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Roasting Expectations
Hello all, new member wondering whether I might expect the same quality roasted bean in my Fresh Roast SR800 as I used to get from a commercial vendor?

The reason I ask is that I used to get an Organic Fair Trade Peruvian from a vendor who offered it as a French Roast. I thought the coffee fabulous. I now have the SR800 and a supplier of those beans but my results so far are a little disappointing. I have managed to get a few cups that came very close to what I used to enjoy, but mostly the burnt after taste that others have described here and not nearly as nuanced. I have read the suggestions to questions I found about the burnt after taste and will attempt to solve the problem. However, if the SR800 will not produce the roast I'm after I'd prefer not to waste time attempting the impossible.


Depends more on the quality of the greens you can buy, and your roasting skills, than the machine used, imo.
Ok, glad to hear that. But how do I know about quality? The only indications I see on the bean descriptions that might refer to quality is SHG EP, Organic, Fair Trade, washed, sun dried.. maybe Variety? How do I determine the quality of the beans I buy? Thanks for the response.
There is an 100-point Coffee Review scale.
Coffee scoring from 90-100 is graded Outstanding, coffee that scores 85-89.99 is graded Excellent, while coffee scoring 80-84.99 is graded Very Good.[source SCA News]
The greens we can buy around $10-15/kg could be in the 85 points ballpark. An example:
Buying non graded greens, from unknown source, are a lottery, imo.

Also they should be as fresh as you get, preferable in a window of 15 months from crop date. This is relative though, the best coffee I drink now is from fall 2019.
Thanks much. I went to Coffee Review and the only reference to what I buy - Cajamarca - got a 92 from a roaster in Texas, and 93 from Montana. But if I understand what you're trying to tell me, the green beans I'm buying from that locale is a quality bean, and any of 3 suppliers I found for that bean are more/less equivalent?
Edited by LDSheridan on 02/07/2021 3:51 PM
Here are the best Peru you can get from 2020 crops:

As you can see they rank from 87 to 90 points.
The points that matters comes from certified Q-graders, not individual roasters. A roaster can be certified grader though...
92-93 should cost a fortune, if true points.
Check here the auction prices for some of the beans listed above:


As a conclusion, if you find locally +85 points beans, from a crop not older than 2019, that was properly stored, they should be ok. But still a lottery :)

I would try to become familiar with the machine first, probably will need a dozen of roasts to get the best strategies for air/heat to get the best from the beans.
Also, I would check the style of roast that best suits your beans: light, medium...


LDSheridan wrote:

Thanks much. I went to Coffee Review and the only reference to what I buy - Cajamarca - got a 92 from a roaster in Texas, and 93 from Montana. But if I understand what you're trying to tell me, the green beans I'm buying from that locale is a quality bean, and any of 3 suppliers I found for that bean are more/less equivalent?

Dennis - one thing to add is not to get hung up on trying to get the "same" bean (Cajamarca) and expecting it to taste the same. A quick google shows that to basically be a coop bean where multiple farms will combine beans, bring to the nearest shared mill for processing etc. You can have huge swings in the product (remember this is a crop) between harvest year, mix of different farms for that particular lot, grade of that lot, weather during processing, storage at origin, sea transport, storage and transport at destination etc etc.

Your best option would be to think about and identify what the flavor profile was that you really enjoyed about it and look for beans from a reputable seller who has honest cupping scores/profiles listed for current crops and try different ones out that you KNOW are solid beans and hone your roasting skills with those.

Remember, a great region or even an amazing farm doesn't guarantee great coffee all the time. A COE winner one year can get hit with rubbish weather the next year and end up with commodity greens.
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
Indeed, as for wines...
A warning for the quest of the freshest crop: 2020 was a bad year for coffees, as a global average !
So was told by guy from Hamburg coffee stock warehouses.
Just look only how range the Peru ratings: 88-92 in 2019, 87-90 in 2020
But all countries were affected as well. Weather, lack of care due to pandemic, who knows...
I've never purposely roasted a French Roast coffee, to me that's like trying to drink charcoal.
Trying to duplicate another roasters coffee is a tall order. It's not just a matter of dumping beans in a roaster and putting the heat to them until they are at the degree of roast you want. Way too many variables involved. The time and temp the beans spend in each stage of the roast makes a significant difference in the final product. Also, he could be using a drum roaster and you are using an air roaster. Duplicating a drums roasters beans with an air roaster can be done, but it's not something the average novice is going to do.
When you start trying to duplicate another's roast, you need to have very exacting control of your roaster and a good understanding of how each phase affects the final product.
With the standard air roaster, your best bet is to find a roast you like from your roaster. If you are buying coffee from a good commercial source that has a well developed profile on a good quality bean and is only selling freshly roasted beans, it's going to be hard for you to match that with an off the shelf roaster and limited experience.
Edited by BenKeith on 02/10/2021 8:13 AM
Thank you BenKeith and jkoll42. Exactly the feedback I needed.

jkoll42 - I understand these variables. I'm 76, and there have been times when I had to switch from one coffee to another because of them. Or worse, as some roasters fail at consistency. But I can say that over the many years I bought the same Peruvian coffee from the same vendor that their roast did not change an iota. Each and every order was exactly the same. Of course, there probably were variations, but were lost on me. I'm not an audio or video phile, or wine taster, nor have I ever had a tea ceremony. So I wouldn't know or care what Cupping is all about. I'm just an old slob that likes to drink coffee. And, so far, the Cajamarca beans I've ordered from the vendors I found all have come out the same. Guess I should be happy I have a pedestrian pallette.

But I am solving my issues and my latest change in roasting has pretty much removed the burnt aftertaste and so I'm progressing in roasting class, even if that class is once every 6 days for 20 minutes. (8oz of beans lasts me 6 days. I roast a batch the same day I start the last batch.) Thanks much for your response and this is what I am doing.

BenKeith - I have heard this from others. Can't wrap my brain around it. Light and Medium roasts to me are beyond insipid. Taste like someone found some old used beans in a dumpster and brewed them with dirty dishwater. I've only purchased Dark/French roasts my entire life.

But in talking with other roasters about these Peruvian beans, only a very few dark roast their coffee. By far the most are aghast I would even suggest such a thing. And the ones that do French roasts didn't have the flavor I was looking for.

The Peruvian French roasted coffee I bought for many years was from McLaughlin's in Emeryville, CA. They have a number of large drum roasters. They are one of the major suppliers here in No. CA.; and their French Roast Peruvian was their most popular years ago. That is what prompted my original question if could I duplicate in my home roasting what the big boys do. Or if not, what can I expect to do. So you answered that for me.

Happily, I believe I have begun to solve my aftertaste complaint, or at least well on my way to solving it. I was learning how to roast with the SR800 until I discovered there was an extender that people recommended; and then I had to relearn how to roast with the extender. Being a slow, if not backward, learner... In any event, I am enjoying what I am now brewing, and it is close enough to what I'm looking for that I'm absolutely certain I'll be even happier as I improve my skills. Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.
Edited by LDSheridan on 02/10/2021 6:35 PM
Like anything you cook, it's all about time and temp.

I've found with my FR500 that I can pretty much cook with good results on the low setting and I only bump it up to Medium after first crack is complete.

To further this theory I drilled a hole into the catcher and inserted a redi-check probe and confirmed via temp that this method worked best for me.

The key for me is to watch careful during FC and never let temps drop and after FC as SC gets underway to stop the cook at around 455~459.
It's bad luck to be superstitious
Coffee cupping scores can be very misleading . A taster can score high for many reasons, acidity (or tangy) can be the reason it scored high, but if you don't like acidity you like a sweet smoky flavor you will not like it.
Getting old STINKS,but it's better than not getting old (Tim)
Equipment Technivorm model KBT-741 , Aero Press, Aillio Bullet R-1 V-2, running RoasTime
That's why is best to ask the seller for cupping notes sheet, as attached.
renatoa attached the following image:


renatoa wrote:

That's why is best to ask the seller for cupping notes sheet, as attached.

One of the first things I look at, and that can be a little different from cupper to cupper. But far better than just going on a grading score.
Getting old STINKS,but it's better than not getting old (Tim)
Equipment Technivorm model KBT-741 , Aero Press, Aillio Bullet R-1 V-2, running RoasTime
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