TimEggers wrote:All I can say is that my home roasts never did taste quite right (for espresso only). It may be my espresso technique, but it was probably my roast.
Marshall took some guts to say what he did...and frankly based on my own experiences I couldn't agree more.
(toss some of those arrows my way)
"Experience great professional coffees before you start home roasting" That's good advice from Marshall. He doesn't say "how much" experience is required before allowing oneself to homeroast. But I think that there's an unspoken sub-text, which is this: If you are after, consistently, the best coffee, and if you are not a premier homeroaster of, perhaps, Jim's caliber, don't homeroast at all." IMO, this view is firmly rooted in Marshall's unique and admirable experience, and is hardly worth arguing about.
Marshall gets around; he's one of the best resources for referrals to cafes serving high quality coffees----nationwide, it seems. For example, it might have taken me another year to have discovered Cafe Luxxe, even though it's a 5 minute drive. Marshall's key point, I think, is that we must "calibrate" our roasts and tastes in order to even have a clue if we are drinking high or low caliber coffee. But such calibration is iterative: taste some of the best, then do a lesser quality roast at home; then go to a great cafe; then adjust your shots; and so on. That's good advice for
home roasters, but not an argument against
A corollary to Marshall's advice might go out to the home barista community. "Please rest
your experiences for 48 hours (or days!) before you post them as if they were spectacular advances to blending, roasting, tamping, or whatever. You are totally sold on Pan Roasting? See me in six months. You tried 11% robusta? Do another few roasts and report then. And so forth. Obvious exceptions are people like Marshall and Jim whose discussions are consistently worth reading and reliable. But they and a few others have set (or climbed) a high threshold. All the rest of us are newbies.