HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Homeroast Article - that's not really about homeroast (16 msgs / 476 lines)
1) From: Michael Irrera
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.http://www.azcentral.com/home/food/articles/0613fodcoffeeroasting.htmlOh boy.get ready to rip this one apart.
I think my favorite quote from this is how the roaster "takes his with
cream, sugar and Ovaltine, thank you very much".  Wow.  That's terrific. 
At least they mention CoffeeGeek.

2) From: Aaron
Ovaltine?  well he may not be an astronaut but sounds like he's sure out 
there huh?

3) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 6/14/07, Michael Irrera  wrote:
If I roasted like this:
five to eight minutes, they make the sound of bursting popcorn kernels.
Another three to five minutes later, the beans erupt into a second round of
applause. After a few more minutes, the seeds are ready to be dumped
I would cut it with sugar, cream and Ovaltine too!

4) From: David Brown
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Do you have to rest the Ovaltine prior to use? or just throw it in  
with the grinds and brew away?
On Jun 14, 2007, at 2:57 PM, Michael Irrera wrote:
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Do you have to rest the =
Ovaltine prior to use? or just throw it in with the grinds and brew =
Dave = On Jun 14, 2007, at 2:57 PM, Michael Irrera wrote:


Oh boy…get ready to rip this one = apart. 

I think my favorite quote from this is how the = roaster “takes his with cream, sugar and Ovaltine, thank you very = much”.  Wow.  That’s terrific.


At least they mention CoffeeGeek. 


= --Apple-Mail-8--467179681--

5) From:
---- Brian Kamnetz  wrote: 

6) From: JanoMac
Unfortunately, this is how I have experienced EVERY independent roaster I
have met over the last several years. It seems that there is some rule that
if it isn't about one step away from charcoal, then it really isn't
"roasted." Who taught them that? If this guy is using the web as his tutor,
then he sure hasn't been reading in the same places I have!
Man...spend thousands on a roaster and accessories just to make burned
coffee. Go figure. I could do that for much less than that!
 You folks (and the good folks at Sweet Marias) convinced me to try lighter
roasts...and I thank you for that!
You have completely spoiled me for good coffee (see Jason's post: "+Semi-OT
(Kidding) Why I hate SweetMaria's let me count the ways"), but I still thank

7) From: John Moody
I'll have to give the guy a pass.
After all, he is hanging out on Hilton Head Island wearing a Hawaiian shirt,
roasting coffee . and we are sitting in front of a computer.
Sure, it's a somewhat sophomoric article, but it might get more people
thinking about home roasting, which is not bad.

8) From: Michael Irrera
Good point.  It'd be nice to be on Hilton Head.
But the premise of the article, at least at the start, seems to be 'more
people are homeroasting'.  And then the whole article is about said Hawaiian
shirt-clad guy burning coffee _professionally_.  
About all she actually says about homeroasting is:
"Now that personal roasters are on the market for less than $100, more
caffeine devotees are buying the machines so they can add roasting to their
repertoire of coffee-consumption skills."
If I'm reading this wondering what the $100 machines are, the article should
tell me something more about them, which it doesn't.  
And I am actually wondering what these "little machines for $89 to $99" are.
I guess since Judge "harnessed his coffee prowess through Web sites about
java", he knows all.  And how can you harness prowess through a Web site?
Gather knowledge, maybe, but I don't know that you can harness prowess.
Ok, ok, I'll leave her alone now.  I'm sure she's just a nice reporter doing
a fluff piece that doesn't know any better.

9) From: JanoMac
This reminds me...
I picked up some roasted coffee from a fellow in the Smokies a couple weeks
back. I froze it on returning home and have started grinding/brewing it.
Now, the fellow roasting the coffee loved what he was doing.
He was set up with a beautiful year-old red Ambex 5-kilo roaster with all
the proper exhaust fixtures, safety gear, appropriate control mechanisms,
wore a timer around his neck and had another sitting on a stool by the
roaster. He seemed to know and understand the differences between varietals.
He had a nice collection of greens in bins and bags. He seemed to appreciate
the subtleties each kind of bean could offer. He told me he had different
profiles for each bean he roasted and he always used the same mass of beans
for each roast in the Ambex so he could stay more consistent. He stated that
there were some coffees he didn't buy, because "if it isn't good in the cup,
it doesn't matter if it is popular." I liked that attitude had high
In fact, I had found the shop when the sweet aroma that happens just around
1st crack came wafting through the air in a parking area close by. I told my
wife that it smelled "sweet" and it was something like the Yirg (Misty
Valley) I had just roasted at home a day or so before. We entered the shop
to see him dumping a recently cooled load into a storage bin -- and that's
when I started chatting with him.
It had been a Yirg after all! (good nose that day!)...and he was just
reloading with a Harrar!
As we chatted, I watched and listened during the roast, picked up a couple
of bags from coffee roasted yesterday (Rwanda Bourbon and a house blend,
heavy on Sumatra), paid the girl behind the counter for the coffee to let
him know I appreciated his independent spirit and to help support the craft,
smelled that sweet smell just before and during 1st crack, and then waited a
few minutes for him to pull the load at a FC roast just into 2nd snap (my
favorite for Harrar)...and waited...and waited...and waited some more...
He kept chatting with me the entire time and I thought I may have distracted
him, but in a bit (a long time after I smelled the 1st crack aroma, and that
was delayed to me because of venting) an alarm went off and he dumped a
batch of shiny Harrar into the cooling tray. At least a Vienna roast,
probably darker.
I asked to see a couple other roasts he had made that day. He popped open a
Costa Rica Tres Rios variety, the Yirg I had smelled before, some Sumatra,
and a house blend. They all looked exactly the same color and all were oily
or had oily specks after only as little as a 1/2-hour rest.
Now some of you like darker roasts, and I understand that, but I expect the
more delicate CR to only show some oil specks after a day or more of resting
after a FC+ roast. I also expected there to be a *difference* from variety
to variety as there should have been a different profile for the Harrar when
compared to the "traditionally" more darkly roasted Sumatra.
My bad...
We cut the visit off at that point under some excuse about needing to get
back on the road -- I left with the coffee I had bought, rather than seem
disrespectful. I decided to be a sport and to give it a try when we got back
All I taste in the Rwanda Bourbon is the "roast." It is a dark and oily
French roast and tastes just like Starbucks.
Yeah, yeah, I know some of you (probably Mike Mc ) will tell me I
should have handed the bags of coffee back to the guy and told him what I
thought, but hey, I was on vacation and I am already a fairly
non-confrontational guy. I won't use the e-mail on the card he gave me to
order more. 
I have a friend who LOVES *$ coffee. He's really going to like the
(unopened) pound of Black Bear Blend he's about to receive.
I really wish I had spent that money on SM greens!

10) From: George Birchard
John Moody wrote:
I respect the guys posting here who live in Kona and know good coffee.
And Kona has surf to go with the real Hawaiian shirts.
This Hilton Head guy  is a "kook".

11) From: Brett Mason
...figures...  I wonder if Ovaltine paid to be mentioned in the same
On 6/14/07, Michael Irrera  wrote:

12) From: Tom Ulmer
A hot Milo with a shot of espresso might not be too bad...

13) From: Brian Kamnetz
Will Rogers reportedly said something along the lines of "The problem isn't
what people don't know; the problem is what people know that ain't so."
All coffee drinkers think they know about coffee. The problem is, a lot of
what they "know" ain't so. For example, to make a good batch of coffee, all
you need to do is to dip some grounds out of a can and into your Mr. Coffee.
All of us, probably, have at some time or other wondered whether to answer a
question about coffee, because the answer is complex, with many pieces of
the answer contrary to what people think they know about coffee, and the
explanation can take a lot of energy, and in the end some people are not
receptive to the info.
I agree that this reporter is trying to write a fluff piece about coffee,
and we need to cut her some slack. Her problem is that she is starting from
a framework of understanding that is generally in error, and these come
through in her piece. I agree also that it is beneficial to have even
articles such as this one circulating, because, if nothing else, they are
likely to alert some people to the notion that you can roast your own
coffee. From there it is a short hop to Google.
On 6/14/07, Michael Irrera  wrote:

14) From: Homeroaster
I like this guy.  He's one of us and making a living doing what I dream 
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

15) From: Floyd Lozano
From the article:
"You have to hear it," Judge said. "It's all about the cracks."
For me, cracks is a secondary indicator.  Temperature is tertiary since I
can't measure it well.  I have to pretty much rely on smell to determine
doneness until I find a good way to measure temp in my cheapo grill.   I
don't know what he got for a grill and drum for $1200 but he seriously
overpaid - how much grill do you need in S.C.?  Isn't it always warm?  A
brand spankin new setup from RK plus a grill might set you back like $700
for the commercial strength gig.  My Target brand grill with 2 burners on
does fine in summer, and that's at low or minimum setting (it's on sale this
week for $169, you can get 10% off that with a new Target card and requires
only slight [drill 2 holes] modification to add on the 'universal' spit kit)
I admire the passion and that he actually bellied up to the bar and is
making a living at the roasting thing, but it sounds like I do a better
roast than him, and that's not saying a lot!  As for the cream and sugar and
Ovaltine, htf do you even taste the coffee?  Every roaster should at least
know what the stuff tastes like bare and naked, then dress it up as you like
for enjoyment!
On 6/16/07, Homeroaster  wrote:

16) From: Justin Marquez
On 6/19/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:
  While we are not certain of the "goodness" of his roast, I'd bet it is
FAR, FAR better in the cup than "4$" standard overdone and stale stuff.
  And BTW, does he tell you how you should enjoy your coffee?  :-)

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