HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Interesting blog post about home roasters (24 msgs / 566 lines)
1) From: Doug Hoople
Just think of how you felt when you finally put your finger in what the 9th grain in 9-grain bread was. That's something you can only do with toasting. :-)
Doug

2) From: Brian Zambrano
Today I read an interesting post having to do with the state of home coffee
roasting on a blog which I subscribe to.http://theshot.coffeeratings.com/2009/01/home-coffee-roasting-economics/In it, there are some theories about why home coffee roasting is sort of a
fringe endeavor better suited to the obsessed coffee fans like us.  I
thought the points in here were interesting and pretty accurate, but one of
the things that I thought was missing was a mention of home coffee roasting
equipment.  I always thought that if there existed a home roaster which
could roast coffee as easily as you can make toast in your toaster, more
people would be inclined to give it a try.
Enjoy,
BZ
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3) From: Jim Gundlach
My take is that the writer is rather condescending toward anybody who  
does anything different than he does.
        pecan jim
On Jan 7, 2009, at 4:02 PM, Brian Zambrano wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Jim Russell
I tried to post about this a couple of days ago, but for some reason it
never made it to the list.
<Snip>
shipping coffee all over the world and the labor cost involved in roasting.
It briefly mentions the labor aspect, but likens it to changing oil in a
car.  I think there is a huge difference between roasting coffee and
changing your oil.  No matter how well I change my oil, it will not make my
car faster or handle better.  There is no qualitative difference between my
changing my own oil or Jiffy Lube changing my oil.  Roasting coffee, on the
other hand, substantially improves the quality of my coffee compared to the
readily available alternatives.
The article makes some interesting observations about home roasting in
general, but overall, I think their conclusions are really only applicable
to their particular situation.  They drink most of their coffee away from
home and there are some exceptional coffee shops in San Francisco.  It seems
pretty obvious that if you don't drink coffee at home that home roasting is
not the way to go.  But for many of us, there are few if any shops nearby
that make a decent shot of espresso, much less anything exceptional.
They mention the number of roasters such as Ritual who roast great coffee
and ship it out fresh.  That's definitely a great thing, but not really a
good economic argument.  I checked Ritual and Blue Bottle Roasters and one
pound of Ritual's espresso blend is $24 shipped.  Blue Bottle Roasters
espresso blends are $17.75 or more, I didn't check the price with shipping
because I didn't feel like creating an account there, but I imagine the
shipped price would probably be over $25 for one pound.  Contrast that with
Sweet Maria's Espresso Monkey, which I can get 5 pounds for $21.75.  With
shipping, that would work out to $30.74 for about 4.5 times as much coffee
after roasting.  Sure, I have to roast it, but i enjoy roasting coffee.
I agree with their conclusion that home roasting is a niche market and is
likely to stay that way.  If I could go to a nearby roaster and pick up
consistently excellent beans for a reasonable price (Ritual's coffee is
$15/pound excluding shipping, Stumptown's Hairbender is $11 for 12 ounces)
then maybe I'd be less inclined to roast my own.
(not pecan) Jim
On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM, Jim Gundlach  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Roasting them almost as fast as they come
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5) From: Sandy Andina
As I posted on that blog, I live four blocks from Metropolis.  None of  
their coffees is less than $11 or $12 a pound, except on Thursdays  
when they are oldest.  In the time it takes me to walk to Metropolis  
(or even drive there and park) and back, I can roast a pound in my  
Behmor at half the cost (even considering that a pound of greens  
yields only about 12-13 oz. roasted).  Oh, I'll buy their Red Line  
when the espresso I've just roasted isn't ready to grind yet, or their  
Greenline when I am out of Monkey or the varietals for my Rocket Fuel  
and I don't want to wait for SM's to ship it. But in my case, the  
economic factor of DIY is definitely in my favor--especially when it  
comes to making and drinking espresso and coffee drinks (I consume  
about 4 double shots' worth a day, not counting the drinks I make for  
family);  at $2 for a good ristretto and $4 for an espresso drink at a  
quality cafe like Metropolis or Intelly (I frequent Starbucks only for  
caffeination at airports and tollways), the savings there are also  
apparent.  Of course, the factor of having crafted something wonderful  
yourself--and then getting to enjoy the fruits of your labors--is  
priceless.
On Jan 7, 2009, at 5:31 PM, Jim Russell wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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6) From: Edward Bourgeois
Sounds like the same old crappy arguments/excuses of a lazy, failed
exwannabehomeroaster. We all know why we continue to do it and now
know why he doesn't.
farm
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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7) From: Stephen Carey
Well said, we know why we do it.  We love the process.  We get to 
build upon a creation of this planet on which we live.  We learn.  We 
get to communicate with people we might not otherwise even say hello 
to on the street.  We also have fun learning about all sorts of 
things that this hobby, passion, whatever, lays out for us to explore.
Mostly, we enjoy what we create and we don't do it alone, we have the 
experience of each other to guide us along.  I never take full credit 
for a very good cup of one of my roasts.  No, I know that all of you 
shared with me and from that I have learned; and, from what I have 
learned comes this steaming cup of .... what, it is so much more than 
just coffee when I roast it.  It is a shared experience.
Sometimes though, like when I am in a hurry, it is a cup of coffee 
which slows me down and reminds me to remember the many good things 
that I may have the chance that day to enjoy.
My rather odd ramblings, but that is what roasting does for me.
Stephen
At 07:42 PM 1/7/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: james McDougal
Steve - well said. People who don't enjoy roasting, probably shouldn't do
it. And, we'd all be better off it we accepted that everybody may be
different from us and that's OK - we don't need to try to change them.
Mac
On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Stephen Carey wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Brian Zambrano
Very well said....and very good points made by all during this thread.  This
guy doesn't roast coffee at home simply because he doesn't want to and
doesn't have to.  Like Jim R. mentioned, it is very easy to forget that the
vast majority of the country doesn't have quality roasters at their disposal
like we do here in San Francisco (the whole Bay Area, really).  Nonetheless,
there are folks here like myself who have a great time home roasting
regardless of what's available around us.  I think the point the poster was
trying to make is that some people don't *have* to roast at home to get good
coffee.....but failed to acknowledge that "some people" is a small portion
of the US population.
I still think home roasting uptake would increase if the equipment got
better.  Let's face is, we all have our own unique and sometime wacky setups
to make roasting easier.  If there was a machine which a lay person could
dump beans into, push a button and walk away from, more people would be
interested.  Another thing is education....most folks have *no* idea that
you can roast at home.  I'm sure that's been a long standing issue which
home roasters have thought about which may be harder to solve than the
equipment.
BZ
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 4:50 AM, james McDougal wrote:
<Snip>
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10) From: Lynne
Add to that - most people don't know what *good* coffee is - until they
taste it.
Lynne
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Brian Zambrano  wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: Joseph Robertson
Brian,
"If there was a machine which a lay person could
 dump beans into, push a button and walk away from, more people would be
 interested."
With all due respect as a professional roaster it is my opinion that
there will never be a machine like the one you describe above.
Roasting like cooking is something you do not ever want to walk away
from. It takes a one on one relationship to come up with a result you
can consume. I for one want to promote home roasting because It is how
I got my start. Let us be sure and tell it like it is. It will and
should never be that easy that you can walk away from and expect
results other than maybe burning the kitchen up. On the up side
equipment is getting better. Joe Blem is coming out with a 220 unit.
Not many in the US will have a use for one but it may be a better
performer than the 110 unit. Time will tell.
I like the IRoast myself but popcorn poppers will always be popular.
Cheers and thanks for the great thread.
JoeR
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 9:14 AM, Brian Zambrano  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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12) From: miKe mcKoffee
The problem isn't technology available making push a button and forget it
roasting possible but rather cost. For instance this can be done quite well
and repeatably with Jeffrey's CCR HotTop. However it isn't exactly an off
the shelf roaster neither was it remotely cheap, as in over $2k. And there
is nothing even close to as automatic roast control capable a roaster
available off the shelf. And I don't expect there to be, because of cost and
projected market. Even the best off the shelf roaster, the HotTops, don't
cut it for set and forget because no bean temp monitoring feeding back to
roast controller without which set it and forget it roasting is simply not
possbile.
The preponderance of coffee consumers aren't willing to plunk down $200 let
alone $2000 or more to roast coffee. 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>
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13) From: Ira
At 09:14 AM 1/8/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
I do find it interesting that the local Bed Bath and Beyond usually 
has 3 to 5 Gene Cafes sitting out with the Espresso machines. Well, 
it looks like a Gene Cafe but I think it has a different name on the box.
Ira
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14) From: Tom Ulmer
Deleterious as you may believe it is to your honed palate, the preponderance
of coffee consumers seem to be most willing to plunk down money for a
container of something processed by Proctor and Gamble, Nestlé, or Kraft.

15) From: Brian Zambrano
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 9:33 AM, Joseph Robertson wrote:
<Snip>
Also, with due respect, never say never!  :>)
There *are* machines out there which do this, but as I was reminded by Mike,
it's a matter of cost.  There are big industrial roasters that can follow a
predefined roast profile, and a few Frankenstein home roasters.  The
technology is there, but probably a lack of demand which keeps the cost so
high.  Still, it's possible and if one could drop $200 for such a machine, I
really think there'd be at least a chance for the home roasting tradition to
really increase in popularity.
Until then (I'm not holding my breath), I'm quite happy having discussions
with all of you folks....the dedicated ones!
BZ
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16) From: miKe mcKoffee
Oh I have no delusions and know full well the majority of coffee consumers
frequent grocery store isles for their daily caffeine fix caring or knowing
little about good coffee taste. Convenience over quality, the American way!
Yet there are those who want better, hopefully their numbers continue to
grow.
miKe
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17) From: Rich
And that is exactly why retreaded popcorn poppers, bread machines and 
heat guns are popular.
The mass market would buy the fully automatic coffee roaster if it was 
available for $59.95.
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
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18) From: Ira
At 11:26 AM 1/8/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
I don't think this is the problem. A decent method of temperature 
measurement so the end point can be determined and a really simple 
roaster could beat store bought every time.
But roasting coffee is smelly and messy and I'm not sure that it's 
possible to make a coffee roaster my wife would be willing to use. 
I've had a Nesco and a Behmor and while the both have "Smoke 
Suppression technology", neither of them has smell suppression and 
even though I roast outside on the porch with the door only open 
enough to pass the cord out it still smells up the house.
Secondly, at this time I can't buy green coffee at Ralphs or Trader 
Joes.  Now, if I could buy a Behmor or a Nesco along with a selection 
of green coffee at Trader Joes we "might" see home roasting take off.
I always wonder where the people who buy the coffee roaster for sale 
at the local Bed Bath and Beyond expect to get green coffee
Ira
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19) From: Edward Bourgeois
Makes me wonder about what sort of % increase Tom has seen in green
bean sales and new customers over the past few years?
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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20) From: Joseph Robertson
Thanks miKe,
I forgot about those 100 to 500 pound *$'s roasters. Talk about set it
and forget it. Million dollar machines. If you have the bucks just
about anything is possible. Too bad their profile sucks.
JR
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 9:54 AM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
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21) From: raymanowen
"...as easily as you can make toast in your toaster, more
people would be inclined to give it a try"
The question is, what's the big thrill in toasting bread? -ro
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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22) From: Bill
well said, Ray!
yeah, some folks can get good beans where they are.  Cheyenne?  nope.
 Someone asked me where the best cup of coffee is to be had in cheyenne.  I
said, "my kitchen."
I love the roasting process in the summer, but only tolerate it as a means
to the end in the winter...
I have about 8 different ethiopians that are gonna start peaking tomorrow.
 way more than I can drink.  I can do that homeroasting. Never been into a
coffee shop (and there's plenty I haven't been to) that offered 8
ethiopians, roasted to levels that I love.
That blog post referred to us as oddities.  Oh well, I'm drinking great
coffee.  yum.
bill in the windy city, chey-town.
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23) From: Stephen Carey
Also to be included in all of this is that we enjoy the 
experience.  We experience something that has us thinking, being 
creative, being successful, even not-so-successful.  It is like 
knitting, never done it, couldn't tell you one stitch from another, 
but it is my guess one could by "baby booties" in some store much 
cheaper when materials and time are taken into account, but they 
probably wouldn't be as precious to the knitter and the receiver or 
the parents.
Just some thoughts.
Stephen
At 08:43 PM 1/8/2009, you wrote:
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24) From: raymanowen
"...put your finger in what the 9th grain in 9-grain bread was.
That's something you can only do with toasting. :-)"
See, that leaves me out. I just finished baking a loaf of X grain bread. I
can only identify the HRW wheat from Marquette, Nebraska, and the oats from
Marienthal, KS., that I toasted and cracked.
This loaf is ugly, but the Celt got the first shot at it while it's cooling
and I'm grinding away at this mill with buttons. She said it's good. Thump
was good.
425g of bread flour from Costco to start, so you know it wasn't fresh ground
or whole grain. Gotta prove the yeast next time. I forgot because I was
brewing a double shot while I was putting the loaf together.
At least, I didn't try to put bread flour or EVOO in the Monkey Blend/ Green
Stripe shot or the + + Ungood reciprocal.
Cheers. Mabuhay and Magandang Umaga -RayO, aka Opa!
Beans have already been through Hell in roasting, don't commit the Supreme
Insult with an execrable Grinder...
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