HomeRoast Digest

Topic: What good is the SCAA< Participate in Roasting Profile Experiment (8 msgs / 211 lines)
1) From: Jeremy DeFranco
I agree. You need not be person or business specializing in "coffee
perfection" to be a member of the SCAA. All you need is to pay membership
dues. A scary thing is that Folger's CAN become a member of the SCAA simply
by paying dues each year. Sure, many businesses that flaunt the SCAA sticker
are "on the level", including our wonderful host, but unfortunately you
can't take a deep breath, and be assured of a quality cup of coffee wherever
you see the SCAA logo. The SCAA has no quality requirments for membership,
although I will say it DOES set a flimsy "bar", in that usually the person
who applies for membership atleast WANTS to learn what good coffee is. But
certainly that desire is not enough. People are limited by what they know
and what they are used to. If they know how to do business with a subpar
exporter for 10 years, and all the sudden decide to join the SCAA, they more
than likely won't change exporters. Likewise if they think dark roasting IS
coffee, joining the SCAA will likely not change their opinion. So many other
factors eat away at the guarantee of the SCAA logo as well- personal beliefs
regarding quality, work ethic, smarts, care, creativity, etc. I think you
can separate businesses that shine the SCAA logo into two categories- those
that want to invest in the future of great coffee, and those that think it
might be good for the business end. I can easily assume for which reason all
the great coffee businesses apply for membership (investment in the future
of coffee). I think it's more like great coffee businesses are doing the
SCAA a favor by paying dues... By contrast, I think that the ONLY logo that
ensures a quality cup of coffee nowadays is the CoE (assuming the cup you
are buying is a CoE coffee). However there are numerous coffees that are
outstanding without the CoE mark, and so unfortunately this is not an
exaustive label.
-Has anyone experienced better coffee from an SCAA member store or shop than
we already get daily?
I have yet to be wowed, except at Hines Public Market, and that because of
an incredible Barista, not because of an SCAA membership.
Hope they sell lots of memberships and post their decals where everone can
see them.  Oh, is Folger's a member?

2) From: Jeremy DeFranco
As far as the Roasters' Guild goes, here are my thoughts... I am angry and
frustrated that membership is offered to professionals only, as there is a
limited amount of information for the avid homeroaster to find in bookstores
or on the web. What I am most attracted to about the Roasters' Guild are the
lectures they offer. Unfortunately, without a doubt that information is gold
as far as I'm concerned- It is a rare commodity. Unless you are an
apprentice for a roaster with years of experience or have roasted with many
experts throughout your life you have no other way of accessing the art and
science of roasting. I think it is a shame that after a certain point,
information on coffee-roasting becomes a rare commodity. No one with a
passion for knowlege of the art and science of roasting coffee should be
denied access to that information. I can understand that maybe right now
resources and organization may be thin, and so it might not be possible, but
I hope in the future the SCAA goes out of its way to provide access to all
who are interested. I think that would only be fitting of an organization
that sets out to set the bar of specialty or quality coffee. One can argue
that homeroasters are not involved in busineess, but that argument is
flawed. The times are a changing. Homeroasting IS a business. It's the
newest growing sector of the coffee industry. More and more people are
homeroasting each year. And more and more homeroasters want to produce
quality coffee. In fact, most people turn to homeroasting in order to get
quality coffee! Therefore you can't set out to raise the bar or set the
standard of quality coffee while excluding homeroasters!

3) From: Tim Wat
Jeremy DeFranco wrote:
Allow me to play the unenviable role of newbie devil's advocate here for 
a moment.  I've just started roasting this year, have almost no time or 
tenure on this list, and have ruined more beans than successfully roasted.
But having worked in and for various trade organizations (in a variety 
of industries - financial services, construction reprographics, 
professional musicians), might I ask WHY the commercial roaster should 
feel that "No one with a passion for knowledge of the art and science of 
roasting coffee should be denied access to that information."?
The information they have gleaned over the years, as you accurately 
describe, is the "gold" - that which separates them from the popular 
"specialty" mass marketing firms (colloquial rep for boutique coffee, 
but in reality just average joe, heavily sold).  This is both their 
competitive advantage and competitive barrier to entry, which they 
understandably want to protect. 
It seems to me the offer to invite a small number of homeroasters to a 
predominantly commercial event is INCREDIBLY magnanimous and 
generous...not many professional organizations I've been a part of have 
made similar inclusionary gestures that I remember.  I might argue the 
commercial artistan roaster has a vested interest in NOT allowing 
"anyone with a passion for knowledge of the art and science of 
roasting...." to access the knowledge without constraint. 
Just my 0.02, and I stand to be corrected.

4) From: Scott Marquardt
As the first one to whine in the thread (geez, I didn't mean to incite a mob
to march on the tower with scythes, pitchforks and presspots in hand), I
agree that this kind of offer is wonderful -- though as I hinted,
willingness to share the results proves goodwill.
My gripe literally reduces to having to price certifying my palate. It's
insane. First, I have to be a member of the SCAA. Then I get to join the
roaster's guild. I don't have to be a professional, all I have to do is have
the money.
This reduces to the "if it's worth it to you, you'll make a way." Not all
bad -- but not fun when I'm perrennially behing on basic life infrastructure
Having said all that, I've mentioned before, I think, that I don't mind the
Big Boys all that much. Good grief, go look up the Proctor and Gamble
patents from the 70s, and read 'em. You will learn things. I mean, LEARN
things. Amazing, amazing coffee engineering. And it's free for the pickin'
for home roasters, who aren't likely to be guilty of patent infringement
with their tinkering!
- Scott
On 9/25/06, Tim Wat  wrote:

5) From: Steven Sobel
You have me curious.  What did Proctor and Gamble do in the 70s with regards
to coffee engineering?
On 9/25/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:

6) From: Brett Mason
Quick search rendered:
  Mr. Coffee
  Black & Decker
If that isn't coffee, then what was?  (Is reserved for fresh coffee, sorry)
On 9/25/06, Steven Sobel  wrote:

7) From: Scott Marquardt
Actually -- good grief. Searching for something from the 70s I remember
reading, I just found something from 2001 I missed:http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?IA2001007997&DISPLAYAIMS
The PDF makes an interesting read:http://www.wipo.int/patentscopedb/en/wads2.jsp?IA2001007997&ID0063618004f8c7&VOL=9&DOC4ab4&PAGE=0&DOC_TYPEOC
Geez, here's another I missed, this one from the 80s. Interesting solution
to a problem I, as a small roaster, just don't face:http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4637935.pdfWell, I can't find the one in particular that would show how cool the stuff
they were doing is. But I'm hastening. Here, however, is a search that'll
show how busy they are. Note the names on the patents, too; interesting to
see how long some of the same people have been working hard on unusual
problems.http://www.freepatentsonline.com/search.pl?p=1&srch=ezsrch&sf=1&pn=&in=&icn=&is=&ic=&isd=&isdto=&ttl=&abst=coffee&aclm=&spec=&an=The+Procter+%26+Gamble+Company+&acn=&as=&ac=&ccl=&icl=&apn=&apd=&apdto=&parn=&refe=&fref=&oref=&prir=&pex=&asex=&agt=&uspat=on&date_range=all&stemming=on&sort=chronI'd read the "Ultrafast roasted
one with extreme interest, back in the day.
On any of these entries, after clicking them scroll to the bottom and click
on "view PDF images" to get the full text.
In the case of the latter article, well, it's just fascinating reading. Page
9 of 17, column 10, lines 20-37, for example. Never mind all the technical
detail that should send you flying to your drawing board to mod your own
environment to roast your coffee in *30 seconds*.    LOL
- Scott
On 9/25/06, Steven Sobel  wrote:

8) From: Brett Mason
Any chance you have an ENGLISH translation?  That looked more like
On 9/25/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:

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