HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Best Beginner Bean (20 msgs / 883 lines)
1) From: Tom Maynard
I posed this query in my earlier thread but I fear it was lost in the ensuing
conversation(s).
I'd like to buy 5-10 pounds of a single variety bean to learn and explore the
home roasting hobby.  Please suggest your favorites or your choices for a
suitable "beginner bean."
I guess I'd like something that roasts well over a rather wide range, perhaps
with different accents at different levels.  I'd certainly like something that
tastes good!  But I'm looking to refine my roasting/grinding/brewing processes
and to see the range of results while holding the bean a constant.
It seems like a really great way to start -- which bean should I use?
tia,
Tom.

2) From: Tim Wat
Tom Maynard wrote:
<Snip>
Tom:
Here a a couple suggestions, of course, from SMs, with Tom's roast 
suggestions:
Guatemala Fraijanes - Finca Agua Tibia
Roast: City+ is recommended, and this roast has some characteristics of 
a FC or FC+ roast in cup profile: try it!
$4.80 / pound.
Brazil Cachoeira Yellow Bourbon (Special screen-dry lot)
Roast: City+ is the roast I described above but this lot excels under a 
wide variety of roasts, C+ to FC to Vienna
$5.60 / pound
I started with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which does indeed get interesting 
once you get into 2nd crack - and not in a good way, to my taste.  So 
I'm suggesting based upon a wide usable roast range and a relatively low 
cost.
Tim

3) From: Sheila Quinn
I was going to suggest perhaps a Guatemalan, too. There are a couple of 
them listed that are both affordable and able to be roasted at various 
levels. Guats are popular coffees - everyone seems to like them!
Sheila

4) From: Brett Mason
Colombia Excelso 13556 - currently best priced bean at Sweet Maria's, and
alos my current favorite...
Brett
On 11/2/06, Tom Maynard  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

5) From: Stephen Niezgoda
I will repost me original suggestion of NOT buying a large quantity of 1
bean
I think too many new roasters are hung up on getting the perfect roast.
Personally I will take variety  and new experiences over perfection any day.
I suggest buying a double sampler and 4 extra LBS of whatever strikes you
fancy (so Harvey can handle it)
and have fun.
If I buy a 5lb bag, I roast 1 maybe 2 lbs out of it and it sits for a year
and without fail end up roasting it to give away.  There are always so many
interesting new coffees to try, that I never get back to it no matter how
good it is.
On the downside sometimes I really miss the sweet spot for a particular
coffee, oh well to bad. At least I have something new every few days.  On
the upside, I get to try >50 great coffees a year.
Wing it - you really can't screw up. Plus you won't get stuck into a habit
early, roasting is all about flexibility and experimentation
Steve
On 11/2/06, Tom Maynard  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Lynne
I've only roasted a half pound, but I agree it's a great coffee. And at =
a good price.
L.
On Nov 2, 2006, at 4:27 PM, Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>

7) From: miKe mcKoffee
Since exploring the roasting process rather than different varietals is your
goal you want a high elevation bean that will take a wide range of roasts.
Tom usually indicates such things in his reviews. A good example would be
Mexican Chiapas doing well City all the way to Light Vienna.
In addition to a single wide range roasting coffee, I would also second the
suggestion of getting an 8# greens sampler to also explore different
coffees. 
BTW, there is NO single best bean, for beginner or otherwise. If you have
kids it's kind of like asking which one do you love most:-)
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.
<Snip>

8) From: Eddie Dove
Tom,
What kind of coffee do you like?
If you want something that just tastes like a basic good coffee, then get
either the Columbian or Brazilian.  I would suggest a hybrid of the ideas
here.  Order the 8 pound sampler, and 4 pounds of something else like the
Columbian and have Harvey deliver it.  The 4 pounds should give you enough
practice and the 8 pounds will start you on your journey into the wonderful
world of coffee varieties.  I would roast enough at a time so that it would
take you 7 - 10 days to consume it so that can get a good feel for how the
coffee changes during its prime time for consumption.
I hope this is helpful.
Eddie
On 11/2/06, Tom Maynard  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: Tom Maynard
Upon reflection I believe you are all correct!
I did the math.  I'm the only coffee drinker in my house.  If the FR+8 data are
correct then a full load is 64 grams (depending on the beans of course).  I'll
get  about 7 batches per pound.  There are only so many settings on the FR+8
dial, and I doubt I'll ever use any lower than about 6.  And I get two brews
(20 oz each) from each batch at my current brewing "settings."
I really only need a pound to explore roasting.  If I want to hold the coffee
constant while I explore brewing, possibly another pound would cover the sweet
spot for steeping/plunging, etc.
Two pounds of one variety should get me on the straight and narrow.
Add to that a SM Sampler, either to introduce variety during my explorations, or
to reset my palatte periodically, and I'll have the best of both worlds.
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.  Now I'm off to hunt them down and read
Tom's comments on each one!
t.

10) From: Les
Well, I have to jump in.  I tried not to, but nobody mentioned my favorite!
I think Uganda Bugisu is a great beginner bean.  It has a pronounced 1st and
2nd crack.  It tastes good from a cinnamon roast to french roast.  It isn't
too expensive.  Beans to avoid as a newbie.  Don't try to learn with a
peaberry.  There are some that don't have much of an audible 1st crack.
Don't explore with an expensive bean.  Don't try to learn on a Pacamara, it
has a narrow sweet-spot.  I wouldn't try to learn on a Dry Processed coffee,
too many variables.  As Mike said, a good high elevation bean that is washed
would be the best.  Last of all, learning to roast really isn't all that
hard.  As much as we banter here, we are working on getting past that 95%
excellent mark and trying to get to the perfect roast.  So welcome, and with
some coaching you will be at that 95% mark in no time.
Les
On 11/2/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Sheila Quinn
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After thinking about it, I tend to agree with you. If you get 10# of 
just one type, you'll likely get tired of it and want to move onto 
something else before your supply is anywhere near depleted. Even if 
it's one you like, you will keep hearing about the other wonderful beans 
and you will want to order them for yourself! The rest will sit in the 
back of the cupboard while you move on and order others. Could be 
wasteful. Are you absolutely CERTAIN you want to dedicate yourself to 
just one bean?
I would have grown bored with just one myself, but maybe it's just me. I 
like variety and I get bored very easily. So I amend my recommendation. 
Perhaps get a sampler pack plus a 5-pounder of one kind for your 
practice (or make it just four pounds to fit a Harvey order). Five 
pounds will give you 10-15 roasts, depending on how you are roasting -  
more in a really small roaster. That should be plenty of practice!
One of the problems with recommending a bean is that we all have 
different tastes; it would be sad to be stuck with 10 pounds of 
something you don't like very much. Just because someone else (even 
everyone else!) says they love it doesn't necessarily mean you will, 
too! (Case in point - Brazil Yellow Bourbon. Everyone brags about it, 
but I don't like it at ALL. Okay... I have admitted it. I've roasted it 
several times trying to force myself to like it, but I've never been 
impressed. The Ethiopia Misty Valley is my favorite cup. It's amazing!)
So... I agree that Steve has a good point about going for an assortment. 
You might find your tastes in coffee are different than others - maybe 
not even what YOU thought you'd like! Happens to me all the time.
Just my two cents - or is it two dollars?!!
Sheila
Stephen Niezgoda wrote:
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After thinking about it, I tend to agree with you. If you get 10# of
just one type, you'll likely get tired of it and want to move onto
something else before your supply is anywhere near depleted. Even if
it's one you like, you will keep hearing about the other wonderful
beans and you will want to order them for yourself! The rest will sit
in the back of the cupboard while you move on and order others. Could
be wasteful. Are you absolutely CERTAIN you want to dedicate yourself
to just one bean? 
I would have grown bored with just one myself, but maybe it's just me.
I like variety and I get bored very easily. So I amend my
recommendation. Perhaps get a sampler pack plus a 5-pounder of one kind
for your practice (or make it just four pounds to fit a Harvey order).
Five pounds will give you 10-15 roasts, depending on how you are
roasting -  more in a really small roaster. That should be plenty of
practice!
One of the problems with recommending a bean is that we all have
different tastes; it would be sad to be stuck with 10 pounds of
something you don't like very much. Just because someone else (even
everyone else!) says they love it doesn't necessarily mean you will,
too! (Case in point - Brazil Yellow Bourbon. Everyone brags about it,
but I don't like it at ALL. Okay... I have admitted it. I've roasted it
several times trying to force myself to like it, but I've never been
impressed. The Ethiopia Misty Valley is my favorite cup. It's amazing!)
So... I agree that Steve has a good point about going for an
assortment. You might find your tastes in coffee are different than
others - maybe not even what YOU thought you'd like! Happens to me all
the time.
Just my two cents - or is it two dollars?!!
Sheila
Stephen Niezgoda wrote:
I will repost me original suggestion of NOT buying a large
quantity of 1 bean
  
  
  
  
I think too many new
roasters are hung up on getting the perfect roast.  Personally I will
take variety  and new experiences over perfection any day.
I suggest buying a double sampler and 4 extra LBS of whatever strikes
you fancy (so Harvey can handle it)
  
and have fun.
If I buy a 5lb bag, I roast 1 maybe 2 lbs out of
it and it sits for a year and without fail end up roasting it to give
away.  There are always so many interesting new
coffees to try, that I never get back to it no matter how good it is.
  
On the downside sometimes I really miss the sweet
spot for a particular coffee, oh well to bad. At least I have something
new every few days.  On the upside, I get to try >50 great coffees a
year.
  
  
Wing it - you really can't screw up. Plus you won't get stuck into a
habit early, roasting is all about flexibility and experimentation
  
Steve
  
  On 11/2/06, 
Tom Maynard <tmaynard>
wrote:
  I
posed this query in my earlier thread but I fear it was lost in the
ensuing
conversation(s).
    
I'd like to buy 5-10 pounds of a single variety bean to learn and
explore the
home roasting hobby.  Please suggest your favorites or your choices for
a
    
suitable "beginner bean."
    
I guess I'd like something that roasts well over a rather wide range,
perhaps
with different accents at different levels.  I'd certainly like
something that
tastes good!  But I'm looking to refine my roasting/grinding/brewing
processes
    
and to see the range of results while holding the bean a constant.
    
It seems like a really great way to start -- which bean should I use?
    
tia,
Tom.
homeroast mailing list
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12) From: jim gundlach
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On Nov 2, 2006, at 3:00 PM, Tom Maynard wrote:
<Snip>
I'd recommend the Uganda Organic Bugisu.  It has clear first and  
second cracks and takes a wide range of roasts.  A great learner bean  
IMHO.
      Pecan Jim
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On Nov 2, 2006, at =
3:00 PM, Tom Maynard wrote:

It seems like a really great = way to start -- which bean should I use?

=
I'd recommend the Uganda = Organic Bugisu.  It has clear first and second cracks and takes a wide = range of roasts.  A great learner bean IMHO.     Pecan = Jim= --Apple-Mail-8--475022054--

13) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I really think people should just dive in with a mix of coffees, 
either a few 1 lbers of great variety. or a sample pack (best idea). 
Then I think buying a single 5 lber from that sampler, and working 
with it in the roaster. my .02 cents...
Tom
Tom,
What kind of coffee do you like? 
If you want something that just tastes like a basic good coffee, then 
get either the Columbian or Brazilian.  I would suggest a hybrid of 
the ideas here.  Order the 8 pound sampler, and 4 pounds of something 
else like the Columbian and have Harvey deliver it.  The 4 pounds 
should give you enough practice and the 8 pounds will start you on 
your journey into the wonderful world of coffee varieties.  I would 
roast enough at a time so that it would take you 7 - 10 days to 
consume it so that can get a good feel for how the coffee changes 
during its prime time for consumption.
I hope this is helpful.
Eddie
On 11/2/06, Tom Maynard 
<tmaynard> wrote:
I posed this query in my earlier thread but I fear it was lost in the ensuing
conversation(s).
I'd like to buy 5-10 pounds of a single variety bean to learn and explore the
home roasting hobby.  Please suggest your favorites or your choices for a
suitable "beginner bean."
I guess I'd like something that roasts well over a rather wide range, perhaps
with different accents at different levels.  I'd certainly like something that
tastes good!  But I'm looking to refine my roasting/grinding/brewing processes
and to see the range of results while holding the bean a constant.
It seems like a really great way to start -- which bean should I use?
tia,
Tom.

14) From: Alchemist John
I can never resist a line like this. Guats are the one origin I can't 
stand.  I have yet to have one I have enjoy or even finished the cup.
That said, so I am contributing, I would recommend the Idido Misty 
Valley.  A better really can't be had.  It roasts well, has multiple 
yet consistent flavors and just tastes darn good.
At 13:18 11/2/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

15) From: Alchemist John
Ditto - great bean with a large wide target.
Then again, as some have suggested, there is nothing like 6-10 
different coffees to really develop your roasting skills.
At 17:02 11/2/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

16) From: Sheila Quinn
That's funny since lots of people also say that Costa Ricans are so 
"perfect" - yet I don't care for them at all. NOT perfect in my book. 
(The Misty Valley is true perfection, however.)
So I know what you mean. Everyone definitely has different tastes.
Sheila
Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>

17) From: Les
Sheila,
Most Costa Rican coffees have a very narrow sweet spot.  When you hit it,
they are great coffees.  If you miss it is ho-hum.  It sounds like you like
coffee with character.  The MIsty Valley is one good coffee.  This morning I
drank a whole pot of it all by myself!
Les
On 11/2/06, Sheila Quinn  wrote:
<Snip>

18) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
 
Tom,
            First welcome to the list and welcome to the most
frustrating and enjoyable journeys you will ever experience. ***Hint
there is no perfect cup*** if you ever think you found the perfect cup
wait, one day you will best it. That is the best part of this
hobby/addiction you reap the rewards of your hard work and you have the
right tools so far (this list, for the wealth of knowledge and the best
beans from SM's) now it is up to you 
IMHO I would recommend a High Altitude, Hearty Bean such as a Kenya
(though they are VERY BRIGHT)  I have heard that the higher a bean is
grown the heartier it is and can handle a darker roast with out losing
the qualities of the bean, but at one point it is all charcoal no matter
the bean. 
 I suggest that you look at a globe from the Tropic of Cancer to the
Tropic of Capricorn find any land that has altitude and the go to the SM
website and read what Tom has written about each coffee he has from the
area and DIVE IN there is no bad coffee listed you really can't go wrong
I have had the same concerns myself in the past and they were totally
unfounded. I have never found a coffee from Tom that was not
WONDERFUL!!! (remember that you really can not go wrong  with anything
that SM's is offering)
    
Sorry about the list Hi-jacking your thread some here live for a debate,
I enjoy it but try to keep SM and coffee in mind when posting. I hope
you can find the coffee you are looking for and your addiction for the
better cup is a never ending journey that is filled with new lessons
that will amaze you for the rest of your life!
 
Good luck and best wishes from the Indian Ocean!
 
Dennis
Z&D and HG/DB Roasting in the IO
"On Station and On Point 5th Fleet AOR....182 and counting!!!!"
 
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
CS/CS-5
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
FPO AE 09532-2830
Ships CV-SHARP Administrator
CSALTDSPO
CS Dept CC
CS Dept TRANO
Duty Sec 1 CS E6 S/L
CS Dept Mentorship Coordinator
DCTT Repair locker 1F
"Life Liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it..."
For Official Use only -- Privacy Act Protected Information contained
(including attachments) in this correspondence may be subject to the
Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and covered by the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521.  Personal information
contained in this correspondence may be used only by authorized persons
in the conduct of official business.  Any unauthorized disclosure or
misuse of personal information may result in criminal and/or civil
penalties.  If you are not the intended recipient of this correspondence
please destroy all copies of this correspondence after notifying the
sender of your receipt of it.
 
 
 
 
 
I posed this query in my earlier thread but I fear it was lost in the
ensuing
conversation(s).
 
I'd like to buy 5-10 pounds of a single variety bean to learn and
explore the
home roasting hobby.  Please suggest your favorites or your choices for
a
suitable "beginner bean."
 
I guess I'd like something that roasts well over a rather wide range,
perhaps
with different accents at different levels.  I'd certainly like
something that
tastes good!  But I'm looking to refine my roasting/grinding/brewing
processes
and to see the range of results while holding the bean a constant.
 
It seems like a really great way to start -- which bean should I use?
 
tia,
Tom.

19) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
HOO RAH for the Bug!!!!! 
 
 
Dennis
Z&D and HG/DB Roasting in the IO
"On Station and On Point 5th Fleet AOR....182 and counting!!!!"
 
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
CS/CS-5
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
FPO AE 09532-2830
Ships CV-SHARP Administrator
CSALTDSPO
CS Dept CC
CS Dept TRANO
Duty Sec 1 CS E6 S/L
CS Dept Mentorship Coordinator
DCTT Repair locker 1F
"Life Liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it..."
For Official Use only -- Privacy Act Protected Information contained
(including attachments) in this correspondence may be subject to the
Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and covered by the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521.  Personal information
contained in this correspondence may be used only by authorized persons
in the conduct of official business.  Any unauthorized disclosure or
misuse of personal information may result in criminal and/or civil
penalties.  If you are not the intended recipient of this correspondence
please destroy all copies of this correspondence after notifying the
sender of your receipt of it.

20) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
Isn't that what I said?....did I get something right?
Yippy!!!!!
Dennis
 


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