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Roasting gear effecting taste - tested?

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  • Roasting gear effecting taste - tested?

    Hi all,

    Been thinking about this and would appreciate if anyone had a specific test done on this through side by side cupping. I saw a video once on Vimeo where this master roaster roasted some of their beans on a popper over 4-5mins and cupped it. His comments was nice but can taste the finer notes that a commercial roaster would produce...

    I've got a semi closed corretto insulated setup. And I also read somewhere there there is (untested) a hunch that roasted 250g sized created more complexity than heavier 500g (roasted) batches. Where it's all just choco tasting. I kinda have that feeling too. I feel my larger batches on the same curve profile yields less complexity to a 250g one.

    So multiple layered question here. Obviously a corretto would produce a better cup than a popper (I think) 'cos of the longer roast time control. But what about corretto vs commercial machines? Are we missing out on that small percent of "finer notes" by not buying beans outside? Due to cost I tend not to buy beans outside too much anymore unless its a new roaster and I am keen to try it once...

    Thoughts for discussion? Anyone did a side by side corretto vs commercial or any other home setup vs commercial?

  • #2
    Good question. I have been roasting almost exclusively on a KKTO for the last 3.5 years and I would say I enjoy my beans as much as commercial beans I have bought when prepared on my equipment. I have bought commercial beans which taste amazing brewed on the roaster's equipment bur disappointing on my own.

    When I used to use a corretto I could not roast as well as beans I bought commercially but didn't know as much about roasting then as I do now. I'm sure CSers who have been using a corretto for some time might produce results better than mine. I still have my corretto and have thought about dusting it off and giving it a run. But, then again, I'm happy with what i can produce now and feel no need to change.


    • #3
      I've run my own half-arsed experiment related to this. Buy a pack of one of Andy's Roasted Single Origins, which is also available as a green bean. Synchronise the roast dates, and use Andy's recommended roast depth on the green beans page.

      Taste the coffee.

      I did this last year some time with the Brazil Pulped Natural (which is pretty easy to roast). Andy's won, but mine was still pretty good. I'm a rubbish taster, but I'd say that the professional roast (even for this simple bean) had a greater complexity of flavour (mine emphasised the cocoa a bit more). As a latte the difference was much more modest.
      I use a Gene, by the way.

      EDIT: I should point out that the difference in taste was probably not just a function of the tools!


      • #4
        Pretty hard call alright...

        There are just so many variables involved. I suppose the only way to really have results that mean anything, would be for a CSer who now owns and uses a small commercial roaster, but has a Corretto or some other home-brew roaster stashed away somewhere, to roast green from the same bag/sack on each roaster type. Then, follow this up with a blind (double) tasting session when the roasted batches have rested sufficiently, and then see what comes out of that.

        I've really only tried two roasting methods simultaneously over the years, and they're both home made. About the only thing that I could detect between a slightly modified Popper roast batch and the Corretto, was that the Popper batches were slightly sharper on the palate, otherwise, they were pretty well identical. I didn't have the Roast Monitor software back then, or a lid for the Corretto either, so the story now might be a bit different...



        • #5
          Certainly an interesting concept.
          I have found a substantial flavour shift between a 350g corretto & 700g corretto roast (same blends - same setup) but this might also be due to the fact that the larger batches are not as responsive as the smaller to gun changes. I found the smaller batches more 'unique' in flavour where the bigger batches are smoother and richer - but tend to be closer to each other in flavour if that makes sense.
          I had a few goes with a popper too, and when I managed to stretch out a popper roast to 15mins or so on a very cold day the flavour was great - but much lighter and airier than the corretto - less body but more aromatics?
          Whilst its tempting to buy a HG 5kg to test the hypothesis, can't quite justify it yet - and I'm still using both kidneys!

          And I haven't bought browns for years - maybe I should next beanbay order :-)



          • #6
            I think the ability to experiment and tailor my roasts to different machines or equipment used for extraction out weighs any benefit from a commercial roaster.

            My roasting is constantly evolving and as Mal said there is just so many variables involved. There are so many different ways you can do things with a home roasting set up thats for sure.

            If I have a nice coffee somewhere and they are selling beans, I will usually buy some to try at home. Most times it makes me miss my own roasts.

            BOS idea with trying same beans, roasted same day from Andy is a good one. My next order might just be a couple bags of browns!


            • #7
              Didn't think of that buying browns from Andy. I might try that too just to see. I guess sometimes I get a really good batch I roasted myself and get encouraged. Then there will be weeks that I get pretty average ones I do and because I am not so scientific about the whole thing I struggle to work out why. Then at the end of the lull I might get a bag of browns from a roaster and it wows me making me think that my set up is not optimal and cannot compare, then I roast again and get a good bean/batch I roast and the cycle continues. I guess I'll just keep evolving as you guys said. I've only been roasting for 9months...

              Thanks for the discussions though


              • #8
                Oh on a side note I almost forgot. I actually know the Toby's Estate crew in Brisbane CBD so well since I go there quite often I actually bring them some of my roasts and the head barrister there likes my filter roasts >.< so I must be doing something right lol!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by brokenvase View Post
                  ... the head barrister there likes my filter roasts >.< so I must be doing something right lol!
                  Hopefully the barista liked your coffee as well


                  • #10
                    Roasted coffee for filter brewing 0.o"