HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Another lurker coming out (8 msgs / 153 lines)
1) From: ellen howlett
Hi.  I've been just reading for a month;  not in the same league as most of the posters.  I only just found out it was possible to get green beans and roast them, while I was researching yet another type of coffee paraphenalia that I didn't currently own..yup, I'm a closeted lifelong coffee nut.  So I have increased my stash of brewers by two vacuum pots and an electric moka pot, and a boilertype espresso pot which is in a box by the front door (going,going...).  Anyhow, I brew coffee at home, and have had maybe four cups of Starbucks since they opened (at the behest of whoever was with me on those days).  When I rarely go visiting I'm likely to bring a bag of coffee if there's any possibility the person has nothing to brew except some yummy "flavored" dreck.
I was impressed that *$s sure did put some coffee in the brew, but I didn't know much about roasts.
Anyway, I found SM because their tutorials were mentioned here and there, and everybody who wrote a tutorial website mentioned that they acquired their beans from Sweet Maria's.  Pretty high praise really.  So I put away my natural reservations, and bought a sample package, and a few # of whatever looked good.  The very first batch was in a fryingpan on the carport with my convection oven on top...I thought this one up myself...but it shut off thermostatically, at about 350 or 400 degrees.  Of course it baked and didn't roast so undaunted I dragged out a hotplate.  I think it was usable (the coffee that is), only because I am very frugal.  I had as a cooling aid, an electric airbed pump (which is a pretty good portable source of cooling air someone might try if they want a positive pressure instead of a shop vac).
The next batch, some pretty little peaberries, I used a heatgun and dogbowl.   I had read there would be smoke, and I guess it was an overcompensation for the pale starchy first batch, because I just sat there stirring while I watched them get "really" shiny and dark.  Fortunately I didn't have to make the decision to throw em away, since I had a clumsy moment and spilled them in  the laundry room.  Well, most of them.  I ground some in my little burr grinder, and they were so degraded that they gummed it up.  Charcoal, almost, but I don't do any grilling nowadays.  
The third batch was the Cameroon Caplavi Java.  It was the most heavenly coffee, eye-rollingly fragrant, and smooth and rich.  I roasted it to city+ or maybe full city.   I remember the name of it  because  it  was so  good, but I gave it to my  neighbor whom I  hardly  knew  (apparently  a  good  karma  producer;  she  came to my  door with a covered  dish on  Thanksgiving).
I hope you'll forgive me  for  rambling on but I suppose it's not as much work to read this as it is for me to write it.  I wanted to introduce myself.  I am  a thriftstore shopper (just one step up from the curb), an old hippy (the sixties version) and am striving to be low tech in all things while being yet a fan of the Rube Goldberg school.  I've graduated to a hot air popper, for the nonce, and am grinding in a cast iron Enterprise crank coffeegrinder which was very high tech when it first came out.  I get a bit disappointed if I see smoke at the roast but I like to hear just a bit of the second crack if possible.  I basically use my eyes and my nose to control the process, along with a couple of metal spoons I can swap out for heatsinks if things should get too hot.  I think it's city+ I'm generally aiming for;  maybe full city.  I've accepted that the roast isn't always pretty and consistent;  if I wait for that to happen I may end up with a darker roast than I want.
This Cameroon java coffee, each time I sampled it (and I kept gamely sampling it til the third day when I knew for sure I had to get it away from me) had an immediate effect of making me feel sort of anxious and jittery.  I haven't noticed anyone discussing the benefits of caffiene, and I didn't really want to, but I feel sure someone will know what I'm getting at.  I am a coffee drinker, like no one I know. 24/7.  
I have to be very careful what I ingest, or breathe or bathe in because I have some health problems along with  neurologic and cognitive issues that could be equated with multiple chemical sensitivities.  I don't get out very much and my energy level is low.  Good days sometimes for which I am very grateful, and my mind is very busy.
Coffee is my drug of choice and agrees with me well, generally, yet I,m thinking that maybe I'd better keep to the FTO varieties (I was drinking Folgers Gourmet Supreme since about 1997, but the quality of that was not making me happy;  it was just tolerable if I tweaked the grind a bit and used plenty of it). Bigcoffee only knows what chemicals could have been found on that stuff!  
I want to know if anyone here who doesn't think I'm a crank has ever had a similar problem, and if I need to steer clear of Java types.  Okay, I'm right here; of course you think I'm a crank.  That's the price I must pay for coming out.  I do not mean to malign any coffee without giving it a fair trial, but I can't afford to experiment too much, either ($).  Does anybody know (this would be funny if it weren't so...) anything that could help me out?
This is a one time query,  I really don't write very much or at least not very often.  I just didn't know who else to ask.  And I wanted y'all to know there's another nut lurking out here.   Ellen
Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.

2) From: Robert Joslin
     You don't sound like a crank OR a nut.  You will fit right in, here!
Welcome to the list.  Good luck in your roasting adventures.   This hobby is
most inclusive.    Happy Roasting    Josh
On Dec 10, 2007 8:34 AM, ellen howlett  wrote:

3) From: Jim Gundlach
      I have not tried the Cameroon Java, but I don't find Java  
coffees as a group especially high in caffeine.  How do you brew it?   
If you move to espresso, it is actually lower in caffeine.  Welcome to  
the list.
       pecan jim
On Dec 10, 2007, at 8:34 AM, ellen howlett wrote:

4) From: Eddie Dove
Welcome to the limelight and thank you for an enjoyable read.  Please,
consider posting more often; we love to share when it comes to coffee!
With respect to the FTO thing, I don't think you're going to find any
stinkers from Tom.  There are many coffees that are organically grown
and such, but just can't afford to, or otherwise get the FTO moniker.
I remember Tom writing about this once upon a time ... don't remember
whether it was on his site somewhere or if he sent it in an email to
the list ...
Again, welcome and please continue to share.
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Dec 10, 2007 8:34 AM, ellen howlett  wrote:

5) From: gin
Welcome to the Sweet Maria list. You will find a very family/friendly bunch around here
(read most of the time) so feel free to ask away.
Pop in every day and see if something interests you...
again, welcome,
ignore Eddie Dove, he is a bad boy!!

6) From: an iconoclast
On Dec 10, 2007 6:34 AM, ellen howlett  wrote:
Welcome, Ellen. You sound like you fit right in.
After our first caffeinated pot of the day, we go to pots of 2/3 caff and
1/3 decaf.  By 5pm, we go to straight decaf unless we're staying up late.
Sweet Maria's have great decafs to blend with whatever you like. I haven't
noticed any particular beans seeming to have more caffeine, but I'm sure
it's a possibility.
Take care and.....keep posting.
Sweet Maria's list searchable archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/index.htm

7) From: Sean Cary
No Christmas jingles though...some of us are touchy.  :-)
(You would have to have been on the list longer then two years to
remember that one.)
Been off the net for a few weeks, picked up an extra job here as the
Iraqi Security Forces Transition Teams Comm Planner - neat job, but I
am so slammed.  Still working my other job as the IT Officer and
Information Assurance Manager for all of the Marine Forces in Western
Iraq.  I came back to over 250 SM e-mails...but busy makes the time go
faster, so I am not really complaining...not really.
Went coffee-less until yesterday, had a Medium regular old coffee at
"Green Beans" on Camp Al Taqquadam - nasty does not begin to describe
it.  Had a "somewhat fresh" cup of beans roasted by Mike Washer today
- good beans, good roast and decent preparation make for a much better
day.  That and two cans of Rip It and I am tearing through my in box.
Back in Fallujah after going all over western freaking Iraq the last
week plus...
UNDER 60!!!!
On Dec 10, 2007 7:49 PM, gin  wrote:

8) From: John Brown
don't count until you are on single digit midget.
Sean Cary wrote:

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