HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Any bean suggestions for a Newbie? (20 msgs / 501 lines)
1) From: Joshua W Kesting
Hello all,
I have been roasting for only a few weeks and have five different beans.
(Colombia, costa, Sumatra, el Salvador, and brazil) These greens are from
another source before I stumbled onto SM. I have recently been granted
permission from my wife to spend $100 on some new green from SM. I roast
with a FR+ if that makes any difference. I am looking for some
suggestions of beans that I just can't live without. I am planning on
ordering the 8 variety sample pack plus whatever else fits under 100. I
was also wondering if I should order in one pound increments or two? Is
there any preference? Look forward to your suggestions so I can get the
order in.
PS My parents were here over the weekend and now my dad seems interested
in home roasting. Guess what he is getting for Christmas??
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2) From: jim gundlach
I find that it takes two pounds to home in on a bean's sweet spot(s).  
There are a lot of good beans available but the major dimension of 
taste preferences seems to be high versus low acidity.  I personally 
don't like the bright, acidic, beans so the way cupping scores the 
beans means that I don't like the highest scoring beans.  One of my 
current favorites is the Uganda Budadiri AA-S.  Many people order by 
  I find using the profile of the rating elements a better predictor of 
how much I like it.  I also like the Monkey Blend.  You will have to 
try several out find what you really like.  Also, some people like one 
bean for a vac pot or French press and another bean for espresso.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama
On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 08:00 PM, Joshua W Kesting wrote:
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3) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Joshua W Kesting" 
Welcome to the Wonderful World of fresh homeroasted coffee. Without knowing
your coffee preferences it's tough to say but I'll give it a go.
First I'd suggest 2# rather than 1#. Gives more to get to know the bean
better. Of Tom's current offerings these are some 'I' wouldn't be without,
in no particular order:
Panama Mama Cata
Panama Maunier (to taste the difference the type of bean makes)
Any of his Costa Ricans - I haven't tried them all but liked both the La
Minita & La Magnolia
Uganda Budadiri
Timor Aifu
Throw in Yirgacheffe for a citrus change of pace
I hear the Kenya Karumandi is exceptional (I don't have it yet)
Get a single pound of Monsooned Malabar to experience extreme earthy funk
coffee (Debi just loves it)
If that's not enough just Tom's reviews and drive yourself crazy like I
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
Limping along with Solis Maestro grindin'
Christmas is coming!!!
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4) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Josh,
Welcome to homeroasting.
One of the nice things about home roasting is that for $100 you can take the world grand tour. 
I'm not sure what's in the sampler pack, but my two cents is to round it out so you get coffees 
from every continent and hit all the famous coffee "tourist highlights"
Here's some of the famous regions, read Tom's descriptions to pick the particular beans you 
think you might like:
Africa: Yemen Mocha, Kenya, Ethiopian Yrgacheffe
America: Guatemala Antigua, Costa Rican Terrazu
Indonesia: Sulawesi, any aged coffee from Java, Sumatra, or Sulawesi
Islands: Kona, Jamaica Blue Mountain (some, including Tom, consider Island coffees overpriced, 
many others love them; you owe yourself at least one of these two)
Are these the world's best coffees? Some of the best, but there's lots of others from less 
famous regions; however, these are "benchmark" coffees with unique flavor profiles. For 
instance, people may say "This Tanzanian coffee tastes like good Kenya", but no one will ever 
say "This Kenyan tastes like a good Tanzanian coffee" For this reason, I think it's good to 
start with these.
And entirely free ... read the info pages at Sweeetmarias, and download the flavorwheels at http://www.sweetmarias.com/tastewheel.html.Have a look at them as you try the coffees; it's a 
great way to sharpen up your taste buds.
On 28 Oct 2002 at 21:00, Joshua W Kesting wrote:
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5) From: Andrew J. Lynn
I've been loving the organic Timor, Kenya Karumandi, Yemen Mokha Ismaili 
(try blending it with some Java), Costa Rican Diamante Tarrazu, and the 
Brazilian decaf is one of few decafs I've ever liked.  Also, they don't 
sell it at SM, but I kinda like Kauai Estate - hard to find a good price 
on it though.
Joshua W Kesting wrote:
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6) From: Jim Schulman
Thanks for the praise, but to me one of the great things about home roasting is the sheer 
variety. Tom carries more coffees than any ten stores rolled together, and I may have more 
bean varieties in my storage closet than an average coffee store. 
Do I like them all? No. But I'm glad I tried them all.  So I think part of the fun of 
starting up roasting is to put one's likes on hold, and try it all. For instance, I 
absolutely knew I'd hate Huehuetenango; until I tried it, that is. I love surprises like 
On 29 Oct 2002 at 22:40, susan oppenheim wrote:
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7) From: jim jordan
Hi Joshua-Welcome!  I have been roasting about 7 or 8
months and have yet to get anything from SM that I did
not enjoy.  I must admit that the Monsoon Malabar is
lasting longer than anything else.  I like the Java
Jampit for blending 50/50 with other beans such as the
Ethiopian (sidamo, Harrar , sani-ani) and even with
the good Kenya coffee.
I have yet to find a way to screw things up except for
tonight when I was a bit overly dynamic in my roaster
rocking and dumped hot beans all over.  Enjoy
Cheers  Jim J
--- Joshua W Kesting  wrote:
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8) From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Bob=20Cassinelli?=
Uganda Bugisu and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (sp?). 
Stay away from Brazil Santos (causes heartburn). 
 Jim Schulman  wrote:Susan,
Thanks for the praise, but to me one of the great things about home roasting is the sheer 
variety. Tom carries more coffees than any ten stores rolled together, and I may have more 
bean varieties in my storage closet than an average coffee store. 
Do I like them all? No. But I'm glad I tried them all. So I think part of the fun of 
starting up roasting is to put one's likes on hold, and try it all. For instance, I 
absolutely knew I'd hate Huehuetenango; until I tried it, that is. I love surprises like 
On 29 Oct 2002 at 22:40, susan oppenheim wrote:
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9) From: Steve Wall
I've only been roasting for 2 months so far but I'm developing
a real liking for Java Jampit.  I've tried about 10 different kinds
so far and the Jampit has produced the best results for me.
It seems to be a very newbie friendly bean.
Steve Wall
On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 11:00 PM, jim jordan wrote:
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10) From: Les & Becky
Beginners Luck!  The Java Jampit is a wonderful coffee.  I wish my stash
would permit me to order more!  Might I suggest any of the Panama coffee
that Tom has?  They are brighter than the Java, but not as bright as some of
the other centrals.
Roasting for 17 years!
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11) From: Les & Becky
Andy has not checked the offering list!  Kauai Estate is offered by Tom!  At
a good price!  Joshua, that is the problem!  Too many great coffees, and not
enough time to consume them all!
To stay with in the budget you have, I would order pounders.  I personally
don't like to order less than 2 and usually like to order 5 of something I
really like.  However, if you are seeking your favorites, pounders will get
you in the ball park.  I would go with the coffees that is less expensive,
so you can get more for your $.  They are all good!  Of Tom's current
offering, I would go with the following:
Costa Rican Dota Tarrazu
Costa Rican La Magnolia (a little different CR so you can see that with a
region there can be variety.
Mexican Oaxaca Pluma El Olivo
Panama La Berlina (My personal favorite for the money)  However St. Helena
is my all time favorite, but at a current price of over $30.00 a pound it
will wipe out your money.
Kauai Estate (At that price, you can't pass up a Hawaii coffee, and you can
experience roasting a peaberry)
Brazil Cooxape Prima (for the money this one is a steal)
Ethiopian Sidamo (a good African for the money)
Uganda Budadiri (Uganda would be hard to give up and it is very forgiving in
the roast and excellent in the cup!)
Papua New Guinea
Sumatra DP
Monkey Blend
OK there are 11 coffees that will average less than five dollars a pound.
You might want to add a Colombian and Tom just got in the India Peaberry.
This is a good coffee too!  I would wait on roasting the Yemen coffees until
you get some experience.  They are a little different.  I would also avoid
Costa Rican La Minita.  The "sweet spot" is hard to find, but once found it
is very sweet!
Welcome and good roasting!
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12) From: Andrew J. Lynn
Les & Becky wrote:
Well I'll be eternally damned.  There it is.  Must be very new - it 
wasn't there when I was last making an order, and there no review up 
yet.  Anyway, I kinda like it.  :)
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13) From: James Gundlach
On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 11:00 PM, jim jordan wrote:
I would not let a little thing like that keep me from using the beans.
Jim Gundlach
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14) From: Lissa
On Mon, 2002-10-28 at 21:00, Joshua W Kesting wrote:
What kinds of coffee do you like?  You'll get better suggestions from
folks if you describe a bit what kinds you like.  
I'm one of the minority here who thinks St. Helena is ok, doesn't like
Central Americans or South Americans, and loves Africans and
Tom's East Timor is very forgiving stuff for learning to roast on.  I
have 20 lbs. of it.  Well, had.  I actually prefer his Papua New
Guinea.  Lots of body, changes flavours as it cools and depending on the
part of the tongue it hits.  Wonderful stuff.  Java Jampit is rich,
thick and absolutely incredible, but you have to drink it within 24
hours of roasting.
I'm also quite fond of the dry processed Ethiopians, but I like wild. 
The Yemens are heaven.  
The Brazilians are cheap, and are decent coffees, nothing to write home
I'd also recommend getting at least 2 lbs. of things.  You can't learn a
coffee well in one pound.
My list would be 5 lbs. of either the Timor or the Papua New Guinea, and
2 lbs. of a couple Ethiopians, a Brazillian, 2 lbs. of Java Jampit, 2
lbs. of a Yemen and maybe something monsooned, just for the difference
(you might want to go one pound on monsooned coffee - you'll either love
it or hate it).
Be well,
You can't depend on your judgment when your
imagination is out of focus.
				Mark Twain
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15) From: Greg Hawley
Besides what I've seen suggested so far, I'd also HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
Ethiopian Sidamo and Zimbabwe Lupili, both roasted dark.
I also like a 50% Java (or Sulawesi) with 50% Yemen Moka (Haimi, Raimi or
Ismaili) - roasted Full City or maybe darker. (The Raimi is good really
dark, but the Haimi is better at Full City).
I also really like the Columbian FNC Peaberry roasted to French, but I don't
see it on the SM website anymore (dang, I hope they get more soon, I only
have 1/2 pound left)
I'm getting thirsty just thinking about home roasted coffee!
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16) From: EskWIRED
A nice selection.  The American beans will be more similar to each other
than to the Sumatra.
 I am planning on
Be sure to get some African beans.  I like lots of beans from Kenya, and
have tried some nice coffees from Burundi.  Ethiopian beans can also be very
good, and Tanzanian PeaBerry has long been one of my favorites.
It somewhat depends on your brewing style.  the Africans can be too acidic
for espresso, but work very well for drip, if you like a nice bright cup.
I'd get two.  One pound will be gone before you know it, and you'll want to
experiment with how dark you roast each varietal.
An Alp?
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17) From: Bart Frazee
I would order the 8 pack, and hold off on the rest of the order. The 8
pack will include all of the geographic areas. When you have tried
them all you will have an idea what YOU like. 
Read Tom's cupping notes before, during , and/or after drinking each
one and find yourself saying "Oh! that's what he means". It will be a
big help when you put the rest of your order together. Then order the
Have fun!
On Tue, 29 Oct 2002 19:20:32 -0500, you wrote:
 suggestions im sure by now, so go at it and have a good time.
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18) From: Sharon Allsup
On 28 Oct 2002, at 21:00, Joshua W Kesting wrote:
By way of reference, one pound of green coffee is about 5-6 roasts, 
or 5-6 drip-pot runs, if you use about 3 oz green per drippot carafe 
of water.  
Don't order 5-pounders unless you've already tried that exact bean 
and love it so much you'd have it morning, noon, and night.  I prefer 
the 2-pounders because they give almost a dozen potfulls to play 
around with different roastings, but if you're just starting out and not 
sure what you want or like, the 1's are OK.
I will go against what others here have said and suggest you DON'T 
get the 8-pack sampler.  Unless you work it out beforehand with 
Tom, you will likely end up with duplicates between the 8-pack and 
the rest of your order.  Build an 8-pack yourself out of 1pounders.
For sheer variety of experience, I'd say go with a bunch of one 
pounders.  You don't get many pots out of each bag, but you will 
be able to buy a lot more types.
I'll send what others have said here about getting a one-pounder of 
the Monsooned Malabar.  Also get a 1-pound of whatever other 
aged coffee Tom might be selling now.  There is a big taste 
difference between the Monsooned and the aged varieties.  If you 
don't like it after a couple of tries, then I'll swap you for it - we'll 
compare lists of what I've got that you don't and that way you'll get 
rid of the Monsooned and try another variety or two for only the 
price of shipping.
I'd also suggest getting at least one pound of one of the island 
coffees - it may cost twice as much as the others, but you'll get to 
see what all of the fuss is about, and decide if you like it enough.
Muahahahahah.  Good luck.  Let me know if you end up with any 
stuff you don't like and I'll swap it out for you.
Sharon Allsup
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19) From: R.N.Kyle
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

20) From: susan oppenheim
that was a wonderful email you wrote for the introduction to home roasting.Thank you so much
Susan oppenheim
Jim Schulman wrote:
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