Finding the right coffee for chemex

French Press, Vac Pot, Drip or any other - air your views and results

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Postby gb » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:12 am

Thanks for the warm welcome!

I've decided that wasting good money on extremely good coffee is a waste of my time unless I get a good grinder. I'm going to get a Baratza Virtuoso, because that's what is featured on the Stumptown and Intelligentsia website. From what I can tell, it's the best grinder for most non-espresso needs. I've heard a little bit of complaint about the Maestro, so I'm not going to mess around. I'm getting the best thing I can get.

I've become addicted to coffee I think!
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Postby dsc » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:57 pm

Hi guys,

I've tried rinsing the filter with cold water today and not touching it with hot water before actually brewing. Can't believe the difference it made. Everything was different about the brew, the way it smells, the way the grinds smell after the extraction etc. I kept the temperature at 93*C at the start and poured the same way as always.

Regards,
dsc.
"This week I are mostly...trying to build a grinder..."

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Postby Rujir » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:22 pm

And was it better or worse? That's the information we need. :D
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Postby dsc » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:32 pm

Hi Rujir,

ups sorry, it was definitely better!!:) dunno what made such a huge difference, perhaps it was the seal between the filter and the carafe? I know this can probably influence the brew quite a lot, so I'm not sure if it was the rinsing part. Sometimes when rinsing I used to lift the back of the paper filter to let some air into the carafe when removing the hot water before brewing (otherwise the water 'chokes' and tends to come out unevenly which is a bit dangerous as it tends to flow everywhere, sometimes including your hands). So I'm guessing I was disturbing the seal between the paper and the glass and it was coming out bad. To be honest I dunno which is highly annoying as I can't understand the whole process properly. Then again it seems to be like that through the coffee brewing methods, we still understand so very little of what is actually going on, with espresso probably at the very top of the 'I've got no idea what's going on' list.

Regards,
dsc.
"This week I are mostly...trying to build a grinder..."

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Postby bruceb » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:42 pm

Isn't the Virtuoso just a big Solis grinder? Does anyone here own one or has anyone used one?
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby Rujir » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Thanks, dsc. I will definitely try it. One more question - did you preheat the carafe? I assume that you didn't but wasn't the final coffee too cold without it?
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Postby dsc » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:29 pm

Hi Rujir,

I actually did preheat it, but I took the filter out when I was removing the water (didn't want the hot water to touch the filter). After putting it back in I carefully placed the paper ensuring it touches the glass properly. Now thinking about it you can ignore that step and simply preheat the carafe pouring hot water on the outside of the bottom part.

Mind you that's actually the annoying bit about the Chemex, that you can't easily empty the Chemex without somehow disturbing the filter. Dunno if it matters though to be honest.

Regards,
dsc.
"This week I are mostly...trying to build a grinder..."

Mahlkonig Guatemala for FP/drip, Elektra T1 for sale, Gaggia Classic in progress
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Postby al_bongo » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:10 pm

The main variable I play with is the grind size. Reckon somewhere in between coarse for french press and an electric drip gind works best for me.

If you find a Virtuoso in Europe let me know I've only come across them in the US and really don't need the faff of a step up transformer.
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Postby gb » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:13 pm

al_bongo wrote:The main variable I play with is the grind size. Reckon somewhere in between coarse for french press and an electric drip gind works best for me.

If you find a Virtuoso in Europe let me know I've only come across them in the US and really don't need the faff of a step up transformer.


So you're looking to upgrade to a Virtuoso?

I've read nothing but good things about the Virtuoso. In fact, I'm seriously considering buying one at the local Starbucks (provided they have one) and saying to hell with this Krups grinder. I'm in the US, so I guess it's as easy as finding your local Starbucks.

I guess most of the Chemex fans I've talked to so far have assumed that I had a good grinder of some sort. I'm still in the past as far as grinders go I guess. Not for long. Just gotta convince the wife that this is going to change everything!
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Postby gb » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:21 pm

dsc wrote:Hi guys,

I've tried rinsing the filter with cold water today and not touching it with hot water before actually brewing. Can't believe the difference it made. Everything was different about the brew, the way it smells, the way the grinds smell after the extraction etc. I kept the temperature at 93*C at the start and poured the same way as always.

Regards,
dsc.


Are you saying that you took it out and put it in cold water to rinse, or you let cold water run through the filter as it sits in the Chemex?
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Postby dsc » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:23 pm

Hi gb,

I left it in the Chemex to rinse, but took it out later on when preheating the carafe. Basically I wanted to eliminate any hot water contact with the paper filter.

Regards,
dsc.
"This week I are mostly...trying to build a grinder..."

Mahlkonig Guatemala for FP/drip, Elektra T1 for sale, Gaggia Classic in progress
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Postby gb » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:26 am

Grinder questions...

I'm looking to get a Baratza Virtuoso, but since I'm out of patience and I want to buy one immediately, I was thinking of picking up a KitchenAid Pro Grinder. Has anyone used one of these? Would you recommend one or the other?
gb
 
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Postby al_bongo » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:50 pm

I have the Maestro plus which is the closest to the Virtuoso you can get in UK. It's pretty good for Chemex or syphon.

I'm a fan of the Solis/Baratza models and I for one wouldn't consider the Kitchenaid - it gets mixed reviews. The Baratza grinders with the exception of the Vario really only seem to be criticised re ability to grind for espresso.

coffeegeek.com has a lot of reiews of equipment.
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Postby gb » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:19 pm

al_bongo wrote:I have the Maestro plus which is the closest to the Virtuoso you can get in UK. It's pretty good for Chemex or syphon.

I'm a fan of the Solis/Baratza models and I for one wouldn't consider the Kitchenaid - it gets mixed reviews. The Baratza grinders with the exception of the Vario really only seem to be criticised re ability to grind for espresso.

coffeegeek.com has a lot of reiews of equipment.


Coffeegeek has some reviews, but those are mostly persnickety fussy espresso people who elaborate on every last detail of everything coffee related. The guy who runs CG said that the Kitchenaid Pro is a great grinder for anyone not terribly obsessed with espresso. I'm not really too worried about espresso.

The other reason I'm going to go for the KA model is because I think I can get a 20% discount at a local big box store. Hopefully.

Anything is better than this horrible Krups.
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Postby bruceb » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:57 pm

I would think a long time about getting the KA grinder and then get almost anything else. Good luck.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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