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Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
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Zelkrin
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 4:00pm
Subject: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

Ok, I am relatively new to coffee roasting etc. I used to buy fresh roasted coffee beans in Calgary and have been using an aeropress/hario mini-mill grinder to make pretty darn good coffee on a regular basis.

I have recently moved and it is VERY hard to get coffee beans that have been roasted within the last 2 weeks in the town where I now live without travelling 1-2 hours to a major center (even the local coffee house doesn't date their coffee beans, I'm sure I have seen the same bag of beans sitting on the counter for the last 3 months).  

I am considering buying fresh, un-roasted beans and will try my hand at roasting them in a hot air popcorn popper to see how they turn out (maybe I will graduate to a more advanced roasting device in the future...probably around the time I decide to invest in a high quality grinder)

I wonder if anyone has any advice on how to select green coffee beans and how to begin roasting. I know some of the countries that I enjoy coffee from (bolivia, indonesia, costa-rica,) but I am certain that there is more to consider in terms of climate, local region, supplier, etc when buying green coffee (things that local roasters have previously thought about for me).

Also I have no clue how to roast (I know about listening for first and second crack and what the basic roasting scale is etc, but have never roasted coffee before). Wondering if anyone has any tips for getting started in terms of equipment, green beans, storage, and roasting strategies! Thanks!
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JohnLyn
Senior Member
JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:06pm
Subject: Re: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

I'm new at this as well. But here is what I am doing. First of all, there is a lot of awesome info on the sweet Maria's website: http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.php here

You can get a tester pack of four or eight varieties from different origins. I am enjoying learning about different coffees as I roast. The info on using a popper is great as well.
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kschendel
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2008
Posts: 279
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Maestro
Roaster: Freshroast
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

I'll second the sweetmarias.com suggestion, that's where I got started.  I'd suggest either a sampler or just pick a random Central American bean to play with -- maybe a Bourbon since they are relatively easy to roast.
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thedotben
Senior Member
thedotben
Joined: 8 Mar 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Holland
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

I am not trying to dismiss the idea of home roasting using an air popper. I have a popper myself and have used it.

The thing is is that to get worthy results, you will want to modify the popper. An unmodified popper simply heats up too fast, in my experience, and while you have an acceptable cup of coffee, all the nuances in the beans seem to be lost. Even with a modified popper, I am not convinced you can get artisan quality coffee.

It's a lot of fun to do, and you learn a lot about coffee that way, so it is still worth it for the knowledge.

But I do find that when I order from my desired roasters, I get my beans within 2-3 days after roast date, unless I order from across the country. Even then, I don't think I have gone longer than 4 days past roast. Which works well for me, since it gives the coffee a little bit of time to oxidise. The coffee arrives and it is ready to brew for the most part.
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

+1 Sweet Maria's.  They've got great general roasting information and do a bang up job of detailing their impressions of the green coffee beans they've brought out for us to play with. Awesome educational opportunity. I have nothing on the air popper except, from experiences in another lifetime, about 30 years ago... This reincarnation I went with a HotTop - all in. :)
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Zelkrin
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 10:12pm
Subject: Re: Raw coffee bean selection and roasting techniques
 

Thanks for the direction! It has helped a lot!
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