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Thread: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

  1. #1
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    Default Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Now that I'm ready to order some beans. Please suggest your fave mail-order bean sources. So far I like Sweet Maria's and Coffee Bean Corral, BUT holy guacamole how do you select a bean?!

    Methinks most of the pre-roasted stuff I've ever drunk has come from South and Central Americas, but I'm quite interested in the wide wide palette that is now open before me.

    Be gentle. Just as you don't start a non-wine drinker's education with a Big Cab (no matter how wonderful it may be), I suspect that I don't need to dive into complexities and nuances that I'm not ready to appreciate-nor foul up great beans with amateur roasting. I've scored a lot wines (went through a viticulture and oenology stage), but never cupped a coffee.

    I expect to be using a Poppery or similar for the roasting.

    I'll probably start with Sweet Maria's sampler pack(they choose-and). Or I can get 1/2 pounders from CBC.

    Ethiopia, New Zealand, Java(!), Indonesia, Hawaii, Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Congo, Papau New Guinea. etc? a bit confusing. Pick a continent and work down to sub-regions/climates? hah?

    Whilst there are some snobbery coffee shops down in Nashvegas, I avoid cities except for NAHBS--and I will have my eyes open there for edjava-cation.

    [we'll be moving the previous coffee threads into this section in the next day or so.]






  2. #2
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    I don't roast. However, These folks have sold me green beans in the past. Some of you lucky bastards have had some of it, you know who you are.

    Kona Coffee Company at Kona Lea Plantation
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Wade, it works, but there are limits.

    Give it a try in a wok or a sauce pan if you have one, so you can really watch the process happen and stop anywhere you want to take a sample out. Keep the beans moving and have a metal colander or steamer basket handy to cool them quickly. When they expand and slough off the husks it will make a mess. It's worse with an air popper. I'm sure you've already read about all of the first and second crack stuff.

    The limits inherent in this process is that you can't do large batches and small ones don't have the kind of volume to spread out the heat evenly. It's really hard to get a truly even roast like the guys with the multi-pound-at-a-time gas roasters can. That said, a batch of home roasted, degassed beans ground and made into a cup of coffee is like brewing your own beer. Cheaper, easier than you'd think, harder than you'd think to get it perfect, and worth trying.
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    I been roasting with a modified 1500W Poppery Popcorn Popper for several years. I buy mostly from Sweet Marias as I enjoy their ever changing selection. Deans Beans is also good but less selection.

    One thing you'll notice is that the popcorn poppers run at one speed. There is no temp control. This means that the first 1/4 cup roast goes slow as the machine warms up. The next couple of roasts will get faster and faster since the machine is now heated up. For a beginner, oftentimes you'll tend to roast the beans too quickly. The outside will roast quicker then the inside of the bean thus you'll get a bit of grassy flavor in the coffee. Its not bad but something that you'll come to notice over time. You can slow down the roast by cutting out sections of the popcorn popper body to add more cold air flow. Also a longer power cord will add more resistance thus slow down the roast slightly. Roasting outside on a cold day will slow down the roast vs. roasting in the middle of summer (this is a good thing as you'll appreciate the better coffee roasts in the cold months!).

    A good place to start might be Ethiopian or Kenyan Peaberry beans. They are smaller beans thus they fully roast quickly and tend to eliminate the grassy flavor that you might get in a a bigger bean. Roasted right, these beans tend to have a lot of varied flavor. I normally use beer as an analogy. A good Ethiopian roast will be like a hoppy beer with lots of floral accents. A Costa Rican or Colombian bean might be more like a nut brown ale....

    Final note, I roast mostly on sound. With some practice it gets pretty easy to detect the first crack and the second crack of each roast. Long ago I experimented with kitchen thermometers but had little luck getting consistent readings.
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    yeah, I'm not so much asking about the process-more about how to SELECT from the multitude of bean options.


    i hate to do this but i quote me:

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    Now that I'm ready to order some beans. Please suggest your fave mail-order bean sources. So far I like Sweet Maria's and Coffee Bean Corral, BUT holy guacamole how do you select a bean?!
    and why wouldn't you preheat the popper for consistent times? i don't need much, the dogs don't care for java. i've already been playing with pre-roasted beans in the skillet.

    i don't drink coffee every day, but when i do...i like for it to be interesting.

    as for beer analogies. I'm _not_ a hop head. Too much hops goes through my head like horseradish. I'm sure I enjoy much more hops than the Miller Lite Tailgater, but then i've brewed. I'm into malt and heavy thick and chunky chewy beers...porters and stouts and ales OH MY! But also i do enjoy a grassy green pinot grigio when appropriate. dzat help?

    I'm looking for a way to relate what the sellers say to regular joe-six-pack language. do i start with Africa or Indonesia or Colombia? or one of the other 37 places of origin? what to avoid? what ain't worth the premium?
    Last edited by WadePatton; 01-18-2012 at 01:12 AM.
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Wade,

    I think we (the coffee geeks) need to know how you extract coffee from your beans. If you are going for espresso, SM has a drop down choice that allows you to select "only coffees recommended for espresso". Otherwise, pretty much anything is going to be fair game. If you are brewing french press, I would recommend a nice Guatemalan to start, or maybe a Costa Rican coffee. I'm partial to Brazilians (coffee!- you pervs) as they make an excellent base for espresso, but they also work nicely for a simple brewed cup. If you prefer a bigger, earthier cup with the more strange flavor notes such as leather, tobacco, etc, then a Ethiopian or Indonesian might be your style.

    A bit of unsolicited advice. Make sure you know what you are doing with brewing coffee. If you're pouring this coffee through a Krups pour over, don't bother. If you are going to the effort of roasting your own beans, make sure that you can control the temp of your brew water to within a couple degrees of 200 F. Some of those pour overs are generating 160F. Your coffee will taste like poo. I highly recommend french press at a min. Boil the water and wait for it to cool to 200 with a thermometer. press, and decant the coffee immediately into a carafe. Chemex is a good economical way to control temp on a drip style coffee.

    I'm going to stop before I write a treatise. But, one last rec. Only buy coffee from Thom at Sweet Marias. Not because he's my cousin ( he isn't ), but because he cares more about coffee than anyone I have ever met. His customer service is par excellence. His descriptions of the coffee are amazing. His contributions to coffee production are endless. He is the MAN in green beans. I don't even look anywhere else, except "shrub" which is his wholesale site for those who are buying 30lb min bags.

    Jon
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Thanks Jon,

    I use a press, never decanted. Thom has a sampler, i'll get that. Love to support huge customer service and have already learned lots via his work.






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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Stackie's got it... The Guatemalan and Costa Rican beans from Sweet Marias have been my last two purchases. A lot of the Sumatra beans always have a heavier "nutty" flavor which might fit good with the porter/stout analogy...

    The cool thing about coffee is that you can buy a couple of pounds for very little $$$ and teach yourself what you like.

    As for the the actual brewing of the coffee, I would go with an Aeropress or Chemex. Both options are much better then machine brewed coffee....
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    We done spoke on this months ago!!

    http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum...ing-23589.html

    Pictures and everything. I love roasting my own, but it turned out to be more of a novelty than an regular thing. If I didn't know where to get good fresh roasted beans in town I'd roast my own more, but Burlington has no shortage of good fresh roasted coffee.

    I second Sweet Maria's, 95% of my coffee knowledge comes from that site, great people.
    "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride"
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    "Convenience can take over, it can be distracting, and it can make you lazy."
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Sorry duders, yall ain't getting it. I'll start another thread.

    yes, there was some retail source info in that other thread. tnks



    HERE 'TIS: http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum...ans-25324.html
    Last edited by WadePatton; 01-18-2012 at 05:35 PM.






  11. #11
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Hope you guys can use this info.
    These are some pretty good sources for bulk green beans (for East coast anyway):

    procoffee.com
    https://www.ccmcoffee.com/index.php?cPath=21
     

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    very nice thanks. GA is getting close to home...which reminds me. My neighbor's sister married a man who owns a coffee producing farm/estate in Costa Rica. They gave me some roasted coffee once (during one of my not-drinking-coffee spells). Now I'll have to check back and see if they'll get me some green. IIRC it it Terrazu area or...that was the CR coffee i bought at the grocery.

    I have an order coming from Sweet Maria's now. I'll use the selections they send to catapult my unnerstanding to the next level.

    AND am on the hunt for swirly hot-air thingies...yeah i know, feebay is saturated with 'em. that's no fun atwo.


    Also please note other thread wrt SELECTION. post #2 is the gold sought.

    Procoffee, Woodstock GA, 5# minimums (5,25,50#)
    Caracolillo Coffee Mill (CCM), Tampa. 1,5,25# bags.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rico View Post
    Hope you guys can use this info.
    These are some pretty good sources for bulk green beans (for East coast anyway):

    procoffee.com


    https://www.ccmcoffee.com/index.php?cPath=21






  13. #13
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Well Wade:
    Like you I'm a country boy. Just in another state.
    Like to do my own thing. Food/garden/coffee/beer

    For roasting just bite the bullet and get a HotTop.
    Hottop USA home page
    Takes a licking/spare parts/decent capacity.

    Up to you to find the best price........................

    They used to have a mdel with analog contol panel that was lower in price. Mayeb not made anymore.
    BTW I burnt up some other units before I ended up here.
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    three words for ya, and i'm not one to use this particular three in this order with any regularity but,
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    OH

    MY

    GOD!


    just took my first sips of home-roasted coffee. eff me, can't put it into words--and i don't like sayin' that.

    omg

    omfg


    dayum.

    and this is my first over-roasted attempt with most "normal" coffee on the list. another world wow.






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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    AS to FIRST TIMER green bean selection...effing don't worry 'bout it. GET SOME and BE HAPPY!

    this is like a 98-point wine vs. box wine.

    this is like home-grown tomatoes vs. store-bought "tomatoes".

    Roaster tips appreciated, but the Poppery (10 USD) is kicking it fine so far, and i'll be scooping 'em up from yardsales from now on-get the cost down and have spares to mod. I'm going to take it apart and put in an element switch. I'm running a fat 1/3 cup which (who knew, i didn't) yields 2/3's cup of roasted.

    Roasted Costa Rica twice last night. Tried the first one (overdone of course) after a 5-hour rest, found it to be spectacular. Drinking the second run of that now (overnight rest), even better.

    And roasted the Ethiopian this morning, probably try that this afternoon. Also have an Indian and a Bolivian to try.

    SLEEP, who needs it?! JAVA!!!

    My "roaster" is wicked fast. I may drill out the intake holes, or make an adjustable vent to slow it down a fuzz. Early first cracks at 120 seconds. I stopped this last batch at just a fuzz over 3 or 4 minutes (i'm more into the cracks and colors than timers). But, a bit longer time, bigger window-easier to hit the mark methinks.

    ALSO, that aroma when the beans first start dumping their moisture...damn near sex in your nose right there. damn near.



    now i can go throw all my pre-roasted beans out. there's just NO point...
     

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Now that I'm over the shock of the increase in quality of a cuppa joe, i'll have to develop both my roasting skills and my coffee palette.

    Have tried two roasts of the Central America and one Africa. Africa is top dawg so fars.






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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    Wade! I'm so glad you're enjoying this!!!!

    African coffee in my experience has a larger quantity of flavors that I don't normally associate with coffee, and therefore I find it to be an incredible satisfying cup. Right now I'm drinking some Colombian Valle de Cauca which is as good as any South American coffee I've tried yet.

    From the roasting and drinking experiments I've done so far the Central/South American varieties have more chocolate/dark/earthiness in the flavor where the Ethiopian varieties have Citrus/Bright/Holyshit is this coffee?!!! kinds of flavors.

    Either way if it's fresh it makes a huge difference!

    The Descendents - Coffee Mug - YouTube
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    heck yeah, i'm trying now to not let any roast get over a couple of days old. it's backing up on me already.

    and the _waiting_ is the hardest part. that eon between roasting and brewing...
     

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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    It's amazing how quick everything changes! Part of the fun is seeing the variation in taste from one morning to the next. Some varieties benefit from a longer rest, more than 24 hours. One of the Costa Rican's I got was like that, you could brew it next day but the amount of froth and foam that would explode out of the grounds right when you got them wet, would over power the french press, I couldn't fit enough water in. A day later the same beans have calmed down a bit and released a little more CO2, so it isn't such a violent reaction when brewing.

    Have your times changed after the first few roasts? Are you keeping track with a second hand or just watching/listening? What's your preferred brewing method?
    Last edited by WadePatton; 01-28-2012 at 07:44 PM. Reason: pushed the wrong buttons, disregard. you didn't even see this.
    "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride"
    -H.S.T.

    "Convenience can take over, it can be distracting, and it can make you lazy."
    -Grant Peterson

    Adventures in Food and Eating

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Coffee-Home Roasting (the other green bean)

    i think my popper is running hotter than most, i overshot second crack the first time and nearly burned a batch. still trying to dial it in.

    french press.

    i started trying to time things third round. butmostly i work most naturally by smell and colour.*

    *richie says that using england spellings makes one appear to be educated.






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