Suppose my grinder's hopper contains beans roasted 14 days ago, and the hopper is almost empty; suppose further that I have a full bag of 5-day-old beans, ready to go.

If the new beans are added to the hopper on top of the old beans, then there will be an abrupt change to the coffee's "dial in" once the transition between the old and new beans is reached. This is a drawback in the commercial setting; it would be hard to keep track of where the transition is, so some customers could receive improperly dialed espresso.

The dial setting will also be affected if I wait until the hopper is completely empty; the grinder will not grind consistently if the hopper is underfull.

The final option I can think of is throwing away the old coffee beans to make way for the new ones. This seems to be a waste of money. Any tips?

  • 2
    This won't help with this commercial setting, but... Normally, when you switch beans, you put a fistful of beans from the new batch on top of the old when it gets empty. Then, you just grind and throw away those grounds. Therefore, you can get rid off the aroma of the old beans. However, I cannot think of a good solution for a commercial coffee shop. Maybe someone who has practical experience may help. Good question...
    – MTSan
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 21:31
  • 2
    Just from my own personal experience with transitioning batches of beans is to remove what can be easily removed from the hopper and blend them in with an equal quantity of the new beans. Add that back to the hopper so the older beans mixed with the new ones will get used first. Then fill the rest of the hopper with the new beans and proceed to continue to serve delicious espresso!
    – PJNoes
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


You will just have to find some form of compromise. I think the best way would be to empty the Hopper and then fill it with the new beans (also sometimes you might want to switch up the espresso?). You should figure out how your grinder behaves once it's getting more empty and with this knowledge you can quite easily adjust the extraction such that the quality will not decrease too much.

The most likely case is that the dose will decrease slightly. You could put a scale next to the hopper and if you feel like your espresso is running faster, check if the dose changed because the hopper is getting empty and adjust your grinder accordingly. I think checking the dose and grind occasionally throughout the day is a good way to up your espresso game in any case. It helps me learn a lot about the coffee and setup. There's tons of variables, like humidity and temperature that will change the behavior of the grinder.


I may have an idea. Put the new batch in a container that's easy to remove from the top and at the same time easy to observe. Maybe something like nylon stockings. When you see it touches the bottom, cut it with a knife from the top and remove the stockings. This way, the new batch of beans never mix with the old ones until the last moment you remove the container. Someone could think a better looking and reusable container than stockings. :)


Buy a dedicated handheld vacuum. Suck out the beans from the hopper knowing your vacuum is ONLY EVER used for this and reuse the captured beans. There are barista vacuums on the market, but as far an cleanliness is concerned, there's no difference. At a guess, a 'normal' vacuum would have more suck as the barista ones would be designed for cleaning out the grinds and some dust more than whole beans.

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