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  • expert baristas opinion on home roasting

    Hi all, attended the Sunbeam course last Saturday in Brisbane. All was OK until I started asking questions, then it was, Thats covered in the paid course... The disturbing thing was the barista claiming that ANY home-based roasting machine would do no more than brown the beans. He said said there was a chasm (my word, cant remember his!) between what we do at home and any commercial roaster. It was claimed that we could never get the same depth of taste, aroma etc. As one who has had no experience at all with coffee until a few months ago, it sort of rattled me to hear such said with such aplomb! So, what am I doing with my corretto? Why do I get such good results from it? Are we fooling ourselves, playing around with our little setups, but in fact missing the mark of good bean roasting? My friends and family, some avid real coffee! drinkers, all want more of what i give em, so surely it cant be all bad? :-?

  • #2
    Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

    I think its because SB doesnt make a purpose-built coffee roaster.

    Customers tell me all sorts of "facts" they heard from somewhere. I just nod and smile.

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    • #3
      Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

      Originally posted by RobT link=1208477664/0#0 date=1208477664
      Hi all, attended the Sunbeam course last Saturday in Brisbane. All was OK until I started  asking questions, then it was, Thats covered in the paid course...  The disturbing thing was the barista claiming that ANY home-based roasting machine would do no more than brown the beans. He said said there was a chasm (my word, cant remember his!) between what we do at home and any commercial roaster. It was claimed that we could never get the same depth of taste, aroma etc.    As one who has had no experience at all with coffee until a few months ago, it sort of rattled me to hear such said with such aplomb! So, what am I doing with my corretto?  Why do I get such good results from it?  Are we fooling ourselves, playing around with our little setups, but in fact missing the mark of good bean roasting?  My friends and family, some avid real coffee!  drinkers, all want more of what i give em, so surely it cant be all bad?   :-?
      :-? Yeah right.....Some expert he must have been....Did he think youd be better off with some stale supermarket gold or black bag stuff? :

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      • #4
        Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

        Probably some salesman whos done a quick indoctrination into the Sunbeam espresso range and thinks hes an expert.
        We Coffeesnobs know better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Like you I have friends and family who get me to roast beans for them and they rave over the taste and freshness of the product..................
        happy roasting.......................gm

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        • #5
          Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

          Thanks guys, your responses have helped me look at the wider pic. I like the idea of the nod and smile approach! Ill keep on smokin up my verandah with green-bean goodness! What I heard flew in the face of what has been said on this site, and I know now who Id rather listen to.
          Rob

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          • #6
            Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

            BS

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            • #7
              Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

              What crap! A know all know nothing goose it seems!!

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              • #8
                Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                Okay, I dont agree 100% with what was said, and I know this post is going to be controversial but.........

                If it is the same person who has been doing the course for some time, he is a great barista. He works in some of Brisbanes most talked about espresso bars, is trained by one of the countries top baristas, and has placed well in Qld AASCA Comps. If it is not him, Ill stand corrected.

                Personally I think there is a chasm between home roasts and (some) commercial roasts. Dont get me wrong, if I wasnt in the industry Im in, I would probably home roast.

                Let me break it down into a few points.

                1) Most home roasters are using beans far superior to most commercial roasters.

                2) Home Roasting gives you the chance to experience a variety of beans at a variety of roast levels over a variety of freshness levels. This is the best reason to do it yourself, and the reason I would recommend it to others.

                3) When starting to roast yourself at home you probably have little knowledge of the process. Years later you may know more than most pro roasters. My business partner was a home roaster until we started Pioneer and his level of knowledge learned from home roasting for 6 years is massive.

                Taking all this into account. If I was to roast a bean of my choice the way I want to, I would get a better result on the Diedrich than on any other home roasting method (Keeping all variables the same).

                However, If I took a home roast and compared it to every roasted bean available to me by post or in my local area, Im sure I would prefer it to 99% of the commercial stuff.

                Im not knocking home roasting, I think its great, but I am standing up for my professional brothers and sisters.

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                • #9
                  Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                  To be honest, I agree with his assesment on home roasting.

                  You can never achieve the nuances that you get from a cast iron drum roaster compared to a fluid bed/hot air roaster that roasts in 6 minutes. Even on the sample roaster we have at work...we will sample roast an origin, cup it up....then proceed to roast it to the same colour and get totally different results! Fluid bed roasters seem a bit flatter and a bit sharper in flavour.

                  Some Sunbeam trainers are professional roasters and/or baristas with a wealth of knowledge. I dont like the fact that he responded with "thats in our paid course". Any snob who comes in to my work is more than welcome to ask as many questions as they like provided we have time to talk. Plenty of knowledge around given we have 3 roasters (1 of them with 24 years experience) and champion baristas.

                  Regardless of what was said at the training course....to put it blankly (hopefully without sounding like a total arrogant ass)....no home roast can compete with a professional specialty coffee roastery. I admire what you guys do at home....its hard to find good fresh beans that taste great....hence your venture in to home roasting....but roasting is an art and there is no real course you can do to learn...its an art that is passed on from one master roaster to his apprentice.

                  edit: pioneer beat me to it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                    I would particularly be interested in Dennis opinion, and others who have made transition from home roasting to commercial roasting, on this matter.

                    I for one have been enjoying Dennis "Cuppacoffee" beans over the last month or so (that I have bought regularly not the same beans) over many of my own roasts. Granted it could just be me. Plus I have not used a thermocouple and graphed roast profiles yet, but I could now that I brought my mulitmeter home from my parents this week. I like roasting at home and experimenting and am sure I could get better with more roasts but still I think there is a difference between the roasts. So think there may be some validity in what the trainer said.

                    Plus I am sure professional roasters have experimented with beans a lot more than the average home user to get it to the profile they want, by sheer volume of roasts. Of course a home roaster could catch up this over time. I like roasting SO at home more than blends so for me professional blends have been way better than MY home blends.

                    It all comes down to personal taste.

                    Of course the pride in roasting your own beans and knowing you have done it can make it taste that bit nicer as well

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                    • #11
                      Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                      I have to agree that there are differences.....

                      Ive roasted quite a bit of Yirg in both the Corretto and the HT.... both have been very good (but slightly different)....

                      Then Den (Cuppacoffee) sent his "sample bags" including some Yirg..... and it was magnificent!!! There were notes in the espresso Id never tasted in one of my roasts - and it was great.....

                      When Greg and I were comparing the Gene and the HT we also got different results from the same bean even when trying to follow the same profile..... and we didnt always agree which was best either....

                      So, yes there is a difference.... and this might or might not be to your preference... (this difference is the greatest with popper or other fast roasting).... the difference might be regarded as positive or not - depending on your taste preference...

                      And once accustomed to a certain taste profile, a roast not following that profile might be deemed not as good.... as it it different to what is expected. That will apply equally to those who normally consume commercial roasts - or their own home roasts.

                      However IMHO they are all good - just different! And that difference (like with Dens roast) could appeal to you more than your own.

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                      • #12
                        Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                        Certainly there are differences within different professional roasters using the exact same bean....even if they were to roast to the same rough profile! It all depends on how the burner package is configured, airflow, drum speed which determines how much contact time with the drum or air time the beans spend during the roast....even the material chosen for the drum. So many variables...a lifetime to master.

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                        • #13
                          Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                          Originally posted by Wushoes - David S link=1208477664/0#8 date=1208486483
                          To be honest, I agree with his assesment on home roasting.

                          You can never achieve the nuances that you get from a cast iron drum roaster compared to a fluid bed/hot air roaster that roasts in 6 minutes.
                          OK, with poppers Id agree... but with Corretto and over a 15-20min roast period?

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                          • #14
                            Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                            Ive been using the same blend from the same local specialty roaster for the past three years with my customers - the reason being that its consistently excellent, my customers love it, & I know as a barista how to get the best out of it having worked with it for so long.

                            A couple of weeks ago in a bold move I decided to inflict use a blend of my own Corretto roasted beans on customers for the whole day. I pre-warned them, and asked them for their frank & honest feedback the next day. The overwhelming response? That my 3 bean blend was quote "superior in flavour" to the blend I usually use. I felt very humbled by the positive response .

                            However, there is a reason I wouldnt/couldnt use my own roasts from the Corretto on a daily basis on customers - that being the point I made at the start of consistent excellence. Commercial roasters have the infrastructure to minimise inconsistencies in results - I dont! That & the fact the heatgun would cark it after a week :

                            Tony

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                            • #15
                              Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

                              Originally posted by MarcS link=1208477664/0#12 date=1208488682

                              OK, with poppers Id agree... but with Corretto and over a 15-20min roast period?
                              Marc,

                              In theory there should be..... a drum roast has (relatively) little air flow - with the Corretto it is massive..... so where the drum contains some of the smoke and volatiles which will flavour the beans the Corretto will blow these away instantly..... also the Corretto is hitting the surface of the beans with very hot, dry and fast moving air.... which should evaporate more volatiles....

                              However in practice.... comparing the Corretto with the HT (fitted with full manual control) I find very little difference. The HT is used so that it follows a typical Corretto profile (also manually controlled).... And the air flow in the HT is much, much lower than the Corretto - even at maximum fan speed..... so my results dont indicate much difference.....

                              But a commercial roaster - like Dens ...... yep there is a difference in taste.

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