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Newby trial and error recommendations

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  • Newby trial and error recommendations

    Hi all. I'm about to receive a brand new Gene Cafe roaster and would appreciate any recommendations for which bean(s) to use to work up my skills. FWIW:

    My wife and I generally like dark roasts (been drinking Peet's French for years)
    We usually brew Chemex but occasionally do some espressos in an old-fashioned Bialetti stove top

    Mostly looking to focus on getting things right for the drip for now

    Any and all recommendations appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    Due to your mention of Peet's coffee, can we assume you are based in the US? What beans you start your roasting journey on depends on what you have available but the good news is that most coffee is easy to roast. Avoid the expensive premium beans until you have enough experience. Grab a bag of an all-round coffee like a Colombian, Peruvian or Central American and work with one bean for a while before moving to another bean.

    Your Peet's coffee would be a blend of several beans and roasted using a commercial roaster so don't set out to try to recreate that. You may have your preferences now but be prepared to try new flavours. For example, many Chemex users prefer lightly roasted coffee to enjoy flavours that a dark roast may not reveal.

    Do you have a good grinder? Consider it essential equipment for a home roaster.


    • #3
      Flynnaus, US indeed. Our grinder is a nice Baratza so we've got that dialed in. Many years ago, I was roasting with an iRoast2 and really had limited to no success with just about any bean I tried. I recall us being somewhat drawn to some of the Indonesians from Sumatra and Sulawesi but never achieved anything better than what we could buy in the store so just gave up. Thanks for the recommendations.


      • #4
        Not sure where your closest green bean supplier is but try, they seem to have a very large range. Also heaps of roasting info on there. The other thing to do is to ask a local roaster if they will sell you green beans as they often don't mind selling a few KGs of green beans to coffee enthusiasts.

        Some simple starter techniques on the Gene Cafe I find a starting temperature of 240 degrees Celsius (464 Fahrenheit) and then dropping to about 225 (437 Fahrenheit) once you hit first or rolling first crack to produce some good roasts. Based on the beans you are used to you probably want to take the roast to the start of second crack or even a bit further.


        • #5
          I have no experience using a Genecafe so can't advise on how to get the best from it.

          If you haven't already done so, try searching for Genecafe recipes or profiles. Here's some generic advice that might help to get started but I haven't tried it so can't recommend it.