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Pablo El Beano

Your thoughts on buying beans like this?

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I live in Melbourne. Best city in the world. Sorry London, you're number 2. Have been buying beans and boiling them to death in my Moka pot for years from these guys at my local market (see pic). Not gonna mention a name, but if you've ever been to this place you will know them. Lovely people who run it and work there. 

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Now I've upped my game with a grinder, espresso machine and a pour over set up. It was actually by having my first WOW moment with an amazing Rwandan at a quality local roasters, Veneziano that got me in to all this. Excellent single origin beans from them Bagged and sealed on the day of roast. Its pretty Hipster, but I've loved spending time at their cafe, trying all the varieties and almost nailing the same flavours at home. Chatting with the baristas and the roasters there has been great for my knowledge. These guys are at the top of their game. Melbourne doesn't fuck about with its coffee. 

Now i'm trying to fall back in love with the beans from my old place at the market, because its almost half the price, (I'm spending over $100 a month on the fancy stuff) but after trying a few different single origins, i think i may be noticing an obvious step down in overall quality compared to my hipster place. The range is great, but the staff have no exact idea of roast dates on their product. "within the last week or so" is the general answer. I've seen them pour out large 5kg bags in to the tubs, not sealed in any way, just rolled up. 

Do you guys think that the way they sell their beans, open, unsealed and scooped out as you buy them is detrimental to quality? They might be sitting there for a few days for all we know. Is bagged and sealed on the day of roast the only way to go? More importantly do you think they are probably buying in lower grade beans? Whats your thoughts on places that sell beans in this way?

Pablo. x

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There’s a place in Reading, UK which seems beans like that too. When you go there and buy, they put in paper bags. I’m not sure whether it’s good or not - would think it’s not great long term, but if you drink them pretty much straight away, maybe not so bad?

How do they taste? If you like them, then I suppose your question is rather irrelevant.


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This is the kind of setup I see here in Germany (p.s. I moved from London to Berlin and I have no idea about Melbourne but London has nothing on Berlin) at the lower end 'traditional' artisan roasters. They are half the price of the hipster places, have single origin offerings, but don't know the varietal/farm/elevation/process if you ask them, they don't store their beans in a way that keeps freshness so even ones I've had that were roasted 1 week ago seemed a little stale, and the fact of the matter is they just never taste as good as my favourite roasters. They just don't seem to be able to roast in a way that doesn't make every coffee taste the same. Even when their roasts are 'lighter' than ones i get from my local 3rd wave place, they still somehow taste more roasty. Which lends credence to the known fact that overall roast profile is just as if not more important than roast level. 

 

I really gave lots of these types of places a try, as for a few months i lived in Germany in a city without specialty coffee. Now I'm glad to be in Berlin with roasters like Five Elephant just 15 minute walk away. It costs more but this is my biggest hobby, I decided I deserve the treat. 

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9 minutes ago, HBLP said:

This is the kind of setup I see here in Germany (p.s. I moved from London to Berlin and I have no idea about Melbourne but London has nothing on Berlin) at the lower end 'traditional' artisan roasters. They are half the price of the hipster places, have single origin offerings, but don't know the varietal/farm/elevation/process if you ask them, they don't store their beans in a way that keeps freshness so even ones I've had that were roasted 1 week ago seemed a little stale, and the fact of the matter is they just never taste as good as my favourite roasters. They just don't seem to be able to roast in a way that doesn't make every coffee taste the same. Even when their roasts are 'lighter' than ones i get from my local 3rd wave place, they still somehow taste more roasty. Which lends credence to the known fact that overall roast profile is just as if not more important than roast level. 

 

I really gave lots of these types of places a try, as for a few months i lived in Germany in a city without specialty coffee. Now I'm glad to be in Berlin with roasters like Five Elephant just 15 minute walk away. It costs more but this is my biggest hobby, I decided I deserve the treat. 

I think you may have just summed up my thoughts and buying experience with the market beans. It seems there are similarities with the different standard of bean retailers in some cities. 

I was thinking that I may have some sort of bias happening due to the whole experience at the specialty roasters, and the obvious cost difference. If it costs more it must be better right? Although thats not always the case I'd guess ultimately they are just a notch above the average outlet in their knowledge, and the way they source, roast, treat and present their product which lends itself to an overall better, but more expensive end result. I'll keep hunting for the best bang for buck beans...

 

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I live in a market town and on the market there is a stall selling beans, they are all out in the open, not sealed in any way, I would guess they have them out in a different town all day every day, I asked if she knew the roasting date but she said she didn't know. I decided to give it a miss, I've seen how beans can go stale left in a hopper over night.

I'd rather pay a bit more and have fresh roasted and sealed beans from a good roaster. 

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