Good day all, I'm Shannon. I thought I'd introduce myself, having just subscribed. First, here's my contribution to info - how to clean a burr grinder - if anyone has tried this, does it work and is it ok for the grinder? http://www.ineedcoffee.com/03/cleangrinder/I have a <$100 burr grinder (Bodum Antigua) that I've had over 1 year and like so far, having tried an Amish-made hand-crank burr grinder (didn't function well, and the grind wasn't remotely even) and eschewed the pulverizing Braun style. It does have a couple of quirks but they are easy to work around. Will I get a noticeably tastier cup of coffee with a better grinder? I don't use it for espresso, only drip and press. How do people like the Solis (the one rebranded "Barista" by Starbuck's)? For the past couple years I'd been using a whirly-pop style popcorn popper to roast my coffee, with decent results, but it requires full participation, and I pretty much have to roast 1/2 lb. at a time in order to get a fairly even roast. I bought the Fresh Roast, which makes a good even roast in small batches, IMO - I'm getting pretty good at stopping the roast where ever I want it. I've managed to "addict" a few of my coworkers to my coffee, which is far better than the swill they provide here at work, so now I have a little coffee club, with a featured bean or blend each morning, and a coworker even split the cost of the roaster with me! Regards, Shannon
On Wed, 5 Nov 2003 11:52:28 -0800, Shannon wrote: <Snip> Hi Shannon, Welcome to the list. When I first decided to get involved in home roasting a few years ago, I purchased a Solis grinder and a Hearthware Roaster and some green beans from SweetMarias. The grinder arrived before the roaster so I first used it to grind the same store bought roasted beans I had been using for my drip coffee. Despite having read a number of messages on alt.coffee that discussed the importance of the grinder, I was truly surprised at the tremendous improvement in flavor that resulted from the beans ground in the Solis compared to those ground in my old blade grinder. So, my answer to you is yes - you can definitely get a tastier cup of coffee with a better grinder. Ralph Cohen P.S. The Solis is also very easy to disassemble and clean.
Hi Shannon,welcome to the list. After having used a Bodum Antigua since 1996, I purchased a Solis Maestro Plus from SM, after the Bodum died recently. Even though the burr set looks exactly the same, the difference in grind quality is substantial. It is a slower grind, it is much quieter, and the most important part for me is there is no static problem as there was with the Bodum. After grinding with the Bodum, I always had to clean the counters. Now, unless I spill it, there is no cleanup at all. Finally, you can taste the difference in the cup. I would highly recommend you make the change. Hope this helps, Joe RK Drum #9, Solis Maestro +, *$ Proteo Barista
Shannon, Welcome to the list. You will find several discussions about grinders in the archives. The Solis grinder will work well for drip and press pots but if you are considering moving up to espresso ( In my opinion nothing gets the good flavors out of a properly roasted bean better than a good espresso extraction) you will need a stronger grinder. But, yes, an even grind dramatically improves the flavor of coffee. The reason is that you can only get a proper extraction from a consistently ground coffee. There are distinct off tastes that come from under and over extraction. If your grind is a mixture of dust, pieces, and hunks and you properly extract for the pieces, the dust will give you over extracted bitterness and the hunks will give an almost metallic to musty taste. A bad grinder cannot help but ruin good coffee. Jim Gundlach roasting over pecan wood fires in La Place, Alabama On Nov 5, 2003, at 1:52 PM, Shannon wrote: <Snip>
On the other hand, even if you are considering moving up to espresso someday, you may find that your espresso grinder options are considerably widened if you won't need it to grind *both* drip and espresso. -- Rick
<Snip> Welcome to the list. I assume you have googled "Bodum Antigua". If you have not done so, I recommend that you remove the metal door in the grounds chute. You can then clear nearly all the grounds by lifting the grinder, tipping it toward the grounds hopper and spanking the top with your hand a few times. Do not grind so fine that the burrs touch and the grinder should last a few years. Any grinder should be cleaned by disassembling to get access to the grinding chamber and lower burr. Brush or scrape out any grounds, an old toothbrush is ideal for this. The antigua upper burr lifts out after the bean hopper is removed. I recommend that you put nothing but coffee beans in the grinder, no rice or oatmeal. A better grinder in the Rocky/Tranquilo class will get you a marginal improvement in drip and french press quality. This improvement is due to the finer graduations in adjustment and less dust. But more importantly, a grinder in this class will last many years, due to the much better quality and materials of construction. --
The Solis Maestro Plus (see SM) is one fine grinder. I grind a lot and have never had any trouble...even grind, never varies. Michael A
Then there are the extremist who have a grinder locked down for espresso and another locked down for vacuum brew with yet a third (built into the pot) for Safe Cremas :O) Who was it earlier that said stop me?? Does anyone believe that caffeine makes one obsessive? :o)) John - getting ready to place my Central Order Rick Farris wrote: <Snip>
Then there are the extremist who have a grinder locked down for espresso and another locked down for vacuum brew with yet a third (built into the pot) for Cafe Cremas :O) Who was it earlier that said stop me?? Does anyone believe that caffeine makes one obsessive? :o)) John - getting ready to place my Central Order Rick Farris wrote: <Snip>
Don't know about caffeine, but combining coffee, home roasting and the homeroast list has a way of doing it! Dave Lowe
I'm still amazed at messages like this, as I continue to have problems grinding "larger" beans.
I too own a Solis Maestro Plus and have never had a problem with it. It produces an even grind no matter what I put through it or what grind setting I use. It easily adjusts from super fine to coarse and anywhere in between repeatedly. I absolutely love it. The *best* thing about it is absolutely zero static. It is a pleasure to use and I highly recommend it. - Brice
That's what I hear from others as well, but if I grind anything other than something like a mocha, I have to stir it with a chopstick to keep it grinding. I'm ready to drop-kick the darn thing, if it wouldn't break my foot.
Have you called Neil or Kyle at Baratza? I have owned both the 166 and now the M+. The new M+ is simply amazing compared to even its predecessor the 166! Good luck... Mike -------- Mike Fronzaglia MCP, CSSA, A+, Dell Freelance Trumpet Performance and Instruction
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> David Gwyn wrote: That's what I hear from others as well, but if I grind anything other than something like a mocha, I have to stir it with a chopstick to keep it grinding. I'm ready to drop-kick the darn thing, if it wouldn't break my foot. David, You should consider calling Neil at Baratza. I only use my Maestro for drip, but it stopped grinding. Beans just didn't feed. He had me do some stuff to the grinder while we were on the phone and then ended up sending me a new upper burr. Problem solved. They seem very eager to resolve problems. Michael
Welcome to the list Shannon. You wrote: ... some snipping ... <Snip> Thanks for posting this link. <Snip> The general consensus is that for good to excellent espresso, a good to excellent burr grinder is required (about $250 on up, or sub $100 for a Zas manual). I don't make espresso at home, but from my experience with my moka pots, I would not recommend the Solis Maestro for espresso. I'm finding more and more dust appearing in my moka coffee. I grind with the marker about 2-3 clicks coarser than the espresso mark Some might disagree with what I say next, but I think for drip through a paper filter, a whirly-blade grinder will do just fine. A burr grinder isn't needed for this brewing method. I own the Solis Maestro grinder (not the plus) and it works well for me and my press and vac pot. Although I think the coarsest setting isn't coarse enough. I know the maestro plus improves this. <Snip> I was wondering if you still roast with the whirly-pop? If you've roasted the same coffee in the whirly pop and the FreshRoast, how would you compare overall the results between the two methods? Did you modify the FreshRoast. Thanks. Felix "stopped at a thrift shop on way home and bought a poppery1 for $4.25!!" Dial
Felix Dial wrote: <Snip> Actaully to quote a website we know; "Everyone talks about "conical burr grinders" as a requirement for good coffee brewing. But the fact is that pour-over or automatic drip brewing does not require these expensive mills. The humble little blade grinder is a remarkable little machine, long-lasting, low-maintenance, and not $100! " <Snip>
Well, I suppose when the words "needed" and "for me" appear", there's not much room for argument. It's all personal preference. Maybe the whirly blade works well enough for you, but I certainly noticed a discernable difference when I upgraded to a Zass from my whirly blade. The difference was in all sorts of areas - less mud in my press and swiss gold drip, more flavor and less bitterness in drip and press, a smoother cup in the vac pot. Especially with the vac pot and the press, where the coffee sat and extracted, the whirly press did not produce good coffee (speaking comparatively, of course). For most of my life, the whirly blade was suitable. But the upgrade to the Zass was both inexpensive, and added a nice ritual to my life. On top of that, my coffee tasted 100% better. At least. Just my $.02 cheers peter Felix Dial wrote: <Snip>
Sometime around 19:58 11/6/2003, Felix Dial typed: <Snip> Too some degree I will agree with you. For the longest time I used a whirly blade for drip. Over time my coffee quality deteriorated to until I purchased a Zass 169, then my coffee improved again. I would say whirly blades are pretty good for drip IF they are still sharp and do not JUST whack the beans. -- John Nanci AlChemist at large Zen Roasting and Blending by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/
Sometime around 19:58 11/6/2003, Felix Dial typed: <Snip> Felix, I'd be one to disagree, but gently and smiling. I own several grinders and I am about to add just one more to the collection. As my coffee mania developed I moved from drip to pour over but stayed with my whirly blade. When I bought my Cona-D from Tom & Maria I went through all kinds of trouble trying to prevent stalls. It was on the advice of many on the list that I picked up a burr grinder. The grinder I picked was the Zass 169 which solved my problem. a couple of years later I built a portable coffee bar for travel and the whirly blade fit nicely into the package. I take the Chemex (pout over) along with a large French Press. We noticed a degradation in flavor immediately when using the whirly blade. My last trip was for 10 days and I used the 169 to grind and then vacuum sealed it. MUCH better. So being the kind of guy that likes data - I did a side by side taste test with a group of six folks -and to the person the zass ground coffee was rated better - and they didn't know which was which when sampling. So we are now going to add a Zassenhaus Turkish Mill to the collection for our traveling because we are convinced that it does make a difference. Besides that we've been hanging on to too much of Tom & Maria's money :o) John - looking forward to the daily grind
<Snip> Nicely said.
I'm wondering if using a super-fine mesh screen to remove the dust would help in eliminating the taste of over-extraction....Anyone tried this? Angelo Snip <Snip> Snip
"Peter Barnes" wrote: <Snip> Maybe I should have been more careful with my post and verbiage. Please replace "A burr grinder isn't needed for this brewing method." With "A burr grinder is ideal for most if not all brewing methods, but the correctly designed whirlybird grinder with the correct whirlybird grinding technique (shaking, tilting, time, praying, etc) will produce adequate to excellent results for the correct type of drip brewer with the correct type of paper filter." Recall that I assumed a drip brewer with a paper filter. <Snip> This is the exact reason why I upgraded from a whirlybird to the Solis Maestro. It was too much work with the whirlybird to get decent results with my press, vac and moka pot. With the Solis Maestro, grind consistency improved and so did the resulting coffee. Respectfully, Felix p.s. Peter a few weeks back I sent you an email off list with several links to bean cooling devices. I was wondering if you received this? If not, I can resend if you like. <Snip> (not <Snip>
I think you're making an assumption that our complaint about whirly birds is that they leave sediment in the coffee. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of us like sediment. Our complaint about the whirly bird is that instead of milling the coffee into small, roughly equal-sized particles, it generates a product that is a continuum from coffee dust up to the largest particle. Sort of a fractal composition. The entire essence of good coffee making is to get the right amount of the right temperature water into contact with the right amount of coffee for the the right amount of time. The "right amount of time" is totally dependent on the SIZE OF THE COFFEE GRANUAL. Therefore, if, instead of having equal-sized particles you have an infinite gradation of particles, there will only be one very narrow range of the coffee granuals that will extract properly. The rest of the coffee will be both under-extracted and sour (the larger particles) and over-extracted and bitter (the smaller particles). THAT is why you've heard so many testimonials from people who used a whirly-bird and then moved to a Solis-or better burr grinder. It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether the coffee is to be filtered or not. -- Rick
On Nov 7, 2003, at 9:15 PM, Rick Farris wrote: <Snip> But if you grind it all to dust you have an even grind for Turkish coffee. This is the only coffee the whirly blade chopper is good for. Jim Gundlach
"Rick Farris" wrote: <Snip> Just so I'm not taken out of context, here's what I originally posted: <Snip> (not <Snip> Now here's what I posted in response to PBarnes: <Snip> type <Snip> I later state in my post to PBarnes: <Snip> with <Snip> ... some snipping of what you wrote ... <Snip> You're preaching to the choir. This is my last post on this topic. Respectfully, Felix
It doesn't matter how many words you wrap around it, Felix, when you tell a newbie that whirly birds are just dandy as long as you use a filter, it's wrong. -- Rick
Reminds me of the local fire chief telling the reporter, during the conflagration in which nearly 3000 homes were on fire (Southern CA), that the "taxpayers were too cheap" and hadn't coughed up enough of the [city's, county's,and state's] money to put out these fires. Of course the fact that for the previous 20 years the wacko tree huggers insistence that not one inch of forest have the underbrush cleared, leading to this inevitable tragedy, had nothing to do with it...........On the same note, did anyone notice that Tom Daschle's bill to prohibit clearing underbrush and maintaining the federal forests specifically exempted South Dakota?????? Unhappy camper here, having 2 friends and their families homeless, and waiting for next fire season.................. Mike > Besides that we've been <Snip>
This is not a political forum! Getting way off topic. Jim Gundlach On Nov 8, 2003, at 8:58 AM, sho2go wrote: <Snip>
Well I said I wasn't going to post anything else to this thread, but I'm going to. I was going through last months archives and came across the protracted HTML/plain text discussion. There were a couple of posts on this thread that pretty much echoed my sentiments and compelled me to reply. Here they are: ------------------------------------ +RE: HTML in email Rick Farris homeroast Thu Oct 30 12:54:01 2003 And is it your opinion that everyone should like what you like and do what you do? -- Rick P.S. I'll tell you that it's a good thing everyone doesn't have to like what *I* like and do what *I* do, or you'd all have been married to my ex-wives. I wouldn't wish that on anyone! [RF] ------------------------------------ +OT: HTML in email Rick Farris homeroast Thu Oct 30 14:35:16 2003 Barging in here and trying to enforce your standards on everyone else is roughly the equivalent of farting in the elevator. -- Rick ------------------------------------ Now this is my last post on this topic. Reply if you like, but I won't lest Tom Owen's "hooey" alarm gets triggered. Felix "holding his nose" Dial