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  • The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

    I wouldnt mind hosting a roast-off come May 3 as part of a small CS gathering. Problem is, finding someone to do some blind espresso cupping. I would, but I think theres a slight conflict of interest.

    We could also do a mass blind cupping, where all the entrants vote on which is best and there is an overall winner.

    Dont ask me about prizes, Im just willing to be a venue.

    NB: This should probably be a post on its own.

  • #2
    Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

    I agree, Nunu...

    Im just waiting on advice from above...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting


      Surely we could manage a roast off in at least four of the states: Qld, NSW, Vic and WA.

      Pioneer have always supported the online community, so I may be a great venue for a Qld heat. If we set this up properly it could be a lot of fun with the possibility of a final interstate roast off. The parameters would have to be thrashed out a bit before kicking off though. Id suggest the first round is a home roasters "give us your best", with the one or two finallists going up against the commercial roaster(s) with a common bean (or simple blend). Winner then goes up against similar from the other states (be they commercial or home roaster) and an overall Aussie winner decided.

      Just some thoughts, but sounds like a lot of fun.

      Cheers,

      Mark.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

        Originally posted by Wine_of_the_Bean link=1208477664/75#75 date=1208774051
        ... this should probably be a post on its own.
        Agreed ... I think the concept has legs - onya David for initiating the thought.

        However ... theres a lot more detail that needs filling in & agreed to by CSers.

        Marks idea (Sparky) suggestive along the lines of a state-by-state cupping of home roasters alongside local roasters has merit ... however seeing that we snobs are nation wide can I suggest that we agree upon ONE commercial roaster (CS sponser obviously ... or lets poll another) & their choice of either SO roast or blend - & then the competing claims can flow as a comparison.

        I like the idea primarily because its a novel impetus to get CSers to hone their roasts, & get together with other keen CSers at a commercial roastery site to cup, share thoughts, & essentially indulge in what great espresso is all about - enjoyment.


        A benchmark is necessary, or else the whole idea is defunct guys


        Comment


        • #5
          Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

          Whilst the idea of a "National roast off" has appeal....

          It seems to have expanded from the original concept....

          Take one or two CS roasters.....
          A given bean which they roast....
          and IMHO compare that at a central location with the same bean roasted by a commercial roaster..... (or blend from a roaster but that is comparing apples and oranges).... with a qualified cupping judge making the call.

          I guess it comes down to what we are trying to achieve and it seems we have two, vastly different, goals...

          Are we trying to see how a home roast compares with a commercial roast? (which I believe was the original intent) or are we trying to find the best home roaster in Australia?.....

          If the answer is the first then we need to compare to a commercial product.... and that needs to be an apples to apples comparison... ie the same bean!!

          If we are trying to find the best CS home roaster then their roast doesnt need to be compared to anything other than the other entries (when looking for the best fruit it can be apples, pears, bananas, grapes etc).....

          Comparing these roasts to a commercial roast is fruitless (pun intended) as, in my eyes at least, it doesnt matter whether it is better, worse or the same as a commercial roast it just has to be good on its own merit.

          So first off I think we need to decide what we are trying to achieve.

          My interest is to see how a home roast compares to a commercial roast..... Im personally not that interested in the roast off approach. This will have the effect of saying xs coffee is the best in Australia followed by f, t and y...... and weve already had too much of that with comments re machines people own, the size of their machines.... etc ... etc which are all very divisive of our community.

          Sure, have local meetings to discuss, display and taste each others roasts..... but dont make that a competition as once again the mine is better than yours attitude will pervade the group. Keep it friendly between CS members... (but commercial roasters are open slather.... as they will beat our pants off anyhow.... it is just the degree of that beating which interests me ;D ;D)


          Edit: We also have to be mindful of the results of such a roast off and possible impact on site sponsors sales of roasters...... what if a brand of roaster sold by the site sponsors doesnt figure in any of the finals (purely hypothetically)..... would that be a good outcome for the site sponsor(s) involved? Do you need to have different categories for each type of roaster?..... and these arent actually compared across categories......

          I really think there are a LOT of issues when looking at a roast off..... and these are not relevant to the original purpose as discussed earlier in this thread.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: expert baristas opinion on home roasting

            Originally posted by GrindOnDemand link=1208477664/75#78 date=1208781730
            I suggest that we agree upon ONE commercial roaster (CS sponser obviously
            This latest suggestion needs to be seperated from the original challenge.

            That was for a home roaster to have their roast compared to a commercial Australian roast.

            Im happy enough to have my Kimel compared to Piazza DOro but its a different challenge altogether to have to be compared to CS Espresso WOW! or the roast of any other sponsor.
            "A mans gotta know his limitations."
            My acceptance of the original challenge was to disprove the wild statement in the opening post.

            If we are going to have two different challenges would a moderator please split the thread.
            If not, could someone agree on what the challenge is and Ill put my acceptance on hold until a clarification is made.

            EDIT: Ya beat me to it JavaB. Im glad youre on my side but while it would be fair to compare the same bean, that wasnt the original challenge.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

              TG, if you really want to "disprove the wild statement in the opening post", surely its gotta be Kimel roasted by you (or another CS) vs. Kimel roasted by a professional.

              The statement in question being:

              "ANY home-based roasting machine would do no more than brown the beans’"

              But, I think the bloke who said it, namely Anthony from Naked Coffee, kinda took it back. He explained that he only made such a strong statement about home roasting because he was under time pressure in the roasting course, and he was saying it to someone who didnt even really drink coffee. BUT, he still went on to say that a home roaster, even if he really knew what he was doing, would never be able to bring out the same depth of flavour in a bean as a good commercial roaster, because there are variables that you can control on an expensive commercial roaster that you cant on a home roaster. (Cant think what these might be though, the Corretto seems like a pretty perfect setup to me.)

              So, perhaps the debate now should be about what different roasting machines/setups can achieve. Given an infinite amount of roasting skill by an operator, will a Corretto/Hottop be able to bring out the same depth of flavours in a bean that a commercial drum roaster can? … Only a roastoff can findout!!!! ;D  ;D

              Actually, hasn’t the whole Corretto vs. Commercial Drum roaster been covered on another thread before? And, the conclusion I seem to remember being that they both do a great job in the right hands, but just bring out different things in a bean? Well, the debate was never settled with anything as extravagant as a roast-off. So bring it on - A Kimel each, ten paces, and fire  :P

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                In effect, we can kill two birds with one stone. The CS home roast-off is more of a lighthearted comp. Comparing the home roast vs. commercial roast can happen at the same time. Wed need to sort out wich bean to use, or possibly even a pre-roast blend to compare to the commercial blend. Im not sure how the logistics will be, but there will have to be some sort of bean donation.

                Its all about discussing how to go forward with this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                  Ok, Im up for the challange.

                  I will offer any home roasting coffee snobs 3Kg of the voted bean from my stash including postage for $20. You roast it and send 500gm back. The offer is to 10 people only, preference to Qld home roasters who will be attending (if we get too many takers). The tasting will be done by the Qld coffeesnob community at Pioneer Roastery, all blind. We will cup in plungers.

                  Interested parties cast your vote for bean type.

                  date for tasting: 18th May

                  Bean selection:

                  Sumatran Mandheling Kuda Mas
                  Kenya Dorman AA
                  Brazil Daterra Sweet Collection
                  Nicaragua La Bastille Estate

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                    Originally posted by Pioneer Roaster link=1208774052/0#8 date=1208812307
                    Ok, Im up for the challange.

                    I will offer any home roasting coffee snobs 3Kg of the voted bean from my stash including postage for $20. You roast it and send 500gm back. The offer is to 10 people only, preference to Qld home roasters who will be attending (if we get too many takers). The tasting will be done by the Qld coffeesnob community at Pioneer Roastery, all blind. We will cup in plungers.

                    Interested parties cast your vote for bean type.

                    date for tasting: 18th May

                    Bean selection:

                    Sumatran Mandheling Kuda Mas
                    Kenya Dorman AA
                    Brazil Daterra Sweet Collection
                    Nicaragua La Bastille Estate
                    Ill pitch in with the same offer as Pioneer, with different date and bean selection:

                    Date for tasting: 25th May

                    Bean Selection:
                    Guatemalan Huehuetenango SHB
                    PNG Kimel Grade A
                    Sulawesi Toraja Grade A
                    Ugandan Bugisu Grade A

                    I wouldnt mind seeing a modest entry fee for this, with all proceeds going to Faircrack. Will leave that thought open for discussion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....


                      Therse seems to be some momentun building for a CS roasting competition.

                      I think a CS home roaster vs a commercial roaster is a bit too premature, especially as the home roaster is offered coffee already well known to the commercial roaster.

                      How about this for round 1: CS home roasters deliver 500gm of what ever they consider their best roast. They are then cupped using the traditional method as well as brewed as an espresso by a professional barista for evaluation. This is all done blind and everyone gets to score. This way we all get to try cupping as well as espresso tasting with the additional fun factor of competing. Also discovering what beans were used adds to the enjoyment.

                      This should all be done in the spirit of enjoyment and learning and make for an enjoyable social gathering. But a gathering with a purpose.

                      Any more thoughts?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                        Originally posted by richy_4000 link=1208774052/0#6 date=1208803245
                        TG, if you really want to "disprove the wild statement in the opening post", surely its gotta be Kimel roasted by you (or another CS) vs. Kimel roasted by a professional.

                        The statement in question being:

                        "ANY home-based roasting machine would do no more than brown the beans’"
                        Disagree.

                        The original challenge was set by David.

                        Originally posted by Wushoes - David S link=1208477664/30#31 date=1208520176
                        As an experiment, Im willing to put up some of my own money to run this experiment.

                        All I require is a coffeesnob who is willing to have his/her coffee cupped blind to send me 500 grams of their coffee and I will buy 500 grams of a blend of coffee of their choice from a roastery....be it Grinders, Genovese, Allpress, Di Bella. My only request....it has to be an Australian coffee company....i.e. roasted in Australia. No Illy, Lavaaza etc.

                        If a coffeesnob would like to take me up on my offer, I will require detailed notes of origin (so I know what to expect) or if it is a blend, cupping/tasting notes. I will also request the temperature they would like their coffee brewed at....on the espresso machine, I control this to within 0.1 deg C. If you wish for it to be cupped up in an alternate method be it traditional, plunger, syphon or aeropress...this can also be organised.

                        I will probably get Luca to be the cupper and Ill get him to do it blind. I will extract the espressos. And we will test in pure espresso or long black and milk base in an ACF Tulip (170 mL cup). Espressos can be extracted as per the coffeesnobs request....be it a 35 second extraction or a 20mL extraction....or a combination of both...up to you! You can even set the number of days you want your coffee rested for.

                        Test Machines: LM FB80 and Mazzer Robur.

                        Whos in? It would be exciting if a Coffeesnob does roast better coffee than some commercial roasteries!

                        David.
                        No mention of bean vs bean.
                        He said I could name Grinders etc.
                        I chose Piazza DOro.

                        Im willing to take on the original challenge.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                          I agree with Thundergod.....

                          That IS the original challenge.... and I must admit Im not sure where it stands now that we seem to have "moved on" and also nothing further has been heard from David...... The intent of the original offer has been hijacked.

                          Id be prepared to roast the same bean as a professional roaster as well if that is desired.....

                          Im just interested to see how the roast compares and get some open feedback.... I dont honestly expect mine to be as good (based on having compared them by using my palate) but would like to know the differences as detected by someone or several people with a more developed palate for cupping.

                          So where are we at??????

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                            Originally posted by Sparky link=1208774052/0#10 date=1208828944
                            Therse seems to be some momentun building for a CS roasting competition.

                            I think a CS home roaster vs a commercial roaster is a bit too premature, especially as the home roaster is offered coffee already well known to the commercial roaster.

                            How about this for round 1: CS home roasters deliver 500gm of what ever they consider their best roast. They are then cupped using the traditional method as well as brewed as an espresso by a professional barista for evaluation. This is all done blind and everyone gets to score. This way we all get to try cupping as well as espresso tasting with the additional fun factor of competing. Also discovering what beans were used adds to the enjoyment.

                            This should all be done in the spirit of enjoyment and learning and make for an enjoyable social gathering. But a gathering with a purpose.

                            Any more thoughts?
                            A good idea Mark, but I think it digresses somewhat from the purpose underlying the original roast-off idea - that being choice of an SO via unanimous vote, and ultimately tasting home roast results in the cup & comparing to commercial roast of the same SO from the same crop/batch.

                            Sure, Jason knows his beans better than I, but thats part of the challenge.  I dont believe that the competitive aspect of the roast-off should undermine or overwhelm what in the end should be a fun learning curve via comparative cuppings of the same bean.

                            Accordingly, I prefer at this stage Jasons idea - for the sake of consistency, tasting the varying roast profiles preferred by other CSers, comparing to the commercially roasted results, and ultimately discussing the relative merits & shortcomings of each roast, and of course having Jason as the pro explaining why & so forth.

                            Count me in Jason - all great SOs youre offering, but Ill cast my vote for the Mandheling as bean of choice.

                            Cheers,
                            Tony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Great CoffeeSnobs "Roast-Off".....

                              Tony, a digression it is.

                              A few points. As a home roaster I would feel better pitting the bean Im most comfortable with, rather than take a bean I have never touched without knowing if I even like it and trying to match a commercial roaster like Jason.

                              Also, as an experience, sampling and tasting range of beans would be far more interesting than just one variety. It also would encompass what CS roasters like to drink.

                              Finally it would be interesting to see them stacked up against a commercially roasted bean or blend. With it all being done blind, it would really be enjoyable to see what turns out trumps on the day.

                              My feeling is that this would be a more general test of what home roasting achieves and ultimately more appropriate as home roasters do have access to some very high quality beans and arent resticted by commercial concerns regarding continuation of supply. I have no doubt that Jason would out-roast all of us given just one SO that he provides. However Im not so sure that his best would win against the best CS home roast, simply because taste is so subjective. Also as a bonus we could then taste your mystery blend that your customers liked so much. Also with such a competition we might also entice Mal to submit an entry (by post if necessary), which would be very interesting indeed.

                              In the end, such a comp would establish what home roasting can achieve, rather than who has the biggest roasting kahoonas.

                              The point about honing ones technique is of dubious merit, as I for one dont have enough time in the day to do half the things Id like to achieve. So I for one wouldnt have the time to hone. Especially not in the time frame mentioned and especially with my 2yo duracell buzzing around!

                              If I get voted down, so be it, but at this point of very few Qld replies, Id like to keep the debate going.

                              Cheers,

                              Mark.

                              Comment

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