HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Uneven Roasts (36 msgs / 743 lines)
1) From: John Roche
I've roasted about 30 batches in my HWP at different roasts/various beans.
I'm finding most of my batches are uneven. Not way uneven, but not a nice
even color. I know some beans as Tom points out do not roast evenly. I'm
sure this has been touched upon but do some of the HWP's just roast
unevenly? I did a batch of Kona to a light roast, sumatra to darker, etc.
I'm not sure if i'm imagining it, but my first few batches seemed much more
even. Could i be overloading? I don't weigh the beans, just fill the cup and
level- so if i'm over its not by much.
Rec'd a free bag of Peets house blend in the mail (not sure what type of
beans) and noticed how even it was. Dark brown with way more oil then i seem
to get at a similar degree of darkness. The Peets beans are *very* oily-
aside from whether this is desirable, do all beans obtain more or less the
same degree of oil at similar roast stages?

2) From: Bryan Mannos
Hi John,
I think you and I are about at the same pace.  We got out roasters and
grinders about at the same time and have been fervelently roasting since.
I find my beans are mostly even with a very slight variance between beans.
A few will be city if I'm roasting fullcity with blends or like the Sana'ai.
As you said this is expected.  Are you at all in a breezy/drafty place when
roasting?  I put mine on my stovetop with my avg room temperature at 73 deg.
I used to order from peets regularly before I got my roaster (had to give
away my free pound :)  ) and I'm beginning to suspect that Peet's adds oil
somehow!  Actually I assume that their roast cycle is a bit longer/slower
which would make it more consistent (if it's anything like cooking).  That
might explain the excess oil?  I know I USED to think that more oil was just
an amazing trait.  I'd show it off and say, look at that oil.... here,
smell. (I mean, after all, these were mail ordered!)  Now I just say "here,
smell" :)
If you have a digital camera, I'd be happy to exchange roast photos with

3) From: Simpson
re: peet's oily bean, this is likely more an indicator that they've been 
out of the roaster for some time, perhaps > 14 days or so. If you roast 
medium dark, there may be a bit of initial oil which then is reabsorbed 
yielding a dry bean exterior. After a few days, though, and certainly at 
the 2 week mark, the oil will be pronounced. So what you may have are just 
old, stale beans that have yielded up their oils. This coupled with peet's 
toasty-roasty roasting style and they aren't doing anything you CAN'T do, 
they're doing something you don't WANT to so... creating old stale 
over-roasted coffee...

4) From: John Roche
I don't think the beans are stale. In fact (if you believe Peets which I do)
they are now dated w/ the roast date, in this case 4.25 which I rec'd about
4/30 or so. That makes them 5 days, perhaps a week at most. Yes they are
dark roasted, or *deep roasted* as they like to say. I happen to like dark
roast- so kill me. However, I've only roasted maybe one or two batches
myself that even gets close to a French roast. Maybe as I learn more I'll
grow to hate the darker roasts... but I find I dislike the lighter end of
the spectrum more than the darker, though I've been sticking around the
middle full cityish w/ my first batches and/or close to whatever Tom
suggests for each bean. That's been my starting point.  The longest I've had
any of my beans around is about a week max. So can't say what happens after
that point. I still don't think my roast (with one or two exceptions) are as
good as Peet's or my favorite beans at Starbucks. Something still seems to
be missing and I'm not sure what it is yet.
One thing I do like is my coffee strong (not talking espresso at the
moment), which I think is why I tend to be disappointed with the lighter
roasts (so far). I often end up using more coffee in the French press to
compensate. Do other people do this. I've also been trying to get the grind
correct for the press. I have to get it so its relatively easy to push down
since my girlfriend has some problems which prevent her from using the same
force I do. Right now it's often very hard to push down so I think I'm a
little bit to fine- I'm at the 4th coarsest setting on my 166. I started
with one 7g (illy spoon aprox) per 5 or 6 ounces which always came out too
weak with about a 4 min brew time. I've gone up to 6 or 7 spoons for about
25-30 oz. 

5) From: Mandy Willison
confidence?- bean'wild!

6) From: John Roche

7) From: Hugh Solaas
Ted Simpson's remarks about oil on darkly roasted beans, such as yours from
Peets, are right on the mark.  As the roasted beans age, oil migrates to the
surface.  The oil is now more exposed to the O2 in the air, which will turn
it rancid pretty quick, depending on temperature and humidity.
You should be able to get very dark roasts from your HWP, and, if you don't
have a bunch of very weird beans, you should be getting even and consistent
roasts.  The only thing I have noticed that will prevent this is roasting in
an environment where the ambient temperature is low, such as outside.  If
the temperature drops much below 63 or so, my HWP doesn't roast as well, but
I still get fairly even roasts.
A cheap and inexpensive way to check to see if there is something wrong with
your HWP (which I doubt) would be to pick up a West Bend Poppery or Poppery
II from a thrift shop for less than $5, and compare the roast to that of
your HWP.  If you're still getting uneven roasts, then the problem (although
it's really not a problem) is with the beans.  A Poppery will also teach you
a little more about the roasting process, as you have to dump the beans into
a colander to cool them.  It's also a good backup, in case your HWP ever
goes down, as well.
As for your penchant for dark roasts, I can certainly relate to that.  I
live in Seattle and drank Starbucks for years before I started home
roasting.  In fact, I even drank their French Roast, which was REALLY
crispy-critters!  When I first began roasting, I listened to Tom and many of
the "Old Timers" on this list, who generally said you will get better
results with lighter roasts.  My initial attempts, using the same amount of
coffee that I previously used with  Starbucks, produced some pretty good
tasting dishwater.  I wound up DOUBLING the amount of coffee I used and went
to a finer grind than I had been using to get the flavor I wanted.  I now
generally use 55 grams of coffee for a 40 ounce drip pot.
Oh yeah, after a few weeks, I began to actually prefer lighter roasts.
While different beans will require separate roast profiles, you simply
cannot enjoy all the complexities of the bean with a very dark roast.
You'll be tasting the roast and not the finer attributes of the coffee.
But, if you still like the taste of burn, your HWP should be able to give it
to you!

8) From: Don Staricka
At 02:08 AM 5/6/00 -0400, you wrote:
As I recall you are using HWP. I too have been unable to get a satisfactory
dark roast with the HWP. My most aggravating failure so far is Tom's French
Roast Blend which came out of my old Hearthware roaster dark and oily with
the flavor profile I would expect. In the new HWP I can't get a batch that
is even remotely adequate. The beans are not nearly as oily (although they
become more oily a few days later) and they taste like toasted chalk. I
followed Tom's instructions exactly and used that time as a reference. I
have wasted about two pounds of coffee trying to get a decent roast for
this bean. I know the beans are not at fault because I love them roasted in
the old Hearthware. This is very mysterious. 
On the other hand I have been reasonably happy with HWP's performance on
lighter roasts (not that I do anything *very* light). Maybe HWP is just not
suited for dark roasts.

9) From: Tim Culver
johnroche> One thing I do like is my coffee strong (not talking
johnroche> espresso at the moment), which I think is why I tend to be
johnroche> disappointed with the lighter roasts (so far). I often end
johnroche> up using more coffee in the French press to compensate. Do
johnroche> other people do this. 
Yes, I have taken to making very strong French press coffee, 20g to
8-10oz.  I always forget to adjust back to normal for guests, who
politely add lots of milk and sugar.
I don't think I'm compensating for a light roast, though.  A local
coffeeshop serves ground-to-order press-pot coffee.  They give you
nearly 1/4 cup of roasted beans for a 12-oz mug.  That's maybe 40g, I
Tim Culver
Chapel Hill, NC ... popper ... trespade ... press pot

10) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Peet's does not sell any coffee that is a week or more past roasting
date. Contrast this with Starbucks, who start the 7-day clock ticking
when they open the big nitrogen-packed bag from one of their central
roasters, and don't make any guarantees about the bagged coffee they
sell. Some of Peet's roasts are oily from day 1 -- I have had the same
phenomenon with roasts of mine that I have let go a bit too far.
Right. They have equipment we don't have, access to sources of supply
we don't have, and more roasting and cupping experience than most of
us, yet they're not doing anything we can't do. Isn't that just a
teensy bit ideological? You can dislike Peet's roasting style, or some
of their recent marketing gimmicks, but there's no denying their thorough
professionalism. I have done roasts that are as satisfying as some
I've had from Peet's, but there's no way they're as consistent or
complex. If it weren't for Peet's, I wouldn't be on this mailing list,
and I suspect that, at least indirectly, this is true of many others
as well. --PR

11) From: Simpson
At 09:56 AM 05/08/00 -0400, you wrote:
Nice to know. I stand corrected.
I do.
Indirectly also true for me... because my roasts were so much better than 
the ones I could get from the pros that I have never stopped. In Peets case 
its NOT because they are incompetent, Prabhakar, but because I don't like 
their style and nothing else is available from them.... its dark or its 
And let me be clear with you and everyone else on this list, I AM 
ideological and I AM an amateur and have never stated otherwise. I have no 
degree in Coffee Studies, Drip Brewing Chemistry or Neomodern 
Espressoism... absolutely nothing qualifies me to write as an expert on 
coffee, or on any topic in fact except clinical psychology and even there 
in only a circumscribed area supported by my doctoral and subsequent 
studies... so I don't. Note that my opinions which, while strongly held and 
based on subjective experience, are subject to change without notice. If 
and when I post something to this or any other group as an expert, I'll 
bill you.
My advice to the original poster stands. Don't burn your beans and maybe 
you'll do more than just smell the coffee. If there is oil on the coffee 
and the coffee is fresh, then it is fresh, ruined coffee.
IMO, of course.

12) From: Eric Bear Albrecht
At 12:44 PM -0400 5/8/00, Simpson wrote:
Not just true of Peet's ... it's like that all over.  Our #1 local
roaster has that problem too.  There must be a reason for it.  The
only thing I can think of is the well-known fact that the darker
the roast, the more the differences between the beans disappear,
and so many of our neighbors (I started to type neighbots but maybe
that's not such a bad idea either) ... so many of them want mere
consistency even if that means mediocrity.
      Eric Bear Albrecht     ebear    http://www.newmex.com/ebear      Tired of the same old crap?  Note that crap, gore, and bush are all
      four-letter words.  Want to see anything change?  Vote for Nader.
      Anything else is just more insanity.  Two-party system?  HA!!

13) From: Prabhakar Ragde
There are gradations on "dark". If you put a dish of Peet's Italian
Roast and Starbucks Espresso Roast side by side, the Peet's beans are
dark brown with a light oil sheen, and the Starbucks beans are black
and dry. I believe that Starbucks does this to conceal defects or
inconsistencies. You could argue this of Peet's, but Peet's has
roasted dark from the very beginning -- Alfred Peet wanted to bring to
Californians the European roasts of his youth. As for why everyone
else does it, well, even my "foodie" friends tend to think that
darkness equals flavour. Which it does -- but flavour of a very
specific type. They haven't yet learned to extend to the roasting of
coffee the same thoughtfulness with which they approach the cooking of
meat or fish. As the coffee-drinking market saturates, I think we will
see more diversity in roast offerings (along with more marketing
gimmicks, of course). --PR

14) From: Don Staricka
At 02:03 PM 5/8/00 -0400, you wrote:
I think Alfred Peet gets misrepresented these days. I shopped at Peet's
(Berkeley) back when Alfred still ran the joint. The spiel that I got back
then was that Alfred was a consummate roaster who used the roast that was
most appropriate for the the beans in question. Some took a darker roast
very well, some required a medium. His goal was to maximize the flavor
potential inherent in the bean. Admittedly, there were no light roasts
anywhere to be found but there was also not the preponderence of dark
roasts that you see today. The emphasis upon dark roasts began when he sold
the operation to one of the guys who founded Starbucks. Starbucks, by the
way, used to sell Peet's coffee relabeled as their own. That is how they
got started and that is how they established their relationship with
Alfred. I was very disappointed to see Peet's abandon Alfred's high
standards and begin emphasizing dark roasts for everything. I stopped
ordering from Peet's and began patronizing local micro-roasters who still
understood the importance of an appropriate roast. But I have never had
better coffee than the stuff I got from Peet's back when Alfred was in charge.

15) From: Hugh Solaas

16) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Thanks for the clarification, Don. My first cup of Peet's coffee was
either in the summer of 1981 or the fall of 1982 -- either Peet was
still there or he had just sold and his influence was still paramount
-- but my memory of it as a revelation is no doubt enhanced by time
and by the fact that I still took cream and sugar in my coffee at the
time, which was likely A&P Eight O'Clock brewed by my parents. I
appreciate greatly the opportunity offered, by Sweet Maria's and this
list, to move beyond it. --PR

17) From: Jeffrey Vandegrift
Thanks, this explains why I liked Peets years
ago when I lived in "Bezerkeley". The stuff I
see now (e.g. at work), from Peets, bears little
resemblance to what I remembered from my days
in Northern Califorinia.
- Jeff
Don Staricka wrote:
Jeffrey Vandegrift, Principal Software Engineer
Trilogy Inc, 1732 Main St, Ste 101, Concord MA 01742-3810
Voice: 978.371.3980 x104    Fax: 978.371.3990
Email: jvande  Web:http://www.tril-inc.com

18) From: Steve Baragona
Prabhakar Ragde wrote:
    Peet's is the reason I drink coffee at all.  After I graduated college
in '92 I started working at a startup biotech company in Boston.  There were
several Bay Area expatriots that swore by Peet's and wouldn't drink anything
else.  I never drank coffee before I started working with them.  I soon
discovered why.  There was something special about that coffee.  I have
never had its equal.  The memory of Peet's Guatemala Antigua is still my
gold standard.  I say "memory" because I've ordered from Peet's more
recently (a few years ago) and not been as impressed.  Anybody know when
Alfred left?  Was he still there in '92?  Could I even been drinking coffee
he had a hand in roasting?  Or was I just young and impressionable?

19) From: Prabhakar Ragde
I am almost certain that Jerry Baldwin (have I got the name right? one
of the Starbucks founders) left Starbucks in 1983 or 1984 and bought
Peet's, though not from Alfred (there were a couple of owners in
between). I can confirm the dates (and names) in my copy of "Uncommon
Grounds" tonight -- it's at home. --PR

20) From: Michael Vanecek
Hee Hee - so in reality, you get Starbucks Burnt with Starbucks _and_
Peet's - maybe there's room for a new player that doesn't crisp out the
coffee? It would seem from the reviews I've printed out and read that
Tom only rarely recommends a dark roast and almost always leans toward a
City/Full City roast except in some occasions. But then it's a real
balancing act when you get to that point in the roast where mere seconds
can make a big difference and the roasting latitude changes with the
crop - I wonder if Starbucks/Peets opted for the cheaper way out of just
roasting all until crisp rather than expending the great effort it would
take to exhaustively test-roast every crop to find that particular
crop's g-spot. Then again, they may just be trying to hide poor grade
coffee too - it is a corporation with an eye for the bottom line after
all, right? I have no doubt that when Peet's and Starbucks were smaller
and under control of the original founders that they made fantastic
coffee. But how can a corporate committee that looks at numbers adn is
hired based on a business degree and financial degree competently
oversee quality control of their coffee?
Prabhakar Ragde wrote:

21) From: Eric Bear Albrecht
At 3:59 PM -0400 5/8/00, Steve Baragona wrote:
Hmmm -- interesting.
I also started to appreciate coffee in the Boston area, but a bit earlier --
like 1975-76; my gold standard is The Coffee Connection's Guatemala Antigua;
I don't think I've ever seen anyone else roast it as light as George did.
         Eric Bear Albrecht     ebear     W5VZB      Box 6040
                                Presto Computers
            Macintosh repairs - used Macs - training & troubleshooting
         505-758-0579           fax 505-758-5079          Taos, NM 87571
                **   "Quantity has a quality all its own"    **
               **     -- attributed to many including         **
              **   Larry "Yogi" Berra and V. I. "Vlad" Lenin   **

22) From: Don Staricka
At 12:24 PM 5/8/00 -0700, you wrote:
I'd like to think so but the odds are stacked against me. Peet's had much
better equipment than I could ever afford and Alfred was a consummate
master whom I don't ever expect to equal except occasionally by accident.
When I lived in Berkeley I would buy my coffee a quarter-pound at a time
and I would only buy from that day's roast. I could usually get it still
warm off the cooling racks. Even later, when I had it shipped to me, it was
only a few days old and was absolutely fine. I'm sure my recollection has
been enhanced by the passage of time but this was great, great coffee.

23) From: Simpson
Prabhakar -
Before I go on to other things, please allow me to apologize.for the tone 
of my earlier post. My level of snippishness was uncalled for. I'm sorry.
As to coffee and home roasting, you said, when I stated that a home roaster 
could do what Peet's could do, but shouldn't want to: "Isn't that just a 
teensy bit ideological? You can dislike Peet's roasting style, or some of 
their recent marketing gimmicks, but there's no denying their thorough 
professionalism. I have done roasts that are as satisfying as some I've had 
from Peet's, but there's no way they're as consistent or complex."
You're right, of course, that Peet's has lovely equipment, coffees as good 
as they wish to buy (and so quite good?) and scads more training. I hold 
that while that helps Peet's do the complex task of blending and roasting 
for consistent results across differing conditions, it in no way excludes a 
dedicated hobby roaster from regularly equaling the inherent quality of 
Peet's roast.  There are many reasons why one may not match Peet's TASTE, 
not the least of which is that most of us are using 'fire and forget' hot 
air roasters compared to the drums I'll bet Peet's employs. The drum allows 
the smoke to permeate the roasting beans and makes for a slower roast, in 
general. Its a poor workperson who blames their tools, but the hot air 
popper/roaster is part of the problem, I'll bet.
But that doesn't mean that, in its way, such a hot air roast can't be as 
high a quality product as a Peet's product, nor can I see any reason why a 
dedicated and experienced hobby roaster can't nail their taste goals as 
desired, pretty much all the time, within the taste profile range of the 
equipment they are using (e.g., hot air roaster).
Now some bets are off when it comes to sophisticated blending... The 
cuppers at Peet's have the years of experience it takes to do this, and we 
often don't. But while it may take more attempts to get it just right, a 
hobby roaster can get it sooner or later, and since taste is as a 
subjective event we are able to tune our blend and our roast to our own 
tastes in ways the mass-marketers cannot.
The other issue that I opined upon earlier is Peet's signature dark roast. 
While I will yield that there may be more subtlety in Peet's than in 
Starbuck's roasts, that seems to be damning with faint praise. The fact 
remains that these darker roasts have a pronounced dark roast flavor at the 
expense of acidity and nuance. It seems a shame to burn away the signature 
flavor components of a quality coffee, and a home roaster need not do this 
if they do not choose to do so. I strongly believe (note that word) that 
such dark roasts do only mediocre coffee any favors, and are an unwarranted 
assault on quality beans.
Do I think espresso should generally be roasted darker than is usual for 
drip? Yes, but only to middle Full City or so. Certainly no or little 
initial oils on the espresso roast. Do I think that an espresso blend 
should take into account the tendency of the espresso process to emphasize 
acidity and therefore contain beans that will taste good at this lighter 
roast? Yes, yet again. That's why I think trying to find a coffee blend and 
roast which will double for espresso and drip/vac/cowboy is a hopeless 
chimera. I want different things from each, and they are pretty much 
mutually exclusive goals. Malabar Gold is a great case in point. I LOVE 
this stuff, but I'm not drinking it from a drip cone.
You know, the pros have it all over the amateurs when it comes to rocket 
science and nuclear power generation. Other than at the far, fringe areas 
where technology and black art intertwine, we amateurs can do almost 
anything a pro can do, and usually as well, with practice and a willingness 
to learn from our errors. Unfortunately, those funky techno-fringes are 
encroaching more and more... tried to work on your modern car without a 
computer interface recently? Managed to build your own folded optic 
backyard telescope? So in the absence of '57 Chevys or 6", pipe-mounted, 
hand-ground, spherical curve,  f-10 Newtonian reflectors, we have coffee 
and coffee roasting. Let's not give it away.
Instead let's acknowledge what we can do, lobby for equipment changes to 
enhance our abilities (or build our own) and in general honor our capacity 
to meet our own needs in a highly competent fashion in the arena of quality 
coffee. I truly believe we need to save what we can from the 'experts', or 
sooner or later we'll have nothing but passive consuming to our name.
Say, I got my chaff collector working for the VR MKIV and just finished 
modifying the Gaggia for preinfusion, and I like it! Just served Jill two 
lattes made with decaf beans, blended from Tom's excellent stock, that I 
roasted on the VR. The shots were rich and nutty, and the preinfusion made 
for a consistent, perfect 1.5 ozs in 30 seconds, beautiful crema, shot 
after shot.
My local cafe can't touch it. And he has a commercial roaster. You get the 
Again, sorry for my earlier snottyness, Prabhakar.

24) From: Gary Zimmerman
Ted Simpson wrote:
Ted's post reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask you wise 
roaster folk.
I use a Whirlypop stovetop popper for my roasting.  I'm generally pretty 
conscientious about keeping the lid CLOSED until the beans hit first crack, 
and only opening it sparingly and quickly to check the color after that.  I 
do this because I'm watching the temperature rise, and I'm afraid that if I 
open the lid, much of the heat will escape, giving me an inaccurate reading 
and potentially stalling the roast.
But keeping the lid on also keeps the roasting smoke in.  It smokes more 
after first crack, of course, and more still after second (if I let it go 
that long).  I peek more often after first crack, but I still don't just 
leave the lid up.  I'd always wondered if keeping the smoke in like this 
was detrimental to the roast.  Ted's post suggests that the smoke 
permeating the beans is a Good Thing (at least if you're a fan of the old 
Peet's).  I'd been afraid that I was hurting the flavor by keeping the lid 
on... but I'm still afraid to leave it open throughout the roast.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Am I being too careful by not lifting 
the lid more?  Or would that indeed let some heat escape and slow the 
roast, possibly even stalling it?
-- garyZ
        & vacuum

25) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Nothing like looking at a reference book to take the fun out of an
Internet discussion. Baldwin, with two partners, started selling
Peet's coffee through Starbucks in Seattle. They took turns working at
Peet's in Berkeley during the summer to learn the trade. Peet retired
in 1979 and sold to Sal Bonavita (great name for a coffee maven) (this
of course means that I have never tasted coffee roasted by Alfred
Peet). Baldwin hired this guy named Schwartz to do marketing. Schwartz
pushed for big expansion; Baldwin was increasingly unhappy with the
direction things were going (at least one of the other original
partners had already sold out by this time). Bonavita contacted
Baldwin in 1983 and offered to sell Peet's. Baldwin, seeing an
opportunity to return to his roots, bought Peet's for Starbucks, and took
an increasingly active role in it, commuting between the Bay Area and
Seattle. In 1986 (I think -- damn, I can't keep all of this in my
head) Schwartz engineered a buyout of Starbucks; Baldwin spun Peet's
off and stayed with it, and Starbucks embarked on the massive
expansion that is familiar to everyone on this list, including some
very aggressive store positioning WRT Peet's when a later offer to
Baldwin to buy Peet's was rejected.
So you could say that Peet's and Starbucks proffer the same sort of
carbonization, or you could say that Peet's retains whatever is left
of the soul and spirit of the original Starbucks, while today's
Starbucks retains the trademark and marketing drive. --PR

26) From: Prabhakar Ragde
That's okay. It happens to me too, one of the pitfalls of this medium
(and I have references on the psychosocial reasons why this happens,
if anyone's interested).
I agree with you, Ted, that one big advantage that we home roasters
have over commercial roasters is that we are roasting just for
ourselves (or close friends) and have both a more cleanly defined
target and better feedback. (Though here in Canada, it is a bit of a
problem to get sometimes. Even close friends don't believe me when I
say, "No, really, criticize it, I need to know exactly how it tastes
to you!" I have this problem when I cook people food, also.)
I also am coming to appreciate more the subtlety of lighter roasts,
enough to pity my friend who told me that anything less than Starbucks
French Roast tastes "sour" to him. It is true that espresso seems to
magnify the undesirable elements of underroasted coffee, but stopping
at Full City is hardly "underroasted".
Tom's fifty varieties of beans, together with the variability possible
in the roasting process, offers us more flexibility than currently
possible through commercial purchase. I believe some of that advantage
will erode in the near future.
Finally (and Ted, with your ever-more-intricate machines, you are
definitely aware of this) there is the ineffable joy of doing it
oneself, of being up to the elbows in the process. I started cello
last fall, at age forty. It's not Yo-Yo Ma I'm comparing myself to; my
seven-year-old (playing violin) is way beyond and will always be, and
my five-year-old is overtaking fast. But when I sit down and create
thirty bars of scratchy, cramped, highly simplified Bach, nothing on
CD can match it. --PR

27) From: Don Staricka
Good post. I have ordered a copy of "Uncommon Grounds". It sounds like a
worthwhile reference. You failed to mention, however, that one of the big
investors in Starbucks during Schwartz' expansion phase was a guy named
Bill Gates Sr. Were you deliberately shielding us from this knowledge or
are you an active agent of the Gates family conspiracy to dominate the
world? :-)
At 09:29 AM 5/9/00 -0400, you wrote:

28) From: Mandy Willison
PR can't be - I am, and I'm in with Virgin while I am at it too. (If you all
must know.)
-bean'wild! (living on strategic swamplands, backing onto old oceans 1 hr
from Brisbane)

29) From: Eric Bear Albrecht
I think I have some good material for my huge sig collection:
   "I strongly believe (note that word) that such dark roasts
    do only mediocre coffee any favors, and are an unwarranted
    assault on quality beans."           -- Ted Simpson
                   Eric Bear Albrecht      ebear
                        http://www.roastbusters.org/coffee               Drink your coffee!  There are people sleeping in India!

30) From: Angelo
Interesting dilemma.......
Try making that request here in NYC... You will be told in no uncertain
I agree with you on this one. I, for one, am into process, more so than
product. I have trouble being a spectator to something that interests me.
I'd rather be a "poor" participant than a great spectator.
Keep scraping...

31) From: Jon Rosen
Last week I bought some Timor Peaberry. It doesn't appear to roast  
evenly and seems to take longer to roast than other coffees I've  
roasted recently. Also, I couldn't really determine whether or not it  
went through first crack, although it looked like it did. I thought I  
heard a small crack or two, but that's it. Has anyone had a similar  

32) From: Scjgb3
i roasted my first zimbabwe peaberry today and it seemed to me that is was  a 
light FC so i went by thermometer

33) From: Scot Murphy
On Aug 4, 2006, at 4:29 PM, Jon Rosen wrote:
I'm beginning to wonder if the "missing first crack" is common to  
peaberries. The Matadakad (there's no more! sniff!) does the same  
thing--an audible crack or two is all. The Nicaraguan Pacamara  
Peaberry is the same way. Now, after the roast, you'll see that they  
*did* crack--the seams are split and there are cracks near the long  
ends. But they're just hard to hear for some reason.
Scot "cracklin' rosie" Murphy

34) From: Jon Rosen
Perhaps the smaller beans have too little internal moisture to  
produce an audible crack. But, they also seem to roast lighter and  
unevenly. I'm not sure how to roast them properly to get good results.
On Aug 4, 2006, at 7:25 PM, Scot Murphy wrote:

35) From: Eddie Dove
A couple weeks ago I "accidently" roasted some of the
Timor to a french roast (1st time with new roaster)
... best french roast coffee I have ever had!
--- Jon Rosen  wrote:
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36) From: Peter Schmidt
My guess is that your guess about the internal moisture has lots to do with
it.  I've noticed in different roasts of the same PB, that depending on ramp
and temps to 1st crack, I can get a few snaps and that's it, or I can get a
fairly normal and noisy 1st.  With the different profiles, I've noticed more
difference in the sounds of 1st crack than I have in the cup though. YMMV.
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