HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Home Roasting (20 msgs / 625 lines)
1) From: Frank Fairchild
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I only have about a months experience at this home roasting business but =
now have a Fresh Roast Plus 8 and two hot air poppers which I have used. =
 All my roasts have been good and some much better than others.
I have lurked in this list for a couple of weeks and read how some of =
you could no longer drink restaurant coffee.  I thought you must be =
crazy or exaggerating to say the least.  My apologies to all of you!
My wife and I went to our favorite breakfast spot this morning where my =
biggest complaint has always been their small (5oz.) coffee cups.  This =
morning I could barely stand the stuff.  Even my worst home roast was =
gourmet compared to what I loved a month ago.  I can only imagine how =
some of yours must taste with the expensive roasters.
Frank

2) From: Gary Townsend
Frank Fairchild  wrote:
I only have about a months experience at this home roasting business but no=
w
have a Fresh Roast Plus 8 and two hot air poppers which I have used. All my
roasts have been good and some much better than others. I have lurked in
this list for a couple of weeks and read how some of you could no longer
drink restaurant coffee. *I thought you must be crazy or exaggerating to sa=
y
the least.* My apologies to all of you!
 *No Need to apologize at all, Frank !! 99% of the people on this list were
also fooled for years, thinking that *Mountain Grown FoalTurds* was *the
good stuff* and *$'s had to be great, if you went by their dominance of the
*espresso- based, 90% milk drinks* market. Some of us were even fooled into
believing that *very dark & oily espresso* was the best thing since sliced
bread! Although these urban coffee legends are deemed as truths by most of
the general public, here, you can obtain enlightenment. It's a self paced
course with lots of online help ;-) **I would dare to say it's free advice,
however be prepared to shell out a few thousand dollars on equipment. Great
beans are readily available, from our gracious host, for a nominal donation
;-) *
 My wife and I went to our favorite breakfast spot this morning where my
biggest complaint has always been their small (5oz.) coffee cups. This
morning I could barely stand the stuff. Even my worst home roast was gourme=
t
compared to what I loved a month ago. * I can only imagine how some of your=
s
must taste with the expensive roasters. *
**
*Heck, some people can roast great coffee with a skillet over a hot bed of
coals! But a majority of us here rely on slightly modified electric popcorn
poppers and other easier methods. It's a lot of fun, and keeps me out of
trouble. *
**
*Welcome to a great place to be, and share what you have learned along the
way! *
*Gary*
**
*BTW, what's in your coffee cup, today?*
**

3) From: Aaron
Frank,  we all are in the same boat but I wish to comment on your 
comment of,  I wonder how it tastes with the expensive roasters.
it's not the roaster so much, it's the roastER,  ie YOU.
I person could have a $1000 roaster and make a pile of crap yet a person 
can make a fantastic batch using an old cast iron skillet and the 
stove.  There's a lot of technique in it and big fancy stuff doesn't 
make a person an instant coffee expert..
It's funny that you say that though about the favorite restaraunt.  one 
of my friends the other day made a comment on how he LOVES dunkin donuts 
coffee, and has tried to buy beans at the store and mix them but could 
never repeat the taste.  I made a rather off color comment about well... 
nevermind,   I brought him a few of my different roasts and he is in 
love with the stuff.  I figure ill keep him in coffee for a few weeks to 
really get the taste for it and then show him the website and all the 
goodies of making one's own coffee.  I'll also point out that his $8.95 
for a 12 ounce bag of crap he gets at the store, that even the cheapest 
stuff (the ugh) that tom sells, will blow away the store stuff out of 
the water.  Hopefully we get another real coffee drinker here.  Finally 
I might have someone fairly close by that I can trade roasts with. 
Aaron

4) From: mIke mcKoffee
Frank, I'll add my welcome to the List and home roasting. Enjoy the journey!
Fascinating that two other people already made the skillet and coals
roasting comment I immediately thought of when reading your post. 
But don't listen to Gary and be scared away by visions of spending thousands
of dollars on coffee roasting and brewing equipment, including even espresso
equipment. You can get into making very good, dare I say excellent espresso
at home for well under a Grand both grinder and espresso machine. (note the
order of importance;-) Then again, uh, hmmm, I too have spent a few thousand
on various roasting and brewing devices so run away while/if you can!-)
miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
www.MDMProperties.net
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Gary Townsend
	Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 2:17 PM
	
		No Need to apologize at all, Frank !! 99% of the people on
this list were also fooled for years, thinking that *Mountain Grown
FoalTurds* was *the good stuff* and *$'s had to be great, if you went by
their dominance of the *espresso- based, 90% milk drinks* market. Some of us
were even fooled into believing that *very dark & oily espresso* was the
best thing since sliced bread!  Although these urban coffee legends are
deemed as truths by most of the general public, here, you can obtain
enlightenment. It's a self paced course with lots of online help ;-) I would
dare to say it's free advice, however be prepared to shell out a few
thousand dollars on equipment. Great beans are readily available, from our
gracious host, for a nominal donation ;-) 
	 
	Heck, some people can roast great coffee with a skillet over a hot
bed of coals! But a majority of us here rely on slightly modified electric
popcorn poppers and other easier methods. It's a lot of fun, and keeps me
out of trouble. 
	 
	Welcome to a great place to be, and share what you have learned
along the way! 
	Gary
	 
	BTW, what's in your coffee cup, today?

5) From: Frank Fairchild
It's definately too late to turn tail and run.  I am hooked on home roasting 
and our hosts even though I am affraid I started out in "all the wrong 
places" I am now a convert.  My wife thinks I am already spending too much 
but she will learn.
As for what's in my cup today, I came home and promptly had a cup of SMs La 
Minita blended to Tom's recommendation of one part darker roast (FC+?) and 
one part lighter roast (C to C+?) to quote Tom "...to get a wider range of 
flavor."  Umm, umm good!
I have tried some Kona, Mexican Peaberry Kabuk, SM's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, 
SMs Ethiopian Harrar and Ebay El Salvadorean.  So far the La Minita blended 
roast is my favorite followed closely by the Yirg.
Looking forward to trying the Monkey Blend and others.  My son and family 
are coming up from the Oakland area for Thanksgiving and will bring me the 
Monkey blend and a big sampler pack from SM.
Frank

6) From:
Frank:
Welcome and beleive me when I say the cost of the roaster is not an issue of better roasted coffee.
The fact that it is FRESH is really what is important. Sure if you roast the beans black your coffee will taste like shit but you are obviously not doing that.
My first roaster was an older model FR. I have other roaster and still use my FR.
Enjoy.
I cannot abide coffee at the usual suspects. Gawd awful stuff.
ginny
<Snip>

7) From: Michael Dhabolt
Frank,
 Welcome to the dark side. Sounds like you've been taking notes Re: the
Monkey comment.
 This comment however:
 >>My wife thinks I am already spending too much but she will learn.<<
 be devious from the very beginning ;~), frequently more productive, and
always more fun.
 Mike (just plain)

8) From: Sandy Andina
Last week we went to Everest, Chicago's priciest restaurant, to  
celebrate our son's 21st birthday. The food and wines were exquisite.  
I ordered a double espresso--and what I got was a teacup nearly full  
of black coffee (moka-pot consistency) topped by a pale yellow-beige  
(nearly off-white) layer of crema that dissipated within a minute. At  
least they didn't serve it with lemon rind.  They must use either  
pods or a superauto.  Only fine dining restaurants in town that I  
know are dead serious about their coffee are One-Sixty-Blue (they  
serve Intelligentsia) and Trattoria Bocca Della Verita (they serve  
their cappuccini in 6-oz cups with a pitcher of microfoam on the side  
for those who want something more dilute; when you order espresso  
they ask "regular or ristretto?").
So it's not just the neighborhood "family restaurant" that is to  
blame.  (Although I had some of the worst, most insipid decaf this  
side of Temple Sisterhood at Cracker Barrel. I sent it back and  
ordered a diet root beer instead).
On Nov 3, 2005, at 4:29 PM, Aaron wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

9) From: Scott Koue
Frank,
You don't have to spend a fortune.  One of these day's I will splurge 
on a nice all metal Italian machine, but I drink mostly presspot so my 
little Gust is doing fine at the moment.  I wouldn't mind having more 
roast capacity (1/8 Lb out of the Fresh Roast is barely enough if I 
roast often) but I figured it would pay for itself in less than a year 
with the savings in the cost of beans ( it crossed the line a few 
months ago).  I have a not too good electric grinder and a good hand 
grinder, but I'm looking forward to a noticeable improvement (prob. 
arriving Mon.) in the electric.  The point is the whole lot has not 
cost much.  I rarely buy coffee out anymore and spend ~1/2 of what I 
would for much lower quality roasted beans.  I am not one of the guru's 
on this list and yet some friends were over the other night and the 
husband was talking rapturously about some very high end coffee shop he 
goes to in Hong Kong where an espresso runs about $10 US.  After dinner 
I pulled a double, with my cheap <<$100 Gusto, of Monkey Blend roasted 
to probably Full City??  (Dark brown not oily) and he went into 
rapture.  I'm sure it wouldn't rate more than average in these circles. 
  My point isn't how great I was but how low the standards are.  A 
relative new home roaster with good beans and cheap equipment can do 
better that 95% of what you can pay a stiff price for.
Have fun
SK

10) From: mIke mcKoffee
And if all else fails jewelry works well!
 
miKe
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Michael Dhabolt
	Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 4:33 PM
	
	Frank,
	 
	Welcome to the dark side.  Sounds like you've been taking notes Re:
the Monkey comment.
	 
	This comment however:
	 
	>>My wife thinks I am already spending too much but she will
learn.<<
	 
	be devious from the very beginning ;~), frequently more productive,
and always more fun.
	 
	Mike (just plain)

11) From: Alchemist John
At 14:29 11/3/2005, you wrote:
<Snip>
That is it right there.  You make the most difference, and so much of 
it has to do with you knowing what you like your coffee to be like.
<Snip>
Actually, have you ever tried DD coffee?  I know it can vary from 
store to store, but I found it is one of the few coffees out there 
not over roasted and is reasonably fresh.  It has come up on the list 
before even.  It is a relatively mild, sweet cup - a good proportion 
of Brazilian I would guess.
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

12) From: tom ulmer
Expert technique is:
Quickly put two heaping tablespoons of instant in your mouth and chase it
with water. This should give enough inspiration to cure whatever ails you...

13) From: Wesley Simon
I'm a newbie on this subject, so I have plenty of uncharted territory. What
do you do with your beans during the degassing process? I've heard mention
of mason jars... I picked up a couple containers that have an air-tight
seal. Do you leave the beans in the open air until the resting period is
over and then seal? I'm sure there are many methods of doing it right, but
how do you do it and what is your thoughts behind it?
I'm currently roasting with a popper, but I do eventually see myself going
to one of the machines that will allow for a roasting profile.
I already have the urge to buy, improve, upgrade, etc. based on what I've
learned on this list. I'm producing excellent press pots and damn good
espresso with my crappy machine and adequate grinder, so I anticipate my
upgrades will take place over the next few years. Even though I want to hav=
e
the best equipment right now, this second, I think getting some dental work
done and some home improvement have higher priority than improving my shot
of espresso. It is funny though, that my urge is to give higher priority to
having the *best* shot of espresso!
On 11/3/05, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:
<Snip>

14) From: Tim TenClay
Wesley...
Here's what I do...
I pour the freshly roasted coffee right out of the popper into a
strainer...I have 2 of them and pour the beans back and fourth between
them until they're cool.
When they're touchable, I pour them into Mason Jars and place (not
screw) the lid on them.  I use plastic lids (they're cheap) and I
write the bean, date and any other pertinent information on the top
with a wax pencil.
The next day I screw the lid on tight...and do that after every time I open=
 it.
A little bit of goo gone whipes the wax pencil off for the next batch.
I run the mason Jars through the dishwasher every 2 or 3 batches to
make sure that the oils don't build up and go rancid.
Hope that helps!
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
--
Rev. Tim TenClay
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
Knots & More Tatting Supplies (www.knotsandmore.com) NATA #253
Personal Blog:http://www.tenclay.org/blog

15) From: Phil Ferrante-Roseberry
<Snip>
My sense is that if you're going to be drinking the coffee within a 
week or so, you don't need to worry overly much about having The 
Perfect Seal. After cooling, I put my beans in either a mason jar or 
a screw-top jar (formerly holding jelly, etc... and making sure it's 
washed enough times to have lost any residual odors.)  I loosely 
close the jar overnight, and then tighten it the next morning.
Phil
<Snip>

16) From:
Wesly:
If you have gotten a couple of mason  jars, use them for your roasted beans.
To hear the difference roast some beans and put half in a mason and close tightly, the other half put into a mason and lightly screw on the top.
In the morning open bothg and listen.
One degasses woosih and the other will hardly release anything.
ginny
<Snip>

17) From: Michael Smith
Wesley,
Mason Jars or Tupperware seem to work equally well for
me for fresh roasted bean storage.  When I complete a
roast I dump the beans into a bowl.  I roast in a
Caffe Rosto so the beans have already been through a
cooling cycle.  From there I scoop the beans into pint
size Mason jars or a Tupperware container of similar
capacity.  I just put the lids on and burp them 6-8
hours later.  I love that whoosh of fresh roasted
coffee smell.  Mmmm!
Mike
Cadillac, MI

18) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-61-359506467
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Krispy Kreme's city roast Mild and full city Rich blends (yellow and  
red) labels, when fresh, are quite pleasant as well. Don't care for  
the Bold (blue)--too much like Starbies, IMHO.
On Nov 4, 2005, at 7:08 AM, Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-61-359506467
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Krispy Kreme's city roast Mild =
and full city Rich blends (yellow and red) labels, when fresh, are quite =
pleasant as well. Don't care for the Bold (blue)--too much like =
Starbies, IMHO.
On Nov 4, 2005, at 7:08 AM, Alchemist John =
wrote:

Actually, have you ever tried DD coffee?  I know it can vary from store = to store, but I found it is one of the few coffees out there not over = roasted and is reasonably fresh.

= Sandy Andinawww.sandyandina.com = = --Apple-Mail-61-359506467--

19) From: Sandy Andina
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I don't do anything special for outgassing, other than just putting  
the lid loosely on the container. When you are ready to use the beans  
and open the container, the gases escape anyway, regardless of how  
tightly you sealed the lid.  When I am roasting for travel or to give  
away, I put the beans into one-way valve bags so the gases escape  
while they develop--the recipient needn't do anything special storage- 
wise and it saves space in my luggage.
On Nov 4, 2005, at 9:08 AM, Wesley Simon wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-62-359756956
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I don't do anything special for =
outgassing, other than just putting the lid loosely on the container. =
When you are ready to use the beans and open the container, the gases =
escape anyway, regardless of how tightly you sealed the lid.  When I =
am roasting for travel or to give away, I put the beans into one-way =
valve bags so the gases escape while they develop--the recipient needn't =
do anything special storage-wise and it saves space in my =
luggage.
On Nov 4, 2005, at 9:08 AM, Wesley Simon =
wrote:
I'm a newbie on this subject, so I have plenty of = uncharted territory.  What do you do with your beans during the = degassing process?  I've heard mention of mason jars...  I picked up = a couple containers that have an air-tight seal.  Do you leave the = beans in the open air until the resting period is over and then seal?  = I'm sure there are many methods of doing it right, but how do you do it = and what is your thoughts behind it?  I'm currently roasting = with a popper, but I do eventually see myself going to one of the = machines that will allow for a roasting profile.  I already = have the urge to buy, improve, upgrade, etc. based on what I've learned = on this list.  I'm producing excellent press pots and damn good = espresso with my crappy machine and adequate grinder, so I anticipate my = upgrades will take place over the next few years.  Even though I want = to have the best equipment right now, this second, I think getting some = dental work done and some home improvement have higher priority than = improving my shot of espresso.  It is funny though, that my urge is to = give higher priority to having the *best* shot of espresso! = On 11/3/05, Michael Dhabolt <michael.dhabolt>= ; wrote: Frank,   Welcome to the dark side.  = Sounds like you've been taking notes Re: the Monkey comment. =   This comment however:   = >>My wife thinks I am already spending too much but she will = learn.<<   be devious from the very = beginning ;~), frequently more productive, and always more fun. =   Mike (just plain)   = Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.com = --Apple-Mail-62-359756956--

20) From: Rbt Tut
a while ago I used to bring roasted coffee back from Redwood City each time
I visited my father at my original home in Stanford CA.  they roasted
several times a week, had a fine selection of blends and roasts. Its called
Connoisseur Coffee and they know what they are doing.
After my father passed away, there was an article about 6 years ago in the
WSJ comparing home roasters. Not wanting to wait 5 - 8 days and pay a lot of
postage I got the CafeRoasto and discovered SM.
I gradually added a better grinder and was happy w a french press and a drip
Chemex.   I love espresso but figured it could not be made a home, having
lived in Europe many years while growing up and having espresso there.
I neighbor at Stanford had a small Gagia.  One saturday I sipped my Cup and
realized it was the Perfect Cup.  I took my home roastred beans over to the
neighbor and asked it they would make an espresso for me w them.  they had a
conical grinder,.
the first cup was ok but not great.  he asked to try again as it wasn't
quite right.  the grind, the ...  etc  the second cup was much much better
but not worth a $500 machine.  He asked to try one more time and explained
about the size of the grind, the tapping being very important  ...
the third cup was like magic.   I called SM and asked them to send me down
to Stanford the Rancilio Immediately!
it took a few days to get the gind/tap right, but now I have espresso none
better in Italy 99% of the time.
My point is this:
if you have a friend who 'likes' coffee, but doesn't roast at home some time
ask them this simple question after they have their first sip of what they
like ( at their home, at a coffee house, where ever they like it)
"Have you had the Prefect Cup"?
if their pupils dilate, the shake a little and immediately tell you about
that cup, this is a person who likes Coffee, but never asked that question
of their Cup.  this is the candidate for Home Roasting.  Roast something
they might like and see what happens.
if they look at you any other way, let me matter drop.
people that end up home roasting like that perfect cup, every day, and know
what its about.
it took me a long time to follow Tom's advice and drop my espresso roasting
temp down a lot. I used to drink espresso in Spain for two years.
I roast now espresso to 448 F and Drip to  a darker roast.  the espresso in
a drip/french press to me at 448 tastes 'muddy' like light brown dust.
remember:  ask them after that first sip if they have had a Perfect Cup.
let us know your findings.\\cheers
RT
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