Economies of single dosing vs on demand

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karamba

#1: Post by karamba »

I know some people who do single dosing in order to not mix coffee with stale beans from yesterday. Another way to achieve the same result is to purge the coffee that is left in the grinder before making the first cup in the morning. Let's not consider the case where people do this for the purpose of changing coffee often.
Also assume you make two shots in the morning - for you and the significant other, some do more ( I for example ) some just for themselves.
Assume that it takes 1 minute in the morning to go the freezer of wherever your coffee is stored, measure two portions 18 grams each and put the rest back and place the jar back where it was before.
In two month you will spend one hour doing extra work on single dosing.
The place I buy coffee charges me about 2 cents per gram ( I buy a lot and store it in the freezer for a month)
So if you purge you waste let's say 4 grams every morning or 8 cents. In the same two month it will be 8 cents per 60 ~ $5.
So essentially doing single dosing you are making $5 per hour.
Depending on where you live it might or might not make much economical sense to mess with single dosing every morning.
Now if you are not a capitalist and just enjoy doing this that is a different story.

Moderator note: The initial title, "Capitalist view on single dosing vs on demand" is inaccurate when the subject matter is really about economies of single dosing. It also can suggest a path to discussing political issues. At H-B we strive to offer a refuge from heated politics. I've modified the thread title as suggested by one of our members. drgary

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Coffees I typically use run around $0.10 per gram, up to $0.30 per gram. There's also the complicating factor that they are small lots and by the time they've rested, often no longer available for reorder. If I have to purge 5 g per shot, either first thing in the morning or with every grind change, I go from 14 shots / 250 g down to 11.

At $0.02 per gram, that's $5-6 for a 10 oz bag. That's about a third of what one of the better US rosters charges these days for a blend.

Sure, if you're running a mid- or low-priced, constantly available blend, an on-demand grinder has advantages of convenience and a bit of time.

mikelipino

#3: Post by mikelipino »

Perhaps, but I think you forgot the time it takes to change coffees for the on demand scenario, blocking the hopper (hopefully), removing it, pouring the beans back in the bag, going to the freezer, pulling the second bag, and refilling the hopper - easily a minute as well each time beans are changed. Let's call it a wash for time with the single dose. That would make the waste cost (both cost of beans and time cost to purge) for on demand the only difference between both scenarios and represents additional cost for on demand.

I think the advantage for on demand is for folks who don't switch beans often or at all. This reflects the cafe workflow, fill in the morning, pull a zillion shots of the same beans, and empty the hopper at night. The time to fill and empty the hopper once is weighed against all the shots they didn't have to single dose. For a few shots a day the time saving is minimal, for volume operations the transitional savings outweigh the setup time investment and waste. For an enthusiast's workflow, where bean switches are often, single dosing is favored for time and reduced waste.

In my case, I often make two pour overs and two espressos each day, rarely with the same beans back-to-back. If I could convert all my grinders to single dose I would!

karamba (original poster)

#4: Post by karamba (original poster) »

mikelipino wrote:Perhaps, but I think you forgot the time it takes to change coffees for the on demand scenario, blocking the hopper (hopefully), removing it, pouring the beans back in the bag, going to the freezer, pulling the second bag, and refilling the hopper - easily a minute as well each time beans are changed.
karamba wrote:... Let's not consider the case where people do this for the purpose of changing coffee often.

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yakster
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#5: Post by yakster »

Isn't that the use case for single dosing?
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

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another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim »

I think this is a good way of looking at it; in any case, it is how I frame my recommendations.

One objection is that this disrespects the work that gores into growing and prepping green coffee. But most coffee is industrial; and the ones that do get the TLC at origin will probably also get single dosing TLC when they are made.

There is an additional question I intend to some blind testing on in the next few months -- how much does that two grams of stale coffee really affect the taste of the shot? It seems likely that this will depend on the coffees (I can't imagine it being a big deal when making shots with a two month old Italian roaster's Robusta laden blend)
Jim Schulman

djdriver

#7: Post by djdriver »

In a large hopper full of coffee beans that isn't airtight, the beans will get stale more quickly than with an airtight storage method used to single dose. If you fill up a 2 pound hopper and drink one 18g shot daily, some of that coffee is sitting exposed to the environment for almost 2 months before it's used.

karamba (original poster)

#8: Post by karamba (original poster) replying to djdriver »

Don't put more into the hopper than you can consume in 2-3 days (for me personally is is full hopper of my Barazza Sette), Problem solved.

karamba (original poster)

#9: Post by karamba (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:Coffees I typically use run around $0.10 per gram, up to $0.30 per gram.
That's $300 for kg of coffee! I take my hat off!

emradguy

#10: Post by emradguy »

Yeah, as was mentioned, that logic depends on you using the same beans for every shot. Your time premise far exceeds my reality. I keep a jar of beans on the counter next to my grinder. If I do have to go to the freezer for a new jar, that's only a 5 second walk each direction, but then, defrosting that jar is much, much longer and unfeasible for the immediate moment. I don't consider my free time spent doing a hobby/craft as wasted, even if it's due to inefficiency. Especially compared to so many outside sources that truly waste my time.

Anyhow, I stopped using a hopper fed grinder about 10 years ago. Besides that, I've usually got 3 coffees dialed in on my bar...one decaf for my wife, one comfort blend and one unique single origin. Even with 2 grinders, that would require one to be single dosed. Having sold my Monolith Flat, I'm down to just having my MC4. Once I get my Max, I'll be back up to 2 grinders (on the bar)...which means I'll still need to change beans at least once a day in one of them. Of course, the Monoliths don't come with hoppers. And quality wise, there's not a single hopper fed grinder on the market that can compete with the Kafatek line in the cup...considering I would need to fit three of them on my bar.