Hello all... I'm a definite newbie, and I'm seeking advice on a first coffee roaster. I've never roasted coffee before -- I've just purchased Starbucks or Peet's or sometimes Costco whole beans. Through a friend of a friend, I was able to drink coffee that was home roasted -- and it opened my eyes to the world all of you are so familiar with. I would like to get a roaster and try my hand. I seek your advice on units that would be, how shall I say it, relatively idiot-proof? That is, as a novice, a roaster that would match my skill level (i.e., none)? I drink espresso made in an all-in-one superautomatic Jura Capresso F7. Every now and then, I'll make a cappuccino. I also use a French press every now and then (I have a cuisinart burr grinder). So, my equipment is lower-end than most of you, and I do not have trained tastebuds... but I'd like to get started. My hope is to find a home roasting machine that is forgiving - -that is, I would likely be successful using it with my current lack of skill. What do you all suggest? Many thanks in advance, Phil -- We were taking a vote when the ground came up and hit us. Homeroast mailing list Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20
Welcome to the wonderful world of addiction!!!!! A few questions and we will better be able to point you in the right direction what is your budget like I mean if you are loaded there are lot of options but assuming that you like most of us here don't have a "daddy Warbucks" around... what your budget is will help narrow the choices down... you mentioned a friend that Homeroasts...what does he use? he could help you learn the ropes with his machine and that will assist you in a faster learning curve.... let us know what you have in mind and we will gladly assist you i finding the best method for you to start with... Dennis HG/DB roasting in GTMO On Jan 4, 2009, at 3:58 PM, Phil Palmintere wrote: <Snip> Homeroast mailing list Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20
I would suggest reading about the roasters Sweet Marias offers pick one, and then take the plunge. Les On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM, Phil Palmintere wrote: <Snip> Homeroast mailing list Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20
Hi Phil, Welcome to coffee roasting. The cheapest, most interesting way to start roasting coffee is to do it with simple implements that are not intended for the purpose. The two most common seem to be hot air popcorn poppers and heat guns. Hot air popcorn roasters show up frequently in thrift stores, and also can be purhased for $10-15 new. I suggest that you check Tom's tip sheet on the Sweet Maria site. If you go this route, here is the summary of my experience: The roast should progress for about 2-5 minutes, and then you should get to first crack. This is a series of crack as each bean expands. It starts with a single bean cracking, and then pretty soon (usually) many beans crack. (Sometimes the beans skip this stage, though that is rare.) First crack is loud, like twigs snapping. Then there should be a pause of a minute or two, and then second crack should begin. You will see "chips" coming off the ends of the beans. Stop here. If you are using a popcorn popper and don't get the progression I mention above, there are a couple common causes. One is that you need to adjust the amount of beans. If your roast is progressing too rapidly, so that first crack blends right into second crack and you end up with a charred, oily mess, you are roasting too many beans at one time. Use fewer beans. If the roast isn't getting to second crack, use more coffee beans. If your roast still doesn't get to second crack, it is likely that the popcorn popper's safety equipment is kicking in. You will probably have to remove the "bi-metal" thermostat. If you use a heat gun, try to follow the above profile. Do that by moving the heat gun closer to or farther from the beans, depending on whether you want to speed the roast up or slow it down. That is a summary of what I know of these two methods. The alternative is to buy an introductory coffee roaster. Tom sells a couple on the Sweet Maria site. Hope this helps, and good luck! Brian On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Phil Palmintere wrote: <Snip> Homeroast mailing list Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20
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Welcome Phil, As usual great advice from Les. After reading through the information on SM's it may bring up more questions people on the list can help you with. You have started in the right place. With the SM's website and this list you can't go wrong. SM's is not only the best place for buying equipment and green beans but it is the most thorough website I've found to use as a starting point when researching. I started with an air popper popcorn maker and used it for several months before I bought a Behmor. The popcorn maker was cheap, helped me learn first crack, second crack, the different smells as the roast progressed etc. I still use it for beans that are too small to use in my Behmor. As has been mentioned there are many other methods available. If you choose to use a popcorn maker read SM's website first because not all popcorn makers will work for roasting beans. Remember there is no right or wrong here it is all a learning process and if you keep reading this list you will always find that you want to upgrade something you have in your arsenal. Welcome to the roasted side. John H.
Phil, I started with a hot air popper that met Tom's spec that I found at Walgreen's. I think it cost me $9. I then went and found a Poppery on ebay. I then started modifying them to add controllability. I have enjoyed the learning that occurred with them and at about 6 months I ordered a Behmor from Tom. I do 90% my roasting now with the Behmor, but still pull the popper out. I have loaned the popper out to friends to try roasting. In the end start simple, learn, enjoy, then upgrade.