HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new soon-to-be coffee roaster (20 msgs / 416 lines)
1) From: Arabela
hi all, 
i'm a long-time coffee drinker, since about the age of 12 at least, and over the years have gotten more and more picky about my coffee....i'm sure you've all heard the story. what used to be great coffee suddenly isn't that good anymore when you start drinking a better/fresher coffee, then you find that the grocery store whole-bean coffee isn't up to par when compared with the mail order coffee, then you find an even better mail order, etc etc. i use a french press and have been ordering whole bean coffee through mail order for many years and haven't had many problems except when i run out, which happened this past weekend. for three days i searched orlando and vicinity for anything drinkable....wasted about $25 bucks buying undrinkable coffee, and decided that you guys are right, i should be home roasting. so i hit some thrift shops and found a poppery II and two popcorn pumpers for a grand total of 6 bucks. would you guys recommend that i just try roasting first with the popcor
n poppers and then graduate!
 to something else like a fresh roast, or will i be okay with just the poppers? i won't be roasting large amounts at a time. 
also, i usually like to order the hawaiian kaui  coffee and guatamalan, and i also love JBM coffee. i've heard the puerto rican at sweet marie's is comparable to blue mountain coffee. any thoughts or suggestions on which coffee to order for roasting would be appreciated. i have the home cofee roasting book by kenneth davids, but would like to hear from you guys. i just joined the list a week or so ago and have already learned a lot. 
thanks for your help, 
teresa

2) From: Timothy A Reed
On Mon, 1 Oct 2001 18:39:17 EDT Arabela writes:
<Snip>
You'll probably be ok with the poppers if you have a decent system of
chaff collecting and/or you're able to roast outside.
<Snip>
be appreciated.
You seem to know what you like already, so if you like Guats, just stick
with them.  The cheaper the better when you're learning, right? :)  You
could also order Tom's 8-pack sampler (one per lifetime).  Get some PR or
Kona or Yemen after you're comfortable with the roasting process.
So, does the login come from Strauss?
-Tim
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3) From: Bearhair
Teresa (Arabela) wrote:
<Snip>
   You'll be fine with the poppers for quite awhile. I graduated to a
HW Gourmet only because of the clearance(?) sale, and am happy with
it, but could go back to a popper with no problem.
   Do you have a stove hood that vents to the outside or are otherwise
in a warm climate?
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4) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/1/01 7:09:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time, bearhair writes:
.
   Do you have a stove hood that vents to the outside or are otherwise
in a warm climate?
i'm in FL so can easily roast outside. of course, having already read about all the variables with extension cords, i'll try and find a short one! 

5) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/1/01 7:10:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, t.a.reed.esq writes:
So, does the login come from Strauss?
levi? 
;-)

6) From: Timothy A Reed
On Mon, 1 Oct 2001 19:13:58 EDT Arabela writes:
<Snip>
That would be Richard Strauss, late Romantic-era composer.  One of his
operas was entitled "Arabela"  :)
-Tim
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7) From: Steve Shank
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">
Guatamalan has good body, but I usually use it in a mix, rather than alone. 
The hawaiian kaui I haven't used, but thought they were good at a lighter roast, 
but the french press is most valuable for a darker roast. Clearly, the coffees 
you get should reflect the kind of roast you want. I would suggest getting a 
triple pick sumatra and a kenyan or ethiopian or some other coffee that has a 
wide range of roasts but is best lighter. The idea being that if you get coffees 
that are good at a range of roasts, you can experiment with roasts from lighter 
to darker than you usually think you like. This way you come to understand how 
small changes in amount of roast change the taste of the coffee.
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR 
***********
On 10/01/2001 at 6:39 PM Arabela wrote:
hi all, 
i'm a long-time coffee 
    drinker, since about the age of 12 at least, and over the years have gotten 
    more and more picky about my coffee....i'm sure you've all heard the story. 
    what used to be great coffee suddenly isn't that good anymore when you start 
    drinking a better/fresher coffee, then you find that the grocery store 
    whole-bean coffee isn't up to par when compared with the mail order coffee, 
    then you find an even better mail order, etc etc. i use a french press and 
    have been ordering whole bean coffee through mail order for many years and 
    haven't had many problems except when i run out, which happened this past 
    weekend. for three days i searched orlando and vicinity for anything 
    drinkable....wasted about $25 bucks buying undrinkable coffee, and decided 
    that you guys are right, i should be home roasting. so i hit some thrift 
    shops and found a poppery II and two popcorn pumpers for a grand total of 6 
    bucks. would you guys recommend that i just try roasting first with the! 
    popcorn poppers and then graduate to something else like a fresh roast, or 
    will i be okay with just the poppers? i won't be roasting large amounts at a 
    time. 
also, i usually like to order the hawaiian kaui  coffee 
    and guatamalan, and i also love JBM coffee. i've heard the puerto rican at 
    sweet marie's is comparable to blue mountain coffee. any thoughts or 
    suggestions on which coffee to order for roasting would be appreciated. i 
    have the home cofee roasting book by kenneth davids, but would like to hear 
    from you guys. i just joined the list a week or so ago and have already 
    learned a lot. 
thanks for your help, 
teresa
Steve Shank
Oregon Computer Solutionshttp://www.steveshank.com

8) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/1/01 8:31:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time, t.a.reed.esq writes:
That would be Richard Strauss, late Romantic-era composer.  One of his
operas was entitled "Arabela"  :)
ah... i see. no, i'm afraid i wasn't aware of that. to be honest, the name came about while trying to find something on aol that wasn't taken. this was years ago of course, as i doubt there isn't anything left not taken. 

9) From: John - wandering Texas
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
 
  Teresa,
      You've opened Pandora's box with that question: 
  prepare for everyone to tell you their favorite - which isn't at all a 
  bad deal.   I love Costa Rican Terrazu - Hacienda La Minita 
  above all coffees.  It is the most forgiving bean to roast - 
  delivering a great cup even if I don't do my job well.  Harrar Horse is 
  my current love for Espresso - and I'm about to do some Brazilian blending 
  with it.   I promised I wouldn't brag on any coffees because they 
  tend to disappear to fast already - but I'm sure you'll love Costa Rican 
  Terrazu - Hacienda La Minita for it ease of roasting and its incredible 
  taste.
  John - Enjoying 
  a  CRT La Minita Press as I type
 

10) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/1/01 11:39:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, john writes:
but I'm sure you'll love Costa Rican Terrazu - Hacienda La Minita for it ease of roasting and its incredible taste.
John - Enjoying 
a  CRT La Minita Press as I type
 
thanks, i can't wait to get started and end my days of stale-coffee torture. i'll give that one a try and promise not to buy up their whole stock!

11) From: EuropaChris
HI, Teresa.
I'll just jump in here quick to say that a popcorn popper is all you will ever need to roast coffee.  Yes, dedicated roasters are sometimes easier, cleaner, and "cooler", but for sheer fun and performance, you can't beat a popper.  I've a bit of a popper "fetish", and have enough stashed away to last me into the next lifetime.  But, when you find a mint Poppery or cast aluminum roast chamber Popcorn Pumper for $2 or $3 at a thrift store, why pass it up??
I do have a Hearthware Gourmet and a wb roaster, but usually just use a popper.  I've got some pics up on my web page:http://www.execpc.com/~n9zes/homeroast/roast.htmlEnjoy!
Chris - still in rainy Holland...
Arabela wrote:
<Snip>
Your favorite stores, helpful shopping tools and great gift ideas. Experience the convenience of buying online with Shop!http://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://shopnow.netscape.com/Get your own FREE, personal Netscape Mail account today athttp://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

12) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/2/01 2:25:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, EuropaChris writes:
.  I've a bit of a popper "fetish", and have enough stashed away to last me into the next lifetime.  But, when you find a mint Poppery or cast aluminum roast chamber Popcorn Pumper for $2 or $3 at a thrift store, why pass it up??
can't argue with that. actually it was great fun going into the thrift stores the other day looking, especially since i found a poppery II right away. i had never even been in a thrift store before, had no idea they sold anything other than clothes! it was a lot of fun, and i'm still planning to continue to search for the elusive original poppery. probably hit some thrift stores in orlando this week. it's like a scavenger hunt (and i am determined to win!). 

13) From: EuropaChris
WOW, either you drink a LOT of coffee :-) or you work a different shift.  I'm in Holland on business right now so it's 8:30 a.m. here.  I surely didn't expect any response that fast to my post.
Chris
Arabela wrote:
<Snip>
Your favorite stores, helpful shopping tools and great gift ideas. Experience the convenience of buying online with Shop!http://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://shopnow.netscape.com/Get your own FREE, personal Netscape Mail account today athttp://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

14) From: EuropaChris
Oh yeah, don't pass up a Popcorn Pumper!  Look for the white/yellow flying saucer looking ones, and it MUST have the butter dish on the side of the housing, NOT on the top hood.  These use an almost identical roast chamber and heavy duty motor as the original Poppery.  The Pumpers without this side butter dish are still good, but have lighter, Poppery II style guts. Don't pass those up, either, if you need a good roaster.
Chris
Arabela wrote:
<Snip>
Your favorite stores, helpful shopping tools and great gift ideas. Experience the convenience of buying online with Shop!http://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://shopnow.netscape.com/Get your own FREE, personal Netscape Mail account today athttp://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

15) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/2/01 2:34:24 AM Eastern Daylight Time, EuropaChris writes:
WOW, either you drink a LOT of coffee :-) or you work a different shift
lol.
i'm a night person, usually don't go to sleep until 4 a.m. at least. 

16) From: Arabela
In a message dated 10/2/01 2:37:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time, EuropaChris writes:
Oh yeah, don't pass up a Popcorn Pumper! 
i found a wearever popcorn pumper and a proctor silex pumper. they are both 1250 wattage i think. but i got them because they seemed to be similar to the poppery II and met the criteria i've been reading about, i.e. no mesh bottom, etc. 

17) From: EuropaChris
Yup, those will both work fine, although the Proctor Silex version tends to roast pretty fast from what I've read.  You'll just have to try it out and see! 
Have fun!
Chris
Arabela wrote:
<Snip>
Your favorite stores, helpful shopping tools and great gift ideas. Experience the convenience of buying online with Shop!http://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://shopnow.netscape.com/Get your own FREE, personal Netscape Mail account today athttp://webmail.netscape.com/homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

18) From: Spencer W. Thomas
I started with a Pumper with the "top" butter dish.  The motor started making nasty noises, so then I found a P II at the local thrift.  Now I've got a modified P-I, and one in reserve in the basement.  I'm still working on good chaff control, now that the outdoor roasting season is almost over.
=Spencer
EuropaChris wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: Angelo
 
Teresa,
Don't believe that stuff about the mesh screen at the bottom. Those poppers 
work fine. I too, kept avoiding using one for quite a while. Then, out of 
curiosity, I tried it. My roast was just as good as with the vane-sides 
machines, AND there were no fires. Plus, the chaff blew out even better 
from this machine.
You'll find a lot of taboos cropping up in here and alt.com. Take 'em with 
a grain of salt....
Ciao,
Angelo
<Snip>
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20) From: Benjamin L. Alpers
 
Teresa,
Let me put in a word for buying a HW Precision or a FreshRoast (which 
I haven't used, but people say good things about them).  Having 
roasted first with an HWP and then (intermittently) with a Poppery 
II, I definitely prefer the former.  For me the key is the ability to 
control the roast.  Popcorn poppers roast VERY quickly and then 
require you to devise a cooling system to stop the roast.  Both of 
these problems are, ultimately, relatively minor and can easily be 
worked around (or can be more complicatedly worked around if you're 
electrically inclined).  But for a beginning roaster, the slower 
speed and cooling cycle of an HWP is really nice.  Also, HWPs are 
less affected by ambient temperature, so it's easier to reproduce (or 
precisely vary) your roasts. I think these advantages are 
particularly important if (like me) you like lighter roasts.  All 
that being said, you can roast coffee wonderfully with an air popcorn 
popper (and it has the added benefit of being much cheaper and also 
more solidly built than an HWP).
As for coffees, I agree that La Minita is one of the world's great 
coffees.  I do not, however, think it is very forgiving.  I actually 
found it pretty hard to find the "sweet spot" when roasting La 
Minita; once you do, though, it's awesome.
I know it's a bit far afield in flavor from the coffees that you 
mentioned, but I'd also try at least one of Tom's terrific African 
coffees.  If he still has some, the Kenya Gaturiri is WONDERFUL (just 
had a vacpotfull this morning, in fact).
Good luck and welcome to homeroasting,
Ben Alpers
Norman, OK
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