HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New & now can I ask another... (3 msgs / 114 lines)
1) From: Paul Jolly
Debbie, you'll do well on the stovetop.  That's
how I started, then I discovered how much easier
it was to roast in the oven with teh beans spread
out evenly on a cookie sheet.  Then I got a
Poppery II, then a Poppery I, then a
FreshRoast....
Based upon your description, I'd suggest you try
Sumatra, Sulawesi, Timor, Java, and Indian Pearl
Mountain.  Big on body, not much "pungency" (oh,
almost forgot: don't roast too dark or you'll be
in for lots of burnt pungency--cool your roasts
10-30 seconds into second crack, or lighter as
you prefer).  Also try some Centrals--Costa Rican
and Mexican come to mind.  And dig into the
Island beans Tom carries--all are milder but
subtle and satisfying.
Guatemalans might be too "sharp" for you, and I
reckon you should DEFINITELY steer clear of any
Kenyan, Ethiopian, or Yemeni beans (sad, because
I'm drinking Harar Horse right now and it is an
absolutely spectacular bean).  Once you've tried
some and are ready to branch out, order Tom's
once-in-a-lifetime 8-pack...and you may ask
yourself, 'How did I get here?'  Enjoy!
Paul
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2) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
Somehow I missed the original post - but if you're roasting on the stove top
I hope you're using a large frying pan with a glass lid.  Otherwise you are
going to fill your kitchen with floating chaff.   Using the skillet with a
glass lid is the way I began and was really disappointed in the result as a
drip brew.  Then I did a little reading and discovered the outgas period!
Hey it was good after a resting period - and I never bought coffee in a
store again.  If you are like the rest of us, you will continue to gravitate
upward until you have a small fortune invested in roasting, grinding and
brewing - and you'll still be looking for something to get you just a little
better drink.
John - trying to figure out how to integrate my microwave with my Solis
Master

3) From: JB Christy
Debbie,
I recommend starting with beans that taste great at a wide range of roasts.
That way you can experiment with process and still end up with something that
tastes great in the cup.  Choose a bean that you can take all the way into
second crack so you can hear what that sounds like, but that will still taste
good if you stop it earlier.  Sweet Maria's detailed reviews of each bean have a
"Roast" section [thanks, Tom!].  Look for beans that say "City to Full City+",
or otherwise indicate that they'll taste great no matter what you do to them.
Beans that fall into this category include:
+ Guatemala Finca La Laguna -100% Bourbon
  http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.guatemala.html#la.laguna)+ Kenya AA Lot 82 (I don't know why Paul said not to start with a Kenyan?)
  http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.africa.kenya.html#Lot.82)+ Timor Aifu
  http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.indonesia.timor.html#timor.aifu)+ Sumatra Lake Tawar Triple-Pick (may roast a little strangely, so maybe
  not the best to practice hearing the cracks on)
  http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.indonesia.sumatra.html#lake.tawar)Of the above, the Guatemalan is probably closest to what you said you liked, the
Sumatran least similar.  But I suggest that you not be too concerned with what
kinds of coffee you've liked to date.  Once you roast your own, you'll discover
that you've never really had any coffee at its best.  I would be astonished if,
after trying several coffees, you don't discover that your favorite is a coffee
you thought you didn't like.
For example, prior to roasting my own, I wrote off the entire western
hemisphere.  Brazilian, Colombian, Guatemalan?  Feh.  Bland and lifeless.  Gimme
a rich, full-bodied Sumatran roasted 'til the oil oozes out of it any day.  Now
that I'm roasting my own?  Just a few days ago I wrote how much I loved the
lightly roasted Costa Rican Tres Rios - La Magnolia.  And the Guatemalan
Huehuetenango makes my heart sing.  Turns out I'd just never had 'em fresh.  Few
things in this hobby are certain, but I'm certain you'll end up loving coffees
you didn't think you'd even like. :-)
Best of luck, and happy roasting!
--JB
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