HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new roaster with a couple of questions (57 msgs / 1482 lines)
1) From: Michael Douglas-Llyr
Greetings! I'm new to the list and to coffee roasting. I've not yet
started. Just ordered my first beans from Sweet Maria's last Friday.
:) I have a couple of questions that I'd appreciate input on. I'm
going to start out using the hot-air popcorn maker method of roasting.
I have a Toastmaster which was only used a couple of times because
it's utterly useless for popping corn (It's not a heat issue. Some of
you may be aware of how the blasted thing likes to fling popcorn
around the room). I went rummaging through a storage closet and found
that I also have an old Poppery II. Is one of these recommended over
the other?
I'd also greatly appreciate recommendations on a decent to good
grinder. I'd like to keep the cost under $100 if possible. It will be
used primarily for press pot, but I'd like the option of having
something that will work for other grinds as well.
Thanks, much, for any insight!
-- 
The Crystal Wind is the storm, and the storm is data, and the data is life.
                                                  Daniel Keyes Moran =

The Long Run

2) From: Andy Thomas
--- Michael Douglas-Llyr  wrote:
<Snip>
Welcome, Michael. I've never used a Toastmaster, so
others will advise about that. But Poppery II works
fine. Can't hurt to give it a try. It's bound to make
better coffee than popcorn, after all.
I'll let those with more experience than I chime in
about grinder recommendations.
Andy
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
First Welcome to the List and enjoy the homeroast Journey!
Sub $100 grinder wise your options for a decent grinder are limited. A
manual Zass is a good choice for any grind and well under $100. Costco
currently has the Solis Maestro Classic for $80. It's a half way decent
choice for vac, drip, press or pour over etc. but a poor choice for finer
espresso or Turkish grinding. Construction wise it's likely not a grinder
that'll last more than a few years. The Capresso Infinity has the same burr
set as the Solis Maestro series but a better stronger burr carrier design
but it'll most likely push you over $100 unless you find it on sale. The
Infinity is better than the Maestro for finer grinding but still marginal.
The only sub $100 grinder good for fine grinding is the Zass IMO. I went
through 5 electric burr grinders spending around to $300 before biting the
bullet and buying a Rocky. It'll last a lifetime.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer etc.http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

4) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Michael,
Welcome to homeroasting and to the list.  You're gonna love both!  As to
your questions, here's my two cents' worth:
The Poppery II does a great job of roasting, as does the Toastmaster.  =
My
experience with using them (without any modifications) has been that the
Toastmaster roasts slightly faster and hotter than the Poppery II, so I =
used
the Toastmaster for darker roasts.  Try them both and see which one =
works
for you.  There's a page on SweetMaria's website on popper roasting that =
has
more info. and a page with links to other sites that show modifications =
to
the poppers.  Just poke around the site and you'll find tons of useful =
info.
As far as a grinder and if you're looking for an electric one, I've been
using the Cuisinart DBM-8 (about $80 at Macy's) for presspot, moka pot, =
and
drip brewing for about 1.5 months and have been very happy with it.  
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
For drip, presspot and moka brew
<Snip>

5) From: Justin Marquez
Michael - Many will gag at my suggestion, but I have a $30 electric
burr grinder which works quite well for drip and pour over coffee
(Swiss Gold One Cup) brewing.  It is a Melitta MEM1B.
Yes, I *know* it won't last a lifetime.  Yes, I *know* that if you
don't get the catch basket in the right place it scatters grinds on
the counter. Yes, I *know* it builds up some fines in one spot on the
catch basket.  BUT.... $30 is hard to beat, too.  It makes consistent
grind quality and works well for my use.  I doubt  that it would grind
properly for expresso.
So, if you want to start gently in this craft... email my directly
(offlist) and I will send you the contact info on it.  (Emailing
offlist will avoid curmudgeon reprisals on list... heheh)
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.comOn Mon, 6 Dec 2004 00:20:45 -0600, Michael Douglas-Llyr
 wrote:
<Snip>
e.
<Snip>

<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
--

6) From: Dennis Parham
hey Justin! no Problem... for the most part... us Espresso guys are the =
most finicky about our grind constancy!! hehe as for Drip and French 
Press it is not quite as important in cup taste or quality! but having =
any BURR type should work GREAT for those other applications! what I do =
with my Rocky is put a commercial aluminum bun pan ... about 7$ at any =
restaurant supply store!  my rocky can dose..make a mess... and still 
keep counters nice and clean... :-D
Pasquini Livia90 is at Pasquini for some NEW UPGADES!!! :D So..Im 
French Pressing at the moment....  today...
50/50 Ethiopian FT Harar/Guatamalan HHT     yummy!
Dennis
On Dec 6, 2004, at 9:01 AM, Justin Marquez wrote:
<Snip>
roasting.
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>

7) From: Justin Marquez
For the most part, the Meiltta doesn't make much mess. However, it is
possible to put the lid on the catch basket slightly off-centered. 
When that happens, the basket will feel like it clicked into place,
but doesn't exactly seal up snug to the exit chute for the grinds. 
Then, it will lay down a layer of grinds REAL QUICKLY on the counter.
(Yes - experience is speaking.)
The grinder is not too hard to clean up, either. There is some static
electricity which makes a little bit of grinds stick to the inside of
the catch basket.  But, the static does actually help to hold all in
one place the small quantity of fines produced by the burrs.
If one is not making expresso, then the Melitta is a decent first step
up from a blade-type grinder (or NO grinder).  At the office is a
Krups blade type grinder which does a pretty decent job as well,
somewhat better than the cheesy Braun blade type at home which the
Melitta replaced.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.comOn Mon, 6 Dec 2004 09:18:52 -0600, Dennis Parham  wro=
te:
<Snip>
—
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
--

8) From: Pecan Jim Gundlach
On Dec 6, 2004, at 9:01 AM, Justin Marquez wrote:
<Snip>
I am not gagging, just rather irritated that experienced opinion would 
be dismissed in this way.   To date, I know of no one who has used a 
good grinder such as the Zass, Rocky, or Mazzer who has said that the 
cheap burr grinders do an adequate job.  Rather than go over this 
again.   I recommend searching the archives and read two or three of 
the threads on this topic.
      Jim Gundlach

9) From: John Blumel
On Dec 6, 2004, at 2:15pm, Pecan Jim Gundlach wrote:
<Snip>
I own a Mazzer Mini and a Zassenhaus, and I have said so. No, cheap 
burr grinders won't do an adequate job for espresso and results won't 
be optimal for other brewing methods but, if it's what you can afford 
at the time, then some of them can do an adequate job. Adequate meaning 
that, since you are roasting your own coffee you have to grind it 
somehow and will the grinder give you better coffee from your home 
roasted beans than you could get by buying pre-ground coffee at a 
store, which is really your only other option if you don't have some 
kind of grinder.
I do urge anyone considering the purchase of an inexpensive burr 
grinder to do their homework -- the consumer reviews at CoffeeGeek are 
a good place to start -- before making a decision. Particularly as you 
get into the lower end of the burr grinder price range, you might do 
just as well to save even more money and buy a $20 blade grinder like 
the one that SM's sells. Then, if you're motivated to optimize your 
coffee experience, you can start saving money for a better grinder 
sometime in the future.
I would also note that, in terms of adequacy and in my experience, the 
quality of the grinder is less critical in paper filtered drip brewing 
than in other applications. For other non-espresso uses, grind quality 
is probably most important in vac pots -- because of stalling issues -- 
with press falling somewhere in the middle, unless you really can't 
stand any sludge in you coffee. So, if you can't afford an expensive 
grinder (and don't want to grind by hand) consider matching your 
brewing method to the quality of your grinder.
John Blumel

10) From: John Blumel
On Dec 6, 2004, at 3:40am, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
I agree with Mike that, under $100, the Zassenhaus will probably give 
you the best grind quality and is the only grinder in that price range 
suitable for espresso. As indicated, it's hand powered but, if you 
don't mind a little extra time and effort it produces an even grind 
with few fines (dust) and no static.
The Capresso Infinity comes in two models: A plastic cased model that 
sells for around $99 and a metal cased model that sells for around 
$139. The $99 model doesn't seem to have much competition in it's price 
range.
You can find reviews for these at CoffeeGeek and there has also lately 
been some discussion of the Infinity on alt.coffee.
John Blumel

11) From: Brian Kamnetz
At 03:26 PM 12/6/2004 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
I don't make espresso, but use a Zassenhaus grain mill at home. It clamps 
onto the counter and is much easier to use than the Zass 169 I use at work. 
As far as I know, the grain mill is fine for espresso.
Brian

12) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
What *is* it with the expressed irritation on this list?
It's not just Jim, I'm expecting others to join the chorus any time now.
It may be peculiar to this topic, which is where I was the object of it.
Advice, based on experience, is a good thing to share.
Hopefully, with *humility*.
It has value, but it's not the last word, it's a starting point.
And counter to Jim's assertion,
"I know of no one who has used a good grinder such as the Zass, Rocky, 
or Mazzer who has said that the cheap burr grinders do an adequate job"
we now have John Blumel,
"results won't be optimal for other brewing methods but, if it's what 
you can afford at the time, then some of them can do an adequate job"
and Brent
"I've been using the Cuisinart DBM-8 (about $80 at Macy's) for presspot, 
moka pot, and drip brewing for about 1.5 months and have been very happy 
with it."
The irritation is often accompanied by the assumption that the inquirer 
needs a grinder to meet the needs of espresso machines, even though it 
may be stated that the application is some other method of brewing.
OK, I'm probably not adding to the good-will of the Season with this 
message, but I'm irritated with the irritation.
But I feel better now, got it out of my system.
Dave S.
Pecan Jim Gundlach wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: John Blumel
On Dec 6, 2004, at 3:45pm, Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>
My memory is that someone on the list compared the grind quality of the 
grain mill to a coffee mill and found that the grain mill produced a 
significantly less even grind and/or more fines. For one handed use, 
Zassenhaus does make wall mounted coffee grinders that one would expect 
to give the same quality grind as the 'handheld' models. They also have 
a cylindrical plastic or glass 'cup' that the coffee is dispensed into 
that might make espresso dosing simpler.
John Blumel

14) From: Justin Marquez
Actually, I agree with you. I would not question that high-dollar
grinders do a better, more consistent job than cheap ones.  Generally
the folks who own those high-dollar grinders fall into two categories:
1) Folks to whom first quality at a premium price is affordable. (They
drive a Lexus, for example.)  They probably also own the finest
expresso machine and a fine roaster setup as well and have a green
bean coffee stash worth more than the sum of the economy of some of
the countries where their coffee was grown.
2) Folks who started out "small" and gradually upgraded as funds and
experience permits.
IF the fellow asking about grinders was in the first group, he
wouldn't be using a Toastmaster and asking about sub-$100 grinders at
all.  He'd be writing big checks and never looking back.
In all honesty, if you are making drip or pour-over coffee, the blade
grinders are probably good enough, particularly when you first step up
to homeroasted.  (What's up with this "Blade grinders heat up the
ground coffee and change the flavor..." anyway?  Aren't we getting
ready to immerse the grinds in 200 Deg F water...?  I have felt of the
ground coffee immediately after running it thru the blade machine and
it never feels more than ever-so-very-slightly warm.)
   (There goes ANY CHANCE of my ever getting some CSA points....)
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.comOn Mon, 6 Dec 2004 13:15:06 -0600, Pecan Jim Gundlach
 wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: petzul
Hi Michael,
Welcome to the list :)
I still roast with Poppers, although I am inclined to experiment a bit.
Either one of those should be fine. Pretty soon you will be adding lamp 
dimmers, transformers, chimneys, Variacs, thermocouples etc.
It's a wonderful obsession if you don't weaken .
Somehow I just knew I needed a good grinder. It makes a difference in 
how the coffee tastes. Just like a good brewer does, perhaps more so.
First I had a blade grinder, then an assortment of burr grinders from 
ebay and thrift stores. All were messy with static, or just plain messy.
People here will have lots of recommendations, and it boils down to your 
being happy with what you have.
 I was not, so after wasting lots of time and money, and anguish, I 
finally bit the bullet and bought a Mazzer Mini.
Yes it is worth it.
And I never have to worry about 'if only I had a better grinder' again :)
PeterZ
Freely giving his 2 cents worth, from here in LHC.
Michael Douglas-Llyr wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Gene Smith
<Snip>
I'm gagging, because I just don't understand why a minor difference of 
opinion should be viewed as a 'dismissal.'  Is the only appropriate 
response to someone who asks what is available under $100 to tell them to 
get a Zass and shut up and grind by hand until they can afford a Rocky or 
Mazzer?  Seems a little harsh.  Should those of us who cannot afford a 
Solis Maestro, let alone a 'real' grinder just leave the list until we can? 
Perhaps it would be acceptable if we just hung our heads in shame and 
refrained from speaking until we have joined the ranks of the elect?
And, speaking of ground we've gone over and over and over, please let us 
not have any more 'dismissals' from an engineering viewpoint about our 
inability to understand how we are just throwing our money away if we don't 
get a Rocky or a Mazzer - or show some backbone and grind by hand until we 
can afford one.  When I can *afford* a Rocky or Mazzer I will buy one.  If 
some generous soul gives me one, I promise to treasure it and use it every 
day.  But, in the meanwhile, I don't intend to give up coffee because I 
have to grind my homeroast with a cheap burr grinder.
Oh yeah...Ho, ho, ho.
Gene Smith
riding the wild learning curve, in Houston

17) From: Michael Douglas-Llyr
Thank you all very much for the responses. I do appreciate it.
Unfortunately, a truly high-end grinder is out of my reach right now.
I've decided, I think, that I'll purchase a Capresso Infinity as I can
find one for $99.00. I think, judging by some of the reviews I've
read, that this will suit me for the time being. Anyone in agreement?
:)
On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 15:16:47 -0500, John Blumel  w=
rote:
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
The Crystal Wind is the storm, and the storm is data, and the data is life.
                                                  Daniel Keyes Moran =

The Long Run

18) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Well said, Gene!  Thank you.
Gratuitous bad pun coming:  It seems like grinders are the burrs under
the saddle of homeroasting!
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
For drip, presspot, and moka brew
<Snip>
<Snip>

19) From: petzul
Hi Gene,
Very well said! :)
Against my wife's strong objections, I ordered a Mazzer Mini anyway. 
Admittedly I was sold by people on this list who kept repeating that a 
grinder is the most important thing to own.
Okay, maybe Charlotte was upset because of all the mess with the 
inexpensive burr grinders, and the blade grinder never held enough for a 
pot, but she conceded.
 (aside) I just made a press pot of Monsooned Malabar, and noticed that 
it really is not strong enough if you can see the spring through the 
side of the pot. It is okay to see the filter, but not the spring.
5 scoops per 20 oz.
Back on track.. the MM stretched our budget, (we do not own a lexus or 
anything really high end)  and we took it with us camping last summer.
Well, who is to say, in rebellion or whatever, but C dropped the Mazzer! 
We travel with it on the floor, and she was lifting it onto the counter. 
(Usually that is my job)
It put a hole in the camper floor, and destroyed an oak cabinet door, 
bent the output hopper (doser?)
The lid fits loose on that now :(
but it still works fine.
I love that my press pot never gives me any sludge.
It is fun to be able to grind espresso so fine that it stops the pump on 
my $5.00 thrift shop espresso machine,
and I really can taste a difference with a vacuum pot; between it and my 
old DeLohngi burr grinder.
If I could have made a better grinder for the money I probably would be 
working on that now as well as a roaster.
My stomach does not allow me to drink as much coffee as I used to, and 
when I do drink it I want it to be awesome!
I just refused to settle any longer. Life is to short to be wondering if 
your coffee could be better :)
PeterZ
Respectfully submitted, from way south in LHC.
Gene Smith wrote:
<Snip>

20) From: Peter Barnes
I think what is missed time and again when we use words like "adequate" 
is the depth of detail and nuance that makes what is "adequate" for some 
"inadequate" for others..
I have used several whirly blades, a cheap burr grinder (Capresso), a 
Zass, a Solis Maestro, and Rocky.  In my experience there is a clear and 
verifiable difference between drip coffee (chemex and high-quality drip 
machines) ground in a whirly blade/capresso and the zass/solis/rocky.  
In my experience there is a clear and verifiable difference in press 
pots, in moka pots, vaccuum coffee makers, and especially in espresso.  
But it's more than just taste. 
I went through several $30 whirly blades because they dull, die, or 
otherwise stop working after a while.  Are they "adequate"?  Sure.  They 
make coffee.  But if you're passionate about homeroasting, why would you 
settle for an adequate grinder that doesn't give you access to the full 
palette of roasted coffee flavors?  Why would you settle for a grinder 
that's going to need to be replaced relatively quickly, knowing that 
your passion for coffee probably isn't going anywhere?  I just don't 
understand.
When it comes to finances, I understand the concern.  I purchased almost 
all of my coffee equipment as a seminary student whose monthly income 
was around $400 a month.  But I scrimped and saved my pennies, and 
bought the maestro to take care of my drip needs, and the rocky to take 
care of my espresso needs when I finally moved up to espresso. 
I'm not going to pretend to know anything beyond the grinders that I 
tried.  There is no doubt that good grinders are expensive.  Thankfully, 
they're far and away the most expensive part of the process in good 
coffee preparation.  A press, a chemex, a vaccuum pot are all very 
affordable options that run about the same or less than the cost of a 
cheapo Mr. Coffee drip pot, but provide excellent coffee.  Coffee 
roasting itself can be done so simply and cheaply that I don't need to 
say anything else about it.  Still, a good grinder will make an 
incredible difference if the brewing process is being done right, and I 
also think is  within reach for anyone willing to wait and budget and 
put effort into finding. 
A while ago, I wrote up a piece on my blog called Great Coffee for 
Misers.  It goes into more detail about what experience has taught me 
regarding coffee. 
cheers
peter
Maryann & Dave Schellenberg wrote:
<Snip>

21) From: Peter Barnes
Peter Barnes wrote:
<Snip>
oops.http://www.livejournal.com/users/periol/19188.html

22) From: Brett Mason
Hi Michael,
Consider the Zassenhaus once more before you run the card...  Get a
model 156 and you'll get the best grind up front, and always have a
traveling kit...
Cheers,
Brett
On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 15:41:37 -0600, Michael Douglas-Llyr
 wrote:
<Snip>
 wrote:
<Snip>
n
<Snip>
scribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
e.
<Snip>

<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

23) From: John Blumel
On Dec 6, 2004, at 6:16pm, Peter Barnes wrote:
<Snip>
Generally, the "Great Grinder Controversy" rears it's head when someone 
asks the list, "What's a good, inexpensive grinder to buy?" Or 
something along those lines; sometimes with a specific price range 
quoted.
I don't think there's really a controversy about whether better, more 
expensive grinders can consistently give you a better grind and, thus, 
a better cup of coffee. The issue is that, if someone asks for an 
inexpensive grinder recommendation or for a recommendation under a 
certain dollar amount. it's usually because that's all they can afford 
at the moment or all they are willing to spend. Very often, these 
questions come from people who are just getting started in home 
roasting who may have either spent a bit of money on a roaster and 
beans or aren't yet really sure how deep they want to get into this 
hobby/lifestyle.
In these circumstances, it isn't very helpful to tell them that they 
have to spend $300-400 on a grinder when they obviously aren't willing 
or able, for whatever reason, to do so at the time they ask for advice. 
And, I think it's not reasonable to set the bar so high for people who 
are just starting out and for whom the thought of having to spend so 
much money on a grinder right away may actually discourage them from 
continuing with roasting.
Yes, the more you spend on a grinder (within some definition of reason 
and assuming you do your homework and don't get ripped off) the more 
evenly it will grind, the less dust it will produce, and the better 
your coffee will be. For many of us, a Mazzer is the icon of the ideal 
grinder but, for most non-espresso applications, a blade grinder is 
adequate. So, there's a lot of ground and a lot of grinders that fall 
into the "more than adequate" and "less than ideal" range.
So, if you have the money and are willing to spend it, by all means go 
out and buy a Mazzer Mini and you'll never have to worry about your 
grind again. If the burrs wear out, which they eventually will, you can 
just replace them.
However, if you don't have the money right now or you aren't willing to 
spend it, then, decide how much you are willing to spend and consider 
the following rough guide:
1. Adequate
a. $20 Blade Grinder -- No good for espresso, may be inadequate for vac 
pots.
2. More than Adequate
a. $30-70 Electric Burr Grinders -- No good for espresso, some may be 
inadequate for vac pot brewing because of excessive dust production so 
check reviews before buying. These will likely wear out after a while 
and start producing a lot of dust so you may eventually have to buy 
another grinder if that becomes a problem for you.
3. Less than Ideal
a. $60-90 Zassenahaus Hand Mills -- Suitable for espresso or an other 
application. Obviously a bit more work because you have to turn the 
crank to grind but the grind is very even with little dust. Many make 
good travel mills and it's good to have one around for emergency use 
when the power goes out.
b. $100-150 Electric Burr Grinders -- These include the Capresso 
Infinity ($99 plastic, $139 metal casing) and the Solis Maestro Plus 
($149). They can be used for espresso and any other brewing method. 
However, if used for espresso, burr wobble will eventually result in 
dulling of the burrs, which cannot be replaced, and increased dust 
production. If never used for espresso, these grinders should last for 
several years before wearing out
4. Ideal
a. $300-400+ -- Espresso grinders like the Rancilio Rocky and Mazzer 
Mini. Burrs will last a long time at espresso settings and are 
replaceable. (I believe the Mini's burrs are rated for 600 lbs.) These 
grinders can also be used to grind coffee for any other brewing method. 
They produce an extremely even grind with little dust that results in a 
very even extraction of the coffee during brewing and maximizes your 
coffee drinking pleasure.
John Blumel

24) From: Les
I LIKE it Brent!  I wouldn't buy anything less than a Rocky!  That is
what plastic is for!
Les
Wait a minute, that is why I am working three jobs, to pay off the plastic!
On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 13:48:42 -0800, Brent - SC/TO Roasting
 wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: Jeff Braman
<Snip>
Wecome Danie!l,
Believe that the Capresso Infinity will be a very good choice, based
on everything I've read.
All may want to reads Tom's opinion and the description of the "The
Bodum C-Mill " on the "Sweet Marias" website. I ordered several to
give to close friends that don't have a grinder, to use with my
"Holiday" Homeroast. Tom's judgement seems exceptional, when it comes
to coffee matters!!
-- 
Jeff B
jeff.braman

26) From: Philip Keleshian
This strikes me as a fairly good deal for under $100: =http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?whse=&topnav=&prodid=1100=8286
Phil

27) From: Peter Barnes
John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>
I still think that one problem here is that "adequate" is relative.  
Honestly, even when I roast the coffee and it's fresh, I don't consider 
blade ground french press coffee to be adequate.  It is coffee.  It has 
caffeine.  But it is not what I consider adequate coffee.  There are 
still some days when I'll stop for a small regular coffee at the corner 
grocer on the way to work (regular means two sugars two creams), and 
I'll drink it not because it's adequate but because it has caffeine.  My 
cheap burr grinder was better but wore out very fast.  But then again, I 
don't always consider the coffee that I make every day to be adequate.
cheers
peter

28) From: John Blumel
On Dec 7, 2004, at 3:00am, Peter Barnes wrote:
<Snip>
Well, I've made press coffee using a blade grinder that was very good. 
Yes, it does require a bit of technique with the grinder (shaking it a 
bit while grinding and checking the grounds visually a few times) and 
yes you do end up with a bit of sludge in the cup, but the results can 
be quite good. Certainly much better than any coffee I've ever bought 
anywhere.
No, it's not ideal and not the most consistent grinding method but, 
starting with fresh home roasted coffee, it can be very good. Would 
this be my grinder of choice? No, not if I had a better grinder. But, 
if that's what you have or can afford, it can do the job.
The point isn't that you should buy the cheapest grinder that you can 
find. The point is that, if you already have some grinder and aren't 
prepared to buy a better one or if your budget limits you in how much 
you can spend on a grinder, then you can still get very good coffee 
from home roasted beans and you don't have to immediately go out and 
buy a Mazzer Mini to get coffee that's worth drinking.
(Of course, the exceptions to this are espresso where you really should 
have an 'ideal' grinder and vac pot brewing where, depending on your 
filter type, anything less than a 'less than ideal' grinder may lead to 
stalls. But not everyone will use those brewing methods.)
John Blumel

29) From: Deward Hastings
<Snip>
Agreed (as edited ).
The fatal flaw of the "whirley-blade" type grinder (even the one that =
Tom
sells . . . sorry) is the inability to produce a consistent, uniform or
reproducible grind (and some semblance of all three are *required* to
reliably make good coffee by *any* method).  You *can* make decent drip =
with
one (the "standard" for drip being so much lower), possibly even most of =
the
time, but certainly not espresso, mocha pot, vac pot, or even French =
Press .
. . all techniques where balancing grind size and uniformity with =
extraction
time is very much a part of what makes those techniques superior to drip =
in
the first place.  And even drip is much improved (to the point of =
possibly
even producing consistently *good* coffee) by uniform and predictable =
grind.
I used for many years an old grist (grain) mill (use it sometimes still)
that for all its flaws is *far* superior to the whirley-blade with which =
I
once struggled, and which produced far more bad coffee than good.  It =
does a
"beginner" no favor to steer them toward one, when for just (literally) =
a
few dollars more even the cheapest of "burr" grinders will do a better, =
much
more reproducible, job.
I'm certainly not saying that everyone must, or even should, run out
immediately and get a $300 grinder.  And yes, fresh beans, even through =
a
whirley-blade, will taste better than month old pre-ground.  But it does =
no
favor to a "beginner" to saddle him or her with a tool that will get in =
the
way of making good brew more than it facilitates it, and which, once its
shortcomings are understood, will *never again be used* (except in the =
most
dire emergency).
5 CSA points for every one you find and destroy before it takes another
unsuspecting victim . . . that's my vote .
Deward

30) From: Brett Mason
1. Excellent; Far better / Exceedingly better than adequate:
Zassenhaus Coffee Mill.
Re-read everything about them...
 No Dust
 Consistent grind
 Very fine for espresso
   (or even a finer powder for making THE BEST mocha flavored Ice Cream)
 Last forever (or almost)
My next grinder will be a Zass replacement for my current Zass.
The others either are too cheap and don't work/don't last
  -or-
They are far too expensive for the benefit.
I love my Zass.
OK if we want to keep going up the list, how about this:
6. Servant Provided Hand Milled Coffee
  a) Servant $80K / yr
  b) Zass Mill
  c) alarm clock so he gets there on time
7. Ritz-Carlton Delivered Servant Provided Hand Milled Coffee
  a) Ritz Carlton (If Marriott is selling)
  b) see the inclusions for (6) above
I believe all the posts above cover the various methods.  Don't
diminish the Zass because you must turn a crank.  I use mine daily -
3-4 pots, including Vacuum, Drip, Press, and Mokapot.  I don't use my
Cuisinart's Gring-n-brew grinder anymore - I grind by hand and get
incredible coffee still.
My bicep is not yet at 43 inches either...
Brett
On Tue, 7 Dec 2004 08:18:05 -0800, Deward Hastings  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

31) From: Les
Brett,
I used a Zass for 16 years on a daily basis.  I agree 100% with your
method.   If you are not going to a Rocky or better, stick with the
Zass.  It is the best grinder for under $250.00 and it is less than
$100 to boot!  I still use my Zass for camping and it is in my travel
kit.  If the electricity goes out, the Zass is put into action and I
don't feel like I have lost anything in terms of quality.
Les 
On Tue, 7 Dec 2004 08:41:03 -0800, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

32) From: Jeff Oien
Did you use it a lot for espresso? I need some reassurance. The burrs
go against each other when grinding for espresso and it bothers me
even though Tom says this is normal and he used his for at least
three years with no problem. I make one double shot a day.
JeffO
Les wrote:
<Snip>

33) From: Justin Marquez
Les -
How long does it take to make a grind for 6 cups using a Zass?  I have
always felt that the Zass probably was the best bang-for-the-buck, but
have wondered how time consuming it might be.  (Of course, if the
coffee produced is noticeably better, it may well be worth the extra
time.)
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.comOn Tue, 7 Dec 2004 08:51:32 -0800, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

34) From: Angelo
<Snip>
snip...
Who sez? If the burrs actually go against each other for espresso, it would 
not be able to do Turkish grind, which is a lot finer.
The grinding mechanism is guaranteed for 10 yrs.. I wouldn't worry so much 
about the burrs wearing down...
Angelo

35) From: John Blumel
On Dec 7, 2004, at 12:38pm, Justin Marquez wrote:
<Snip>
I've never really timed a grind and I don't use mine that often anymore 
but, as a very rough estimate, I would say maybe around 5 minutes of 
grinding time. Depending on the model and how much coffee you consider 
appropriate for 6 cups, you might have to stop once to refill the 
hopper and empty the bin.
John Blumel

36) From: Brett Mason
I use a knee mill (156) - and it takes 2 minutes to grind enough for a
12-cup drip.  Same for my Cory 8 cup vacpot.
  (I grind 2-3 drawer loads)
Takes 1 minute to grind espresso for pulling a shot on my Barista.
  (takes about 1/2 drawer load per shot)
Takes 1.5 minutes for French Press
  (2 drawer loads)
My wife now grinds by Zass rather than our Cuisinart Grind-N-Brew. 
She is a convenience freak too... so this behavior surprised me.  She
is becoming a CSA member....   :-)
Brett
On Tue, 7 Dec 2004 11:38:02 -0600, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

37) From: Jeff Oien
Angelo wrote:
<Snip>
I say. They go against each other slightly when I grind for espresso.
JeffO

38) From: Brett Mason
Rating a Zass as less than ideal will really mess up new roasters from
a GREAT grinder at a reasonable price.
My $0.02
Brett
On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 19:29:18 -0500, John Blumel  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

39) From: John Blumel
On Dec 7, 2004, at 2:41pm, Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>
Well, the categories names are somewhat tongue-in-cheek. However, I do 
think the facts that a) they're manually powered, b) the adjustment 
nuts can slip and throw off your grind, and c) it can be a bit messy to 
transfer grounds from the bin to your brewing equipment do make them 
somewhat less than ideal. Personally, I thought the "More than 
Adequate" category would be more controversial.
Ignoring the issue of hand cranking and whether one is willing to do 
that, the Zassenhaus are the best grinders you can buy in terms of 
quality of grind for your dollar.
John Blumel

40) From: Rich Adams
Well, time is one thing and it depends on how fast you rotate (grind), how 
much you are grinding and to what degree of fineness, of course.
But I found it takes about 100 - 120 revolutions for approx 60 grams of 
beans ground between medium and fine during my last road trip using a Zass 
169.  I'd say it took no longer then a minute and a half to grind that much.
Respectfully,
Rich Adams

41) From: AlChemist John
I do that quantity daily.  Under 2 minutes.
Sometime around 10:22 12/7/2004, John Blumel typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

42) From: John Blumel
On Dec 8, 2004, at 9:02am, AlChemist John wrote:
<Snip>
Well, like I said, I never timed it and perception of time is not 
constant.
John Blumel

43) From: Brett Mason
True enough on perception of time...
Perception of wallet:  A Zass in great shape costs $20-40 on eBay
Perception of coffee:  Zass grind can't be beat, foir all coffee grinding
Perception of future:  Zass can make sense until you can get a Rocky or similar!
Thanks all
  [[protecting my ebay zass purchase image]]
Brett
On Wed, 8 Dec 2004 10:46:31 -0500, John Blumel  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

44) From: AlChemist John
Sigh, in my more obsessive times, I did time it.  That's why I know.  Since 
I always had to empty the tray in the middle of a pot's worth of coffee I 
used to time one minute, dump, and grind until done (usually another 
minute, although I did try for personal "bests")
Sometime around 07:46 12/8/2004, John Blumel typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

45) From: Jean
From: "John Blumel" 
<Snip>
someone 
<Snip>
Lately (perhaps more in AC than here, but often enough here) all one =
needs to do is ask ANY question and state that they are new to any =
aspect of coffee and someone will be sure to inform the Newbie that the =
info they are seeking isn't of as much importance as their grinder.  =
(With the assumption being that they said Newbie is lacking in the =
grinder dept.)
 
JMO,
Jean

46) From: Brett Mason
I was told today of a new method:
 place roasted beans between 2 sheets of paper
 crush with a hammer
Apparently this leaves less dust than a whirly gig
It also leaves less dust than a cheap burr grinder
Cost should be reasonably moderate
I can't wait to see the responses...
Brett
On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 17:12:51 -0800, Jean  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

47) From: Gary Townsend
Brett, you try the whole bean method of brewing yet? Take 1 pound of
roasted coffee beans, whole, and put them into a sock, like the white
cotton type. It's like making a giant lipton tea bag. Soak overnight
in a big container. For breakfast coffee, heat up everything in a
microwave.
And you don't even need a grinder....
 Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

48) From: Brett Mason
hmmm - seems very interesting - how much do you get out of the whole pound?
On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:50:44 -0600, Gary Townsend  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

49) From: Gary Townsend
Forgive me, Brett,
I was just getting a visual image of someone smashing coffeebeans with
a rock and ....well, you know...ummm...all the posts on 'my grinder is
better than your grinder' ...just drive's me crazy sometimes.
I was just joking around. I'd hate to think that someone actually
stuffed a pound of coffee beans into a sock, soaked them and tried to
drink it.
Of course 6 month's ago, I thought that everyone used a blade grinder
at home....
:-0

50) From: Brett Mason
Images ARE truly frightening...
I asked the gentleman about the paper, beans & hammer, and he was
truly serious.  His point was the minimal dust, the rough grind, and
the sweet cup of coffee it would produce.  He said it made great
coffee!
I understand that historically cowboys would crush beans with the side
of their knife, throw them in a pot of boiling water, and stir.  Once
the brew was done (4 minutes, measured at exactly 203.53241 degrees)
they would remove from the flame, and pour maybe 1/2 cup of cold water
on the top of the brew - and this would cause the grounds to sink.  I
tried this camping on Dec 4, and most of the grounds did go to the
bottom.  It was still chunky, but great!  Uganda Bugiso made the
cowboy way...
Similarly, I am very frightened by the sock method.  I have 7 sons,
and the image of boy-socks-coffee with attendant pungent aromatics is
veeeeery skeeery.  Maybe someone has done this with a good clean sock
- how much water, beans, etc., and how did it come out?
Regards,
Brett
On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 12:43:03 -0600, Gary Townsend  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

51) From: Tom Ulmer
An old t-shirt (preferably clean) a couple of rocks, a campfire, and a pot
and you can make coffee. With a little effort and thought it can be quite
good.
Forgive me, Brett,
I was just getting a visual image of someone smashing coffeebeans with
a rock and ....well, you know...ummm...all the posts on 'my grinder is
better than your grinder' ...just drive's me crazy sometimes.
I was just joking around. I'd hate to think that someone actually
stuffed a pound of coffee beans into a sock, soaked them and tried to
drink it.
Of course 6 month's ago, I thought that everyone used a blade grinder
at home....
:-0

52) From: Gary Townsend
I've made great coffee, no kidding, on a perc. pot, on a bed of coals.
Of course, some people can't believe that can happen. I was the same
way towards the french press, but since I tried it, I agree, it can be
pretty good, too. And the vac brewers look just too cool, for me, I'm
more afraid of dropping it, than using one. The Moka pot is pretty
good, too! I've been toying with mine, and I almost get the part of
'courser grind' + lower heat = success. Out of 5 attempts, I've only
made 1 drinkable cup of coffee, but I'll keep trying till it comes out
great! You never know when the electricity is going to go out, better
be prepared! ( And you'll elevate your status in your community, when
you whip up a fresh batch of freshroast, over an open fire, and hand
grind it then completing the circle by expertly brewing a magical cup
of joe.)
Tom Ulmer  wrote: An old t-shirt (preferably clean)
a couple of rocks, a campfire, and a pot and you can make coffee. With
a little effort and thought it can be quite good.
I wrote:
 Forgive me, Brett,
 I was just getting a visual image of someone smashing coffeebeans
with a rock and ....well, you know...ummm...all the posts on 'my
grinder is better than your grinder' ...just drive's me crazy
sometimes.
 
 I was just joking around. I'd hate to think that someone actually
stuffed a pound of coffee beans into a sock, soaked them and tried to
drink it.
 
 Of course 6 month's ago, I thought that everyone used a blade grinder
at home....

53) From: Brett Mason
( And you'll elevate your status in your community, when
you whip up a fresh batch of freshroast, over an open fire, and hand
grind it then completing the circle by expertly brewing a magical cup
of joe.)   
Over a fire.  On your driveway.  Under a full moon!
Tell us when, we're all coming over!
Brett
On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:55:15 -0600, Gary Townsend  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

54) From: Gary Townsend
Just watch the weather channel!
Here in Kansas if you don't like the weather, go indoors, wait 4 hrs,
go back outside. It's getting colder by the minute, tonight! Around
May, should be start of tornado season, that's always pretty
interesting!
 Brett Mason  wrote:
 ( And you'll elevate your status in your community, when you whip up
a fresh batch of freshroast, over an open fire, and hand grind it then
completing the circle by expertly brewing a magical cup of joe.)
 
Over a fire.  On your driveway.  Under a full moon!
 
Tell us when, we're all coming over!
 
Brett

55) From: Bob Baker
Being a cub scout den leader, our motto is always "be prepared",
so on every camp-out the parents always congregate around our site
for a cup of French pressed roast of the day.  The scout parents
really liked the Sulawesi Toraja....
as an old TV ad said  ''''Try it you'll like it''''
what ad was that anyway????
Bob/Dallas
  Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

56) From: Ben Treichel
Bob Baker wrote:
<Snip>
Ask Mikey, he won't eat it!!

57) From: Peter Schmidt
<Snip>
That was for Life cereal...  "Give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything"
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings


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