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TomHughes

Where do we go from here?

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Coffee is really interesting, who would have thought a simple beverage would develop into so many different ways to make it, not to mention varieties, roasting and even now fermenting! 

But where do we go from here? Whats on the horizon?

I watched Matt Pergers talk where he discusses the 'problem' with not getting perfect coffee is inconsistency. From the bean right to the extraction. 

We are at the stage of single origin and in some cases single farm, supposedly increasing consistency due to the same bean conditions which leads to greater consistency. Can this get any more specific? Or will it be the case that coffee without origin is considered not worth it? 

What about roasting? Maybe the roasters can chime in. Perger says drum roasting is basically pants, and all roasters should be using fluid beds? Is this where the greatest gains lie? 

Machine wise we have some promising incredible extractions, profiling pressure, ease of use/temp stability. Can anything get better here?
Anyone seen anything cool in prototype? 

Grinders, the Niche jumps forward in terms of home use. With its success it does seem odd that other manufacturers haven't cottoned on to the single dosing market, or are they? 
It's all very well having diamond coated burrs but who can afford that? 

I wonder if double grinding or sieving might come in to play somewhere, as in automated. in an attempt to remove boulders and reduce fines. But does this actually lead to a better tasting cup of coffee?


Where do you want to see things go? Personally I want to see more home roasting options. It's not the most complicated thing and I think roasting at home is really cool, I don't get why roasters are so expensive. I'd quite like to see what can be done with water, I wonder where third wave water will go, can you enhance certain flavours with key minerals? 

I was also fascinated by the Hasbean guy at the Barista champs a few years ago, where he described the compounds responsible for certain coffee flavours. This appeals to my chemistry side. 

 

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Uwww I like posts like this because they're thought provoking. You've really covered a lot of it. 

Home roasting most definitely. It seems that you pretty much need to shell out £500 or so on a gene cafe to have any hope, unless you mechanically engineered minded enough start modding various alternatives. I wouldn't mind getting into home roasting as a hobby but not at that kind of money. 

Wilfa and Niche seem to have nailed the grinder equation for home use, for filter and espresso respectively. 

Sieving is interesting. It's questionable whether this improves the cup much, if at all once you get to a certain level. However there are many out there that are in the search of perfection, and getting everything within whatever micron range you fancy could be that next step. One issue with getting automated off the ground is that it would require a product that's willing to tell you how poorly it's doing the job you brought it for in the first place! 

Water, yes! Even if it's just some kind of advancement in recycling. I wouldn't describe myself as particularly environmentally friendly but I couldn't consider going down the bottled water route. The amount waste is terrible. But more to do with the additives side.

I would write more....but my chinese takeaway has just arrived 😆

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What does Perger say?


ACS Minima (Beta) with Bianca Paddle -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Interesting topic.

For me the coffee industry has been evolving very quickly in the last 15 or so years and at its heart has been precision. Precision right from farm to cup. We see the likes of Daterra in Brazil bringing in more mechanisation and computation in growing, harvest, preparation and quality control. This will surely only speed up and spread throughout the industry. Certainly as a roaster we are seeing more precision with greater control over roasts with the advent of easy data collection. Finally we have all seen the shift in preparation away from things like volume in favour of weight. 

When i first started to get in to coffee seriously if someone had a HX machine and a Super Jolly I thought they were a coffee god.....things have moved on quite a bit now.

I have no doubt this trend will continue with advent and reduced cost of technology. It surely wont be long until we see machines and grinders able to communicate via bluetooth or zigbee and make automatic adjustments on the fly based on the last extraction. Puqpress is another example of automation to enable consistency.

As far as home roasting goes I think this will be a market that will grow exponentially in the next decade or so. If someone can come up with a cost effective roaster with the ability to automate the roast process and offer the users a few predefined profiles they will do very well indeed. Basically something like the Fracino/Nestle roaster but suitable for home. Flog you a roaster then set you up on  green coffee subscription. I think lots of people would like that.

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Coffee | Equipment | Accessories | Service & Repair

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50 minutes ago, TomHughes said:

Interesting.

If he's right pretty much all coffee you buy from roasters must be terrible. People using popcorn poppers must be getting superior roasts. My gene cafe must be capable of a roast far superior to the amazon. I wonder why nobody else has caught on to this, there a plenty of fluid bed roasters out there. Don't commercial roasters use massive fluid bed roasters for the coffee they supply to supermarkets?

I've heard fluid bed roasters have their own problems, maybe there's some way around them though. I've heard they strip more moisture from the bean and it can be difficult to stop scorching and tipping without being really gentle with the heat. Could be completely wrong on that though but it's certainly been my experience with the gene, that tipping and scorching can happen quickly and very easily and it's easy to really dry the roast.

He also seems to assume absolute consistency of roast throughout the bean is ideal, when a bit of variety would naturally introduce more complex flavours. So long as it's properly developed throughout there shouldn't be a problem. 


ACS Minima (Beta) with Bianca Paddle -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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1 hour ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

If someone can come up with a cost effective roaster with the ability to automate the roast process and offer the users a few predefined profiles they will do very well indeed.
 

Flog you a roaster then set you up on  green coffee subscription. I think lots of people would like that.

Take my money...

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It’s late, and so my mind won’t let me string sentences together. But for now I’ll throw my hat in the ring to say that home roasting will remain niche and won’t go mainstream.


1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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2 hours ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

.. It surely wont be long until we see machines and grinders able to communicate via bluetooth or zigbee and make automatic adjustments on the fly based on the last extraction. .

As far as I'm aware there is already a machine and grinder that can do this, a few years ago and talked about in 2015

https://blog.cimbali.co.uk/coffee-trends/the-beauty-of-the-internet-and-coffee-of-course/

 

 


Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3  + Niche

Output: Slayer One Group + La Pavoni + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

 

 

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8 hours ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

Interesting topic.

 

As far as home roasting goes I think this will be a market that will grow exponentially in the next decade or so. If someone can come up with a cost effective roaster with the ability to automate the roast process and offer the users a few predefined profiles they will do very well indeed. Basically something like the Fracino/Nestle roaster but suitable for home. Flog you a roaster then set you up on  green coffee subscription. I think lots of people would like that.

I think Ikawa already does this? It may not have a rolling subscription service, but they sell a selection of coffees that have been profiled by their people to provide consistent results with their machine.

https://www.ikawacoffee.com/at-home/shop/

I stand to be corrected but this may have been the result of a major player in specialist coffee importing investing in Ikawa during the development stage.

I second 'Interesting topic' . Well done Tom. 

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7 hours ago, filthynines said:

It’s late, and so my mind won’t let me string sentences together. But for now I’ll throw my hat in the ring to say that home roasting will remain niche and won’t go mainstream.

I agree it is not going to be like PC's, with at least one in most houses, but, talking to a couple of people in the industry over the last 3 years, they seem to think the roasting scene is changing and they are adapting to fewer bulk roasters and more 'boutique' roasters. 

Several have lowered their minimum purchase limit to accommodate (and not lose out) this  surge of interest. 

As you know! (QED 😀)

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18 minutes ago, Batian said:

I think Ikawa already does this? It may not have a rolling subscription service, but they sell a selection of coffees that have been profiled by their people to provide consistent results with their machine.

https://www.ikawacoffee.com/at-home/shop/

I stand to be corrected but this may have been the result of a major player in specialist coffee importing investing in Ikawa during the development stage.

I second 'Interesting topic' . Well done Tom. 

Ikawa was in my thoughts really, but it is so over-priced. I wondered if like other 'appliances' we would see some competition and drive the price down. 

FWIW I built a DIY hack roaster out of a rotisserie drum, old BBQ, variable heat gun and thermocouples that cost around £100 total and happily does 300-400g roasts very evenly. 
 


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3 hours ago, Batian said:

I agree it is not going to be like PC's, with at least one in most houses, but, talking to a couple of people in the industry over the last 3 years, they seem to think the roasting scene is changing and they are adapting to fewer bulk roasters and more 'boutique' roasters. 

Several have lowered their minimum purchase limit to accommodate (and not lose out) this  surge of interest. 

As you know! (QED 😀)

I think "boutique" is far more likely. I think more in-house roasteries in cafes will spring up, and possibly not in the obvious places like city centres. I could see a small surge in "local" roasteries popping up; a little like artisanal bakeries have popped up more and more. The caveat to my thoughts? Huge amounts of cognitive bias on the basis that this is basically what we're aiming for with our little venture. 

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1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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3 hours ago, TomHughes said:

Ikawa was in my thoughts really, but it is so over-priced. I wondered if like other 'appliances' we would see some competition and drive the price down.  
 

That will be interesting to see. As we know from espresso machines and grinders: you do generally get what you pay for. 

I think for most it will be a bit like my attitude to ice cream makers. I love ice cream. And a number of times I've wanted to go for a really nice ice cream maker so I can make it home. But, as my wife rightly points out, it's not a case of fancying some ice cream and then getting it 30 minutes later. There's all the planning, and the purchase of the ingredients, and the process, and did it turn out right, and am I no longer hungry after all of that? 

Millions in the country eat bread. They can make bread for pennies, or a couple of pounds if going really high quality. The equipment can be quite modest and readily available without £1,000+ investment. But what do most of those millions do? They buy it in the supermarket because it's cheap, accessible, and requires little thought. I think the same applies to coffee. The exception are the afficionados - the sorts of people that are on this forum. I think we might move to more home production, but still only in small numbers. After all - part of the fun is tasting what other people have made!

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4 hours ago, Batian said:

I think Ikawa already does this? It may not have a rolling subscription service, but they sell a selection of coffees that have been profiled by their people to provide consistent results with their machine.

https://www.ikawacoffee.com/at-home/shop/

I stand to be corrected but this may have been the result of a major player in specialist coffee importing investing in Ikawa during the development stage.

I second 'Interesting topic' . Well done Tom. 

Yes, Ikawa provides a selection (usually 5 or 6) of green coffee lots that they provide roasting profiles for. But it's not a subscription and their coffees are relatively expensive. Typically around £12 per 500g of greens.

Interestingly, in 2017, Ikawa made a deal with Panasonic which allowed Panasonic to use the technology in their own branded roaster. At that time Panasonic were said to be entering into a proper green bean subscription model in Asia. I don't know if this ever happened or what the price point or take up was.

Personally, I can't see it as other than a niche market. 

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5 hours ago, Batian said:

I think Ikawa already does this? It may not have a rolling subscription service, but they sell a selection of coffees that have been profiled by their people to provide consistent results with their machine.

https://www.ikawacoffee.com/at-home/shop/

I stand to be corrected but this may have been the result of a major player in specialist coffee importing investing in Ikawa during the development stage.

I second 'Interesting topic' . Well done Tom. 

There are a couple of options out there but for me nobody has come close to nailing the price/performance needed yet.

When I personally talk about home roasting moving 'mainstream' it is always with the assumption that we are talking about the coffee enthusiast. The sort of person that would look to purchase a dual boiler machine, niche, osmio etc.


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I don't think we'll see much change in the forseeable if I'm honest. At least in the ways you are describing. I don't expect to see a major change in grinder geometry, any "add-ons" like sifting will just be a novelty rather than a game changer. We still don't really understand the mechanics of grinding well enough to "design" a "better" grinder at the moment, all we can do is incrementally improve. Similarly with machines I don't see somebody magically uncovering a secret new flow profile that is going to render everything before it obsolete. Even with the latest profiling machines people end up sticking to a flat profile or a declining "lever" profile a lot of the time.

I don't see the "home roaster" market ever being particularly large or popular. There is an art to roasting and even I don't want to buy 10kg of greens to dial in maybe 1kg exactly how I like - there is a benefit to outsourcing!

Some things I hope to see change (and I think will eventually) are:
- Better water solutions at lower prices. Also improved understanding of what makes water good/bad - we have a rudimentary understanding now but it's certainly not the end of it
- Roasters providing Agtron/Tonino numbers (for the love of god, please start doing this it is infuriating to read "we roast medium-light to draw out the flavour profile of the bean" on every damn roaster site)
- More experimentation with decaf (or caffeine reduction) methods
- Improved supply chain logistics, things are pretty inefficient as is and there will be a demand to be "more green"
- More experimental processing methods, aging, yeasts, etc.

I see these more leading to "revolutions" than I do any tech for machines and grinders. Apart from cafe efficiency of course, the automated "robot barista" is likely to be coming in the not too distant future but how widespread that will be will depend on people's appetite for robotic interaction. We are a social animal and so like interaction, even before coffee in the morning, so there will always be a place for human service and the appreciation of artistry.

 

(Also it's worth stating: Perger is a bit of a fool, take anything he says with at least a pinch of salt)

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Current Favoured Roasters:
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Else: Gardelli (Italy), Drop (Sweden), Morgon (Sweden), Five Elephant (Germany), Kaffa (Norway)

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3 minutes ago, Power Freak said:


- Roasters providing Agtron/Tonino numbers (for the love of god, please start doing this it is infuriating to read "we roast medium-light to draw out the flavour profile of the bean" on every damn roaster site)

I have thought about this a lot. I am still undecided!

I never buy a coffee and think right this is going to be a light roast or this is going to be darker. I just sample and see where I think it peaks.

I am unsure as to whether it will just put people of trying coffee they may turn out to love. They may just look at it and say oh too dark or too light not for me and then miss out on something awesome.


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Posted (edited)

 

33 minutes ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

I have thought about this a lot. I am still undecided!

I never buy a coffee and think right this is going to be a light roast or this is going to be darker. I just sample and see where I think it peaks.

I am unsure as to whether it will just put people of trying coffee they may turn out to love. They may just look at it and say oh too dark or too light not for me and then miss out on something awesome.

That's true, but for me I know the coffees I love most are on the lighter to extreme lighter end. Most roasters don't want to "admit" to roasting particularly light for fear of alienation (and the same with darker roasts) so it can be quite hard to know what to expect when you see "medium-light" on every roasters page! I can't remember the last time I've seen a roaster use a description of roast level that isn't "medium-light" or words to that effect ("we roast light, but not too light, to preserve the natural flavours", etc.) I've bought "medium-light" roasts that to me are clearly "medium" (or possibly darker!) things I know I'm unlikely to enjoy as much, had I known I wouldn't have bought.

 

Of course some coffees need to go darker/lighter than others so it's not as though you can compare 2 completely unrelated beans and say "this one I'll like better as the number is higher/lower" (the communication of it will need to be done carefully).

 

But there are so many roasters out there now and if I can get a ballpark idea of the roast level they go for I'll have a far better idea of whether I will get on with them or not. As a result I stick to what I know and don't experiment with new roasters as often as I should, just a ballpark statement of "our roasts typically range from X-Y on the agrton scale" would be fine to get an idea of the ethos rather than exact numbers for each coffee (although that would be nice given we have so much information with varietal, processing etc. and lately I've even been seeing measurements for the sugar content for the various stages of processing)  It will require a concerted effort from many roasters for it to really work though, if only one or two adopt the practice it won't help that much. But the whole specialty movement is built on "transparency" so I've always found it a little strange that we get very little transparency, as a consumer, on the roasting aspect given it's so crucial.

 

EDIT: If I'm honest, a roast level number is more valuable to me than an SCA cupping score

Edited by Power Freak

https://jazzcoffeestuff.com/

Current Favoured Roasters:
UK: Assembly (London), Round Hill (Bath), PLOT (London)
Else: Gardelli (Italy), Drop (Sweden), Morgon (Sweden), Five Elephant (Germany), Kaffa (Norway)

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Power Freak said:

 

That's true, but for me I know the coffees I love most are on the lighter to extreme lighter end. Most roasters don't want to "admit" to roasting particularly light for fear of alienation (and the same with darker roasts) so it can be quite hard to know what to expect when you see "medium-light" on every roasters page! I can't remember the last time I've seen a roaster use a description of roast level that isn't "medium-light" or words to that effect ("we roast light, but not too light, to preserve the natural flavours", etc.) I've bought "medium-light" roasts that to me are clearly "medium" (or possibly darker!) things I know I'm unlikely to enjoy as much, had I known I wouldn't have bought.

I agree to an extent that agtron numbers might be useful to somebody looking for coffee for a specific brew method, e.g. for espresso you'd probably avoid super light roasts. But other than avoiding something that falls outside of a fairly large range there's not much point.  The only time agtron numbers might be useful is when it's a new roaster you don't trust and you see tasting notes like "dark chocolate, cherry, caramel" and you want to know if it really tastes like that or if it tastes like the carbonised mess that is the Costco San Francisco or whatever they call it. If you've bought a few bags from a roaster and you know you hit the tasting notes 95% of the time why would you go off agtron number? If you find you only really like light roast coffee you probably know what type of tasting notes you're looking for.

On the subject of home roasting becoming mainstream, I just don't see it. Not until somebody comes up with a compact 500-1kg hot air roasters that works through automation, filters smoke, and works out very economically. How much of a saving is going to be made? They aren't going to learn how to roast, they're just going to put the beans in stick a prescribed profile on and let it go. It'll have to have some clever tech in there to measure ET, humidity, voltage and automatically adjust the profile based on that. Whoever sells it is going to have to put a lot of work in for very little return.

So assuming the roaster is affordable, has a decent capacity (so the user isn't always having to remember to roast), and can reproduce the same profile consistently regardless of location.....

How much are the greens going to cost? You won't be making your own profiles you'll be relying on somebody else to do it. So the greens are going to be marked up significantly. The people designing the profiles are also designing the roaster. They have to make their money somewhere.

You could try and design your own profiles, and buy green coffee in bulk from importers. The problem is that requires quite a large outlay, the ability and desire to store a lot of coffee, which means you're going to be drinking the same thing over and over again indefinitely and if you don't like the coffee what do you do? Start selling greens off yourself?

Unless the market for it becomes massive profits have to be high. For it to catch on there have to be benefits and a modest saving of money doesn't seem like people will go for it, not when they've spent over £1k on equipment and they'll be tied in to a very narrow selection of coffees from the supplier, or a few coffees of choice they they buy in bulk and drink for a long time, after creating their own profiles.

Edited by Rob1

ACS Minima (Beta) with Bianca Paddle -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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7 minutes ago, Rob1 said:

I agree to an extent that agtron numbers might be useful to somebody looking for coffee for a specific brew method, e.g. for espresso you'd probably avoid super light roasts. But other than avoiding something that falls outside of a fairly large range there's not much point.  The only time agtron numbers might be useful is when it's a new roaster you don't trust and you see tasting notes like "dark chocolate, cherry, caramel" and you want to know if it really tastes like that or if it tastes like the carbonised mess that is the Costco San Francisco or whatever they call it. If you've bought a few bags from a roaster and you know you hit the tasting notes 95% of the time why would you go off agtron number? If you find you only really like light roast coffee you probably know what type of tasting notes you're looking for.

The taste notes don't tell you anything about roast level really. I don't want to name any roaster I don't get on with since it's a tough market out there, but I've had plenty of "mediums" listed as "medium-light" that listed "fruity" notes with no hint of "heavier" notes like chocolate/caramel in their descriptors. I've been drinking coffee a long time and even I struggle to judge what roast level some of these roasters are aiming for. Often I have to go by things like the style of their website, aesthetic of their instagram, etc. Or I have to go to a forum like this, see what people are saying and then go all Columbo and investigate what sort of coffees those people like, etc. It's needless faff when there's an easy to use (albeit imperfect) measurement.

As I say if it's a roaster I've had before I wouldn't bother looking, but there are just so many roasters out there... We already have so much information on the coffee we're buying why not just have this extra piece of information? 

Not having a definitive scale for roasting levels causes issues on forums such as these too where someone will say they like "light roast" coffee and so get lots of advice around large flat grinders, hot and fast pulls, preinfusion, long ratios etc. Only to end up disappointed since what the roaster called "medium-light" is really more "medium" and so a more "traditional" shot would be a better option. Or vice versa somebody will look for advice and get recommended quite a traditional set up, try and put light roasts through it and dies from the acidity.

It's such a simple thing to do, and many roasters keep these numbers internally anyway in my experience. It's not as though it's the secret sauce and by knowing the agrton number I can circumvent them as a roaster and start roasting the greens myself!

I guess one issue is you'll get some asshole who will buy a coffee and measure it themselves and claim it's not exactly the same as the number the roaster posted. But fortunately the machines are expensive enough that it's not easy to do that at least.

 

Anyway this is a bit of a distraction for this thread, maybe I'll start a fresh one about this topic in particular.


https://jazzcoffeestuff.com/

Current Favoured Roasters:
UK: Assembly (London), Round Hill (Bath), PLOT (London)
Else: Gardelli (Italy), Drop (Sweden), Morgon (Sweden), Five Elephant (Germany), Kaffa (Norway)

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Very interesting topic! I just spent my lunch break jotting down my thoughts on the current state of the coffee market, more for myself but thought I'd share. This is all based on conjecture - I have no experience in the coffee industry whatsoever - I'd be really interested if others think about it the same way!

  • Market for making coffee at home broadly splits into 3
    • 1 - 'Nespresso is too fancy'
    • 2 - 'Nespresso tastes great'
    • 3 - 'You can get so much better than Nespresso'
  • We're all talking about 3. Which in the grand scheme of things is a tiny proportion of the at home coffee market. (I think Nespresso is a fantastic case study - how you can make such a compelling business through brand + convenience + consistency when you have such a fundamental upper constraint on the quality of the drink (the low dosing of coffee in the capsule))
    • Consistency is great. The worst cup of coffee is fine.
  • The initial avenue of attack on someone who falls into group 3 is often initially a bean to cup machine. 'Great rather than putting in capsules I can put in fresh coffee beans - that's going to be great'
    • For many customers that's going to raise the quality of the average cup of coffee, and still deliver consistency
    • I reckon the worst cup of coffee for many people with a cheap espresso machine, a relatively cheap grinder and not a lot of reading will be worse than you get from a mid-priced bean to cup
    • Designing a bean to cup machine is an engineering nightmare:
      • Heat
      • Electricity
      • Water
      • High pressure steam
      • Abrasive powders
      • Organic liquids which go off (milk)
      • Multi stage process requiring different combinations of the above
      • Inconsistent natural inputs (coffee beans) - which change between batches, but also drift over time
      • Output which is highly variable based on fine tuned balance between several factors
      • No objective measurable metric of output quality
      • Untrained operators who inconsistently clean and maintain the machine
      • Highly price sensitive, high expectation of reliability
    • The market we're interested in starts in group 3 and then either skips or upgrades from a Bean to Cup machine
    • This then splits into:
      • a) 'I want a consistently good espresso/flat white etc'
        • Optimising for improving the worst cup - stop making sink shots
      • b) 'I want to experiment and play'
        • Optimising for variability between cups - variability is interesting, but hopefully not too many terrible shots
    • You can see this split on the forum - who is trying to just not make terrible espressos, and the experimentation is something they have to do to get to something that works, and then who is playing and experimenting because it's fun.
    • Group A -'I want a consistently good espresso/flat white etc' - My uneducated opinion is that the problems group a) are facing boil down (sorry for the pun) into two groups
      • Starting with variables in totally the wrong place. Grind way too coarse, not tamping, temperature way too high, making americano by running all the water through the shot etc and they're just making lots of objectively terrible coffee, either without realising it's bad or not understanding enough about the fundamentals of the process to figure out how to fix it.
        • Forums like this are a great way of helping people figure this out
        • These people make consistently bad coffee (they may still enjoy it so not a problem)
      • Too much process variability (I'm focusing on espresso here)
        • At this level, I think the beans are the least of the problem
        • I would broadly in order of importance say the constraints are:
          • Dosing
          • Distribution
          • Tamping
          • Grind consistency
          • Temp/pressure
          • Flow control
        • I think the Marzocco Swift Mini is really interesting from this perspective - because it can solve 1-4. Beans in one end - tamped puck out the other. You should be able to get really good consistency out of it - but it's expensive.
          • It's like they've separated a bean to cup machine in half. All the user needs to do once it's set up is move the PF from the grinder to the machine - but this reduces the engineering complexity a lot
        • I think newcomers really struggle with the number of variables there are and where to start with optimising - I think if everyone who bought a fancy espresso machine got a Marzocco Swift Mini the average shot quality would skyrocket. (but the quality of the best shots would reduce)
        • Something like a Marzocco Swift Mini + MaraX would be an interesting pair to get consistent repeatable good coffee. If they could then talk together to feedback what the dosing was, and how much puck resistance there was that would be great.
      • I think anything to reduce the variability in puck preparation is the best way to improve coffee quality in this group, if they have a minimum level of coffee equipment
    • Group B - 'I want to experiment and play'
      • In this group everything is swapped around - variables are something to be embraced and experimented with - and inconsistent coffee is interesting not a problem
      • I think the descent espresso machine is really interesting here - because it allows direct manipulation of variables (e.g. temperature) - rather than indirect manipulation of variables (e.g. temperature surfing)
      • What are the dimensions of exploration?
        • Chasing higher extraction %s
          • Tight control of process variables
          • At home refractometers?
          • Logging and recording variables actually becomes quite important to optimisation
        • Interesting beans/roasts - e.g. Pineapple Candy
        • Pushing espresso into lighter roasts
          • e.g. Blooming profile on Decent machine
          • Where does espresso stop and filter begin?
        • Home roasting
          • What's the objective?
            • More freshness?
            • 'Single dosing' roasting?
            • More experimentation?
            • Save money?
          • With investing in grinders, machines etc - you can see how spending money helps improve your coffee quality vs the best alternative you can make at home. Roasting is a bit different, because it seems it takes quite a lot of work to get to the same level that you can get by just buying a bag from a good roastery.

This has really focused on espresso. Filter is interesting - because there's much less expense and equipment involved - I find it interesting that there is still so much fascination with espresso. I wonder how much of it is because people want Lattes, and how much is because part of the appeal of espresso is the complexity, the hissing machine and the never-ending chase of the perfect shot?

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glenw.com  HG-1 + Europiccola (with lots of sensors attached)

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1 hour ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

I have thought about this a lot. I am still undecided!

I never buy a coffee and think right this is going to be a light roast or this is going to be darker. I just sample and see where I think it peaks.

I am unsure as to whether it will just put people of trying coffee they may turn out to love. They may just look at it and say oh too dark or too light not for me and then miss out on something awesome.

In putting our website together I wanted to have a duplicated site which was a shop customisable to show information catering to either the "Geeky" customer or the "Just Give Me Coffee!" customer. Ultimately it was beyond the scope of what Shopify can provide and so I canned the idea. 

There's a real risk in alienating consumers. We can only hold attention for so long before it's lost to something else on the desktop/TV/whatever. I think the best case scenario is a separate page which says "Some additional technical info if you want it". But it's such an extra amount of work for such a small number of the customers. Sorry @Power Freak, I think it'll be a while before you see many roasters give that info. 


1973 La Pavoni ++ Niche Zero ++ Aeropress ++ V60

Coffee by the Casuals

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5 minutes ago, filthynines said:

In putting our website together I wanted to have a duplicated site which was a shop customisable to show information catering to either the "Geeky" customer or the "Just Give Me Coffee!" customer. Ultimately it was beyond the scope of what Shopify can provide and so I canned the idea. 

There's a real risk in alienating consumers. We can only hold attention for so long before it's lost to something else on the desktop/TV/whatever. I think the best case scenario is a separate page which says "Some additional technical info if you want it". But it's such an extra amount of work for such a small number of the customers. Sorry @Power Freak, I think it'll be a while before you see many roasters give that info. 

But think about the sheer amount of information on a typical specialty coffee store-front page already... On some we have exact geographic co-ordinates, altitude, the farmers name, a long story behind how the coffee is grown, etc. Is one extra number really the reason a potential consumer will close the tab? We accept the imperfections in the SCA cupping scores but many include those. Hell these days it's not uncommon to see "coffee cherries with specifically 20 BRIX are selected for this lot" - who are the consumers using this information? We talk a lot about transparency on behalf of the farmers producing the coffee, needing to know their inside leg measurement - but rarely do we ask the same of our roasters. It seems a little hypocritical to me and always has.

 

Some roasters do post good information, Hasbean has always had at least a qualitative description of the roast profile ("taken just past first crack" etc.) but most do not contain anything. It doesn't seem to have caused counter culture any harm posting their agtron numbers either:

https://counterculturecoffee.com/shop/coffee/apollo

If it weren't so damn painful to import from them I'd vote with my wallet and buy from them! They've had agtron numbers online for every coffee for a long time.

  • Like 1

https://jazzcoffeestuff.com/

Current Favoured Roasters:
UK: Assembly (London), Round Hill (Bath), PLOT (London)
Else: Gardelli (Italy), Drop (Sweden), Morgon (Sweden), Five Elephant (Germany), Kaffa (Norway)

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