Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
I roast all my own beans, usually every 7 to 10 days, and only as much as we consume in less than two weeks. So, my results may not be typical. In any case, the answer to your first question is "yes", we do indeed taste the difference as the beans age. We usually roast to FC+ and let the beans age for a couple of days before using them. Each day they taste a little bit different, peaking at about 1-week. There's three or four days of really good, followed by three or four days of fantastic, then back to really good. We don't have any beans in use for more than a couple of weeks, so can't really say what would happen if we did. In all probability, our shots would still be at least as good as those from our local cafes. As to the second question, also "yes", we do adjust the grinder as the beans age. Usually, once dialed in, we're good for two or three days, then we adjust after a couple of days, then nearly daily. However, the adjustments are tiny, and I'm probably gilding the lily here. Most of our drinks are milk based and I'm not really adjusting on account of taste; I'm adjusting on account of the change in time to pull a shot (the shots get a tiny bit longer each day as the beans age). So, it's mostly about consistency of the pull. We were recently on a very high end European cruise, during which we had espresso based drinks (mostly latte and capps) daily. We couldn't wait to get home an have some to our own coffee
Thanks for the detailed answer, Maurice. Super helpful!
Do you still use the FreshRoast SR500 to roast your own beans?
If I got a roaster, I could skip buying any gear associated with storing beans longer term (like a vaccuum kit for Mason jars for freezer storage!).
(I know we've wandered badly off topic, so apologies to the OP. All this has made me lean back towards a 270wi since it seems ok to have some beans in the hopper.)
I appreciate the discussion, no apologies needed. After much thought over some surprisingly good shots this weekend, I pulled the trigger on the 270wi. I have such an involved routine now of weighing, grinding, stiring and shaking, tamping, and more shaking that the thought of pushing a button, tamp and into the machine with an accurate weight was too good to pass up. Plus I see a lot of threads comparing the 270s grind consistency to monoliths and other top tier grinders (they still beat it) but the fact its even a close call is enough of a statement. Thanks for all the help showing workflows and opinions. I will update when I get a chance to run it through its paces.
- Supporter ♡
Do you still use the FreshRoast SR500 to roast your own beans? If I got a roaster, I could skip buying any gear associated with storing beans longer term (like a vaccuum kit for Mason jars for freezer storage!).
No, I keep the SR500 as a backup to my Quest M3. I also use it when instructing newcomers to roasting, as it is arguably the most basic and interactive way to roast, short of a frying pan or dog bowl
. If you think you'd like to try roasting as needed, the SR500 is a terrific start. If you find it's too small, then it can serve as a backup roaster, or you could just sell it. There's a newer version, the 540 about which I know nothing. There's a 700, which I also had. At the end of the day, the 500 (or maybe the 540) is the best entry level roaster to my mind. And, yes, it saves the constant battle of how to have a continuous supply of fresh beans.
Finally had a chance to break out the 270wi and run it through its paces. Conclusion: It's magical. First grind out of the box stopped at 19.1g with an 18.5 target. No spillage straight into the portafilter with the fluffiest grinds I have ever seen. No clumps, no visible fines, just a neat cone of grounds. Eyeballed .6g to brush off, tap, tamp and into the Gaggia for a super even 35 sec pull. The shot taste was up there with the best I was able to make compared to minutes of finessing the preciso grinds, where this was press a button and tamp. Next grind was 18.7 g, and all after that settled on 18.5g on the dot. One step coarser on the grind (9E to 9F) and I was right where I wanted to be (18.5 in/38 out in 25 seconds). This was worth it for the workflow alone, but the consistency in the cup is phenomenal. I'm looking forward to playing with it more to start dialing in the temps on the Gaggia, something I couldn't do before, as nothing was consistent. This really has turned my morning espresso from a labor of love to just love. 2 button presses and I have a great double waiting for me. Can I mess with it more if I want? Sure, but for those mornings where you just want to enjoy a drink, I don't think it gets easier than this.