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And sometimes it is all about user error.

October 27, 2011

I blogged the other day about my WBE espresso and I have gotten both great and not so great shots.  The not so great ones fall at my own feet for blame, not the blend.

The first great shot was pulled when I was distracted so recreating the heat profile took a long time because I thought I had probably pulled it at one temperature and in fact I was off by quite a bit.

The second great shot was yesterday morning and I followed it up by a bad, really fast shot.  I thought that it was odd that the two shots were so different.  The real explanation was that I was grinding on a Baratza Vario, which is a very nice grinder, but I must have bumped the grind settings.  There are two levers, one of which makes minor changes and the other of which makes major changes – modeled on a microscope’s fine tuning.

Anyway, I must have bumped the coarse setting because I pulled a shot this morning, noticed it again ran way too fast and looked for the cause.  Sure enough I was off by one on the coarse setting.  I do this about once every 3-4 months, so I should have anticipated it.  It is one thing I’d like to see adjusted in the Vario – perhaps a cover that flips over the levers or tucking them further out of the way, but it is not a big deal since it is a fairly rare occurrence, but it is something that doesn’t happen on grinders, for example, adjusted on a worm drive (then again it is harder to make major adjustments on a worm drive).

Now with the grind back dialed in, I am drinking a good shot – not amazing like the other two, but one I am perfectly happy with.  So in the end this probably is not the picky blend I thought it might be.

On the other hand, since it is updosed to a high dose and is sold 12oz at a time, with my errors I have blown through the coffee fairly quickly.  This is one advantage of coffees that are best at 14grams – you get many more drinks per bag.

There is no question I will order it again once this bag is done to explore it more.

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