendation on what they "think" they know. How many tests have you done with a whirly blade grinder next to a good burr grinder using the Brazen (or any other brewing method)?

Whirly blades produce too many fines and thus over extract. This is a FACT that has been tested by NUMEROUS knowledgeable members on this forum and elsewhere.

No one who is serious about making coffee would ever recommend a whirly blade.
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,043
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Oct 29, 2012, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: My Idiot Proof test of the Brazen
 

The following Home-Barista thread compares a whirly bird grinder with a OE Lido hand-grinder using an Aeropress.  Interesting reading and relevant to the current direction of this thread.

Introducing Friends to Better Coffee - Knockbox Home-Barista.com

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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