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  • The Coffee Roaster's Companion

    Has anyone read this new book by Scott Rao? Worth buying?

    http://dailycoffeenews.com/2014/09/0...ers-companion/

    Sean

  • #2
    Scott normally does a pretty good job from what I have read of his other books, still geared more to commercial environments from all the reviews I have read from the UK and US forums

    Quote from a US forum
    "Having had some time to go through this book from cover to cover, I would say that it is interesting but not of significant value to the home roaster. It seems to be partly a sales pitch for his other books and for a refractometer! It is all about commercial roasters and I am not sure that even an owner of the big Gene would find it particularly useful. If you can't adjust everything from the speed of rotation of the drum to the speed of the exhaust fans then you probably won't benefit a huge amount from this book."

    Still believe from Scott's other books there will be some interesting reading to be had, I will report back once I receive my copy and read through it.

    Comment


    • #3
      He's gone down in my estimations since he left Happy Days though.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's a very worthwhile book. I've read it only once and really need to go through it a couple of times to understand more, but after a couple of years of roasting I find that it encapsulates a lot of good information that I need to consider at my level of experience. There are precious few resources in this arcane part of the coffee world, so it's great to have some good solid information at hand in a relatively straightforward format. Posters on other websites have questioned some of the things that Rao has suggested, but there's plenty of factual stuff that is helpful and it's well cited.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kwantfm View Post
          Posters on other websites have questioned some of the things that Rao has suggested, but there's plenty of factual stuff that is helpful and it's well cited.
          I've read his other books which I've got a lot out of, and there was similar mix of opinions on the blogosphere about them. From what I can see and from what I've previously read, Scott challenges some commonly accepted belief and practice which some people can find challenging.

          Sean

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          • #6
            I think with all learning, gather your information from various sources that can legitimately support their own arguments for why they do things the way they do, trial, test, tweak that information so that it gets a result that sits well with your own style, thinking and equipment, whilst keeping an open mind as through the process you may adopt or discard new and/or old ideas. I always remind myself that there are many pathways to a destination and sometimes it isn't as simple as right or wrong.
            And at the end of the day with coffee, it's what we get in the cup that ultimately decides whether we got it right or not.

            Chester

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            • #7
              Is it available to purchase in Australia or do you have to get it through he's website?

              Alternatively is there an eBook?

              Wouldn't mind having a read

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              • #8
                Originally posted by brendogs View Post
                Is it available to purchase in Australia or do you have to get it through he's website?

                Alternatively is there an eBook?

                Wouldn't mind having a read
                His website answers all your questions. Google and ye shall find.

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                • #9
                  bought my copy from a specialty cook book store online out of Melbourne.

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                  • #10
                    I have read this book and it's very in depth and resourceful for a small book. Is it for the home roaster? Depends on if you have got a pimped up HG or a popper and how far and in depth you want to go with your roasting.

                    The key word of this book is 'development.' How can you get the best of your greens? Fully develop them. And how do you achieve this? This book attempts to answer this question. He answers it particularly focusing on the rate of rise of the bean mass temp. He also notes different quirks of different roasters such as differently placed probes, the different types of roasters and the limits of various roasters.

                    For me, it was a very interesting read and re-read and probably more to come

                    M

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                    • #11
                      For me this book was a revelation. It puts a lot of information that you have to scour the internet and this forum to find all in one concise easy to read hard backed book.

                      I have changed my modified popper roasting profile thanks to what I read and the improvement was so much that a local guru cafe owner who tried a batch thought it was retail quality.

                      I am getting so much more flavour out of my roasts now. The book was my best investment for home roasting to date.

                      Bought from an online seller based in Sydney.

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                      • #12
                        Looks interesting. I'm quite keen to have a read.
                        No matter what sort of setup you use, there should be some good food for thought in a book like this (and there are very few roasting resources around) whether you agree with it or not
                        Keeping the discussion open and all that!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thewpguy View Post
                          It puts a lot of information that you have to scour the internet and this forum to find all in one concise easy to read hard backed book.
                          Good one line summary... absolutely agree.

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                          • #14
                            I gave this book a read over the weekend, it's very good for the home roaster and I'd even say professional roasters might get a tip or two out of it. I personally enjoyed reading it, I guess as previously stated having all the information in one complete book was great. I didn't need to troll through endless posts on the internet to get biased opinions from faceless people.

                            I'd definitely recommend every roaster beginner or professional to have a read. I'm positive there are tips and tricks in there that would assist anyone. I'm going to be doing a few test roasts tonight and base them along he's theories and compare results.

                            Thumbs up from me!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brendogs View Post
                              I didn't need to troll through endless posts on the internet to get biased opinions from faceless people.
                              Not so sure about this statement, over the years, particularly early on in my roasting attempts I found the internet, Coffee Snobs in particular to be an invaluable resource, certainly got me on the road to successful roasting quick smart.

                              Regarding Scott's book, keep in mind the qualifying quote ” focusing on “light-to-medium roasting of specialty coffee processed in a batch drum roaster in 8-16 minutes.”

                              Like most things in life, roasting can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it, many people seem to think complexity is a recipe for success, however I would suggest the opposite is the case, in my opinion the only thing achieved by over complicating a process is that there are more variables to deal with along with more chances of something going wrong.

                              My first batches were done in an aluminium bowl with the aid of a heat gun and a wooden spoon, they turned out fine, nowadays I roast weekly batches of 750 grams in a Coretto and have literally hundreds of roasts under my belt.

                              Keep it simple = no tears.

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