Baratza sells grinders, so of course we believe that grinding fresh is synonymous with great coffee. This morning, I was checking out a new coffee site that sells coffee from some great micro-roasters. When I went to checkout, I was surprised to see that I could buy the coffee pre-ground to my specifications. I was surprised to say the least that roasters that scour the earth for the best beans, cup and roast for perfection, and stamp the bag with the roast date, would pre-grind the coffee. There must be some mistake. I then went to the web sites of some of the award winning roasters, to find that almost all of them will pre-grind the coffee for mail order as specified by the customer.
This morning as I was grinding my Metropolis Redline Espresso I noticed that the roast date was clearly stamped on the bag. I decided to grind extra, use it for my afternoon coffee break and see if I could taste the difference. When afternoon rolled along, I made a shot with fresh ground coffee. Than pulled a shot with the coffee I had ground 6 hours earlier. This was not a blind, formal test. This was just me seeing if I could taste the difference. Well, I could defiantly see, smell, and taste the difference.
• The smell of fresh ground coffee is heavenly, and the coffee loses a lot of the aroma after a few hours.
• The pre-ground espresso shot was faster, with less crème, and had lost some of the rich flavor of the fresh ground. It was not a bad shot; it was just not as good as it could have been.
All this got me thinking about why people do not want to grind their coffee fresh. I most often hear?
• Way to messy!
• I don’t really know enough about coffee to grind it myself.
• I doubt I could taste the difference.
• I do not want to spend the money on a grinder.
• It takes to much extra time
Below are a few comments on the subject that I found from people in the industry:
George Howell (Terroir Coffees) says, “Storing pre-ground coffee greatly accelerates the staling process, because the entire surface area of the bean’s cellular structure is now exposed to oxygen. So, always, always (did we say ALWAYS) grind just before brewing. Some studies have found that the shelf life of ground coffee less than one (1) hour when ground coffee is placed into an airpot, or filter. Best to throw it into the compost, and start anew.”
Mark Prince (Coffee Geek) says “Well, here’s the deal folks – you too can brew amazing coffee in the home with a brewing system that costs $4. The caveat? You gotta spend good dollars on a grinder. With anything coffee related, the grinder is of paramount importance.”
As I said in the beginning, Grind Fresh for the Love of Coffee…..
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
This is a guest blog post from my friend, Stacy Roach. While she is not in the coffee biz, she is passionate about good coffee and loves learning about coffee.
I love coffee for a lot of reasons, and when I am sitting at my desk, in the wee hours of the morning, sipping my soy latte, I really love coffee. But the most important reason that I love coffee is really community. I love going to coffee with friends, I love making a latte for guests and I love going to little coffee specialty shops and hanging with people who are passionate about coffee. Such was the experience I had on two Monday nights at Barefoot Coffee Roasters in San Jose.
On Monday nights they hold classes on how to pull the perfect shot of espresso and how to make latte art. Check out their calendar. Can I pull a great shot? Probably not, not yet anyway. As for my latte art, it’s getting better. My attempts at hearts are at least semi-identifiable. I think I am going to give leaves a try next.
Regardless of my own personal skill level on espresso and latte art, I know that I can count on coffee to connect me with other people who also love coffee, it’s this awesome and diverse community that I am a member of, simply because I love coffee. Oh, circular logic! Fun!
We were lucky to receive the Baratza Esatto Prototype a couple of months ago and decided it was about time to write our thoughts on it, as well as the Coava Coffee KONE 2.0, graciously sent to us by the good guys at Coava. Tons of stuff has been written about both, so I will stick to the truly great functionality behind both these new devices.
The Esatto we got in was disassembled when we opened it, an obvious sign of it being a prototype. After a quick realigning of the buttons we were in business. At first assembly the base was very sturdy and even stood up to Nicholas Lundgaard’s 3 year old son, Henrick. I appreciate the three buttons that can be set at different weights. Ours we decided to set at 30 grams, 18 grams, and 3 grams for purging. These quick buttons were spot on with weight every single time and it was quite mind boggling watching the grinder stop about 3 tenths of a gram from it’s target, then hitting it every time. Nice work Baratza, your calculations are duly appreciated. The settings make it fast and responsible to brew fresh coffee and shaves off a solid 25-30 seconds from each order. Kyra (from Baratza) asked us to really beat it up so we ground out 60 grams at a time for a few days straight for our FETCO and it seemed to hold up to the pain- we pushed about 2.5 kg one of the days and it pulled through.
To visit Greenway Coffee and read the rest of the article: http://www.greenwaycoffee.com/?p=53
Check out our blog – The Vario-W is up to its task in commercial coffee shops. Click Here »
June 7, 2011
Effective immediately, Baratza has renamed the new weight-based grinder Vario-E to the Vario-W . The ‘W’ represents weight . This name change seemed to make more sense for us, is easier for people to remember the association with the weighing feature, and the right time for the change – before they are actually on the market. By the way, we are expecting them to arrive in North America and available for sale in early August. The Esatto will also be available at the same time.
The Vario-W is currently on bar at Noble Coffee in Ashland, OR and Thump Coffee in Bend, OR. Very shortly, it will be put to the test at PT’s Coffee in Topeka, KA and Greenway Coffee & Tea in Houston. We’ve received good and important feedback already from Noble and as a result have made some key design/build improvements. We are so appreciative of these roasters and cafes taking the time to test these new products and give us feedback.