HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The best Commercial Coffee Roasters - my third reason for not taking the plunge. (14 msgs / 556 lines)
1) From: Rstyler49
Steve said this ... "I know people who will always say homeroast tastes 
"off", because they're used to grocery store coffee. If coffee doesn't have 
the stale
flavors they're used to, it doesn't seem right to them.   
I do not know much of anything about home roasting but he made an inescapable 
point.  In other words, people get so used to what they are drinking that 
when you give them wine it tastes like vinegar.  
That is one of the things I have been harping on.  Now, if you experienced 
roasters are having problems and I hear many of you say this and that coffee 
you roasted was not very good, then what am I left to think, except that 
someone who knows far less than you all is going to have all kinds of 
problems.  If it was a simple matter of deciding whether I like it dark, 
medium, or light, and there was a given time period for each of them to the 
minute, or so, okay, then I would say that sounds easy enough.  BUT when I 
hear about seconds making a critical difference, and stop and start this and 
that, and rotate and roll, and do it at this time of day, at this time of 
year, at this ambient temp, and on and on and on, well, need I say more - I 
for one am far from convinced that anyone should be doing this, except the 
pros who make it their livelihood.  
Peacefully I disagree,
Rob

2) From: Andy Conn
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
If you don't enjoy the process, the quest, this (roasting) is no place for
you ...
- A

3) From: Steve Trescott
Rob,
Most of the messages in here are just discussion. Home roasting is not that hard. I felt the same insecurity about it at first but after a few roasts I figured out what 1st and 2nd crack meant (to me), how long I prefer to roast, what beans I like, etc. Some people get a bit too technical (anal?) because they have become obsessed with these little beans. Although some may try to believe it, it is not that exact. Some of the messages in here are educational, interesting, boring or not worth the time. To each their own.
The key is to enjoy - EVEN A BAD CUP! :-) 
steve
from Seattle
<Snip>
.... I 
for one am far from convinced that anyone should be doing this, except the 
pros who make it their livelihood.  
Peacefully I disagree,
Rob
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

4) From: John Wanninger
Rob, perhaps home roasting is not for you.  But I (and I believe others here
on this list), having experienced wondrous flavors previously unknown to me,
have no other choice but to roast my own.  I think if you're still satisfied
with what you can buy pre-roasted, then do it, that's ok.  But according to
my taste buds, most pre-roasted coffee isn't in the same league as my
'screw-ups'.  YMMV.  And those seconds and temperatures we agonize over are
what separates merely great coffee and the holy grail.
Don't look into the light!,
John
Rob said:
<Snip>
and
that, and rotate and roll, and do it at this time of day, at this time of
year, at this ambient temp, and on and on and on, well, need I say more - I
for one am far from convinced that anyone should be doing this, except the
pros who make it their livelihood.
Peacefully I disagree,
Rob
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

5) From: Mike & Debi McGinness
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Rob,
There are home roasters and there are home roasters. Some, who I greatly =
respect for their ingenuity, build and or modify their own roasting =
devices. Others, like me, researched home roasters and purchased one =
that I thought would suite me needs. I went with the Cafe' Rosto (about =
$150) mainly for the greater roast capacity over the Fresh Roast or =
Hearthware models. After 4 months I am very pleased with the Cafe' =
Rosto. Our usual coffee roasting ranges from Full City to French =
depending on the bean. Haven't tried really light roasts in the Cafe' =
Rosto, not our "cup of Joe!"
I roast weighed 5.3oz batchs. (use a postal/kitchen digital scale) Since =
the Cafe' Rosto is rated for up to 6oz I figured divide a lb. in thirds. =
Works great for me. Different beans take different roast times for the =
same degree of roast but I found the same beans roasts fairly =
consistently given the same roast time. I roast in doors so temperature =
isn't a big factor. I don't do any special venting just have the stove =
vent fan on high and turn on the air conditioner fan with outdoor =
exchange open. Yes, smoke on darker roasts (when I take Timor to French) =
does occasionally set of the smoke alarm! Fortunately both my wife & I =
like the smell of coffee roasting... Small price to be for the ultimate =
in fresh coffee roasted just the way I (we) like it. 
Roast times can make a critical difference to the highly atuned palate. =
But the difference may be very sutle and only detectable to those who =
know the difference. Just as a $3 bottle of wine versus a $300 bottle of =
wine differ... does the wino under the bridge taste the difference?  =
I've given samples of what I thought was an inferior roast/bean to =
friends who rave about how it's the best coffee they've ever tasted. Of =
course, some are still in the Grocery Store buyer class of coffee =
drinkers, some even instant! But others buy whole beans from various =
sources, even they my home roasted coffees are better than what they =
get. Taste is so subjective...
I encourage you to give home roasting a shot. Home Coffee Roasting: =
Romance and Revival by Kenneth Davids is a great book to introduce you =
to home roasting. Fun to read and very informatative. I actually read it =
after I'd been home roasting for a month!
By the way, my first foray into home roasting was in the oven. I'd =
purchased some pre-roasted Sumatra Gold Mandeling online which wasn't =
roasted dark enough for our taste. I spread it out on a cookie sheet and =
re-roasted it in the oven! It was better afterwards but nothing compared =
to what I roast now from greens...
With 17 years experience at buying pre-roasted whole bean coffees and =
only 4 months home roasting under my belt I can unequivocably say I'll =
never go back. Home roasting can't be beat for those willing to take the =
time to savor "only the best."
MM;-)
From the Pacific Northwest
-birthplace of the inFamous Charbucks!

6) From: Mike & Debi McGinness
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
It's only coffee we're talking about here... (oh what blasphemy - only =
kidding, only kidding! I admit it, I'm obsessed with not just good or =
even great coffee, but as someone else put it "the holy grail" of =
coffee(s)! )
Rob said,
on and on and on, well, need I say more - I 
for one am far from convinced that anyone should be doing this, except =
the 
pros who make it their livelihood.   
Peacefully I disagree, 
Rob 

7) From: Henry C. Davis
It is rare that home roasted coffee is 'bad', just not what we wanted in a
particular roast batch sometimes. I have yet to drink home roasted that is
within the range of what I like in a coffee that was not better on the worst
day than what I used to think was 'good' whole bean coffee....I have tried a
few coffees that were not to my liking because I ended up not liking that
KIND of coffee, not because the roast was so bad as to be undrinkable....
In any event, have you visited the Sweet Maria's site and read all the
roasting articles and other info Tom has posted there? If you are
considering home roasting, this, IMHO, would be a good thing to do even if
you are not yet ready to take the plunge.
There are some coffees that are apparently very tolerant of variations in
the roasting process, so even people not inclined to obsess about technical
details can easily enjoy consistently good home roasted coffee. If you
decide to try it I am sure that people will be happy to give the info they
have on which ones would be best for someone who wants good coffee but isn't
as into the process.
I am sorry I can not recommend anyone in your area to get commercially
roasted beans from, even though I am only about a hundred miles away.
As for commercially taking over the home roasting - it will never get to be
as commercialized as even the bread making machines. There are too many
logistical details and too few opportunities to turn significant profits to
attract the attention of mainstream business. On the other hand, some people
told me the same thing about microcomputers around '82, but I don't think
the same principles apply. :-)
BTW, the list convention is to post in plain text, not html. Personally I
don't have an axe to grind on the subject, but it does make a difference to
people not using outlook or similar email clients to read the list....
					----Henry.

8) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
 
Andy
Sorry for chiming in so late but I'm just catching up...
I strongly disagree.  In my case, I did not get involved for
the process but for the coffee.
If there was some way that I could have 10 good, fresh roasted
coffees on hand at a reasonable price all the time I would do
it.
I can't, so I got involved in roasting.  It's not that I hate
roasting but for me, it's a way to get good or sometimes great
fresh roasted coffee. I did not get into it as a hobby.
It seems that most all on this list are dedicated to roasting as much
for a hobby as for the coffee but it should be recognized that
there are many out there that just want a great cup of coffee and
will roast if that what is required to get it.
Just another point of view.
jeff
Andy Conn wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Henry C. Davis
And some of us started out that way and quickly became seduced.

10) From: Dave Huddle
Jeff,
My reasons are the same.   I roast because I drink.   TO ME, it is NOT
a hobby, but just a way of life.
My wife cooks dinner for the family, but cooking isn't a hobby - we
like to eat!
I could probably make similar comparisons to other life choices.
Dave	Westerville, OH 	just 25 minutes from SweetMaria's
(sipping Ethiopian Harrar  brewed at the office with a Melitta cone)
<Snip>
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11) From: floyd burton

12) From: Steve
I disagree, if it wasn't a hobby, hobbies and interests can be considered
the same, you wouldn't be on this list. We have to eat but you have the
choice of something quick or you can spend time creating the ultimate taste.
For some drinking wine can be to get drunk, have a cooler, or great taste,
which means you have to explore and find it. But what the heck is wrong with
making it a hobby? You sure don't need it to live...
steve
nice cool days in Seattle
(PS, I started to specify that I am steve from Seattle because there are
several Steve's on this list and a lot of messages I did not want 'my name'
to be associated with. So I wasn't trying to be competitive, although I like
to hear where everyone is from.)

13) From: Michael Rochman
<Snip>
sometimes great fresh roasted coffee. I did not get into it as a hobby. It
seems that most all on this list are dedicated to roasting as much for a
hobby as for the coffee but it should be recognized that there are many out
there that just want a great cup of coffee and will roast if that what is
required to get it.
Jeff, you have echoed my sentiments exactly.
Roasting is a pain in the butt for us. We drink a lot of coffee (mostly JBM,
estate Konas, LaMinita, Kenyas, and a few other Centrals from time to time).
We roast 3 Alp loads of JBM, a Kona, and at least one other varietal at one
time...between 9 and 12 cycles at a time.
We don't approach it as an artform. When we first decide upon a new varietal
and buy 20 lbs of it, we figure out where we want it to be on the Alp
dial...5-6-7-8-9, etc., to get just into the start of 2nd crack, which is
usually where we want the roast to end up.  If we need to go from a warm
start, no problem. As we're making 3 batches of a given coffee, the first
cold batch will blend in just fine with the other two batches.
We prefer roasting to buying pre-roasted beans for several of
reasons...Among them are:  We pretty much always have on hand what we want.
We control the doneness of the varietal. We can save well over half the
price on JBM and estate Konas. A pound and a half of JBM, and the same for
an estate Kona, roasted every 10 days represents a decent savings (even if
price were no object) over a year's time buying green vs roasted
beans...maybe $1500 per year or so.
So, Jeff, you are not here alone. Although, we've been at the esoteric edge
in several hobbies over the years...this just doesn't happen to be one of
them.
Regards, Mike
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14) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
 
Steve
My response was to Andy. Who wrote...
 > If you don't enjoy the process, the quest, this (roasting)
 > is no place for you ....
 > - A
My point was that all you have to do is like good coffee to
get involved in roasting.  I came back from three years travels
to Europe with a taste for coffee that couldn't be satisfied
by the Dreck served here.  If I had continued my regular travel
there I would not be roasting today because I could get good
coffee there.
My measure of a hobby is whether I do something strictly for the
fun of doing it.  In the case of roasting I roast because I like
_good_ coffee not because I like to roast.  Perhaps coffee is my
hobby...
If someone came out with a reasonably priced automatic roaster that
provided repeatability, like a bread machine, I'd buy it in a flash.
I personally want to make the roasting as simple and automatic as
possible.
As far as lists I'm on several...  Most of which I don't consider
hobbies.  Computer security, Mutli-Channel Mail Distribution etc...
are not hobbies they are topics that I need to stay up on.  Coffee
roasting is the same, I choose to do it so I need to know how.
There is nothing wrong with making it a hobby if that is what you want.
Personally, I (and apparently others) simply wish to have good coffee
and there is nothing wrong with that either.
As far as your point regarding making something quick vs.
creating the ultimate taste, again I disagree.  I love good food, but
I neither have the resources nor the inclination to eat out all the
time so I learned to make what I like, not because I like to cook but
because I like to eat.  I don't make bread by hand, I use my bread
machine but I also don't buy the junk they call bread at the grocery
store either.
ciao
jeff
Steve wrote:
<Snip>
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