HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Quick Intro and Advice Needed (13 msgs / 316 lines)
1) From: Diane Pfaff
Hi!  I'm relatively new to this group and I've just begun to experiment with
home roasting.  I've done 3 small batches of beans and I'm happy to report
that only that first batch was less than acceptable.  I'm going to have to
re-order beans soon, so if anyone has any suggestions as to which beans I
should try next, I'm all ears.  I love a good bold cup of coffee.
I'd also be interested in opinions regarding espresso makers.  I've
researched machines until my eyes crossed and still don't truly know what I
need.  I currently have a little Capresso machine that my mom got me a few
years back and the seal is beginning to fail.  We use it frequently, so I'm
looking to upgrade.  I drink coffee and/or espresso nearly everyday and my
husband has lattes on the 2-3 times a week as well.
This list is great and I've really learned a lot since joining.  Thanks in
advance for any wisdom you're willing to share.
Diane P.
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2) From: Coffee
I would suggest buying a sample pack from Sweet Maria's. It will  
include beans from all over the world and give you a good introduction  
to the different varieties.http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.shtml#samplers-Peter
On Jul 2, 2008, at 1:50 PM, Diane Pfaff wrote:
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3) From: Robert Flanery
The sampler is good advice.
Might I also suggest a log of the coffees you roast that contains the degree
of roast, and your personal notes on the quality of the coffee. Your likes
and dislikes.  Coupled with the detailed notes from SM you should be able to
quickly identify what it is about coffee beans you want to see in other
beans, and which ones you don't.
Me, I fairly adore brite, energetic coffees such as many Kenyan and
Etheopian varieties.  I suspect this is in direct contrast to your own
tastes.
On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 1:27 PM, Coffee  wrote:
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4) From: Brian Kamnetz
I agree, sample pack. I get an 8-pound sample pack with every order of
greens, and fill in with specific varieties.
Brian
On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 1:27 PM, Coffee  wrote:
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5) From: miKe mcKoffee
Welcome to the List, enjoy the Journey!
This article might be helpful to you:http://www.home-barista.com/forums/">http://www.coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachineThen ask questions onhttp://www.home-barista.com/forums/
if you really want to learn the ins and outs of espresso at home.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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6) From: Edward Bourgeois
Welcome Diane
I have got a lot out of studying Tom's  detailed cupping notes.
Ed B.
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list">http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/ Co-President- Ma. Agriculture in the Classroomhttp://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list
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7) From: Bryan Wray
I love answering questions regarding equipment purchases (don't know why, I just do).  What is your budget, and does that budget include a grinder or do you already have a grinder (if so what kind).  This will give me an idea what sort of machine class to recommend.
I will let you know that if your husband enjoys lattes you will benefit greatly from a heat exchanger machine.  If unaware of this type of machine, basically without going into too much detail, a heat exchanger allows you to steam milk and brew espresso at the same time (although I would actually suggest doing one- probably espresso- and then immediately following do the other, but this depends on boiler size).  Most hX (heat exchanger) machines start around the $1000-$1100 mark.
If you need a grinder you can plan on spending at least $375 more (Rancilio Rocky), although if going to be an espresso only grinder I would suggest looking into getting a stepless grinder (no notches or "click points") so that you can fine tune your adjustments better.  One stepless grinder that I have worked with and enjoy is the Macap M4 which is around $515.  A more common and popular one (due to a longer track record, not necessarily better quality, YMMV) is the Mazzer Mini which will run you in the neighborhood of $675.
Hope this is all helpful.  Let me know what your budget is for grinder, machine, grinder/machine and then I might be able to help a little more or at least give you my personal opinion of decent machines you won't be disappointed with.
HTH
-Bry
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
--- On Wed, 7/2/08, Diane Pfaff  wrote:
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8) From:
I love the monsooned malabar and am never without it.  Moka Kadir and Liquid
amber are good blends.  My advice would be to read the profiles that thom
puts up with each coffee that should help you pick one you like.
As far as the machines....you will get as many opinions as you get
responses.  I have a last generation Gaggia coffee (Ebay 125.00, Les pimped
out my portafilter for $30 if I remember right) and a Gaggia MDF Grinder
with a doser on it ($160 whole latte love return)  these work great for me.
I make better espresso than I can get anywhere else around here, and I have
have used them for 2-5 drinks a day for 1.5 years now and have no problems.
I know there are people that have setups costing 10x what mine did and
everywere in between.  Buy the best you can afford and enjoy the process.
David

9) From: raymanowen
"...pick one you like."
As if... -ro
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10) From: David Martin
On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 1:50 PM, Diane Pfaff  wrote:
<Snip>
If you're looking for specifics, it's hard because people's tastes
differ, but looking back at the coffees I've especially enjoyed in
recent months, of those that are still available, I really like Harar
Horse, Aged Sumatra, and Costa Rica Asoproaaa Coop Tarrazu. (Actually,
I don't think I've ever disliked a CR coffee, so you can't go wrong
there, IMHO. :-) )
In more general terms, sampler packs are cool but then you miss out
somewhat, since reading/selecting is part of the fun, at least to me.
You can make your own "sampler pack", by going down the list and
selecting  a couple of varieties from each major region. If you have a
hard time making decisions, this might make it easier, because it's
something of a "divide and conquer" approach.
-Dave
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11) From: Dean De Crisce
Im not sure about 'bold,' and I agree with the excellent advice given about
a sampler pack. Yet, I find some of the offerings to be amazing (as in, not
to be missed):
The first two are my personal all time favorite coffees
1. Ethiopia Harar Horse DP - Lot
17406

bluberry mania
2. Ethiopia Organic Yirga
Cheffe

lemons all day
3. Kenya Auction Lot #643
-Mutitu

plum and blackberry
4. Ethiopia Dry-Process
Limu

Honey, lemon and berries
On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 12:51 PM, David Martin 
wrote:
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 I
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ee.com
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-- =
Dean De Crisce, MD
Ann Klein Forensic Center
Special Treatment Unit
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
732-499-5653
Mobile: 310-980-8715
decrisce.md
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12) From: Steve Carlson
Ditto on Dave's suggestion of Aged Sumatra Lintong.  I just brewed my first
batch of it, and am pretty amazed at how good it is.  This is certainly a
"bold" cup, if that is what you're after.  Take it to the first pops of
second crack.
On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 9:51 AM, David Martin  wrote:
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13) From: MJR
This has been my approach after 7+ months of roasting now... Every few
months I order about 10 or 12 pounds of beans in 1 and 2 pound bags. I
read Tom & Maria's notes on the coffees as they come in, and order a few
samples from each region, East Africa, Middle East, S.E. Asia, Central
America, etc. So far, my girlfriend and I haven't encountered one we
didn't like, though we're particularly fond of Ethiopians, Sumantrans, and
Sulawesis. In each batch I try to afford one pound of the more expensive
types. In the last it was Yemen Mokha Mattari, and we always seem to like
these special beans!
I don't think any of SM's beans would make a "bad" cup of coffee. There
will always be some you like better than others, but I am finding the
difference in flavors to create great anticipatory excitement with every
new roast.
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