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March 2010 roast comparison and tasting bean swap.
And the notes on my roast: 300F @ 3:45, 1C @ 8:50 (435F), finish @ 11:50. This was done in a RoasterRob style air roaster

I'm also just now realizing I did not get an entry from Wayne.
Sorry, Wayne.
Edited by Hamilton on 03/30/2010 11:43 PM
Sorry for the delay in posting my review, I just got back from a short vacation, we left on Sunday, and the hotel was charging for internet, so I did not post it from there.

But, here it is.

All coffee was ground in my Vario, then measured to 7 grams with my scale. I would run my Vario for about ? second when I put a new bean in, to purge it between beans. Then I ran it for about 4 seconds, weighed and got 7 grams in a yogurt cup. Dumped contents of yogurt cup in a coffee mug.

I did the cuppings in two batches of 4 each. I actually was missing one, but I had enough of one roast (20 grams), to divide it into two, so I could use that one in both cuppings. That worked out, it gave me a standard to compare the first and 2nd cuppings.

I used about 5 oz of boiling water, with the 7 grams of coffee. The cuppings were blind, I had put the number of each roast on the bottom (good suggestion Marshall), and then dumped the ground coffee in each mug. When all mugs were ready, I closed my eyes and mixed them up.

In the first cupping were contestants Gene, John D, Chad/Seedlings and bvwelch. I had enough of bvwelch?s roast so he was in both cuppings, 2nd cupping was everyone else.

I attempted to smell the coffee as a bean, after grinding, and after adding water. I also smelled after breaking the crust, but I couldn?t tell the difference between adding water and breaking crust, so I didn?t make notes on the breaking crust smell.

Before I give you my ratings, let me say that I was probably biased against the darker roasts. I did all my roasts pretty lightly, and had gotten used to lighter roasts when I cupped my trials.

Scores and ratings were my own system, based on 1-10 for aroma, and 1-10 for taste. I had a hard time finding any difference in body or acidity, so I did not rate those in my scores.

17 = Marshall/endlesscycles
16.5 = Gene
15 = William Welch/ bvwelch
15 = RandyTsuch
14 = Chad/Seedlings
13.5 = John D.
13.5 = Tim/Hamilton

Smell = 7
Taste = 9
Most complex taste, sweet, fruity. Best of the bunch.

Smell = 7
Taste = 8.5
Sweet, Fruity taste. Did not directly compare with Marshall, but I think Marshall?s was more complex, and also had more flavor/stronger taste.

William Welch
Smell = 7
Taste = 8
Not quite as much flavor as Gene?s, or mine (this was blind), but I liked the taste. Fruit/citrus.

Smell = 6.5
Not as much aroma as the others
Taste = 8.5
More flavor then Bill?s, but Marshall?s was better. Did not compare directly to Gene?s, but I think they would have been close.

Smell = 7
Taste = 7
Not as much flavor is bvwelch or Gene, but did have a nice, fruity flavor.

John D
Smell = 7
Taste = 6.5
Here is where my bias against dark may have occurred. John and Tim had the darkest roasts. I think this would make a nice drip of dark, and I am going to try roasting this bean darker, for making drip and maybe an espresso blend with. But, I think it did not have as much taste as the others, and I think I was tasting the roast more then the bean.

Smell = 7
Taste = 6.5
Basically same comments as for John.

Next time, I will try to use the more complex, standard cupping rating system, but this was what I could do this time.

I regret to report that mostly, what I received from the post office today, was crushed, stale coffee. I did my best to try and pick out the best whole beans, but very few had sufficient available.

I'll go ahead and give my blind cupping report, but unless you're curious about stale coffee, it is doubtful that you'll find anything new here.

Ranking: None: random order as arranged by my wife.

bvwelch: Dry: pleasant chocoate, Wet: faint spice, berry/floral when stirred. Taste: good flavor

John: Dry: nice chocolate. Wet: floral when stirred. Taste: dark roast taste, nice mouthfeel

Wayne: Dry: pleasant chocolate, Wet: faint spice. Taste: good flavor, slightly grain/green.

Gene: Dry: mild, pleasing. Wet: faint spice, Taste: good taste, slightly off aftertaste

Chad: Dry: nice chocolate, Wet: mild spices, Taste: good tasting coffee

Marshall: Dry: pleasant, Wet: spice, Taste: tart

Randy: Dry: pleasant choc, Wet: spice, Taste: good tasting coffee

Thanks for all of your time and effort. We'll figure out a better shipping process next time.
Edited by bvwelch on 03/31/2010 4:28 PM
I'll take some/all of the blame for the shipping problems. I didn't think about crushed beans when I suggested just putting the beans in an envelope, and sending them in the mail.

But, based on what I received, Chad's method worked pretty well, taping the ziplock to a piece of paper got his beans to me intact.

We could go for padded envelopes next time, that should protect the beans better, and would also keep the post office from sticking the beans in the automatic sorting machings.

For anyone interested, here is some info for the beans I sent out for this comparison.

I created a "drop" page with a graph of Bean Temp, Env temp and ET-BT for the beans I submitted here

There are also two excel files.
One is small, and has the PID profile information. The PID controls ET in me setup. I measure BT with a probe at the top of the beans.
The other file is larger, and has the source data for the graph, along with tabs for the graphs.

I ended up creating 4 different profiles in my PID when trying different roasts for this bean. I did not like the cups from the first two as much, they were slower roasts. The 3rd and 4th profiles were better, the 3rd cupped the best.

However, when I tried to recreate my best roast, I had trouble. I did two roasts that I threw away, they were slower then what I was shooting for.
I ended up using the 4th profile, which was faster then the 3rd profile, and used air flow to slow it down, to make it closer to the what I was shooting for.

I ramped up the temp to first crack, but after first crack I maintained an almost flat ET. The goal was to have some time between first crack and the end of roast, while keeping a light roast. I was able to get about 3.5 minutes from middle of first crack until I stopped the roast.

Not sure if this data is helpfull to anyone else, but I have it, so I thought I would share it.


Edit: Made link useable
Edited by John Despres on 03/31/2010 8:37 PM
padded envelope sounds good.

John's vac-pac beans did pretty well, but the vacuum wasn't maintained.

trying to think of a somewhat rigid container that is light and cheap. DVD packaging maybe? We can re-cycle them. :-)

Shall we try the Rasin beans next? Or are we tired of DP beans?
I need help with cupping technique - very messy and I don't like choking on the grounds while trying to slurp. What's the secret? Otherwise I'll do pour-over drip with a cone filter next time.


bvwelch wrote:
I need help with cupping technique - very messy and I don't like choking on the grounds while trying to slurp. What's the secret? Otherwise I'll do pour-over drip with a cone filter next time.

After you break the crust, repeatedly push the grounds down into the coffee with the back of a spoon (not stirring, just pushing down an inch), then go to the next cup and do the same. Finish all the cups then return to the first cup and skim the top with a spoon (or pair of spoons) and dump the grounds you find.. The bulk of grounds should stay at the bottom of the cup. You'll probably always have some grounds. If an excessive amount of grounds stays floating, perhaps the grind was too coarse.

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
This has been very interesting and informative to watch from the sidelines. One thing I like is that everyone seemed to admit to any biases (such as a preference for dark or light roasts).

Everyone's notes were extremely clear and well organized. I doubt I could do such a good job being concise and clear!

Having had the opportunity to taste a version of Gene's roast (which I loved), it was fun to read the reviews of his roast.

As far as participating...hhhmm this badgirl feels outta her league. Might have to get a little more experience under my belt or a thicker skin LOL.

No seriously, another thing I noticed was the professionalism of the reviews. I think everyone was honest but also tactful smile
I second everything MnMC said.. to the phrase.

The deference and respect shown among this community is second to none. I too really enjoyed watching and learning. I am not sure if I am ready to sit at the big kids table yet... smile

You all make it a pleasure to keep learning, and you all have a knack of making sure (gently) that there is always more to learn.

europiccola | yama + coryrod | chemex | AP | clever
wbp1 | wepp1 | bm/hg | co hybrid (still coming soon...)
You guys (and girls) have been here longer then I have, you should give it a go the next time.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to tell a difference between roasts, but when you have a bunch of cups of coffee in front of you, sipping them with a spoon, the differences are there. I can't discern the suble flavors like others can, but I was at least able taste differences in the cups.

Plus, it was really educational to get the reviews from others here, who can taste the subtle flavors, and see what flavors they pick out of your roast, and they others roasts that you tasted.

That was the part that taught me the most.

What about the next one?

I guess we missed April now, but May is upon us.
I find I'm more motivated to optimize a roast if it's for something like this, so I'd like to do it again with a different bean.

I know the hard part is finding the green, and distributing it.

I would help distribute, but I don't know where to get a large quantity of green.

John Despres
I'll start up an April discussion.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
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