Coffee

If you make espresso and french press at home, I have a feeling you'll be surprised in the difference a good grinder makes. More consistent and proper grind for the brew method used = better coffee. I bought the same grinder as Evan after a bit or research.
Yeah it seems like a stupid detail that wouldn't matter. But it's night and day. Especially since shitty burr grinders or blade grinders make so much dust out of your coffee.
 
If you make espresso and french press at home, I have a feeling you'll be surprised in the difference a good grinder makes. More consistent and proper grind for the brew method used = better coffee. I bought the same grinder as Evan after a bit or research.
I have had it many times...just I dunno...it's like my stereo, or fly gear or my 23 year old truck with 220,000 miles on it ...another $140-150...hell I am spending after payday more than that getting 7 paintings professionally scanned to drives i recently completed...there are holes we fill with our money...I just can't fill that many.
 
Yeah it seems like a stupid detail that wouldn't matter. But it's night and day. Especially since shitty burr grinders or blade grinders make so much dust out of your coffee.
Yeah I found a burr grinder at the Thrift Shop and grabbed it for a few buck having heard "burr grinders are better" without really knowing why. It was the cheap mill type and basically just pulverized coffee. It had more consistent grind than the blade grinder, but way more dust. With a french press on it's way I figured less dust would be better. That Encore should last forever and all the parts are serviceable. Very happy with it after a few uses.

I hear the recommendation for starting with a Central/South American coffee. I look at all the choices and have no clue what to chose. Any recommendations? I need to order a some 5lb bags. I'm figuring my wife and I will need about 1.5lbs/week.

Also, I have a Sumatra that roasts funny. Last night I got maybe 2-3 pops for 1st crack at like 14 minutes (it's a slow roasting coffee) then nothing else until 2nd crack started at like 19 minutes. Ended up darker than I wanted because it took me too long to figure out it was indeed 2nd crack and the roast had basically skipped 1st crack. Ever have that happen?
 
I hear the recommendation for starting with a Central/South American coffee. I look at all the choices and have no clue what to chose. Any recommendations? I need to order a some 5lb bags. I'm figuring my wife and I will need about 1.5lbs/week.

Also, I have a Sumatra that roasts funny. Last night I got maybe 2-3 pops for 1st crack at like 14 minutes (it's a slow roasting coffee) then nothing else until 2nd crack started at like 19 minutes. Ended up darker than I wanted because it took me too long to figure out it was indeed 2nd crack and the roast had basically skipped 1st crack. Ever have that happen?
I do find different beans to roast differently, and it's often based on water content, which can be affected by it being processed either wet or dry.

Central/South American coffees are definitely "safe" options as they are your typical chocolatey type flavor people are usually after. I've found beans from other parts of the world I like better, like the Uganda roast from morecoffee.com - but you never 100% know for sure what the character will be just from it being from one country vs another. Each micro region there can be vastly different even. I am buying my 55lb bags through a friend of mine with connections to farms in Laos. He sent me 8oz samples of green beans from 20 different villages in Laos, and they were all very, very different from each other. They may as well have been from another part of the world. So just because you're getting Guatemalan coffee doesn't mean it's going to be just like other Guatemalan coffee you've had before.

I don't particularly like most Ethiopian beans I've had, and I have yet to find a bean from Vietnam that I like. Those are the only ones that come to mind on what I haven't enjoyed.
 
Yeah I found a burr grinder at the Thrift Shop and grabbed it for a few buck having heard "burr grinders are better" without really knowing why. It was the cheap mill type and basically just pulverized coffee. It had more consistent grind than the blade grinder, but way more dust. With a french press on it's way I figured less dust would be better. That Encore should last forever and all the parts are serviceable. Very happy with it after a few uses.

I hear the recommendation for starting with a Central/South American coffee. I look at all the choices and have no clue what to chose. Any recommendations? I need to order a some 5lb bags. I'm figuring my wife and I will need about 1.5lbs/week.

Also, I have a Sumatra that roasts funny. Last night I got maybe 2-3 pops for 1st crack at like 14 minutes (it's a slow roasting coffee) then nothing else until 2nd crack started at like 19 minutes. Ended up darker than I wanted because it took me too long to figure out it was indeed 2nd crack and the roast had basically skipped 1st crack. Ever have that happen?
I've been backing off roasting through the second crack of the beans. When I started, I would use the second crack as a cue to quit. I burned a few batches that way and now I go by look and smell.

I roast in my garage with the door open so ambient temp/humidity play a big role in roast duration. This time of year it's 6-8 min to first crack (was 4-5 min during the summer). A minute or two after first crack the beans leave the "tan" stage and start looking like "real" coffee. Like Evan said, the smell reaches burning popcorn - that's my cue that I'm getting close to done. I'll start watching the time and usually let it go another 2-3 minutes. So my total roast time is 10-12 minutes and generally ends before the start of second crack. Occasionally I hear a couple beans reach second crack and when that happens, I'll quit.

As to regions, I'm certainly a fan of well balanced, chocolaty and nut flavors, which leads me to the Central Americas. The guy that turned me onto this stuff prefers very light roasts with fruit up front. He stops roasting right after the first crack when the beans are still tan. Even though that's not the flavor I prefer, it's pretty cool to try coffee that is so different from the norm.
 
Yeah I'm getting closer to being able to identify when I'm at a "Full City" right before second crack, but not quite. My goal right now is usually around that range and I stop when I get the very first few second cracks. After a couple batches under-roasted, I certainly prefer closer to a full city right now. The Sumatra I was planning to stop before second crack, but the lack of a true first crack really threw me off.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
A46CC27F-A313-4807-B877-FF8605189637.jpeg
After reading this thread, I decided to upgrade my coffee making. I have used a coffee press for a long time, but bought a burr grinder and electric water kettle I can set to 200° F.

I was flat out amazed at how much better my coffee is tasting now. (I probably sound like that old TV commercial where a woman in tears tells Mrs Olson her husband doesn’t like her coffee. I always wondered why he just didn’t make his own coffee . . . )

Anyway, thanks to all you fellow coffee snobs. Now, I guess I’ll have to try roasting my own beans. . .

Trapper
 

Latest posts