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Old 08-01-2019, 01:08 AM   #1
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Coffee Upgrade; Long Overdue

For the past six or seven years, I've been brewing store-bought ground coffee in a 4-cup Black & Decker drip machine. But ended up with a pound of whole roasted beans. Could have "ground" them in the spice grinder but decided to get a new manual burr grinder.
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Might as well replace the B&D so bought this french press to go with it.
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Used to roast my own beans. Talked about it last year here and 13 years ago here. Can't really do the "cowboy roast" anymore for lack of ventilation and convenient outdoor access but this roaster is calling my name.
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Any thoughts?

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Old 08-01-2019, 05:47 AM   #2
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Roasting your own beans sounds interesting.

I've been buying whole bean coffee from a local roaster, and there is a new roaster opening soon just down the street. The owner is originally from Medellin, Colombia. He's starting off as a one man show, and I'm looking forward to trying his offerings. The coffee roaster is a hundred feet away from a fish market, so the summertime "aromas" ought to be interesting!

A couple of years ago I upgraded from a Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker to a Bonavita. The more precise temperature control of the Bonavita made a significant improvement in the coffee. Never tried a French press, though. I grind the beans in an inexpensive Krups grinder, which does a pretty good job as long as I shake it a few times while grinding.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:46 AM   #3
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Tenspeed, is your Krups a whirley grinder or a burr grinder? The whirleys can be pretty good, but not for French press. With a French press, the grains need to be uniform largish. Anything too fine goes right through the filter and into your cup. Guess how I know.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:40 PM   #4
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I do like fresh ground coffee steeped in a French press. I can't see myself roasting my own beans, especially with so many good roasted beans available to me locally.

Living alone (psycho-doodle does not drink coffee), a small French press is a good alternative to my K-Cup machine for special occasions. Whole beans store better than ground coffee, too.

That small burr grinder looks interesting. I'll have to check that out.

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Old 08-01-2019, 03:28 PM   #5
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The press was delivered today but the grinder was damaged in shipping so Amazon refunded the price and I decided to step up to a Baratza Encore grinder.
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That roaster is looking pretty likely. Found a good bean vendor called Coffee Bean Corral pretty close, near Jackson MS. Lots closer than Sweet Maria's, my old supplier.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:09 AM   #6
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Yesterday morning the Amazon refund for the Skerton Pro Manual Coffee mill was credited and a couple of hours later, an unbroken one was delivered. Based on the phone conversation with customer service and the email confirming it, I already ordered the Baratza electric grinder which will be delivered later today.

I'm thinking it is okay to keep them both, but open to a different opinion on that matter.

Used the Skerton this morning. I'm impressed with its quality, ease of use, and the taste of the coffee, brewed in the old drip machine, half with the last of the Kroger grind and half with Sprouts roasted organic Guatemalan beans ground in the Skerton. Tomorrow I'll try out the Baratza and the French Press.

New roaster calls are getting louder.

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Caseydog wrote: That small burr grinder looks interesting. I'll have to check that out.
CD, The original of that grinder was well-reviewed and long-praised by "fine grind folk," but French Press users, needing a much coarser grind, complained that the burrs wobbled in the larger hole required. The "plus" version helped some and the "Pro" helped a lot, maybe even solved it entirely. The grind adjustment mechanism is much improved also. Anyway, that's what I'd read and now, having used it once, I'm glad to have spent a little extra on the Pro, even if it was fully refunded.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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To update this saga, after a few days use, I'm 99 and 9/10ths happy with the little manual Skerton PRO coffee mill. It will grind enough beans for a liter of coffee in a couple of minutes, less time than it takes an electric kettle to boil the water. I can keep it in the cupboard when not in use. Asked Amazon to bill me for it again and sent back the larger and more expensive Baratza for a refund unopened. The new kettle and French Press fit easily in the same counter-space as the old 4-cup drip machine.

Will almost certainly order the Fresh Roast roaster mentioned above before my one-pound bag of roasted beans gets used up. It will go where the bigger grinder would have gone.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:45 PM   #8
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SL, I'm glad to see that your coffee adventures are turning out so well.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:02 PM   #9
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Having been informed by PM that at least one person is considering buying the Skerton grinder in part because of my comments I feel compelled to explain the small reservation I had about it. I'd hate to read someone blaming me for not warning them. The adjusting nut would loosen during the grind and toward the end, I would get bean pieces that were much too big. I was confident that the problem could be solved with either a nylon nut or small o-ring on the threads below the adjusting nut, although this would have made grind adjustments considerably less convenient.

But getting ready to write this post, I discovered the problem was that the adjusting nut was installed upside down. Even though I don't remember removing it entirely I have to admit it seems more likely that I did it than a person or robot at the factory who screws that nut on all day long. When installed correctly, there is a click every 1/8 revolution making adjustments even easier to keep track of. Before and after pictures follow, in that order. Note: In the second picture you can also see the page in the owners manual warning of this very thing.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:11 PM   #10
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SL, that should make things easier, now that you figured out about the adjustment nut. That's pretty funny.
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