HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The espresso machine is an accessory to the grinder (2 msgs / 59 lines)
1) From: Pieter Sijbrandij
Uau, so much to learn.  I only use AP and Mokapot as brewing methods, but
would like to get some comments of you about this remarkable phrase of Pecan
Jim: "Remember the espresso machine is an accessory to the grinder, not the
other way around". 
I use a typical Brazilian Mimoso burr handgrinder (considered by the locals
as being the best national brand, but I have no idea).  I find each coffee
needs adjustments and the degree of roasting also affects how fine it will
grind.  Actually I get close to telling you by the easiness of grinding of
my "standard bean" which roast it is. 
So besides from cleaning my grinder with rice and adjusting it for brew,
roast and coffee what else to look for?
Pieter
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2) From: Brian Kamnetz
Pieter,
What Pecan Jim was referring to was eveness of extraction of the
coffee from the coffee beans. Of course, we can't extract from a whole
bean, because it is too big, so we have to convert the whole bean into
pieces of beans, so that the hot water can extract the coffee from the
pieces.
The smaller the pieces of coffee, the quicker the desirable coffee
flavors are extracted. When the desirable flavors are extracted, you
want to stop the extraction process. If you do not, undesirable
flavors (undesirable because they are bitter) are extracted.
You run into trouble when the "pieces" of your coffee beans are not
all the same size. You run into trouble because, if you have an uneven
grind that produces "boulders and dust", it takes a long time to
extract the coffee flavors from the big pieces, and by the time the
big pieces have the flavors extracted, the small pieces are
over-extracted, releasing bitter flavors. Or, if you stop when the
small pieces are extracted, you are leaving LOTS of desirable flavors
in the big pieces, so that your coffee is weak.
Getting back to Jim's comments, though what I've summarized above it
true of all extraction, uneven grind is especially problematic in
espresso extraction.
Brian
On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 4:25 PM, Pieter Sijbrandij  wrote:
<Snip>
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