May 222015


I continue to have great fun roasting coffee beans – mad, wild experiments in SCIENCE!

The beans I did before my most recent batches were Sumatran. All the Sumatran beans I’ve ever had have always been done with a dark roast. So I tried to buck the trend and give them a lighter roast.

The results were disappointing. The beans just have a stronger flavor, naturally. The lighter roast was wasted on them, and didn’t bring out enough of the flavor. I ended up doing a darker roast with them–higher temps over a longer period of time–and got good coffee. It wouldn’t be coffee I’d have every day, but if I was having a dinner party and wanted a darker roast to go with a heavier meal, the Sumatran beans would be perfect.

Most recently, I’ve been experimenting with an Ethiopian bean. Ethiopian beans are frequently done with a lighter roast. The first batch I tried my usual recipe: Start out with a high temperature and high fan until the first crack, then lower the temperature to stretch out the time between first and second crack.

The numbers were all good, the timing right in terms of first and second crack compared to other beans I’ve done. But the coffee made from this roast was thin. I don’t know how else to describe it. Weak tasting. Even making coffee using less water didn’t help.

So I lowered the temperature at the start. Better, but not perfect.

The last batch I did with them I used a low temperature for the entire roasting process. It took longer to get to the first crack than I normally do. Then I didn’t play with the settings – just left it on low, for a shorter period of time than usual.

OMG did that make lovely coffee. Rich and tasty, without being heavy, lots of coffee flavor. Not greenness or berries. Darker flavors, maybe blackberries instead. Just yummy.

Today, I roasted my mystery beans. I bought them at my usual shop, but then I forgot to mark the bag. I have no idea what they are. They’re possibly Columbian beans. But we’ll see. We’ll see how this batch turns out.

As y’all can tell, I have great fun experimenting like this. As well as sharing what I’ve learned.

I did the same thing with the Business for Breakfast books–lots of experimenting, trying things, failing, trying new and different things, failing some more, though eventually, succeeding.

If you’d like to learn from some of my mad experiments, Business for Breakfast, Volume 1: The Beginning Professional Writer is part of this fantastic story bundle that will only be available for a short period of time. The books are all focused on the craft and business of writing, all from professionals who have been in the trenches and have had their own share of failure and success.

The bundle won’t be around for too long, so go and get it while you can!

All Covers Jutoh Large