HomeRoast Digest


Topic: stovetop roasts (3 msgs / 98 lines)
1) From: Andrew J. Lynn
OK, I can't do it.  I need my constant influx of coffee-related email. 
 I'm hooked on mailing lists like they're caffeine or something.  No 
more digest mode for me.  I'll have to see how inconvenient this is 
after I actually leave.
(David - we'll have to talk about the North End espresso.)
Anyway, I'm getting ready to depart - my flight is tomorrow morning - 
but I just wanted to follow up on my stovetop roasting experience.
I brewed some samples of my highly unskilled roasts this morning. 
 Yesterday I did 4 roasts, all remainders.  First I sampled roast number 
2, which was the remainder of my Timor Aifu, roasted until I heard a few 
second cracks.  It was bad.  Hard to grind, a lot of beans not roasted 
enough, some charred.  So there some unpleasant flavors of 
barely-roasted bean along with some burnt toast flavor.  Ugh.  Threw 
away the rest of the batch.
Then roast number 1.  I had expected this to be the worst of the lot - 
it was the combined remainders of some Mexican Strictly Altura and some 
Zambian, which I was using just to figure out the timing.  This one had 
some Starbucks'ed beans but all the beans were at least city.  It was 
surprisingly drinkable, with a lot of flavors (it was after all a highly 
melanged blend) but somehow it worked.  I'm keeping the rest of that batch.
After this I had a large mug of city roast La Minita to remind myself 
what coffee is supposed to taste like.
For batches 3 and 4 I realized I was going to need to slow things down 
and increase the heat capacity of everything involved in order to even 
things out.  I switched to what seemed like probably a good pan for this 
- a hard-anodized aluminum pan, very heavy, rounded all over, with high 
walls so I could stir aggressively without spilling, and increased the 
batch size to a cup and a half.  Even pre-heating the pan, my electric 
stove did not perform very well - the roast time was longer than I would 
have liked.
Batch 3 was Columbia Santa Isabella WP Decaf and batch 4 was African 
Highland WP Decaf Blend.  (I needed to get some decaf roasted.)  Note to 
self: decaf is not good for practicing, the colors are all wrong. 
 Still, I had one very successful roast, and one somewhat less so but 
still not entirely bad.  Both took a bit more than 15 minutes to get to 
a medium City.
I've got a mug of each here.  The Columbian is better.  It's very 
different from the medium City my HWG gives me.  Much more developed 
body than I'm used to, with less brightness.  Very interesting profile. 
 It looks like City, but it feels like Full City.  Only with less roast 
characteristic.  Slight bit of bakedness, if I understand that term 
correctly.
Sipping the African blend, I'm thinking, this is what they must mean by 
a "baked" profile.  I think I must have overreacted to a very vigorous 
set of cracks by lowering the heat too much.  It's drinkable but there 
are flavor elements I don't appreciate that I'm having a hard time 
coming up with words for.
So anyway, there is definite potential here that I will have to 
investigate further.  I'm thinking this could be a very good way to 
roast full-bodied coffees.  Next time I get a chance I'm going to 
experiment with Harar and Mokha.
Andy Lynn
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2) From: dewardh
Andy:
While on the subject of "stovetop" and 15-20 minutes of stirring one shouldn't 
forget the venerable (and still available) WhirleyPop . . . Tom sells them, and 
a certain on-line used-to-be-book-but-now-is-department store has them on sale 
until the end of the year for less that $20, or with a 4 qt. cooling bowl for 
$26.44, delivered . . .
Deward
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

3) From: Angelo
I recently came across (in a thrift shop, of course) a Whirley-pop knock 
off called "Back to Basics". It was NIB (new in box) for $15. It seemed to 
be better made than the Whirley -for one, there wasn't as much play in the 
turning gears. It also has a glass window in the top to view your 
progress...I shoulda bought it to replace a Whirely that I have and never 
used. This hobby has a strange hold on me :-)
Ciao,
Angelo
<Snip>
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