HomeRoast Digest

Topic: screened grounds (6 msgs / 147 lines)
1) From: Marchiori, Alan
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someone a while back wondered if you could use a screen to remove the dust
from your grounds.  I tried that today with very good results.  I used a
normal flour sifter and sifted the grounds for a few seconds then used what
remained in the sifter in my french press.  As expected the results were
that I had no sludge in the cup.  Unexpectedly (to me at least) this made a
huge difference in the flavor of the coffee.  I could definattly taste more
subtle flavors that were previously overpowered by the general coffee
flavor.  I'm not sure if this would change the flavor of say drip or vac pot
coffee as much, but I liked it and will do it again tomorrow.  Maybe someone
out there wants to give it a shot and tell me if I'm crazy or not.  

2) From: Rich Adams
I wonder if the same be accomplished by using a finer press screen?
What kind of grinder are you using?
Rich Adams

3) From: James Gundlach
Actually I more wondered the internet equivalent of "out loud" if screening would improve
the quality of coffee after I found that there is some "dust" even in the grind of the
Rocky.  A flour sifter?  I remember seeing some flour sifters that had a flat screen.  I 
wonder if I could find some and replace the stock screen with sized screen from McMaster-Carr?
It is good to hear that it made a great deal of difference.  All the time I spent looking at
sizes of grounds should be worth something.  I still have a lot more to do.
Jim Gundlach

4) From: Doug Cadmus
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Feel free to test your own sanity...
1)   Brew both with and without sifting, side by side. 
2)   Have somebody else pour the cups... say two of each.
3)   Figure out which coffee came out of which press pot.
Get it right consistently, and maybe you're on to something... like the
discovery that you don't like sludgy coffee. ;)  To be fair, you're very
likely to ace this test; there will probably be notable differences in
body between the cups.
I've been cupping quite a bit lately, and learning fast that the more I
know, the more I know I don't know. What I *do* know, is that one taste
test does not a conclusion make. At least... I think I know that. ;)

5) From: Ken Mary
Since my new Cunill arrived, I have been comparing the results with a Bodum
Antigua. Brew method is my microwave cowboy coffee. Dust as determined from
mud in the cup is much less from the Cunill, but not zero. What is
surprising to me is the improvement in detecting more subtle flavors, just
as you describe. It is too early to tell, but I am thinking the dust that
remains suspended in the brew masks the flavors. I am still dialing in the
proper grind, starting at the coarse end. This gives a weaker brew with the
same amount of beans. It is possible that the masking may be due to the
overall brew "strength" overwhelming the tastebuds.
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6) From: Marchiori, Alan
I also suspected overall brew strength being a factor, but I discounted it
becuase, well i'm not sure why.  I guess becuase I've already played around
with brew times & coffee amounts to find what I like best, but this does
cause some confusion.  It seems to make sense that with a uniformly course
ground all the coffee would brew at the same slow rate, therefore stopping
at the ideal time is easier.  also with a mixed grind some would be
under/over extracted whenever you stop, so that would also effect the
also I'm using a mazzer super jolly, however I use it for both espresso &
regualr coffee so I usually get some espresso grounds in my french press
coffee.  Short of buying 2 mazzers I think sifting out the fine grinds is
the best solution.
to Doug who suggested a blind taste test:  thanks for the suggestion, but
the flavor difference is huge.

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