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Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

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  • Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

    Hi Folks,

    I am now the proud owner of a new Gene Cafe

    First experiments with some sumatra have produced lovely cups of coffee....

    Now I am looking for anyone with experience using the GC and their recomendations for roasting recipes to go with different varieties.

    My experiments so far:

    1) 14 min, 240c - ok seemed a bit too light
    2) 14.5min, 245c - better!
    3) 14min, 245c - seems same as for 2

    I am not (yet?) experimenting with manual variation of temperature during roast, or with rapid cooling post roast.

    I am finding it difficult to spot the "cracks" - any advice appreciated

    At this stage I already have superior flavour coffee for breakfast every day

    My preferences are for low bitterness and rich flavour - I drink my coffee black and use a plunger/french press.... when I have a really nice batch of coffee (to my taste!) - I add about half as much sugar as I do with average batches.... level of sweetening required for me seems inversely proportional to coffee quality!

    Bye for now


  • #2
    Indian Monsoon Malabar

    Hi Folks

    Started with the Gene Cafe Full City Roast program (19min 250c)

    Unlike the Sumatran Mandheling, with the Malabar the First and second crack were really clear, and 2nd crack was reached around 17min...

    I cut the roast short at 18min and hit the cool button...

    The result was a Full City roast - with a lovely pungent coffee - not really my style of bean - but I was roasting it for family who prefer espresso styles - the coffee was fabulous.

    I did a 50/50 blend with the Sumatra - and all tasters really liked the flavour

    For my personal preferences, something like a 15% Malabar 85% Mandheling might be more appropriate - but I am happy with the Roasting specs

    So my current Roasting specifications for Indian Monsoon Malabar are 18min 250c

    - I am still working through my sample pack and getting to know roasting.... but the results so far are incomparably superior to what I was getting locally.....


    • #3
      Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

      David, welcome to CoffeeSnobs. Sounds like youre a convert to home roasting, as you said its INCREDIBLY superior to the run-of-the-mill coffee (although specialty roasters lift the bar)

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you were talking about 15% Monsooned Malabar - its a strong, distinctive taste that can overpower other beans. I like it personally but my partner cant stand it and she says that it leaps out of the cup and assaults her, even with plenty of milk.

      Enjoy working through all your other beans.


      • #4
        Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

        Thanks ...

        Several members of the family are now home roasting converts ( that is as long as they dont have to roast it themselves... : )

        I hae since discovered what first and second crack sound like with the Sumatra..... although I think I still like the Sumatra best before 2nd crack - further experiments ongoing

        I tried a 25/75 monsoon/sumatra blend yesterday which was good - going to try a 15/85 blend tomorrow....

        Still would love to hear from other Gene Cafe owners with their recipes (hate having to invent the wheel.... takes lots of time.... all those experiments with triangles, hexagons, trapezoids...)

        Bye for now



        • #5
          Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

          You havent mentioned what other beans you have from your starter pack or other sources....... (and while mentioning things missing, your profile also doesnt show where youre located - sometimes that helps as its better to chat over a roaster than over these greenish pages)

          One thing to remember is that a gene cafe roaster is just a tool to get to an endpoint - the same beans will exhibit similar charateristics when roasted with a similar profile. My BBQ roasted beans probably arent significantly different to yours, so if we both do a blend of the same beans and roast to a similar degree, we should get similar results. I dont know how many gene cafe roasters are out there, so asking for specific blends based on their experience may not get too many responses.

          The biggest challenge I think is not in the roasting, its in differences in what we all like !

          So having said all that, heres a little blend I have been using this week. I have roasted the beans separately, but you could try them together and see what you get. Sumatran with Ethiopian (I had Limu this time around) in 2:1 is a ratio Ive become quite fond of. You could perhaps try a 45%/45%/10% Sumatran/ethiopian/monsooned malabar blend and see how that goes, and try trading off the ethiopian and sumatran against each other to emphasise the characteristics of the different beans.

          I think the fact that youre playing around with a specific bean and trying different roast levels is quite good. Thats the way to seek what best suits you from each bean (I dont do that enough!). Understand each bean on its own, youre then in a position where you know what youll get from changing the ratio of beans in a blend.

          While youre still "playing" with blends, and if youre happy to spend a bit of extra time to roast up beans, Id thoroughly recommend staying with roasting each bean separately and post-roast blending. When you find a good blend ratio that you want to stick with for a while, then you can try pre-blending then roasting, and see if the beans roast at the same speed to give the same result.

          Enjoy your journey!


          • #6
            Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

            Hi Poundy,

            Yes well - no point mentioning the other beans as I have not tried them yet.

            Sumatra Mandheling has always been one of my favourites (along with Maragogipe and Blue Mountain)... So I figured I will start by experimenting with that bean and understanding how it reacts to different roasts... which is where I am at....

            So far my only other bean has been the Indian Monsoon Malabar - which I chose because I know my Uncles tastes, so I figured blending that with the Sumatran would work well for him - which it did!! (I now have an order for more from him!)

            I also have the rest of the sample pack to try out in the near future:

            Tiger Mountain
            PNG A
            Indian Kappi Robusta (wary of this one.... a Robusta...)

            To give each bean its fair go, I need to try it individually as my breakfast coffee (which I have black, and lightly sweetened - sweetening being proportional to bitterness of coffee.... I prefer coffees where I need very little sweetening.)

            Trying a bean requires at least a week as I like to try each roast for a couple of days - then vary the roast up or down and do it again....

            So my current focus is on roasting and Single Origin coffee - once I am happy with the taste (roast) of a particular bean - then I add it to my repertoir, record the roasting specifications, and I can then use it in blends!

            Hence my current posting - focused on Roasting and Timings - rather than blending. Any form of the culinary arts is only ever as good as its worst ingredient.... !!!! (yeah I like to cook too)
            Once I have a selection of ingredients (beans/roasts) that I am happy with, then I will look at blends, balancing and synergy. Ccourse I take the risk of missing something or discarding a bean with a flavour that works for blending but is overwhelming for SO uses.... but in the process I will become familiar with it, and I can then review - eg: the Malabar - which definitely adds an interesting highlight to the full body of the Sumatra...

            This mornings coffee was a blend of 75% Sumatra 25% Malabar - with the Sumatra roasted short of 2nd crack, and the Malabar about 20s into 2nd crack (+ cooling time given the way the gene cafe works - so perhaps 40s + into 2nd crack)

            Having seen what happens with the roasting of the Sumatra and the Malabar (totally different timings!) - I have no temptation to roast a blend of beans - definitely roast the varieties seperately - + once I have the timings worked out I can set and forget the roaster - come back 30 minutes later, and pour the beans out.... - then run the next batch a similar way - would have liked the digital gene cafe - but its not out yet.... preferably (hopefully?) with storable ? retrievable roasting profiles (Im a lazy man!)

            But this is working great - in a year or 2 - Ill upgrade to something more automatic if available and then use the repertoir Ive built up!

            Bye for now


            I like the idea of your ethipopian/sumatran/malabar blend....!


            • #7
              Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

              Hi David

              Where did you buy the Gene Cafe? Im geting mine in from UK vis hasbean Steve.



              • #8
                Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                Hi Darren,

                same place Hasbean (Steve) from the UK...

                Seems silly for these things to travel from Korea all the way to the UK only to come back to our part of the world - but until someone local starts importing them.....

                Steve was courteous prompt and professional - no complaints!

                good luck



                • #9
                  Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                  HI David

                  Hows things going with the Gencafe? Just wondering if anyone else is using it too?

                  Ive done 3 roasts with mine. I love how easy the machine is to use, but I still feel unsure about roasting times and temperatures.

                  From what people describe the second crack should be very audible, but I cant hear it or spot it and the last two roasts were consequently over done.

                  I think the suggested 250deg in the manual for City roast seems to be a bit too hot.

                  Any suggestions?


                  • #10
                    Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                    Hey guys

                    My names Jean-Paul (aka JP), ive recently purchased a gene cafe roaster from hazbean and ive been reading your posts about roasting with ethusiasm.

                    Furthering the discussion about the Gene Cafe roaster I love how easy it is to use, it makes roasting so simple, especially for a first time roaster such as my-self.

                    when roasting the beans from my starter pack which included:

                    PNG A grade
                    PNG Peaberry
                    Indian Robusta
                    Ethiopian Limu

                    I thought 250 degrees was too hot as the beans were reaching City roast around 14min.
                    Ive played around a bit and found roasting between 240 and 245 degrees for roughly 15min to the same City roast gives a better cup result with a slightly more full-bodied taste and texture.

                    If anyone has some advice on roasting temperatures id appreciate it. At the moment im basically roasting until the beans get quite dark and start smoking. By the way is smoking normal?

                    PS: PNG Peaberry was fantastic! 240 degree for 14.2min. delicate floral aroma, full-bodied feel, extreme sweet coffee taste. Lacks a bit of structure though so i think ill have to try blending it with the Ethiopian.


                    • #11
                      Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                      Ive done about 5 roast on the GC now, loving it, where I work we are all Flat White drinkers so that may explain our darker roast preferences compared to those above. I basically followed the tips on the sweetmarias website, I crank the GC upto 250 (it never reaches that temp), put the time to about 25min ( I always start cooling before then). I always roast 240g, My best tasting roast so far has been 50 % Mexico Chiapas, 25% Guatemala Huehuetenango, 25% Sumatra Gayoland, roast time 19 min, top temp 240 degrees (full bodied with nice chocalate undertones), guys in the office think Im tripping re the chocolate, they just like the free coffee. I too cant hear the cracks, I think I may have heard the second one once at about 15 mins, Im basically roasting by preferred colour. Im just sourcing my green beans from the local trade aid shop, Id love to know more about the beans, when they were harvested, how they were processed etc., but enquiries have only responded in vague responses, that seems to be the unknown part that could hold up long term consistency. Enjoying the blending, waiting to find that blend that will blow everyone away so that I can quit my job, buy a 15kg roaster, and cruise by the beach.


                      • #12
                        Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                        Has anone tried a 50/50 blend of Sulawesi Tojaj with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Sidamo???


                        • #13
                          Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                          Ive now done about 12 roasts in my GC and love how easy it is to use. Its performance is completely flawless, even when my knowledge of roasting process is really very basic.

                          I have found that lower roasting temps (around 230c to 240c) work better than the higher temps recommended in the instruction manual. My roasts also tend to be longer than the manual recommends (about 17 to 19mins).

                          Even though the machine is very quiet, I have been roasting according to colour and smell more so than the cracks. Ive also had trouble hearing the cracks. Well I can hear the first crack very easily. Its like snapping toothpicks and happens as the beans change from a light (nothing) brown to a full-bodied brown. It seems a few of us have problems with the cracks. Can anyone give a very clear description of what to look for?

                          I have just been roasting single varieties at the moment because Im not sure how to put a blend together and what goes with what. Varieties I have tried are
                          • Brazil Santos
                          • Kenya AA
                          • Brazil Peaberry
                          • Daeterra (from St. Ali.. yumm)
                          • Columbian


                          • #14
                            Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                            Jazzy boy

                            Im pretty new to this roasting caper but have found that Second Crack sounds like Rice Bubbles or Cocoa Pops in the bowl with Milk (Snap, Crackle, Pop ).

                            Im roasting with a saucepan, whisk and Heat Gun at the moment which is great for hearing all the cracks; but not so good if you want to take notes.

                            Could be that the machine is drowning the sound out.



                            • #15
                              Re: Gene Cafe Recipes - Tips and tricks

                              In my GC, I have found first crack to be dull and quite muted - if I am not listening for it, I will miss it. Seems to happen around 12 to 12.5 minutes (at 250C); whereas I can clearly hear second crack - as has been said - it is a lot like rice bubbles crackling when it gets going. For me, I am into rolling second around 16 to 17 minutes.