HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Home Roasting& the future was > Re: +1# sub $500 smokeless home roaster (4 msgs / 160 lines)
1) From: Jason
Well my thought on it is this... There are benefits and down sides to
everything.  First I think you will see the market flooded with "Kona"
"Blue Mountain" or any other coffee term you can grab onto that
supposedly make "The Best Coffee."  I think it was Starbucks in a suit
that they were claiming Kona, and it was really a good Panama
coffee...  Well their cupping people sure didn't know the
difference...
To be honest, even while still learning I don't think I could tell the
difference between some of the cups of coffee that I have had that
have come out of my own roaster...  The biggest learning experience
was, "Oh S***, I actually can have coffee I enjoy every day, that
tastes how I like coffee to taste."
Well, I guess as everyone knows I am new to home roasting, not only do
I enjoy the experience and even more then that the learning I have
done mostly off of SM, I have enjoyed the coffee even more!
On to the future of coffee... Wow I agree I hope it stays as is
currently!  I actually enjoy being able to have a site like SM that
not only is helping me learn some of the finer points of coffee.  We
now have a list to say, what about the future say 5, 10, 15 years from
now...
While I don't see home roasting ever putting Maxwell House out of
business, I can see the significant impact starbucks has had to them.
My office now stocks bags of Starbucks coffee, or they have K-Cups...
When they are really lucky I make a pot of home roasted, and leave a
post-it on it that says what the coffee really is.  (The 80 people in
my building are still searching for who does that.)  Do I see an
increase in home roasting over the next 10 years?  Oh yes.  While it
is a small community, all communities tend to grow.  Growing in a
community like this will do a few things as I see it.  First, good
coffee makers prices will go up.  Supply follows Demand/Price.
Here we dive into my own personnel opinion.  Why is Kona so expensive?
 What about Jam. Blue Mountain?  Are these Coffees really the top of
the lot?  Can most people tell the difference?  Do people start home
roasting to tell the difference?  Will some home roasters never be
able to tell the difference?
All valid questions...  but while to the elite/those who can know and
taste the difference/, it is easy to look down on and go oh they just
will never understand.  It took me one batch of home roasted coffee
that I didn't even care for to say to myself, "Oh there is better
coffee out there, how do I make it?"  I have also learned that SM does
a really good job selecting their coffee's.  There was a recent coffee
from Panama that I loved that they sold out of, and I found 5# from
another source, if it really is the same coffee, to compare the two,
the batch from SM if I smell the green beans, smells like chocolate
chip cookie dough to me... the one I got today?  Ummm it just smells,
weak and drab and I hope it roasts up better then the comparison to
what I am seeing for it's future.
While one new roaster won't change the world over to home roasting
overnight, I think a gradual trend, will in time have coffee producers
start pressing to make everyday coffee, or really cater to a market
like this.  Sorry for the long winded post about it...  Just another
new home roaster with an opinion.

2) From: raymanowen
Jason, you ask, "...what about the future say 5, 10, 15 years from now..."
Judging from the PBS show Black Gold a few days ago, on which Ethiopia co
ops were spotlighted, they're not the Lone Rangers. What happens in Ethiopia
reflects the Big Coffee business attitude. Business has to make money.
Big Coffee has to make money on coffee.  Coffee farmers do not.
The farmers make more money, more easily on an odd crop of Dandelions.
It's Haile Selassie of you to think you can focus light years distant while
the farmers have to avoid certain ruin with every coffee crop they harvest
at a lower price than last crop.
Ask any farmer of any produce of commodity. If he has a bumper crop, prices
take a journey to the center of the earth. Damned if he has a good crop or
not. He has to educate his kids and feed the family, whatever the price of
coffee does.
I recommend you mount your lens on a bellows and rack it out- be focused on
the immediate future of coffee growers and take an interest in it. Coffee is
certain to take a back seat to the high octane dandelions.
Just because we Really, Really Like Coffee does not mean anybody has to grow
it or sell it to us at our price. That could be an opportunity for some
company with Bigbucks and Lotsa lawyers to get a corner on the market and
play Jack The Price to the Stars while we're focused on Mars.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Adam Smith's Invisible Hand can take coffee out of ours if we focus on the
rong Stars...

3) From: Jason
Ray,
I missed black gold and was rather upset I did, but I ended up staying
late at my office.  Lost you on the Haile Selassie, I know he was a
ruler in Ethiopia?  maybe?  Anyway, Yes I agree with you on almost
every point.  Having a "Crop" of anything you run the risk of losing a
considerable ammount of money to any number of enviornmental hazards,
cultivating mistakes, etc...  Another market(s) I think of very
similar would be Tobacco and Wine.
I didn't mean to imply Big coffee would disappear either, I guess my
point there, is as any market grows larger, there are people that will
cater to that market over time as markets grow.  Do I think home
roasting will ever be as big as the Big coffee industry?  I seriously
doubt it.  However you have to admit none of us would be doing this if
you could go to 7-11 and get the same product out of one of the pots
they have sitting there.
Price?  Well Price follows supply and demand.  My only point there
was, items like Kona, are in high demand, that is why we pay $16 a lb
for it, and it is our personal tastes in this community that dictate
if you are buying coffee of that nature, or you are happy or even
happier with something else that is say $6 a lb.
Not trying to devine, just saying Niche markets grow, or they go away.
 Cell phones, were a niche market when they came out, very expensive
massively bulky really a pain to use.  They exploeded into well what
they are today.  Niche markets can also completely vanish, as a Fad of
history, Acid washed jeans, satan jackets, 45 records... or anything
else from days gone by.  (odd examples I know...)
Anyway, didn't mean to offend there if I did...

4) From: Les
Jason,
You are right on in your assessment.
 "Price?  Well Price follows supply and demand.  My only point there  was,
items like Kona, are in high demand, that is why we pay $16 a lb for it, and
it is our personal tastes in this community that dictate  if you are buying
coffee of that nature, or you are happy or even  happier with something else
that is say $6 a lb."
I pay for Kona for two reasons. (1) "She who must be obeyed", loves Kona
coffee. (2) I like the unique piny characteristic and it is a wonderfully
complex coffee.  That said, there are many centrals that are just as complex
and I enjoy them as much or more at $6.00 a pound.  My favorite coffee St.
Helena is now going for $55.00 a pound delivered to your door.  That is too
much money.  The CoEs that Tom has been bringing us are much more
interesting and fun for me.
Coffee is a crop and I am glad to see those who are doing an exceptional job
of bring high quality coffee to market are starting to get paid for it.
Les
On 4/19/07, Jason  wrote:
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