New grinder, what coffee beans to use first?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by CoffeeCat »


I read different advices on what beans to use first with a new grinder:
- in one of their YT videos Whole Latte Love says it's preferable to use very oily beans first, I don't remember why;
- in another YT video, someone says it's better to use light roasted beans first because it prevents clogging in the future when using oily beans.

I'll get my Specialita tomorrow and intended to baptise it with the very very oily beans I have from Passalacqua. Knowing this grinder can easily clog, I'm more incline to follow the second advice but it will be disappointing not to use the coffee I want.

Any advice on this matter? Thank you for your attention and help!

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Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

If you want to be anally optimal, then very light roast beans (or Minute/instant rice) first, then dark roast.

The light roast/instant rice is more abrasive than dark roast and thus will wear off any roughness left on the burrs faster, a.k.a. "break-in."

The dark roast is softer so it will take longer to wear off roughness. However, dark roasts have more available oils than light roasts and so will coat the burrs with coffee oils faster, a.k.a. "seasoning."

In other words, it doesn't matter - as both break-in and seasoning happen with any roast level, just at different rates. I would (and just did) use inexpensive supermarket beans that were just a little darker than my usual.

That being said, I'm not a big fan of using just extremely oily beans - unless that's what you plan on using all the time to make coffee, in which case, go! I'm usually drinking light roasts, so if I had some very oily beans, then I'd mix them with supermarket beans and use that mix to make fertilizer.

Enjoy your new grinder!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Team HB

#3: Post by ira »

The only comment I've ever seen is the occasional, run some pounds of the cheapest coffee you can find to break in the burrs. Other than that, grind the coffee you want to drink.

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#4: Post by HB »

New grinders benefit from added consistency after the burrs have been "seasoned". If you want to optimize the grinder's consistency from the get-go, grind a couple pounds of old stale coffee, being sure to cycle the grinder so it doesn't overheat (e.g., 30 seconds on, 1 minute off). When I'm testing a new grinder, as a rule of thumb, I use ~2 pounds of coffee for small burr grinders (< 64mm) and ~5 pounds for big commercial grinders.

That said, it's not a required step. If you have some sacrificial coffee, use it. Otherwise just use whatever you want to drink with the expectation that the dial in setting may wander a little at first.
Dan Kehn

CoffeeCat (original poster)

#5: Post by CoffeeCat (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies. Now I understand the interest of the different roasts in order to start.

I'll start with 1kg light roast for the break in and because of the advice I've heard that it will help prevent clogging.

Then plenty of oil !