Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 3:02pm Subject: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
Hi everyone. I'm a newbie and I'm super pumped about potentially making really good coffee in the very near future (hopefully). Just have a very specific question to my setup and I'm hoping someone can help me out.
First and foremost, this is my first time posting anything so I appologize if I'm breaking any rules. I've searched for a few days for the answer to my specific question but haven't found an answer so I'm creating a new topic (I have the feeling that I shouldn't be doing this).
Here's my scenario...I just bought a technivorm KBT741 and went straight to Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters (Toronto) to buy some coffee beans. The barista grounded them up and I made my first coffee a few days after. It was by far the best home brewed coffee I've ever had. I love my Technivorm.
Then I started reading this blog and realized that I suck if I don't have a grinder so I found a used Starbucks Barista grinder (which is the same as a Solis 166 from what I understand) for $45 on Craigslist so I picked that up too (machine and burrs are like new). So now I have a high quality coffee maker and a descent burr grinder but I'm really confused on how fine to grind the beans. I heard that I need to grind fine, i've heard to grind medium and medium / fine.
I read through hundreds of posts and I can't find one that is specific to my setup so that I can use their recommendations as a starting point. If anybody has my exact setup have a recommendation? I live on my own which means I'd have to make 10 full pots of coffee before i figure it out. I also don't want to waste all this expensive coffee.
Also, if I only want to make half a pot of coffee, can I just cut the coffee doseage in half or is it a disproportionate ratio?
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 3:19pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
I had a Dualit branded version of that grinder, and I've used various brew methods with it, from espresso to auto-drip, vac pot and press pot. For the Solis/Barista 166 and an drip brewer, start about the middle of the range of the grinder, and adjust by taste from there. You'll need to keep the amount of coffee and water constant as you do the adjustment - the standard ratio is 55g per 1 liter of water, again take this as a starting point, not a fixed number. For half a pot, start with halving both the water and the coffee, although you might find you need a different ratio or grind size for best results at half a pot. Grind finer if the coffee seems thin and lacking body, or isn't fully wetted in the basket, coarser if the basket is getting close to overflowing or the coffee is overly bitter. If the coffee seems thin, or too strong, but not off in taste, try adjusting the ground to water ratio first.
I don't have any direct experience with the Technivorm, but I'm sure someone will be along to point you in which direction to head first.
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 4:21pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
Thanks dyqik for the tips on how to 'dial in' the proper grind! If anybody out there has this exact combo, I'd love to hear how you're using it! Thanks everyone. When I do figure out the perfect settings I'll post it.
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 5:03pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
Technivorm K741 & Dualit grinder (Solis166)
Paper filters. 60gm/litre and other brew quantities dosed pro rata. Grinder 6 notches from coarsest end (more or less in the middle). Don't bother with stirring etc..
However, as always, adjust to personal taste.
Caveat - these are mass produced grinders and lack the precision manufacturing of professional devices. You can't assume the setting on one example is exactly the same as on another. With drip coffee, small variances probably won't make much difference though.
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 8:44pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
Thanks very much for your suggestion. Brewed my first pot as follows (didn't see your suggestion in time so just winged it):
Paper filter (Technivorm brand) 60gm of Sumatra Mandheling coffee 1 litre filtered water (brita) - Not sure if brita is recommended Grinder setting was exactly in the middle of fine and medium (3 notches up from espresso or 3 notches down from drip)
I must say that this made a really good cup of coffee (but i guess it's all relative). At least I have a baseline to use for tomorrow morning where I'm going to give your settings a try!
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012, 7:28pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
I went and picked up some freshly roasted coffee from the St. Lawerence Market on Friday to experiment with (coffee was called Muskoka Mornings). Here are my findings (again, I am brewing with a technivorm and grinding with Starbucks Barista (aka Solis 166)):
Pot #1: -For this test I wanted to go as coarse as i think I would ever go just to see what my results would be. Basically this would be my upper limit.
Grinder setting: right in the middle, where the drip coffee icon is Water: 1 liter, brita filtered (8 cups, as marked on the TV) Coffee quantity: approximately 60 grams Results: tasted pretty good but a little thin
Pot #2 -For this test I wanted to go as fine as I could just to see what I'm dealing with at that grind. The Starbucks barista has 6 notches you can select from between the espresso setting and drip setting.
Grinder setting: as fine as it can go (first notch - right at the espresso icon setting) Water: 1 liter, brita filtered (8 cups, as marked on the TV) Coffee quantity: approximately 60 grams Results: a little bitter but still pretty good.
Grinder setting: as fine as it can go (right at the espresso icon setting) Water: 1 liter, brita filtered (8 cups, as marked on the TV) Coffee quantity: approximately 60 grams Results: good, but maybe a little thin.
So to summarize, every pot I brewed tasted good but so far my favorite pot came from my first brew, where the grind was exactly in the middle of espresso and drip icon (notch 4). I love my Technivorm. However, I realized that because I'm using the scoop to measure coffee quantity my test results are not really valid because coffee and water quantities are for sure off a bit with every pot I brew. I'm from a software Quality Assurance background so this is not acceptable testing. Besides the type of coffee I'm using, none of my variables are being controlled properly and are no doubt impacting results so I need to get a bit more scientific with this. I'm planning to go out and pick up a digital scale and repeat the testing. Will keep you all posted.
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 3:31am Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
Glad you're getting some results you like.
A digital scale is definitely the way to go if you want more scientifically valid results.
Meantime, I've found the Technivorm water markers pretty accurate @ 125cc per cup (checked by weighing). Though it seems unlikely, the coffee measure again holds pretty accurately 10gm of beans filled level and shaken to get rid of the loose ones on top, although I guess coffee bean density might vary a bit from roast to roast. I'm not doing a scientific comparison, though. Just seems to work out right for my taste buds.
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 2:39pm Subject: Re: Technivorm + Solis 166 / Starbucks Barista grind settings
I'm having alot of fun improving my home coffee process so I'll definately keep everyone posted. One day someone with a Starbucks Barista and Technivorm combo will stumble onto this and they'll be excited. I know I would have been if I found it!
The scale is not solely for testing purposes. I only put enough beans into the grinder for the current pot of coffee. The problem I'm having is that I have to to fill the hopper a few times to get the 60 grams I need (and at the end of that process i always go a bit over). I figure with the scale i can measure out the 60 grams of beans and then dump the exact amount into the hopper and grind the correct amount in 1 shot. I will keep you posted.
Looking forward to next weekends test results and I will be sure to post them
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