What's the fastest & least wasteful way to season burrs?

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

#1: Post by boren »

I pledged for a Timemore 078s but haven't received it yet. In the meanwhile I'm watching, with some concern, reviews of production units, where channeling seems to be a common issue. It was absent or a non-issue in the original reviews, of manufacturer-provided review units. According to a recent review by Aramse, users have to grind about 7 kilos of beans to make the grinder usable for espresso. I find this annoying on so many levels. It's a waste of food, money and time, and might overload the motor / cause extra mechanical wear to its components.

I'm actually thinking of selling this grinder as soon as I get it, but if I do end up keeping it I'd like to minimize seasoning as much as possible. Would using light roasted beans (that are physically harder) and the finest grind size be a viable way to reduce the amount of bean waste? Is there a way to tell when to stop to not cause long term (or immediate) damage to the motor?


#2: Post by vizia »

Reach out to your favorite roaster and ask them for quakers (faulty/underripe beans). Mine sent me 3 kilos to season my grinder (not Timemore)
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#3: Post by jedovaty »

Least wasteful way, you can also just hold off making espresso with it until you go through the ~7 kilos, and test if occasionally. If you brew 60g/L daily, that'll be less than 4 months. Also, while testing occasoinally, it's possible you'll have no issues a lot sooner, or heck, might not even have any from the start!

When I got new burrs for my ek grinder, I did combo of cheap beans, local roaster left overs, and regular brewing to "season". Took a couple weeks. The cheap and left over coffee was collected and used as an anti-ant deterrent in the vege garden. It worked for like 2 days, and then the coffee just dispersed into the soil. So at least the grounds were not wasted.

It's interesting I don't see the recommendations to run minute rice through anymore to season burrs? Maybe I missed it in the forum history when that was phased out.

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#4: Post by pizzaman383 »

You could just use them to make coffee/espresso. The new burrs will not likely make awful coffee/espresso. The "good" setting will migrate over time as the burrs season then it will stay stable when seasoning ends.

I have done this twice.
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#5: Post by Pressino »

The advice to grind for non-espresso drinks sound very good. It might even include grinding finer for Turkish (if you drink it), as that might not need "seasoning" at all and would go faster in seasoning the burrs.

Minute rice was probably not mentioned because using it would also be wasteful of food...if you consider minute rice to be that.

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#6: Post by Bob_McBob »

I've tried cheap supermarket coffee and minute rice in the past. With some grinders I've owned over the years, there was a noticeable break-in period in terms of grind adjustment, but none of them made bad coffee to begin with. It was more like I ended up at a finer setting in general, and the day to day consistency settled a bit. I guess there has been renewed interest in this in recent years, based on the huge break-in numbers I've seen some people stating in posts.


#7: Post by tagheuer »

Timemore will issue you a full refund.

I emailed them and they did for me. All three reviewers that had the espresso burrs from the factory all said it has channeling and spurting and requires perfect puck prep.

No thanks

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#8: Post by Nunas »

With some grinders I've owned over the years, there was a noticeable break-in period in terms of grind adjustment, but none of them made bad coffee to begin with.
I agree with Chris. I've long thought that seasoning isn't a particularly good word to describe what happens with the burrs, at least not in the sense of seasoning a cast iron frying pan or even a roaster drum. In my experience, with a number of hand and electric grinders, it's more like the breaking in period of a new pair of boots or a new car. Your grinder will simply require more frequent resetting, IE: dialing in, and the coffee won't be quite as consistent as that from a grinder which has been used for a while, but it will still produce perfectly drinkable coffee.

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#9: Post by bostonbuzz »

If you have a commercial grinder with a beefy motor and will need years to season your burrs then I suggest plain white rice ground very fine. Several pounds can help a ton. Stop when things get warm to the touch and give it a break. Use the fine rice powder to make rice milk.

Personally I would do this on and grinder and burrs but you would need to hand feed slowly to avoid stalling.

On a Ditting 120mm grinder you can just load up the hopper. :shock:
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#10: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Sounds like problem for another day - or not at all.
Maybe it's the barista that needs to be 'seasoned' to get used to their new machine?

My advice is to eat plenty of Minute Rice (good for the constitution) and drink a lot of coffee! :mrgreen:
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"