Baratza Sette: The Good, Bad, and Interesting - Page 2

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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another_jim (original poster)
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#11: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Calendar wrote:Can you define "medium dark?" I roast into FC and FC+ - but never to a point where the beans show more than an occasional speck of oil here or there.
That's fine.
Jim Schulman

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canuckcoffeeguy

#12: Post by canuckcoffeeguy »

Jim, what machine did you pair the Sette with? Your Strega? Did you try it with any other machines?

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another_jim (original poster)
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#13: Post by another_jim (original poster) » replying to canuckcoffeeguy »

I did the daily back and forth sighted shots with the Strega. Then I did side by side blind comparisons with a pair of Elektras Semis. For those I also had help from Gary and other Chicago area HBers. These refuted my initial ideas about the grinder. Then more back and forth on the Strega. After I came up with the fines ratio adjustment idea I went back to blind tests, this time one after the other (with preprepped baskets with hidden ID marks) on the Strega. I was now able to tell which grinder was which; so I figured I had the right idea.
Jim Schulman

ebola5114

#14: Post by ebola5114 »

Thanks Jim for bring us serious information about this grinder!

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aecletec

#15: Post by aecletec »

Hi Jim, apologies if answered somewhere that I missed - is the information about the extraction and fines the rational/logical conclusion as to how it behaves in use or did you test with equipment such as a particle sizer and refractometer? Thanks!

IMAWriter
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#16: Post by IMAWriter »

another_jim wrote:I've just posted my review in the Bench thread Baratza Sette 270 Review. The section on the effect of grind adjustment on particle distribution needs to be expanded into an FAQ article; but I'm too lazy to do that right now. For the impatient, below is an excerpt of the conclusion:
"If all the coffees you use for espresso are in the medium-light to medium-dark roast range, the Sette's extraction is near perfect."
Incredibly, these are nearly the identical words I posted to a new coffee friend today, looking for a less expensive, but surprisingly fine addition toy a home experience.
With 3+ months of use, I found that it was the lighter roasts that lost body, compared to the Pharos and K30 Vario. The dark roasts just tasted either flat (A Sweet Yellow Bourbon) or out of balance...a blend I know well, pulled dozens of times from the K30.
As I keep my SO roasts and purchases in the middle of the spectrum, my results mirror yours...just from the short quote. Can't wait to read your complete posting. Thanks for your hard work.
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

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another_jim (original poster)
Team HB

#17: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

aecletec wrote:Hi Jim, apologies if answered somewhere that I missed - is the information about the extraction and fines the rational/logical conclusion as to how it behaves in use or did you test with equipment such as a particle sizer and refractometer? Thanks!
Good question. I did not do any quantitative testing. In TGP part 2, we looked at a large number of grinder samples, and the magnitude of grind adjustments used to tune in shots or change dose were too small to show up on laser sizers. Also, given the finickiness of refractometers and the smell of drying pucks, I find it a lot easier to taste extraction changes than to measure them.

I know for certain that grind setting changes on the Sette change the flow but not the taste. I can't think of an alternative explanation except that these adjustments change the fines ratio but not the grind size. That grinder adjustments have two degrees of freedom -- particle size and fines ratio -- also explains the very different response to grind adjustments I've seen in other grinders. But I'd love to hear of alternative explanations, hopefully better ones, that others can think up.
Jim Schulman

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pcrussell50

#18: Post by pcrussell50 »

another_jim wrote: a grinder that radically changes extraction with small grind adjustments is a nightmare. The Sette's adjustments will change the flow, and leave the extraction where it should be for most coffees.
I surmise that there will be people considering this grinder, perhaps a lot of them, who are not yet fully aware of these terms, their distinction from one another, or their role in espresso.

If that turns out to be the case, don't let frustration over your efforts get the better of you. Your hard-won observation about the relative invariability of extraction over the the range of roasts you describe, is very much appreciated. And it's fascinating, too.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

IMAWriter
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#19: Post by IMAWriter »

Jim...and HB'ers,
Before I read the entire "review" I wanted to comment on Jim's reflections (I'm sure well thought out) about the grinder in essence adds fines as it grind is tightened towards the finest setting.
Interestingly, I found I had to go all the way to the finest setting with a "medium" (I guess) roasted Panama Elida DP on my Strega.. The roast was done on a friends Ambex, stopped at 418, I believe? My memory may be faulty there.

Anyhow, after 5 days rest, I had to go to the VST basket to get what I was looking for. My regular HQ and IMS baskets didn't hack it.
With just a magnifying glass, then spreading out some grind, I saw only negligible fines. In fact, this grinder produced perhaps the most even grind I've ever seen at espresso extraction fineness. Even at a setting of 20, with the Micro in the middle, the grind was super even. I got terrific Kalita pours, but as you say, OK coffee drip coffee from the very dependable Behmor Brazen. At near the coarsest setting, I got a respectable Press pot using my Espro Press.

My point is (finally), as I have an early pre-production Sette, I'm wondering if, like many pre-production electronics, there's a bit of variance?
FWIW, I am very pleased with the Sette in combo with my 1.0 Caravel. I can get shots to flow that were impossible with the K30, for EXACTLY the reasons you mentioned (as regards the K30). Beautifully explained.
I think I need to shut up and read the freaking review! TIA.


EDIT...ah, I think I see how this ratio of fines to particle size affects things. Interesting that we had a K30 flat burr on hand. As much as I love my KyM manual grinder, the Sette again allowed better extractions from a "finer" grind setting that the reliable KyM.
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

IMAWriter
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#20: Post by IMAWriter »

Jim, Id be interested if, on your Strega if you stuck with the same basket thought? I'd assume so, but I used HQ, IMS and, when needed the VST 18, filled to 16.5. I'm not a big fan of the VST in the Strega.
Normally, my best shots with the Sette came using my IMS 18 gram basket Though the grind was fluffy and appeared remarkably even, scary almost, I got slightly more centered pours doing a WDT with a small whisk. That said, I didn't really discern any difference in taste. At my age, my "taster" may not be as it once was. :(
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com