HJoelS wrote: <Snip> For filter drip, it's not such a big deal as other brewing methods. But for what it's worth, the whirley-blade grinders don't give as consistent and even a grind. So some of the coffee grinds will be overextracted, while others will be underextracted - only a portion of them will be "properly" extracted. Practically speaking, you could probably use less coffee per brew if you had a more even grind, but it's probably not that big a deal. Bottom line is if it works for you and you are satisfied, you don't need to apologize to anyone. You might try a burr grinder just to see if you notice a difference now that you've had more time with it, but don't sweat it until you go for learing to brew espresso. -- garyZ Whirley-drip(paper)-black homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I'll take a stab at this...sorry if it too does not answer your question, which is: "But I keep hearing about "How superior a burr grinder like the Solis Maestro is", and was wondering just what that difference may be." The difference is that the resulting grind is more even with a burr grinder. What this means is that the resulting coffee can be more flavorful (there are other factors involved as well). It also means that you can better control the brewing process as the grind is more even, thus the brewing process more predictable. Imagine that you are baking a cake from a mix. In the mix is the flour mixture, which you have to sift before putting in the cake. If you use an inferior sifter and wind up with huge chunks and miniscule bits of flour, the cake will not taste as good as if the flour is sifted properly, that is, uniformly. Ok, so maybe that didn't work...let's try lemonade. You are making lemonade and you can use one of two squeezers. One squeezer is hit or miss, sometimes it squeezes lots of juice from the lemon, sometimes none at all. Sometimes, it squeezes so hard, it actually puts pieces of rind into the juice, causing great bitterness. The other squeezer produces roughly the same amount of juice per lemon. Your recipe for lemonade calls for using 8 lemons. Which squeezer is preferable? Hope this helps, jim
From: "HJoelS" <Snip> so <Snip> If using a paper filter drip brewing you would get a slight improvement using a good burr grinder like the Maestro, more even extraction because of more even grind. If using a Swiss Gold you'll see a greater improvement and less sediment. IMO. MM;-) Home Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I think Tom's page on the Maestro says it best: "Some comments of fineness: Most folks grind coffee too coarse. In general, you want to grind as fine as possible without allowing sediment through your filter, or clogging up your espresso machine portafilter. This mill will allow you better control of the finer settings while still allowing for the coarser adjustments, like French Press. You can grind coffee finer when it is an EVEN grind such as the Solis produces, get better extraction from the coffee, and ultimately get a better cup. I encourage you to push your filter-drip grind to a finer range with this mill, and see the results! The Maestro features a larger grind range than all previous Solis models: 18 click stops." In depth looks at the Maestro: Have fun! Dave Cavner Irvine, CA At 6:57 PM -0400 on 5/2/02, HJoelS wrote: <Snip> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
It's nice to see folks here discussing the finer points of equipment -- grinders in this instance -- and seeing that the immediate answer is NOT "A Lamborghini is essential for going to the corner store; only an idiot would drive a Ford!" I've found that for filter drip, it's nice to have a good burr grinder. It's fun to have the control over precise grind. But essential? No. A decent coffee maker is more important, though I like using the old one-cup filter pour-over. Good, fresh beans make more difference than just about anything. That's preaching to the choir here, of course, but the point is important: In the world of drip coffee, the jump from Maxwell House to whole bean, and then the amazing jump from stale old bean to fresh-roasted (especially home roasted!) is far more dramatic and satisfying than a jump from whirly grinder to burr grinder. Once you've made that leap, other changes are just fine-tuning. Fine-tuning is fun and make this a hobby rather than just a wake-up cuppa joe. You'll find that even grinds sure help in a French Press and, as you've noted, are essential in espresso. But for drip coffee exclusively, consider keeping that $10 whirlybird and spend the rest of that grinder money on about 20 pounds of Tom's coffee. Just my opinionated opinion. Good gulping! Michael G. homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
On Thursday, May 2, 2002, at 05:57 PM, HJoelS wrote: <Snip> Hi, It does not matter which brewing method you use, to make good coffee you have to have an even grind. Brewing coffee is about extracting the goodies from the coffee bean by running water over the ground beans at a given temperature for a given amount of time and a given pressure. If you over extract the coffee you get things that that taste bad in your brew. If you have ground coffee that varies in size, the smaller grounds will over extract before you get the goodies out of the larger grounds and the flavor will suffer. If you extract just for the smaller grounds you throw away the good flavor in the larger grounds. If you can get access to a microscope, take some of your Krups grounds and give it a look and you will see substantial variation in size. Once you have a good grinder you can make good coffee by any of the standard brewing methods by having the four water variables heat, time, volume, and pressure suited to the size and amount of the grounds you choose to produce. Hope this helps. Jim Gundlach Roasting over pecan wood fires in La Place, Alabama homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
What you will get from a better grinder will be an even extraction and 'cleaner' tasting coffee. Different size coffee particles extract at different rates when the hot water is poured on them. If the grind contains a lot of 'chunks to powder' grinds, then the resulting cup will not clearly display all the finer nuances of flavor that 'could' be obtained with a more even grind. A novice or casual coffee drinker may not be able to tell much difference, but many on this list are very committed to great coffee 'as a way of life', and those minor flavor nuances are very noticeable to them. A very expensive grinder is the only solution when your tastes have advanced to that level. I have two grinders on my counter. One is a commercial espresso grinder. The other is a crappy little dust maker I got from Hearthware in a roaster/grinder sale. I plan on getting a much better grinder soon for my drip grinds. I have not used a Solis Maestro, but I respect many of those on this list that say it is a great 'home use' grinder. Some even use it for espresso (which says a lot to me about it's grinding ability for drip). The Solis Maestro is about $130, and will probably be my choice. BTW...When I grind for drip with the commercial La Pavoni espresso grinder, it is fabulous, but it is such a pain to use for that purpose. Regards, Ed Needham ed
^It's nice to see folks here discussing the finer points of equipment -- grinders in this instance -- and seeing that the immediate answer is NOT "A Lamborghini is essential for going to the corner store; only an idiot would drive a Ford!" I've found that for filter drip, it's nice to have a good burr grinder. It's fun to have the control over precise grind. But essential? No.^ i would agree. i have both a gaggia something with 39 steps and a built in doser at home and a 5-yr old braun burr at work. i brew with a bodum vac pot in both places and find very little difference. brian Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://messenger.msn.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I think for drip and possibly vac that there isn't a lot of difference between a mediocre burr grinder and a really good one, but I would say that there would be a difference between a whirly and even a less than stellar burr grinder.
You never know what the markings mean on any device so when I first tried out my Solis Maestro I set it to the finest setting for my drip brew. It came out pretty bitter. So I adjusted the setting a few notches under the drip symbol and came up with the flavor I like. The point is that a burr grinder makes a big difference. For years I used a whirly grinder but after my first cup from a burr grinder I realized what I had been missing. You can't make adjustments with a whirly. The more you beat the beans with one the more flavor is lost due to heat from pounding on those little beans. With a burr you can make adjustments not only for flavor but for type of brew. For example, I turn it one notch coarse for my vac brew. As has been mentioned many times on this list, the first thing one should budget for is a burr grinder. It will make a greater difference than any other device you could spend your money on. steve homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
I can taste quite a bit of difference between coffee ground with a cheap burr grinder (with a lot of coffee dust) and a quality burr grinder. Just this morning, I used my La Pavoni commercial espresso grinder to grind for my Chemex. I set it for a fine drip grind and the difference between that and my Hearthware (POC*) burr grinder. Much cleaner and well defined flavor using the same homeroast I've brewed all week. Regards, Ed Needham ed (*Piece o' crap)
Obviously the La Pavoni is high end, but would you say the Hearthware was a middle of the road burr grinder? By mediocre I did not mean to imply bottom of the barrel (or outhouse as the case may be :-) given your appellation of the Hearthware). I was given to understand that really cheap burr grinders had the same powder and chunks kind of consistency that the weedwacker in a can whirly grinders have. While I have yet to put the results of my bodum antigua (surely lower end, but at least with a decent burr set) under a microscope and compare to the same beans from my old whirly grinder (same appellation as your Hearthware, more explicit version) because I have been to lazy to dig the microscope out of the bloody closet, I can tell from close inspection of both dry and used ground coffee that the bodum produces little dust and no chunks, not so for the Braun whirly blade. (No, I don't have one of those nifty split view rigs they use on CSI to do lans and grooves or fiber comparison, but it would still probably tell me more than close visual inspection....) And I would be willing to agree that the better the equipment (all other things being equal) the better the final product is likely to be, but I was trying to convey that for drip brew there is a quantum leap between whirly and burr, but not between mediocre or expensive burr....
I think the Hearthware grinder was selling at around $40 to $50 before the sale. I bought the Hearthware Gourmet and the grinder for $66, and it replaced a Bunn BCG grinder that I was very unhappy with ($100). Now I'm fairly sure the Bunn was doing a better job than the Hearthware, but at the time, I was convinced the Hearthware was better. I am going to buy a Solis Maestro very soon, but in the meantime, I will use the La Pavoni ZIP grinder and just re-adjust it between drip and espresso . The half dozen burr grinders I've had over the years produced an OK grind, but they also all produced a lot of coffee powder. I don't think any of them produced 'chunks' as a whirly blade does. Isn't the Bodum Antigua a pretty good grinder? I have not owned one, but I thought it was one of the top 'home grinders'. As to quantum leaps... Folgers to whole bean supermarket coffee... Whole bean supermarket to whole bean locally roasted... Locally roasted in a whirly blade grinder to a decent burr grinder... Locally roasted/decent burr ground to homeroast/decent burr ground... Regards, Ed Needham ed
I think the Bodum is a pretty good burr grinder for everything except espresso, though I know some people use it for that, which is why (in addition to the el cheapo plastic mounting) I would put it in the middle, not the bottom. I would say for someone who has a very good grinder for espresso and doesn't want to be fiddling with the grind settings all the time to make other stuff, the Bodum would be a good choice for a second, though the Maestro, if reputation here is any indicator, would be better. I'd say your list of the leaps involved is fair. Anyway it boils down to a middle of the road burr grinder for drip is way better than any whirly blade. I did not believe it until I tried it, but it is clearly true in the cup.
As far as I can tell, the "el cheapo" plastic mounting(and burr set) of the Bodum is exactly the same as the highly-touted Solis grinders.. As to making espresso, there is a tweak that can be done which will allow it to do that. I gave my son a Bodum which I tweaked, and he has been using it for espresso almost exclusively... Ciao. Angelo PS..My Bodum's are really "el cheapo". Over time, I have procured 3 of them - brand new- in a local thrift shop for $8 to $15each....Same price range for 3 Bodum Santos w/ the extra "kit"... :-) <Snip> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Now I'm depressed! I crashed all the thrift stores within 50 miles and couldn't find a single popper or anything related to coffee. So I adjusted my attitude to live with it - then Angelo comes in a tilts my attitude again with all his thrift shop steals - I mean deals. What's a good bean for depression?
I have seen them tweaked to do espresso and the people using them like them fine, and I love mine, but I do think the plastic mounting, adjustment range problem, the bin that rattles loose and the activation knob that routinely falls off combine to make it so that you can't legitimately call it more than middle ground on a relative scale. I would agree that it probably out performs other cheaper burr grinders because it does have a very good burr set. If I lived in an area where such thrift shop locations were more than vendor of old used clothing and odd lots of common household items, I would be scouring for just such bargains myself since I would like to have one for a spare and one for the office..... On the other hand, if I did live in such a place, I would have to put up with much higher population density, which I have something of an aversion to...:-)
I happen to live in an area of Manhattan which has quite a concentration of thrift shops(not half as many as what it used to have). I have found that if I go looking for a particular item, I'll never find it. Once I put it out of my mind, it appears. There is one particular store that seems to get many new Bodum items donated from time to time...If my timing is right, I'll be there when they are... BTW, i don't know whether it matters about the population density. I've gotten some good deals when I go to visit friends in quite rural areas. I guess it's a matter of what one believes...I've had experiences where some very odd things that I was desiring popped up in these places, not once but as many times as I needed them, and then when there was no more need, they were not seen again...weird, eh? Just imagine it, and it will come... :-) Ciao, Angelo <Snip> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast