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Self Doubt and all that entails

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  • Self Doubt and all that entails

    Have you ever roasted and had what you thought was great Coffee?

    I have !. But then you read stuff, like if it is over 3-4 mins between 1st & 2nd Crack you are baking.

    I was having my home roasted which I actually enjoy above anything I can buy at coffee shops and hear that if I have roasted above 4 minutes past 2nd crack

    I am having bakery goods.. Shit, what am I going to do? Gotta cut the time down, yep.

    I have been drinking coffee for about 50 years and I suddenley realised that I may not even know what coffee is supposed to taste like.

    I know the old adage that it is what it tastes like to you, in the cup and all that, but how can I tell if I was just enjoying baked shit. What if my whole thing was just lost in taste.

    What if the taste of Coffee is something that I missed due to preconceived ideas of what I thought it could be.

    I only bring this up because I roast my own etc but the roasting section gets really down to it all and I often feel lost and so I at times feel like giving up.

    I am going to but, f... me, it gets super technical at times.

    What should coffee taste like?


  • #2
    I appreciate where you're coming from.

    Good coffee is coffee you like to drink.


    • #3
      but how can I tell if I was just enjoying baked sh1t.

      Even if you are, does it really matter if you are enjoying it?

      Coffee forums (I like to think not this one as much as some of the overseas ones) can get hung-up on a whole lot of regurgitated crud and specific numbers that can make the process seem far harder than it is.

      It's isn't hard to roast great coffee at home, people have been doing it for a 1000 years. Make one change each time, take notes of what was a positive change and what wasn't after you taste the coffee. In no time you will have a technique and process that suits your tastes exactly.... and if that means 30 minutes to first crack or 8 minutes to first crack it really doesn't matter.

      I suggest getting more selective on what you read and taking far more notes on what you do and what you taste and the journey will have better results and be far more enjoyable.


      • #4
        When you start to doubt … go and drink out!


        • #5
          Hey guys, I just did 5, 230 gm roasts on my baby and they look and smell good, but don't you ever doubt yourself.

          I still wonder if I have ever tasted real well roasted coffee, you know , as an abstract sort of idea, because there are always rules of sorts, supposedly. They come up here all the time.

          The 1000 year thing is great to just sit back and contemplate, it really is. Coffee is just so bloody full of thinking, no wonder people tried to ban it.

          Yeah, I get the taste thing, but what if...........................................

          I can't drink out anymore , I tried, I Just like my own better


          • #6
            Sounds like you have found what you're after then. Why worry about something better if you're happy with it? There's ALWAYS going to be a better way... It also sounds like you've set yourself an impossible task


            • #7
              I've been home roasting on my behmor for 2.5 years now. I generally roast to the first snaps of second crack and it ends up between a CS9-10 in colour. I haven't had a bought coffee for years therefore I have no benchmark for my coffee vs the outside world. Recently my brother suggested I try a new local cafe that had 3 separate blends on offer. They had a blend from coffee alchemy, a blend from Mecca and a blend from five senses in three Roburs on the bench. I was SHOCKED at the colour of the beans. It was the colour of tassie oak or teak wood - about a CS7-8. I know there's a trend to roast lighter especially amongst the hipster crowd but this was from roasters that I have a lot of respect for. Regardless I still preferred my beans. So like you, I started doubting myself when I saw these beans but at the end of the day you should just drink what you like.


              • #8
                Yeah, I know what you all mean but was wondering if you suddenly start to doubt yourself.

                I do with my roaster because people do totally different things and I begin to wonder if I got it all wrong.

                What the f.... should a good coffee taste like. Maybe coffee, whatever that tastes like.

                Hey, I am happy with mine but if anyone gets the perfect coffee please sent me a dose because I would love to experience it.

                Even though you may have to come with it to prepare it, it seems a bit that way doesn't it.


                • #9
                  I totally get where your coming from, been there. But " most " of the time I see it as part of the fun journey that roasting is.

                  I regularly buy roasted beans from somewhere different (3 weeks or so) just to " see " , compare overall quality and also get some inspiration.

                  The best thing is when you can go to a decent cafe, have well prepared espresso then buy the same beans they just used and go home and make it yourself. Further to that sometimes you can even get hands on small amount of green to play with to experiment and compare.

                  The other option and maybe easier is to get some greens from BB that Andy is currently also selling roasted. Have play around with this one bean for a week exposing it to a few different profiles then order it roasted lining up your next roast day with one of Andys and you can then put your head down for 2 weeks and do some serious comparisons.

                  What roaster do you have? I have always wondered why there is not more swapping of roasts between those with the same kit.


                  • #10
                    Ravenscroft, I don't know if you have heard of coffee cupping but maybe thats worth checking out. I believe you can go and learn/experience what this is all about. I think its about tasting and distinguishing differing tastes in coffee. Someone from here would undoubtedly know more. It is something that I would like to attend. Im still waiting for that GOD SHOT one day and hoping I recognise it when I taste it.


                    • #11
                      RC, your dilemma reminded me of the Holy Grail story of Sir Parcival (and not the Monty Python version), when he finally found the grail he forgot to ask it the magic question and the grail slipped by. If your coffee tastes great you really don't need to look any further (or even ask the magic question).

                      If in doubt why not get one of Andy's roasted beans, they have become the benchmark for my roasts.

                      I am off to a local top-notch cafe for breaky in a minute but I made sure that I got up extra early to have a brew of my own, home-roasted latte first. I have found that I can no longer stomach a 'bought' coffee, I will have a fruit juice instead, sad isn't it...


                      • #12
                        Hey Ravenscroft,

                        I see that you are in the Hills District, I'm just up at Dural so if you'd ever like to swap some roasted beans shoot me a PM and we can roast up some of the same beans and swap them. I did this a while back with Sando and it was interesting to see the differences in our roast...they both tasted good but just a little different.

                        Maybe if there are a few guys around western sydney we could do a bit of a cupping...I don't really know what I'm doing but im sure we could fumble our way through it.



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sully View Post
                          Hey Ravenscroft,

                          I see that you are in the Hills District, I'm just up at Dural

                          Maybe if there are a few guys around western sydney we could do a bit of a cupping...I don't really know what I'm doing but im sure we could fumble our way through it.

                          Guys, if you want to learn with some guidance, you could check out Air coffee down near the RTA off Victoria ave trading area Castle Hill. They run cupping courses .....and if you ask nice they may show you around their commercial roaster set up.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ravenscroft View Post
                            if it is over 3-4 mins between 1st & 2nd Crack you are baking.........

                            .................. if I have roasted above 4 minutes past 2nd crack I am having bakery goods......
                            Self doubt is a human condition, so you're in a very big boat with a lot of other people! baking coffee requires a little more than just stretching the time

                            from 1st to 2nd crack more than 4 minutes. I have baked roasts in the past..... believe me... you will know! They stink off the grinder and they

                            stink in the knock tube....they just stink. And it ain't good.......

                            4 minutes past 2nd crack .....the bakery is already burnt to the ground ;-)

                            A big +1 to Andy's comments.

                            But as to the suggestion that cupping will help with your lack of confidence..... it possibly won't.

                            Cupping roasts are typically very light, just on the end, +/-, of 1st crack. Although it will contribute to

                            your overall coffee experience it doesn't necessarily follow that it will be useful. To some it can be just more confusing.

                            Cupping espresso roasts? Good for fault/defect finding and for comparing beans/roasts but if you like your coffee as an espresso you're gonna like it as

                            a cupping sample.

                            You mention that your roasts "look and smell great".... that's as good as it gets! Let your senses do the talking! Trust them.


                            • #15
                              I reckon 3-4 minutes between 1st and 2nd crack is just about perfect.