HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Roasting the Panama Carmen Estate (34 msgs / 734 lines)
1) From: Michael McTryk
Hi Gang
I have just finished my 2 lbs of this coffee and I must admit that it
has me a bit stumped. My first roast of 375 grams was roasted to a
City+, on initial tasting I was less than impressed with the sourness
that I experienced in the cup. I put it away for 3 days and then came
back to it with my Aeropress in hand, what a wonderful cup.
My roasting notes say, try a little lighter roast and a slower ramp to
300. My second roast of 375 grams was faithful to my notes and I did a
slower ramp and a marginally lighter roast. Well I am on day 4 and am
still waiting for the magic to reappear. I am still getting a
sourness, sorry I can't be more descriptive than that, I'm not sure if
that translates to acidic or not. I am getting none of the descriptors
that Les has used to describe this coffee (see below).
Today I roasted my remaining 140 grams in my newly acquired Poppery 1
to a nice city+ and I am hoping to once again find the great coffee I
am looking for. Using the Aeropress won't give me very many cups so I
am going to wait a few days before sampling.
The question is: Does this Panama Carmen estate have a really narrow
sweet spot? Does anyone have any pointers for me?
Les, I hope you are reading this and will tell me what roast level you
are using.
I have ordered some more but have not received the much waited for
email indicating my order has been accepted. I suspect that everyone
has ordered and many of us will get the SORRY reply.
Les wrote:
The Outback Roasterhttp://members.shaw.ca/mctryk/index.htm

2) From: Spencer Thomas
Acidity/sourness typically indicates under roasting.  The higher the roast,
the less acid.  Thus, your second roast took you further in the wrong
On 6/2/06, Michael McTryk  wrote:
=Spencer in Ann Arbor
My Unitarian Jihad http://tinyurl.com/6valr)Name is:
Sibling Dagger of Mild Reason
What are you?http://homepage.mac.com/whump/ujname.html

3) From: Vicki Smith
I roasted the same coffee to City + and until it had rested, I noticed 
an astringency (which I know is different than sourness or acidity). 
This was not when the coffee was actually in my mouth, but an 
aftertaste. With 2 1/2 days rest, it was one of the most pleasurable 
cups of coffee I have ever had.
The whole issue of resting coffee is somewhat of a mystery to me. 
Kenneth Davids seems to be saying that coffee should rest from 5-24 
hours, yet I am noticing that I seldom really enjoy most beans much 
before 48 hours.
I just ordered a biggish supply of SM's current Horse Harar, and since 
this coffee seems to offer such a wide range of options with both rest 
and roast, I am looking forward to playing with both.
Spencer Thomas wrote:

4) From: Vince Doss
I just roasted my first Carmen 1800 batch last night (150 gr)and wanted to
try for the lighter roast to "see" what everyone was talking about.
I tried it this morning in a Capresso drip brewer at work and my first
impression was sour too. I let it cool for few minutes and it was much
better. I have everyone at work all excited over the coffee thing...really
opened a can of worms here. I am going to let the remainder rest for a
couple days and retry it. I just ordered 12 pounds (yesterday) so I must
have just gotten in on the last of it. My roast was just prior to 2nd, I
guess that is City+? I am still not sure what I have when I get done
roasting...as far as City,FC,Vienna,French.(I thought I knew french,but
apparently not)
On 6/2/06, Michael McTryk  wrote:

5) From: Wesley Simon
My experience has been that different coffees require different rest
period.  Many of the Africans: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, will taste good with
12-24 hours rest.  While others, Centrals: Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala,
need a good 3 days rest.  The flavors do seem to be in a state of change for
the first 3-4 days, then they level out.
On 6/2/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:

6) From: Vicki Smith
Thanks, Wes. That lines up with my experience so far. I have been 
drinking a Ghimbi that seemed "ready" to me sooner than the Central 
American's generally do.
My most recent roast is India Matadakad Estate Peabody. My first taste 
of it will be later today, in my French press, then tomorrow (if all 
goes well) I will make a pot of it for us in the KMB.
I am truly clueless about this particular coffee.
In general, rather than make a full KMB pot as I wait to see if coffee 
has rested enough, I've been doing a bit of French Press brewing 
beginning at about 12 hours until I am happy with it, then making the 
bigger quantities in the KMB.
Wesley Simon wrote:

7) From: Les
I roasted to a nice city plus.  I also found that this coffee really
likes a good rest.  The 4th day was much better than the 3rd day rest.
 I had another pot this morning and it was really good.  4-6 day rest
was the peak.  Today, the last pot on the 7th day there was a bit less
complexity.  It should be good for another 4 days however, but alas I
will need to roast some more.  I have not tested the sweet spot on
this one.  I found I really like it just past city, so I have stayed
there.  This is where I roast most of the Panama coffees.  I tend to
roast them a bit darker than the other centrals.  This coffee is high
grown, and the beans are a bit harder than other coffees.  They can
take a darker roast without losing their great taste.  My guess is you
are got getting an even roast due to the hardness of the bean.  I
would suggest that you preheat your Poppery before adding your beans.
Run the heat up to 300 degrees dump your beans.  You will get a temp
drop, but it is very important to get heat in the bean as it expands
to get an even roast.  I learned a few tricks using a Poppery 1 for 18
On 6/1/06, Michael McTryk  wrote:

8) From: Michael McTryk
Thanks all for replying
I think that I did under roast by just a shade and that is resulting
in the sourness. My latest roast in the Poppery was just a bit darker
and hopefully will do the trick. I will not be sampling this batch
until Sunday but I will report my results.
Les ... I primarily roast using my BBQ sample roaster setup and indeed
my second last roast, the one that has me worried about the sourness,
was a touch uneven with some beans under roasted (less than City+). I
don't quite understand my unevenness as I took great pains to insure
that my ramp was 20 degrees per minute to 400 and then 7-10 degrees
per minute till finish. Total time around 17 minutes.
My last Poppery roast of 140 grams was a nice even City+ so I am
looking forward to sampling on Sunday.
Looks like I will be getting my chance to find the sweet spot of this
Panama as Sweet Maria sent me an email indicating my order shipped
this morning. Funny thing is that I did not receive an acknowledgement
email indicating they were processing the email.
The Outback Roasterhttp://members.shaw.ca/mctryk/index.htm

9) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
The sour roast.....
I have recently bought a used HotTop and am learning to use it.
Prior to this I have been using a Poppery I controlled with a variac.
I was shocked to taste my first Kona roast from this HotTop - it had an 
So much edge that I didn't like it.
I'm sure it had finished first crack - I had roasted it to ++ past 21 
Now I know that I have to go farther with this roaster, perhaps never 
less than the five + allowed at the end.
And, I'm thinking, when I want to do a french roast with chicory, I'm 
going to have to use less than 250 gm, so I can get it dark enough.
Dave S.
Michael McTryk wrote:
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10) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
Thanks, Terry. Yes, I have been using my variac to ensure the HotTop is 
getting sufficient power.
I set the variac so that the minimum voltage showing on my meter is 120V.
When the HotTop heater is cycled off, voltage will go up to 124V.
That makes me think that my particular model may have been sold because 
it's on the low end of heat production.
Some beans, I can't remember which, have gotten into the early pops of 
second crack, by adding five +.
Dave S.
Terry Stockdale wrote:
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11) From: Terry Stockdale
Use your variac with the Hottop.  If you went all the way to 21 
minutes and "are sure it had finished first crack," it sounds like 
your voltage at the Hottop was too low.
If you don't have one hooked up already, use a digital voltmeter to 
monitor the voltages while the Hottop is running.
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My Coffee Pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages: http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrumAt 06:10 PM 6/2/2006, you wrote:">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy Hottop pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages: http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrumAt 06:10 PM 6/2/2006, you wrote:

12) From: Barry Luterman
Are you using a 250 gr load? Is your filter clean? Have you removed the drum 
and cleaned the chaff out of the body of the machine?

13) From: Terry Stockdale
How old is your Hottop?  The original commercial ones, when I bought 
mine back in June '04, had about 15 seconds per +.  Several months 
later, Hottop USA had a revised chip that added something like 25-30 
seconds per +.
When I asked, they shipped me a new chip and instructions for 
replacing the old one.  If I recall correctly, they charged me 
something like $10 for it.  That made a WORLD of difference in the 
timer's capacity.
It would not affect the heat output though. That would strictly be 
related to the voltage and the heater elements themselves.
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My tips site and free newsletter: http://blog.TerrysComputerTips.comAt 06:57 PM 6/2/2006, you wrote:">http://www.TerrysComputerTips.comMy computer tips blog:http://blog.TerrysComputerTips.comAt 06:57 PM 6/2/2006, you wrote:

14) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
Barry Luterman wrote:
The guy who sent it to me cleaned everything to like-new condition. I've 
only done 5 roasts. He included a spare filter. How do I know when it's 
time to change the filter?
Not yet. Like I said, I've only done five roasts. Between roasts I 
remove the gold screw and faceplate, and blow through the loading chute, 
with the open end of the drum pointing down. Is that not enough? I did 
three roasts in a row that day (removing chaff tray, loading chute cap, 
and filter during cooling) and felt the machine was too warm to be 
removing the drum between roasts.
Dave S.
No virus found in this outgoing message.
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15) From: Barry Luterman
I clean the roast chamber after every 4 roasts.                  It may save 
you from a chaff fire if nothing else.Remove the 4 Phillips screws holding 
the face plate. Slide the drum out and brush out an amazing amount of chaff. 
If it improves your roasts good but even if it doesn't it will save your 
Hottop from going up in smoke. Let me know if your roasts improve.

16) From: Barry Luterman
Change the filter after every 20 roasts.You can wash the filter and get 
another 20 out of it for total of 40 roasts.

17) From: raymanowen
Michael, Sweet Maria's policy is that they do not bill you until they're
ready to pull the trigger on shipping your order. If you just keep an eye on
your vault and the balance sheet, it won't matter that you "did not receive
an acknowledgement email indicating they were processing the email."
They don't stay in business by operating in the fashion of the county
Drivers License branch, or any other governmental agency. Once you send an
order and your pendulum ticks a couple of times on your computer's clock,
they Have it. The next step is that the first human that sees it "processes"
That's how they make money, and that's all they do. If they don't do things
pretty well, business grinds to a halt and they go out. Adam Smith's
Invisible Hand will see to that.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
On 6/2/06, Michael McTryk  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

18) From: James House
It must enjoy a good rest and that is the hope I am leaning on considering
how much I bought. :)  I am only a day and a half out, and it is indeed
sour.  I noticed similiar sour taste, but not quite as bad, in a batch of
Gethumbwini that I roasted right after the 1800.
I'll give it another 2-3 days.  Should have done a batch of Harar as I begin
enjoying that as soon as 12 hours out.  Oh well, I have a bit of Mzuzu to
tide me over and my last bit of Harar from a few days ago.
Everyone still enjoying their 1800?
On 6/2/06, Les  wrote:

19) From: Don Cummings
I am finding that my beans in general require more rest since I switched
from the Whirly-Pop to the SC/TO.  So yes I am enjoying the 1800 quite a bit
but I did get a little sourness until about day 4. I got some inherent
sweetness and ripe fruit in the finish but I did not get any of the "buttery
mouthfeel" that has been reported and I suspect this is because I am at a
touch lighter roast than this bean's sweet spot.
My next roast I will take it about 10 degrees further into the roast.  I
just tasted my latest batch of Matad that I took to a full FC+ (40 seconds
into 2nd as opposed to 10 seconds in my prior batches.)  Roast character is
starting to become very evident and while it does detract a little from the
melted caramel smoothness that I get at FC I am really enjoying the
increased complexity.
On 6/13/06, James House  wrote:

20) From: Steve Hay
On 6/13/06, James House  wrote:
I've had the same problem with quite a few coffees.  One thing that has
helped in my iRoast is to try to slow down the roast after first crack and
let it settle in.  I suspect what is happening is that the roast is uneven,
so when I stop at City/City+, there are some sour stragglers.  This
technique has been really effective on coffees that seem to be jumping into
second crack before first crack has ended with my normal profile.
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

On 6/13/06, Howell Ite  wrote:
I have the I-Roast-2 also (since Dec.) and just recently began monitoring
the bean mass temp. using a probe. I was going to bring my last couple of
roast log sheets in to work and do an Excel sheet on them, but due to memory
loss.....I have the I-roast-2 also...Weight, i've said that.
The temperatures I am getting are ranging 50 to almost 100 degrees different
(higher) than the on board reader. I haven't ran a profile with a temp. drop
after 1st crack, but with the unit plugged into a short appliance cord, my
roast always hits first crack within 5 min. regardless of the length of my
first stage setting.
My latest attempt at slowing the roaster down (as an after thought) was
using a 100' extension cord.  That REALLY slowed it down. It slowed it to
the point that I had to agitate the unit through the entire roast period.
But I was able to slow the first Crack to 7 minutes AND keep the bean mass
temp. within reason. (again, i don't have my log here).
This next week-end when I return home, I will replace my 100' cord for a 50'
cord and see if I can get a little bit more air flow and still keep the
temp.'s down. I'll return the weed-eater to the end of the 100' cord.
I had earlier attempted to lower the temp.'s by removing the screen and top
from the unit as it roasted, allowing the chaff to fly out. this seemed to
work, but not having a probe in use at the time, I can't swear to much temp.
As my experimenting continues, I'll try to keep the info posted, IF I
Start HOT and work your way Down...
Peppers AND Coffee.

22) From: Oaxaca Charlie
--- Don Cummings  wrote:
 Those who never quite find this bean's sweet spot might be
like me, in that I don't like a 100% Catuai variety coffee.
Ever (so far, after trying many over the years). I gave
away 15 of the 20 lbs. of Carmen Estate 1800 meters that I
bought last year, and the recipients were very happy to get
it. Tom lists the variety when that info is available to
him. Last year a glitch with the review on the web page
kept me from knowing what it was when I ordered it, and I
went by Tom's rave review, and Les' follow up praise. Then
I saw it...and roasted it with various profiles...and gave
up on looking for a sweet (to me) spot. It is a fine
example of well grown, perfectly prepped Cataui Rojo-love
it or hate it.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com

23) From: Robert Adams
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
The i-roast tries to maintain temp by increasing fan speed if temp =
exceeds input. At this profile is this happening as roaster hits third =
stage? I've never tried a profile that lowers temp in third stage--maybe =
build-up of heat and chaff is leading to difficulty getting the temp =
down. However if the fan is not kicking up when reported temp exceeds =
input it is a defective unit, imo.

24) From: Larry English
  No, no!  The unit is not defective.  You haven't really told the unit to
lower the temp by changing from 405 to 395 - it doesn't really work that
finely, but needs a little more difference in the programmed temps.  I have
a profile that changes from 400 to 380 for 30 seconds and then back to 400,
and the fan kicks in for 30 seconds, right on cue - which is what I was
after.  The temp reading on the unit drops quit a bit during that 30
seconds.  I would recommend that you use 20 or 30 degree steps in your
  On the iRoast2, the first 3 minutes are always fixed at about 350, no
matter what you program, but I'm not sure about the iRoast1.  You can test
it by setting up a program at 400 degrees for more than 3 minutes and see if
the fan drops speed at the 3 minute mark.  If so, you can get a free program
step - e.g. 400 for 4 minutes gives you 3 mins at 350 followed by 1 min at
400, using only the first step of the program.
  Also, you are reading temps down where the air is being heated, not in the
beans.  If you were to insert a thermocouple and measure temps in the bean
mass, you would see some interesting things happening - e.g. bean mass temp
will continue to rise during the roast even as the onboard temp reading
remains constant.
  It may take a couple of months to master the iRoast - took me at least
that long, even with the help of several folks here on the list.  Good luck,
On 6/14/06, Robert Adams  wrote:

25) From: James House
Ok, day 4 report of the 1800.  I roasted a 12 oz batch to C+, having a cup
right now crafted as a 4 minute brew in a FP.  As the cup cools, I pick up
hints of butter and nut.  Further cooling results in the fruit starting to
stand out a bit (slightly tart apple) with a piquant finish, just as the bag
I think it's good coffee, but that's really all I can say about it at this
point in the rest, just a decent overall cup.  I will say that I do enjoy
the very noticeable change in the cup as it cools, that was a nice surprise,
and it retains it's balance throughout.
From my personal observations and tastes right now, I wonder if this would
also make a good blend agent, calming down highs in others and bringing out
good in blands?
Also, has anyone tried this at FC or even FC+?  I have alot so I will
definetely go more into the roast in subsequent batches for comparison.
Thanks all,
On 6/15/06, Howell Ite  wrote:

26) From: Tom Ogren
...has anyone tried this at FC or even FC+?
James, I prefer the 1800 at the more subdued FC or FC+. This coffee's
particular brand of brightness (and that sourish/astringent quality others
have mentioned) did not appeal to me at a lighter roast, but truthfully, I
can't recall if the C+ I tried was well-rested. I really like the nutty
toastiness that develops at FC+. It brings balance to the cup. I think it
was this toasty quality that made my Carmen/Conquistador/Gethumbwini blend
so spectacular. The darker treatment has a real sense of identity. It's more
forceful in (I think) a very good way.
~TO in VA
On 6/15/06, James House  wrote:

27) From: Scott Miller
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Tom Ogren wrote:
I did a roast on Monday; my 5th roast of the PCE. On this roast, like 
the last, I pulled some beans at the end of 1st crack and cooled them. 
The remainder went to point where smoke indicating 2nd crack was coming. 
For my taste, I agree with you that this is the roast level I prefer for 
this bean.
I have some Conquistador. Is that the Gethumbwini Peaberry you used? 
That blend sounds really interesting... lots of wine & fruit flavors 
with a chocolate CR flavor also.

28) From: Tom Ogren
Yeah, I'm new to the game, but I think this hunch really paid off. It is the
new Gethumbwini Peaberry at C+, which really must be that coffee's sweetest
spot, just before second crack is about to sound off. (I've gone a bit
lighter and a bit darker and that C+ wowed me most. It's where the coffee
tasted just as Tom Owen described it: fruit cup flavors! So sweet and winey,
bright but with balance, nice Kenya!), Conquistador at FC+ and the Carmen
Estate at FC.
So the blend was roughly half Panama with Costa Rica filling in the spaces
at about a third, and about 20% Kenya chiming in with those nice sweet
tones...the effect was so powerful, yet tasted so natural, mmmm.
~TO in VA
On 6/15/06, Scott Miller  wrote:

29) From: James House
I am 4 days out of the GP at FC (maybe closer to FC+) and I am not too
thrilled with it.  It's not BAD, just not quite as good as what I
read/expected.  I'll do my next batch at C+ and see what happens, thanks for
the suggestion!  I will also push my next batch of 1800+ to FC.  I am
enjoying it pretty good at C+ but I am curious what a little more can do for
On 6/15/06, Tom Ogren  wrote:

30) From: Tom Ogren
Sometimes I feel that part of what makes me like the Panama Carmen so much
is the way it won me over from outright dislike at my first taste of it (I
had never tasted coffee like this...It struck me as course, even harsh at
first), to eventual intrigue at its uniqueness (I started to find nuances in
it as it rested and I roasted a bit darker), to finally appreciating it as a
memorable, complex, tightly-structured brew with a real sense of self. I get
the sense that my brew tastes exactly as Carmen Estate intended it to
taste...as though this were a very intentional bean...dialed in and
perfected, in its own particular way.
Initially I was almost mad that I had bought two pounds of it, but I did a
couple more roasts and I just kept drinking it. I could not figure out why I
kept drinking it at first. I just did. Now I know that this coffee was
winning me over with its exceptional character. I now think it is among the
most refined coffees in my stash. Sumatra Iskandar, La Minita, PNG Kimel and
Gethumbwini Peaberry also strike me as especially refined (intentional)
flavors. Of course, your mouth may vary, etc...
Anyway, I've mentioned before how I think the Poppery2's tiny batch sizes
have helped me by enabling more consecutive roasts of a given bean, which in
turn helps me find THE roast that I like of a given bean. If I don't care
for "roast #1", no big whoop, because I have about a half dozen more roasts
coming from that single pound of greens!  While I sometimes sense that I am
leaving some subleties undiscovered with my popper method (more
specifically, lack of method), I do have the luxury of being able to do a
nice variety of roasts to sample a broader range of a given bean's potential
(without buying five pounds at a pop.
But back to Panama, did I mention that I'm a fan of the 1800?
~TO in VA
On 6/16/06, James House  wrote:

31) From: Wesley Simon
How does a coffee have a sense of itself?  Wouldn't that make this coffee a
sentient being and, according to the Prime Directive, something that we
should not consume?
On 6/15/06, Tom Ogren  wrote:

32) From: Scott Miller
Wesley Simon wrote:
[sheepish grin]
The coffee shop in walking distance from where I grew up.

33) From: James House
Well, my day 5 FP was even better than my day 4.  I think I see what you
mean about this bean growing on you.  So being excited, I brewed up a pot
using KMB....
Yuk!  Bitter, and a bit burnt.  I am going to coarsen up the grind a bit and
try again tomorrow.  What a horrible aftertaste....I hope I just missed the
grind instead of this bean really not faring well in the KMB.
On 6/15/06, Tom Ogren  wrote:

34) From: Tom Ogren
Oh man, I have fascinating conversations with my coffee beans. Why just
yesterday the Brazil CoE Nazareth interrupted as I was polishing up my .44
while listening to a discourse from my black lab. "I know I'm just a
Brazilian", exclaimed the beans..."but give me a fair chance why don't you!"
The Brazil had a point. To be drunk with enthusiasm should be any bean's
raison d'etre.
Seriously though, I suppose by "sense of self" I mean that its flavor stikes
me as aggressive and is immediate on the palate and that its finish is
strong. There seem to be fewer wishy-washy hints of this or that nuance. Now
please don't get me wrong...I love wishy-washy hints and subtleties. They
make for more complex coffees that stand out above the rest. But for me,
this coffee's particular appeal is its direct, roasty coffeeness and
On 6/16/06, Scott Miller  wrote:

HomeRoast Digest