This is a long, two-part post. Sorry, but Iíve got a lot to mention and questions. I received my IR2, SMP grinder, and green coffee this Friday. I received 5# of Colombia Tolima Planadas El Jordan, and 1# each of Mexico FTO Chiapas -Special Lot, Guatemala Quiche - La Perla Estate, Nicaragua Limoncillo Estate Var. Java, Panama Organic Los Lajones , Peru Norte Especial , Congo Kivu Peaberry, Sumatra Classic Mandheling, and Timor FTO Maubesse.
If you remember, my previous experience is with preground folgerís during the week and whirly grind cheap beans on weekends. Iíve roasted six roasts, all with SMís basic roast profile; 2:00 @ 350F, 3:00 @ 400F, 4:30 @ 460F. And all were with 150g of green, and around 70F ambient.
Three of the Colombia Tolima
#1) Frantically running back and forth between the roaster and the smoke detectors. Iím not even sure how long I roasted, about 2 or 3 minutes left I think, but I hit the cool button when I was sure they were past first crack (not that I could hear that). I think these are a Full City roast. The bean was crunchy and tasted just a hint carbony when bitten.
#2) I installed a vent pipe out the window. I let this roast go the full 9:30. A few of the beans have small oily patches, but are mostly dry. They are just a bit darker than #1, but when bitten they taste much more carbony. This does not come through the brew. I think these are FC+.
#3) I hit the cool button with 2:15 left. I was using Tomís visual guide and going for the smooth skin with the fine dark etching he describes for City. I think I got it.
Photos of all my roasts are posted at;
Notes on the roasting itself.
I canít hear the cracks at all. Sometimes I think maybe I do, but Iím kidding myself with the beans bouncing off the glass. Maybe I just donít know what to listen for. As far as smell, the vent out the window doesnít make it easy, but I can smell the bready smell. Smells more like wet uncooked oatmeal to me. Somewhere between the tan stage to the beginningís of browning, I can smell the toasted bread smell. I can smell a very faint cooking/roasting smell (I think itís the caramel smell) somewhere between the very light brown and wrinkly blotched (first crack?) stages. And I get a faint but carbony (burnt) smell just before I notice any specks of oil on the bean at all.
If anyone can take a look at my photos (link above) and help me guess at what roast stage these are, I would appreciate it. The beans in the photos are on 18% gray cloth. When compared to my screen in normal room light, the beans are a little darker than the photos on the screen. But when I hold a flashlight about 12Ē over the beans (photos were taken with ring flash) they are almost dead-on.
So what about taste? The Colombia City is powerful. I assume this is acidy. Iíve never tasted anything like it. It will make your eyes pop out; you will stand up rigid. Itís pleasant, but I couldnít drink more than a cup at a time. This was a few hours after the roast. The next day it mellowed a little but not much. Iím not sure if it was apple like Tom said, but it sure was like green fruit. TART! The darker FC/FC+ were much more balanced, but the acidy was still powerful, still tart, and I think I did taste the blackberry and a hint of raison.
At all roasts, good body and finish. 10 minutes after my last cup it still tastes almost as powerful as when swallowed. I can still taste it after an hour. In fact, I think I enjoy it more after Iím finished sipping.
I know all of this is coming from a guy who doesnít have the slightest idea what heís talking about. Iím just trying to describe it as best I can.