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emperor1563
Senior Member


Joined: 2 May 2014
Posts: 5
Location: scarborough
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 12:16am
Subject: Grinding my beans
 

Hi all, just joined the forum, I'm a complete amateur when it comes to making fresh coffee, I already had espresso machine drip coffee machine *not really expensive one's). But I wanted my coffee from the bean, so I just bought a grinder, only spent 25 on it, it's just one of these Click Here (www.currys.co.uk)!3391!3!36525120204!!!g!64556289444!&ef_id=U2PhUwAAAdHQQd6F:20140503070926:s I understand you should spend more on the grinder, but can't really afford it. It has coarseness settings on it, so a light pops up under a specific coarseness after a certain amount of time, I quickly realised this was a gimmick and just didn't work, so after the first disaster I've been looking at pictures online, and doing it by eye, but I'm struggling to get it right, there have been a few times, it didn't taste as if it came through right on the drip coffee machine, and it seems like a lightish brown colour, they're getting better I think, when I first made a latte on the espresso machine, as I took the bit with the ground coffee off (not sure what that's called) it exploded onto the drip tray, it tasted okay, but I'm guessing I did something wrong there as well. Are there any tips you could give me to get my coffee ground right, thanks
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 188
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 3:02am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

Hi Emperor1563,

I'm a bit confused as to what you mean by an "espresso drip machine"? Can you clarify with a make/model?

The De Longhi KG49 is a blade grinder. These aren't seen as desirable for grinding coffee as they lead to very uneven grinds & heat up the coffee during grinding. How many cups are you grinding for at a time? If just 1 or 2, then a hand burr grinder like the Porlex or Hario Slim (30-45) will do a better job (both for manual brewing & machine brewers...10-20g doses of coffee are tolerable when grinding by hand).

You say that money is tight, so I guess you still want to try and use your De Longhi (at least for now) - if so, I'd aim fine and use it to brew in a cafetiere, put the water in the cafetiere first, then add the coffee (56g/l to start with), let it steep for 30-40minutes, don't plunge (EDIT: wet/dunk the grinds at the start of brewing with the back of a spoon, use the plunger to then submerge any grinds just below the surface), pour out through a Melitta style filter cone with a Filtra/Filtropa white paper to keep the silt down. Preheat the cups with boiling water just before decanting/filtering.

Really, whatever method you use, the grinder is the key to getting a good result. At what you state as being your price limit for an electric grinder, you'll be unlikely to get better performance than from the better hand grinders...this will remain the case even as you get up to the more expensive hand grinders like Lido2 & Hausgrind (~150). Even for a capable electric grinder for brewed coffee, or a starter espresso grinder, you're looking at 100-200 if buying new (2nd hand grinders may come up from time to time on a domestic coffee forum).
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emperor1563
Senior Member


Joined: 2 May 2014
Posts: 5
Location: scarborough
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 3:54am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

Sorry, I see what you mean, in my defense I was half asleep when I typed it, there's a good chance my mistake could also have been due to editing my comment/copy and pasting, I'm currently using a drip machine, this is the machine I'm using Click Here (www.amazon.co.uk)  I also do have an espresso machine Click Here (www.debenhams.com)    I always try to grind the coffee I'm going to use, I keep a tub handy as I usually go slightly over, and I'm not wasting any. I do have a cafetiere although I rarely use it, I usually have drip coffee in the morning and latte later on, I guess i better get used to using it then, the paper you mentioned, I remember when I used to have an espresso/drip combi, it didn't have a washable filter, I had to use filter paper, is that what you mean, thanks for you help so far, as it is, the coffee I'm drinking still tastes better than the pre-ground, so that's a start at least.
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 188
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 4:36am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

With drip & espresso, wildly varying particle size make brewing difficult, very small particles can cause bittering & clog filters (may be pertinent to your "exploding" handle?). The Porlex/Hario route maybe better for the espresso machine? I guess you could even use them with the drip machine filter & carafe & manually add water (machine turned off) with a cheap pouring kettle (Tiamo, Homeloo) for smaller brews?

How does your drip machine handle small brew volumes? A hand grinder would be a real chore for "10 cup" capacity.

Yes the Filtra/Filtropa I mention are brands of filter paper (Melitta style, truncated cone), use the white ones, you can get the 4 cup Filtropa filters from Hasbean, Squaremile, or CoffeeHit in the UK. They also sell the Hario & Chemex "V" papers which you may be able to use in the drip machine? (I don't recomend the Hario paper for filtering a cafetiere, only for drip brewing).
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emperor1563
Senior Member


Joined: 2 May 2014
Posts: 5
Location: scarborough
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 7:41am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

I wish I'd came here and asked first actually, I'd rather have a manual that does the job well, than electric that doesn't, it handles small amounts well I think, when I wake up I often make myself a large sized mug, for which I fill half way between the 3 and 4 cup mark and put in 2 scoops of coffee, not sure what size, just the scoop that came with the espresso machine, it usually tastes fine to me. I am starting to get the grinds better, but I can see what you mean about the uneven grind. I can change the amount of cups on my grinder, will this make a difference?
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,318
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

Mark,

...let it steep for 30-40minutes

What's an order of magnitude between friends?

... cafetiere.... Don't plunge, pour out through a Melitta style filter cone with a Filtra/Filtropa white paper to keep the silt down.

Why recommend a cafetiere at all?

Rich
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MWJB
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Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 188
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 9:34am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Mark,

What's an order of magnitude between friends?

Why recommend a cafetiere at all?

Rich

Posted May 3, 2014 link

That's my preferred steep time (for maximum sweetness & body, which I use on a daily basis), if you taste off the top of the pot from time to time you might choose to go less, as long as you like the result. A pot smaller than 1l (I use 49.5g to 900 of water in a 1l pot) might cool too quickly to hit this preference...again, taste as you go.

The reason for recommending a cafetiere is because they are cheap (OP makes reference to low cost beng desirable) & with the inevitably uneven grind, there will be no flow of brew water through the grinds, chances of overextraction are greatly reduced, if not eliminated entirely. The fine grind will become water logged & sink quicker than coarse grind, somewhat clarifying the brew to start with, the paper (if of the recommended type) will take out the majority of the remaining silt without greatly affecting the taste.

Cafetiere is pretty hard to ultimately overextract (though you can find peaks & troughs regarding preference points). Other steeped brewers, like Sowden & Eva Solo may work well too, but are pricey compared to a cafetiere (which the OP has already, or can be found for a few pounds in a supermarket).

The standard 4-6 minutes recommendation is on the conservative side, but may be preferred for coffees with lighter bodies, pronounced acidity & for greater aromatics.
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MWJB
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Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 188
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 9:47am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

emperor1563 Said:

I wish I'd came here and asked first actually, I'd rather have a manual that does the job well, than electric that doesn't, it handles small amounts well I think, when I wake up I often make myself a large sized mug, for which I fill half way between the 3 and 4 cup mark and put in 2 scoops of coffee, not sure what size, just the scoop that came with the espresso machine, it usually tastes fine to me. I am starting to get the grinds better, but I can see what you mean about the uneven grind. I can change the amount of cups on my grinder, will this make a difference?

Posted May 3, 2014 link

Well, if it tastes fine to you, then that's a point worth remembering. Without seeing the scoop you refer to it's hard to know, but typically they are nominally 7g here in the UK, two of these for a large sized mug (14g:250ml?) isn't beyond reasonable expectation.

It really is best to pick up some cheap jewellery scales say 1Kg @ 0.1g, can be found for a few quid on Amazon or ebay, different grinds, beans and roasts can vary when measured by volume but 14g is always 14g. Seems a bit OCD probably, but outside of beans & a grinder, scales are really the next most important tool. 60g/litre (15g:250ml) is a commonly quoted start point for drip (in fact, it's what De Longhi recommend for your machine).
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,318
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

Mark,

MWJB Said:

That's my preferred steep time (for maximum sweetness & body, which I use on a daily basis

Posted May 3, 2014 link

You're still not reading carefully.  I chose "order of magnitude" for a reason.  You recommended THIRTY - FORTY MINUTES, NOT 3 - 4minutes, or whatever the heck it was you thought you'd written.    

The reason for recommending a cafetiere is because they are cheap

True.  But since you're decanting into a filter in a filter holder, might as well use an ordinary pitcher or jar.  No need to pay for the press apparatus or "serve from the brewer" design if he's not going to use it.  Unlike the two of us, not everyone has an enormous number of cafetieres sitting around.    

Rich
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 188
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Sun May 4, 2014, 3:24am
Subject: Re: Grinding my beans
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Mark,

You're still not reading carefully.  I chose "order of magnitude" for a reason.  You recommended THIRTY - FORTY MINUTES, NOT 3 - 4minutes, or whatever the heck it was you thought you'd written.    

True.  But since you're decanting into a filter in a filter holder, might as well use an ordinary pitcher or jar.  No need to pay for the press apparatus or "serve from the brewer" design if he's not going to use it.  Unlike the two of us, not everyone has an enormous number of cafetieres sitting around.    

Rich

Posted May 3, 2014 link

Firstly I'd request that you don't type in upper case, it's bad ettiquette.

Secondly, read my whole post, in full. I didn't think I'd written anything different to "30-40  minutes", I deliberately wrote what I intended to convey a steep of thirty to forty minutes. There is no "order of magnitude" issue. Three to four minutes will work better for some coffees than others (as will any pre determined steep time), nevertheless it is still conservative.

Aroma extracts quickly, flavour takes longer, especially with the declining heat of a cooling steeped brew (hence I suggest brew big, to retain heat better). It takes as long as it takes...may be quicker than I suggest, but if you have time a longer steep sets the odds in your favour.

If you follow my instructions above you will end up with an immersion yield of 22% (+/- 0.5%), you'll know when you get there because the coffee will hit the peak of sweetness (if it is roasty, metallic, carbony flavours steep longer, or discard the very top part of the pot, as this will contain a lot of oils & least extracted layers). This will often be as far as the coffee can extract in a cafetiere steep and still be hot enough to enjoy. If you grind too coarse you won't get there before the coffee is cold, maybe ever?

The press apparatus is useful, as you use the plunger to submerge the grounds, improving extraction, it also has a lid for improved heat retention. Most households in the UK have a cafetiere (as does the OP). But yes, you could use a jug/pitcher, preferably with a lid (in fact this was a common brewing method in the 50's & 60's, then strained through muslin, or filter paper).
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