HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Agtron (24 msgs / 552 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
I looked at the Agtron "chips" on the SM site at http://sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.html.Not surprisingly, 
they looked very different, depending on the monitor I was using.
I'd like a set of the chips, and can't find them. It occurred to me that 
it might be possible to match these colours with paint chips from one of 
the bigger commonly available lines, like Behr.
Has anyone done this?

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
The Agtron coffee roast chipset can be purchased through SCAA non-member
price $295, members price $195. (though currently show out of stock)http://www.scaa.org/shop/product_detail.asp?productid00100Yes, IIRC twice in the 5 or so years I've been on List someone has gone
through the paint chip exercise. Once even mailing them out to everyone.
Idea was for people to use them when talking about roast levels on List,
never happened...
Kona Konnaisseur 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.

3) From: Brett Mason
List Members Offer:
For $175 you can mail me your beans, and I will compare them to the colors
on my monitor and let you know what they were.  Sample size should be 1/2 lb
or 1lb, although 5 and 10 lb samples are not discouraged.  Be sure to
include coffee name and description, roast date, roast method, and your name
as well.
Unfortunately, the return of test samples is precluded, due to the minimal
staffing of our Tasting Committee.  I mean Testing Committee.
On 8/14/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
Brett Mason

4) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
We have done this on the list with some pretty iffy results. I 
basically loaned out my SCAA Agtron Color Tiles to a list member who 
collected color tiles and then we compared the results. I found that 
it was really difficult to match the lightness due to the shifts in 
hues - redish browns looked darker than they really were etc. Anyway, 
the results were posted on the list with standard home depot paint 
chip colors so anyone could go get them. Frankly, my memory is shoddy 
on this: I can't remember who it was who did all the legwork! My 
apologies. Anyway, I can say that 1 or tow of the color tiles 
provided a very very good match, and to me, that was worthwhile. I 
will see if I can find a paper trail on that project. I should have 
posted it all on a web page, and didn't. If any list members can dig 
up this thread, or the email with the recommended paint chips, please 
post it to this thread.
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com

5) From: Vicki Smith
I looked in the archives, with a search on Agtron, and found some 
discussion, but no home depot chip numbers or anything similar. It's a 
shame that there are no paint dealers on the list ;). It should be 
possible to use one of those colour reading gadgets they have and match 
the results with *something* that is widely available.
Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:

6) From: Brett Mason
 Dan Bollinger  to homeroast
 More options  3/14/05 > I was wondering when someone would get around to
that idea. We did just
Mike, I'll save you the trouble.  Here they are.  I distributed about twenty
sets of these back then. I noticed that no one used them to talk about their
roasts. Therefore, I can only assume that they are somehow inadequate or
unhandy to use.  Danhttp://www.claycritters.com/coffee/coffee_roast_colors.htm- Show quoted text -
On 8/14/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
Brett Mason

7) From: Michael Wade
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Brett, I'm getting a 404 error on that link.  I can hit the main page, =
and I found the calorimetric study, but no coffee roast colors.

8) From: Brett Mason
Sorry all - I get the 404 too...  Still, Dan is the guy who offered the
paint thingies...
On 8/15/06, Michael Wade  wrote:
Brett Mason

9) From: Justin Marquez
On 8/14/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
A lister named  John Kahla put together a set of painted paper "tiles" in
May 2005. (I haven't seen posts by him lately, so perhaps he isn't active
right now.) If I recall correctly, he took a Agtron set to the paint store
and they computer matched the tile colors.  He had the paint made up and
painted some tiles.  I participated and paid for a set.  They arrived in
good condition, but did kind of want to stick together into a "brick", but
separated with no peeling.  I used them for a while, but finally decided
that the color of the ground beans was not in anyways related to how strong
the brew would be.  I guess if one were trying to do quality control with
one bean or blend to match batches they might be helpful. Since they are
supposed to be compared to the color of the ground coffee, I don't see how
you could do anything about that batch, but maybe adjust the next batch.
I suspected when I ordered that they might be of limited usefulness to me,
but I thought the overall project was a good idea and supported it.  I have
no idea of how well they actually matched the agtron tile colors, but
computer matched colors can be amazingly close. His paint tiles certainly
looked good.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)

10) From: Scott Marquardt
What's key about the Agtron tiles is that they're full spectrum. If the
pigments used in any paint are not full spectrum, matches with actual roasts
will be more difficult. Worse, unless the grind and lighting used during
comparison are to standard, results will not conform well.
Personally, I think the pricing on the tiles is outrageous. The SCAA has had
its share of scandals, but the price of dues, the requirement of membership
for the guild, and this kind of profiteering on the tiles seems unworthy of
the specialty market's ostensible leaders.
I'd rather pay twice as much for beans than see the market's leaders pricing
things twice as high as they ought.
Sorry if that's flamebait to anyone, but I think the SCAA is not giving
amateur roasters much of a franchize.
- Scott
On 8/15/06, Justin Marquez  wrote:

11) From: raymanowen
Color printers all use "Color Densitometers," that give numbers for the
color densities of the four printing colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and
Black. I used to repair and calibrate them nearly 25 years ago.
I used to think it might be a neat addition to your Martha Stewart Roasting
Kitchen, and there was a 3-D setting- for, say, a coffee bean...
I would only suggest Not using the well-known coffee emporium's produce as a
standard. That's Coffee Prostitution.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Decaf causes flatulence-
On 8/14/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:

12) From: raymanowen
Here's what the Macbeth densitometer looks like:
Couldn't find the COSAR SOS-40's that I calibrated & repaired- ro
On 8/15/06, raymanowen  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

13) From: Angelo
It seems that it would be better to have a shadow box type of thing 
with actual beans(or grounds) roasted to ten or fifteen levels. I saw 
these in some coffee shops as an "artistic" display....I know that 
the color changes over time, so either some fixative needs to be 
added or the time change has to be factored in..
Maybe, something like Mike McCoffee's traveling packets of vac-sealed 
coffee could work for this...

14) From: Vicki Smith
I've been thinking about this some more, and it seems to me that as a 
group of home roasters, what we are really looking for is a common 
language--so that when one of us says we roasted a particular bean to 
"full city" the rest of us know, with some degree of certainty, what the 
roasted beans *look* like. We're actually talking colour in this 
instance, not the other factors that might slot a particular bean into 
one category or another.
The fact that SCAA went high tech and used Agtron doesn't mean that the 
Agtron scale is the only way to go--only that it is in alignment with 
what the big boys do. Sure, it would be nice to share that language, but 
heck, SCAA decided to price home roasters out of that option, so mebbe 
we should just move on.
So, for example, if we decided our language was "Behr Paint", which I 
chose only because it is available at Home Depot, I could say I roasted 
a particular bean to Mountain Tail S-H-750 and in terms of communicating 
something meaningful *about colour, and only colour* to other people who 
spoke Behr, it would be mission accomplished.
In truth, that might be more helpful to someone as new as I am. I'm 
thinking about beans, like Mandheling and decafs, where degree of roast 
in  terms of where they are vis-a-vis second crack don't coordinate all 
that well with descriptors like full city *if we are talking about bean 
Now, I have no idea if the list would or could ever use something like 
this, but I do think that it would be useful to me, as a home roaster, 
so I could compare and better replicate (or avoid)my results.
Angelo wrote:

15) From: Alchemist John
The problem with this is that "Behr Paint" isn't "in" on our system 
and they have no problem or concern about changing Mountain Tail 
S-H-750 just a little for aesthetics or more likely and as has 
happened in the past, just getting rid of the standard.  I think this 
happened in the past.  The work was gone through, put the reference 
of coffee vs paint together and a year later some number of the paint 
references were no longer available because they were "out of style".
At 03:45 8/16/2006, you wrote:
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

16) From: Vicki Smith
Yup, though that wouldn't keep it from being useful for the individual 
home roaster, who is looking to compare his or her own roasts of a 
particular bean. Getting the new colours once a year wouldn't be much of 
a problem either.
I really can't imagine enough buy in for this for it to be a hugely 
useful group project, but if it were, we could pick up gazillions of the 
current chips, and send a 2006 chip set to new folks for a decade, if we 
wanted to.
Alchemist John wrote:

17) From: Leo Zick
if monitors arent accurate b/c they display differently (which can be  
adjusted using a gamma correction editor, right? then just share the  
'coffee' settings), then why would paint chips work any better for  
your purpose?
mountain trail may describe one color for one bean at one temp. how  
many chip sets would you need for each bean type, for each roast  
profile, for each time of year? (i assume beans roast different in  
colder months, affecting the color?)
wouldnt it be easier to buy a polaroid or disposable camera and take a  
picture, or a digital and print it?  you get the satisfaction of  
having it printed in 5 minutes (an an hour at your local drugstore)  
and comparing to your freshly roasted bean. if the color is close, you  
win :)
personally i think the zen approach is best, but i guess im lazy.lol
Quoting Vicki Smith :

18) From: Vicki Smith
Leo Zick wrote:
I am not talking about comparing images from the Behr site on our 
monitors, but the actual chips they give away at the paint store.
If I had the chips sitting by my roaster, rather than having to run down 
to my monitor each time I roast, I can always compare my beans to a 
thing that does not change over time--just as the pros can compare to 
the Agtron tiles. If 5 of us had the same chips, and talked using "Behr 
language", then when I said I roasted my Panama 1800 to Mountain Trail 
(the other was a typo) then all five of us would know what I mean.
As I said, I doubt somehow that this would be a great group project, but 
for individual home roasters who don't want to lay out the big bucks for 
Agtron tiles, it could serve the same purpose.

19) From: Leo Zick
my monitor comment was back to one of your first posts, sorry about  
that. didnt you state that you didnt want to compare to those shots on  
the SM site b/c your 2 monitors showed the differently? maybe that was  
someone else?
i see what you are getting at, but i like roasting b/c of its nuances.  
  granted if you make the perfect batch it will be tough to duplicate,  
but its still fun trying different methods and seeing how it changes  
the end product; just like cooking!
Quoting Vicki Smith :

20) From: Vicki Smith
Yes, but that was eons (or days) ago. It was why I was in search of some 
non-digi resource. I have no real desire to have the same coffee, done 
the same way, day after day--if I did, I'd just buy a blend from some 
reasonably good commercial roaster. That being said, I would like to 
develop the skill to have more consistency in my roasts, to be able to 
know that I can aim for a particular outcome, and get reasonably close a 
good part of the time.
I feel the same way about pie crusts, btw. it took me a fairly long time 
before I could get a consistently great pie crust, and being able to do 
it pretty much all the time is important to me. It doesn't mean that the 
only thing I bake is pies, only that when I do make one, I want it to be 
as good as possible.
I don't see that this sort of way of thinking about it removes the 
romance or art. It just keeps me from having to toss failed attempts in 
the garbage
For coffee, along with colour, I am recording all sorts of 
notes--sounds, smells, time, temperature--colour is just one more 
variable, and having a picture makes it easier for me to compare over 
time and roasts.
Leo Zick wrote:

21) From: Brett Mason
Alternately, if you paint the beans after roasting, they will always be spot
on....  I want my beans in a Navajo White, with green stripes....
Here's a totally off method:
  Roast your beans (I don't care how long)
  Write down all the how's (how long, roaster, amt., etc.)
  Rest your beans (again...)
  Write it down
  gRind and bRew your beans
  Write it down
  Drink your coffee
  Decide if you like it
  Write it down
  Determine what you might like to change
     iterate as necessary
But painting the beans to get Behr's Blend would be interesting...
On 8/16/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
Brett Mason

22) From: Vicki Smith
LOL Brett--that's what my roasting log is for.
Brett Mason wrote:

23) From: Leo Zick
beans are complex and deserve a complex schema to complement their flavors.
id recommend an old world ventian plaster effect, using colors like  
glazed pecan and vin rouge
Quoting Brett Mason :

24) From: raymanowen
Everybody is wrong wrong wrong-
Follow Brett's outline this way:
1.) - Roast...
2.) - Write...
3.) - Rest...
4.) - Write...
5.) - gRind and bRew...
6.) - Write...
7.) - Drink...
8.) - Write...
9.) - Number Seven,  Number Seven,  Number Seven...
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Decaf has Side Effects-

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