Caffiend
16
Oct 25, 2017
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Let's talk beans and freshness. How many of you roast? I roasted a batch of Nicaraguan Sunday night and they are absolutely perfect today. Much better than the Burundi I did the other week. I'm using a Behmor 1600 Plus (After 5 years of using the heat gun/metal bowl method).
For those that don't, where do you get your coffee? Finding a local roaster is always your best bet and of course grinding them yourself. There is a somewhat loose rule of 15 when it comes to coffee. Green are good for 15 months, roasted whole bean are good for 15 days, and ground coffee is good for 15 minutes. Like I said, this is a loose rule. I have no trouble drinking coffee that was roasted 4 weeks prior, but ground coffee I can actually taste a difference in less than 10 minutes. That's why my grinders sit next to their respective machines so I can go straight from grind to brew,
Oct 25, 2017
Soaker
17
Oct 25, 2017
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I'm slowly getting ready to order a sample roaster from Mill City. They have a good video series on YouTube if you haven't seen it yet. Totally agree with the rule of 15 but will say that I'll drink month old drip coffee but espresso is best for me in the 1-2 week window.
Oct 25, 2017
Caffiend
16
Oct 25, 2017
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I've not heard of Mill City. Are they local for you? I get mine from Sweet Maria's, and have for a dozen years or so.
Oct 25, 2017
Cromulent
269
Oct 25, 2017
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There are those who roast their own with hacked-apart DIY heater/driers cobbled together with a tumbler. Imagine Massdrop doing a group buy on the parts for that XD
Oct 25, 2017
dvorcol
4820
Oct 26, 2017
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Roasting my own green coffee beans has been one of my hobbies for the last 15 years. I started out on a hot-air popcorn popper, and now I am using a Gene Cafe.
At work I grind by hand with a Hario Skirten and brew with an Aeropress.
I also brew for one or two at home with an Aeropress, but grind with a Capresso 560. If we need to brew a larger volume, I use a Technivorm into a thermal pot (no hotplate - that would age the brew very quickly).
And I am a big fan of metal filters, although I recognize some prefer paper. Filter material is mostly a matter of taste.
Oct 26, 2017
dvorcol
4820
Oct 26, 2017
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Mill City manufactures and sells drum-style coffee bean roasting equipment. They don't sell green coffee beans as far as I know.
Oct 26, 2017
Caffiend
16
Oct 26, 2017
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My Hario was retired recently (well retired from daily use and moved into my travel setup along with my Aeropress), and I have been using a Baratza Vario at my office. I'm really happy with it so farand love how I can change to drip from espresso in a heartbeat.
How do you like that Gene Cafe? My budget for my roaster barely covered getting Behmor, but I am wanting to upgrade in the next year or two.
I am the same way about volume brewing. Tecnivorm with thermal carafe and no hotplate. I have a cheap drip maker at home, and have been looking into the Bonavita 10 cup or just get another Technivorm.
I'm actually in the paper filter camp personally. It's easier to just toss a biodegradable filter and as long as you are getting high quality filters, it doesn't impart a nasty taste to your finished product. At home I compost, so if anything it's actually preferable to just dump the basket into my bin.
Oct 26, 2017
ronCYA
333
Oct 26, 2017
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Well it works! I use a popcorn maker with satisfying results. Actually to be more accurate, I USED a popcorn maker. Once.
Roasting your own green beans is great but the chaff gets eeeverywhere. I have not revisited the process of DIY roasting since...
Oct 26, 2017
Soaker
17
Oct 26, 2017
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Mill City Roasters is out of Minneapolis. I haven't been there (yet!) but the roasters they sell look to be of high quality and are a good bang for the buck if you're going all-in with home roasting. I have a corner of my garage that I'll use for this so I can use rigid ducting to keep the smoke out of the house. Would definitely be looking at Sweet Maria's for green beans when the time comes...
Oct 26, 2017
CallieT
13
Oct 27, 2017
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Think about all the volitile compounds you can literally see evaporate from the creama on your long black or espresso shot. Those start Escaping as you grind, increasing surface area... this is why I’m not a fan of doser On grinder. Yeah it’s fine at a busy cafe where it is being used constantly. But those smaller places where the barista doesn’t know or care are letting the coffee loose its best. If it’s bad coffee maybe it’s letting go of the horrible volatiles. It’s a balancing game haha
Oct 27, 2017
kingfisher
14
Nov 2, 2017
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We once vacuum sealed some coffee beans before going on an extended trip. Air was pumped out and the beans were tightly packed. Then, over a period of three weeks or so, we watched the sealed bags very gradually blow up like balloons! And of course, the very fine beans made increasingly terrible coffee.
Nov 2, 2017
dvorcol
4820
Nov 2, 2017
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This is why standard coffee bags have a one-way valve: they let gas out, but don't allow air back in. This keeps oxygen and moisture out, prolonging the life of the beans. Of course, some comes in when you open the bag to use some coffee, which is why larger bags are not a great idea - unless you go thru A LOT of coffee in a day!
And based on the rough rule of 15 that @Caffiend mentioned, three-week-old whole beans are beyond the prime of their life anyway.
Nov 2, 2017
Caffiend
16
Nov 2, 2017
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Define "A Lot" of coffee. I generally roast a pound and a half to two pounds a week.
Nov 2, 2017
dvorcol
4820
Nov 2, 2017
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Takes me about 10 days to go thru a pound, so for me 2 pound bags would be too big. For you, maybe a 5 pound bag would work fine. But if you are buying your coffee off the shelf at the grocery store, keep in mind that it probably wasn't roasted yesterday, or even this week (due to shipping and stocking). I roast at home, so that is not a concern for me.
Nov 2, 2017
Caffiend
16
Nov 2, 2017
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Ha if you are buying coffee at the grocery store, it has long since passed it's prime. There are exceptions, some local stores get coffee from local roasters, but that's uncommon. I recommend that people find a local roaster/coffee house that sells fresh stuff with a roasted on date. I just gave my coworker my Hario to test so she can decide if she wanted to go through hand grinding or just get a Baratza for drip coffee and she can't believe the difference between store bought whole bean and some of the stuff I bring her.
Nov 2, 2017
dvorcol
4820
Nov 2, 2017
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Sorry, I've got my nose in too many discussions at the moment. I overlooked your Gene Café question. I've found it is very reliable, easy to clean (which is not necessary very frequently), and catches chaff very well. I roast with it sitting on a cooking pan on top of my stove with the overhead fan on full to vent the smoke outside, works like a charm. It is a hybrid air/drum roaster, so the airflow is relatively slow (about 1/10th that of a hair dryer) and the metal plate in the center of the off-axis rotating glass chamber conducts heat to the beans. I've found the roasts are better than what I could get from the hot-air popper I started with, and the Hearthware i-Roast2 I used for a couple years before its heating element burned out.
The Gene Café's settings are very straight forward: target temperature & count-down time. Maybe too simple. As far as I can tell, the rate of heat rise is not adjustable, so sometimes I step it up manually by starting with a cooler setting and then increasing after it reaches and holds that first temp for a bit. And I decrease the temp just after start of first crack to prolong the time before second. I usually stop just at the start of second crack. Many say it is hard to hear the cracks, but for me it is much easier than the i-Roast 2 was. But I bet the Behmor is easier.
When you stop the roast, it goes into a cool-down mode and you cannot remove the beans until the chamber exit air temp reaches 140degF. So I stop it a bit before the beans have reached my target, with the goal of them coasting there during cooldown. But I have also turned off the machine entirely when I stop the roast, quickly empty the beans into a colander for hand cooling, put the chamber back in, restart the roaster and immediately put it in cool-down. This lets the Gene Café cool itself down so it doesn't overheat, while I cool the beans faster manually in the colander by stepping outside and tossing it around a bit. This works very well in the winter. I've tried with fans in the summer, and while it is still better than cooling in the roaster, it's not the same as in the cold winter air. I have plans to make a vacuum cooler, as soon as I find the time.
How do you like your Behmor? When I bought my Gene Café it was less than $400, but their price has gone up significantly. Now the Behmor is much more affordable than the Gene Café, although I've heard that chaff collection is a bit of a concern.
Nov 2, 2017
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