HomeRoast Digest

Topic: microwave roasted coffee (10 msgs / 242 lines)
1) From: Lissa
I couldn't resist trying that microwave roasted coffee (have a friend
who is a long haul trucker, was hoping it might work for him).  
When I opened the package after its minute in the nuke, it had tons of
very white steam, except it wasn't hot.  I expected it to be like
microwave popcorn steam, and it wasn't.  It was cool.
The beans looked roasted, with no trace of oil.  I would have expected a
little oil on them for a Kenyan that colour.  The beans were uneven in
size, and many hadn't swelled (the centre line hadn't opened).  The
instructions say to pull the beans out immediately if you hear popping,
and I followed their instructions.
I ground it up, and brewed a pot in my cruddy drip pot.  It
tastes...thin, very acidy, but not nice acid and kind of chemically.  I
think rioy is the term I'm looking for.
Frankly, I'm not sure I can bear to make more (I have more samples). 
This is not my idea of drinkable.
The instructions didn't fill me with confidence, either.  The web page
says you are supposed to grind right after roasting.  They warn you not
to pre-roast.  The insert says you can roast and grind up to 24 hours in
advance without flavour loss.  There were other amusing bits, like the
suggestion that you use your blade grinder longer if it is too weak.
Basically, I'd carry a can of Maxwell House when traveling before I'd
use this.  Someone else might make it work, and I'll experiment with the
remaining beans, maybe even try roasting some in my HG for comparison. 
I suspect the quality of the greens wasn't good to start with.
Be well,
You can't depend on your judgment when your
imagination is out of focus.
				Mark Twain
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2) From: jim gundlach
     Thanks for saving me from the cost, trouble, and disappointment of 
trying this approach to home roasting.
Jim Gundlach
On Tuesday, October 29, 2002, at 06:50 AM, Lissa wrote:
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3) From: Andrew Thomas
--- Lissa  wrote:
Thanks, Lissa. Disappoining results, but, alas, not surprising. Please let us know if it gets better, if you can bring yourself to experiment further.  
Has anyone else tried this stuff?
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4) From: Kevin DuPre
There was a guy out of Seattle on the Specialty Coffee
Retailer forum, under the handle of DadMaster5000 who
speaks from a 'platform of authority' regarding the
coffee industry.  He claimed to be the "inventor" of a
"closed system of microwave coffee roasting product",
whose quality rivaled that of the drum or fluid bed
roaster, making those techniques a thing of the past.
Of course the Orville Redenbacher jokes abounded
following the post, but he was marketing this as the
next wave of roasting for the small retailer who
neither had the space, expertise or wherewithall to
roast on-site using traditional methods. Of course
part of his "invention" was a specially designed
microwave oven (which was probably optimized for use
of the pre-packaged microwavable units to achieve the
best results).  Back in June he indicated that the
test marketing was over and that a release would be
available in a few months.
The motivation was that you would probably draw more
customers roasting in-store at least for whole bean
sales.  I might agree if your store had a drum or
fluid bedWhat I really wonder is what coffee
connosieurs think seeing roasted coffee emerging from
a microwave oven.
I also wonder if this guy's "invention" is what we are
seeing now in this product.  Maybe the special
microwave has been obviated for the needs of the home
Personally, I don't think there's any substitute for
roasted beans using more traditional techniques.
Any comments?
Kevin DuPre
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5) From: Mike McGinness
Oh boy, something to look forward too! (I ordered some too just to see what
it's about:-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting

6) From: EskWIRED
My impression is that microwaves work primarily by heating water.  So I'm
pretty skeptical that it could heat the beans up to 400+ degrees.  However,
there are special foil packages to brown stuff in a microwave, so maybe I'm
I'm also skeptical that a microwave could roast slow enough to fully develop
the flavors in the roast.  But maybe I'm wrong.  I'd like to try some
microwaved beans before I form any firm conclusions.
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7) From: R.N.Kyle
Yes thanks Lisa, I have some on the way, I wanted the grinder to give to =
a friend for Christmas. I thought it was a bit to much, but in the =
interest of science , I thought what the HE"" . 
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

8) From: Angelo
My impression is that microwaves also work on heating up oils. If this is 
so, it could heat up the oils in the beans to a much higher degree than it 
would the water.  I have no facts on this....just my experience.
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9) From: AlChemist John
Ok, my impression is that microwaves rotate any polar molecule (water being 
the most common) thus adding kinetic energy and thus heat to the 
sample.   I may work on food oils as it does have a polar end.  BTW, for 
the record, I am doubtful of this particular "product".
Sometime around 09:04 10/30/02, Angelo typed:
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10) From: Mark A. Chalkley
According to the technical info on microwave cooking that I've been
able to dredge up on the Internet, they excite molecules of water,
fats, and sugars (carbohydrates).  This would make the process a lot
more complex.  But still, in the case of coffee beans apparently, a
waste of electricity, time and beans.
We're used to folks hawking their wares blowing smoke, which would be
dandy in this case - unfortunately, it appears that here they're just
blowing steam...
Mark C.
On Thursday, October 31, 2002, 7:54:56 AM, AlChemist John wrote:
AJ> Ok, my impression is that microwaves rotate any polar molecule (water being 
AJ> the most common) thus adding kinetic energy and thus heat to the 
AJ> sample.   I may work on food oils as it does have a polar end.  BTW, for 
AJ> the record, I am doubtful of this particular "product".
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