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☕ Coffee ☕: Ingredients, Roasting, Grinding, Brewing, and Tasting

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shelly_belly

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Don't know about anyone else here, but, I do not always follow the golden rule of waiting for a day or so before sampling the beans I have roasted. I have enjoyed experiencing the changes that occur with some beans. I have noted that not all get better or even change in flavor with the longer wait in off gassing. The recent order I got of the Ethiopia, Sidama Durata Bombe, is a very fruity, smooth cup. I get an even blueberry with a slight nuance of pineapple and a little sweetness. Can't pick up the plum flavor, but I didn't really choose this coffee for that. Very enjoyable! I hope anyone else that chose to get some, experiences the same, or close to it. :coff4:
That Ethiopian had the best write up I've seen all year. Unfortunately I was unable to buy any as my employer cut our hours to 24/week in April. We were reinstated to 40/week a few weeks ago so I'll probably begin buying 1 pound of everything Sweet Maria's again soon! A lot of times I too will be drinking fresh roast the next day or even the same day if I have let the pipeline run out. It's good stuff even without a rest.
 

shelly_belly

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I roasted several decaf's recently. You can't go by color as it's way off. First crack took approximately the same amount of time as usual but second crack came just as soon as first crack was done. This was done on a popcorn popper. The beans were from Indonesia and Rwanda. I had read that the cracks may be hard to hear with decaf but that was not the case with the popcorn popper.
 

JuanMoore

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As mentioned, you can't trust the color of decaf during roasting, it will usually get really dark really fast. I've found most decafs to be slightly lower density, and require a bit more gentle heat. The smell during the early stages of the roast can also be a lot different, so be aware of that. Otherwise it's pretty similar.
 

TrickyDick

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My wife has to avoid caffeine for a few months so I bought her some Colombian decaf. Any special tips for roasting decaf? It's been 15 years since I've roasted any.
Its hard to roast. Progresses very fast! Hard to tell color changes in roast because of decaf process. 1C muted. do as for a regular coffee but dial back the temps and maybe do that trick where you kill power after charge until after the TP. That's all I have and would add I hat roasting decaf because its so hard to control.
TD
 

TrickyDick

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Would add as a question to others, what about roasting to a particular final temp?? Any merit for that? Maybe easier to do a charbucks roast than shoot for a light roast which will be hard to do because of the decaf process.

TD
 

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Didn’t take any pics today. In part because my kitchen is a mess right now. :)

A couple more espressos and I’m starting to get the hang of the robot though. I don’t have any other lever or manual espresso machines to compare it to, but so far I’d say it’s living up to it’s reputation. There is a certain appeal to making espresso with no electricity (hg-1 grinder and robot).
 

HarborTownBrewing

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Would add as a question to others, what about roasting to a particular final temp?? Any merit for that?
I personally don't since there is a lot of variation from bean to bean as to when they start and finish 1C. I usually go by development, 13% for fruity coffees and around 15-18% for more robust chocolaty ones.

Roasted up a bag of coffee for a neighbor who helped me out with something recently, went to give it to them and asked if they need it ground....turns out they only Kuerig and don't have the fillable pod. Urggg. I had already bagged and labeled it and all that.
 

Gruel

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I don't know whether my taste buds are discerning enough for this crowd, but my last order was from Burman. I tried their three variety sampler (~$6/lb) and two of their cheaper varieties (~4/lb), and to my surprise they all work well both as americanos (espresso extracted with about twice the amount of water for a ristretto, plus half of that amount of hot water, plus same amount of milk) for breakfast, and as espressos (ristretto, about 1:1 ratio of water to ground coffee).
The coffees were:
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I liked the Costa Rican Tarrazu best, but it wasn't like the Mogiana or the supreme antioquia was much worse.
Sorry about the weird post format; I keep my coffee notes in OneNote, and I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste text-only...
 

applescrap

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We need to have some sharing of roasting tips in here from time to time.
I feel like many of my roasts suffer from too fast drying/yellowing (always less than 4 min for me) and too fast progression, most roasts last less than 10 minutes (1pound charge) with weight loss less than the "experts" say is ideal with many of mine in the 11%-13% range, rarely higher. My roaster tends to lose a few beans inside itself during the roast which is not possible to account for and might skew the weight loss percentages to higher than they truly are (meaning I'm doing worse than what I can calculate). I like to emphasize the light roast flavors especially fruits and any floral components for most coffee but I think I may not be taking my roasts far enough. I rarely buy central or southern american beans anymore, almost only african origin, esp dry process ethiopian. I do record final bean temp, but maybe need to make that a end point marker also rather than as an aside. I've never seen target final bean temp recommendations for what those are worth. I try to shoot of ROR less than 5 when I drop, while attempting to maintain a steadily decreasing ROR. Its hard to achieve, especially near end of roast there is often a bump up, which I think can minimized by steadily lowering heat and airflow throughout the roast, which I am doing, but it is difficult to master.
Curious what others experience is.
TD

I love this kind of talk and thinking. I am just now pkuing and I see some thoughts already added. I'll add this is the whole crux, when, how, how quick the bean dries and develops, and changes. Water in the bean and chemical changes. Sadly with my equipment I am not sure I can accomplish what I want. With yours and others you have a lot more control. The reality is each bean varietal probably needs mastery imho. I realize I roast Ethiopian well because thats all I roast. I dont know jack squat about roasting guat. My guess is 100 pounds of roasting the same coffee over and over with careful note taking and experimenting will help one find that mastery with the bean.

Ok all that aside I'll give a straighter answer. I have experimented plenty and there is a sweet spot with batch size and speed. But more importantly I always come back to hot and fast like a steak, the exact same maillard reaction. With the dp Ethiopians they have way more character and flavor when roasted hot and fast. They lose almost all life when roasted slow. Any tipping or char is worth the price for better chocolate, carmel, and fruit flavors. I am back to pulling the coffee 20 to 30 seconds after 1c for dp Ethiopians. Anything more and they lose a lot of character. Cant wait to see where your experimenting leads!
 

applescrap

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I ordered the new burmans Ethiopian dp yc. They said it was the first batch of year I think. Haha, I love how they said, this wasnt a hidden gem, we paid plenty for it.
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HarborTownBrewing

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I noticed some funny/charismatic details in some of the Burmans coffee write-ups as well. At the end of the description for one of them (can't remember) they noted that not all the staff liked it. Wow...alrighty then! haha
 

Gruel

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Regarding tasting notes/coffee descriptions: there seems to be a lot of code, and not always used consistently. For example 'clean cup' is supposed to mean 'no flavor defects'. Which should be a given if I bother to buy green coffee! I mean, why would a specialty coffee dealer import and sell something with defects? So I assume the person putting 'clean' or 'clean cup' first in their description means something else, like, very little body maybe (compared to using the same amount of some other coffee roasted to the same depth).

Or take 'bright': code for 'plain acidic', as I understand it, since fruit notes are usually described separately.
 

HarborTownBrewing

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Regarding tasting notes/coffee descriptions: there seems to be a lot of code, and not always used consistently.
Well, taste is highly subjective. I write flavor profiles the best I can with what I taste, but there have been a couple people who say, "I didn't get any of that, but I don't know what I'm tasting." Speaking of clean cups, to me I have a clear idea of how I take that - an example would be a Costa Rican coffee. It might have body and be robust, but to me clean means it's fairly one dimensional with a single, consistent taste throughout the cup.

When I was first starting out I read a TON of tasting information put out by Sweet Marias, so I have always assumed my tasting perceptions come from their influence and what I read and learned back then. Then again, few people will describe coffee as specifically as Tom; sometimes it's a little out there, but for the most part I really enjoy and appreciate the descriptions he puts out. But if I compare the notes from Sweet Marias or Burmans to Bodhi Leaf it's night and day difference. I personally have found Bodhi Leaf's beans to be of lower quality, but the only descriptors they seems to use are, "Chocolate, Caramel, Citrus, Floral." That's it. Maybe "Nutty" here and there, but it's pretty basic. Probably a combination of lower grade coffee and also lack of care or creativity in describing the beans.
 

Gruel

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Coming back to roasting: What made a huge difference towards better consistency for me is the roasting chamber insert/extension for the SR500. Also, only filling it with 1/3 of a pound per batch. That seems to yield more reproducible results, independent of how much the bean volume increases when roasting.

It would still be nice to have a setup that delivers air of a consistent temperature, like the roaster they had at one of my local Whole Foods. It was/is a recirculating hot air roaster, and it seemed the heater was sufficiently sized so that the actual temperature after the beans closely followed the programmed profile. (I watched several of their roasts; the system used a PID controller with programmable ramp.) Has anybody tried to build a recirculating roaster (e.g. from an SR500), or is there one on the market for small (two pounds or less) batch sizes? I think that might be better than trying to throw more heater power at it (which I think I can't anyway, at least not on 120V).
With the SR 500 it seems the beans drive the profile, i.e. the heater seems to run at constant power, and the air temperature after the beans slowly rises.

Does anybody here measure the color of their beans after roasting, to cross-check their roasting profiles? At the local 'display Starbucks', or whatever they call it, they seem to do that after every batch; they grind a sample and measure the color.
 

TallDan

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Just placed a roastmasters order, a couple of them looked really interesting:

I might have to place an order at SM too, a couple interesting coffees there, particularly this one:
 

HarborTownBrewing

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I ordered three pounds of a really nice looking Kenyan from Burmans last time I placed an order. It was more than I usually spend on a coffee, something like $8/lb but figured hey let's try a few pounds of it.

My first go at this one roasted up very nicely and it came out about how I had hoped it would. A few days later I ran it through a paper filter in the Chemex and oooooooh baby it is delicious. Such full, luscious, juicy flavors.

The last few years I have stuck mostly to coffee in the $5-$6/lb range just because that's what I usually sell to friends but this was a real nice treat. I am going to have to start ordering more of these for myself.
 

Ruint

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I ordered a "few" pounds of coffee from the new Sweet Maria's ad that came in over the weekend. A couple of them, IMHO, just sounded too good to pass on. There a couple more worth looking at, but these 2 grabbed my attention.


 

TrickyDick

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My last order was this: 5# which is more than I normally buy anymore.
Haven't roasted any yet.
Ethiopia Dry Process Hamasho Village
A broad palette of fruit flavors, red raspberry, blueberry, mango, vibrant lemon, peach puree and strawberry Starburst. Incredibly complex dry process and clean considering the process type. City to City+.
Anyone else try it yet??
Says Out of Stock now by the way
TD
 

shelly_belly

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That Hamasho Village looks promising. I got their "New Additions" email on a Friday night and when I read it Saturday morning it was already sold out!
 

TrickyDick

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I'm not sure exactly when I ordered it. I don't exactly "stalk" SM's page, and they aren't the beast at sending out announcements about new coffee for sale. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. I got a large amount of the Shantawene Village Ethiopian beans which sounds awesome, but to me is like Meh. 1 pound left to roast. Thought I got lucky with that one.

I'll let yall know what I think of it. I'm a sucker for any description that says "blueberry" in it.


TD
 

HarborTownBrewing

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Little bit of an espresso break to get me through this project today. If all goes well I'll have some string lights installed by end of day.

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applescrap

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Wow not moving along much since the app went down. I used to post 4, 5 idk a bunch per day and I havent been on in 17 days! Looks like great coffee all! Woot! I still dont order sweet maria beans or shop at costco. I love the guy and his info, everything, just dont buy the beans.

You make some good points gruel and I often find coffee descriptions off or different. Same with wine. Your point about "clean" is interesting. The idea of why would a coffee importer import a less than clean coffee is because they have to by my definition. Not all green coffee is clean, infact very little of it is.

The vast majority of coffee that I would call clean is well over 8 a pound. The only coffee I would call clean that I have had is yemen, gesha, and Ethiopian dp. Some costa ricans and a few rare random others. Oh and absolutely some Kenyans if you could stomach something like that ;). Sry not familiar with jamaican bm, kona or Ethiopian wet.

At this point I hope you are wondering what the hell I would call clean then. And I am going to tell you, not that anyone asked me, with this caveat. The best way to reveal clean (perhaps the only way) is to take a cup of the not clean cup and compare it with the finest coffee you have.

Clean starts with beans that are picked only when the cherries are at their ripest. Then they are weighed (iirc) and or floated in water. The less dense cherries float and are thrown out. Then are put on raised beds and turned multiple times a day only. Put out to dry only in optimal drying conditions over weeks. Love, in short. When drank side by side with an average coffee one will taste clean and one will reveal imperfections. I could label them, but off is simple enough. Best of luck to all finding and roasting clean cups. How cool is that!
 
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applescrap

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Wasnt going to send that last one but as I was falling asleep hit send! I could go on. Anyways the burmans chele dp posted above was great, but glad I didnt go all in. Got some awesome looking teas but havent drank any. Not the most chocolate or berry, wouldnt want 10 pounds of it. Cant wait to look again. I like the bodhi Ethiopian and kenyan deals. The gr1 do Ethiopians are always chocolatey if nothing else and I buy it to give to my neighbor and friends so I can be a cool neighbor, and horde my good stash ;). But yeah not burmans or crown. Sounds like this years Ethiopians are making their way, cant wait.
 

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TallDan

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For anyone looking for cheap green coffee:

 
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pshankstar

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For anyone looking for cheap green coffee:

I've never heard of this retailer but this is pretty tempting to place an order at those prices. Thanks for sharing!
 
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HarborTownBrewing

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I picked up a coffee from Dominican Republic on my latest Burmans order. I have never heard anything good about coffee from the 'Minican but thought it'd be worth a try since the good folks at Burmans would never offer something bad.

Roasted it dark for me, around 22% development if I recall correctly. It has these really pleasant tobacco and molasses flavors that stand out with a little bit of caramel on the side. I'm a big fan of tobacco flavors in my coffee, they can be tough to find; this is a good coffee at $5.99/lb. Dominican Org. Ramirez Estate - Washed Processed | Burman Coffee
 

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Got an email from one of the sellers on GCBC that I've bought from a couple times saying that he started his own website for selling green coffee and won't be using GCBC anymore. So far his site looks pretty basic with four coffees available.
 
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