Jump to content
YorkshireLion

Can’t get a decent cup!

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Since starting my journey to make decent coffee at home I am yet to make one decent cup, I had a new Wilfa Svart Grinder arrive today but again I cannot seem to get a good brew out of my equipment. 

I have the following;

  1. French Press
  2. Aeropress
  3. Clever Dripper

I currently have the following coffees;

  1. House a Blend Pact (Dark)
  2. York Emporium The Ninth (Brazil Sumatra Ethiopia)
  3. Union Coffee (Natural Spirit) 

I like, the only coffee I made that tasted good I got from Pollards in Sheffield, it was called Silvers Blend but it’s not available on their website and I’m not sure what type it was to be honest.

Does anyone have any experience with the Wilfa grinder?

I have tried say putting the grinder on the first circle of French Press and then doing say 18/300 and leaving the coffee for 4 minutes, to be honest they are come out tasting about the same, there might be slight differences but nothing is coming out like you would actually want to drink it. I’m sort of at a place now where I don’t even know what it should taste like, just that it’s bad.

Any ideas?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which brewer did you try this coarse grind & 4min? Coarse & 4min isn't probably going to work well whatever the brewer.

Grind finer. Put 18g of coffee in the Clever.

Add 70g of boiling water, give a gentle stir back forth & leave.

At 1:10 reboil the water in the kettle.

At 1:30 place the Clever on a mug/server and pour the rest of the water, up to  290g fairly quickly (~30s, or all in by around 2min).

If it is bright/sour, grind finer. If it is a bit chewy/silty, grind coarser. It shouldn't take you much more than 3 brews to get in the ball park.

Sanity check your brew water & try using Volvic or Waitrose Essentials Lockhills.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Which brewer did you try this coarse grind & 4min? Coarse & 4min isn't probably going to work well whatever the brewer.

Grind finer. Put 18g of coffee in the Clever.

Add 70g of boiling water, give a gentle stir back forth & leave.

At 1:10 reboil the water in the kettle.

At 1:30 place the Clever on a mug/server and pour the rest of the water, up to  290g fairly quickly (~30s, or all in by around 2min).

If it is bright/sour, grind finer. If it is a bit chewy/silty, grind coarser. It shouldn't take you much more than 3 brews to get in the ball park.

Sanity check your brew water & try using Volvic or Waitrose Essentials Lockhills.

Apologies it was the french press, using the french press setting on the grinder, I have since tried another setting which was in the aeropress range that I found from another blog online, it tasted better for sure. It looks finer that what most people would use from what I have seen online but it tasted better. It could just be that all the tutorials make 750-1 litre of coffee hence the coarser grind.

I will try your suggestion later once this latest coffee has worn off, haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of "French press" markings for grinders are too coarse (whatever the size). I had a look at the Squaremile blog and found this (maybe the same thing you saw)...

http://www.squaremileblog.com/2018/06/26/wilfa-grind-size-guide/

You also don't need to end French press brews at too specific a time (the '4 minute rule' has always been known to be nonsense), they're unlikely to over-extract, you can basically leave them until the coffee is just hot enough to still enjoy (if you have the time of coarse). Glass presses don't hold the heat so well, so can need a finer grind, insulated presses can take a coarser grind...either way, I wouldn't be going any coarser than for the Clever recipe above.

 


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, MWJB said:

A lot of "French press" markings for grinders are too coarse (whatever the size). I had a look at the Squaremile blog and found this (maybe the same thing you saw)...

http://www.squaremileblog.com/2018/06/26/wilfa-grind-size-guide/

You also don't need to end French press brews at too specific a time (the '4 minute rule' has always been known to be nonsense), they're unlikely to over-extract, you can basically leave them until the coffee is just hot enough to still enjoy (if you have the time of coarse). Glass presses don't hold the heat so well, so can need a finer grind, insulated presses can take a coarser grind...either way, I wouldn't be going any coarser than for the Clever recipe above.

 

That is the one I found yes, also this one;

https://workshopcoffee.com/blogs/journal/83014913-wilfa-grinder

So you think try the Aeropress setting from the square mile blog, for french press? Roughly how long should I leave it for, I have a 3 cup bodum glass version. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, try their Aeropress brewer setting for the 3 cup French press.

With 300g of boiling water it should still be around 70c after 20min (too hot for me to drink), but may be too cool if you leave it much more than 25min? Plenty of time to preheat your cup :-)

The finer you go after that, the more likelyhood of a silty cup, but 10min would be my absolute minimum at finest useable grind. I go a bit weaker on the brew too 16-17g coffee to 300g water. Pour off the surface crud at end of steep & pour through the mesh, rather than plunge.

 

 


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that I am going to have a few days off of coffee to reset my mindset, I’ve been chasing this coffee dragon for weeks now, going through multiple machines and grinders and techniques to find out I either don’t like coffee or can’t make it for toffee. 

I have changed my next pact order to pre-ground just to see if that is the difference or cause of my issue, I can’t face anymore bad coffees, at this rate I am going to put myself off for good. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Pre ground vs wholebean is not your issue.

You have just changed a variable & have gone straight to "Go" without picking up your £200 :-)

Sure, take a step back, but if you like coffee made by other folk & want to make tasty coffee yourself, you can do it. You need to be a little more methodical & not chopping & changing machines, brewers, wholebean/preground. Don't expect the brewer or grinder/preground to do this for you.

Make a cup when you want a cup. Try and avoid a coffee making frenzy. If the cup's not good, think about what you don't like about the taste. Share your thoughts here. Think about the change to the process you might employ to rectify that fault. Keep a note of which brewer, dose, weight water weight & most importantly a liking score - doesn't need to be a complex grading just 'nasty/OK/nice' will do for now. Note the brew time & any bloom/pour timings too.

You can make tasty coffee with the grinder you have & with the French press, or Clever. Pick one, focus on getting the grind right for that brewer & don't switch until you get a decent result. It sounds like you have tried a lot of things, but you haven't really explained to any of us what you have done from one brew to the next, one by one. Taking things at a reasonable pace is  a good way to make tangible gains.

With any brewer you should be able to make an OK cup in 3 or 4 goes...sure, you can fine tune to get those last marginal gains as much as you like, but it doesn't quite sound like you're there yet.

If the amount of caffeine you are ingesting is making this a tougher chore that it needs to be, make smaller brews (12-13g doses?).

Edited by MWJB
  • Like 2

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, MWJB said:

Pre ground vs wholebean is not your issue.

You have just changed a variable & have gone straight to "Go" without picking up your £200 🙂

Sure, take a step back, but if you like coffee made by other folk & want to make tasty coffee yourself, you can do it. You need to be a little more methodical & not chopping & changing machines, brewers, wholebean/preground. Don't expect the brewer or grinder/preground to do this for you.

Make a cup when you want a cup. Try and avoid a coffee making frenzy. If the cup's not good, think about what you don't like about the taste. Share your thoughts here. Think about the change to the process you might employ to rectify that fault. Keep a note of which brewer, dose, weight water weight & most importantly a liking score - doesn't need to be a complex grading just 'nasty/OK/nice' will do for now. Note the brew time & any bloom/pour timings too.

You can make tasty coffee with the grinder you have & with the French press, or Clever. Pick one, focus on getting the grind right for that brewer & don't switch until you get a decent result. It sounds like you have tried a lot of things, but you haven't really explained to any of us what you have done from one brew to the next, one by one. Taking things at a reasonable pace is  a good way to make tangible gains.

With any brewer you should be able to make an OK cup in 3 or 4 goes...sure, you can fine tune to get those last marginal gains as much as you like, but it doesn't quite sound like you're there yet.

If the amount of caffeine you are ingesting is making this a tougher chore that it needs to be, make smaller brews (12-13g doses?).

Thank you for the advice, all good points and I did get into a caffeinated frenzy yesterday mostly out of frustration. I’m going to stick with the french press for now, this morning I have gone for a 16/300 this morning, going to stick to the same beans and just see how I go. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok,

So at 16/300 at around 4 minutes as my benchmark it tasted over extracted I would say, somewhat bitter. There was nothing particularly great about the taste. After dinner I will go coarser and see what happens. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't over-extracted, I don't doubt it was bitter.

Why 4 min?

What was the grind setting (Squaremile Aeropress suggestion)?

Did you pour off the top 50ml & decant through the plunger mesh?

How much silt was in the cup at the end of the drink?

Unless you are much finer than the Sqmile grind suggestion, I'd not go any coarser.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, MWJB said:

It wasn't over-extracted, I don't doubt it was bitter.

Why 4 min?

What was the grind setting (Squaremile Aeropress suggestion)?

Did you pour off the top 50ml & decant through the plunger mesh?

How much silt was in the cup at the end of the drink?

Unless you are much finer than the Sqmile grind suggestion, I'd not go any coarser.

Other than seeing the Hoffman method on his YouTube channel, every other tutorial or video on the french press that I’ve ever seen has always said to go coarse and 3-4 minutes then press and serve. Ideally I want a way to make a coffee in around that amount of time, so I thought going with the 4 minute mark and then adjusting the grind one way or the other until it tastes good. 

The square mile mile recommendation is strange, using their setting on the grinder it is way finer than what they show in their tutorial, their recommended setting is fine, no boulders, Aeropress fine. Not much silt at the bottom of the cup. 

I have included a picture of where my grinder setting is and the grind it produces  

image.jpg

image.jpg

Edited by YorkshireLion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

"Other than seeing the Hoffman method on his YouTube channel, every other tutorial or video on the french press that I’ve ever seen has always said to go coarse and 3-4 minutes then press and serve."

Do you think we have never tried this approach? It has never worked for me, not even with fine grind. When you add hot water to coffee & let them sit whilst the temperature drops, you limit extraction, so you don't need to grind coarse. The bigger problem is getting a full extraction.

If you want a tasty cup, brewed in 4-5 min, you do not want to be using the French press, use the Clever Dripper & the recipe I mentioned earlier, start with the SqMile Clever grind suggestion. Or, accept that your French press brews can take longer.

Your grind in the photo looks coarser than the Sqmile Aeropress suggestion.

Edited by MWJB

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple more points . Don't focus in if it's under or over extracted , just on how it tastes. 

As related at 4 mins it's not going to be over extracted .

Are you letting the coffee cool at bit before tasting . How coffee can taste burnt or bitter , letting it Cool a bit can help open up the flavours .. If you are longer steeping this negates this step .

 

 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so I tried the clever dripper at recommended settings and it was another dud. Doesn’t taste of anything really, strong caffeinated. 

172E5A9B-947A-4D71-93F9-7C6F6FE26FFD.jpeg

80B55E29-07D2-4CFF-BFDE-BA6DFC4FCDA3.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, YorkshireLion said:

Ok, so I tried the clever dripper at recommended settings and it was another dud. Doesn’t taste of anything really, strong caffeinated. 

172E5A9B-947A-4D71-93F9-7C6F6FE26FFD.jpeg

80B55E29-07D2-4CFF-BFDE-BA6DFC4FCDA3.jpeg

Did you let it cool before tasting .


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks too fine, go coarser (around E or R of Aeropress?)


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're using 18:290g and the caffeine hit is too much (as it will be for all the brew methods you have - caffeine content won't change greatly), go smaller on brew size, say 13.5g dose, 55g bloom, up to 220g water total at 1:30s, all in by about 2:00.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, MWJB said:

If you're using 18:290g and the caffeine hit is too much (as it will be for all the brew methods you have - caffeine content won't change greatly), go smaller on brew size, say 13.5g dose, 55g bloom, up to 220g water total at 1:30s, all in by about 2:00.

Before reading this I tried the following, 12:300g in the clever dripper and whilst it wasn’t perfect it was way better than anything I have tried before. Everything up to this point has been too caffeinated and just overwhelmingly strong tasting to me. Although 12g in 300g of water seems really low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, YorkshireLion said:

Before reading this I tried the following, 12:300g in the clever dripper and whilst it wasn’t perfect it was way better than anything I have tried before. Everything up to this point has been too caffeinated and just overwhelmingly strong tasting to me. Although 12g in 300g of water seems really low.

Your brew ratio sets your strength , if it tastes better than 12 g into 300g isnt low, it is just what works for you. 

Where do you normally enjoy coffee ( cafe etc ) and how ( drink type , with milk ? ) 

 

  • Like 1

I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mrboots2u said:

Your brew ratio sets your strength , if it tastes better than 12 g into 300g isnt low, it is just what works for you. 

Where do you normally enjoy coffee ( cafe etc ) and how ( drink type , with milk ? ) 

 

When out I always drink Americano black, however I don’t normally have more than one a day, I certainly can’t seem to handle the 16-20g type strength that seems to be the recommended ratios you see online for the drinks that I have been making. I get no taste just strength at those ratios. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, YorkshireLion said:

When out I always drink Americano black, however I don’t normally have more than one a day, I certainly can’t seem to handle the 16-20g type strength that seems to be the recommended ratios you see online for the drinks that I have been making. I get no taste just strength at those ratios. 

Amerciano is a dilute drink , so this may help explain a little. 

You are not alone in being able to dicern more flavour through a weaker brew, and that is fine. 

SO re these brewing methods Work towards your preference not the internets.

  • Like 1

I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like 16-20g doses either. If you find a comfortable dose stick to it & ignore anyone who says you need to use xxg of coffee. It's you that has to drink it & over-caffeinating yourself will make it a chore, not a pleasure.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help guys, I had just assumed I was doing it wrong and that’s why it wasn’t tasting nice at the recommended ratios. What would be the process now, stick to the grind and adjust the dose until it’s too strong and then dial it back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to give specific advice now, as your preferred cups are  a fair bit weaker than I'd normally have.

But, I think I'd stick to the dose you have. Grind gradually coarser. If the cups start to get too weak, or more importantly sour/tangy/unripe fruit, go up on the coffee dose by a gram (to lift the strength) & fine the grind just a little (to get past the sour taste)? But keep a note of your last 'best cup' settings, because if you're really happy, there isn't really any need to upset the apple cart.

Keep water weight the same.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...