I just took possession of an Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica. I have been dialing it in with, so far, about a kilo of stock coffee beans. By stock, I mean no roast date; just a sell by. Starting with seeking balance, and then moving into brewing ratios, I have attempted to explore every nuance of what is, in effect, stale coffee. I have tried every conceivable way to find the absolute best from the beans. Of course this is eating bitter, sometimes literally, so that when the "roasted on" stuff showed up I'd be ready to party.
I bought some "roasted on" from two separate suppliers. One I'd used before, the other -highly recommended. From the supplier I'd used before I bought Cuban Turquino. I knew what it was like. I'd had it before. But never on such a good machine. What I got was, frankly, stale. You could tell it was the right coffee - but long past its best. From the highly recommended site I got 3 blends. They were very specific about flavours and textures. They sent, what on the surface appeared to be, 3 highly complex flavour combinations. Again stale. One that was still kicking, and had some of it former glory left; the other two were appalling. I mean Instant is almost how bad.
I thought, is it me, the machine, or the coffee? To find out I bought some Lavazza beans at the supermarket. I almost got it perfect first time. Loosened the grind and went for it. I wanted to know what terrible tasted like. What I got was chocolate and walnut (no not nutty, but walnut). Better than (but not great) the bleeping "Artisan Roasters", by a country mile. So what is going on?
Anyone else end up with crap from an "Boutique Roaster"?