HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Advice for beginner (13 msgs / 338 lines)
1) From: Bob Faull
Hi all –
I hope someone can help me out there.  While searching for a vacuum coffee =
maker to get my girlfriend for her birthday I found the Sweet Maria’s web=
 site.  Now, I’m thinking about maybe getting her beans so she can roast =
her own.  Since I’m a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff (and mos=
t other things) I could use some advice on what the best vacuum pot is (I=
’m thinking of going with the Yama since it seems to have a better filter=
) and on what kind of coffee beans I should get (I’m thinking of a sample=
r pack and another pound of something to practice roasting).  Also, does an=
yone know what brands/models of popcorn poppers currently being produced ar=
e suitable for roasting (I’ve read the instructions on the web site, but =
can’t find any of the poppers mentioned).  Any help/guidance/advice would=
 be very much appreciated.
Thanks a bunch,
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2) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
you ask good questions which have no easy answers.  You will probably get
many different opinions. Here are my "few cents worth" of ideas:
As a coffee roaster, I would suggest the Caffé Rosto, especially if you are
after darker-roasted full-bodied coffee. I have one (see a note below) and
was quite satisfied with it.
For a vacuum brewer, it depends on how much involved in coffee brewing you
girl friend plan to be.  If she is looking for "very low involvement", I
would recommend the electric Bodum. I know that there are better looking
vacuum brewers giving you more control over the process, but the electric
Bodum brewers (there are two models, each in several color) are very simple
to use. Also, they are not glass makers, thus they are quite sturdy. I also
know that Tom does not like them as they (not you) control the brewing time.
I would also suggest that you look into French Press brewers instead a
vacuum machine. Both make very good coffee.
You also need to buy a decent coffee mill. I would recommend the Solis
Maestro.  It is not the best or most durable grinder, but it is a nice
looking decent and affordable grinder.
Those are my opinions.  I am sure you will receive many quite different
suggestions. Good luck!
Cheers, Lubos
Although I do not use our Caffé Rosto roaster since we bought the more
expensive HotTop roaster, I still believe that Caffé Rosto CR120 is a good
and easy to use (and available) first roaster.
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3) From: Mike McGinness
Though maybe not strictly netiquette to post agreement, multiple same or
similar answers to question(s) may aid decision process so here goes!
From: "Irene and Lubos Palounek" 
Ditto satisfaction with Rosto. Going on two years great roasting all roasts.
The Bodum eVac can be somewhat controlled by adding feet to the back... I
added two 1/4" stick on rubber feet to get an average infusion of 2 minutes.
Probably second only to Americano brewing IMNSHO!:-)
If planning for espresso grinding the Maestro burrs will wear out fast. In a
few months not years. If keeping grind coarser than espresso grind needs
should last much longer I'd expect, don't know for a fact since mine as
always been used for multiple grinds. Shot, only upper burr user
Ditto wishin you luck and 8-pak sampler plus a # or 3 to get used to
roasting good idea. I'd suggest a bean type you (she) is already familiar
with for the larger amount...
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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4) From:
You will no doubt get a great amount of marvelous answers/advice/opinion on
the matters you put forward.  I would like to add one from my own
experience.  Actually it came from a couple of the therapists I've had over
the years. "Before you give somebody something, find out if that's what they
want." As in - - - check out if she would really be interested in roasting
coffee before you go through all the energy and expense of figuring out what
to get her only to find out she didn't even want it. (As in the microwave
oven I got for my wife in 1973.

5) From: R.N.Kyle
I'm sure you will get several good suggestions. This is what I use. I =
started out with  West Bend PopperyII, Then went to a Fresh Roast +. I =
still use both of them. The sampler pack Tom sells is a good starting =
The Vacuum pot I bought although simple and not real elegant, is a =
decent Vac Pot was a Yama. simple to use and makes a good pot of Coffee. =
 Good luck I hope you find Home Roasting as much fun and enjoyable as I =
BTW if you go with one of the designed to roast Roasters the Tome Sells =
a sample of greens usually comes with it.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

6) From: Steve Wall
On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, at 12:43 PM, Bob Faull wrote:
I'm not much farther along than you, as I've only roasted 2-3 pounds of =
coffee so far.
But I'm pleased with my $15 (on sale) Salton air popper that I got from =
Based on some suggestions here I'm now using it inside a cardboard box =
to recirculate
the hot air so that I get higher temperatures.  I've now roasted two 
batches that
way (outside in 40 degree F air) and It has done well.  It very closely =
the West Bend Poppery II shown on the SM website.
Steve Wall
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7) From: Acorn54
you can get a poppery ii with no problem on ebay. these are the poppers 
usually used for roasting green beans.-guy from long island
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8) From: jim gundlach
On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, at 07:22 PM, 
One reason our marriage has lasted 33 years is I learned this lesson in 
a relationship with an ex-girlfriend before I met my wife.
Jim Gundlach
Roasting over pecan wood fires
In Shorter, Alabama
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9) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 06:44 10/11/02, susan oppenheim typed:
I seem to recall that Ron Kyle was offering a popcorn roaster in "The 
Tradition" to list members.  I don't know if he ever found a taker.  BTW, 
why does it cost so much to ship to a poppery II to canada?  That amount 
seems excessive.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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10) From: susan oppenheim
I cannot get a poppery II in Canada.Only popcorn makers with the heat
coming up from beneath.What to do..........If I buy stateside I wind up
paying about 50$ US  for a popcorn machine delivered.......
Acorn54 wrote:
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11) From: Angelo
I just did a very nice roast of the Budidiri in the type of popper you 
describe. I have many poppers, most of them the "approved" type, and I fail 
to see why this (updraft)type of roaster is maligned so much.  I usually 
roast in the centrifugal type and save the updraft type for roasting my 
sunflower and sesame seeds...(Does a great job, BTW). But, if I had to pay 
$50 for a centrifugal popper, I would use the updraft one, exclusively..
There are some things to note:
Since the force upward is quite strong, do not try to put the beans in a 
little at a time. They will be thrown all about your workspace. Put them 
all in..THEN start the popper...
I would suggest that you use a "chimney" of some sort. I use the glass from 
a hurricane lamp which I found in a thrift shop for around  U$1 .
I use a double window fan ($14) to exhaust the smoke and chaff. When it's 
time to cool the beans, merely flip the intake/exhaust switch and hold a 
colander with the beans in front of it...Cools in about 1 minute, depending 
on the outside temp. I also cut most of the "grill" off the fan, so that 
the air flows more freely and there are less places for the chaff to cling to.
Give it a try...
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12) From: susan oppenheim
we have this shipping and handling and postage and customs and and and
the interesting thing about the net and e bay and the ongoing shipping guys
is how they would rather not deal with Canada
we are only across the border...........
but this morning I paid my gratitudes
I ordered a Hearthware gourmet with the sample pack from Tom and Maria
they are totally on top of everything
so professional and honest
I cannot express enough how I feel about what their business has given me
what I am learning through this newsletter and list site
so even if I fail at the coffee making-WHICH I WILL NOT-I am very very
and soon I will be "expressing" even more-my own roast
kind of like having your first baby
PS The more I learn and the more I drink and the more I digest
the speedier i get
ha ha
AlChemist John wrote:
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13) From: susan oppenheim
It's because the chaff can catch fire..........that's why they want us to use the
ones with the heat in the sides that tosses the chaffs around as well
I bought a Hearthware today from Tom and Maria
I figured i owed at least that to them for all that i have learned from this
amazing group of like minded heavily caffeinated people
never had so much energy in my life
Ha Ha
really really appreciate your e mail and my back of the house tenant will be more
than able to get me going with my popcorn maker
also another fellow reader here is going to look out for a poppery 11 for me-so i
may have a whole fleet of these things before I know it
no wonder my name is opulence
life always comes to me in 3's and 4's...............
blessings and thanks again
Angelo wrote:
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