HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Why is home roasted coffee so good? (18 msgs / 456 lines)
1) From: Samuel Goldberger
[longish]
Yesterday, I received in the mail a pound of espresso from a old,  
distinguished New York-based blender/roaster. He is very proud of this  
coffee, having selected, over the years, six different beans, using  
the most sophisticated roasting equipment, and having won accolades  
throughout the US and Italy for the quality. It looked nice, had  
excellent aroma, and was roasted to a nice FC+. The crema was OK, but  
nothing to write home about.
Now, I had been drinking some Sumatra that I had purchased from Tom,  
and roasted in my HotTop. I must tell you that I really do not know  
what the hell I am doing. I do not follow a precise roast curve, but I  
have found through experimentation a method that works for me. I  
preheat to about 190 degrees (as shown on the panel), then add 300  
grams of coffee; at about 325 degrees I turn the fan on to get rid of  
the first increment of smoke and steam and then turn it off until  
first crack begins. At that point, I turn down the heat, turn up the  
fan, and coast through first crack. After it's over, I turn the heat  
back up, leaving the fan on, and watch and listen for second crack.  
How deep I go into second crack depends upon the coffee. In the case  
of this Sumatra, I wait until it's well underway (I couldn't tell you  
how many seconds), and then eject the beans and let them cool in the  
tray. I put it in a Mason jar with a loosely fitting lid, let it sit  
for 24 -48 hours (or longer if I'm roasting a Yemeni coffee). Then I  
grind it in my Mazzer, and brew it in my Vivaldi.
I have to say with all due modesty that drinking my own coffee is like  
listening to high quality stereo as compared to the distinguished New  
York roaster's product, which is like listening to a cheap table  
radio. My guests agree.
BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHY. It's wrong. It should not be this way. I do not  
know what the hell I am doing. But for some reason I can roast better  
coffee than I can get from local artisanal roasters, or from remote  
artisanal roasters.
Will someone please take pity on my and explain this phenomenon? It  
really troubles me.
---
Samuel M. Goldberger
tirmidi
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2) From: Yakster
Samuel,
First, of all, that's great.  Enjoy it.
As to why, I'd first ask how recently the commercial coffee was
roasted compared to yours?  I really believe that fresh, home roasted
beans have an unfair advantage to older, commercial beans because they
haven't lost their essential oils and volatile aroma.
Every time I drink a fruit bomb Ethiopian three days after roasting in
the Behmor and then see it fade over the next few days, it tells me
this.
Other then the freshness of the roast, the other advantage that home
roasting brings is that you get to roast exactly what you want and
exactly how you want it.  I know there's a few boutique, artisan
rosters out there that will do this for you, but none near me and none
that I could regularly afford.
I have to admit that when I pick up a bag of Barefoot Coffee Roasters
or I get a shot of Barefoot, Ecco, or Ritual pulled at my favorite San
Jose 3rd wave coffee hang out that I'm no expert, but I sure enjoy
drinking what I roast.
-Chris
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Samuel Goldberger  wrote:
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3) From: Barry Luterman
Let us not forget Tom's expertise in choosing the right beans for us
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 2:51 PM, Yakster  wrote:
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4) From: Yakster
Very true.  Almost goes without saying.... almost.
Thanks for reminding us, Barry.
-Chris
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 4:55 PM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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5) From: Bob Hazen
It's the beans, man....  It's the beans!
I've heard tales from folks who purchased beans from "other" vendors, or 
even directly from the grower at some remote location.  Seems they mostly 
are non-plussed when they taste the results.
It's truly the beans.
Bob
P.S.  No pity from me.  You're likely drinking some of the best coffee on 
the planet.  Now if you were being force-fed Maxswill House or Foulgers, you 
might get some of that pity.  :-)
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6) From: Sandy Andina
Smaller batches, more personal attention, closer monitoring of how  
long to rest the beans.  Your homeroast is never too fresh & gassy,  
and you probably finish it before it has a chance to go stale. I too  
resisted homeroasting on the grounds (no pun intended) that I live  
mere blocks from Metropolis and fifteen minutes from Intelligentsia.   
And then I tried DIY, and (except when in a hurry and using a Keurig),  
haven't gone back (unless I need a hostess gift and I haven't had time  
to roast before I hit the road).  Now, they may pull better drinks  
than I do (especially their latte art), but you can't do better than  
your own beans from a great source, roasted instinctively the way you  
like them, at the precise time you decide they're at their best.
On Nov 11, 2009, at 3:23 PM, Samuel Goldberger wrote:
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Peace & song,
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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7) From: Yakster
I've been following a thread on Home-Barista that started out asking
about the oldest greens you've roasted.  It's touching on storage (vac
sealing / freezing) but also talks about how the coffee is treated at
the origin and how long it sits in the warehouse.  Some on the thread
are throwing out the idea that dry processed coffees noticeably lose
something after only three months of storage at home.http://www.home-barista.com/home-roasting/oldest-green-beans-you-have-used-t12387.htmlTom's attention to the handling at origin and time in the warehouse
factors really makes a difference in the cup.  You may not get the
same bean next year, but what you will get will be great.
Thanks.
-Chris
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8) From: Brian Kamnetz
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9) From: Yakster
The three months was from other posters on the Home-Barista thread.  I
haven't noticed this myself.  I'll be roasting up some Oriente
tonight, I love that bean and will be really sad when that's gone.
I've been trying to work down my stash and have been very sad to have
to pass up some great offerings, though I did sneak an order for the
Maravilla and The New Classic Espresso blend (shhh).
I've got some Sumatra and Ethiopian Sidamo DP that I got this time
last year that I'm still enjoying.
-Chris
On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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10) From: Bonnie Polkinghorn
The person that introduced me to home roasting put it this way:
Compare home baked chocolate chip cookies to store bought.  I have
never looked back.  Sweet Maria's gives us the best "ingredients".
-Bonnie P.
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11) From: decrisce.md
Hello all, just roasted a pound of org dale yirg vac packed since 6/08. It was incredible lemon. Prob less so than fresh beans-but great nevertheless. Thanks to Sweet Maria for the great beans and to people on this list for giving me the idea to do it. I'm down to about 50 pounds in stash reduction!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

12) From: miKe mcKoffee
"Storage at home" is rather meaningless without knowing the particulars of a
particular home storage. Moderate temperature and moderate humidity stored
will fair far better longer than high heat, high humidity, or low humidity
storage. For instance stored at 90f+ temp 90%+ humidity like some places
greens will die not in months but weeks or days.
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.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/=
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13) From: Steve Carlson
I'm glad to see this thread, because I was wondering the same thing myself.
Living in the Bay Area, there's no shortage of "artisinal" or "organic" or
generally fru-fru coffee to go around.  But having been hooked on home-roast
for over a year now, I really have a hard time drinking anything else.  At
its best, I can taste some shadow of the flavors I get from Tom's beans.
The grapefruit off a Kenyan, the chocolate off a Costa Rican, the tobacco
off a Sumatran -- all that is simply gone, or buried in tar, when I get a
cup on the street.
I was thinking about why so few people home-roast, and I think it is the
time-lag with the birth of the Internet.  I'm guessing almost nobody did
this before the Internet allowed this kind of revival.  Were there stores
that sold green beans in the 70s and 80s?  I'm figuring that until there was
a nationwide and worldwide market for beans like Tom's, there just was no
way to make a business out of green beans.  It must be only in the last ten
years or so that this is taking off, and that we are the upswing, the tip of
the sword, the rising tide of people striving for flavor.  Kind of like that
Cave from Plato, having mistaken shadows for lifeforms, we're now emerging
out of the darkness, climbing out into the piercing light, finally grappling
with true flavor.....
On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 9:56 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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14) From: Joseph Robertson
In a nut shell or coffee cherry, I think your right on.
JoeR
On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 9:59 PM, Steve Carlson  wrote:
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-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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15) From: Allon Stern
On Nov 16, 2009, at 12:59 AM, Steve Carlson wrote:
<Snip>
There probably weren't many stores that sold greens in the 1970's and  
1980's, but there probably were in the 1870s and 1880s....
Then again, coffee was roasted on a commercial scale as a convenience,  
not to enhance the flavor. I doubt many people who roasted their own  
in the early days of coffee's commoditization  paid much attention to  
profiles or origins of coffee, or quality of greens. It was a drug  
delivery system, much as most of the consumers view it today. They  
don't care, as long as it is hot, and bears caffeine.
We're in the minority, and probably will be for the foreseeable  
future.  That doesn't mean that we're wrong in roasting our coffees  
ourselves, it just means that we care.
-
allon
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16) From: Bill Johns
Allon Stern wrote:
<Snip>
I agree.  For some, it's a maximum possible, for others it is the 
minimum acceptable.  I just started down this path and look forward to 
the search for the perfect cup.  I anticipate that I'll never get it, 
but it's the journey that I'm in for.
Cheers,
Bill
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17) From: Yakster
I started roasting when I found bags of green beans along with
charcoal and other Ethiopian coffee ceremony supplies at a convenience
store at the light rail station I was using. I had heard of
homeroasting so I was curious. And bought a bag, but this merchant had
arranged to bring this in for his customers who traditionally roasted
coffee. They also stocked date cookies (yum), henna, and other
cultural items not normally found.
Because of this, I suspect that there has been home roastinmg here in
many different forms. I suspect you could also find beans for roasting
for Greek or Turkish coffee.
I still see those bags of Ethiopian beans at the store, they're not
labeled and I hope they're not still the same crop from years ago, but
I suspect that they are a few years old at least.
I think the home roast resurgence is breaking the traditional bounds
an introducing the gormet or epicurian element to roasting coffee
similar to the home brewing phenemena in the 70s and 80s. My dad
brewed beer in college using pabst blue ribbon malt, I suspect the
beer I brewed in college with all the quality ingredients available.
It also helped that Jimmy Carter legalized it.
-Chris
On 11/16/09, Allon Stern  wrote:
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18) From: Sandy Andina
There's an Ethiopian restaurant around  the corner from me that does  
the coffee roasting ceremony with a clay brazier and a mortar &  
pestle. That 's always the best part of our block party brunch.
Sent from my iPhone
Peace & song,
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
On Nov 16, 2009, at 10:11 AM, Yakster  wrote:
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