Experiments with Preground Coffee for Espresso and a Brew Pot - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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TimEggers

#11: Post by TimEggers »

cannonfodder wrote:Very interesting. This may be another dogma that is destine to fall. Just like freezing coffee, I blindly followed the masses assuming what was preached about freezing beans being bad as gospel. That dogma is now defunct and I now freeze beans to preserve freshness. Now preground coffee is better than fresh ground. What's next, dogs and cats living in harmony, peace in the middle east? Where will it all end. I will have to grind a couple shots worth of coffee tomorrow morning before I shower and try out some preground espresso.
I'll agree, I've been following this and it's a shocker. Now I suppose I can grind and relax making my coffee not worrying about the thirty seconds it takes me to brew... :roll:

Really though this has been a trip to read. I'll now return to the shadows to watch the discussion unfold further...
Tim Eggers
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hbuchtel

#12: Post by hbuchtel »

FWIW, I just tried this with a Colombian bean that is nearing the end of its life span, with the following results-

Both: 93C, 16g, 40 seconds (which took both of them into blond territory...)
30 minute ground: 15.5g in the cup, lots of spraying (bottomless pf), tasted awful.
'fresh' ground: 22g in the cup, decent pour, drinkable.

I'm looking forward to trying it again with a fresher bean, and maybe with the same bean just to double-check.

Henry

EDIT: I just noticed the two baskets I used are not the same... the one I used for the pre-ground has smaller holes and some are not stamped through... serves me right for being too eager to post results! ;)
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another_jim
Team HB

#13: Post by another_jim »

Getting away from "tastes better or worse," I'd like to comment on the effect of pre-grinding on the taste. After mulling it over a few days, I think there's another surprise here, the change is similar but not entirely the same as aging whole beans. Both pre-grinding and aging whole beans will take the harsh, sour or bitter edges off the flavor. But aging the bean for several days will typically reduce the acidity and increase the roast flavors; this wasn't happening with the old grinds.

But despite this difference on acidity, the mellowing effect is similar in both. So if you've roasted something that usually needs a week aging, and don't want to wait that long, grinding a half hour ahead may do the trick as well.
Jim Schulman

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kahvedelisi

#14: Post by kahvedelisi »

Reading this thread reminded me one of T.J's posts in HB ( this one ) May I suggest, the results of this test will be "the proof" of his words.

I used to roast, let beans rest/degas max for 12-24 hours then consume what's roasted the previous day. Because majority of coffee forums and sites recommended that time period for "best results" (since I don't know italian or german or dutch I'm following english speaking forums/sites) I was having problems with my crema, with taste, actually with everything! Coffee was good only when I'm about to finish roasted coffee at hand. I was so sure it's because of my machine, and that's till the end of 2007 when I first read T.J's post I decided to try. I would roast my beans, store them in one way valf zipped bags, and wait. So I did, with 1st bag I waited for 2 days then opened it..result was eeeh. then another bag waited for 3 days (hmm), then another for 4 days (nice), then 5 days (good!), 6 days (yess!) Day after day beans were getting better, we also elaborated this info at our turkish coffee forum with my friends, they reported the same thing. That's how I changed my degassing period & roasting schedule, now I'm roasting minimum 5 days prior to consuming.

Why I wrote all of this :D As you've already stated in one of the posts above, freshly roasted then ground coffee will keep degassing, and you'll be able to taste nice shots out of it, BUT there's a limit to degassing and you can't go beyond that limit. Roast today, grind it the day after, divide what's grinded into 6 batches, store 6 batches in 6 different one way valf bags (or whatever storing item you choose), but instead of 12 hours or 30 minutes this time you should wait for 1 day with one of those bags, then 2 days with another bag, then 3-4-5-6... I bet the taste will be acceptable (and somehow close to each other) with first 3 bags but last 3 bags will start showing signs of staling.

Personally I support "proper degassing" then grinding on demand. Proper degassing shouldn't be confused with "it's fresh yet, let it go stale". To be honest I'm a little worried about this issue. Hundreds, thousands of experienced/inexperienced people reading these forums and believe me not all of them aware some of these threads are "testing" threads. Once the word goes out "freshly roasted preground beans are acceptable" it will be impossible to stop, go back and defend cos eventually someone will trim "freshly roasted" part and it will be "preground beans are acceptable"

If you're bored of this long post and/or can't read/understand due to my poor writing skills, here is short version -->

T.J. was right! 8)
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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hbuchtel

#15: Post by hbuchtel »

I hate turning on my grinder when friends are over 'cause it makes such a racket... if I can make good shots with 'pre' ground that would be great!

Today's experiment was not encouraging, but hopefully it'll be better with younger coffee...

Henry
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another_jim
Team HB

#16: Post by another_jim »

kahvedelisi wrote:To be honest I'm a little worried about this issue. Hundreds, thousands of experienced/inexperienced people reading these forums and believe me not all of them aware some of these threads are "testing" threads. Once the word goes out "freshly roasted preground beans are acceptable" it will be impossible to stop, go back and defend cos eventually someone will trim "freshly roasted" part and it will be "preground beans are acceptable"
If people drink what's acceptable, rather than what tastes good to them, they deserve what they get. This is especially true when someone tells them what tastes better and what tastes worse without further description.

The proviso I'm trying to add here is not about how long to let ground or whole beans stale (to call it either degassing or staling according to good/bad taste claims is more BS). Instead it is that this takes out the harsh edges. Last year's Esmeralda (at least my over casually stored lot) is not aging well, and is developing a tarry edge; the Barrington Bar Blend is angular all over when fresh ground. Staling only works when smoothing out a flawed coffee, and it comes at the cost of flavor clarity. However, since 99% of coffees are flawed in one way or another, and the minus of a flaw almost always trumps the plus of clarity, this can be a useful technique.
Jim Schulman

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kahvedelisi

#17: Post by kahvedelisi »

another_jim wrote:The proviso I'm trying to add here is not about how long to let ground or whole beans stale (to call it either degassing or staling according to good/bad taste claims is more BS). Instead it is that this takes out the harsh edges. Last year's Esmeralda (at least my over casually stored lot) is not aging well, and is developing a tarry edge; the Barrington Bar Blend is angular all over when fresh ground. Staling only works when smoothing out a flawed coffee, and it comes at the cost of flavor clarity. However, since 99% of coffees are flawed in one way or another, and the minus of a flaw almost always trumps the plus of clarity, this can be a useful technique.
I understand, I had when I read the whole thread first time already. But I guess due to my inserting "degassing" issue into my post you probably missed my point alltogether. Even if this technique works, it will be useful mainly for very fresh roasted coffee. What we will do then? Take that not so well aging esmeralda (or any other beans with this kind of problems) measure greens, roast small batches every 2-3 days and pre ground to get the desired taste? How we will schedule ourselves? How will I know if I'll want to drink coffee after 12 hours or 30min? Will we have enough time to enjoy coffee while we're trying to cure every flawed bean on the way by freshly roasting them then pre-grounding then storing those pre-grounds properly? Then there are those not so much flawed, aging well coffees.. We will build another schedule for those, different cups/bags, different storing conditions, a separate grinder? Even thinking of these makes me go "hmmm". That's why I'm simply saying T.J. was right, roast properly, store properly, let beans degas properly, do everything possible and if you still find the taste unacceptable then accept there's a problem with that coffee. That's what "I" will stick to, and I'm not saying do as I do, I'm saying I just don't understand the extra effort, why?
another_jim wrote:If people drink what's acceptable, rather than what tastes good to them, they deserve what they get. This is especially true when someone tells them what tastes better and what tastes worse without further description.
Mr. Schulman, it's undeniable that your posts are taken very seriously by readers (no disrespect to other posters, can't name all those invaluable members one by one here, there's just not enough space). When I say "people will/may follow" I'm not only referring to entry level enthusiasts, or curious readers, but also I'm talking about intermediate ones too. Have you recently take a look at Alexa world wide traffic ranks? It's now way beyond "If people drink what's acceptable, rather than what tastes good to them, they deserve what they get." I was not trying to imply anything or trying to prove your efforts wrong in any way. I just mentioned about my concern cos when there are too many people involved things get out of control easily. Here is a clear explanation of what I "actually" meant with my previous post -->

Foodandwine.com has a traffic rank of: 57,908 (at USA FW rank 10,708 / consider they are "professionals" )
Coffeegeek.com has a traffic rank of: 74,957 (at USA CG rank 20,622 )
Home-barista.com has a traffic rank of: 316,298 (at USA HB rank 155,561 / consider HB is only 3 years old but already 1/4 huge as CG)

I can't remember how many times I read about wine and robert parker in various coffee forums.. so lets look at there also --> Erobertparker.com has a traffic rank of: 78,226 (at USA RP rank 23,058 / wow! CG readers beat his! :lol: )
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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ntwkgestapo

#18: Post by ntwkgestapo »

While I haven't tried this for espresso (YET), I have, for the last couple of weeks, been grinding my drip coffee just before going to bed and then brewing it first thing in the morning. Gives about a 6-7 hour "rest" to the ground coffee. The reason I've been doing this is limited space in the kitchen (i.e. no room for the Solis 166 grinder) and way too much cranking for the Le'Lit to go from espresso to drip grinds... Sooo, the Solis is in the basement and I grind just before going to bed.

I WAS taking a shower and then going down to grind, but the coffee (some Larry's Beans Moka Java that was a bit past its prime for espresso) had a tendency to taste somewhat "blech" even over extracted a bit. When I started grinding the night before it tasted quite good! Grind setting is the same as it was before (it's my typical Solis drip setting, about the middle of the dial. Usually don't move more than one click off that for any drip).

I'll have to give the "grind 30 minutes before brewing" for espresso a try soon.... Hmmmm.

I've currently got some fairly fresh (about 7 days post roast) Central Coffee Guatemala in the Le'Lit... Time to 'speriment!
Steve C.
I'm having an out of coffee experience!
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hbuchtel

#19: Post by hbuchtel »

I've been trying this for the last two weeks or so with two different SO coffees (no-name Colombian and Yunnan Simao, the only good greens I can regularly get). The roast age ranged from ~2-weeks (past prime) to just-roasted.

The first thing I noted is that the pre-ground flowed faster and had poor crema. I tried changing grind and dose to bring it into normal range- basically a finer grind and/or higher dose did the job. I only tasted the ones that looked fairly normal, and only noted whether they tasted better or worse then what I was expecting... in every case they tasted worse. Bitter and bland... I generally don't mind bitterness, but only if there is a strong positive flavor to balance it out, and this was missing.

I was ready to give this up until I re-read the suggestion for coarser grind and updosing in Marshal's post here ... now there is one more thing to try!

Anybody else been trying this out?

Henry
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Alan Frew

#20: Post by Alan Frew »

Sometimes it's good to have a "subtractive" palate (i.e. you taste something, think "it would be great without the <x> flavour, and then work at getting rid of the <x>). Carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in water under pressure) has a distinctive taste, sharp, edgy in the middle palate, cardboard or baggy in the aftertaste. Think CONCENTRATED soda water (which, in my experience, coffee cuppers drink far too rarely).

Pregrinding and/or aging will reduce carbonic and other volatile acid flavours, including some grassy and sulfurous ones. The resultant brew may be less representative of the bean or blend, but can also be a better cup of coffee. In the end, that's the only thing that's important.

If you want to extend the experiment, try fresh roasted preground vs. aged wholebean; eventually it all tastes the same.

Alan