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
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