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Any home roasters (coffee) here?

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by SVTNate, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. SVTNate

    SVTNate Packers fan

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    Many people in my circle of cigar-smoking friends are also coffee buffs, and roast their own coffee. I started home roasting about 3 months ago, and have been really bitten by the bug. I was given a Fresh Roast Plus by a friend, then another friend gave me a Precision. Gave the FR+ to someone else in need, and I'm using the Precision for awhile until I buy an iRoast later on. Pitched the POS Bunn drip machine for a Capresso, and buy my green beans online from several places. Cheaper, and man the coffee is just so beyond Charbucks it's ridiculous.

    I'm still in the stage where I'll try anything, but right now I really like to blend South American coffees (Columbian Narino Del Abuelo for example) with a high quality Kenyan or maybe Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. I like the smoothness of the Columbian mixed with the brightness and acidity of the African coffees.

    Anyway, just hoping there are some other home roasters here!
     
  2. Nicky D

    Nicky D CLM

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    I don't roast my own, but that sounds awesome. I don't need to get into anything else right now, I have to many things that I like to do, just not enough time to do it!! What is the process like to do at home? What kind of sites do you go to to purchase your beans? I would definitley be interested in doing this. There is nothing better than a GOOD cup of coffee!!
     

  3. SVTNate

    SVTNate Packers fan

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    This may get you started...

    www.sweetmarias.com
    www.coffeebeancorral.com

    It's remarkably simple. A roaster is very similar to a popcorn popper. Hot air is forced through a roasting chamber. Above the roasting chamber is a chaff collector, which traps the chaff ("skin" of the bean) during the roast. Good roasters start around 100 bucks, the iRoast is about 170, and drum roasters can run around 600 bucks.

    Roasting typically takes around 5-10 minutes, depending on the darkness of the roast. You have City, City +, Full City, Full City +, French Roast, Vienna Roast, and anything beyond that (Turkish, etc) is basically charcoal. Switching the roaster to the cool cycle after the 1st crack of the beans (sounds like popcorn popping) is a City Roast, or as light as you can go and still use the bean. There is a second crack of the bean, which sounds more like Rice Crispies cereal. With experience, you use the sound and appearance of the bean to determine the stage of roast. 99% of commercially available coffee, like Starbucks is not only low quality beans but over-roasted. That dark, oily color of Starbucks is at best Full City, usually though it's considered a French roast. The more you roast the bean, the more caffiene and flavor you lose. A French roasted coffee has little character, which is why most Starbucks junk tastes the same. Also, beans grown in different regions or at different elevations require varying degrees of roasting. Another factor commercially available coffee ignores. Anyway, that's a bit of info to get you started. Buy a roaster and at least 5-10 pounds of coffee to start. You'll mess up the roast on the first few batches, but it's easy to catch on. It helps to have friends with experience, who can help you learn the differences between degrees of roast and how to spot them.
     
  4. Nicky D

    Nicky D CLM

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    Thanks for the info, I will check them out.
     
  5. General Sherman

    General Sherman

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    Now you have done it. Gotten me interested in another gadget/gourmet tool.

    I do love my coffee.
     
  6. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    It doesn't take much to pique my interest ;)
     
  7. thaclient

    thaclient aequitas

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    Just another habit to support. Thanks ;5! It's funny how all these niche hobbies are grouped together. I also gather from your name that you're a car guy as well. I often wonder why we all pick expensive hobbies.



    Actually, I've been taking my coffee more seriously lately. I think I've finally succumb to caffeine addiction. The sites and info you provided was very helpful. I've actually been eyeing that sweetmarias site. I've actually been dabbling with getting started in home espresso. I'm so used to being able to grab a Cuban coffee around here, but that's not quite the same. Nothing like an Italian styled espresso to relax with. All of these hobbies are so damn expensive. I wish I wasn't such a gadget geek :cool:.

    I completely agree about the 'bucks being sooo overroasted. When I go, I get the girly white chocolate mochas because I just can't drink regular coffee there. I drink my coffee black, and the gold coast blend (bold) there just tastes burnt. Plus, who woulnd't want to be the geekiest of your friends and give them home roasted beans!
    ^5
     
  8. Romadoc

    Romadoc

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    Just don't use this brand of roaster. I've had three units burn out...the last one actually burst into flames. I have now given up home roasting. For a heavy user, the time required is just too much.
     
  9. JPinAZ

    JPinAZ

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    That's too bad. It's really unfortunate that there aren't any reasonably prices roasting unit that will roast more than 2-3 ounce or so. The new Hearthware I-Roast can do 6 ounces, which isn't too bad, but would still require a few batches for a weeks worth of coffee. The Hot Top can roast 9 ounces, but it's close to $600. There are aalso a couple of places that offer drums you can use with a gas grill to roast 2+ pounds.
     
  10. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    Don't roast here either but I did toss my coffee maker...

    I cut way back on my coffee. Maybe one to two cups a day so making it with a coffee maker was a waste. I began to use the individual coffee bags. Not good but ok in a pinch...

    My son went to Costa Rica last year and brought back some ground coffee which I had no way to brew. He showed me how they put the grounds directly into hot water and either let it settle to the bottom or strain it through a cotton bag...

    Making coffee this way is the best as far as I'm concerned. No cruddy filter/maker/lime/rust taste....
     
  11. Vic303

    Vic303 Senior Member

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    mememememe! JPinAZ is the guilty party who go me started! I love my FR8+. Still experimenting with the Sweetmarias sample packs, but I am already fond of the Sulawesi & Sumatrans, plus Puro Scuro Blend is good! (brewing in a press)