Old coffee - grind coarser or finer

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.
coffee_noob
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 11:01 am
Real Name: John
Equipment: Synesso
Location: Singapore, Singapore

Postby coffee_noob » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:19 pm

Hi all,

Recently I overheard a debate between two baristas on whether old coffee should be grind finer or coarser. One of baristas said as the coffee gets older, it is better to use more coffee and grind coarser while the other barista said it's better to grind finer and use less coffee.

What do you guys think of it?

aecletec
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:12 am
Real Name: Chris
Equipment: ROK, Anfim Super Caimano Standard
Location: Australia

Postby aecletec » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:52 pm

Depends on the coffee and depends on how stale. Small adjustments to finer was my old way of coping with age but I haven't had to with vacuum storage. When a coffee really turns then updosing seems to work better for me.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB
Posts: 9237
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 1:16 am
Real Name: Jim Schulman
Location: Chicago

Postby another_jim » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:59 pm

As coffee ages, if you stick to the same dose, you have to grind finer. I agree with Chris that this is not a good idea; it is better to updose and keep the grind the same or even take it coarser.

User avatar
malachi
Posts: 2544
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 11:36 am
Real Name: chris tacy
Equipment: a couple nice cupping spoons and various loaner, demo, test and prototype machines
Location: sfca

Postby malachi » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:04 pm

adjust grind to make more coarse and updose.
but changes like this only work as the coffee starts to age past its prime. they are not fixes for coffees that are actually old (which should simply be discarded).
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

mariog7
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:49 pm
Real Name: Mario
Equipment: Quick Mill Vetrano, Vario
Location: Somerset County, NJ

Postby mariog7 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:06 am

My answer - if the coffee is that old, just get rid of it! :D

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB
Posts: 8060
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 8:20 am
Real Name: Dave Stephens
Equipment: Elektra A3, Faema, Gaggia Lever, LaCimbali the list goes on...
Location: Downingtown PA

Postby cannonfodder » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:09 pm

This is less about using a coffee that is a month old and more about using one that is a week old and fading fast. While you would think to grind finer it is actually the opposite. As coffee ages your grind will need to be tightened up but once the coffee starts to slide you want to open the grind up and dose up to slow the flow rate. Open the grind up and switch to a triple basket to stretch the remainder out of the coffee. That will maximize the remaining flavors and sweetness. Going finer on the grind will start to bring out the astringent notes in the coffee.
Dave Stephens