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Gettin it right!

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  • Gettin it right!


    Well I sit here with whats left of the best cuppa I have ever made...
    The colour of the crema on the side of the cup a stark reminder of what was on top before my lips made first contact.

    Some of you may know I got a Breville 800ES (not the greatest machine, but it does for now) and have modified a basket. I also have a Rocky grinder.
    Like many of us Im sure, I started with supermarket beans. I have never needed supermarket grind as I have had my grinder since I got my machine.
    I moved up in the world, buying freshly roasted beans from a coffee house in Launceston which is a bit more than 100km from where Im at, so it was a fair way to go for beans.
    Id seen the bean bay but hadnt taken a lot of notice - especially after having a bit of a look at some of the more elaborate home roasting setups you guys and gals have. Like, how will I convince my wife I need one of them!

    Then the latest bean bay email came out so I went for a look... And walked away (figuratively speaking) with 4 and a half kilos of green beans!
    I got myself 2.5 kg of the Peru (Villa Rica) Grace Estate, and a starter pack.
    Then I told my wife I could get coffee for less than a third the price I had been paying if I roast the beans myself...
    The response was negative - you dont need any more gadgets......
    Couldnt spill the beans now! (pun alert). That I had already ordered and paid for them...
    So I had to find a way of roasting them.
    Got myself a Breville Crazy Popper... Found them on sale.
    So one evening when she was busy, I inconspicuously took the metal collander and the coffee bean storage container (which was empty) out, saying I was going to the shed for a while.

    Came back with some freshly roasted Grace Estate beans... well I didnt know it at the time but they were "almost" roasted! The taste was a lot like the smell you get when roasting, and not a strong taste of coffee... Certainly it was smooth though.
    Needless to say, she "preferred the stuff we buy".
    I had roasted them for 8 and a half minutes, time of day was just after sunset and not at all cool.

    So the second go I had at roasting, it was late one evening and quite cool. I roasted them for 15 minutes. I was getting worried that I was over-doing it... But the flavour certainly was not powerful, still smooth. At least this lot tasted like coffee.

    Now I have just been up the shed again, roasting away. Again 15 minutes but this time they are roasting better, perhaps due to ambient temperature.
    And the smell of them in the container now that they are roasted, WOW! Like, they actually smell like coffee beans now!
    So, of course I couldnt wait 3 days for them to mature to their best (I read that somewhere here), within half an hour of roasting I had a batch in the machine and poured myself a coffee.
    The first thing I noticed that was different was the smell of the ground coffee - as you do I pulled the lid off the chamber for the grinds and had a big wiff - MMMmmmmm!
    The next thing I noticed, was how shiny the top of the puck looked when I had tamped it in the basket. I thought at the time I might have overdone it and I wouldnt get any extraction.

    So into the machine goes the pf, and on goes the machine, warmed cup at the ready.
    The basket is primed, then the flow from the pf started with a few drops, then a trickle - a very black trickle... which turned quite quickly into the most wonderful dark golden slow flow of what looked like pure crema! The shot was poured in the cup, I added my milk as that is how I have it, and... there, as I type this I just took my last mouthful. The taste was... well, how would I describe it? To you espresso drinkers, I suppose you would help me out here by saying "milky..." , no I would say, delicious! Like there was no bitterness detectable, indeed if anything I would say it tasted sweet. I gave up sugar in my drinks years ago, went cold turkey because I used to take 2 sugars in everything. I really could drink coffee like this one all day but I reckon I would get the shakes if I had too many of them, it was quite strong, but so smooth....

    Now I look forward to making a coffee for my wife, looking forward to the "did you buy those beans" comments. Well, I have impressed myself, I really didnt think I could make a coffee that good. I hope she agrees, and I hope I can only get better from here, for if I do, I will surely not be disappointed! I dare say I will find out tonight - its going to be another all-nighter because the cricket is on! World cup final, go Aussie!

    Thank you to everyone who contributes to this forum, it is with the help of what I have read here that I have got to where I am today - contented with a cup of coffee that I made!

  • #2
    Re: Gettin it right!

    Welcome to the dark side ;D


    • #3
      Re: Gettin it right!

      Did you have a look at my popper roasting instructions before you started?

      It should really help


      • #4
        Re: Gettin it right!

        Good onya Adam.

        Fingers crossed she loves the next one you make her.
        Then youll be in the box seat.


        • #5
          Re: Gettin it right!

          Originally posted by lucinda link=1177733561/0#2 date=1177739155
          Did you have a look at my popper roasting instructions before you started?
          Yes, I did read all that, once. Ive just printed it all out so I can put it in my reading room (you dont want to know where that is...) so I can study it in more detail.
          Two things, I didnt notice any smoke even after 15 mins, and I didnt detect any sound of second crack, though I was listening for it acutely.

          Its possible that
          (a) I am in Tassie, its cooler so the roast was perhaps slower...
          (b) I havent put a chimney on (yet) so perhaps the heat isnt concentrating in the popper as much,
          (c) Type of bean may be an issue so I will be doing homework here before giving the starter pack a go.
          (d) Quantity of beans roasted... I just used one slightly heaped scoop that came with the popper, seemed like a good amount. Maybe it is less than 100g, will have to check... and build a chimney if I roast any more as I am just keeping them in.

          Havent bothered with a thermometer yet - taking the attitude of "what I get is what I get", and I cant do much about it at the moment so not too fussed yet.

          I dont want to go on any more about the roasting here, as this reply is probably more suited to your other post (roasting comments).


          • #6
            Re: Gettin it right!

            Im pretty sure that scoop is less than 100gms, whuch is a good size for a batch in the Crazy Popper.

            I posted somewhere what the weight was.................
            I think nunu said somewhere it was between 60 - 80gm.

            Best to weigh them.


            • #7
              Re: Gettin it right!

              The scoop that comes with the crazy popper is 70g if you fill it even to the top i found.

              Adam, Im also in Tas and its damned cold at the moment. I get huge roast times, even with the popper lid on and/or a chimney, if i do them outside. My average roast time is about the 18 minute mark, with some stupidly stubborn beans going out to about 28 mins the other day.

              Ive found to cut down on roast times I now have to do it inside (over the sink to catch chaff) in order to get about the 12 minute mark. Also I use a larger amount of beans to try and push the heat up a bit more (100-110g fit nicely in a popper without a chimney).

              Also, I get little to no smoke unless I push the beans very, very dark. And only once have I ever had a discernable 2nd crack. While Im still new, I now go off color, smell and overall time of the roasts.