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Suggestions for roasting Indian Malabar beans?

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  • Suggestions for roasting Indian Malabar beans?

    Can anyone please offer some advice on roasting and brewing Indian Malabar beans? I recently purchased on eBay some Cuban beans and nominated to additionally receive as free sample a small quantity of Indian Malabar, as I understand it to be a peculiar coffee.

    FYI - My setup is simple:
    * Roaster: Cast-iron wok on a gas kitchen stove, stirred using a wooden spoon; Roasted beans cooled using metal colanders.
    * Grinder: Domestic burr grinder
    * Brewing: 3-cup moka pot, 6/8-cup Bodum siphon pot with either standard Bodum filter or Hario cloth filter

  • #2
    slowly, they are a delicate beast.

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    • #3
      Thanks, cosmic_couple22. I'll do that.

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      • #4
        as an epspresso, I roast the MM good (1 min 30 sec) into the second crack and like cosmic_couple22 wrote, slowly

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        • #5
          One word - don't!!!

          LMAO

          Seriously though, they are an acquired taste on their own, although in a blend they can do wonderful things.

          You also need to leave them to rest for a lot longer than any other bean, I've seen comments of anywhere up to 20 days before they are touched.

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          • #6
            1 min 30 seconds into second crack! crikey, you'd have some serious smoke goin there, perhaps even a towering inferno, as Shapeshifter said, don't do it.
            Last edited by Yelta; 17 February 2014, 06:31 PM.

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            • #7
              For one thing ax72, the bean lot may be very different where Rolf is.

              He ain't buying the same as you, that's for sure. That aside, virtually any bean
              'roasted' 1&1/2 mins into 2nd are all going to taste pretty much the same! 8- (

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              • #8
                the problem might, at least partially, be using conductive heat as the primary heat transfer method.

                the point being (i 'spose) that the MM beans don't have much in the enzymatic (brighter, floral, fruity) range and really come into their own deep into sugars browning (syrupy, chocolate, vanilla), so you want deep and even development, no bitter musty under-roasted internals inside the bean. you could try adding a source of hot air (heat-gun) to carry heat into the crack of the bean more efficiently. Inspecting a bean you have roasted and checking relative internal development, (colour, density), could help diagnose unevenness of roast development

                the expansion and loss of mass involved in monsooning lead to a brittle structure and so too heavy heat application could lead to scorching, tipping or chipping.


                so slowly, darkish and dosed up a bit to avoid any tarry ashy spectrum of the roast coming onto the cup might help

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                • #9
                  For what its worth, I've never found Monsooned Malabar a difficult bean to roast, an easy ramp up to FC back the heat off a little and coast to the first few snaps of SC, dump em and cool em.

                  MM is one of my favorites as a SO.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks to all of you for your various suggestions. I'll keep all of that in mind when I attempt a roast sometime during the next week. Can let you know the result if you like.

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                    • #11
                      Roasted the Indian Malabar this evening. I can now appreciate first-hand the cautions about heat and speed of roasting. Overall the roast seemed to proceed well, although I may have warmed up the wok a bit too much at the beginning. Fortunately your advice was in my mind at the time so I quickly realized my mistake and reduced the heat of the stove. I kept the stove burner at low-middle levels for most of the time, and instead of roasting for 12 minutes I roasted for 16. The vast majority of beans were uniformly medium-roasted, a few odd ones were slightly less roasted and some were darker than medium on their flat sides. The resulting roast has a musty smell unlike other coffee beans roasted to date. I cut through a few of the beans and found them them to be roasted brown all the way through. 99 grams of green beans resulted in 83 grams of roasted beans, so I hope to have enough material to prepare two test brews: 1. Siphon pot (42-50 grams) 2. Moka pot (18-25 grams) and try each brew with and without milk.

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                      • #12
                        It's all practise, you'll get there and then you also have to factor in individual taste, you might not like it roasted more or less than someone else.

                        LOL yes the smell is unlike anything else, moldy socks is the common term

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the advice folks... I just roasted up 400gm's green (ended up 340 roasted) in the Behmor. Tried 1lb P5 D ++ based on what's been mentioned here about the slow to 1st crack bit. Gotta say, it's a good looking (and big) bean roasting! Wonderfully even colour. I got the weirdo smell right on 1st crack. Really even / uniform rolling first crack - and loud. Dumped on 2nd crack, although may have gone a touch far.... 2nd crack went for a minute or so into the cool. Still - they look great, even and I reckon smell awesome..... (maybe I like stinky socks??) Off to the Shaky Isles tomorrow... these guys can do their thing in the bag for 7 days til I get back and smash them!
                          Is anyone blending with these beans pre-roast or all post roast stuff??
                          Cheers
                          Link

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                          • #14
                            Meant to add... I like it as a long black through the aeropress. Sublime, smooth brew. But that was roasted beans from Peak, not my own. Been told may take up to 20 days to smooth out and develop fully.

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                            • #15
                              Update: As per suggestions I have left the roasted beans to rest in a tin for some days, and I have arranged for two friends to visit on Saturday for a tasting of the first brew that I make from those beans - Friends who won't fail to tell me their unvarnished opinions of the brew. Meanwhile, the mustiness seems to have stabilized to a seemingly constant level, and the coffee smell seems to have also stabilized to level about as strong as the musty smell.

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