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Topic: Same coffee, 3 locations, different tastes (17 msgs / 363 lines)
1) From: Duane Mitchell
I'm new to home roasting and roasted one pound each of Colombia "Dos Payasos
de Tolima", Brazil Moreninha Formosa Raisin Coffe, and Yemen Mokha Sana'ani
before going away for  a weekend a couple weeks ago. Allowing the coffee
"rest", I brewed some using a press pot. I thought I nailed the roast, it
was delicious. After the weekend went to another location where the same
brewing technique yielded an experience that was close but didn't quite
match the first experience. Went back home and thought the coffee tasted on
the lousy side. In particular the mokha was kind of smoky. I thought this
was perhaps due to over-roasting and aging. Then went back to the first
place the next weekend with the exact same coffee and loved it again. It was
a completely satisfying experience. So now I'm wondering what might cause
these different tastes? I'm thinking it's the grinder and/or the water used.
I have different grinders in these locations and, of course, the water is
different. I have what I think is a "Maestro Plus" grinder by Baratza, I'll
have to check next time I'm there. This yields the best cup. I have a Krups
blade grinder at location 2 which yields a pretty good cup and close to
location 1 in flavor. At home I have an older Starbuck Barista which  is
used for the poorest resulting cup. I've recently swapped the Maestro and
the Barista locations.
This morning I brewed a cup with the Krups blade grinder and it was fine. I
brought that grinder back to my home and brewed another cup and it wasn't as
good which makes me think it's more than the grinder. I know I'm about to
embark on a series of controlled tests to figure this out but am wondering
if anyone might have some experience to share on this.
Thanks.
-Duane Mitchell
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2) From: John Mac
What is your the source for your brewing  water?
Are you in different cities when you brew in different locations?
Are you in different types of structures when you brew? Single family home,
large building, etc.
Water quality can make a huge difference in brew taste.
Cheers!
John in Nor Cal
On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM, Duane Mitchell wrote:
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Water is approximately what percent of brewed coffee and you "wonder" if
varying water quality varies the cup? To put it mildly, Duh! 
Slave to the Bean Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
www.NorwestCoffee.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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4) From: Bob Hazen
Duane,
I had a little trouble following the narrative, but it >seems< that your 
coffee was getting stale after weeks of aging.  Did I read the time frame 
properly?  Also, I think you'll have a rough time making controlled 
experiments if there's a blade grinder in the mix.  Not that I have a high 
zoot grinder; it's a lowly MDF.  But, I think the repeatability of a burr 
grinder with decent adjustments is a major help in sorting out the 
difficulties.
Bob

5) From: Seth Grandeau
Blade grinders are also inconsistent, so it's possible that could differ
from one pot to the next.  But, I agree with miKe, it's probably the water.
I bought a Brita pitcher filter and it's made my coffee taste better.
On 4/27/09, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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6) From: Duane Mitchell
Thanks for your help! You obviously know what you're talking about.
On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:30 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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7) From: Allon Stern
On Apr 27, 2009, at 5:02 PM, Duane Mitchell wrote:
<Snip>
Same brewing technique, or same brewer?
Is the press-pot clean?
Is it the same size? How's your technique? I'd beware of "fines" with  
a press pot - overextraction can kill a brew.
And yes, the water can be a large factor. Try using bottled water in  
both locations and see how it goes.
-
allon
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8) From: Duane Mitchell
John,
Thanks for your reply. I've never had this experience before so am somewhat
puzzled.
I am using tap water at all locations. Two of the locations are urban New
England cities- Boston and Worcester, MA. The third location is near the
White Mountains of New Hampshire. This last location gets water from a well
while the other two are "city" water. Or city+, as the case may be.
The NH and Worcester locations are homes while the Boston location is a
high-rise structure. I roast in Worcester but spend at least 2 days a week
in each of the locations. I travel with the coffee.
What I was looking for was some sort of discussion of water and it's mineral
content, hardness, and ph factor and how it may impact a coffee. I suppose
that all can be bypassed by processing the water somehow and I'd enjoy
hearing more about that.
Thanks.
-Duane Mitchell
On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 9:44 PM, John Mac  wrote:
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9) From: raymanowen
" I'm wondering what might cause these different tastes?"
Any significant difference in the elevations of these different locations?
You might equalize things by taking along a 2.5g "cube" of artesian or IMO
better yet, distilled water to eliminate that variable.
The variety of grinders represents a neat way to get a Plurimodal
distribution of coffee flavors. Aren't the burrs in the *$ barista grinder
the same as the Baratza/ Solis Maestro Plus? At least, the Maestro+  would
benefit from the installation of a set of Baratza Virtuoso burrs.
The Maestro Plus is a good grinder by itself, but the burrs were already *
Execrable* when the thing was brand new. Virtuoso burrs will save the day.
Eliminate the variety and take the little Baratza Maestro Plus along with
the water supply. Careful of the plastic bean hopper and grounds bin! None
of it will survive the Drop Test.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grindeer?.
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10) From: Duane Mitchell
Bob,
Sorry for the confusion. To clarify, the coffee at this point is about 15
days old. I first noticed the difference when the batch was 4 days old. When
I returned to the "good" location it was 7 days old and tasted very good at
that point. Delicious even, loved it.
I've lurked on this list for about 3 months now and did follow a thread that
seemed to conclude that the influences on flavor in order of importance
were: 1) roast and 2) grinder. That is how I seized on the grinder. I also
read that blade grinders weren't such a big influence on press pot brewing.
-Duane Mitchell
On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:38 PM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
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11) From: Duane Mitchell
I have a Brita pitcher where I'm at now and will try that in the morning.
Thanks.
-Duane Mitchell
On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 8:37 AM, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
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12) From: Duane Mitchell
Same brewing technique, different Bodum's for each of the 3 locations, all
the same size. My method is very close to repeatable, I use a timer.
What's odd is that it only just happened with this batch of 3 coffees. I've
been roasting for about 9 months and haven't had this experience before. The
only thing I've changed is that I previously ground all the coffee to bring
to the other 2 locations and now I brought out the older Barista grinder and
the blade grinder and put them into the mix so as to grind fresh.
I'm going to try Brita filtered water tomorrow and I'll swap burr ginders
following that.
Thanks.
-Duane Mitchell
On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Allon Stern  wrote:
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13) From: Duane Mitchell
Following up on post...
The Brita filtered water was an improvement. I didn't get that great flavor
that I recall when the roast was fresh but now that the beans are 15 days
old I guess that should be expected. I'll use the filtered water from now on
no matter where I am.
Thanks to everyone who took their time to help a newbie learn more about
this process.
-Duane Mitchell
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14) From: Brian Kamnetz
On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 8:58 PM, Duane Mitchell  wrote:
<Snip>
Duane,
You might enjoy "Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ". One place is
it available:http://big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.htmlBrian
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15) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Duane,
Big city water, in general, tends to be pretty consistent, generally coming
from reservoirs a long way away.
Well water, on the other hand, is extremely variable, and quite often has
heavy mineral taints.
I'm with the others who have suggested that you single-source your water
supply, to take away at least one of the variables.
Doug
On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 10:54 AM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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16) From: Frank Parth
<Snip>
Water? Oh no! Not again!
We've had some extremely long threads on water in the past. Check the archives.
The most common link to send people to ishttp://big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html. More about water than you'll 
really want to know.
Bottom line: yes, the water makes a tremendous difference in the taste of the coffee.
Frank
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17) From: miKe mcKoffee
 On 
<Snip>
NOT even close, but I fake it pretty well:-)
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list
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