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Random Thought

  • Mazzer Mini E Grinder Mod | Super Jolly Burr Set

    Posted on February 5, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    If you have been stung by the coffee bug, chances are you are constantly looking for ways to improve the brewing process to get the most out of every bean.  Just about 20 years ago I was a poor college student and I bought my first air popcorn popper from the local Goodwill and started the adventure of learning how to roast coffee.  It was only a few weeks later that I was trying to modify the air flow to achieve a more even roast.

    Over the years, there are few coffee gadgets that have made their way to my kitchen counter that I have not tinkered with to some extent, some with quite successful results and some not so much (before doserless espresso grinders were popular I cut the plastic doser off my first burr grinder with a dremel tool...that poor little Gaggia...).

    Perhaps one of the most frequent questions I have been asked regarding grinders lately is whether or not the Mazzer Mini Electronic espresso grinder burrs can be replaced with Mazzer Super Jolly burrs (AKA Mazzer Normale).  On paper, it would seem that they would work, same dimensions, same 3-hole screw pattern.  The only difference is the more aggressive burr design.  Having heard of these being successfully installed on Mini-E's, we thought we would give it a go.  We have been very impressed with the results.

    Before swapping out the stock 189D burrs on the Mini-E, we ran several 17g doses of our Uganda Mt. Elgon Natural coffee that was dialed in for an espresso grind.  Grind time was between 20-22 seconds.  After the swap with Super Jolly 33M burrs, the same 17g dose dialed in for espresso took about 13 seconds, a impressive improvement.

    We have had about a week of use on these burrs since filming for the video and we are nothing but impressed.  Grind quality is vastly improved and extraction is routinely more uniform (viewed using La Marzocco Advanced 17g basket in a bottomless portafilter).  Cup quality is also noticeably improved with much more clarity.

    A few points to note before venturing down the path of this mod.  The Mini-E burr set is specifically designed to be less aggressive than the Supper Jolly burr set.  This is likely because the Mini-E has a lighter duty 250W motor while newer Super Jolly's have a larger 350W motor with a bigger duty cycle.  While we haven't noticed or heard any signs that the Mini-E motor is being pushed beyond its capacity, we cannot recommend this Mod for anything beyond light-duty use.  I also feel the need to note, that older Super Jolly grinders have 250W motors and have run for years with heavy and frequent use, but swapping the stock 189D Mini-E burr set with the 33M Super Jolly burr set will void any warranty, so M.A.Y.O.R. (Mod At Your Own Risk).

    This post was posted in Random Thought, News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Mazzer, Mazzer Grinders, Mazzer Mini E Burr Swap, Tutorial, Coffee Grinder Mod

  • Coffee Fest New York Latte Art Champ Kim Yeung Video

    Posted on March 23, 2012 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    We just wanted to give a shout out to Coffee Fest New York Latte Art Champion Kim Yeung for some of the greatest pours we have seen.  We just found this video of him showing off some of his pours.  Not only is it fun to watch, but it is inspiring for anyone wanting to up their game.



    Notice how wet his micro-foam is, this allows for a him continue building his work from the beginning of the pour to the end.  Wet foam can be challenging to work with later in the pour and Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Review, Accessory Review, Random Thought, News and was tagged with Milk Frothing, Latte Art, Coffee Fest, Latte Cups

  • The Quest for the Perfect Thin Crust Pizza

    Posted on February 23, 2012 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    While doing a little file purging on my computer I found this post I wrote several years ago about one of my favorite   Pizza, like coffee, is really a culinary art.  When done well,  both can clear up a grey day and evoke angels to sing in chorus above.    May angels sing upon your next pizza!  Enjoy.


    Circa 2010

    If you know me, you know that one of my passions in life is to make the perfect thin crust pizza.  My journey has taken me down the roads of many mediocre pies with floppy, dense, bland crusts.  My goal has been a thin crust that is crispy and cracker-y on the bottom and stretchy and chewy in the middle.  It sounded easier than it proved to be at first.

    Perfect Thin Crust Pizza Dough

    I scoured the internet and many different bread books for the perfect recipe, and found all were seriously lacking.  Most were aimed at the quick and easy crowd of cooks who want to mix and toss the dough in couple of hours.  Well, I am here to say that I couldn't replicate a crust that was promised in the advertising.  I am also here to say that if you want a quick and easy thin crust pizza, you are better off rolling down to the Rock (I recommend the "My Generation"), but if you are okay with slow (but easy) thin crust pizza, well my friend, continue reading!

    So the problem with most recipes is they neglect to let the yeast properly ferment the dough, which develops the nice complex flavors that leave most home fired pies on the bland scale.  Good crust starts with good dough, and while it isn't hard in any way, shape, or form to make good dough, it does take time for the yeast to do its important little job of multiplying.  That said, you need to plan a day or two in advance.

    So the dough has a few steps (these steps are for the most part unattended, so the prep time is minimal):

    Day 1 - Make a Sponge

    2 cups bread flour

    2 T of raw sugar

    1 T of yeast,

    2 cups warm water

    • mix together with a wood spoon in a glass bowl with plenty of room to grow and bubble. Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Uncategorized, Random Thought and was tagged with Pizza, Food

  • A Good Thing Remains Unchanged

    Posted on November 2, 2011 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    I was reading through an article on this morning that highlighted a New York Tribune article from 1918, titled "How to Make Coffee, Circa 1918."  Now from my understanding, the preferred brew method of the day was the percolator and this article from nearly 100 years ago points out the poor results from this method.  The fun part was its recommendation of the coffee siphon and freshly ground coffee beans...good advice then, and good advice now.

    1918_Siphon New York Tribune Article

    Silex, the first to bring the coffee siphon to the U.S. market, patented the coffee siphon from a early French design around 1914.

    Today, the Yama Coffee Siphon is one of our go to favorites for brewing more expensive single origin coffees.  They produce a clean cup, and allow the subtler notes often lost in other brewing methods to shine through.

    Take a look at the CoffeeGeek article HERE.

    We carry a full line of Yama Coffee Siphons, a good thing then, and a good thing now. Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Review, Random Thought, News and was tagged with Yama, Siphon, Syphon, Vac Pot

  • Our "Intern"

    Posted on September 2, 2011 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Today I had the pleasure of being assisted by my photo "intern" while taking more product shots. He enjoyed all the cool new "coffee machines" and wanted me to teach him how to make coffee...I must be doing something right!

    Photo Helper

    Photograpy Intern

    This post was posted in Random Thought

  • Nicaragua Washed Caturra Coffee

    Posted on August 31, 2011 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Started the day off with a beautiful washed Nicaraguan Caturra Coffee from the Matagalpa region. What a beautiful coffee in almost every way. Dry grounds have a deep, luscious and smooth vanilla fragrance. Brewed in a 5 cup Yama Siphon: 35 grams of coffee steeped for 2 1/2 minutes. A surprising amount of body, sweet brown-sugar notes, and hints of wine-grapes. A wonderful Single Origin coffee.

    View Larger Map

    Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Coffee Review, Random Thought

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