The Orphan Espresso Lido 2 Hand Grinder

Lido 2 Hand Grinder

The perfect travelling companion

With the Christmas shutdown coming up fast, we've been considering the travelling coffee options. While grinding a bag of beans at home to take-away is easy enough, ground beans lose most of their aromatics within 1/2 hour, meaning that 2 week old ground coffee is well and truly past its freshness peak!

While there are a number of small, cheap electric grinder on the market, these are no good when you like camping or going bush, as we tend to do when given half a chance. So a good quality hand grinder seemed the only sensible choice

Lido 2 Hand Grinder

While this grinder is quite large when compared to the smaller Porlex or Hario style designs and built like the proberbial brick latrine, it does boast Italian 38mm steel burr set and holds up to 80g beans in the cannister (which would, in reality, be quite an arm workout!). The design of the burr carrier is also superior, with burrs being supported at both ends, making it very stable and accurate in both grind consistency & usage.

To use, the beans are simply tipped in through the top of the handle - quite a different feature to most where the handle needs to be unscrewed like a pepper mill. Grind settings are adjusted using a locking ring and threaded collar arrangement. On coarser settings, the unit is very easy to turn, getting slightly tighter as you adjust towards the espresso end of the spectrum. But either way it is fast, depending on your strength and stamina, with 25g only taking around 30 seconds or so on an espresso settings.

Lido 2 Hand Grinder

In flavour the results so far have been spectacular! I've used this grinder for sampling small batches of beans for espresso which not only gave a great pour, but only marginal flavour shifts when compared to the big Mazzer Robur against which it competes. And it's also been used for aeropress and drip filter duties, both of which have come through with flying colours.

Overall this is a great grinder. Though really too large for lightweight travel and with a glass catch cannister which does make me a little nervous, it really mixes it with the best electrical grinders on the market when it comes to quality, flavour produced and ease of use. Combined with our trusty aeropress, or perhaps a plunger or Moka pot, we can now look forward to a great holiday period away – complete with a good cup coffee! The OE Lido 2 is available from Chris at Talk Coffee - a great coffee product from a great coffee guy!

Have a safe and happy Christmas & New Year, and use this time to consider the birth of Jesus – the real reason for the Season!

When roasting profiles attack!

Nicely Roasted Beans

Sorting out profiles ...

Like all other skills, coffee roasting takes time, hard work, trial & error and a bit of blind luck on occasion! The beans shown were a single orgin Kenyan that were roasted as a small batch, but after after an extended period where I only completed larger roasts.

Unfortunately I was a little out of practice with these smaller amounts, and the bean mass temperature took off very quickly early on in the roast. So rather than my usual ramping roast, I then let this batch coast until the end, which ended up taking a similar length of time to what I'd normally expect. While they looked OK in colour from the outside, in the cup the results were quite aggressive, not at all smooth and sweet like I was used to as an espresso, so I thought I'd open one up and see what was going on inside.

What happens when the early heat is too high

Taken in the studio with a Tokina 100mm macro lens after slicing some beans open with a very sharp knife, this image shows the tastes issue conclusively. While the outside of the bean looks fine, the inside of the bean was almost black! No wonder it tasted a little horrid - roasting with too much heat early on seems to have incinerated the beans from the inside out!

The perfect crime - beans roasted to perfection

Just compare this to a later roast, which has the same basic colour on the outside, but is cooked to a lovely, biscuity perfection right through the centre. You could almost eat it as is!

We coffee snobs do tend to cop a bit of a hard time about our obsessive nature, but let me ask you – would you like to drink a brew made from the first batch? Me neither ... so the R&D continues!

New coffee pouches

Kraft Paper Coffee Pouches

Gotta love Enviro friendly coffee pouches!

One of the things that has always bothered me about coffee, is the indestructible foil & plastic pounches that are used for a week, thrown away and then last for a millenium! For my personal roasting, I've always tried to re-use bags as long as possible, wiping them clean, lining them with freezer bags or washing them.

But when it came time to supply my own roasted beans, thought I should put my money where my mouth was. So these beauties, supplied by CoffeeBags are recyled kraft paper with a natural cornstarch lining, which not only heat-seal normally and resist oil - but are bio-degreadable! Cheering! So I just use them, shred them and put them in the compost. I do have some foil lined pouches here too if customers require longer storage, but really - most people who try the fresh stuff are more than happy to buy and use these beans quickly!