Good choice. Between the Yirgacheff and the Sidamo I would choose the Sidamo.
Originally Posted by apicius
It may be the unpopular opinion but I find the Yirgacheff (I have tried roasting my own and from commercial roasters) too citrus/lemon like for me. The blueberry flavours from the sidamo are simply stunning and if you take it a little further you get a chocolate blueberry muffin like roast, incredible.
Let us know how you go and your thoughts on the bean!
The Sidamo finally arrived, and after a quick roast of the decaf for madame, I gave it a shot.
First impression was that the bean sizes were very uneven (taken from those which fell off the pan during shaking):
which, despite my best efforts to keep it slow (12 min to FC), and together with the high density of these high altitude beans:
resulted in an uneven roast (off the fire 40s after FC):
The bean also produces a ton of chaff, the most of any I've roasted so far.
Patience is for ants, so I cupped it immediately. Not much blueberry (I guess it will come after resting for a while?), the body is quite present and spicy and would work well as an espresso drink, but not quite the clean, fruity-floral Ethiopian I was looking for (maybe should have stuck to a washed bean). Still, a nice change from Colombian VC and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to tame the bean in the pan.
Last edited by apicius; 31st August 2017 at 03:20 PM.
Reason: berry -> bean
Apicius, please keep us updated with your thoughts after a few more days on how the Sidamo tastes.
Just one day was enough to extract the blueberries. And it is indeed just like a muffin - yeast and butter as well as the fruit. The body was surprising given such a clean nose on the grind and whilst brewing: slight bitterness (perhaps due to the uneven roast) and a fair amount of acidity reminded me of lemon oil, although the citrus aspect was much more muted than in Yirgacheffe. The dry spicy aspect is all but gone - a muffin replacing the pecan and walnut cookies. Very enjoyable.
I gave the Sidamo another shot in the pan, this time at almost twice the speed - FC in 8 minutes. The chaff explosion was there again, but once again the results were visually spotty as hell, some beans fully scorched and others almost yellow. Might have to manually sort these for size or something... or maybe this is a hint to move to air flow methods, or at least invest in a lid for the pan.
I decided to try and take it into a darker roast to seek the full bodied wonders of Andy's description. Now it is hard to know what is a dark roast with the Sidamo in a pan, because unlike the other beans I've roasted, again the unevenness runs the gamut from yellow to charred - are a few beans tipped and scorched, or is the whole thing approaching a decent level? Still, I stopped when I could see most of the beans coated with a light layer of oil, as I'm used to see in other origins when they are dark roasted, which of course thickened as the beans cooled:
Now of course the photo is a bit overexposed, and in the shade (none of the ones in the light came out right, thanks to our bright low winter sun) but you can see the unevenness despite the dark roast close to SC.
I cupped it after a day's rest, and most of the flavour I expected was gone. In fact, almost all the flavour was "dark roast", that pungent smell that comes when you leave the beans in the pan for too long. I was surprised given that these beans had so much body on a lighter roast, and given that a significant number of them were only medium roasted as you can see in the picture. It will be interesting to see if resting the beans will lead to a flavour development.
sidamo is a beauty imo, even with chaff and uneven look. doesnt matter. tastes amazing!
Yes, considering both the popcorn and Coretto methods next. But I'm not giving up this easily. Despite the uneven roast the lighter roast batches taste and smell pretty good now, so I'm sure I can improve on it, perhaps going slower again or using a lid or a hint of water (I've seen some recommend steaming the beans for a very short amount of time to help the heat reach the core).
The other thing is that Ethiopians pan roast! So it must be possible. Although the one Ethiopian coffee ceremony video I watched had the beans effectively charred, a nice even black throughout the pan, beyond even my photo above. I'd love to see a good example of the Ethiopian way.
Posted these pics long ago of my early roasting attempts in Nov 2009, while not exactly pan roasting, it's a compromise, the purchase of a good heat gun is the biggest ticket item for a Coretto.
Originally Posted by apicius
Yes, the roast was a great success, the coretto followed shortly after this, I've been using the same very successful setup weekly ever since.
Alright you enablers, you won. I went to Good Guys and bought this thing for $30:
Sunbeam CP4600 "Snack Hero". There's a new version without the "Snack Hero" bit, obviously though it is hard to turn down such great advertising so I got the older one.
And oh wow, it is SO EASY. FC for the Sidamo Ardi was somewhere between 3:00 and 3:30, I took it to 4:00 which is a nice round number, and transferred it into the colander:
Much better than the pan. An even colour with almost no spotting on the bean itself; the beans are mostly the same colour with a few recalcitrant lighter ones (could be chaff). Most importantly, the beans are almost all nice and round on the formerly flat side, which means the insides expanded, which means they cooked through. It's cooling right now and I can't wait until I can try it tomorrow.
It's going to be hard being disciplined enough to keep at it with the pan on the other origins. The popcorn machine is so effortless, and so much faster...
Last edited by apicius; 7th September 2017 at 01:25 PM.
Reason: Added bean shape details
Cupped the popcorn Sidamo this morning. I was expecting a new take on the blueberry muffins but instead it was completely bland, with a very light hint of berry in the far distance, and quite a bit of acidity, when compared to the pan roast. I wonder if pan roasting "fries" the beans in their own oil and thereby preserves more flavour, in the same way an oven cooked steak is not as flavourful as one done in a pan. Perhaps that is why waiting is important?
Nevertheless did another batch, a little further (6:00, although it's colder this morning and the FC was quieter and less chaffy) and a batch of Colombian VG to compare that one with the pan roasts and see if I can isolate the relevant variables.
I better understand why you say you don't like to see oil in your roasts. The beans coming out of the popper are considerably drier, and I think whatever surface oils are extracted during the roast are evaporated by the air flow. I took the Decaf into a very dark roast and it remained completely dry. I shudder to think what it would take to obtain that oily bean look using an air flow method.
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