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A kg off Robusta! That is a lot of funny tasting coffee?
Yes, it's for blending with the others - it's sometimes nice to throw some robusta in with the arabica for a bit of extra kick. I only roast in very small batches so the kilo of green robusta will last me for ages (green beans stay fresh for a very long time).
 
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ollie9091
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534
Yes, it's for blending with the others - it's sometimes nice to throw some robusta in with the arabica for a bit of extra kick. I only roast in very small batches so the kilo of green robusta will last me for ages (green beans stay fresh for a very long time).
I see. How do you roast your beans and what method do you use for making coffee
Only interested as I am interested in maybe trying roasting myself. I already have many different ways to make coffee but fancy blending and roasting
 
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511
I see. How do you roast your beans and what method do you use for making coffee
Only interested as I am interested in maybe trying roasting myself. I already have many different ways to make coffee but fancy blending and roasting
The way I do it is all very low-tech, but it works very well with practice. It's definitely a bit of a craft though so you have to get your eye-in.

I roast on a hob on the stove, in a thick-bottomed ("full stick" - no Teflon etc) iron frying pan. The trick is to only put the beans in when the pan's up to temp and make sure the temp's right (this comes with practice - too hot and they burn, not hot enough and they bake). Don't put too many beans in the pan at once - just one layer in the bottom of the pan - and keep them moving constantly throughout the roast (I use the handle of a wooden spatula) and give the pan an occasional "flip" to turn any stubborn beans over (they sometimes have a habit of sliding around on their flat side).

Then it's just a matter of watching and listening (and stirring!) throughout the roast as the beans grow and darken. A roast typically takes 12-15 minutes per batch. After a few minutes the beans go through what's called "first crack" and start making a popping sound as they expand. This marks the start of the crucial stage in the roast where the chemistry works its magic inside the beans to produce those beautiful flavours.

Some time afterwards "second crack" will occur and usually marks the end of the roast, unless you like a really dark roast (in which case you'd go a little past second crack) or a lighter roast (stop before second crack when the beans are dark enough in colour). Essentially, you can stop the roast any time between the end of first crack and second crack, depending how light or dark you want your roast. Be careful when going for super-dark though - the further past second crack you roast, the more you risk making charcoal instead of coffee. I usually play safe and aim for a medium roast which gives me a nice safety margin for any slight uneveness in the roast (so any underdone/overdone beans are still acceptable and not raw or burnt) although with practice, it's surprising how even you can roast using this method (it's also possible to make a complete Terrence of it and end up with half burnt/half raw beans so practice with just a handful of very cheap beans at first).

Once the roast is complete, it's important to stop the beans roasting asap by cooling them quickly. I stand outside and pour the beans back-and-to from one bowl into another. This has the added bonus of allowing the husk to blow away. Once cooled, I let them rest for a day before using them (apart from the customary post-roast cuppa, of course).

Done properly, this results in evenly roasted beans, roasted exactly how I want them and as fresh as is humanly possible. It's fun too, if a little* smokey.

*quite a bit.

Edit: I make coffee on the stove in a Bialetti Moka pot. It's as old as the hills, nice and simple and makes great coffee. They say every Italian grandmother has one and they know their coffee!
 
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OP
ollie9091
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534
Thanks for the info. I not sure I will try it though, if I was to roast I think I would get a small roaster such as a Gene Cafe. However there are so many small independent roaster now you are spoilt for choice and price. I get through about 500g of beans a week and mainly drink espresso but I am really getting into brewed coffee of late
I'm not a fan of the lighter roasts, nor the very dark roast anymore. But always willing to keep trying any!
There is a roaster call Rave and they do a blend called Italian Job, these have a small amount of high quality Robusta added and I have to say it's a decent blend. Good in milk and very Italian in flavour profile. Added advantage of being only £9.50 a kilo!
 
Messages
511
Thanks for the info. I not sure I will try it though, if I was to roast I think I would get a small roaster such as a Gene Cafe. However there are so many small independent roaster now you are spoilt for choice and price. I get through about 500g of beans a week and mainly drink espresso but I am really getting into brewed coffee of late
I'm not a fan of the lighter roasts, nor the very dark roast anymore. But always willing to keep trying any!
There is a roaster call Rave and they do a blend called Italian Job, these have a small amount of high quality Robusta added and I have to say it's a decent blend. Good in milk and very Italian in flavour profile. Added advantage of being only £9.50 a kilo!
Good stuff. Yes, there are lots of good artisan roasters around that make great coffee and I still pick up a bag from them from time-to-time.

I do enjoy my low-tech roasting though. It's very satisfying.
 
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511
I've been stuck on the Rave Italian blend for over a year now. A 1kg bag lasts me about 4 weeks, I like it so much that I can't be bothered to try anything else:D
Unfortunately it's the same with green beans. I've been stuck on a bean for quite a while, playing with different roasts & blends. It's all good though. As long as nothing drastic goes wrong then you're pretty much guaranteed a very tasty cuppa.
 
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