HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Afvice to a newbie (6 msgs / 153 lines)
1) From: alfred
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
If you judge your drink  primarily with espressos or cappuccinos
Let's say a newbie approaches one of you old pros and says,
"I think I have  this roasting thing at least under control. Now can you =
recommend a bean to start on. Do you have a favorite that you judge all =
others in comparison?
Dr Crema started me in this way by recommending my first order from SM.
At this point, I would tell him to start on the Brazils with Fazenda =
Laranja Cravo.
What say you?

2) From: Gene Smith
<Snip>
"I think I have  this roasting thing at least under control. Now can you 
recommend a bean to start on. Do you have a favorite that you judge all 
others in comparison?
Dr Crema started me in this way by recommending my first order from SM.
At this point, I would tell him to start on the Brazils with Fazenda Laranja 
Cravo.
What say you?
I have an answer for you, Alfred...not as a roasting 'pro,' but, having 
worried that question half-to-death when I joined the list, as a tyro-pro.
After worrying it like a terrier after a rat, and then getting some 
experience, I have to say all the folks who told me not to worry about it 
and just start roasting with whatever I could get my hands on had it 
entirely right.
The problem of being a beginner and the great advantage of being a beginner 
are one and the same: your critical faculties are undeveloped (at least, 
relative to coffee roasting).
So, let's take the two logical extremes:
1. You get ahold of some crappy coffee and roast it poorly.
2. You lay hands on the most forgiving bean that grows on the planet and 
produce a superior roast on your first try.
The interesting question that undercuts all the other questions is: Will you 
be able to tell?  Either way.  My experience is  that you won't - unless it 
is very, very bad indeed.
So here's my 2 cents worth (and damn well not overpriced!):
If you're really nervous about 'wasting' coffee (like I was) then get a 
pound or so of the cheapest greens you can find and assume that if the 
result is drinkable, you won!  And if the result isn't drinkable, you won 
some experience that will get you toasting up the good stuff in short order.
Otherwise, just order a sampler from Tom.  How can you go wrong?
Okay, one tiny suggestion: maybe Tom should consider a 'beginner roaster 
sampler pack' that features the beans that are easiest for the tyro to 
roast.  He could even include a pound of UGH! for the early burnup 
experiments!  That would answer the question of what should a beginner 
roaster order once-and-for-all.
Gene Smith
riding the wild learning curve, in Houston

3) From: Lesley Albjerg
Dr. Crema would agree that that is an excellent choice.  An excellent bean and a very forgiving one too!
 
Les
alfred <2391> wrote:
If you judge your drink  primarily with espressos or cappuccinos
 
Let's say a newbie approaches one of you old pros and says,
"I think I have  this roasting thing at least under control. Now can you recommend a bean to start on. Do you have a favorite that you judge all others in comparison?
Dr Crema started me in this way by recommending my first order from SM.
At this point, I would tell him to start on the Brazils with Fazenda Laranja Cravo.
What say you?

4) From: Larry Dorman
I agree with everything you've said and would add this one extra
idea...  in the beginner sampler pack, there should be samples of both
green and roasted coffee.  There should be three different roasts -
city, full city, and french.  These could all be ugh with the sole
purpose being for the beginner to have some benchmark and cheap bean
to practice on.
LarryD
<Snip>

5) From: Lesley Albjerg
Larry what about cinnamon roast?  :>)))
Larry Dorman  wrote:I agree with everything you've said and would add this one extra
idea... in the beginner sampler pack, there should be samples of both
green and roasted coffee. There should be three different roasts -
city, full city, and french. These could all be ugh with the sole
purpose being for the beginner to have some benchmark and cheap bean
to practice on.
LarryD
<Snip>

6) From: Wandering John
If I'm starting somebody off as a roaster - and I have for a lot of
folks - I would talk to them about the coffee that they had at my
home.  I would talk about the brewing method they were going to employ
and then I would pick something from the pack that they had really
enjoyed here.  I have a fairly new convert that I gave a FR+ and a
pound of Kona - because it was the Kona that kept them coming back. 
I've probably started more people on Costa Rican because that is what
I have the most of and probably have served them.  I don't have any
friends that started roasting with espresso in mind - but several have
moved up after they had some experience.   I've loaned out my La
Pavoni a LOT - and subsequently there are three of them now in my
neighborhood.
Last note:  I almost always have them do their first roast at my home
with me watching over their shoulder and making corrections as we go.
My $1.80 worth.


HomeRoast Digest