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Thread: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

  1. #1
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    An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello,

    As you can see Im new to CS. Im buying a popper to get into home roasting.

    Ive put my name down for a green bean starter pack which will be available at end of Feb.

    But Im itching to get started waaay before then ;D

    So I have two questions Im hoping you good folk can advise me on:


    (1) Whats an easy first bean for me to play with for my first roasting(s) ?

    Im currently ordering my roasted beans from Coffeeco.com.au and was planning to just get 1kg of a green bean from him to play with. Is 1kg enough to get a feel for it ? Will cost me about $32 delivered for 1kg from Alan. Or I can get a 400gr bag delivered for just under $15. Is that a good price for green ?

    Or for the about the same price ($32) I could get 500 grams of two types if thats a better way to start out.
    Id be interested in maybe trying a "small bean" and "big bean" if that makes any sense.
    Just to get a feel for the mechanics of the whole roasting process.



    (2) I live on Mornington Pennisula (near Melbourne) and was wondeing if anyone here can recommend a seller (preferably on SE side of Melb) to buy green beans from. Somewhere that has an actual shop that you can go to and buy green beans from.

    Eventually I hope to buy green bean via the Polls at CS (is that what most of you guys do ?)
    But right now Im just looking to get my feet wet and convince myself that I CAN indeed roast my own coffee at home.

    Thanks for your help. Any suggsetions will be greatly appreciated by this newbie.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Hi lochness,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif].

    An easy bean for a first time roaster..... youll probably get as many suggestions as there are beans to choose from :o. For my money though, Ive always found that any of the PNG varieties to be quite easy to roast and very forgiving if the roast profile isnt exactly spot on. Most PNG varieties that you will see available from our polls are all very high grade, high quality beans and packed with great flavours so from a taste perspective they are excellent.

    Buying green beans from Alan or any other commercial roaster is always going to be more expensive than buying from CS or perhaps a local roaster who is happy to nurture a budding home barista..... there are a lot of overheads to think about and these bills must be paid for somehow. There are other green bean suppliers around on the Net in Oz and a google search will reveal who and where they are, so thats one avenue you could use to find an alternative source.

    Why dont you buy a 2.5 Kg bag of the PNG bean in our current poll? As far as I know, the polls are still open and you wont get such high quality green beans at thr prices on offer here. Try your luck and give it a go, you wont be sorry :).

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Thanks for the advice and info Mal. As suggested Ive voted for a 2.5kg bag of the new PNG in this months poll. Ive just finished and enjoyed some of the previous PNG (pre-roated) that this one replaces (at Alans Coffeeco site).

    Once I get into this and know what Im doing, I plan to buy probably 5-10kg a month and build up a collection of green beans. A mans gotta have a hobby you know ;D

    Is that what most of you do here. Build up a "cellar" of green beans and then use them, and blend them as taste dictates. And always adding to the collection.

    In my mind, Im sort of going into this similar to building a wine collection. (except it will get used a lot more often :) )

    Thanks, and keep coming with the suggestions. Im keen to learn as much as I can from the folk here.


  4. #4
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Second Mals sage advice, Lochness.

    Until you get the hang of it, try just one variety at a time --that is, dont mix them before the roast. For instance, a big Colombian would require a different time to a small Ethiopian.

    Later on, you can mix them first, but try to involve beans of similar size and density to the roast can be even. I usually have about 4 varieties in every batch, currently each batch is 400 grams.

    By the way, Ethiopian beans I find almost impossible to roast evenly, so perhaps best to stay away from them.

    Robusto



  5. #5
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1139052118/0#3 date=1139097181
    By the way, Ethiopian beans I find almost impossible to roast evenly, so perhaps best to stay away from them.
    That is really odd. I got my starter pack last month with some Yirgacheffe in it, and not only did it almost instantly become my favourite of the four beans, but I find it the easiest of the lot to roast. This is compared to peruvian, timorese and nicaraguan beans, which may or may not make a difference, but I really dig that Ethiopian.

    Pete

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Sorry, I should have been more specific instead of tarnishing all Ethiopias produce.

    My comments are aimed specifically at the Ethiopian Djimmah. I have roasted several kilos of this variety with poppers and (mainly)with the barbecue drum, usually to 2.30 minutes after first crack.

    Always I find that while some beans are beginning to blacken already, others are brown and still others a tan colour.

    I am not too keen on the flavour, either.


    Before this variety, I was introduced to roasting via green beans I bought from a nut shop. The proprietors could be no more specific than say they were "Ethiopian mix". They too proved difficult to roast evenly.

    Regards,
    Robusto





  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Yep,

    Good quality Yirgs (like the ones you get from CS ;D) tend to be very even in size and density, so therefore very consistent in roasting outcomes. I would hesitate to recommend them to a beginner though, as not everyone likes the distinctive Yirg flavour profile, some even dislike it immensely :o. Its great that you appreciate the Yirgacheffe youve got Granny, it will certainly open up a lot of doors where blending is concerned, if you ever want to give that a go :P.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  8. #8
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    Re: An "easy" bean for first time roaster ?

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    In my experience (limited to be sure) the dry processed beans tend to be the most variable in terms of finishing times--particularly Ethiopian and Yemeni. *(You also tend to get more stones, broken beans, etc., but thats another story.)

    But, that being said, that variability is part of the charm of these beans--as your first beans start reaching 2d crack, there are still plenty back in 1st crack and thereafter. *To my taste buds, this gives the fullness and mellowness of a Full City or Full City +, but also the brightness and wild flavors of a bean roasted to only City or thereabouts: *kind of an "automatically blended" blend.



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