What do our favorite coffee roasters get up to when they're not firing up beans for our enjoyment? Well, if it's Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans, it could be just about anything... and it will almost always be fun. I'm on the Dean's Beans mailing list to keep up on new coffees and good deals, and because every once in a while, they send out something cool, like this video of Dean getting down with a group of their coffee partners in Papua New Guinea:

Check out the low-tech and very cool percussion instrument -- yes, those are bamboo logs and sneaker inserts! Talk about ingenuity!

In other news, my shipment from The Captain's Coffee arrived this afternoon. It contained 2 pounds of Demorcratic Republic of the Congo Kivu 4 Special Prep and 1 pound of Elsavador, Cerro Las Ranas. The total cost, including shipping was $20.92 -- and the computer generated invoice had a hand-written, personalized note/signature from Denny & Priscilla. Do I have to even mention how much I love coffee people?

So. I couldn't wait, and couldn't be bothered with setting up the camera to video the first roasting. I did, however, take photos:

Coffee roasted this afternoon

The beans on the left are the Congo. The beans on the right are the El Salvador. The Congo is roasted to just about second crack. The El Salvador is roasted about 2 minutes into second crack.  I roasted boh in my handy-dandy $5 popcorn popper. I've got a third batch of the Congo roasted a little lighter. I'm going to roast a 3rd batch darker so I can experiment a little with blending different roast levels of the same coffee.

Luckily, I have plenty of Dean's Beans Ring of Fire (which, btw, includes coffee from Papua New Guinea -- neat little coincidence)... so I'm not TOO tempted to brew up a cup and try it. 

So far, I can say that a) the Congo beans are very chaff-y. There was a relatively higher proportion of cracked beans in the roast than I expected, especially at such a light roast.  The first batch reached first crack pretty quickly -- about 4 minutes in (for reference, I'm roasting really small batches -- about 1/2 cup). The aroma is light, woody and cinnamon-y -- we'll see how it stands up to a darker roast.

The El Slavador -- oh, my. The beans roasted beautifully -- nice and even, little chaff, about 7 minutes to first crack -- which was wonderfully easy to hear. The aroma -- about 3 hours post roast in a closed jar -- is so rich and deep that you almost don't even feel like you have to drink it to enjoy it. 

I'll try to set up the camera when I roast up the next batch so I can share, and of course, I'll share the results when I finally get to cup it.

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Comments

Submitted by Chamie on
I got there fast -- my earliest memories of coffee include my grandmother roasting coffee bean in the open frying pan on a cast iron stove. She had to quit doing it when the A&P stopped selling green coffee beans in the early 60s. I'm drinking a cup of yesterday's roast and while it's not spectacular, it's really not bad at all. It will be interesting to see what it does in a blend.

I am with Broseph this is probably the next step for me at least to give it a try, hmm how will I choose my poison heat gun, iron skillet, popcorn popper?

Submitted by Chamie on
Why choose? You can get a popcorn popper at Goodwill for less than $5. Ditto an iron skillet -- if you don't already have one -- and a decent heat gun for less than $20. That gives you choices and let's you play around with different methods until you succumb to the craving for higher-tech equipment.

Submitted by jbviau on
Those bamboo poles really *were* "log"-sized! Fun. Hope your roasting efforts pay off in the cup. One of these days I'll try roasting my own--though it feels like I've been saying that for a while now.

Submitted by Chamie on
The Congo is actually quite nice -- nothing spectacular, but it's got an interesting caramel smooth/lemon tang to it, and it finishes with a little fruitiness. That's at just about a day post-roast, so it may develop into something nicer still. I'll also be looking to see how it does when it's blended. I'm letting the El Salvador actually mature before I brew it up. The aroma though... ohhh, heady!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Keep it up with the positive reviews for the Congo coffee and I will have to run down to see the Captain next week - #10 for less than thirty bucks might be a nice to have around - these could be the perfect candidate to roll into an oily 2nd crack and blend into something for the espresso machine, hmmm...

Submitted by Chamie on
Eric -- three numbers: $2.65. I'm into the second day post roast, so it may mellow yet, but a quick impression for you: black, it's very ascetic -- not acidic. Think the kind of bitterness you get in a dry red wine. It's not sour, but it is very bitter and has a bit of a burnt wood flavor lingering around the edges, and a strong bitter chocolate -- like unsweetened bakers' cocoa powder -- that lingers for a long time. Add cream and let it cool a bit (just so it doesn't burn your tongue) and that bitter cocoa flavor is a lot more pronounced. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a hunch that when I mix it with a sweeter, richer coffee, I'll end up with something close to mocha. I don't want to over-sing its praises -- like I said, it's NOT spectacular. But even unblended, I kinda like it, maybe even enough to go back to The Captain's for seconds.

From your picture, the beans definitely look like they're roasted very evenly and nicely. Good job! Keep experimenting and reading from the forums. I am amazed that there're so many resources online nowadays.

What's Your Favorite Coffee Roaster Up To?

| by

What do our favorite coffee roasters get up to when they're not firing up beans for our enjoyment? Well, if it's Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans, it could be just about anything... and it will almost always be fun. I'm on the Dean's Beans mailing list to keep up on new coffees and good deals, and because every once in a while, they send out something cool, like this video of Dean getting down with a group of their coffee partners in Papua New Guinea:

Check out the low-tech and very cool percussion instrument -- yes, those are bamboo logs and sneaker inserts! Talk about ingenuity!

In other news, my shipment from The Captain's Coffee arrived this afternoon. It contained 2 pounds of Demorcratic Republic of the Congo Kivu 4 Special Prep and 1 pound of Elsavador, Cerro Las Ranas. The total cost, including shipping was $20.92 -- and the computer generated invoice had a hand-written, personalized note/signature from Denny & Priscilla. Do I have to even mention how much I love coffee people?

So. I couldn't wait, and couldn't be bothered with setting up the camera to video the first roasting. I did, however, take photos:

Coffee roasted this afternoon

The beans on the left are the Congo. The beans on the right are the El Salvador. The Congo is roasted to just about second crack. The El Salvador is roasted about 2 minutes into second crack.  I roasted boh in my handy-dandy $5 popcorn popper. I've got a third batch of the Congo roasted a little lighter. I'm going to roast a 3rd batch darker so I can experiment a little with blending different roast levels of the same coffee.

Luckily, I have plenty of Dean's Beans Ring of Fire (which, btw, includes coffee from Papua New Guinea -- neat little coincidence)... so I'm not TOO tempted to brew up a cup and try it. 

So far, I can say that a) the Congo beans are very chaff-y. There was a relatively higher proportion of cracked beans in the roast than I expected, especially at such a light roast.  The first batch reached first crack pretty quickly -- about 4 minutes in (for reference, I'm roasting really small batches -- about 1/2 cup). The aroma is light, woody and cinnamon-y -- we'll see how it stands up to a darker roast.

The El Slavador -- oh, my. The beans roasted beautifully -- nice and even, little chaff, about 7 minutes to first crack -- which was wonderfully easy to hear. The aroma -- about 3 hours post roast in a closed jar -- is so rich and deep that you almost don't even feel like you have to drink it to enjoy it. 

I'll try to set up the camera when I roast up the next batch so I can share, and of course, I'll share the results when I finally get to cup it.

Category: BLOG

Looks great

April 14, 2012 | by samuellaw178

From your picture, the beans definitely look like they're roasted very evenly and nicely. Good job! Keep experimenting and reading from the forums. I am amazed that there're so many resources online nowadays.

Looks like your really

April 13, 2012 | by hoonchul@hotmail.com

Looks like your really getting into home roasting and your beans look great. I might try it out as well one of these days.

@ericBNC

April 13, 2012 | by Chamie

Eric -- three numbers: $2.65. I'm into the second day post roast, so it may mellow yet, but a quick impression for you: black, it's very ascetic -- not acidic. Think the kind of bitterness you get in a dry red wine. It's not sour, but it is very bitter and has a bit of a burnt wood flavor lingering around the edges, and a strong bitter chocolate -- like unsweetened bakers' cocoa powder -- that lingers for a long time. Add cream and let it cool a bit (just so it doesn't burn your tongue) and that bitter cocoa flavor is a lot more pronounced. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a hunch that when I mix it with a sweeter, richer coffee, I'll end up with something close to mocha. I don't want to over-sing its praises -- like I said, it's NOT spectacular. But even unblended, I kinda like it, maybe even enough to go back to The Captain's for seconds.

Keep it up and I might crack!

April 13, 2012 | by EricBNC


Keep it up with the positive reviews for the Congo coffee and I will have to run down to see the Captain next week - #10 for less than thirty bucks might be a nice to have around - these could be the perfect candidate to roll into an oily 2nd crack and blend into something for the espresso machine, hmmm...

@jbviau

April 12, 2012 | by Chamie

The Congo is actually quite nice -- nothing spectacular, but it's got an interesting caramel smooth/lemon tang to it, and it finishes with a little fruitiness. That's at just about a day post-roast, so it may develop into something nicer still. I'll also be looking to see how it does when it's blended. I'm letting the El Salvador actually mature before I brew it up. The aroma though... ohhh, heady!

Woah

April 12, 2012 | by jbviau

Those bamboo poles really *were* "log"-sized! Fun. Hope your roasting efforts pay off in the cup. One of these days I'll try roasting my own--though it feels like I've been saying that for a while now.

@INTREPID510

April 12, 2012 | by Chamie

Why choose? You can get a popcorn popper at Goodwill for less than $5. Ditto an iron skillet -- if you don't already have one -- and a decent heat gun for less than $20. That gives you choices and let's you play around with different methods until you succumb to the craving for higher-tech equipment.

I am with Broseph this is

April 12, 2012 | by intrepid510

I am with Broseph this is probably the next step for me at least to give it a try, hmm how will I choose my poison heat gun, iron skillet, popcorn popper?

@broseph

April 12, 2012 | by Chamie

I got there fast -- my earliest memories of coffee include my grandmother roasting coffee bean in the open frying pan on a cast iron stove. She had to quit doing it when the A&P stopped selling green coffee beans in the early 60s. I'm drinking a cup of yesterday's roast and while it's not spectacular, it's really not bad at all. It will be interesting to see what it does in a blend.

roasting at home would be

April 12, 2012 | by donnedonne

roasting at home would be the next step down the rabbit hole for me; right now i'm just content to buy the stuff pre-roasted

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