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Thread: Pot and Spatula

  1. #1
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    Pot and Spatula

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Id like to start a thread for those of us who are into pan/pot roasting. Or am I the only such desperate here?

    All my coffee now comes from what I roast in an old, seasoned cast-iron pot, using a silicon spatula for agitation. Ive been doing this for enough months now to have one or two clues. I made the mistake of burning, which isnt so bad, and the mistake of baking, which really is bad. I get the impression that a pan roast needs to be darker in appearance than an equivalent "closed" roast. Also, everything needs to be determined by sight, rather than crack and you need to take an average rather than wait for uniformity, which never happens. Stirring needs to be smooth so it doesnt cool the roast. Pan roasts dont look pretty and, for some reason, dont smell all that pretty. No even monk-brown colour and praline smell when you open the coffee-jar, thats for sure.

    So why do I persist? I actually like the process and the flavour it produces. Really. No...Really!

    So, who else is pan-roasting? Out yourself! You wont be judged here.


  2. #2
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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Ive never tried pan roasted beans. How does the flavour of a pan roast compare to the other roasting methods?

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Never have tried it, Moso. But before I began barbecue roasting, I put half a dozen beans into the snack oven tray to observe what happens.
    It demystified the process: seeing the turn in colour, the bean jumping at first crack.

    But I like even roasts, and while not disparaging your method, beans which are in close contact with a hot, heat-retaining surface like cast iron are bound to come out uneven.

    Robusto

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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Bloop, the flavour is the good bit, at least from my newbie/amateur standpoint. (Ive been slightly disappointed by the taste of some professionally roasted beans since I started panning. Sometimes, to get a good looking result, the beans may be a touch "baked", I suspect). With the pan system I can heat very hard but vary things a little by the way I stir and toss. And I can pull that roast up very fast indeed.

    Robusto is right about the uneveness. I find if I dont worry about the individual bean that looks under- or over-done I can get a good result taste-wise, but the appearance is another matter. In general, I find I need to go dark. Some of that great PNG from the last poll looked like espresso roast when I finished it. I put it through the Faema and it was all wrong. Put it in the old Silex vacpot and it rates as one of the best liquids I ever drank.

    By the way, is there some kind of medal we can award to Andy for "provision of ultimate vacpot bean" or some such?

  5. #5
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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Tried my first pot and whisk today on a campstove out the back door!
    As always I timed everything- 1 minute for the pot to heat up before putting beans in... 8:45 first crack... 13:32 for second crack and finally dumping them into the cooler on 15:23- nearly 14 and a half minutes of roasting time.
    They seem even to me. They smell good. Ill get back to you after the 48 hour degass and tell you what they taste like.
    It is fairly labour intensive- but not overly so! I did 150 grams which I would imagine to be a very small batch for this process.
    Ill keep you informed!

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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Funny taste- and smell~ grassy-like and no aroma of coffee.
    I think I might have mistaken the rolling first crack for the second! I also noticed a lot of smoke- which you dont normally get with a popper. Im going to have another try and let it go further... Yeah thats what Ill do...
    Ill be in touch :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    I have been pot roasting using a fry pan on a portable camp stove for over two years now. I find it is easier to get an even roast for some beans than others. Try African beans like Kenyan AA or Harrar, they roast fairly even, almost like from a popper. But for beans like the Mandheling, boy, that is an effort. BTW, I started with a spatula, but I dont use it any more. I find I get a more even roast if I just keep shaking the pot in a saute motion. It is a good way to exercise your arm too...

    The taste of pot roast coffee, I believe is more like a drum roast, emphasizing the body, less the acidity, less like popper.

    slow

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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Maybe I like this method because smoke and waste gasses are immediately expelled during roasting. Or maybe its the instant pull-up. Im not sure why I like it, but I prefer an uneven-looking result to a pretty roast where the beans look unexpanded and taste "baked". Provided I roast hard and judge only by sight Im seldom disappointed. Timid roasting, stopping the process just because a few beans get scorched on the flat side, trying to judge by cracks etc...these are the things that can spoil a pot-roast. Advance hard and stop hard. Stirring needs to be smooth and deliberate, with no tossing (and consequent cooling) of the beans.

    When Ive got the right gear Id like to try Slowpods method. Id also like to try roasting in a sturdy mining sieve over hot coals. (Maybe using the pecan branches that lie around the paddock here for a whiff of hickory?...)

  9. #9
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Youre in the wrong century, Moso! Youd love life among the Amish.

    To each his own, but nicely and evenly roasted beans done in proper time arent baked. The evenness makes it easier to dial up the right grind setting. Each miniscule particle will be pulling its weight during the extraction. The flavour will be predictable.

    Robusto

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    Re: Pot and Spatula

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    But my Silex vacpot isnt even eighty years old! My cast-iron pot is younger still, and my silicon spatula was made late in the last century. Very late, Ill have you know.



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