HomeRoast Digest

Topic: (Fwd) salty roasts (15 msgs / 311 lines)
1) From: Jim Schulman
Hi All,
Every coffee (all my usual blends) I roasted on Friday tastes
salty and prickly. It's not the machine, grinder, or water; I
just got the same taste on the Solis and Innova with unsoftened
water. So it's the roast, not the prep.
Anyone ever had this? 
The most recent change I've made is putting in a very slow 
phase, 3 minutes or so from 260 to 290 to get an even roast
early. This is by eye, not following a preestablished profile.
But I'm not sure whether this is relevent or not.
I crossposted this to alt.coffee (yeah, I'm desparate)

2) From: Ed Needham
Yeah...you're probably catching a cold or taking a new medicine...
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

3) From: Jim Schulman
On 17 Nov 2003 at 23:44, Ed Needham wrote:
I have been sniffling a bit the last few days. Cold makes coffee 
salty? With food I usually notice when it doesn't taste like 
anything. These roasts smell good, but taste so salty, it's hard 
to tell what else is in there.
Does this mean I'll need an independent taster?
Thanks for the tip, when did you find this out?

4) From: miKe mcKoffee

5) From: rnkyle
Jim I'd say your taste buds have gone astray, not your roasted coffee. Let
someone else cup your roasts, for comparison.

6) From: Ken Mary
Yes, I had a few salty roasts years ago. When I have time, I will wade
through my roast records to find out why the salty taste and *aroma*.

7) From: Ed Needham
A cold makes tastes go funny.  Not necessarily salty, but 'off' for sure.
Maybe the salty part is more persistent than other tastes that dropped out.
Just a guess though based on personal experience.  I took zinc for a while
and it really messed with the way I taste things.  Cilantro tasted so bad, my
brain still perceives it as bad, even though it's been a couple of years.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

8) From: Ed Needham
Another possible explanation is that the roaster is emitting a noxious odor
that is permeating the roast.  A stink bug that crawled in there and is now a
'full city', or 'vienna' bug...a capacitor that is about to blow and is
putting off fumes.  More guesses.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

9) From: John Blumel
On Nov 17, 2003, at 11:28 PM, Jim Schulman wrote:
As you would no doubt recall if you were in better health, most of the 
flavors in coffee are identified by the nose, which will not function 
effectively when you have a cold. Perhaps the salt taste is coming from 
the 150ppm TDS water (what's the sodium content?) that you're using and 
you aren't really tasting the coffee at all. However, this might be a 
good opportunity to determine if RO or other low hardness waters 
produce better coffee under certain health conditions. Be something 
interesting to add to the ILW FAQ.
John Blumel

10) From: Jim Schulman
On 18 Nov 2003 at 8:54, Ed Needham wrote:
Thanks everyone, looks like cold it is. This morning, no salt 
taste, no breakfast taste, no taste at all, as the cold has 
arrived completely. Guess it's a good time to catch up on my 

11) From: Ken Mary
Uganda Bugisu '01
2.6 min to 200C then ~5C per min to 220C at 6.4 min.
Now I am confused, only one brew out of the four from this roast was salty.
It was the second of the morning, both brews were nearly identical. I use a
water softener but recharge is after midnight every month or so, with no
salty taste to the water. There were 10 roasts to this lot, no other "salty"
I remember that this was not the only occurrence, but cannot find any other
record, although my quick scanning may have missed it. I can only conclude
that the roast or brew is not at fault. Other possibilities are a
contaminant or bad bean.

12) From: AlChemist John
Good catch Ed.  Sorry Jim, I hate when I have a cold.  Coffee for the 
caffeine only is just not the same :-(  Get well soon.
Sometime around 10:28 11/18/2003, Jim Schulman typed:
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting and Blending by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/

13) From: Jim Schulman
On 19 Nov 2003 at 5:53, AlChemist John wrote:
Thanks John,
Oddly, now that I have the cold completely, the coffee tastes 
muted but OK. It was in the few days I was getting cold that the 
coffee tasted salty. 

14) From: Ken Mary
Found another, this time consistently salty, both aroma and flavor, for 
several days. Ethiopian Sidamo '02 dry process, full city at 13 minutes,
slow ramp resulted in *no first crack*. Flavors bad until peak at 5 days
rest, then very good. The saltiness disappeared at the peak. Four other
roasts of this same lot with shorter 5 to 7 minute profiles and normal first
crack sounds showed no evidence of salt, and had much better flavor.
BTW, I have not had a cold for at least 5 years.

15) From: Jim Schulman
On 20 Nov 2003 at 10:24, Ken Mary wrote:
Thanks Ken, 
I have had several (non-cold) salty beans and roasts too, 
especially an odd PNG lot that also has a savoury taste as well 
(as if it had been spiked with MSG). I'll try roasting it fast 
and see if it helps.
PS. Savoury (japanese "Mami" ?) is now an officially recognized 
basic taste, so when will we see it on the coffee taster's 

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