Counter-intuitive week-old-coffee tip from Ellie

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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Marshall

#1: Post by Marshall »

I urged one of my clients to go to a local training session with Ellie Matuszak, SCAA Board Member and former Intelligentsia trainer. He came back with a tip that I found counter-intuitive, but which actually works. As your coffee starts to show signs of aging, don't grind more finely. Instead, grind more coarsely and updose it. This has added an extra two or three days of enjoyable life to my coffees.

Ellie trains for Espresso Elements here in L.A. (http://www.elementsofespresso.com/schedule.html).
Marshall
Los Angeles

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

I can see this working if the coffee ages into something blah; but does it work if the coffee gets more bitter?
Jim Schulman

EspressoObsessed

#3: Post by EspressoObsessed »

I can see the coffee getting more bitter if the grind is too tight. Just a thought which would suggest the possibility that updosing with a coarser grind may prove useful.

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AndyS

#4: Post by AndyS »

Marshall wrote:As your coffee starts to show signs of aging, don't grind more finely. Instead, grind more coarsely and updose it. This has added an extra two or three days of enjoyable life to my coffees.
Hi Marshall:

Chris Tacy made a similar observation on his blog:

"With a triple basket you can get decent shots with stale coffee. (This is the important one. Today I experimented with some 7 day old coffee from Ecco Caffe. When fresh, this was a lovely, subtle and balanced espresso. Now, in a double basket it is quite flat and undefined, with little dynamic range and limited aromatics. In the triple basket, however, I can pull a 1.75oz shot that is incredibly concentrated, dense and enjoyable - especially in milk. My guess is that I should be able to get decent shots out of this coffee this way for another day or two.)"

Of course, he's not just talking about using a triple basket with the same dose as you'd put in a double. He's talking about using a significantly larger dose in the triple basket compared to the double..
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#5: Post by cannonfodder »

Interesting observation. I need to get a triple basket so I can up dose on my machine (does not take well to up dosing in a double basket). It does kind of make sense. By up dosing (did she mention how drastic of an up dose?) you are essentially pulling a tight ristretto and concentrating what flavors and aromatics the coffee has left.
Dave Stephens

CoffeeOwl

#6: Post by CoffeeOwl »

I also noticed this happening: as it was going off-fresh I had to go finer to get good extraction time and acceptable taste, but then - and very soon - I had to go coarser and pack more coffee to the basket. The taste was a bit pale compared to fresh.
I wrote a post on that some time ago in 'coffee' division of the h-b-wisdom-pages :D :lol: :P
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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malachi

#7: Post by malachi »

Be aware that this doesn't seem to work as well with darker roasted coffees.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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Jasonian

#8: Post by Jasonian »

Is this really "Counter-intuitive"? It seems to make perfect sense to me.

When the ratio of aromatics is low, stuff more of 'em in the basket. More aromatics in the basket = more in the cup.

(note: I have a theory that this is related to dosing parameters for air roasted blends like the Super Tuscan, and how air roasting effects bean characteristics. (p.s. - I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying I have a theory))
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!

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Marshall

#9: Post by Marshall »

Jasonian wrote:Is this really "Counter-intuitive"? It seems to make perfect sense to me.
I called it "counter-intuitive," because baristas normally grind more finely as the roast ages. The suggestion here was, when it gets beyond a certain point where fine grinding does not help, go in the other direction.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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malachi

#10: Post by malachi »

Suggest it's likely about dose volume at least as much as grind size.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin