HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New to home roasting (29 msgs / 817 lines)
1) From: mikejfoley
  How's everyone doing?!
    My name is Mike and, I am both new to this list and home roasting. I
have a few items on the way to get me started and,  would like to know
if I'm headed in the right direction. So, any tips or feedback would be
appreciated. Here is what I am starting with: a Caffe Rosto; Bodum
'Antigua' conical burr grinder; Yama vacuum brewer & 5 extra filters
and, a pound each of the following green beans; Colombian organic Mesa
de los Santos, Sulawesi "Aged Kalossi" Toraja, Yemen Mocca Raimi(Rimy).
Also, the place that I ordered the roaster from, threw in a pound each
of Mocca Java & Sumatra.
  After some experience, I want to try doing some Jamaican's &
Hawiian's. Is the Wallingford Estate a good brew? Please give me some
recommendations on any of the great brews from either area.
  Well, got to go for now, thanks for any input.  Mike F.
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

2) From: John Abbott
Can everyone hear Mike McKona typing furiously?
Sounds like you're off to a good start.  I notice that you've picked some
great espresso beans, but no espresso machine. You might want to add a
French Press until you can swing an espresso machine (and you WILL want one
soon).
John - loving life in the slow lane

3) From: jim gundlach
Hi,
    Welcome.  The first suggestion is that you check for beans that Tom 
does not mention espresso in his description.  You seem to have more 
espresso coffees in your inventory but no espresso machine.  Also, 
leaning toward the Hawaiian Konas and Jamaican, I'd guess Blue 
Mountain, suggests you may be under the influence of the heavy 
advertising of these quite good coffees.  I and at least a few others 
believe you can get comparable coffees from Sweet Maria's for much 
less.  Try the coffees you have and look at Tom's reviews for similar 
coffees and experiment with ones that are different.
    Jim Gundlach
On Sunday, February 9, 2003, at 11:31 AM, Michael J. Foley wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

4) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
I suggest you learn on the "cheap" beans. The Mesa de los Santos is easy to
roast and will taste very good unless you burn it.
--
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

5) From: Mark Neuhausen
Regarding whether Wallingford Estates is a good bean for Jamaica Blue
Mountain, I recommend you follow Sweet Maria's (Tom's) cupping reviews and
recommended coffees.  He is very selective on his JBM and chose only Mavis
Bank for his JBM.  He has not been impressed with the quality and care in
handling the Wallingford Estates beans if I remember his review correctly.
Sweet Marias changes the types of coffee they offer based on quality of that
lot for that year.  Variations I have read about in various types of beans
from suppliers and year-to-year led me to conclude that I must rely on the
buyer's palate if I want the best coffee beans.  And so far, my palate seems
to run fairly similar to Tom's.
-Mark
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

6) From: jim gundlach
Hi,
    Welcome.  The first suggestion is that you check for beans that Tom 
does not mention espresso in his description.  You seem to have more 
espresso coffees in your inventory but no espresso machine.  Also, 
leaning toward the Hawaiian Konas and Jamaican, I'd guess Blue 
Mountain, suggests you may be under the influence of the heavy 
advertising of these quite good coffees.  I and at least a few others 
believe you can get comparable coffees from Sweet Maria's for much 
less.  Try the coffees you have and look at Tom's reviews for similar 
coffees and experiment with ones that are different.
    Jim Gundlach
On Sunday, February 9, 2003, at 11:31 AM, Michael J. Foley wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

7) From: floyd burton
It is critical that you buy expensive beans from someone who knows his beans
and you can trust and both of those descriptors describe Tom to a T as they
say.  Also suggest you look around at some of Tom's descriptions of beans
from other sources.  There are some awfully good beans from other parts of
the world at much more reasonable prices.  People buying beans while in
Jamaica are almost 100% certain of getting hosed-some of the descriptions of
these beans is a riot-triage, floor sweepings and OMG.

8) From: Darliene Stanhope
Hello,
 I am new to home roasting and as a newbie was wondering if there are
certain coffees that would be easier for me to start with than others. I
have a FreshRoast Plus roaster. I normally prefer the bolder coffees, but I
do like a milder coffee on occasion. I have been ordering from Peets since =
I
do not have any coffee shops around me that I can buy fresh roast coffee. I
like Kenyan, Ethiopian, Tanzanian, Sumatran, Yemen, Panama, Costa Rican, an=
d
Mexican. Or at least those are the ones I have discovered I like so far.
Columbian is not my favorite, but it is a good coffee. Any suggestions for =
a
newbie would be greatly appreciated.
 I have a burr grinder and I only drink coffee made with a french press.
 Darliene

9) From: Gary Townsend
 Darliene Stanhope wrote:
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Welcome to the fold, Darliene ! Based on your list, I think that you might
really enjoy some mre varieties like:http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.guatemala.html#El_InjertoIt's a favorite of mine, and easy to roast...just follow Tom's roasting
suggestions and you may find a new favorite.
I tend to buy 5 #'s of everything...some of the nicest coffee's sell out
quickly ! Another favorite coffee of mine is thehttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.panama.html#CarmenI was lucky
enough to get in on the 17 -1800 meter crop, but it's a great coffee that's
not to be ignored!
 Of course you are happy with a French press, and I was too, for awhile.
Now, I'm hooked on Vac brewers, as the taste is much cleaner, but still as
intense as the FP method. I have a little 20 oz Yama pot that is very easy
to use, everyday. I also have a growing collection of 1940's - 50's brewers=
,
that I've been finding tucked away in antique shops.http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.brewers.vacuum.shtml Welcome to a great list, ask lot's of questions and nice to have you here.
 Gary

10) From: Brett Mason
Hi Darliene,
Order an 8-Pack sampler from Sweet Marias.  Try each one, and take
notes.  This is the best way to learn what's out there and what you
like.  Make the most of your order by picking up 5lb of something you
like - for me that would be Uganda Bugisu...
Regards,
Brett
On 10/10/05, Darliene Stanhope  wrote:
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and
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--
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

11) From: Darliene Stanhope
Thanks Gary,
 I have been really impressed with Sweet Marias website and its list of
green coffees. I had no idea how many different varieties within each crop
of coffee there were. I am sure that I will be overwhelmed with everything
at first. I see so many different coffees I want to try. I feel like a kid
in a candy store. :-)
 I appreciate the suggestions. I'm sure as I get in this more I will be
bugging everyone with questions.
 On 10/10/05, Gary Townsend  wrote:
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12) From: Espressoperson
In a message dated 10/10/2005 10:13:25 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
darlienestanhope writes:
Hello,
 
I am new to home roasting and as a newbie was wondering if there are  certain 
coffees that would be easier for me to start with than others.  I  have a 
FreshRoast Plus roaster.  I normally prefer the bolder coffees,  but I do like a 
milder coffee on occasion.  I have been ordering from  Peets since I do not 
have any coffee shops around me that I can buy fresh  roast coffee.  I like 
Kenyan, Ethiopian, Tanzanian, Sumatran, Yemen,  Panama, Costa Rican, and Mexican.  
Or at least those are the ones I have  discovered I like so far.  Columbian 
is not my favorite, but it is a good  coffee.  Any suggestions for a newbie 
would be greatly appreciated.   
I have a burr grinder and I only drink coffee made with a french  press.
 
Darliene
Welcome to the list. I started with a freshroast - it's a great way to  learn 
roasting. You can see and hear and smell the entire process.
 
You should definitely start with a sampler package, 1/2 pound bags of  
coffee, 4 pack or 8 pack. 
http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.shtml#samplers)">http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.shtml#samplers_http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.shtml#samplers)
A great way to experience lots of different kinds of coffee, confirm what  
you like, and perhaps to be surprised and discover new likes.
 
Happy roasting...
 
MichaelB
 

13) From: Darliene Stanhope
I am always on the hunt for new coffees. I usually come back to Kenya as my
favorite, but I do like to experiment.
On 10/10/05, Espressoperson  wrote:
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14) From: Les
Darliene,
Welcome to the list! One of the things we pay for when ordering from Sweet
Marias is that every coffee is cupped at least twice before it is sold to
us. I doubt you will ever have a bad coffee from Sweet Marias. You may orde=
r
something you don't like, but that has more to do with origin than with the
quality of the beans. Tom and Maria only sell high quality cupped beans! Ge=
t
the sample pack, read the great reviews to see what you like and don't like=
.
We all have our favorites around here. I am a big Kenya fan. I doubt I will
ever be out of Uganda Bugisu. Brazil has made great strides in giving us
High Quality Coffee. The "Cup of Excellence" offering are always worth
looking into. These are coffees that have been through extensive taste
tests, and bid on by some of the more discriminating buyers in the world.
Tom has brought us some wonderful unique experiences over the last few year=
s
from these competitions. This is a wonderful hobby (obsession), and leads t=
o
many wonderful friends.
 Les
On 10/10/05, Espressoperson  wrote:
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15) From: Darliene Stanhope
Les,
Thanks for the welcome and the good ideas. Actually it was after reading
some things on Sweet Marias that helped me make up my mind to start home
roasting. I had just been disatisfied with the other sites and decided to
get into home roasting. I figured that anyone who took that much time to do
the cuppings and write up the reviews must be someone serious about coffee.
 On 10/10/05, Les  wrote:
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16) From: John Blumel
On Oct 10, 2005, at 10:12 pm, Darliene Stanhope wrote:
<Snip>
Just for getting a handle on the technique and besides the sampler  
packs that others have recommended, I would recommend
1. Ugh! (the Thumbs Down coffee): Roast all the way to charcoal to  
get a feel for all the different roast stages: the color changes, the  
cracks, the smells, etc. Just throw it away when you finish cooling it.
2. Mexico Organic Oaxaca - Finca El Olivo: The Plumas typically seem  
to roast fairly evenly and, thus, go through the roast stages very  
distinctly with good color changes and a loud distinct first crack.  
They also do well at various roast levels; although, I don't think it  
will exactly fit your "bold" criteria.
John Blumel

17) From: Philip Keleshian
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi Darliene,
 
Welcome to the club.
 
I too come to home roasting from Peet's.  I want to encourage you to not =
get discouraged early on. The taste will be different. Not worse - =
different.  In my view Peet's is the master of the dark roast. I think =
this is very hard to emulate with an unadorned fluid -bed. 
 
I started with a Poppery 1 then went to a Hearthware Precision.  I now =
use a fairly tricked out Z&D.
 
One of my favorites is Sumatra which is what I used to buy from Peet's.  =
I got some Kenya AA from Jeremiah's Pick and loved it.  My first home =
roasted Sumatra did not please me as much as Peet's and my first home =
roast Kenya I did not like at all.
 
I have started to develop a taste for lighter roasted coffee but the big =
deal to me was getting to the point where I could control roast profile. =
Now I roast Sumatra and even Kenya which I love.
 
I don't want to scare you. Your first coffee should be way better than =
most coffee you will find but when you said you were a Peet's drinker I =
figured I should make the comments.
 
Enjoy the roaster right out of the box but read this list and look on =
Coffee Geek for all the stuff about slowing your roast and even =
controlling the profile.
 
It is a journey. Have a happy one.
 
Phil

18) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Darliene,
Welcome to the list and to homeroasting.  It will be a real eye-opener.  =
As
others have said, you'll notice a definite difference between Peet's =
dark
roasts and your home roasts.  While you can get close to it, Peet's =
roasts
and blends tends to lose a lot of the origin character of the beans.  =
You'll
get hints of fruit, butter, caramel, chocolate, and on and on from =
different
beans when you roast at home.
For a new roaster, Uganda Bugisu is a very forgiving and excellent bean.
Very hard to ruin it in a roast and wonderful flavor at most roast =
levels.
If Tom and Maria have any left, grab yourself some of it.
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
Espressing myself in a LaPavoni
(and drip/moka/presspots)

19) From: Phil Ferrante-Roseberry
Welcome, Darliene!
I can't really disagree with anyone's suggestions. It's hard to go 
wrong with SM's.
If you're here by way of Pete's, two you might like are:
SM's Puro Scuro Blend - This is Tom's homage to Peet's, imo. (Hope 
that's a fair statement, Tom!) A great dark roast.
SM's Moka Kadir Blend - A great dark-blend that I enjoy even more 
that Puro Scuro. Rich, wild, complex.
My experience was that good beans and a fresh roast led me to 
increasing appreciation of lighter roasts. Be willing to try (and 
retry) things you thought you didn't care for!
Phil

20) From: miKe mcKoffee
First, nice welcome Les, now gettist thou back a Thor-in'!-)
Second, Darliene I'll add my welcome to the List. You can source greens
strictly on price and will often find you can save a few cents a # over SM's
prices. Or you can source your greens strictly on what one of the pickiest
cuppers in the industry decides meats his high standards and offers for
sale. Early on I bought greens from various onlin esources, even the
supposed exact same bean, every time the greens from Tom were better. Be
carefull you don't spend TOO much time reading Tom's reviews, it can lead to
an overly large greens stash!-)
One thing you may find is even if you're roasting the same bean as you got
from Peet's (as in actually got the greens from Peet's) a FR will roast much
much faster yielding a very different cup than a drum roast. Even if
roasting to the same perceived degree of roast. Quite likely for instance a
FR might take 6 minutes for a Full City roast while Peet's might be more
like 12 to 16min. Faster roasts tend to be brighter but with less body and
depth, IMO. Which isn't to say you won't be able to get some quite tasty
roasts with a stock FR. However, likely look to the future for ways to
extend your roast times by modifying and controlling the FR profile(s).
Other's have done so with great success and improved roasts.
Regardless, enjoy the journey!
miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipeshttp://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
www.MDMProperties.net 
And patiently impatiently awaiting a recently ordered CCR... Yeah, I'm nuts!
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Les
	Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 8:07 PM
	
	Darliene,
	Welcome to the list!  One of the things we pay for when ordering
from Sweet Marias is that every coffee is cupped at least twice before it is
sold to us.  I doubt you will ever have a bad coffee from Sweet Marias.  You
may order something you don't like, but that has more to do with origin than
with the quality of the beans.  Tom and Maria only sell high quality cupped
beans!  Get the sample pack, read the great reviews to see what you like and
don't like.  We all have our favorites around here.  I am a big Kenya fan.
I doubt I will ever be out of Uganda Bugisu.  Brazil has made great strides
in giving us High Quality Coffee.  The "Cup of Excellence" offering are
always worth looking into.  These are coffees that have been through
extensive taste tests, and bid on by some of the more discriminating buyers
in the world.  Tom has brought us some wonderful unique experiences over the
last few years from these competitions.  This is a wonderful hobby
(obsession), and leads to many wonderful friends. 
	 
	Les
	On 10/10/05, Espressoperson  wrote: 
				In a message dated 10/10/2005 10:13:25 P.M.
Eastern Daylight Time, darlienestanhope writes: 
						Hello,
			 
			I am new to home roasting and as a newbie was
wondering if there are certain coffees that would be easier for me to start
with than others.  I have a FreshRoast Plus roaster.  I normally prefer the
bolder coffees, but I do like a milder coffee on occasion.  I have been
ordering from Peets since I do not have any coffee shops around me that I
can buy fresh roast coffee.  I like Kenyan, Ethiopian, Tanzanian, Sumatran,
Yemen, Panama, Costa Rican, and Mexican.  Or at least those are the ones I
have discovered I like so far.  Columbian is not my favorite, but it is a
good coffee.  Any suggestions for a newbie would be greatly appreciated.  
			 
			I have a burr grinder and I only drink coffee made
with a french press.
			 
			Darliene

21) From: Michael Dhabolt
Welcome aboard Darliene,
 I'd like to underline the comments from Les about the Brazil greens that
tom offers - I didn't notice it on your list of likes. Also if you have a
few minutes read the write up and pictorial that Tom did on his last trip
down there:http://www.sweetmarias.com/Brazil2004/Brazil2004.html.The
article is a great read and it'll give you a feel for how he feels about
coffee in general and will confirm your choice of pusher - er - ah - vendor=
.
 The coffees that tom sells are all really good - some are just a little
better.
 Mike (just plain)

22) From: David Yeager
At 10:12 PM 10/10/2005, you wrote:
<Snip>
Hi, Darliene, and welcome to the List.
--- begin self-restraint ---
Since you like the bolder coffees and you have a roaster which will 
tend to emphasize the coffee's bright notes, I would recommend Tom's 
Sumatra Lintong Dry-Processed.  You can watch, hear, and smell the 
roast developing quite nicely.  It will give you the bold flavor you 
like and not zap you with too much acidity.  Perfect for a french press.
---- end self-restraint ----
Then, on to the Sampler, of course.  And then....   and then....   ;^)
David Y
Atlanta 

23) From: David Matz
Darliene,
Welcome to the world of home roasting. I too roast with a Freshroast plus 8=
.
Be aware that it roasts relatively fast, at least on the line voltage I hav=
e
had in the two places I've lived in the few months I've had it. I've found
the single best thing I did was reduce my batches to just a single scoop as
it slowed the roasts down enough to make a small difference in the taste.
The other thing I did when I could roast ouside in the summer (Here in
Alaska we got our first snow today, so no more outside roasting until next
summer), was to leave the chaff catcher off of it until first crack started
so I could agitate the beans a little more -- and slow the ramp to first
crack a little more. The agitation helped keep beans on the bottom from
getting stuck on the bottom and scorching. I suspect that that problem is
resolved with the newest batch of Freshroasts from what I saw on SM's
website, but I can't be sure.
The best thing I did when I got my FR was to order a bag of ugh! and roast =
a
couple of batches into charcoal to learn how the roaster worked without
burning up good beans. As others have mentioned, starting with a sampler is
great, as it gives you a good way to determine what you like and don't like=
.
As a bold coffee lover myself, you can't go wrong with any of the current
Kenyan or Ethiopian offerings. Be aware that the home roasted coffee out of
the FR does accentuate the brightness, so it will likely taste a little
different than you are used to.
David Matz

24) From: Obrien, Haskell W.
Go for the 1lb sampler.  The half pounds never lasted long enough when I
was starting out to get a handle on the differences.

25) From:
Darliene:
I would try any and all except for decaf.
ginny
<Snip>

26) From: Sandy Andina
Darliene and Ginny,
     Don't fear decaf--I have had excellent luck in an i-Roast with  
SM's Espresso Donkey and especially the Decaf Guatemala Antigua  
(everyone raves that it can't possibly be decaf) and Java.  Decafs  
can be roasted more controllably after you've done a batch of regular  
and left a little chaff behind to slow the roast slightly.  They  
actually get a little lighter in color at the beginning stages--one  
would think that the initial darker color when green would make  
things more difficult but such is not the case. And most can go as  
light as Full City in a small-batch roaster; actually imparts a  
brighter profile that gives them a delightful snap that is missing  
from most charred commercially-roasted decafs.
On Oct 11, 2005, at 2:02 PM, badabingbadabean wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com

27) From: Thomas Pfau
I'll second the motion not to fear decaf.  I have never been much of a 
nighttime or decaf coffee drinker but I've fallen in love with the 
Tanzania Peaberry decaf from SM.  I can't wait to get home from work at 
night so I can brew a pot!
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
tom_p
pfau --http://nbpfaus.net/~pfau/

28) From: Matt Henkel
<Snip>
I have to agree 100% with this suggestion.  I did two 1/2lb roasts of 
Ugh! to help me check my setup and I couldn't have been happier that I 
did; I made several alterations to my rig and all tests were done on a 
coffee I didn't want to drink ayway.  One of the things that I did 
notice was that the Ugh! didn't crack the way that other roasts do so 
if you head into your first "real" roast afraid you won't be able to 
tell where first and second crack are don't let it discourage you, 
you'll know with good beans.
~/Matt

29) From: Darliene Stanhope
I just roasted my first batch of coffee. It is a good thing I like the
darker roasts, this is very dark. I used the Fresh Roast Plus 8 and set it
for 5 minutes the coffee was Tanzanian Peaberry. I learned that my fan on m=
y
stove is not strong enough to pull all the smoke out of the house and I
found out what it takes for my smoke detectors to go off. I also managed to
offend the cat with the commotion of trying to get the smoke detectors to
shut up and watching the roaster to make sure I didn't start a fire. I can'=
t
wait to try it in the morning. An hour later I did take the roaster outside
and had to try it again. I roasted the Tanzanian Peaberry again, this time
at 4 minutes and it looks and smells much better. The whole experience was
much better. I was sitting on my back porch, roasting the coffee by
flashlight, my back porch light is out and enjoying the aromas, not worryin=
g
about the smoke and it was nice. I think once I get the hang of things, thi=
s
will be very relaxing for me. I am taking notes for future reference. I am =
a
perfectionist and want to experience the perfect cup of coffee.
 On 10/11/05, Matt Henkel  wrote:
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HomeRoast Digest