HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Some Rambling Thoughts on Homeroasting (8 msgs / 141 lines)
1) From: Josh Schwartz
I'm not sure if this will be interesting to anyone else, but I've been
thinking a lot about home roasting a lot lately, and I wanted to share:
About a month ago, I upgraded my Hottop to the "B" model, giving me
instantaneous control over the temperature and fan speed.  When doing the
upgrade, I never realized just how profoundly this would affect my relation
to the coffee I drink.  I can state with confidence that I've had _all_ of
the best coffees of my life in the last two weeks.  Sure, they were great
beans to begin with (Panama Esmeralda, Kenya Ruiruiru, Kenya Oaklands, Costa
Rica SLGLA, etc.), but I've been roasting coffee of similar quality for
years now, and something has seriously changed.
What really makes the difference is that now roasting and tasting have
become true intellectual processes: when I roast a coffee, I think about the
characteristics of the bean and how temperature profiles might interact with
that; and, when I cup a coffee, I think about what I did in the roast to
produce that flavor.  While I still have a lot to learn, I've made huge
progress in figuring out how to work with different beans.  By comparison,
my previous interactions with roasters have consisted of simply picking a
roast level and waiting until the right time to start the cooling cycle.
My first few roasts on the B, mostly easy to roast Centrals, alternated
between being aggressively green and being deadened with roasty flavors.
Now, in the past few days, I've been knocking out some wonderful Kenyan
peaberries with relative ease.  It's not just about the ease of getting a
good roast, though: for some reason, thinking more about the beans has made
me appreciate each cup more...last night I caught myself sitting in the
kitchen, staring into space, remembering a cup of the Ruiruiru I'd had a few
hours earlier...it's like being in love!
Judging from the quality of discussion on this list and the number of mods
many of you have done to your roasters, most of you probably figured this
out years ago.  But, for those that haven't, I can't recommend strongly
enough a setup with real roast control.  As for me, I'm doing all I can to
convince myself not to drop out of my doctoral program, move to California,
and start working in the coffee industry.
Thanks for reading,

2) From: Eddie Dove
Simply an excellent post.  Thank you immensely for sharing your passion and
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Dec 4, 2007 1:23 PM, Josh Schwartz  wrote:

3) From: Brett Mason
Yeah, Josh, great info and insight - I trust wqill be helpful to many on
this list...
 "What Eddie said..."
On 12/4/07, Josh Schwartz  wrote:

4) From: Les
Great post Josh!  I wouldn't drop out of school however.  Like many hobbies
that turn into a business you would be forced to make compromises that would
violate your new appreciation of the roast.  I have ruined more hobbies that
On 12/4/07, Brett Mason  wrote:

5) From: Michael Dhabolt
Sounds like you're a man whose attitude about his craft has reached
the cusp of 'art'.  Your post was an extremely enjoyable read.
Mike (just plain)

6) From: raymanowen
Sure a lot more intuitive than pushing a button after inserting two slices
of bread, and after some time the machine pops out two slices of toast! -ro
On Dec 4, 2007 12:23 PM, Josh Schwartz  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

7) From: Frank Parth
Dropping out of a doctoral program to work in the coffee industry? Hmmm, I'd think long and hard about that. Think 
about all the work you've already put into the degree. That would all go to waste.
A couple of years ago my better half and I went to a monthly wine tasting held by the Orange County (CA) Wine Society 
(f which we're long-time members). The winemaker that evening was from a very well-known Sonoma County winery. She 
wentthrough college. Went through medical school. Did her residency in a medical specialty, and then decided she wanted 
tobe a winemaker. She said the biggest impact was to her father, who paid for all the college/medical school expenses 
only to see her chuck it and do something else.
Think about it.
Frank Parth

8) From: raymanowen
"only to see her chuck it and do something else."
To whom would you recommend her being faithful, and did Sugar Daddy earn the
right with his financial support to control her life?
Just think- MD's are an unhappy lot. Look how we have to grease their palms
to keep them doing the disagreeable work on thankless patients that just
want the latest advertised pill...
MD's and Lawyers, you can find; encountering a good barista is a rare, happy
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Autopsy the living and hope for the best-
On Dec 6, 2007 1:07 PM, Frank Parth  wrote:

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