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  • Hardness/Softness of beans

    Hi,

    I am new to home roasting and am discovering that it is important to know the hardness/softness of the green beans. The categories I have found are:

    (SHG) Strictly high grown

    (SHB) Strictly hard bean

    (SS) Strictly soft

    It would be great I think if Andy could include this info (for us newbies) on the BeanBay green coffee pages in the description of each coffee.

    I have read in the past that you know that coffee is fresh if the beans are hard to grind in a hand grinder. But when I went to grind my freshly roasted India Elephant Hills AA, it was much easier to grind than most roasted beans I have ground in the past. Could this be because they are an (SS) category? Or if they are an (SHB) or (SHG), are the green beans too old?

    Thanks guys.

  • #2
    Great post,

    I too would like to see this info for all the green beans in beanbay.
    Also what are the suggested roasting profiles for each category?
    Hopefully some of the roasting heavies will chime in.

    Cheers

    Comment


    • #3
      ;-) Read that on the internet?

      The India Elephant Hills in Beanbay is current crop.

      There is another way to approach the info that you're seeking, other than asking more of Andy, who does publish the bean classification where

      it's part of the bean's name.

      For newbs and long time members alike there is a lot to be gained from googling the beans by name,

      whether it's finca, fazenda, estate, co-op, or washing station. You can find out all sorts of things about where our coffee comes from.

      e.g.

      https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...AqKN8Qe2zIDgDQ

      Mzuzu Coffee Planters Coopeartive Union Limited

      https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...LKGN8QeQvIGwDg

      https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...J6SN8QfAhIGADg

      Comment


      • #4
        Ummmmm..... suggested roasting profile for.....behmor?, baby?, popper?, corretto (which one?), hot top?,

        barbecue?, wok?, quest?, 1,2,5,10 kg turkish?, 2,5,10,12 kg probat? or geisen? or diedrich? or imf? or 3,5, 15 kg joper?

        And then publish the same profiles for sea level and every 250 masl, summer, winter , northern Australia and Tasmania,

        for drought and flooding rain?....... :-)



        I know where you're coming from fg72 but that's exactly the function of the forum.

        Rather than have someone (Andy), who's time is as precious as our own, spoon feed us with everything we want

        to know, the forum is a goldmine of the very information you seek.

        Roasting coffee is not an exact science but is subject to such a wide range of variables that what works for one won't

        work for another; it's the mystery, the discovery, the journey and ultimately the personal triumph that makes it such

        a challenging, intriguing, frustrating and rewarding thing to do.

        And when you finally get to the place where you have more successes than failures, you'll be glad you

        overcame the personal challenge yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks chokkidog, I appreciate your input.

          I'll try and clarify what I was trying to say in my original post as it may come across different to what I intended,

          "I too would like to see this info for all the green beans in beanbay"
          I mean it would be nice to have the classification included in the beanbay description for all the beans. I am aware some varieties already have this information in either the description or name, but from what I can tell (maybe I'm not reading hard enough) quite a few don't.
          Since all the varieties already have a nice very detailed description, I think it would be beneficial for us newbees to just see the classification when reading about the bean.
          I do agree with you that googling the bean name can sometimes provide the information and I was hoping it not be too much trouble to have this included it in the description as I assume the classification information is already known by Andy at the time of writing the description.

          "Also what are the suggested roasting profiles for each category?"
          I'm just asking a general question here to the forum, not expecting this to be part of the beans description at all.
          For example, for each classification, generally what kind of ramp up do they like? Hard, fast, gentle till 1C etc, etc.
          Not looking for specifics as I know this varies a lot depending on the equipment and personal tastes, just interested to hear peoples suggestion ie; "SS types generally like to be roasted with a gentle ramp up, yada yada"

          Cheers

          Comment


          • #6
            A few things to do this morning but I'll come back to your post later...........

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chokkidog View Post
              Ummmmm..... suggested roasting profile for.....behmor?, baby?, popper?, corretto (which one?), hot top?,

              barbecue?, wok?, quest?, 1,2,5,10 kg turkish?, 2,5,10,12 kg probat? or geisen? or diedrich? or imf? or 3,5, 15 kg joper?

              And then publish the same profiles for sea level and every 250 masl, summer, winter , northern Australia and Tasmania,

              for drought and flooding rain?....... :-)



              I know where you're coming from fg72 but that's exactly the function of the forum.

              Rather than have someone (Andy), who's time is as precious as our own, spoon feed us with everything we want

              to know, the forum is a goldmine of the very information you seek.

              Roasting coffee is not an exact science but is subject to such a wide range of variables that what works for one won't

              work for another; it's the mystery, the discovery, the journey and ultimately the personal triumph that makes it such

              a challenging, intriguing, frustrating and rewarding thing to do.

              And when you finally get to the place where you have more successes than failures, you'll be glad you

              overcame the personal challenge yourself.
              The last sentence of your comment Chokkidog is so true. (along with everything else mentioned just to clarify)

              Comment


              • #8
                There is no universal grading system that applies to all beans from all origins.

                SHB, (Strictly Hard Bean) is used by The Costa Ricans and Guatemalans while their neighbouring

                producers mostly use SHG ( Strictly High Grown). Both categories denote beans grown above 1200 masl

                (or higher in some origins). Neither of these terms are used in Africa, India or Indonesia.

                Most other countries use size grading AAA, AA etc.

                By googling the source of the coffee ( and always add coffee as a tag, when you google ) you will be

                able to find out elevations. This will give some indication about hardness.

                Researching general info about coffee origins will also help with your education about bean types and their possible roasting
                requirements.

                Here are two links which show how diverse classifications are. The first one has a handy encyclopaedia of origin details.

                Coffee Origins' Encyclopedia - Guatemala - Official Classification - By Altitude

                1.1.3-World coffee trade-Grading and classification

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you again chokkidog,

                  Nice explanation and thanks for the links, I have some reading to do.
                  I'm at a point where I have good accurate control of my roaster and now need to learn a bit more about the specific beans I use which hopefully will help me tailor profiles to get the best out of the beans I'm roasting.

                  Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can develop some standard profiles from beans whose classification (hardness) you're sure of.

                    This will give you 3 or 4 default profiles as a starting point.

                    Quoted from another thread:

                    "Developing a default roast profile for three basic categories will also help with getting the most

                    out of your roast and shortcut the tweaking.

                    profile 1. island, low altitude, soft beans.

                    profile 2. high altitude, hard, washed process, graded dry process.

                    profile 3. high altitude, hard, dry process, ungraded.


                    Use your palate ( sourness, bitterness, sweetness, mouthfeel, balance ) and visual roast defects ( like divots, tipping, scorching, internal roast level )

                    to drive the tweaking that you do."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bloody hell I just roast them and try them out, this is getting too complicated for me, who just likes a good cup of coffee.

                      I don't think I will ever make it to being a snob no matter how hard I try.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ha!, it can be as complicated or as simple as you like.

                        Some like to tinker, others more straightforward.

                        Both are legit. Both are the way of the Snob, so don't count yourself out! ;-) :-D

                        And those who have questions can come for answers..... no probs. :-D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ravenscroft View Post
                          Bloody hell I just roast them and try them out, this is getting too complicated for me, who just likes a good cup of coffee.

                          I don't think I will ever make it to being a snob no matter how hard I try.
                          As Chokkidog comments, make it as complex or keep it as straight forward as you like, my preference is to keep things as simple as possible, both with roasting and brewing.

                          The more steps there are in a process the more likely you are to stumble.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ravenscroft View Post
                            Bloody hell I just roast them and try them out, this is getting too complicated for me, who just likes a good cup of coffee.

                            I don't think I will ever make it to being a snob no matter how hard I try.
                            There is NO question you are a Csnob, based on the fact you roast your own beans in the first place.
                            Last edited by GrahamK; 13 June 2014, 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Too true, GrahamK!

                              Comment

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