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Cupping my Starter Pack

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  • Cupping my Starter Pack

    I am fairly new to this cupping business and would like some assistance if someone is willing to give their 2c worth.

    The things I would really like to know are;

    1.  What stage of roasting should I go to in each bean to bring out its best qualities. (I think I am City Roast to Full city roast type of guy, usually drinking milk based drinks with the odd espresso.

    2. With each bean, do you have any suggestions as to drink them as a single origin or are they better to be used as a base for blends.

    Beans I received in my Starter Pack
    • Brazil Peaberry
    • Indian Tiger Mountain
    • Zambian AA Lupili Estate
    • Ugandan Robusta

    I understand that different people have different tastes, but if a particular bean is best blended rather than SO, or if a bean reaches its full potential just before rolling second crack then that sort of information would be very handed when roasting my beans in order to reach the beans fullest potential when cupping them.

  • #2
    Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

    Indian Tiger Mountain is very good as both a SO or a blender. This is a favourite of mine and one of the first beans I ever roasted.

    Roast it to the the start of 2nd crack or even about 10 seconds into second crack. I myself prefer it as a lighter than a darker roast. Some people like it as a dark roast. My advice is to start with this one as it is pretty forgiving and it is fairly easy to roast.

    I do not know the others so I cannot help you with these.


    • #3
      Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

      Ditto re the Tiger Mountain.

      The Brazil Peaberry should be roasted very gently to about 20-30 seconds prior to the first snaps of 2nd Crack to enjoy the subtlety of this bean in my view. This of course means you need to roast at least one batch of beans to the start of 2nd Crack so that you know when it starts, the appearance of the beans leading up to this stage, etc. Once you get a handle on all of these variables you will become less dependent on the clock and go more by appearance, aroma, the presence or not of smoke, the colour and quantity of smoke, etc.

      Cant help you with the other two Im sorry, havent used them befoe.



      • #4
        Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

        Hello Goodies!

        Its 5.20am and my starter pack is on the kitchen table waiting patiently for me while I have this blend of Zambian and Ugandan.

        Having never heard of these coffees before (before coming to this website I could easily ratlle of maybe 5 or 6 I decided they would go together purely on the basis of their names. Have got to say I was a bit concerned when I read, "Uganda" - reminded me of all the turmoil there.

        Anyway, four days ago I took a heaped handful of each of these beans and slow roasted them together until they were the colour of cadbury dairy milk chocolate. I prefer strong coffee but something told me to stop at that point. Maybe it was because of total inexperience, or perhaps because my Homeresque brain said, mmm, chocooolate.

        Once cooled, I rolled the little fellas into one of those vent zip bag thingies (sorry to use such technical and 3 days later made my first cap with them.

        I can taste the finish toward the front of my tongue and its fairly bland really - overall rating would be a disappointing 3/10 . This just goes to show I have no idea what Im doing.

        Unlike me, most people here really seem to know what they are doing and taking the art of coffee roasting, blending, rosettas, etc. to new, never-before-achieved limits. The people are also helpful and forgiving so I think this forum is great.

        My limited experience here suggests that when the experienced CSs read your query, they happily post advice as above. Problem with this is that the next newbie must stumble across this thread, or this goodie advice (had to be said) - not easy as it loses its place amongst all the other topics/conversations.

        What Im advocating is a basic FAQ area for recent arrivals like us - the site etiquette, how to get around, maybe even a glossary. For everyone else, including us, some roasting/bledning/cupping notes in the beanbay area would be very helpful.

        Sorry for the long post - insomnia is my excuse.


        • #5
          Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

          Thanks Dennis,

          The suggestion of a FAQ might have some merits, although I do a search function first when I am investigating answers to my questions and if I cant find what I am seeking, I post my question. You may already know about the search function, but I find this helpful, not all the time but regualrly.


          • #6
            Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

            This is my advice, others may agree or disageree.

            What you are doing is trying to blend different green beans together. That is very difficult for a newbie home roaster. If you do want to try blending, roast SOs first than blend them after they have been roasted. A good place to learn about blending is to read the blending threads on here. i have only just started to play with blending recently as I have really been trying to understand the flavours of each of my beans.

            Try only roasting 100g of one type at a time. Take note of time and temp (if you have a thermocouple and read out thing) of first crack, time and temp of second crack etc.

            Give the beans 24hours to degas and have a taste. Write down what you immediately think of when you smell and taste the shot. I treat it a bit like wine tasting. Smell, take a sip and swirl it around your tongue.

            Do this with each batch. I havent been roasting long but I have been doing a lot of reading and talking with Hazbean - which really helps.


            • #7
              Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

              Thankyou Lucinda. Until a couple of weeks ago I never even knew you could roast beans at homeI know Im jumping ahead of myself and your advice is very sensible, so I guess you are a female .

              I on the other hand am a male, and despite my age, and even the getting of a little wisdom, am at times just like the proverbial kid in a candy store.

              Like a child, once I get sick by over-indulging myself, Ill try and take your advice...I know youre right...its just that a new bean I havent tried???

              ;D ;D ;D


              • #8
                Re: Cupping my Starter Pack

                Sensible? Moi? Never ;D

                ADDIT: I have copied this from another post I made today,
                This is how I do my roasting Log on paper as I am roasting, I hope it gives you an idea

                INDIAN TIGER MOUNTAIN 100G
                Ambient temp 17
                Time 0930 hours
                Roasted weight 85g

                Time (mins)             Temp(C)
                1                            145
                2                            184
                3                            201
                4                            212
                5                            220
                6                            228
                7                            233

                1st crack : 206C/3.44 (first snaps)
                                211C/3.57 rolling first
                                223C/521 finish

                2nd crack : 233C/655min first snaps
                Roast finished @ 7.05 min/235C - did not reach rolling second crack.

                Roasting Notes:

                Long FC
                nice long gap between FC @ SC
                Distinct first and second crack
                Even roast

                Tasting Notes

                Smooth, mocha flavours with hint of sweetness on the end of the palette. Lingering Vanilla flavours.

                EDIT: this was using a cascade popper from the warehouse.