HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Newbe hello (19 msgs / 917 lines)
1) From: Jim Lee
Hello all,
This is the obligatory... Hi I'm the new guy to the group message... get a
cup of Joe and kick up your feet this is a bit longer than I first thought.
Ever since I went Costa Rica maybe 15 years ago. I have sought after the
illusive taste of a good cup of the coffee.  Like the one I tasted at the
Brit plantation. It took me many years to realize (I must be thick in the
head) that I couldn't just brew a cup of any old supper market grind and
come up with that taste. So, years pass, and I give lots of $$$ to Starbucks
and realize that coffee is really quite interesting! More so than I could
have guessed. Many different things to taste (please don't laugh! I'm baring
my soul to you here its not nice to point fingers).
Then the quantum leap (for me at least). I bought a French press at a Thrift
store. I have to thank Starbucks because a nice gal there showed me how to
use one and why it should be used. Well the press was neat but I soon
figured out that I should have taken a few more notes from the gal. Thick in
the head me didn't hear the part about water just *off* a boil! OK, OK, I
know how to identify BITTER now... My wife by now is sure that I am insane
(she doesn't drink coffee). I must be following in the footsteps of many of
you because I now start seeking out new and different coffee beans steeped
to just 3 minutes if I have a fairly fine grind from my "whirly" grinder ( I
still don't have a good one. Please forgive me as I AM the new guy). If you
pulse it though, you can get a better grind. 13 pulses to be exact. My Wife
laughs when I run to the press as the alarm goes off.
Next quantum leap. I traveled to Alaska (Fairbanks) for work last summer and
found a coffee roasting house in my travels. Wow did it smell good in that
place. I got it home and brewed up a press full. My coffee life up till now
has lead me (unbeknownst) to this moment. Ahhh! Nirvana! Coast Rican coffee
experience of years ago but better and different. That 16 oz. went pretty
fast I have to say.
Now fast forward with me to this last Christmas. Christmas found me at Lake
Tahoe with family and friends. Sweetie, I ask my wife as we are driving
around the Lake… do you mind if we stop in at that coffee shop we saw
yesterday? Little did she know that I had found the shop on my GPS and
called them to see if they roasted. Yes they did have fresh *roasted* (aka
nirvana) coffee. I got it back to the condo where we were staying and brewed
a cup. Yes of course all of my brewing tools were with me. Timer, grinder,
measuring spoons etc. Yes it was of course a different taste than Alaska but
still nirvana in a different way. More earthy, complex, clean.  You know.. I
told my wife.  South Africa tastes quite a bit different than South America.
Your laughing again! My Dad was kind of laughing too untill I made him some.
Son this is the best cup of coffee I have ever tasted in my life. Show me
how that thing (press) works. I have to admit I had a smug grin as I turned
to the stove.
Quantum leap (remember I'm thick in the skull) number 3 or 4 or what ever. I
must have a caffeine buzz or something. The key to really good coffee is
Fresh coffee, nay! Fresh roasted coffee! Plus, careful handling during the
brewing! This leads me to last night, when I placed my first order with SM
for eight pounds of green coffee beans (is there a cool way to say green
beans that I don't yet know of yet?).
Today had me at no less than, and I'm not kidding here, 6 thrift stores
looking for a popcorn popper to modify and trick out. I didn't find one. The
search goes on… I only have four or five days till Nirvana in the form of=
 a
green bean shows up… I wonder what it smells like in the raw form?
The reader may ask "what, pray tell, did you purchase in the way of beans
last night"? I bought El Salvador Matalapa Estate Bourbon, Guatemala El
Enjerto Estate Burbon, and Colombia Huila Valencia. I can only hope that
these are good *learning* beans because I'm ALL in baby! This is the way, *=
I'M
SURE OF IT!* to nirvana on a daily basis.
Now I have to ask you… how closely does this journey of mine mirror your
journey to "Your Nirvana cup? You know. Reading reviews about cupping,
roasting your own beans, grinding just so, brewing with 195 degree water for
X minutes? I'm pretty sure I have company here.
My name is Jim. I live in Southern California. Azusa. I'd like to hear any
tips you may have about my first attempt at roasting. I'm prepared to have
"bitter" cups as it were, just as in the French press boiling water days.
I'm sure with some help on your end and reading on this end, I can produce
great coffee with regularity. By the way I have access to a full machine
shop and am well into making my first (yes first, because I'm sure I'll make
more, and better) roaster.
Any thoughts on hot air vs. natural gas? At this point I can go either way.
That all said... Greetings all, you now know me. Well sort of… I like to =
Fly
Fish too. Whole other story.
Jim L.
* *
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2) From: Jim Couch
Jim,
 let me welcome you to the group....and congartulate you on your excellent
choice in names......
Walgreens has a air popper with the side vents that seems to work fine for
many folks recently.
While details may vary I think that we all follow somewhat the same "path"
of revelations
or Aha! moments in our journey. Just keep on puttin one foot in front of the
other.......
I'm not that sure anymore that the "journey" has an end......
Jim
On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 6:38 PM, Jim Lee  wrote:
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-- =
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
"This is worse than a divorce... I've lost half of my net worth and I still
have my wife.."
Idiots are so much fun. Thats why every village has or wants one. "House"
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3) From: Demian Ebert
Hi Jim-
Welcome to coffee nirvana (or at least the process towards reaching coffee
nirvana). You've found the SM site, so you are well on the way.
If your popper quest is still ongoing, I'd recommend a trip to your local
walgreens. They used to have a suitable popper that was around $10 new. I
used one when I started a few years ago. It roasts fast, and not very much,
but it roasts. The next step is a scale to weight the greens and a
thermometer to keep track of temperatures. Both are pretty important. I
liked starting with a popper and have recommended that approach to a few
folks over the years.
We just started weighing the beans for use in our daily FP and I have to say
it's improved the quality of our coffee. Don't know why it's taken years to
start doing that. I'd already monkeyed with the grind and steep time. But
otherwise, water just off the boil, Rocky at 22, 60 grams of coffee, 32 oz
of water, 2:33 steep time. It does get a little weird to non-coffee drinkers
but we like the results.
Demian
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4) From: Michael Dhabolt
Jim,
You sound like a committable geek that will fit right into this group,
the passion associated with it's pursuits has obviously already taken
root with you.
You might try looking on Ebay for a Poppery 1 (original Poppery) if
you don't have any luck in your thrift store meanderings.  The price
will be substantial compared to the more current poppers but the
pathway to an exceptional level of control with it are pretty well
documented in many places on the web.  You can become truly crazy with
modifications.  The modifications will provide control of the process
to an almost unmatched level and a one half pound yield is a good
place for most home roasters who aren't providing roasted coffee to a
whole bunch of 'hangers on'.
However you decide to continue, welcome aboard.  It is an interesting
and rewarding journey.
Mike (just plain)
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5) From: Phil Palmintere
Hey Jim,
I, too, toured the thrift stores with no luck at procuring a popcorn popper.
I did have luck with freecycle.  Here is a link to a freecycle yahoo group
near Azusa: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GlendoraFreecycle/. In my
location, I sent a note saying "wanted: hot air popcorn popper" and within
an hour I had about 4 or 5 people who wanted to give me their hot air
popcorn poppers for free.
Good luck

6) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
 
Welcome to the List, enjoy the Journey.
See alsohttp://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">http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/csa12steps.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://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/Homeroast mailing list">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list
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7) From:
Welcome jim...nice story. Some similar leaps for me.
First I started with decent whole bean (gevalia which was lighter roasted a=
nd much better than any street coffee I had had)...cheapy burr grinder (la =
pavoni)...then a moka pot...then fresh roasted bagged coffee...then my own =
roast on the stove and in the oven...then popcorn popper (which you can buy=
 at sears or target for pretty cheap...the kind with the air outputs on the=
 side)...then the behmor...along with a much better grinder (rocky)...espre=
sso cheapy machine (saeco)...turkish ibrik...french press...aeropress....va=
cpot....the whole works.
Its a good deal...and no one gets hurt.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone

8) From: F.R. Parth
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P2cyX2l0ZW1JZD03ODIw

9) From: Bill
Jim,
welcome to the List.  It's Tuesday now, your coffee may have shown up by
now??  Remember to keep us updated on what you're experiencing.  And as
you've noticed, there's lots of input on the list if you start having
trouble with your roasting!
One thought, those 3 beans that you ordered look awesome.  I have experience
with 2 of them.  I would advise people to start with nice "middle of the
road" beans like those.  On your next order, which may be a few months,
order a sampler.  A great way to taste some coffees you wouldn't otherwise
taste.
Anyway, enjoy the journey.  Make sure you keep us informed about progress.
 Oh, and nice to have you on board.
bill in wyo
who would like to fly fish a lot more... maybe this summer?
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10) From: Mark Osborne
On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 6:02 AM, Bill  wrote:
<Snip>
ience
<Snip>
Hi all,
As another newbie, that's good advice on the choice of beans.
I started with a sampler, and later bought some middle of the road
stuff. Learned a lot more with a couple of pounds of Kenya AA than
with the eight sampler bags....
Of course, I keep modifying the Poppery II and getting better (I
think...) at roasting. It was just easier to have a bigger lot to play
with......
Funny thing is, I've been drinking a lot more coffee....and getting
really persnickity with Miss Silvia. The other huge leap in quality
for me came with new burrs for the SJ.
Well, that was a rambling post.....
Mark
West Sonoma County
-- =
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much
liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.  Thomas
Jefferson
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11) From: Jim Lee
Hello all,
I've been away from the office since my original post last week. Wow did I
get a TON of emails. Thank you for your bits of advise and welcome notes.
New flash!  I roasted my first beans last night and had my first cup this
morning. I ended up mentioning my endeavor to a friend who gave me his
Presto Poplite machine. I was surprised that it only took  4 minutes to get
my beans to an oily French roast color. It happened quickly. Then the thing
just shut down (internal breaker?). Good thing it shut down because I
think I would have ruined them.  I cooled them in a saute pan that I had
placed in the freezer for about 10 mins. Then tossed them in the air like a
chef does with an omelet. It was a full roast and I'm sure to much for that
bean. Was I happy with my cup this morning? Yup! Although toasty it was
good. Can't wait to do more. I'll try to roast this next batch lighter. Not
sure how at this point though. The popper must be teribly hot! I was
setteling in for an 8 to 12 or 15 minute roast. Oh well.
Jim
On 2/19/09, Jim Lee  wrote:
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12) From: Jim Lee
Bit of an update here. If anyone cares.  I have been on the SM page and have
decided that my first roast is more of a Vienna. I tend to like my coffee a
bit on the darker roasted side. But am anxious to explore the same coffee
much lighter. I find myself saying "Hello my name is Jim I'm an addict" ;)~
I'm in the deep end and hardly know how to swim here. Anyone have any
floaties?
Seriously... I seem to have a hot popper (4 min roasting time). I added
beans till they stopped flying out of the top. This probably caused heat to
build faster and was a mistake. With out carboration it heated up.  I'm
going to weigh the beans and take notes next time. Thank you someone for you
suggestion of weighing. I will also add a cylinder of some sort to the top
so the beans are free to fly about. This should keep things cooler, thus a
longer roast, more control, etc.  Anyone have thoughts? Am I way off track?
Also any thoughts on roasting again now, lighter, and blending the two? One
part City, one part Vienna?
Jim (no last name). I am an addict...
On 2/25/09, Jim Lee  wrote:
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13) From: Jim Lee
Hi Frank,
We were on the South side of the lake. The coffee shop actually had it's
coffee roasted in Sacramento and it came up every couple days. Good enough
for me. As I recall it was not far from Harrah's. Maybe a half mile or less.
It was right on the main drag of the lake (name?). It was on the opposite
side of the street than the lake.
Give me a day or so and I'll check to see if it is still in the saved way
points in the GPS.  I'll see what I can do.
I'm headed up this Summer and can't wait to wet a fly while sipping my
coffee stream side.
I just did some work on google. I believe this is it.  Alpen Sierra Coffee
Company
3940 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe CA 96150 Tel: (530) 544-7740
Listed in: Coffee
Shophttp://www.alpensierra.com/Jim
On 2/20/09, F.R. Parth  wrote:
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14) From: Bill
Jim,
use fewer beans in your next roast.  the beans serve as resistance to the
hot air.  More beans retain more heat.  So reduce the amount of beans in
your next roast, and it should take longer.  yeah, 4 minutes is way too
fast.  shoot for 1st crack around 8 or 9...
and Mark, you're dead on that at a point in the roast info curve it pays to
get a decent amount of a single coffee and play with it, getting to see how
different approaches to roasting affect the cup...
enjoy the journey!
bill in wyo
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15) From: Barry Luterman
Try a long extension cord as well. Mixing a lighter roast of the same bean
with the dark bean roast of the same SO is called a Melange not a
blend. Melanging the roast may well save it. A blend is 2 different SO mixed
together.
On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 3:13 PM, Jim Lee  wrote:
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16) From: Jim Lee
Thanks guys all good info.
Jim
On 2/27/09, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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17) From: R Nepsund
You may want to add a chamber extension.   Cut both ends of a can off
with a can opener.   Put it on top of your popper chamber.  Attach it
with either some aluminum foil or high temperature silicone from the
hardware store.
On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:13 PM, Jim Lee  wrote:
...
<Snip>
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18) From: Mark Osborne
On drawback to the chamber extension is that the chaff blows all over
the place. With the stock lid, my chaff mostly blowing into a
bowl.....
I have been playing with the variac to profile. I'm going to build the
fan mod next week. I think that's a good bang for the buck investment.
We'll see....
Mark
On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 10:23 AM, Jim Lee  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much
liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.  Thomas
Jefferson
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19) From:
Hey,
although I sugested it before, at the risk of being redundant, give a long extension cord a try. It may signficantly slow your roast with otherwise minimal effort.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone


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