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KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
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JSutton
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JSutton
Joined: 24 Dec 2010
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Location: Northern VUHginya
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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 2:12pm
Subject: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

First Roast efforts:  How do you know if mediocre flavor is roasting
technique or mediocre bean crop?

  1.  Third batch on my First Popcorn popper roast attempt
    - Lion's Gate Farms Kona green beans from their website
    - first crack at 3m30s, finished at 5m10s
    - first sound of second crack at 8m10s; immediately cooled beans
    - probably Full City roast
    - set aside 27 hours
    - ground beans in new Costco Capresso burr grinder; made 4 cups to taste it.

I'd describe the taste as mild and flat, unexciting, no bitterness.
Wife said she detected an after-taste.

Q1: How do I know whether this disappointing experience is due to current
crop quality or my popcorn popper roasting Inexperience?

Q2:  Advice for me as a NEWBIE roaster?

Q3.  Advice for roasting KONA coffee?

My PopperyII  mods can be viewed here: popperyii.blogspot.com

It's been suggested I try to extend the time to first crack considerably
by modulating the heater coils power.
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DavecUK
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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 5:39pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

Dont use a popcorn popper
Don't roast it too dark or too fast

The green Kona they sell at their retail price is around 25-30% less than I paid wholesale for some Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy. It seems very cheap?
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ChemistryNerd
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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

I bought a pound of Kauai Single Estate from a roaster not too long ago.
It was a medium roast, and having just finished a pound of Columbian I roasted FC+, I felt like the Kauai was a letdown.
It was very mild, slightly sweet, and pretty acidic. Not my favorite.

I asked the roaster if they had any beans from Hawaii roasted darker, and he told me that thats how Kauai should be roasted. Not sure about Kona, but im sure they have similar characteristics, and he roasted them medium.

Whats the problem with using a popcorn popper, DavecUK?
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JSutton
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JSutton
Joined: 24 Dec 2010
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Location: Northern VUHginya
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Santa's bringing a burr...
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: West bend Poppery II
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

I've generally read this type of advice for Kona roasting:

"Kona is a low grown, low density bean, which normally likes a slower roast."  My popper was fast to first crack.

That generally tracks with the grower's roasting instructions which were to stop before 2nd crack - don;t take it into a Full City.
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DavecUK
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Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 1:27am
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

ChemistryNerd Said:

Whats the problem with using a popcorn popper, DavecUK?

Posted January 4, 2011 link

No problem as such, just that with such a device it's not really possible to achieve a really good roast, so using high quality beans in one would seem to be a waste of time.
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BoldJava
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BoldJava
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Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 5:17am
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

I have had Lion's Gate several years and it is a good Kona.  I would find an inexpensive, good Colombia, Guat, or Costa Rica and work over several pounds, learning the popper/roasting before jumping on a Kona.

Konas are low grown and need much less heat.  Its character/nuances are going to be lost with an uncontrolled heat application.

B|Java

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
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steamer
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Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 9:52am
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

Kona needs to rest like most others, a good rest is at east 72 hours, by day 5 it will be great. Like others say it is a low and slow bean. It should not have any after taste, and will not be bitter. You really need to have some true Kona before roasting to know the mark. It is sometimes best to have the grower send you a half pound of their roasted coffee to understand what you looking for.
Maui coffee is not Kona, dont compare.
Kaanapali grown coffe is the only Maui coffe to compare to Kona, and when done right is better IMHO.
Kona is a soft light and creamy taste.
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darkman
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darkman
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Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

I roasted some koa plantation extra fancy kona today. total roast time was 15 min. first crack was about 8 min, and I stopped the roast at very first sign of second crack at about 15 min.  it looks to me like it turned out perfect.

darkman: IMAG0067b.jpg
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BoldJava
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BoldJava
Joined: 2 Jun 2006
Posts: 1,534
Location: St Paul, MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '82 Oly Cremina 67
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless Stepped
Vac Pot: Yamas
Drip: Hario, Beehouse, Cilio, Kone...
Roaster: RK Drum and Gene
Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

steamer Said:

...
Maui coffee is not Kona, dont compare.
Kaanapali grown coffe is the only Maui coffe to compare to Kona, and when done right is better IMHO.
Kona is a soft light and creamy taste.

Posted January 5, 2011 link

He mentioned Kauai, not Maui.  I have never had a decent roast from Kauai.  The coffees last year from Maui Grown Green Coffee (Kannapali) http://www.mauigrowngreencoffee.com/ were excellent.  Hawaiian coffees are all different and each has its own merits:

^ Kona
^ Ka'u
^ Maui Mokka
^ Maui Yellow Caturra

B|Java

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
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JSutton
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JSutton
Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Northern VUHginya
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Santa's bringing a burr...
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: West bend Poppery II
Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: KONA - Mediocre Taste - how do you know if it's technique or beans
 

Thank you all very much - this is exactly the interaction I hoped for as a new roaster.

Darkman - thanks for the picture.  I can state that my Roast#3 was much darker than that.
I made two other progressively lighter roasts to be able to evaluate the flavors at different roasts.

So the roast that I ground this morning was Roast #2 which was stopped short of second crack.  It's had a day longer to breathe.  It was a smoother taste.
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