Baseball mitts, Chinese cleavers, and cast iron pans. Some tools get better with use and the EG-1 grinder is the same. The burrs of the EG-1 to some extent or another, may benefit from seasoning. We’ve tested many different methods ranging from alumina or glass bead blasting to steel wool and sandpaper. Yet at the end of the day, we still feel the best way to season a set of burrs it to run media through them.
Your EG-1 is on its way and you’re dashing off to the store to buy provisions for the impending arrival of your new grinder. In addition to coffee beans and milk, add a few kilos of dry long grain white rice to your shopping list. Any inexpensive brand will do, just be sure that you’re not buying wet or instant vacuum packed rice. If you’re friendly with a local roaster, stale coffee beans will work just as well for seasoning the burr set.
Preparing to Season
Before you start this process, we recommend using the grinder for several shots. The goal is to see what your shots look and taste like and how long they take to grind, so as to have a metric against which to compare. You should plan on putting aside some time for seasoning and have some drinkable coffee beans on hand as well. You’ll want to pull several test shots along the way.
Have a bowl on hand to catch the ground rice or coffee as well as a measuring cup. You should try to keep track of how much rice you have run through the grinder.
Finally, measure out a standard dose of beans such as 18g and run it through the grinder at your preferred grind setting and use a set RPM of around 750. Count the number of seconds required to grind the dose. Write this number down somewhere if you’re absent minded like we are.
Readjust the grind to a slightly finer setting than at which you have been pulling your shots. We’ve noticed that this can accelerate the seasoning process.
Start by turning on the machine and set the RPM to around 750. Once the grinder is running, add approximately 20g of rice to the Bean Dish. The ground rice should exit the grinder with a consistency similar to table salt. Do not overload the grinder with too much rice as this could potentially stall the machine. We recommend stopping every 300g to check the grind with coffee beans.
Remember to set the grinder back to the espresso setting. When you do a test shot, you might notice your machine now requires a coarser grind setting then before.
Once you’re satisfied with the level of seasoning, thoroughly clean out any remaining rice dust and run a few shots of coffee through the grinder to purge any remaining residue.
As your burrs break in you’ll begin to notice a few things. Micro-spurting or gysering, which can be seen more clearly with a naked portafilter, will diminish; the amount of time required to grind a set dose will decrease, and the quality of your extractions will generally improve. In addition, the effects of static will become less obvious depending of course on the relative humidity of your environment and bean type.
For any set of burrs, it’s difficult to formulate a specific time period associated with the breaking in process. The process can be dependent on a multitude of variables such as bean hardness, quantity, darkness of roast, fineness of grind and even the surface finish of any given burr set.
Some burrs right out of the box perform well, while others might need breaking in. You can either let the burrs bed in at their own pace or choose to speed up the seasoning process. Every burr set is different, and some may not require any seasoning at all.
In regards to the specific quantity of either coffee or rice to use in the process, it’s difficult to quantify an exact amount. But with direct feedback from our existing customer base, users are reporting improved results after 4 to 5kg of coffee or rice run passed through the grinder.