HomeRoast Digest


Topic: tow newbie questions - a bit long. (2 msgs / 68 lines)
1) From: Mckenna Hallett
Aloha from Maui!  First off...I have been lurking for a few weeks and my 
goodness - what a great group of people on this list!  And what a gold mine 
for me, and my partner in this adventure, Curtis.  We are turning to home 
roasting out of pure necessity - a nearly 25 year old relationship with a 
great roasting house in San Francisco has turned sour...just not giving us 
quality and several forays into other purveyors has sealed our 
fate.   That, plus the fact that we just found a Poppery II at the local 
Salvation Army for $4.00 (that puts out plenty of heat and air movement) 
has us chomping at the bit.
Which leads me to my first set of questions: it does have a defect...the 
butter dish insert has a crack in it which clearly is going to let 
steam/heat out.  Is there a way to repair that or any suggestions on how to 
get around this?  Or is it really going to be a big problem?   Or maybe 
there is a spare parts source that I need to know about?
Question two is surely going to create interesting conversation.  But a bit 
of background first.  I was introduced to the gourmet side of coffee 
culture by a lovely old Russian man who had a small shop in San 
Francisco.   He always had several brews going and was annoyed if someone 
would not honor his request to do a tasting of each one during every visit. 
He taught me many details, but that was nearly 30 years ago and he retired 
over 25 years ago.  Somewhere along the line I became addicted to Sumatra 
and to the aforementioned roasting house and rarely strayed from my 
purchase of SM.  When I moved to Maui 16 years ago, I found no coffee was 
being roasted here, so continued to buy from San Francisco.  Today there 
are a few roasters here, but they are tending (trending) to the burn the 
bean (hide the origin?) syndrome AKA The Star$ucks school of burn em and 
churn em.  Cannot find a good roast!  Help!
Okay, so the second set of questions: What varietal would you recommend for 
a first timer?  In other words, are there some that "tolerate" mistakes 
better than others.  Clearly some beans have a very specific window of 
roasting times and I want to start with _some_ hope of success.  :-)  OR 
would you all recommend that I just order a sampler from Sweet Marie's and 
just go for it?
Any words of encouragement are greatly desired.  Mahalo in advance...
Mckenna
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

2) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Mckenna, in my experience, the Pacific coffees like your favorite, Sumatra, 
have a fairly wide tolerance for roasts.  Some coffees, like Yirgacheffe, 
only do well if roasted to a city, not full city, so you won't go wrong 
with the Pacific coffees for beginning roasts.
I have also found that many Costa Rican coffees are quite forgiving and 
produce spectacular results for beginning roasters.
My first roast was, interestingly, of Zimbabwe Lynwood estate.  SM has a 
Zimbabwe now, not the Lynwood, but a very fine coffee and it too, is forgiving.
Once you start roasting your own, you will be completely spoiled.  My wife 
and I cannot stand coffee prepared anywhere but at the home of friends who 
share our obscession, and of course, from our own kitchen and espresso machine.
Dan
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast


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