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:lol:

 

I'm happy for morcs to take it as he got first dibs anyway. Besides, my fireplace is covered by a blackboard at the moment.

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On 03/12/2019 at 10:06, HarryBizzle said:

Would anyone like a 500g bag of Algerian Coffee Stores’ Algerian Special for the price of postage? Can’t imagine it would be more than £3-£4 at most. 

I’ve had two cups out of the bag but really can’t hack it. It’s wholebean, so you’ll need a grinder. 

 

It’a the stuff pictured above. Dark as anything, smells a burnt. 
 

I know a few of you quite like oily black beans. @milko @morcs @Blue


Just got back from working abroad...these smell great which in my experience is usually a bad sign :lol: I still need to grind my way through 3/4 bag of Fortuna Robbo before I can get to them though...will report back!

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I would have liked to try them as espresso. Would also love to see what you consider good beans if those smell great! But am keen to hear what you make of them. 


I think I’ve got a new bag of Pact waiting for me. Will score it on a scale of 1 to Smells A Burnt. 

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Big trouble at work. Someone’s decided that freshly ground coffee is better than preground, so we’ve got a crappy blade grinder resulting in entire unground beans of coffee in the filter machine rather than perfectly ground preground which is always fresh because we go through a bag in half a day. 

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Coffee nerd battle! Do they keep the beans in a freezer?

 

 

Meanwhile I'm still fighting to get my damn espresso right. I'm a bit lost in the variables now :(

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@milko does your puck come out cleanly, or is it cracked and does it leave some of the coffee stuck to the top?

 

Apparently over-filling with coffee can cause that, and the result is actually a faster pour (because the water can shortcut through the crack seams or something).

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I thought milko mentioned using a naked portafilter so I’m guessing there’s no obvious channeling?

 

And the beans are being kept out in the open. I think I’m just going to gently remind everyone how great Aldi’s preground is. 

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@morcs it usually comes out clean. Not so much this morning, which may well be me trying to cram too much into the (triple basket naked) portafilter, but it doesn't stick to the shower screen particularly, it just knocked out in a couple of chunks. I've also got a double basket not-naked (clothed?!) portafilter but getting broadly similar results with that.

 

I get (back on the naked one) a pretty steady stream of coffee out of the middle of it, there's sometimes a few other little spouts appear elsewhere later in the pull. But it's coming out way faster than it should, for sure. My grinder won't go a whole lot finer than this setting without it just producing powder. Not that backing it off coarser has helped yet either. It's got to the stage where I'm trying to weigh the grounds first and wondering if I need a pressure gauge to measure how hard I tamp it down or something. For fuck's sake.

 

I mean: https://www.swisswuff.ch/wordpress/?p=385 life shouldn't be like this. 

 

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1 hour ago, morcs said:

:lol: yeah I totally agree.

 

I'd pretty much given up until I bought that grinder that @HarryBizzle recommended.

 

My grinder retails at over £300 though (not that I paid anything like that much for it). SURELY that fucker is at least OK. I definitely have had this combination of equipment making great espressos in the past, I just can't figure out what's changed. Everything is cleaned and descaled too.

 

@Blue well, see above, but the temptation to cut my losses does grow a bit.

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I guess you just need to keep changing one variable (grind in either direction, amount in either direction) and record how it affects the speed of the pull :(

 

Edit: Actually it's more difficult than that on mine - as I think changing the amount affects the grind amount too. As in - a coarser grind for the same time results in more coffee.

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Yeah, for sure it gets the coffee through the grinder faster when coarser. You’re right I’m gonna need to spend an age and a tonne of coffee one morning soon.

 

*vibrates*

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I’m really enjoying Morrisons “the best” Ethiopian Ground.

 

I don’t normally like supermarket branded coffee - it’s normally either too bitter or just really tasteless. This is good though. It’s got that almost fermented fruity taste you get with naturally processed beans.

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I don't think so - I stripped it down and cleaned everything a couple of months back and they looked shiny and new still. My grinds all look consistent to me.

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2B8F8048-33CE-4C50-8117-C2869C762F08.jpeg.9358ba1260ba64eb0e05a0075f5de151.jpeg
 

Damn image rotation data. Onto Harry’s charcoal. It’s good though! Tastes a bit like Starbucks but really chocolatey

8A4CA99F-A7FB-47D7-AC97-8F6AA62E6176.jpeg

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20 minutes ago, snowbind said:

Fuck me, The Algerian Stores Christmas blend is awful.


The idea of grinding up actual spices and putting them in a bag of coffee seems a very bad one. 
 

Pact are doing a Christmas blend which sounds nice, but it’s £9.95 which seems an awful lot for 250g of coffee, even if it were a single origin, rather than a blend. 

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espresso saga update: I'm getting somewhere. I'm back to grinding super-fine, and having to pay a lot more attention to how I load the portafilter. When the grind's this fine it kinda clumps a little which leads me to bullshit like "the WDT" which I think is the Weiss Distribution Technique, which is actually "stir it around a bit with a toothpick or similar small stick" really but coffee nerds gotta nerd. Seriously, they debate moving the stick in circular or linear patterns when doing this shit. Anyway, I do that a bit and the grinds are then kinda fluffed up, there's a bit more mess than usual on the counter and I'm getting a little bit grumpy with life. Then a gentle vertical tap of the portafilter to settle it all, and tamp - I'm using quite a lot of pressure at the moment. 

 

That gives me a reasonable extraction and crema, I should be happy already really but I'm through the looking glass now, we're not finishing this until I've reached some kind of caffeinated nirvana. Lotus position buddha with a twitchy eyelid and drumming his fingers. My coffee is coming through the portafilter after about 3-5 seconds which I think is still a little fast of an extraction for perfect espresso, and I'm getting too much liquid too quickly. At these settings I feel like I ought to be choking the machine and needing to back off the grind some, I'm sure I didn't use to need to go this fine to get great results, but maybe I'm just needing some mental calibration about what constitutes fine or coarse. Or maybe it's the beans - I decided to try Starbucks beans, their Christmas blend espresso was all that was available so that's what I got. I also had a small bag of emergency Lidl beans which I hated immediately. Next bag will be more freshly roasted.

 

Anyway, in a sort of grimly determined way I'm kind of enjoying myself again.

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I just found a fully sealed unopened bag of James Winter Hoard in my cupboard, the 2018 vintage. 

 

Forgot I had it, cracked it open and put some thru my American Press - very pleasant. Sure it's not at its peak 1y on but has been fully sealed in that time and smells fine to me.

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This arrived the other day:

 

2onrxYMh.jpg

 

Should be fun playing around with it and seeing if it's that different from my normal one in terms of getting the best brew out of it. I think it's going to be great for travelling, though.

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We’re really enjoying this coffee from China. It’s fruity if you like that kind of thing (we do).

9E713043-480D-44DA-B8A5-21DF5CB91069.thumb.jpeg.c1208819896c84894c8a5f841908dbbe.jpeg

We didn’t pay that price for it though!

 

We’re using a Hario hand grinder but I’m not convinced it’s giving an even grind. Not sure if we should cough up for an electric one.

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1 hour ago, Monkeyspill said:

We’re really enjoying this coffee from China. It’s fruity if you like that kind of thing (we do).

9E713043-480D-44DA-B8A5-21DF5CB91069.thumb.jpeg.c1208819896c84894c8a5f841908dbbe.jpeg

We didn’t pay that price for it though!

 

We’re using a Hario hand grinder but I’m not convinced it’s giving an even grind. Not sure if we should cough up for an electric one.


No hand grinder south of £100 gives an even grind, tbh. 
 

I’ve been through a few different bags recently and nothing has really come close to the stuff I get from Pact in terms of quality. 
 

Their Christmas blend was on clearance for 2 bags for £10 so I went for that, but I’m not very impressed. Will be sticking to their single origins. 

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6 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:


No hand grinder south of £100 gives an even grind, tbh. 
 

I’ve been through a few different bags recently and nothing has really come close to the stuff I get from Pact in terms of quality. 
 

Their Christmas blend was on clearance for 2 bags for £10 so I went for that, but I’m not very impressed. Will be sticking to their single origins. 

I was thinking at least £200 anyway! 

 

The Hario hand grinder is a pain. Adjusting it is awkward and trial and error. And you have to grind really slowly and evenly.

 

We use a V60 drip filter and getting the grind right is really important.

 

If I get impatient and whizz it round, the coffee comes out really lumpy.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

I was thinking at least £200 anyway! 

 

The Hario hand grinder is a pain. Adjusting it is awkward and trial and error. And you have to grind really slowly and evenly.

 

We use a V60 drip filter and getting the grind right is really important.

 

If I get impatient and whizz it round, the coffee comes out really lumpy.

 

 

 

Go electric. The Wilfa grinder can be had for about £85. I paid £99 for the Sage. James Hoffmann has reviewed the Wilfa and likes it well enough, though it doesn't really go down to espresso and the grind bin is crap.

 

The closest thing I can liken going from a hand grinder to a good electric is like cleaning really mucky glasses. Everything that was a bit murky/blurry is suddenly clear.

 

You could pay £100+ for an Aergrind but honestly, who needs to sit there grinding in the morning when you can press a button and have your coffee ready to brew in seconds?

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5 hours ago, Blue said:

Did you work out how to make a cup of coffee yet, @milko? :D


Been away for a week at my folks, getting a perfect crema out of my dad’s battered old Gaggia Classic, a cheap Dualit grinder and Aldi No. 3 beams. Humph. 
Gonna find out if my ostensibly superior kit with some Aldi No. 4 can compete, tomorrow morning. The suspense is almost making me try now, but I won’t be able to resist tasting it and I need a decent night’s sleep! I will report back. 

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17 hours ago, milko said:


Been away for a week at my folks, getting a perfect crema out of my dad’s battered old Gaggia Classic, a cheap Dualit grinder and Aldi No. 3 beams. Humph. 
Gonna find out if my ostensibly superior kit with some Aldi No. 4 can compete, tomorrow morning. The suspense is almost making me try now, but I won’t be able to resist tasting it and I need a decent night’s sleep! I will report back. 

How did it go? 

 

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