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Why home roast?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Why home roast?  
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

By professional I mean stuff like:

Vivance
Klatch
Verve
Equator
Velton's
Red Bird
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Rob989_69
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Rochester
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 6:38pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

I have a local roaster that I was getting beans from. They were fresh roasted, never more than a week old and usually a couple of days. Prices were reasonable, $12 - $14 a pound. Problem is, selection was limited to whatever they had. Roast was limited to whatever they felt like roasting the bean to. I challenge you to find a reasonably priced roaster that can sell a Sumatran bean for example, but can roast it to City or Full City + and everywhere in between. Most roasters do not roast beans to multiple profiles, Sumatrans, Kenyans, etc are dark roasted, South American are lighter. Again, these are just examples, maybe you do have a roaster that does this. If so, lucky you.

I guarantee you don't have a roaster that does all that and does it for the $7 a pound I mentioned. On average you'll spend 50% of roasted price on green beans. MOST beans run in that average $7 range.

The main reason I got into home roasting is I was spending about $50 a month on coffee and only my wife and myself drink it. Only in the mornings. Now, I'm spending half that and am drinking substantially better coffee.

Does home roasting equal better coffee than "pros"? If you compared the exact same bean, roasted to the exact same doneness, I highly doubt you'd be able to tell the difference. Difference is the selection and quality of bean you can get vs roasters. Most roasters don't have a selection of 30 different beans.

In short, give it a try. Go to your local thrift store and pick up a popcorn popper or bread maker and try it. Buy 5 lbs of coffee from Sweet Maria's and plan on burning through most of it just to get a drinkable cup. Forget consistancy, not going to happen using those kinds of machines, not without getting alot more complicated anyway. But you can at least give it a try and not invest hundreds of dollars.
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

Thank you for your response, very well said. I haven't explored the different roasts/origins of coffee much since I can barely hold down a consistent turn out on my PID-less Silvia, however it sounds like it would be fun.

Is either bread or popcorn better for coffee roasting? I'd rather get a bread maker because I've been wanting to make my own bread for a while, so I might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone, however if an air popper produces much better roasting capability I will reconsider.
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Prof
Senior Member
Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 718
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: PV Lusso
Grinder: Pharos 696
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

shadowsnuzzy Said:

Thank you for your response, very well said. I haven't explored the different roasts/origins of coffee much since I can barely hold down a consistent turn out on my PID-less Silvia, however it sounds like it would be fun.

Is either bread or popcorn better for coffee roasting? I'd rather get a bread maker because I've been wanting to make my own bread for a while, so I might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone, however if an air popper produces much better roasting capability I will reconsider.

Posted December 26, 2012 link

Usually, once you use the bread machine or air popper for roasting coffee, you will not be making bread or popcorn.

 
LMWDP # 010
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shadowsnuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Pleasanton
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 8:22pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

damn do I need to mod it or something? I really want to make bread now -_-
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 8:37pm
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

I'd go for a cheap popper if you like to make bread with your bread machine. I purchased my popper for about $3 at a thrift store. Roasting coffee tends to turn the roasting vessel a dark color and if you used your bread maker, would probably add a "unique" taste to your bread.

I started home roasting a couple of months ago and was surprised how easy it was. I quickly surpassed any beans that I could buy from any of the local roasters. I occasionally still buy a pound of beans from newer local places to compare to what I roast- I have been less than impressed from their offerings.

You have to realize that many "professional" roasters aren't exactly any more "professional" than the "baristas" that serve coffee in the shops. Yes there are excellent artisan roasters (many who you named) that have a passion for coffee and do their best to elevate the craft, but there are just as many that our working 9 to 5 to fill bags with burned beans to supply the local shops.

With a very small amount of effort you should be able to make some excellent coffee. I've roasted some of the best coffee that I've ever tasted. Not everything I have roasted has been outstanding- but all of it has been drinkable and has normally exceeded what I'd buy at any of the local chains.

With very little investment you can try it for yourself and make your own decision. Like others have said- it can be addictive. I was really hoping I'd find a Behmor under my tree this christmas.... maybe for my birthday.
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hankua
Senior Member
hankua
Joined: 29 Aug 2009
Posts: 294
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black
Grinder: Major, Rossi, Tanzenia,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, CCD
Roaster: Feima 800n, Huky, Sirocco
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 6:45am
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

I don't think home roast is going to compare to a top flight espresso blend like Redbird but single origin can be just as good as the pros. Home roasters have access to a Huge variety of top specialty greens and that's where it all begins. With a small foodsaver the greens stay fresh for a long time; advantage home roaster.
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Rob989_69
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Rochester
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

I would say you could use the breadmaker for both. You'd need to clean dough bucket out well afterwards obviously. And also the insides. I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but you could. Couple things about the breadmaker.

You can do larger batches, I had no problem doing 1 lb in mine.
You MAY need to modify it a bit to work though. I had top open mine up and move the thermostat because it would shut down mid roast due to overheating.
You want to make sure the paddle in the bucket is metal NOT plastic as many are now.
Most buckets are teflon coated. When heated to high temperatures teflon can release gases that can cause illness. I'm not sure what those temps are. I did not bother removing the teflon from mine and had no ill affects but It is recommended that you do remove it.

I can't comment if either is better than the other. I can definately say the breadmaker worked fantastically well. Harbor freight had the heat guns cheap.

I'd recommend hitting up your local thrift store. I stopped into a Saver store here, they had bread makers, popcorn poppers, and the whirly pops all under $20. Nice bread makers too. You could buy 2 at those prices and use 1 for coffee and 1 for bread.

I think it's mostly preference and what people have easy access to. If you're going to buy one, buy the cheapest one, I don't think either will do a substantially better job than the other.

I think if you were going to do a few test runs to try home roasting and then get a Behmor or something else, then get the breadmaker if you have another use for it. You can clean it up enough to use for bread making.

1 other thing, I think I mentioned this before, make sure you have a place to roast that has good ventilation, and also (especially with the bread maker) that you can easily clean up the chaff that WILL fly everywhere. The only roaster that has any kind of smoke reduction is the Behmor and I can tell you first hand that what they tell you in the manual is absolutely true, "it's not Smokeless, it Smokes Less..."
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okawari
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Aug 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Japan
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 5:14am
Subject: Re: Why home roast?
 

shadowsnuzzy Said:

How does the quality compare to PROFESSIONALY ROASTED and fresh coffee? Most people are giving me comparisons to Starbucks or peets beans which I don't use anyways.

Posted December 26, 2012 link

I've no idea what the best of the best tastes like, but doing it yourself gives you some advantages:

1) Consistency is less important to you (or should be) than it would be to a pro, who is relying on consistency to provide a product that people can trust and that people will keep buying. You're not selling yours, so this shouldn't be an issue. If your roasts come out a bit different each time (mine do), it doesn't much matter, and you can in the process learn a lot through experimentation. Your pro roaster may have decided what they think the coffee should taste like; your experiments may reveal that you prefer it a different way. I already know that I prefer my coffee a lot lighter roasted than most of the commercial product I can get my hands on around here, so by roasting my own, I can easily achieve that result.

2) You can probably try coffees that your pro roaster doesn't sell, and you can probably beat their prices.

3) You can learn about roasting coffee, and you can enjoy yourself.

4) You can have full control over the freshness of your coffee.

5) You will almost certainly get very, very, good results, and you'll love them. In a way, if you still come back to the question "how does the quality compare to professionally roasted coffee", you're asking the wrong question. It's not about getting better results or even about matching the pros, it's about doing it yourself, learning, and enjoying. And I still think it's about the single biggest (and easiest and cheapest) "upgrade" most people can make to the coffee they drink right now.
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okawari
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Aug 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Japan
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 5:27am
Subject: An afterthought
 

There's a lot of talk of breadmakers, but I got into this through reading about the "heatgun and dog bowl method". So if you want to get into this cheaply, just to decide if it's for you or not, borrow a heatgun, order some greens from SM or your favourite vendor, and get hold of a steel bowl and a wooden spoon.

To roast coffee, heat and stir. It's wonderfully manual, and it works.

Don't do it in the house, and do buy a breadmaker. But to make bread with. (They're great, if like me you suspect you're probably never going to make bread from scratch).
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