HomeRoast Digest

Topic: The poppery 2nd ? (10 msgs / 203 lines)
1) From: John
I have found a source for green coffee beans and am on the way to pick them up for my first attempt at roasting. The price is double that of Sweet Marias but if you knew me you would understand I need to get some "filler" beans to get started with right away.
My qusetion is this : Do I place the cover and butter dish on and roast the full time or do I keep the cover off and stir with a wooden spoon ? On the sites I have seen directions go both ways, is it a personal prefrence or will it alter the roast either way ?
I may try it both ways to see but just wondered what the general thought is.
On Thu, 19 Oct 2000 23:49:10   Simpson wrote:
Angelfire for your free web-based e-mail.http://www.angelfire.com

2) From: Michael Vanecek
I've always stirred mine throughout the roast. It probably wasn't
necessary later in the roast when the beans lightened up enough to
self-agitate, but it was fun so I kept stirring (I'd stir water til it
boiled - call me easy to amuse). It's good to keep them constantly
agitated to prevent scorching and overly uneven roasts. If you don't
mind the occasional bean popping out (you can always pop it right back
in), toss the plastic cover (well, store it away). If you don't want to
mess with escaping beans, get a tin can about the same diameter as the
roasting chamber, cut the bottom off and position it as sort of a
chimney to channel would-be escapees back into the foray. Be prepared
for lots of chaff. Also, be aware that ambient temperatures effect roast
length - try to roast in an area where you're comfortable without a
jacket. If it's comfortable to you, it's comfortable to the coffee. When
you measure your coffee, try to keep the 1/2 cup as leveled off as
possible and maintain that analness throughout your roasting to help
with consistency. If you have a digital scale, do the 4oz thing. IIRC -
double-check with the others to make sure I've got my numbers right -
I've been roasting with an Alp and HWP lately and it's been a while
since I've put my Poppery II through a roast. 
John wrote:

3) From: Bluedog
I took a survey on this once in alt.coffee, and found it to be pretty
much an even split. Half the folks used a lid, half did not.
Having experimented with it myself, I found it surprising that
roasting without the lid did not increase the time of the roast one
However, I did find that it gave me greater control over the roast. I
was able to stir the beans when I first powered on (until they got
going). But more importantly, I was now able to watch the bean color,
smell the smoke more, and hear the cracks more clearly.
That would be your best bet. :)
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Yahoo! Messenger - Talk while you surf!  It's FREE.http://im.yahoo.com/

4) From: Bearhair
   I use the roasting cone from www.thehomecoffeeroaster.com on my Poppery.

5) From: Simpson
BH, I don't mean to continue to be the voice of an outmoded rule, but this
is a free list provided by a company, sweet marias, and while Tom is pretty
mellow re: commercial postings, this one is a direct competitor. No matter
what Tom says, personally I think this is a misuse of his kindness... even
somewhat rude. I know from alt.coffee that you are a stickler for the rules,
and if you'll check Tom's site where you signed up for this list you'll find
he specifically forbids this kind of posting. Fromhttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html:
*Since we pay for the list, we do not allow outside commercial posts of any
kind. This includes regular emails with commercial references, URLs,
addresses or 800 numbers of products we offer or like products. That may
seem harsh, but think of it this way: the discussion on the list takes place
in our establishment ...it's as if 300 homeroasters are sitting around a
cozy (!) table in our shop. It would be rude to come in our shop, where we
work so hard to offer so much, and talk about the guy down the road who
sells xxx for $x.xx! If in doubt, please send the email with commercial
reference to me first (sweetmarias) for approval. Obviously,
some commercial references are necessary for constructive dialogue. But this
list IS NOT alt.coffee!!! Paying for the list also insures that your email
address is not exposed to spam-sending folks who buy email lists from "free"
web-based mail list servers."
Just a thought for your consideration. Tom and sweetmarias.com are
irreplaceable resources (and he's a heckuva nice guy) and I think he
deserves a little thought prior to posting.

6) From: Bearhair
   I absolutely agree with the above paragraph, followed the discussion in early
September, and saved Tom's e-mail stating his preference. From all of that, plus
the fact that I didn't think Tom sells the roasting cone, I posted the URL. 
   Additionally, I laughed at your suggestion that they are "competitors". I
bought a pound of beans from them to test roast, along with the roasting cone,
and . . . well, they're no Sweetmaria's.
   I thought I had posted in conformity with Tom's 9/9 email regarding the
subject. We're not comparing bean prices, we were discussing what we top our
poppers with. If someone found sweetmarias.com already, in order to get on the
list, then I suggest they have also already found the roasting cone site in
their web searches, so that the URL merely gave them a direct click method of
accessing it and not necessarily introduced them to the site. Hey, even if they
do buy some beans from there, they'll be back to sweetmarias.com in a pound,
with much more appreciation!
   I shall forward this to the address suggested in the list info for Tom to
review himself and will conform to his preference in the future. Thanks for
questioning it.

7) From: Tom & Maria
I appreciate the thoughtfulness on all sides in this ... I can see both
sides and would like to discuss things like the roasting cone (well, its
been discussed before) and anything else central to our mutual interests.
As you will notice I actually have info about the cone on our Readings and
Resources page, along with a couple other sources for green coffee  ... I
wont go so far as to provide direct links because people can find them
ueasily enough temselves if they want too. So I suppose the direct link
thing is the sticking point more than discussing whats out there ...which
is always a good thing to do... Maybe we can avoid the direct in line URL
links in the future.
I do have a problem with the concept of the roasting cone, and the company
that sells it makes me a little squeamish. My problem with the cone is a
first time roaster might think they need this thing to "convert" a popcorn
popper into a coffee roaster. The comapny that runs the thing, Mountanos
Brothers, has never done anything to say otherwise. In fact, you dont need
the cone and I personally have never found it useful. Chaff collection has
never been a big deal with popper roasting in my opinion. If it collected
smoke and filtered it out effectively ...heck, I WOULD have a direct link
to them! The company is a very large broker and roaster. They pay a
fraction of what a small guy pays for coffee, and sell it for more. They
are "private label" roasters (I believe they still do all the Trader Joes
coffee), in a sense they end up competing against the small roasters that
the broker green coffee to. They are a real octopus of a coffee comapny and
seem to get their tentacles into every aspect as a strategy for growth and
dominance. They also have an odd branding scheme as a broker. For example
they blend DP Ethiopians and give it their own name, which is fine for
"brand image" and consistency, but reduces the single-origin mantra to a
lowest-common-denomenator blend from an origin. Not good for the verity of
the source and appreciation of apellation. They stick with particular
sources independent of whether it was a good year or not for the source.
Its to be highly commended for faithfulness, but not necessarily for
I am not really saying there is anything wrong with any of the above ...its
all probably good for business, but it just doesnt jive with our approach
to specialty coffee.
                  "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
           Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria

8) From: Gary Zimmerman
Say, you think Bill Gates has anything to do with this place?
-- garyZ

9) From: Bearhair
    Sorry, didn't know they were such bad guys.

10) From: Lisa Beglinger
--- Tom & Maria  wrote:
little squeamish. 
Hm.  I rather liked the cone, although for my own
part, the cone turned out to be the "training wheels"
that convinced me to pop for the FreshRoast Tom sells.
 (hm, there's irony here somewhere...)
My impressions of the company that sells the cone were
evidently on the money, while these impressions were
nowhere near as informed as Tom's.  I have yet to see
a consumer-direct retailer *anywhere* who identifies
varietal, farms, etc. as clearly and proudly as does
SM's.  If we were talking about grapes, it would be as
if all the other winesellers were tersely labeling
their bottles "Someplace in California Chardonnay" or
"1999 Australian Merlot Blend", at their *most*
Well, I didn't intend this post as singing to the
choir here.  It's just to point out that someone who's
had the chance to use the clunky "freebie" chaff
collector might just be that more open to buying a
dedicated roaster later on.  
Comparison - I had to try a "steam toy" before I was
ready to appreciate the worth of a *real* home
espresso machine.  And I was able to sell the "steam
toy" for a great price on Ebay, too.  Hey...where'd I
put that old cone?  ;-)

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