Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

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CucamongaDan
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Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby CucamongaDan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:46 am

Home roasting and brewing provides me great rewards-most of the time. I don't want to impugn anyone else- I'm sure many here are consistently immaculate in the execution of their craft- but occasionally I find myself humbled when a moment's carelessness or distraction results in the dreaded COFFEE FAIL.

I'm talking about something more serious than, say, forgetting to check the water temperature and brewing at 180° F instead of the intended 198°, resulting in a weak tasting cup (tragic though that is), but less serious than anything causing serious injury or property damage. Though I might note that, for me at least, the common root cause for all these things is usually haste- getting caught up in thinking about all the wonderful things I am planning to accomplish in rapid fashion, to the point where I lose focus on a current step in the overall process.


At least a couple of times I have weighed out my beans in my trusty Hario Skerton and started vigorously grinding away, when suddenly I am rewarded by a clattering shower of coffee beans across the kitchen floor. I have failed to keep the grinder anywhere close to level and the the beans have pushed the silicon cover aside and escaped. Then I have the following conversation with myself: "That cover fits kind of loosely . Do I need a new one that fits more tightly?" . . . . "Nah. Maybe I should pay attention to which way my arms are swinging and keep the grinder more or less straight up and down though."

One morning last week when I needed to be out of the house at a particular time that was rapidly approaching, I was on schedule, making myself a wonderful brew with my Aeropress that I would put in a thermal travel mug and take with me. I usually brew in the inverted method. Bloom, stir, fill to the top with hot water, twist on the cap and filter, steep about 30 seconds (while finishing another kitchen task or two usually), then give the cap another twist to make sure its really tight before I flip the whole thing over onto my cup and press. Well, this time, I remember thinking I could just set the cap and filter on top before I give it that brief final steep time, since I always give it a final tightening before I flip and press. And moments later, I did give it a hard twist and remember thinking "Wow, It's really on tight already". Of course in retrospect that was because the cap wasn't really engaged with the body of the Aeropress at all, and there was nowhere for it to go when I twisted.

So I flipped, and . . . . SLOSH! Coffee and grounds and filter and cap unleashed. Some on the counter, some in my little tray I brew in, some on the floor, some in my dishrack with the clean dishes. And luckily, about 80 plus percent managed to end up in my cup. So this was a salvageable coffee fail, and I really wanted that coffee to go now. Thinking quickly, I grabbed my pourover cone, a filter, and another cup and let the mess in the first cup run through it while I cleaned up. Happily, I ended up at work on time with some hot coffee that wasn't too bad, considering.


Anyone else here have any memorable COFFEE FAILS?

ira
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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby ira » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:55 pm

It didn't end up being a fail, but a couple of days ago I g=dumped 32 grams of beans in the grinder, put the catch cup in place, pressed start and walked away. Dumped the coffee in my Kruve and shook away. To my surprise upon removing the cover, there was no grounds above the upper screen. Checking the grinder revealed it was still set for espresso. Oh will, dumped the middle section into the Clever, added water, stirred and set the time for 1 1/2 minutes to try and make up for the small grind, one small stir before draw down and I ended up with a really good cup of coffee. The grinder's a Monolith Flat so it grinds pretty even and getting rid of the fines made sure the filter didn't clog to bad. But I didn't expect that outcome.

Now I have to start experimenting with much finer grinds then I'm used to using?

Ira

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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby CucamongaDan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:34 pm

That's cool, even better than a salvageable fail, it's a happy accident!

I didn't know what a Kruve was, but when I looked it up I saw it was the sifter system formerly called the Rafino, and remembered a guy from the kickstarter campaign left a post about it in the forum last year:

https://forum.sweetmarias.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6952&p=38913&hilit=rafino&sid=06f34afb8fc13d9f01a1d03d8b59af21&sid=050b5792341763bdb504061ad071cce2#p38913


I wondered whatever happened with those things. So how long have you had it and how you like it? Are you using it for every cup? How much time does it add to your brewing routine?

ira
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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby ira » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:24 pm

It's been here a couple of weeks, I was the first person on HB to receive one. Just lucky I guess. I'm impressed with the design, really nice screens. I use it most mornings. Sometimes I sprinkle the fines on the top just before draw down to give them just a few seconds to brew. Seems like it makes the coffee a bit smoother.

Ira

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martin
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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby martin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:37 pm

I can't recall many outright fails, and many of the "that's not what I meant to do" have come about through roasting significantly darker or lighter than I had thought best. And a fair number of those have indeed been happy accidents, revealing that my assumptions weren't spot-on.

There was one awful failure years ago, long enough that the exact details are lost to my leaky memory. Something like I had already loaded the grinder and ground, and then came back a few minutes later with a conviction that I hadn't - and turned the Baratza's grounds cup upside down to shake out the loose chaff, sending the good grounds into the sink. More or less, anyway. One of those mornings that prove that sometimes even ingrained habits that carry you through that pre-caffeine haze can turn and bite you.

But even that wasn't a total disaster IIRC. That may have been the last brew's worth of that particular roast, but there was some other coffee on the shelf.
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CucamongaDan
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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby CucamongaDan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:47 pm

I roasted some Brazil Fazenda IP, natural processed, the other day that seemed to come out really good. This morning I weighed out 17 grams (enough for a 11 ounce mugful), and proceeded to grind it and put it in the Aeropress.

I use the Aeropress in the inverted method, with an S-Filter, and add about 2 tablespoons of 1% milk to my mug before pressing.


Grounds in Aeropress, check. Water up to temperature, check. Add some hot water, stir and let bloom, check. Let steep for about a minute with temperature after stirring initially around 180, check. Add a little milk to mug, check. Fill Aeropress with hot water and stir, noting it is now at an appropriate temperature around 200, check. Secure filter and cap, check. Flip onto mug and press, check.

When I moved the Aeropress off the mug I was puzzled that I saw black coffee. Should be coffee with milk. Did I forget to add the milk?

Then it dawned on me- I had pressed into the wrong mug! I had pressed into the extra wide Dunkin' Donuts Wisconsin mug my daughter gave me that I keep on the counter. I put my Aeropress plunger, cap, and filter in it between uses and pour boiling water in which helps keep it clean as well as making the plunger seal swell enough to fit properly when I add the hot water a minute before I press. (I still have the original plunger seal, which is way too loose if not given the hot water treatment right before use). And that "big mug-jug" already had 4 or 6 ounces of lukewarm water in it before I pressed.

So- I had accidentally diluted my brew from my intended 11 ounces to about 17. Fortunately it was clean water so I didn't have to throw it all out. I added a little milk and it tasted great, just a little weaker than I expected. Looking forward to the next cup at the intended dilution.

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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby BoomerTheClown » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:55 am

So my theory goes like this, "A quality bean produces a quality cup!" The coffee is only as good as the bean. Therefore, I bought some green coffee off of Amazon (I had a gift card) and roasted it. Tasted like dirt. My failure was not buying from Sweet Maria's. Sweet Maria's is the only place to buy green beans for me.
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CucamongaDan
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Re: Tell about your COFFEE FAILS Here

Postby CucamongaDan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:50 pm

Home roasting is a lot of trouble to go to for a bad cup of coffee!

I agree you can't go wrong quality-wise with SM- (personal preference will find you like certain of their offerings better than others,of course)- but I wouldn't knock everyone selling on Amazon. I liked the Primos Estate Nicaraguan I tried when I last was given an Amazon gift card. Good "crowd-pleaser" coffee. Seemed very fresh too. I've tried a few others, with mostly "meh" results. In general I would say that there are plenty of other things I really want and need that are not green coffee beans are a better use of my Amazon money.


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