HomeRoast Digest


Topic: How does one avoid becoming a coffee snob? (30 msgs / 685 lines)
1) From: Michael Horowitz
Unfortunately, I feel the urge to lecture & I know I'll make no friends
that way.
When I mention I'm roasting my own, folks get this big smile on their face
and mention how much they like *$.
To date, I think I've managed to simply smile back weakly and say something
like "If you are happy with it, that's all that counts".
Is there a standard way of acknowledging their tastes and suggesting there
might be a better way without being a boor?
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2) From: R.N.Kyle
Tell then Home Roasted Coffee rules, especially mine.
earns 10 CSA points. :O) 
I tell people when they ask, why do you roast at home. that it allows me =
have really fresh specialty coffee at about e1/2 the price of specialty =
shops, and I have control over the degree of roast. It's my hobby and I =
have fun and get great rewards.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
rnkyle

3) From: Ben Treichel
Leave this list, and send me all of your coffee stuff!  ;-)
Either that, or join CSA :-D
Ben
Michael Horowitz wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Jim Schulman
On 16 Dec 2002 at 18:24, Michael Horowitz wrote:
<Snip>
Invite them over for a cup.
Jim Schulman
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5) From: Paul Goelz
At 06:24 PM 12/16/02, you wrote:
<Snip>
I don't happen to care for *$ so I roast because I can get coffee that 
tastes like I want it to.  But when I promote home roasting, I generally 
emphasize how it allows you to keep multiple varieties and always have them 
fresh.  Most people think that month old ground roasted coffee is still fresh.
Paul
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
paul
pgoelzhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.pgoelz.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

6) From: daottman
<Snip>
I heard that once from a professional roaster.  Yikes!  That was the final straw that got me started roasting at home.  Interestingly, that shop wouldn't sell me green beans later.  Ha ha...
As for answering the question, Jim's answer of sharing a cup is discreetly powerful.
-- 
Anthony Ottman
daottman
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7) From: Dennis Rogers
Hi Michael (and everyone else),
First off, I'd like to say a warm hello to everyone on the list.  It's
been forever since I've posted anything and I even had to recently
re-subscribe as my bouncing e-mail knocked me off the list a few months
ago.
In answer to your question, Michael, it is frightfully easy to avoid
becoming a coffee snob.  Just start serving your coffee to lots and
lots of people.  
Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive because you think your coffee
is simply the best.  But let me tell you what I mean.
I started roasted in April of this year, and for the last five months
have taken 10 coffees PER WEEK (two per day) to work and have served
them to a select few co-workers who are BIG coffee fans.  I send out an
email every morning explaining the coffees de jour and have developed
some loyal customers.
When I starting doing this, however, I was stunned at people's varied
tastes and preferences, and I was humbled repeatedly.  Nothing corrects
snobbery quicker than watching a co-workers add Folgers to a nice,
smooth Costa Rican "Miel," a coffee that I considered superb and didn't
conceive that anyone could dislike, but which my co-worker needed to
add Folgers to in order to finish.  Yes, Folgers is her main preference
and anything that varies much from it, she dislikes.
Thus, I never tell anyone that they would like my home-roasted coffee
better than what they currently drink, whether it's *$ or Folgers. 
After serving coffee to lots and lots of people, I've learned that the
majority of coffee lovers really do appreciate fresh-roasted over
whatever they were previously drinking.
However, in casual conversation I usually volunteer very little
information other than the fact that I'm a home-roaster.  If the person
I'm talking to is a coffee fan, he or she will ask lots of questions
and, once they start asking questions, I could talk all night.  If
they're not a coffee fan, I don't try to share my "voluminous" coffee
knowledge or tell them that whatever they drink stinks, because I know
I'll just be annoying.  In fact, being a snob is annoying. :-)
Anyway, the more I learn, the more I realize that I may never know
enough to be a snob.  And if I ever learn enough to be a snob, say, as
much as Tom knows, then I think I'd rather humbly offer to teach those
who might be interested.  
As to your last question:  mention that you are a home-roaster.  If
they start asking questions, answer them.  If they don't look like they
care, say no more.  
Dennis
--- Michael Horowitz  wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Dennis Rogers
Hi Michael (and everyone else),
First off, I'd like to say a warm hello to everyone on the list.  It's
been forever since I've posted anything and I even had to recently
re-subscribe as my bouncing e-mail knocked me off the list a few months
ago.
In answer to your question, Michael, it is frightfully easy to avoid
becoming a coffee snob.  Just start serving your coffee to lots and
lots of people.  
Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive because you think your coffee
is simply the best.  But let me tell you what I mean.
I started roasted in April of this year, and for the last five months
have taken 10 coffees PER WEEK (two per day) to work and have served
them to a select few co-workers who are BIG coffee fans.  I send out an
email every morning explaining the coffees de jour and have developed
some loyal customers.
When I starting doing this, however, I was stunned at people's varied
tastes and preferences, and I was humbled repeatedly.  Nothing corrects
snobbery quicker than watching a co-workers add Folgers to a nice,
smooth Costa Rican "Miel," a coffee that I considered superb and didn't
conceive that anyone could dislike, but which my co-worker needed to
add Folgers to in order to finish.  Yes, Folgers is her main preference
and anything that varies much from it, she dislikes.
Thus, I never tell anyone that they would like my home-roasted coffee
better than what they currently drink, whether it's *$ or Folgers. 
After serving coffee to lots and lots of people, I've learned that the
majority of coffee lovers really do appreciate fresh-roasted over
whatever they were previously drinking.
However, in casual conversation I usually volunteer very little
information other than the fact that I'm a home-roaster.  If the person
I'm talking to is a coffee fan, he or she will ask lots of questions
and, once they start asking questions, I could talk all night.  If
they're not a coffee fan, I don't try to share my "voluminous" coffee
knowledge or tell them that whatever they drink stinks, because I know
I'll just be annoying.  In fact, being a snob is annoying. :-)
Anyway, the more I learn, the more I realize that I may never know
enough to be a snob.  And if I ever learn enough to be a snob, say, as
much as Tom knows, then I think I'd rather humbly offer to teach those
who might be interested.  
As to your last question:  mention that you are a home-roaster.  If
they start asking questions, answer them.  If they don't look like they
care, say no more.  
Dennis
--- Michael Horowitz  wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: jim gundlach
I generally don't bring it up.  When people are around I offer coffee 
and those who want to will lead the conversation in that direction.  I 
generally find that only about one in three or four really like what I 
serve.  I think the problem is that people who would like it are now 
confirmed non-coffee drinkers.  They know they don't like the coffee I 
don't like and they think that is all there is.   If the conversation 
doesn't steer toward coffee there are always sex, politics, religion, 
and kids to talk about.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama
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10) From: Tom Gramila
I have to say that I was a bit suprised by some of the answers to this
question.  My first reaction to this question was:  Wow, what a great
question!
Perhaps the predicament is more relavent to us beginners, who are so
excited about learning how to do this new exciting thing that we have to
mention it, as opposed to the old hands, who, being practioners rather
than new learners, have a more restrained desire for telling others.
Anyway, I've begun to tell people that I really like to explore the
different flavors that coffee can provide, and roasting my own enables me
to do that over a wide range, and with really good beans.  Its not so
different from home-baked bread.
I'd like, as well, to hear of others comments....
Tom G.
On Mon, 16 Dec 
2002, Michael Horowitz wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: Ed Needham
Kinda like my friends that give me a bag of flavored coffee or instant
cappuccino mix for gifts.  They think this is the ultimate in coffee, and
therefore I must like it.  I thank them and serve some of my homeroast, or
make them a real cappuccino.  The gift usually goes into my coffee drawer and
stays until I can toss it without feeling like a heel.
Last week, for the office 'Secret Santa' gift giving, one of the 'gag'
(literally) gifts to me (from a fellow coffee lover) was a brick of preground
"Americas Roast".  It had a clearance sticker of 50 cents on it.  Any doubt
as to how this stuff smells?  Don't even think about taste.  Here's a scan of
the front of the package:http://www.homeroaster.com/amroast2.jpgReading the text on the back made me laugh.  Cafe do Brasil.  Better than">http://www.homeroaster.com/amroast.jpgand the back:http://www.homeroaster.com/amroast2.jpgReading the text on the back made me laugh.  Cafe do Brasil.  Better than
Vietnam Robusta, but still light years from drinkable coffee.
Ed Needhamhttp://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************

12) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Oh, I'm terrible.  Last time somebody extolled Charbucks to me, my comment was:
Starbuck, wasn't he a character on the old sci-fi show, Battlestar 
Galactica?  Is there a store by that name?  What do they sell?
One time I said, with a truely sorrowful look on my face...I hope...
Starbucks?  Oh my, didn't you hear about the recall of all their coffee due 
to a spirocladia amophalasis contamination?
Of course, there is no such organism, but most people think anything said 
with a Latin sounding name sounds real.
Dan
Quidquid Latinae dictum sit, altum viditure.
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13) From: David Westebbe
<Snip>
It's only a lecture if you go on and on.  A short declaration is not a
lecture.
<Snip>
You could say:  A lot of people really like their coffee, but there's much
better coffee available.  It's kind of like Hershey's chocolate; pretty
good, but there REALLY good stuff is much better.
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14) From: jim gundlach
On Tuesday, December 17, 2002, at 07:30 AM, David Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
I have used the example of home made bread and the bread you get in the 
plastic bag.  If you have a good bakery in the neighborhood, you don't 
have to bake your own bread to get good bread.  If we had a good coffee 
roaster in the neighborhood, I would not have to roast my own coffee.  
It turns out there are a couple of acceptable bakers reasonably handy, 
in Montgomery about 30 miles away and close to where my wife works,  
but there are no coffee roasters.
But, again, I let the guest bring the subject up - and it is the green 
beans that they usually ask about it first.  My stash is right out in 
the open and the Uganda is in a clear glass canister that holds about 
three gallons so it is hard to avoid.  OK, maybe I just don't bring it 
up verbally.
Jim Gundlach
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15) From: jim gundlach
On Tuesday, December 17, 2002, at 07:30 AM, David Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
I have used the example of home made bread and the bread you get in the 
plastic bag.  If you have a good bakery in the neighborhood, you don't 
have to bake your own bread to get good bread.  If we had a good coffee 
roaster in the neighborhood, I would not have to roast my own coffee.  
It turns out there are a couple of acceptable bakers reasonably handy, 
in Montgomery about 30 miles away and close to where my wife works,  
but there are no coffee roasters.
But, again, I let the guest bring the subject up - and it is the green 
beans that they usually ask about it first.  My stash is right out in 
the open and the Uganda is in a clear glass canister that holds about 
three gallons so it is hard to avoid.  OK, maybe I just don't bring it 
up verbally.
Jim Gundlach
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16) From: TFisher511
WHO CARES?
Now that should be worth a few points :=)
Terry F
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17) From: John Abbott
Terry,
	How about    TOO LATE!

18) From: Ben Treichel
Now John lets not be too hasty. I did say that if he sent me ALL of his 
coffee stuff and left the list he might find salvation. :-D
John Abbott wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: John Abbott
But, but, isn't he supposed to sell everything and give the money to the
poor (that would be me!)?

20) From: Ben Treichel
John Abbott wrote:
<Snip>
I don't think so! You have 4 roasters (one being a HT), a La Pavolina, a 
SM5K, etc. etc. etc. ; and all the time in the world to play with all of 
that stuff. While I kill my one poor little FR to advance the cause of 
better roasting, and you won't even let me store you excess roasted 
beans for you. Poor? POOR!?. Oh please let me be poor. (at least in some 
ways). :-D
<Snip>

21) From: Roy Gordon
 > [ Re: +How does one avoid becoming a coffee snob? ]
Why do you want to?
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22) From: Paul Goelz
At 08:41 PM 12/16/02, you wrote:
<Snip>
So far I have interested exactly..... no one in home roasting.  I know one 
person who raves about my home roasted Meil, but he has no interest in 
doing it himself.  Everyone else thinks I am a coffee eccentric for going 
to such lengths.  I used to work in an office that drank Maxwell House.  I 
brought in a pound of Dunkin Donuts once and they loved it.  "Wow, that's 
really good coffee!"  But when it was all gone they went right out and 
bought Maxwell House again.  I developed a tolerance for Maxwell House 
there.  It is actually a reasonably pleasant drink when diluted to 
50%.  Bears no resemblance to coffee, though.
My only convert is my girlfriend.  She used to drink something awful like 
Maxwell House.  But when I came along she discovered what coffee is 
supposed to taste like and she now gags on most coffee outside our 
house.  Funny thing is that she drinks it with cinnamon creamer and sugar 
and can easily detect the subtle differences between various Costa Rican 
varieties as well as the difference between city and full city..... through 
all that stuff.  But she has no interest in roasting herself.  That's my 
job.  If I weren't around she'd probably buy it roasted at Carribou (we 
both hate *$).
Paul
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
paul
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23) From: Dennis Rogers
--- Paul Goelz  wrote:
<Snip>
I find pretty much the same thing.  I have a friend who pays me to mail
a 1/2 lb. of coffee to him once per week.  I charge him $10 to cover
the cost of the coffee, packaging and postage.  
I basically told him he was throwing his money away because as soon as
he buys his seventh 1/2 lb. of coffee from me, he will have spent as
much on 3 1/2 lbs. of coffee as it would cost to buy himself a roaster.
 
He acknowledged that it was costing him a lot of money but he still
isn't interesting in roasting the coffee himself.  He feels as though
he wouldn't be able to do it as well and apparently doesn't want to
spend the time to learn - especially when he can just email me $10
through Pay Pal and know that coffee will show up in his mail box a
couple days later.  Oh well, my gain I guess.
Dennis
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24) From: Les & Becky
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ben,
Do you serve cheese with that fine whine?
Les
Enjoying an fine Costa Rican vac brew as I type.

25) From: Ben Treichel
Les & Becky wrote:
<Snip>
Cheese, Cheese! Of course I do! I was born just outside of Green Bay!
The state of good cheese is in as sorry a mess as coffee is. THANKS TO 
KRAFT! etc.
Just try to get a good aged cheese. People think a 'sharp' cheddar is 6 
months old. It used to be that
a cheese factory was Embarrassed to sell anything under 18 months as 
just too immature.
<Snip>

26) From: floyd burton
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Having a great Camembert just now on some home baked FR/WI bread but Ben let
me assure you-the cheeseheads in this state (WI) are now making some really
goood cheese ranging from semi soft cow to randy goat cheese.  In late
summer there is a cheese festival held in Monroe WI-this area is called the
"Swiss Colony"-lots of brown Swiss Cows and they do make good cheese here.
Yep it is here-just not in the quantities the other stuff is made. Travel up
by Marathon-just west of Wausau-huge factory up there makes bulk cheese for
pizza-a string of 5 axel rigs from every major pizza chain can be seen
chugging down the roads up there.
Hmm time for another 75% triple creme-this time Pierre Robert-tasty stuff.
OK it is Fr but there is good stuff made locally-was in a Fr mood when at
Sendick's this time around.

27) From: Angelo
With all the time, money and hours spent listening to the caffeine-induced 
ravings on this list and alt.coffee, I feel I have earned the right to be 
a  certifiable CSA. If people don't want to hear my rap on coffee, they can 
(and do) just walk away...So, there!
Angelo
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28) From: Les & Becky
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ben,
I used to live in "The Land of the Cheese and Freeze!"  I do miss =
Wisconsin.  Speaking of good old Kraft, when I was a kid, the bought out =
all of the great small cheese plants in Minnesota.  The small cheese =
factory where my grandfather sold his milk became a place that made =
American Cheese!  Back in the 1985 when they had the slogan contest for =
the tourist bumper sticker, I submitted "Come to Wisconsin and smell our =
Dairy Air"  It didn't win!  We are lucky here in Oregon.  Over in =
Bandon, I can get good aged cheese, some of it is over 5 years old!  =
Nothing is better than a fine sharp cheddar, unless of course it is an =
excellent Blue cheese, such as Amana from Iowa, on crackers with a cup =
of homeroasted coffee.
Les

29) From: sho2go
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
ROFL

30) From: Ben Treichel
Les,
I can get some decent 4yr old, but its 'Black Diamond' from Canada thru 
Sams Club. When I'm over in Appleton, visiting relatives, we have to 
make a special trip to specific cheese plant to get anything decent.
FYI, I now live in the land of the auto. (MoTown)
Les & Becky wrote:
<Snip>


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