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Lessons I learned through roasting

November 12, 2011

Lessons I learned through roasting


I think there are some things I learned about coffee as a result of roasting that I might not have learned just buying other people’s coffee even though I am not a great roaster.  


There is hope for home roasters.  I have had very good coffee home roasted by friends and my home roasts are fine, but not amazing.  Again they are to my taste better than what I can buy in a local store unless someone happens to have something fresh in stock from a great roaster, but I cannot count on that or expect it.  


One of the things I learned is that it is essential to drink sufficiently fresh coffee.  This is why my coffee seemed so great at first – it was the first fresh coffee I had ever been able to buy or drink.  


On the other hand I learned that coffee is better if it is not too fresh!  It took me a while to put this together.  I realized that home roasted coffee was instantly better than stale coffee so I made the mistake of assuming the fresher the coffee the better it was, but when I learned to have a little patience and let my coffee rest for a couple days it turned out it was much better.  I had been roasting coffee and drinking it in 2-3 days so it never made it to day 7, but most of my roasts were best somewhere after day 5 than they were before and often they did not hit their stride until day 7.  Since I could not roast much at a time I did not realize that at first.  Once I learned to let it rest, I again became a better roaster.  This is a lesson I should have learned from the start because I had heard it, but it took a while for it to sink in that it was true.  Alas.  


It is, of course, true for beans ordered online, too – fresh is essential, but they may be better after a few days and the number of days depends on the beans, the roast, the roaster, …




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