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Thread: Home Coffee Roaster Competition 2017

  1. #1
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Home Coffee Roaster Competition 2017

    Home Coffee Roaster Competition 2017




    Available now in BeanBay: CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Green Coffee - Home Coffee Roaster Competition 2017

    Purchase the above as an entry into the 2017 Home Roaster Competition.


    After the huge success last year, again the Home Roaster category will use a "control bean". All entries will receive the same secret green bean, coffee bags and all postage paid for entry into 3 categories (Espresso, Latte, Filter).


    you will receive:


    1: 2.5kg of green beans
    2: 3 x entry bags with code numbers (these must be used)
    3: Freight to you.
    4: Express Post satchel to return your roasted coffee to us on the 9th Nov
    5: Freight to the Port Mac. competition.


    You will roast and return in the express post envelope:
    300g - Espresso
    300g - Cafe Latte
    300g - Filter


    The 2.5kg of green beans will produce about 2kg of coffee so you are sending in less than half as your entry.


    The beans will be judged anonymously by coffee industry professionals at the Golden Bean Roasting competition in Port Macquarie from the 21st to the 25th of November 2017 and the winners of each category will be announced on the night of the 25th.


    Entries need to be posted back on the 9th or 10th of November so they arrive here on the 13th and 14th to ensure they make it into the judging. You can enter more than once if you want. Any substitution beans will void all your entries. Late returns will not be judged. Zipper bags should be sticky-taped at the top if you can't heat seal the edge with an iron (use brown paper between the 100 degree iron and the bag). We will announce the secret beans on the 13th when entries are closed.


    As a Home Coffee Roaster competition, these must be roasted on a ready made roaster or home made contraption worth less than $2000. If you are roasting on something grander, please enter the commercial roasting competition or you can let us know prior and your results will be excluded from the overall and your coffee will still be blind judged. By entering you agree to sell your roaster to a fellow Coffee Snob for $2000 or less.


    Questions will be answered below.


    Have fun and good luck!
    Dimal, Javaphile, matth3wh and 4 others like this.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    If you are roasting on something grander, please enter the commercial roasting competition instead. By entering you agree to sell your roaster to a fellow Coffee Snob for $2000 or less.
    Love it...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Love it...

    Mal.
    A hypothetical scenario.

    John has been roasting for about 6 months, first with a popcorn popper then a behmor purchased from CS. He decided he wanted to get a small HOME drum roaster and emailed CS site sponsors.
    He had to choose between 2 models of Hottop roaster at $1800 and $2600. John ended up getting the top of the line home roaster and purchased some more green coffee from beanbay to learn on.

    John would like to get some outside feedback to see where he can improve, he thought he would be able to enter the home roasting competition with his new home roaster? John has no ABN and no idea about commercial coffee roasting. He certainly would not be willing to sell his new $2600 home roaster for $1500?

  4. #4
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    A hypothetical scenario.

    John has been roasting for about 6 months, first with a popcorn popper then a behmor purchased from CS. He decided he wanted to get a small HOME drum roaster and emailed CS site sponsors.
    He had to choose between 2 models of Hottop roaster at $1800 and $2600. John ended up getting the top of the line home roaster and purchased some more green coffee from beanbay to learn on.

    John would like to get some outside feedback to see where he can improve, he thought he would be able to enter the home roasting competition with his new home roaster? John has no ABN and no idea about commercial coffee roasting. He certainly would not be willing to sell his new $2600 home roaster for $2000?
    It may not have been clear, but I think Andy meant that this rule applies to DIY home built roasters. So a highly specced rotisserie roaster or a rocquette or something like that. The Hottop is designed for home use so is acceptable and no one would be expected to sell it for $2000. I might be wrong, but I think that's what it's all about.

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Okay, my bad. I didn't realise that the hottop was so darn expensive now. Last time I looked they were under $1500 so that's where the maximum figure came from.

    We still need a price cut-off so I've moved the $1500 limit to $2000
    (and edited all the above posts to save confusion of others reading it later)

    ...and yes, regardless of what you roast your competition entry on, you must be willing to sell it to another CoffeeSnob for $2000.

    Sadly, someone was always going to be unhappy with the rule change but for the majority of home roasters it makes it a more even competition. I'm sincerely sorry but we really are running a "Home Roaster" competition and for most of the planet I think a $2000 limit is at least 4 times what they want to spend on a hobby.

    Short of making everyone roast their control beans on a control popper I feel this is a fair rule.

    If "John" wants to enter just for feedback, he can let me know when he enters and we will exclude his score from the overall but still get the judges to try it blind along with all the others.
    Dimal and badbudgie like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Okay, my bad. I didn't realise that the hottop was so darn expensive now.

    If "John" wants to enter just for feedback, he can let me know when he enters and we will exclude his score from the overall but still get the judges to try it blind along with all the others.
    Thanks for entertaining my "thought experiment" and the revise Andy, sounds more than fair and I am sure everyone really appreciates the effort involved.

    I have a fair idea what the winning coffee was roasted on last year, so can totally understand the need for a cutoff.

    Cheers
    Andy and badbudgie like this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    i entered the home comp last year with a $4000 ish second hand 1kg Gas roaster (i was well and truly only roasting for home!) but have entered the commercial comp this year as i now sell my coffee and thought it only fair!

    The rules seem totally fair to me, i did actually consider entering the commercial comp last year but assumed you would need an ABN which i didn't have at the time.

    Cant please everyone Andy but I'm sure most of the population (and I'm one of them) appreciate how much time you put in getting the home roasting comp up and running each year
    Last edited by Lukemc; 28th September 2017 at 09:10 AM. Reason: re read and thought my post could have been read as argumentative! it wasn't!

  8. #8
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    I'm roasting in a $10 secondhand bread maker on a dough setting, pointing a heat gun under the lid.

    I will happily accept $1500 let alone $2000. PM me with offers.


    And if anyone thinks they shouldn't go in this competition because there's no way you could do any good - I got 4th in the espresso section last year. With a bread maker. And a heat gun.
    You really need to enter this competition. It is an awesome way to learn.
    Andy, Javaphile, shewey and 3 others like this.

  9. #9
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    Ooooooooo - just received my secret bean this morning.

    If anyone is running a book on what the bean is, my early money is on an Ethiopian this year.
    Andy and Janus like this.

  10. #10
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    The last thing I want is 37 pages of legalese terms and conditions so we need to rely on a few rules and people's honesty.

    It's fun competition and an awesome chance to have your coffee blind tasted by industry professionals in a full competition environment.

    Personally, I find the biggest benefit to entering the Golden Bean is that once a year I really focus on the entry and can experiment way more than I do in day to day roasting. This will often result in a totally different take on a bean and I will often then use what I taught myself in other roasts for the year ahead. I've done pretty well in competitions but it's what I learnt in the process that's the real prize.

    The control bean is another ripper, CS'rs are going to get some stunning results with this bean.

    Enjoy!
    Dimal, greenman, Javaphile and 2 others like this.

  11. #11
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickR View Post
    I'm roasting in a $10 secondhand bread maker on a dough setting, pointing a heat gun under the lid.

    I will happily accept $1500 let alone $2000. PM me with offers.


    And if anyone thinks they shouldn't go in this competition because there's no way you could do any good - I got 4th in the espresso section last year. With a bread maker. And a heat gun.
    You really need to enter this competition. It is an awesome way to learn.
    Exactly!

    I have always said "coffee roasting is just heat and agitation, you could roast in a rubbish bin with a blow torch if you get those right"

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Exactly!

    I have always said "coffee roasting is just heat and agitation, you could roast in a rubbish bin with a blow torch if you get those right"
    Some would have us believe a degree in alchemy is needed to successfully roast coffee.
    Andy and chippy like this.

  13. #13
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    Hey ya all. Have just met with the crew at Peak coffee here in Port Macquarie (great coffee). Was told about the Golden Bean from there. Signed up that afternoon and have just received my secret beans. I'm fairly new to roasting but love experimenting with the Behmor 1600 + ( bought from CS). I'm willing to give this this a crack or first crack (excuse the pun). See you all in Port Macquarie in November.
    Andy and Dimal like this.

  14. #14
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    First practice roast!! Took off a bit (smaller than usual amount of beans) so pulled early.

    IMG_3204.jpg

    Colour is so hard to gauge from photos, not quite as much variation as a Sidamo but I'll stick with my first guess.
    Andy and Dimal like this.

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    I reckon they're Central American, wait and see

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    I was very uncertain after the roast. Roasted, they look more like big fat central americans, I agree. And look at the chaff - they'll be big-bodied.

    But green and in the bag, the size variation was the main reason for Ethiopian as my first guess.

    Love it, can't wait to try them in a couple of days.
    Janus likes this.

  17. #17
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    Yep, my first guess isn't right. Rather than the variation being from tiny little Ethiopians, I think it's a columbian or something with some massive peanuts in the mix.

  18. #18
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    That was probably double the chaff of the chaffiest bean i've roasted before, crikey.
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  19. #19
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    I'm back to ethiopian again. A fruity monster in a lighter roast. And, my wife hates the smell - with previous beans we've already established she has some strange ability to sense ethiopian beans, not in a nice way.

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    Just tried roasting the comp bean alongside 2 other BeanBay coffees - Yemen Mocha Ismaili (from 2 years ago I think) and recent stock of Sidamo Ardi

    The Yemen is a much smaller bean and has a spicy earthy taste in comparison

    The comp bean looks quite similar to the Ardi (as green bean). It seems to roast a bit quicker than the Ardi but I thought it had a similar flavour character overall. Its a very fruity little number! I got apricot and blueberry in a medium roast, prepared as a double ristretto flat white. I am therefore with the folks saying Ethiopia, sundried. If I was to guess a region I would say Sidamo

    Great coffee, and a nice selection of green bean for the comp. My only dilemma now is parting with half of it to enter!
    Andy and nickR like this.

  21. #21
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    Apricot and peach, for me, I agree. I'll be roasting a bit darker for the milk based comp, it wasn't to my liking in a latte.

    Sundried, you think? I'll go for natural.

  22. #22
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    Forgive me my question, but...
    -what is this competition part of?
    -what are we roasting for? Glory?
    -How many entrants are there usually?
    -Australia only?
    -Etc... Maybe there's a link to a site with more info?

  23. #23
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernieman View Post
    Forgive me my question, but...
    -what is this competition part of?
    -what are we roasting for? Glory?
    -How many entrants are there usually?
    -Australia only?
    -Etc... Maybe there's a link to a site with more info?
    • It is sort of bolted onto the end of the Golden Bean roasting competition. Golden Bean has more focus on commercial roasting, but Andy has managed to get a Home Roasting component represented.
    • Glory and feedback. Professional judges give scores and notes on the coffee they taste.
    • Dunno.
    • Probably AU only as getting the control beans sent out of AU to another country and getting the roasted results back in time for the comp all sounds too difficult really.


    Hope that helps.

    Brett.

  24. #24
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    Thx for your reply.
    I got my Beans last Friday after a bit of back and forward mailing with Andy (I was overly concerned i wouldn't receive them in time). I'm just competing (would not really call it competing) for the fun. Tried some different approaches and we'll see what the outcome is.
    Few side-notes though:
    -"Substituting beans will void the entry". I assume (I'm a non native English speaker) this means, don't put any other roasted beans in than the ones you got send out?
    -Each "entry group" needs to be 300 grams. I tried roasting (in my Behmor) 400 grams, but I'm not getting the results I want (I get uneven colored roasts). So I roast in 200 gram batches, which I try to make the same for each "entry group". It is hard to get exactly the same outcome though, so the mixed batches will have some variation in color. I hope this is OK and won't be seen as substituting?
    -Is one allowed to mix different roast types together to get an overall enjoyable outcome for a specific "entry group"?

    I also wonder how everyone approaches their entries. For starters I sorted through the whole 2.5 kg (probably three times ) to pick out any flawed/faulty beans. I had about 6.5% broken/discolored/insect-holes/etc. beans that were taken out. I figured these would either roast different and/or could affect the taste. I also noticed that about 10-15% of the beans were pea-berries, which seemed quite high to me?
    Then some of the green beans had a very peculiar green (sparkly like) sheen on them (the parchment?) which on some almost looked like they were dipped in some Copper-containing substance.

    I'll just wait and see. The roasted beans are nice, but I haven't noticed any extraordinary flavors in them as I had with some other beans I've roasted. Only was able to taste pour-over though. Will pull some espresso shots tomorrow in the cafe I'm working in.

    Cheers,
    EJ
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  25. #25
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    Good luck ernieman, I think the answers to your questions are yes, yes, and yes. I am going to vary roast depth a bit in my entries too.
    There is quite a variation in beans, isn't there. Can't wait to find out what the bean is.

  26. #26
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    Mammoth session tonight, 6 batches at 171g each to make up the 3 x 300g entry bags. Should have roasted something else first up to get the roaster temperature to stabilize before roasting the comp beans.
    Those bags donít hold any more than 300 do they!
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  27. #27
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    They were packed in like sardines this year.

    also, if you have the weight allowance, you can return old cotton bags to Andy in your express post satchel.

  28. #28
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    My wife likes to use them for storage of various things, we've lost a few packed with changes of clothes at daycare too, don't think i'll be allowed to return any.

    Coffee aroma's wafting from the express post bag are excellent this morning, though my more recent experience' are that this may not lead to anything great in the cup. I hope the judges provide some specific feedback on where i may have gone wrong in the roast or how to improve, the type of feedback i'm participating in this competition for. If it's just a bunch of numbers i've wasted my time (even if i have any degree of success it's purely dumb luck, i'd rather have poor results and constructive feedback to help me build to a point where i'm confident in finding a bean's attributes and exploiting these consistently).

    Anyway it's good fun, i've still got 4-500 grams left of the beans, there wasn't any additional left for me to rest and taste to see what the judges will be tasting, so i'll roast another few batches following the comp roast profiles for tasting.

    Looking forward to know what the beans are (i hope they aren't the same as either of my recent beanbay purchases!)

  29. #29
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Those bags don’t hold any more than 300 do they!
    Agree. They are a squeeze in a 250g bag but as long as it's a bag full it will be okay and no risk of a bag of air popping in transit!

    Competition entries in the commercial section are min 500g, we made it a bit less as 500g is a lot for for most home roasters and the smaller total means you also paid $5 less in freight (1kg satchel instead of a 3kg one).

    The idea of the extra is to allow the barista's to dial the grinder and get the very best shot possible to show-off your efforts.

    We have quite a few entries back here already. They smell amazing through the valves even in the satchel, the postie commented this morning too and she's used to good smelling stuff around here.
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  30. #30
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    How many entries have you sold for the home roasters comp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    How many entries have you sold for the home roasters comp?
    Good question!

    I roasted my stuff late last night. Finished packing at midnight. No time to second guess. Just praying to the coffee gods that the roast is good

    Bird is now in the air. Noticed return satchel has tracking number. Thanks Andy!

    Earlier this week I decided to cup the comp bean vs nearest coffee I have in my stash, the Ardi Natural

    Based on a clean cup, the Ardi wins it for me by about 1.5 points, mainly on aromatic complexity. Quite different characters. You wouldn't mistake one for the other

    That said, really enjoyed a latte and filter this morning with the comp coffee

    Hope that lots of CSers are entering the comp. Good luck to all

  32. #32
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    I'm curious what the Bean is going to be. Guessing on whats on offer now and pricewise ($80 minus $25 shipping AND competition fees, doesn't leave a whole lot for 2.5kg of beans) I'm thinking towards the "Cuba Turquino" (looking at the description). My boss's first guess was a South/Central American.

  33. #33
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    Cant wait till the reveal.
    I am guessing it's an Ethiopian Natural
    Last edited by shinleung; 1 Week Ago at 09:53 PM.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernieman View Post
    I also wonder how everyone approaches their entries. For starters I sorted through the whole 2.5 kg (probably three times ) to pick out any flawed/faulty beans. I had about 6.5% broken/discolored/insect-holes/etc. beans that were taken out. I figured these would either roast different and/or could affect the taste
    I did the same. I saved the rejects and roasted them for cupping alongside the clean beans. The difference was dramatic! Strong fermented, dirty and vinegary flavours from the rejects. Inconsistencies from cup to cup. Faults in every cup. The SCAA cupping protocol punishes coffee like this severely. It scored in the 20s whereas the cleaned coffee scored in the 80s! I'm guessing without cleaning it up you'd be looking at a cupping score of around 60-70

    Clever choice by Andy to set it up this way for the comp, although I was quietly cursing by the third pass of grading the green beans!!
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  35. #35
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    Didnít even occur to me to remove beans like that. I did remove a few beans which had discoloration after roasting, get the occasional one that looked barely roasted for some reason.

    Live and learn.

  36. #36
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Today is the 13th of November and the competition is closed. If your roasted entry doesn't get back here by tomorrow it will miss the judging as it all ships to Port Mac then.

    the big reveal...

    The secret control bean was:

    Ethiopia Biftu Gesha Sundried




    Kudos to Mrs nickR and others for picking it's origin ;-)

    It's a ripper coffee.
    I can see from above that some tried sorting it, which is fine but maybe the results would be more interesting or multi dimensional with a "blend" of flavours? Roasting light, roasting darker or longer will produce very different results as will short fast or slow long profiles. I'm really excited to see what people did with this.

    Don't panic, there is no perfect, required or specific method or profile that will work for a sun dried coffee as the size and densities vary a lot. All you can do with a coffee like this is roast and taste, make notes and roast again making small tweaks in the process.

    Whatever you did will be a valid entry and it will be really interesting to see what the judges say. As always, different things will tick different judges boxes so even if your final score doesn't reflect it, some people would love what you did and some not so much. That's the problem with judging via humans.

    Well done CS'rs! This was about as advanced as coffee roasting gets and it is truly the craftsman roaster bean.

    We landed all we could for this season so there is a big pile in BeanBay if you want to play some more.
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  37. #37
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    Thanks Andy, good work to the guys who picked the origin.
    Look forward to feedback from the judges and to hear how everyone went.

    What would be great too would be to know how the top scoring guys roasted the beans for future reference.

  38. #38
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    Wow, did not expect that. When I read comments about the smell of Ethiopian while roasting I thought they were a bit odd cause I didn't get that. Have roasted Ethiopians before and these were not the same for me. Wonder where I went off-track.

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    I guessed Ethiopian Natural just because of the longer shape of the green bean and looking at the amount chaff and the centre line I guessed it was a natural.
    As well there is a berry aroma when ground.
    I am interested to see what other's have got for tasting notes.
    I get blueberry, winey/fermentaion on lighter roast and chocolate, caramel on medium roast

  40. #40
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    This is a crazy bean.

    apricot, peach flavours at first.

    butterscotch, rum and raisin, almost spicy, after a few more days.

    a nice choc, cocoa flavour throughout.

    almost wish I kept my competition beans now instead of sending them in ....

  41. #41
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    Good luck CS roasters...

  42. #42
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    So all the Home Roaster entries arrived at the Snobbery and were couriered to Port Mac last week.

    It was a big pile of coffees and the AustPost contractor (Tara) that dropped them off commented on how great her van smelt.
    CS-entries-2107.jpg

    All the coffee arrived Friday and was transported to the judging venue, Rydges.

    So I flew in lunchtime yesterday, was picked-up from the airport (thanks Kevin) and dropped straight into the brew room.

    Talking to Anne earlier in the day (while at Sydney airport between flights from Avalon to Port) I talked her through the Brazen calibration so it was awesome to turn-up with all the brewers configured for 92C, 45 seconds pre-soak and all calibrated to sea level (the venue is on the water, just above high tide!)

    So here is a picture of the "Wall 'O Brazen Brewers".
    Rydges has plenty of power so we can run a full stainless bench of brewers, 8 in total, all at once.

    Wall-o-brazen.jpg

    We have a crew from the local high school doing work experience and they they are all awesome. Focused and dedicated well beyond their years these guys and girls are doing a great job of helping from brew (water, settings, wash-up after and fill for the next brew), annotate score-sheets and running the coffee to the judges.

    The Anfim deli grinders (supplied by CS site sponsor ECA) are wicked, fast and really consistent. These are not stylish, while not ugly they are pretty much square boxes but technically they are the bomb. Titanium blades, industrial switch gear, easy calibration. For this amount of work they are exactly what you want and need.

    We smashed through more than 100 filter brews today and will do similar tomorrow. There were a couple of rippers in today's coffees, I have no idea who's they were but talking to a few judges later they scored them high (deservedly too). Sadly there were also a couple that were a long way off what should go in a filter, still, their score sheets will surely reflect that and hopefully they take it
    If we finish the commercial filter section early enough we will do the home roaster filter section tomorrow with the Espresso and Latte categories scheduled for Friday.

    I can't wait to get started on the CS entries to see what you guys have done. The bags smell amazing.

  43. #43
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    Thx Andy, no idea you were so deeply involved in all this. Great to also see those kids enjoying the experience. Will there be some explanation at the scores? Or is it just a number.

  44. #44
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    What should go in a filter? Yes Iím sure Iíll score well...

  45. #45
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Half the 2017 Home Roaster Filters have been judged, the rest will be judged early afternoon.

    Here's the crew with the first of the CoffeeSnobs home roaster filter entries on top of the brazens with numbered score sheets ready to go.

    CS-HomeFilter-2017a.jpg

    I've tasted a few random ones on the way past and there are a couple of rippers there.

    I did see a couple that were roasted pretty deep and might not score well in filter. The very dark roasts can get bitter fast in a filter and get dominated by BBQ flavours. Mid or light is best in filter.

    The judges are the same ones that have done 2 days of commercial filter so they are all well calibrated and keen to give some feedback. I can't control what they put on the score sheets but we will post them back to everyone next week after I return.

    Good luck CS'rs.

  46. #46
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    So today the Home Roaster filters were finished and the Latte too.

    I spoke to some of the judges afterwards and there were some very good coffees in there. One of them said "some of these were better than some of the commercial entries yesterday" so well done CS'rs. It's awesome to hear that people roasting at home can mix it with the pro's.

    Tomorrow (Friday) the Home Roaster Espresso will be judged and then a long wait till Saturday night for the score announcements at the presentation dinner.

    In the commercial comp, most of it has now been judged with just the organic category to be judged (I think).

    Pretty sure the total coffees near 1500 this year across all categories. This is certainly the biggest roasting competition in the world and it's a lot of fun to be part of it again.
    artman, Dimal, matth3wh and 3 others like this.

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