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109 posts

Master Geek
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  # 946722 6-Dec-2013 18:58
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Cheers. My first roasts were overdone. The beans were all black but not burnt yet. Compared to commercial roasted beans where some are very dark and some less dark brown, todays appears closer.

Is this correct: undercooked will be a weak flavour, overcooked (but not yet burnt) will be very strong?

First 2 roasts were too strong for my taste using GBH Brazil Morininha Formosa.

This page on Sweet Maria's is really nice - and gives some details on what to expect as you progress. The pics are the best on the net.

I don't think coffee is weaker or stronger depending on roast per se, just depends on what you notice most. Lightly cooked beans tend to be quite astringent - like really sour and sharp white wine and it's much easier to taste the identifying flavours of the bean. Mouth puckering at times.

As you cook further the sugars begin to caramelise and the sharp taste fades replaced by more typical coffee-roasty taste. Keep cooking into 2C and those roasty flavours dominate until that's all you can taste - big flat dark over-roasted coffee like what Starbucks is famous for.

The sweet spot of roasting is to balance the astringent flavours with the caramelised sugars, while trying to preserve the special fruit taste of your particular beans. Your beans and palate will tell you what works best for you.

How are you preparing the coffee? What sort of grinder are you using?
Might be worth grabbing a 250g of fresh roasted beans from your local roaster at some point - proper fresh is a lot different from prepacked supermarket-fresh and it's good to be able to compare if you're not sure what you're aiming for.

Quite fun to learn, and a great way to save money.

1350 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 946943 7-Dec-2013 08:58
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Basically one is just working with pH, sugars and aromatics and oils (ok, over simplification), and it can be very complex. I like to think that the features of coffee are the opposite of wine, but just as complex and difficult to learn. However, all of the fun is in the learning.

It is also worth while when reading up on it, learning a bit about how to grade coffee beans and the 'cupping process'.

Software Engineer



109 posts

Master Geek
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  # 949234 11-Dec-2013 11:35
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Oversimplification - mate my head spins just reading that stuff and I was thinking I was doing pretty well knowing my way around first and second crack, heh.

Well, decided to bite the bullet and a GBH box arrived my door this morning. Kilo of Sumatran (fig, capsicum, cloves), Ethiopian (blueberry) and a 2kg sack of Brazilian Formosa which I'm interested in as I've never found a local source of green Brazilian.

Beautifully graded beans for the money. Way better than some of the local stuff some which an be rough as guts for $18/kg. definitely will order again, would love to find out what $30/kg stuff is like.

My espresso element exploded a fortnight ago so it's black plunger coffee all the way ATM. Hearty.

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Uber Geek
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  # 949304 11-Dec-2013 12:29
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Would be interested how you find the different types of coffee bean, quality wise.

Also, be interested to see after you have done some roasts if when you go to a normal coffee shop you can smell/taste the different beans used in their blends.

Software Engineer


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  # 949363 11-Dec-2013 13:32
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Our coffee supplier (Burtons aka Bell Tea Company) offer a full roasting/cupping where you get to see all the different types of beans, how they are blended, roasted etc.

They are based in East Tamaki (Auckland), and if there's enough interest, I could organise a small group of us to go through.  

Anyone keen?  They'd be a small cost of $10.

109 posts

Master Geek
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  # 949369 11-Dec-2013 13:37
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Yeah, I'm getting there. I can pick out specifics in the blends Havana use - I've probably roasted a few kilos of nearly everything they have. I guess I've cooked 30-40kg in the last year - enough to support a decent size habit.

I think I recognised a few of the GBH beans from Wellington roasters.

I've always meant to get some of the greens from Peoples Coffee (they only sell green Yirg in store) to get a bit more experience with the Mexican and South American beans they carry. Looks like a few of these beans are available thru GBH.

Over the past few months I've settled into a 50/50 mix of a Cuban and PNG which varied a bit depending on what sacks the roaster had open, cooked a minute or so past end of 1c. Deep soft fruit with a caramel and tobacco. But then I find that most anything I roast is pretty good - small batches carefully babied are hard to not make taste pretty good in comparison to typical cafe fair.

I do like the range at GBH. Have been envious of Americans with Sweet Maria's.

328 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 949383 11-Dec-2013 14:05
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Well Ive done a few roasts with GBH beans and 3 roasts ago they started to sit up and perform with nice quality brews (when I say roasts there is several loads in the popcorn maker per roast).
Preferred is Brazilian Formosa, lightly roasted to first crack gives a very smooth mellow brew, whereas longer into second crack gives a dark to black bean with strong, slightly bitter. You could describe the light roast bean colouration a mix of dark brown with very dark, almost black.

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Uber Geek
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  # 949395 11-Dec-2013 14:20
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As like wine, I suspect coffee has a unique Terroir in that there is a difference between single origin estate (multiple farms) and single origin, single farm.

Software Engineer


109 posts

Master Geek
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  # 950559 11-Dec-2013 18:09
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Ok I've just jarred up a batch of each. I generally try and aim for City/City+ - seems the sweet spot for my pallete without head to deep on the beans. Takes 12-13 minutes under the heatgun.

The Ethiopia Sidamo Oromia Fair Trade Organic seems very nice. Beautiful small even beans. In the mouth an hour after roasting there's plenty of rich fruit. I love Ethiopian Yirg - so really looking forward to trying new types of this style.

Brazil Moreninha Formosa
This bean seems really familiar - wondering if it's something that ends up as the basis for Lafarre or something. Perhaps a little bland right now, maybe I took them a bit far past 1C? Hoping more spice shows up as it ages. Not great work on the heatgun on this batch - a bit uneven and some beans exhibit scorching. But say it with me - $12 a kilo is bloody good value for fresh roasted coffee.

Indonesia Sumatra Lintong Nihuta Double Sort -
These are really interesting. Funky nubbly-shaped beans, really distinct aroma. I'm really interested in seeing how this turns out - vendor description accurate and yes it smells like soup mix, lol

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