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How many beans going at a time?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > How many beans...  
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Mookie10
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 3:01pm
Subject: How many beans going at a time?
 

I'm getting ready to take the plunge with a Breville Dual Boiler and Baratza Vario this weekend and had a couple questions I was hoping you fine folks could help me with.  When it comes to beans, how many different types do you typically have going at one time?  Because I plan to continue to alternate between drip, French press, and espresso-based drinks, I'm wondering if one type of bean will produce great results across all three.  For example, will the same beans I use for French press hold up in a cappuccino?  I'm counting on the Vario to help get me locked in with the grinding, but wasn't sure if I should be looking at different beans, roasts, etc. for the three different extraction methods.  

As a related question, when switching between beans, do the burrs, hopper, etc. need to be thoroughly cleaned, or are any residual oils and grounds insignificant?

Thanks for any insights!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: How many beans going at a time?
 

John welcome.

Coffee is coffee, there is no such thing as espresso beans or drip beans. There are several different roast levels and for most of us here, beans that are roasted until they are oil covered, are burnt.

I buy nearly all my beans at what is called a city roast. This is a roast level that for me is one of tthe sweetest for all brewing methods. Of course each bean or blend can vary and some are better a little lighter or a little  darker but for me never into the oil stage of roast.

What caused you to pick that machine? I ask because many here are not ready to give it the thumbs up OR down. The maker has a long history of poor quality and it is a very new machine. There are people here who have them and they like them. They look great on paper but the life span is a big unknown and there were design consessions that had to be made to keep the price down that I feel were not the best choice.

If the quality turns out to be OK, then it will slot in as a entry level second teer machine, above the SBDU class starter machines but below higher quality machines with better componets. Given a choice of the BDB and a used higher quality machine without as many "features" I would take the used machine if both prices were the same but that is just me.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Mookie10
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: How many beans going at a time?
 

Thanks Cal.  Appreciate your thoughts here.  So I guess the short answer to my question is that I can buy a pound of coffee in any particular roast (e.g., city) and use it for all of my coffee making needs.  That pretty much confirms what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure if there were specific characteristics in particular roasts that would make them dramatically better/worse for using across three different extraction methods.  I'm going to go out a limb and say that this is just going to be a trial-and-error thing I'll figure out over time.

As to my choice of a Breville, a few big drivers in the decision: what look to be good reviews (lack of track record notwithstanding), dual boiler, features (see: bells and whistles), and price among other things.  But you do raise some excellent points.  I haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet, so I think that I will do just a bit more due diligence.  At the risk of hijacking a thread I started, are there particular makes/models you would suggest I explore? ... Or maybe I should start a new thread in the right forum to get some additional feedback?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 6:00am
Subject: Re: How many beans going at a time?
 

Coffee, yes, try and see! There is a whole world of tastes out there and some you will like better than others so until you try, there is no way to know what works for you but yes a lot of people (myself included) use the same blend/bean for multiple processes.

Machines, The BDB just might turn out to be a great value, it may not have any more issues than it has already had and that have been taken care of. For ME, it is just too early to say one way or the other.

We tend to try to match people to a machine based on expected use. If all you make are straight shots, a quality SBDU will work just fine. If you make 99% milk based drinks for 5 people at a time, you will need a HX or DB machine and a SBDU will only cause frustration.

If you like to play with lots of coffees at the same sitting you are more suited with a HX machine as you can adjust the brew temp "on the fly" so to speak for each coffee, if you stay with the same coffee for a long time a DB might be the best way to go as you can hit the same temp, shot after shot with ease due to the PID control. Due to the way the two machines work, a PID really has no DIRECT affect on the brew temp on a HX machine and more user skill is need than with a DB type machine. The learning curve on a HX machine is longer than for a DB machine but if you like to be more hands on, it is an enjoyable process for most people while the PID is more of a set and forget type system.

I personally feel that on a HX machine, a PID is just a flashing light that does not add much if anything to the machine while on a DB or SBDU machine it is a large improvement in temp control vs other methods.

The machine really "depends" on how you work and how you like to drink your coffee. There are lots of machines to choose from and the price structure from least expensive to most expensive  is Steam toy (not worthy of making anything resembling coffee) SBDU, HX, DB, pressure profiling machines.

There is and has been a "discussion" that a machine up the price scale is "BETTER" than the ones below it but that is not true. It all depends on how you work, like I said before. Large groups typically will be best served with a commercial machine while if it is only you, a good consumer machine may be all you need, it really DEPENDS on which is best for YOU and how you like to make and drink your coffee. Your needs will tend to favor one type of machine over the other not that any one is better than anything else as a general rule.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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tracerbullet
Senior Member
tracerbullet
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 6:24am
Subject: Re: How many beans going at a time?
 

I can't add any new info here, but will agree that one bean can be used for all. I started off with "espresso" beans from a local roaster / shop as that is what they used for their own drinks, and I liked it for espresso through my Gaggia. But I didn't like it at all through my french press, so I bought some of their Sumatra (dark roast, not sure how far) which was great for that purpose. I started to think I'd just have 2 different beans going at a time until I tried the Sumatra in my Gaggia for espresso and lo and behold I loved it.

That sort of opened me up to the idea that any bean can be used for anything, and it's yet one more variable to experiment with. If I had a suggestion it would be to try small amounts of lots of different beans and run them through each method and take notes. You may decide there's one best one for each of the 3 methods you mentioned, you may find one for all, or any combination in between.

As for me I run a 50/50 "espresso" / Sumatra mix for espresso and french press both. That's by no means final! with my methods having become pretty decent, experimenting w/ the beans is certainly a huge part of the fun of it.

(That said I am also now curious if others run 1, 2, 3 or more)
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