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Help keep Nespresso honest - is there really anything to the long/slow roast?

Postby jbviau on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:05 am

I know Nespresso isn't exactly of interest to members here, but their latest limited edition capsule, Crealto, is being marketed as high gastronomy, inspired by the "culinary technique" of slow roasting. I have zero roasting experience and thought I'd ask for your collective take. Is there anything to this, irrespective of the whole capsule phenomenon? Some of the claims seem dubious.

Here's more info., which I'll quote in chunks for ease of reference:

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Postby jzuzphreek on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:25 am

The low heat thing is kind of puzzling to me. 1st and 2nd crack happen at specific temperature ranges. It's not like a pork roast that tastes best after hours of low heat.

Sounds like a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo.
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Postby Spitz.me on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:52 am

Yes, specific small temperature ranges are needed for the cracks to happen. That doesn't mean you can't vary the time you take to get to those temperatures. All roasters on H-B go through the trial and error of varying the time you take to get to first crack OR how long you keep the beans in the 'drying phase', etc. So, it's not exactly marketing mumbo-jumbo. I'm sure a "home" roaster can give a more detailed response, but this isn't stupid - necessarily... Nespresso is... IMHO

Different roasting methods have different roast lengths due to the amount of time, relative to bean weight, the method needs to get to specific temperatures. The Behmor comes to mind here.
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Postby jbviau on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:15 am

Thanks for the input so far. I've definitely heard of "baking" a roast, which to me sounds like a risk if they're truly roasting three times longer than average.
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Postby bean2friends on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:18 am

Check out SM's description of their French Roast Blend. It may take some reading between the lines and jumping to conclusions (these are things I often do -- just ask my wife) still it sounds similar, I think, at least so far as the selection of beans suitable for a particular kind of roast. Also, it sounds like maybe a variation of the Scandinavian style, that is dragging out the roast.
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Postby lsjms on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:30 am

Note it says 3 times the average Nespresso roast. I'm sure the rest of their stuff is done on centrifugal giants in about 6 minutes so actually this roast may be closer to our style than their norm.
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Postby Spitz.me on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:48 am

Lawrence probably hit the nail on the head. Relative length is easily much different than average lengths we may have grown accustomed to in bean roasting.

Might mean that those are the most relatively 'delicious' Nespresso pods on the market...
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Postby genovese on Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:09 pm

jbviau wrote:Is there anything to this....?

Well, the estimable claims range from the implausible ("3x longer than average") to the impossible ("no acidity") to the vacuous ("specific soil and weather conditions"). That doesn't bode well for the "unknowable unknowns," as Rumsfeld would have put it. I suspect their biggest investment is in PR, not product, an impression only reinforced by the Flash-on-steroids website. I had higher hopes for the one-cup wonders on their release, but a holiday weekend spent with dueling Keurig and Nespresso units, and a dozen or so of their coffee varieties, brought me back to Earth - with a thud.
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Postby jbviau on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:12 pm

bean2friends wrote:Check out SM's description of their French Roast Blend. It may take some reading between the lines and jumping to conclusions (these are things I often do -- just ask my wife) still it sounds similar, I think, at least so far as the selection of beans suitable for a particular kind of roast...

Here's the link. I see what you mean.

lsjms wrote:Note it says 3 times the average Nespresso roast. I'm sure the rest of their stuff is done on centrifugal giants in about 6 minutes so actually this roast may be closer to our style than their norm...

Good point. 6 min.? Wow.
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Postby dustin360 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Just read No. 3 guys. They tell you that theres going to be no acidity(or flavor), its going to be bitter, and its going to linger in your mouth for forever. At Least there honest about what your getting. By roasting way longer than normal, your going to roast the flavor out of the bean(which is great if your starting with awful coffee). So does there longer roast taste better than there shorter roasts? Probably... but that's because they are using such awful beans.
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