HomeRoast Digest


Topic: My first roast experiences (2 msgs / 98 lines)
1) From: Turbosimba
So,,,,, my first roast story goes like this:  I wasn't even sure if  people 
roasted coffee at home, but I got to thinking about how disappointing  most of 
my morning coffee was becoming.  In the good old days, Cost Plus  sold bulk 
beans. I still remember my first grind of Kenya AA. I had never tasted  anything 
like it, so winey and earthy.  Sadly, subsequent Kenyas, even  from Cost 
Plus, once they stopped selling bulk beans and went to one way valve  bags, just 
didn't measure up to those wonderful flavors I remembered.
 
I decided to *google* home coffee roasting and was amazed that, YES,  
VIRGINIA, people DO roast coffee at home. Soon I was online purchasing my Fresh  
Roast Plus 8 with a four pack of sample beans.  ( I had yet to hear about  
sweetmarias, right in my own back yard ) so I was ordering everything from back  
east. 
 
I read all the instructions, washed the little roasting chamber, dried it  
carefully and decided on the  Zimbabwe beans that were sent as one of the  
samples. Kenya had not been a choice in my sample pack, but Zimbabwe IS  African,  
and close to Kenya, so I thought I'd go there first.
 
About five minutes later, I produced my first roast. I think it was  probably 
a city roast, perhaps a hair lighter. I wanted it light so I could  taste all 
those varietal flavors I loved so much.  My first sip was while  the brew was 
still too hot. It tasted sour and awful to me, but as it sat in my  mouth and 
then was cooled and swallowed, it ended with a wonderful earthy, winey  
finsh. The kind I remembered from the Cost Plus days. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I felt 
so successful. Imagine, the first time, turning out a potable drink that  was, 
if not better than a profesional roaster could do, certainly light years  
above the commercial coffees that are weeks, perhaps months old when you get  
them. 
 
There is a learning curve, but it is not especially steep. Soon I was  
roasting almost daily. Just enough for a couple days of morning coffee.  I  was 
ordering green beans online or from Ebay auctions when one day it occurred  to me 
that there MUST be someplace local from which to buy my beans, saving on  
shipping and perhaps being able to interact with the owners.
 
Another Google search brought me to Sweetmaria's, about 7 miles south of me  
and a quick 10 minute freeway jaunt in favorable traffic. Their website is the 
 best, most informative, educational one in the coffee business. When you 
order  ahead online and then show up to get your order, someone is always there 
to chat  about the purchase, make suggestions for coffees I have yet to try, or 
just make  sure I haven't parked in the tow a way zone on street cleaning 
day. SO  thoughtful. 
 
So now I have FOUR, count them, FOUR coffee roasters. I still have the  
little Fresh Roast, which is great, but very small and almost too quick to  
personalize my roasts.  I have added an new, but out of the box Hearthware  
Precision, which, although noiser, roasts bigger batches and has a little more  time to 
make decisions between first and second cracks.  I also became the  high 
bidder on a used, but very clean Zach and Dani.  I love its quietness,  lack of 
smoke odor and the very uniform color the beans all have at the end of  the 
roast. During the Christmas roast season I sometimes had all three of them  going 
at once. Oh yes, my fourth roaster is a used Ebay purchase- a West Bend  
Poppery 2. I don't use it often anymore, but it is amazing how nicely it roasts  
small batches. 
 
I gave out my signature roasts at Christmas, to the neighbors for watching  
the dogs and bringing in the mail, to house guests, dinner guests and just 
about  anybody who shows an interest. People line up to sample my roasts at pot 
lucks,  meetings and other events to which I am invited. 
 
When I think about how quick and ULTRA easy it is to roast at home,  combined 
with the fact that you will produce some of the best tasting coffee  you've 
ever had, it is amzing that practically everyone isn't roasting.
 
I teased Maria at Sweetmaria's one day. I told her that their business was  
about to take off globally because once I discovered something, it seems like 
no  time until the whole world is doing it too.  It's been true a lot in my  
life and might be this time too.
 
I'm sorry this got so long. I had fun writing it, though.
 
Jeff

2) From: an iconoclast
On 1/16/06, Turbosimba  wrote:
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ned
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e
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Welcome, Jeff!  Home roasting is amazing isn't it!  My co-workers are
now starting to hint they will buy my coffee if I choose to sell it. 
But I love giving gifts that you just can't buy.  They're just going
to have to start roasting themselves.
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s
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 in
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Well, I glad you're there to balance the fact that everything I love
gets discontinued!
Take care,
Ann


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