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What does unrested coffee taste like?
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MikeSD
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:54pm
Subject: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

So I've been learning how to home roast without much success.  I've been reading a bit and I think the problem is that I'm not letting my coffee rest enough. I've been making small batches the night before, and using them the next morning/afternoon.  

I've had two outcomes both of which I'm not happy with. 1) I roast too long and can't tell the difference from one origin to the next.  It all basically tastes the same.  Not terrible, but unremarkable, and really just not worth the trouble of home roasting.  2) On lighter roasts the coffee tastes a bit sour and what I might call astringent.  

I had read at first that you should let your coffee rest from 4 - 24 hours, but recently I've been reading that it can be better to let it rest for several days or even a week. I read that that coffee "develops character" and such, but I'm not really sure what that means. My question is, if I'm getting a fair amout of sourness, could it be that I'm not letting the coffee rest enough?
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oldgearhead
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oldgearhead
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

'Sour' coffee usually results when the outside is roasted but not the inside. A common problem with 'popcorn poppers'.
I use the rule of 4 for my roasting:
4 Minutes for the drying phase (need 2-3 minutes at least a BMT of 230F.
4 minutes in the ramp to first crack phase. BMT hits 400F and ET air needs to be above 500F.
4 minutes in the finish phase (drop ET to stretch first crack, and stop roast right before second crack)
4 days rest.

oldgearhead: BMT_1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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svyerkgeniiy
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

I have found that a lighter-roasted coffee is usually more acidic, and I don't like much acid in my coffee at all.  What other people like I find unpleasant.  It's not that I don't like acid flavors, but something about the acid in coffee is just not pleasant to me.  As a result, I tend to like lower-acid coffees like Indonesians, roasted darker so they are less tart.

But it isn't clear to me whether the acidity/astringency in your lighter roasts is because of poor roasting techniques, or because you just find them unpalatable.  Most consumer coffee is low-acid, non-specialty, not-light-roasted beans, so perhaps it's a new flavor for you.  Higher astringency can also come from overextraction.  This might be caused by too fine a grind, or brewing too long for the method.

I know there are ways to roast that reduce the acid, such as lengthening the phases of the roast and using different types of heat application (say hot air roasting vs. radiant heat).  Unfortunately I am not conversant enough and don't have the convenience to look this up right now :-) so maybe someone else will chime in or a search on this site will help you.

As for the resting question, I don't think resting changes the acidity at all.  It sort of "ripens" the flavor, the aromatics mostly.  Different coffees benefit more or less from longer or shorter rest times.  Sweet Maria's often provides a recommended resting time for their greens.  Usually no more than a day or two is needed though; fewer coffees benefit from long rest times.

 
Donald Varona
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yakster
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

I find that most coffees peak at 3 - 4 days of rest for lightly roasted coffees.  Some coffees benefit from longer rest, up to about 7 days, but most of the time the coffee is acceptable drinking it the day after roasting.

It sounds like the roasts you described are "baked" or flat for the longer roasted coffees, probably due to too long a roast and an underdeveloped roast where the outside of the coffee is darkened but the inside is still very light.  You can compare the color of the ground and the whole coffee after you roast it.  If they look the same color, it may be baked, normally it should be a bit lighter on the inside, but if the ground coffee is quite a bit lighter than the whole bean then it's likely underdeveloped due to too quick a roast with not enough time spent in development.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 5:35pm
Subject: .
 

.
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MikeSD
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

I use an air popper. I toggle the heating element on and off in such a way that first crack starts at about 8 minutes and second crack starts at about 12ish but I've been stopping it at about 10 or 11 to keep it at about full city I believe.  I'm certainly still learning but I'm thinking this is a pretty decent extension of first crack. I just wondering if the taste I'm tasting might be that I'm not letting the coffee rest.  I'm thinking the best way to find out is probably just to wait.
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CoffeeRon
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

What coffee/coffees are you roasting? Some regions and types are more forgiving than others. I've hade Ethiopians that tasted terrible until I found just the right roast level, then I found out how good they can be- I hate it when I miss the mark on those! Many varietys are not so finicky. Most coffees I've roasted are pretty good the next day, if they're good at all. Some better than others. They all definitely change and develop their flavors with more rest.
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MikeSD
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Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

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Roaster: Homemade SC/CO
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 8:42pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

CoffeeRon Said:

What coffee/coffees are you roasting? Some regions and types are more forgiving than others. I've hade Ethiopians that tasted terrible until I found just the right roast level, then I found out how good they can be- I hate it when I miss the mark on those! Many varietys are not so finicky. Most coffees I've roasted are pretty good the next day, if they're good at all. Some better than others. They all definitely change and develop their flavors with more rest.

Posted February 7, 2013 link

Recently I've roasted Ethiopian, which was one that tasted a bit sour.  Which do you recommend that are not so finicky?
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CoffeeRon
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Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 9:06pm
Subject: Re: What does unrested coffee taste like?
 

Lately I've been roasting a lot of Brazil (Conquista) and Mexican (Chiapas). Both are pretty easy to get good, and really great at best. I generally try to stop my roasts just after first crack to get the most flavor. The Conquista tastes like a sweet smooth mocha and the Chiapas- has a unique flavor I can't quite describe but it's just super, maybe a bit nutty? My stash right now is mostly that along with some Ethiopians that I get right maybe half the time- oh well when they're good they're great! Maybe we can get some more feedback on this subject.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013, 9:11am
Subject: .
 

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