HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Full French > Grinding for different roasts (17 msgs / 654 lines)
1) From: Doug Hoople
Hi MiKe,
I'm grinning ear to ear reading your post. I was waiting for the protest
that what I'm trying to do is beyond good coffee, and it's been a long time
coming.
It takes some time to wean the family off of the mother's milk of
commercially-roasted coffee to the more-satisfying more-subtle more-better
SO-inflected true-to-the-bean lighter roasts of BETTER COFFEE.
No, I'm not being facetious. Over the past few months, I've truly enjoyed
the discovery of truer coffee, the fruit-tea Africans, the nut-drenched
Brasilians, the earthy sugars of great Sulawesi. I've also misroasted a pile
of not-so-great coffee, and my poor wife has complained bitterly that her
mornings, which used to be a paradise of meaningless pleasure, are now
events of extraordinary gravity and (often enough) poor-tasting coffee.
The strategy of late has been to restore her to the pleasures of
unchallenging mornings, and reserving the pleasures of subtle grades of
fabulously appropriate roasts for my solo mid-day drinking. I really hate to
deprive my wife of these pleasures, but she'll experience them once I've
developed my roasting skills to the point where I can predict that the cup
I'm brewing will provide a measure of pleasure in the manner to which she's
become accustomed.
Thus, the importance of French-roasted Sulawesi. I'm already off the stuff,
but the rest of the family is coming along slowly. The pleasures of better
coffee will come to us all, but better coffee is something of an acquired
taste, and better coffee has to compete with and co-exist with badly-roasted
coffee on the journey toward consistently good homeroast. The badly-roasted
coffee, in case you're wondering, are the batches that I generate that don't
always come out as intended.
When I grow up, I hope that I'll finally know what it takes to get the
results that all the Mikes and Leses and Barrys and Iras and Toms and Dereks
and Johns and Sandys and (good grief, who've I forgotten?) have long since
come to take for granted.
Happy Wednesday Evening, Everyone! Hope your Thursday morning cups are
fabulous!
Doug
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 7:48 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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2) From: Bob Hazen
Doug,
Now >your< post makes >me< grin ear to ear.
I've just gotta go roast something.   Tonight.  Can't go to bed yet. . . . =
gotta roast. . . .  gonna be a late night. . . .
Bob

3) From: John MacIntyre
Great post Doug!
Thanks for the great reply, I'm grinning now too!
Keep at it !
Cheers!
John in Nor Cal
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 9:06 PM, Doug Hoople  wrote:
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4) From: miKe mcKoffee
I too enjoyed your reply Doug. Just so you know, personally I don't like
most Sulawesi without at least touch of 2nd usually a bit more. And it's a
coffee that sings very well at Vienna. Once you get your roasting skills
honed more I've little doubt a good Sulawesi Vienna roast would be
appreciated by your current Full French Family.
As far a "lighter roasts" go, lighter is relative and not all coffees sing
best going too light IMO. I developed an actual phobia to 2nd crack and
roasted NOTHING to even a touch of 2nd for 2 years. Interestingly Sulawesi
was one origin never achieved a pre-2nd roast I liked, very few Sumatra
either. Kicked that phobia going on 6 or 7 years now...
Slave to the Bean 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/=
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5) From: Doug Hoople
"Once you get your roasting skills honed more I've little doubt a good
Sulawesi Vienna roast "
Yes! I, of course, didn't mean to imply that all my coffee has turned out
poorly. Had that been the case, I'd have given up long ago. To the extent
that I've pleased my wife, it's been largely with exactly that "good
Sulawesi Vienna roast."
And, in general, you're absolutely right. While the bigs get it mostly wrong
to French-roast nearly all their coffees, the reason to gravitate toward
Sulawesi when drinking their stuff over time is that it is the most
comfortable with, and least assaulted by, the dark roasting. I agree that
Sulawesi is the big exception to the rule of shying away from 2nd crack.
Just to add a little texture to those mornings of "extraordinary gravity,"
my wife could always tell when the coffee was good. At first I'd pester her
for her review, which she found quite annoying. Eventually, I'd just keep
myself tuned to whether or not she reached for a second cup.
But there were two things that still made mornings a hazard to be navigated
instead of a pleasure to be relished... 1) she can always tell when I've
botched a batch, and can always tell when I've nailed it, so kudos to her
for having a reliable set of taste buds, but she tastes the morning-spoiling
botches on the first sip, and 2) she instinctively dislikes pronounced
brightness, which is understandable, and fruit (both fruity and fruited),
which I find a bit baffling.
So, given a morning that had an even shot at a pot of "good Sulawesi Vienna
roast," a pot from a bad batch, a pot from a bright batch, or a pot from a
fruity/fruited batch, she was finding her odds and her coffee not to her
liking.
I'm in the process of trying to improve her odds. Since she reliably enjoys
her Sulawesi roasted anywhere from Vienna to French, that's what shows up in
the family cup, and our mornings have resumed their paradisical meaningless
bliss.
When I've stumbled on a batch of another coffee that I think she'll like,
I'll start working that into the morning routine, too. But with great care,
and with respect for the need to keep high the ratio of "good and
unchallenging" to "challenging and/or bad."
And, when I nail them, I'll keep the lighter, brighter, fruited, interesting
and challenging batches as guilty pleasures for myself! Maybe I'll share
them eventually, but my wife will have to say "Please?"! :-)
Doug
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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6) From: Joseph Robertson
One of the best threads I've read for awhile. Thanks out to Doug,
miKe, John, Bob....
miKe, your experience is well received on this list. Thank you for
sharing your roast notes in terms I can understand and pass on to
family and customers who keep asking for dark roasts.
I have had first hand/eye/nose experience with miKes Vienna blend.
Amazing in appearance and aroma. I have not had the pleasure yet of
bathing my taste buds in it. Nice to know this is possible when you
get your roasting skills fine tuned. In the kung fu world of coffee
roasting I'm know I'm still a grasshopper anxious to grow wings.
JoeR
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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7) From: Michael Dhabolt
Doug,
Well thought out and imminently readable presentation.
The Sulawesi is a bean I have no experience with. Based on your, and
miKes, recommendation I think I'll try it.  I have a friend that I
roast for that started out demanding oily french roast and it has
taken several years to get him to accept a Vienna roast (lightly
spotted at three days rest).  Being comfortable with varietals that
respond well to this roast level is somewhat of a challenge for me due
to my inability to appreciate them.  For what I believe to be cultural
demands he likes a 50% Harar Horse and 50% something else blend
(cultural demand = he grew up in Ethiopia near where Harar Horse
originates).  Identifying the other blend bean that stands up well to
this blend and roast level is the challenge that the Sulawesi may
solve.
Thx.
Mike (just plain)
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8) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Mike (just plain),
A quick summary of my experience with the SM Sulawesi/archipelago offerings.
As MiKe already mentioned, Sumatras share (maybe to a lesser extent) the
Sulawesi tolerance for darker roasts, so you should look at Sumatras as
blending candidates.
Sulawesi Toraja Sapan-Minanga. A beautiful coffee that stands on its own as
a single origin. This is the family bean, and the baseline for my roasting
experience. It's been available at SM for a long time.
Sulawesi Enrekang "Mt Alla." Another "complete" Sulawesi, eminently
drinkable on its own.
I mention them as good SO coffees to highlight that they might have a bit
too much personality on their own to blend well. However, I don't know
blending, so I can't say that for sure. I mean, I totally missed the boat on
the Bali Blue Krishna as a blender because I thought that might have too
much personality, too. But the blenders on the list seem to indicate that
it's all the "right" personality. So take this sidebar as worth every penny
you paid to read it.
Ok, on with the list...
Sulawesi AA-Wet Process Toarco. A completely uncharacteristic Sulawesi
coffee, and so this occupies a category of its own. I haven't had enough
time with it, but this might be the exception to Sulawesis tolerating
darkness, and might need to be roast lighter to bring it out.
Sumatra Lake Toba 19+. No longer on the SM list, but I thought I'd put it
here, since we are talking about dark roast-tolerance, and especially
because you're looking for a blender. I think it shares a lot in common with
many Sumatras, but I'm just guessing. I personally found this to be an
all-body, no-acid, muted-flavor coffee. I don't like drinking it as an SO,
but I'd guess that, as a body-builder in a blend, it would be hard to beat.
That's about it. I've exhausted my entire store of knowledge of the dark
roast-friendly archipelago beans, except to say that I've played with some
non-SM Timors that have been pretty nice, lying somewhere between the
Sulawesis and the Sumatras on the body/flavor spectrum.
Post us with your blending results, Mike (just plain)! I, for one, eagerly
await them.
Thanks.
Doug
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Michael Dhabolt
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9) From: Barry Luterman
Mike speaking about the Bali. How is it working out for you? Are you
blending it? Is it everything I said?
On 4/9/09, Doug Hoople  wrote:
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10) From: Michael Dhabolt
Doug,
Lot of info, appreciate it. And the Sulawesi does indeed sound like
something I should try.
Barry,
<Snip>
I'm really liking the Bali.  As usual, your recommendation was right
on.  The question is timely, re: the current conversation about beans
appropriate for a dark roast, It seems to stand up well to a Vienna,
I'm currently 7 days into a 50% Bali (Vienna) / 50% IMV (FC+) blend
that is outstanding.
Mike (just plain)
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11) From: Bill S.
miKe, Thanks also from me for everything you bring to this forum.. your
knowledge, experience, judgement, energy and style are appreciated..
FYI, My wife and I have fallen to mostly enjoy a FC roast, within the range
of C+ to FC+, depending on bean attributes.  I usually roast a half pound of
a regular and a decaf separately every 4-8 days depending on our consumption
and guests.  I select the two to complement each other in a blend (my wife
prefers regular and decaf in a 50/50 blend), as well as for me to enjoy
regular early in the day and decaf late in the day.  Examples of this are:
Columbia Huila Valencia at FC with Decaf Espresso Donkey Blend at FC+, and
Guatemala Oriente Dry Process at FC+ with Mexico Organic Oaxaca WP Decaf at
C+.
Bill S.
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 1:15 AM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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12) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Mike (just plain),
Forgive me for my Sulawesi/Sumatra summaries. In this company, I feel like a
poser, so, again, take this as worth every penny you paid for it.
Refining the descriptions of the Sulawesi Toraja Sapan-Minanga and the
Sulawesi Enrekang "Mt Alla," it dawned on me that the "Mt Alla" might have
more potential as a blending anchor a la the Bali Blue Krishna, if I
understand the reasons why the Blue Krishna makes for a good blending
anchor.
For reasons I can detail in about a week's time, I've just recently
discovered the "Mt Alla" to have qualities quite similar to the Blue
Krishna, nice and nutty, sweet, not too earthy. Easily mistaken for a more
complex Brazilian, actually.
So if I were to compare the Toraja with the "Mt Alla," I'd say that the
Toraja is earthier, as you'd expect of a Sulawesi, but also that it's flavor
components are more pronounced. The "Mt Alla" has many of the same flavor
components, but they don't jump out quite as loudly, and might benefit from
the amplification that blending could bring.
My $0.02. Pure speculation. And I'd be really happy to hear from the experts
how close I am, or, on the other hand, how completely full of crap I am.
Either way, always happy to hear straight dope from people who know, which
is why I keep coming here every day.
Happy Friday, eveyone!
Doug
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:05 PM, Michael Dhabolt
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13) From: Bob Hazen
Y'all have a baaaaaad influence on me!  (vbg)
All this talk about Sulawesi....  I have always enjoyed this bean, so I 
decided I probably need some more.  Reading Tom's reviews just set the hook. 
I now have a 5'er of Toraja Sapan-Minanga  and another one of AA Wet-Process 
Toarco in the care of Brown.  While reading the reviews I also succumbed to 
a 5'er of Brazil Moreninha Formosa Raisin Coffee.  That one sounds 
interesting!  Of course, I know this is just gonna happen all over again 
when Horse arrives.....
Bob

14) From: Doug Hoople
Hi All,
Sulawesi update. I just roasted the WP Toarco yesterday, to full Vienna,
counter to the general recommendation, and it's really fantastic!
I've been a bit dubious about the Toarco, as I've been following the
recommendation to treat it as though it's not like other Sulawesi's and have
been roasting it light.
YMMV, and eveyone's tastes are different, but I thought the Toarco roasted
light (relative to Sulawesi, at C+) was actually pretty awful.
And, I suppose it's been enough time now, it's safely past spoiling the plot
to say... The #1 of the two unidentified of the last "roasted pairing" was
the Toarco, and, frankly, I thought it was downright awful. Tasted like
gazpacho made from unripe tomatoes, and I don't mean that in a good way.
Just my opinion, so no flames please. SM knows a helluva lot more about
coffee than I do, so I have to chalk it up to Philistine taste buds on my
part.
But I thought I'd bang the corner with it, because I had nothing to lose. I
was almost ready to throw it out, to be honest.  So I took it to full
Vienna, with spots of oil just appearing on some of the beans. And it's
phenomenal!
Maybe it's all the French roast I've been drinking lately while seeking the
Northwest Passage of glass-rod vacpot dark roast, and I've crossed over to
the dark side (pun intended) without knowing it, but it tastes like the
Toarco has come into its own. It's singing, as MiKe puts it.
Doug
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
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15) From: raymanowen
I decided long ago that half of roasting was cooling, and that most of the
flavor of coffee is due to the roasting process. So why deny that the coffee
has been roasted to achieve its gorgeous flavor?
I think we've progressed beyond Kaldi's goats, and we want more than just
the origin flavor- something we can achieve on our own without resorting to
a button or a meter, as if we're tied to a script of some sort.
The book hasn't been published yet that has the absolute coffee taste
standards. Even if it did exist, it would be revised or David Kenmore would
compose under a new title. *$ or 7-11 has your coffee if you want exactly
the same flavor every time. They hit the jackpot.
No coffee is ever the same exact articulation of flavors from harvest to
harvest. Embrace the variety.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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16) From: Joseph Robertson
Ray,
And the only way you can come close to achieving "the same flavor
every time" is to roast most all of them out. Ahh, except for that
burnt one. The public's palate and mine too, were/are conditioned ,
programed to say, yaaa, that's coffee. As a roaster I want to explore
from season to season what's hiding behind and before that dark roast.
Then share and watch their face's and eyes light up when their taste
buds dance with new notes of coffee.
It's all so fun,,,
JoeR
On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 2:05 AM,   wrote:
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17) From: raymanowen
<Snip>
time" is to roast most all of them out.
[ la the well-known purveyor of coffee like drinks; my very first roast =
was
making noise and emitting wisps of smoke.
Thought I'd ruined the Kenya AA in my brand new Melitta Aroma Roast, but the
flavor was intriguing in the 2 or 3 cups I got out of the first couple of
pounds I roasted. I was mobbed and barely got to experience the nectar of my
own labor.]
In my battery charger shop, I had an endless supply of steam distilled
water. I tried it and liked it. So did everybody else. I know- we're all
rong. Sori na lang, es hat mir ein Leids getan aber es macht Nichts.
<Snip>
conditioned, programed to say, yaaa, that's coffee.
As a roaster I want to explore from season to season what's hiding behind
and before that dark roast.
[A dark roast comes into existence after a light roast, as the first of the
Second Cracks are occurring, most of the batch is not there yet. Stop it
right there, and you're not in Vienna yet.
 As a GI, I learned the perfect fit of a mop or shovel handle to the hand.
As a civilian, the operator's new title became janitor or laborer. "Roaster"
is the civilian term applied to one who induces a metamorphosis of legumes
or seeds.]
<Snip>
dance with new notes of coffee.
[Or, as I began to like the actual taste of nicely extracted coffee, the
comment became, "Ooh, this is strong."]
There's a fix for strong, not for weak.
Connie, in the beauty salon next door, initially thought the airpots of IMV
were strong but the steamy hot airpot of Vietnamese was "smooth and
[complex]" this morning. The Westminster Sidewalk Fair or Arts and Crafts
Fair in the park next to the firehouse might develop.
<Snip>
find M*A*S*H syndications new and exciting-] Of course, coffee is fun.
Roasting is even more so, since it results from the profile of heat energy
applied to the seeds and the removal profile. The roast develops partly as
the definite integral of temperature and time, also the curve slope.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Numbers, numbers- automate the whole process- for Automatic Coffee.
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