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Thread: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

  1. #1
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    Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Everyone!

    I am completely new to the idea of home roasting and dont know where to start (but am very excited at the prospect). *There is some great info on this site, but to be honest, its a little overwhelming. *Has anyone got any tips on what I can read to give me background on home roasting and how to do it. *My house doesnt enable me to have a set up with a breadmaker/hot air gun etc but I am ok with buying a roaster (just need to know what type). *Im in Melbourne...any tips, suggestions for training courses, books etc greatly received.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    many people start with Kenneth Davids home coffee roasting book - but Sweet Marias is a great (US) site with good info, reviews etc.

    as a really good economical commercially available home roaster you could do much worse than the behmor from coffeesnobs *beanbay in the other stuff section, its quiet, easy and *flexible as to roast size and produces really good roasts, pick up some good quality green beans while youre there!

    i got one for my dad (from another vendor *:() and he loves it, (so do i) it compares very favourably with the roaster i use which has a smaller and less flexible charge weight. (and is three times the price)
    the CS member package that Andy offers is Excellent value (when i got the spare cash im coming Andy!)

    genecafe (noisier but with great visibility of beans during roast) and the Hottop *(which is well built has, has good visibility of beans, is quiet with a reasonably quick cooling cycle (important) but requires regular replacement *filters), are others that are generally locally available (through a few site sponsors - Pullman espresso accessories among others)

    really its horses for courses, the best thing to do is jump in and start roasting i reckon, youll be glad you did!

  3. #3
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Ive found the staff at the site sponsors really know the products they are selling, also they sell green beans on the bean bay on this site.
    Probably a good place to start, if you do get some awesome advice, let me know. Im looking to start roasting myself.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Ya really need to let us know you budget restraints.....if any, and where you wanna roast, your consumption, your expectations etc, based on some very important info about you, more targeted advice can be given, example you could be roasting successfully for as little as $5(popper) or as much as.......well skys the limit really ;D

    Cheers
    Warren

    PS Youtube is a great vid source for home roasters too ;)

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by 0602243D3D3827303F510 link=1270027752/3#3 date=1270039441
    you could be roasting successfully for as little as $5(popper)
    I really think that is the best way to start.

    Find a popcorn machine (called a popper around ere). If you dont already own one then second hand shops often have them for $5-$10 and places like the Reject Shop often have them for less that $20.

    Buy some raw coffee.

    Tip 80 grams into the popper.

    Turn it on (outside on a verandah is best)

    Watch them change colour from green, through sandy shades, to light brown, mid brown, dark brown and finally black (oops, too far at that point).

    Turn the roaster (popper) off when you think they look the right shade for your taste.

    Tip it between two bowls until cool.

    Taste, try, experiment.

    Popper roasting is a great, cheap way to prove to yourself that roasting coffee at home is something you would like to do well before you drop a pile o dollars on a domestic roaster.

    Most people are happy roasting on a popper for quite a while and only change to get bigger volumes.


  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Welcome "mich_di"....

    As mentioned above, Sweet Marias is a great website to read through when first thinking about roasting at home. There is also the homeroasters.org website too. We also have a thread or three about Home-Roasting with a Popper and the discussions use terminology more meaningful to we Aussies. In the U.S. they use abstract (to us) descriptions like City, Full City and even Spanish :o to describe roasting depths by colour.

    Once you translate this roast depth scale with more familiar and dare I suggest, more meaningful terms that we use here in Oz, it will all make a bit more sense. Id suggest starting at this thread to begin with... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174699442 and once more confidence is gained, definitely peruse sites like Sweet Marias that have reams of information about home-roasting.

    The most important things to remember though, is to have fun, be observant, record all results (good and bad) for future reference and.... Have fun ;D

    Never feel shy about asking questions here at CS, someone will do their best to help you out. The Search Tool at the top of the page is a very handy feature to get in the habit of using - its amazing the amount of information stored away in the CS boards. The default Search Period is set for only 1-Week so you will probably have to extend this to 6 or 12 months in order to churn up enough information about the topic youre seeking...

    Remember though... Have fun, its a great hobby ;) ;D

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Hi Everyone

    Thanks ever so much for the warm welcome to the site and for all your very helpful tips. It has given me some great options to explore over the Easter weekend so hopefully I can be geared up in time for the next coffee sale.

    Warren you raise some very good points...as a newbie, Id want to roast quantities for myself and my partner, i.e. coffees in the morning and at work (desk jobs). Id then like to consider ramping this up a little and sharing with my friends as they really need to experience a good coffee and then as Andy suggested, once Im happy and know I can do it, invest in a bigger setup (cant stay an office worker for ever!). So in terms of budget constraints...as I havent explored how much everything would cost but at a guess say $1k to start with (roaster, grinder etc).

    I guess the next question after exploring the roasting set up is the grinders...Ill have a look at the forum over the weekend.

    Thanks once again for your quick replies - I cant wait to get stuck into it.

    Cheers everyone and a safe Easter to you all.

    Michelle :)

  8. #8
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Will the results that you get from a popcorn maker really make you want to roast your own? Especially if you are able to by reasonably fresh beans from a professional roaster?

  9. #9
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D797B7563282725100 link=1270027753/7#7 date=1274965706
    Will the results that you get from a popcorn maker really make you want to roast your own? Especially if you are able to by reasonably fresh beans from a professional roaster?
    Yes.

    I started with a popcorn maker.
    Did a lot of roasts on it before moving up to an Imex and then a BBQ drum roaster.

    8 years of home roasting later, and I reckon in those 8 years, I have purchased about 3 kilos of roasted coffee.

    Its not going to hook everyone who tries it, but its going to get quite a few. It sure got me!

  10. #10
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by 595D5F51470C0301340 link=1270027753/7#7 date=1274965706
    reasonably fresh beans from a professional roaster
    I still buy from a select few roasters and sometimes they are too fresh.
    Let me explain: One roaster has a blend I prefer to drink from about day 7 on. If Ive been unable to manage my home roast supply for whatever reason and find myself needing to buy roasted, this roaster is now so popular I cant get beans more than 1 day old (if Im lucky).

    You said "reasonably fresh". I hope that means no more than a week old.

    As for your first question, yes a popper roast will make good coffee. The fact that youve roasted it yourself may bias your taste buds, but Ive never had an undrinkable roast.

    You learn a lot starting with a popper and might eventually move on to other contraptions for want of batch size or more roast control.

    And a big plus is the amount of money youll save by buying green beans here and roasting your own.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I am completely new and dont know where to start

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    You can also roast the African way
    Pot
    Whisk - for stirring
    Heat source

    KK



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