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Date: 08 Dec 2006 10:17:37
From: ramboorider@gmail.com
Subject: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
I'm assuming this is normal, but I thought I'd run it by you experts. I
posted a little over a week ago about a visit I made to John Hornall's
shop and the greatly improved results I'd had afterward. For the
remainder of the batch of Black Cat I had at the time I got
consistently very good and often amazing shots. About one shot out of
three was everything I've ever heard an espresso shot could be (and
even better to my taste buds than the shots I had at John's shop) -
rich semi-sweet chocolately flavor with really pronounced fruity
overtones. No bitterness - nice aftertaste, etc. The other shots were
just fine, but the flavors not quite as pronounced. It seemed like
every day I was getting at least one incredible shot out of the 3-4 I
was pulling. This period of time was about 3-8 days post-roast.

That batch of beans got low and I ordered another three pounds, which
was roasted Monday, arrived Wednesday, and which I started using
yesterday (Thursday) - three days post-roast. And I can't for the life
of me coax a shot out of it as good as what I'd been getting
consistently with the last batch. I got the grind and tamp adjusted so
that I'm getting my custoy 2 oz shot in between 20-25 seconds. The
crema is voluminous and the color of the shot and the crema looks
excellent. And, I've played with the temperature a bit (allowing at
least an hour for the machine to re-stabilize between shots) looking
for the sweet spot. But I'm not finding it - barely a chocolately
taste, a bit of bitterness that's not going away even with fairly
significant reductions in temperature, and no fruit tastes at all.

I assume that there are just this many variables in a batch of beans,
even one as good and well liked as Black Cat that it's going to vary
from roast to roast. I may have gotten a great one last week and a
slightly below par batch this week. The shots are still drinkable and
more than fine for milk drinks, but not close to what I was getting
with the last batch.

Please confirm - is this normal? Do batches of the same blend tend to
differ this much. Or am I likely doing something wrong, again?

Thanks all, just part of the continuing education,

-Ray





 
Date: 14 Dec 2006 13:55:14
From: ramboorider@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
Brief resurrection of a week old thread.I think it was the batch of
beans. I just got another couple of pounds of Black Cat and the first
two shots were back to the previous high standards. I'm gonna just use
what's left of the last batch for milk drinks - I got the shots to
where they were palatable, but never anything to look forward to. Now
I'm psyched about mixing shots back into my daily routine and consuming
less milk.

-Ray



 
Date: 10 Dec 2006 03:39:01
From: ramboorider@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
Nope, I'm reasonably good about cleaning. I gave the machine the full
Cafeza treatment when the new beans arrived and I clean the PF pretty
much every day.

I think this is all just part of still being fairly new to this. What
I'm getting now isn't at all bad. Its just that I had a really good run
of several days of pretty sublime shots (again, by my limited
standards) and I haven't found the same level of magic again. Yet. I
will. And the milk drinks are still wow-ing the family and friends. So
I'm just gonna keep plugging away, not obsess, and let it come to me.

-Ray


On Dec 10, 2:48 am, WdH <m...@virtually.invalid > wrote:
> On 8 Dec 2006 10:17:37 -0800, "ramboori...@gmail.com"
>
> <ramboori...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >The shots are still drinkable and
> >more than fine for milk drinks, but not close to what I was getting
> >with the last batch.Could be a clean up of PF, etcetera is needed...
>
> --
> WdH



 
Date: 10 Dec 2006 08:48:15
From: WdH
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
On 8 Dec 2006 10:17:37 -0800, "ramboorider@gmail.com"
<ramboorider@gmail.com > wrote:

>The shots are still drinkable and
>more than fine for milk drinks, but not close to what I was getting
>with the last batch.

Could be a clean up of PF, etcetera is needed...


--
WdH


 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 16:09:26
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
ramboorider@gmail.com wrote:
> Seems unlikely anything would have been meaningfully different in
> shipping...

Haven't seen how UPS handles parcels, have ya? <grin >



 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 16:09:12
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
ramboorider@gmail.com wrote:
> Seems unlikely anything would have been meaningfully different in
> shipping...

Haven't seen how UPS handles parces, have ya? <grin >



 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 16:07:28
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
I- >Ian wrote:
> >the two self-proclaimed God
> >Shots that I've pulled in 12 years of daily pulling,
>
> Diogenes would be proud...

Diogenes might be proud but I am not. Thanks for the compliment,
though. Two in twelve years? I don't think I'll give up my day job.



 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 14:27:51
From: ramboorider@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
On Dec 8, 3:29 pm, "Omni...@gmail.com" <Omni...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Given the huge number of variables involved and the fact that roasting
> is as much art as science, I don't suppose you can expect every batch
> to be precisely the same. I've bought a lot of BC and never noticed
> any meaningful differences but there are palates out there a lot more
> sensitive than mine. I do know that, of the two self-proclaimed God
> Shots that I've pulled in 12 years of daily pulling, both were BC...but
> from different batches.

Good to know - sounds like variation in the roast is pretty minimal, so
perhaps I should look elsewhere.

> I wonder if they were subject to different environmental conditions
> between roasting and arrive at your machine, or if you somehow stored
> or handled the beans differently.

Seems unlikely anything would have been meaningfully different in
shipping, and I haven't changed anything in terms of how I handle
coffee here. I guess I better just keep plugging and looking for the
sweet spot again.

Thanks,

-Ray



 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 12:29:37
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?

ramboorider@gmail.com wrote:
> Please confirm - is this normal? Do batches of the same blend tend to
> differ this much. Or am I likely doing something wrong, again?

Given the huge number of variables involved and the fact that roasting
is as much art as science, I don't suppose you can expect every batch
to be precisely the same. I've bought a lot of BC and never noticed
any meaningful differences but there are palates out there a lot more
sensitive than mine. I do know that, of the two self-proclaimed God
Shots that I've pulled in 12 years of daily pulling, both were BC...but
from different batches.

I wonder if they were subject to different environmental conditions
between roasting and arrive at your machine, or if you somehow stored
or handled the beans differently.

Some of the genuine experts here can give you better answers.



  
Date: 08 Dec 2006 21:00:13
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
On 8 Dec 2006 12:29:37 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>the two self-proclaimed God
>Shots that I've pulled in 12 years of daily pulling,

Diogenes would be proud...


 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 10:44:03
From: ramboorider@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
Already did - a few grinder settings between 15 and 30 seconds. Between
20-25 seems best.

-Ray

On Dec 8, 1:31 pm, Randy G. <f...@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote:
> Try one click finer and go for 25-30 seconds for a little under 2
> ounces and see if that helps.



 
Date: 08 Dec 2006 10:31:19
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Same blend, different batch, very different results?
"ramboorider@gmail.com" <ramboorider@gmail.com > wrote:

>
>That batch of beans got low and I ordered another three pounds, which
>was roasted Monday, arrived Wednesday, and which I started using
>yesterday (Thursday) - three days post-roast. And I can't for the life
>of me coax a shot out of it as good as what I'd been getting
>consistently with the last batch. I got the grind and tamp adjusted so
>that I'm getting my custoy 2 oz shot in between 20-25 seconds.
>
Try one click finer and go for 25-30 seconds for a little under 2
ounces and see if that helps.

Randy "and now for something completely different" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com