A first espresso roast...

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

Postby rynegold » Jul 11, 2018, 4:12 pm

What/how should I proceed? I see little about "what" coffee/coffees to use. I know robusta is blended/ added sometimes for effect but other than that, what should I be roasting and how should I roast it? Apparently NOT a dark roast correct? I need some advice, or to be steered toward such, for getting started off on the right foot.

regards, mitch

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Postby spromance » Jul 11, 2018, 4:40 pm

Hey Mitch,

Can you include some more details. Do you have any roasting equipment yet? If so, what? What style of espresso are you trying to emulate with your roasts? (specific brands/blends/etc?)

Without some of that info, there isn't really a logical starting point. Dark is not necessarily off limits, nor is light or medium roasting...robusta isn't...etc, but it all really depends on what you're even wanting from your roasts. Give us some details and we can hopefully provide some info/resources for you. Cheers.


Postby badperson » Jul 11, 2018, 9:25 pm

as mentioned above, is difficult to answer without knowing your roasting/espresso setup.

But one good starting point is a dry process brazil, roasted about 30 seconds to a minute past first crack, and before 2nd crack. That will give you a full city / full city plus roast level and a nice espresso shots.

Brazils are often used as the base for espresso blends, and often do not have a lot of complexity, but are really nice, straight forward chocolate bombs.


Postby happycat » Jul 12, 2018, 1:04 am

You can mix 100% arabica beans. I've done this. I mix by weight ratios when I dose for grinding.

I buy pretty cheap beans these days.

Location mixes
(A large base Brazil, some African acids, and a sprinkle of Malabar) eg. 10-4-2 gms for a 16g dose

Roast mixes
(Same bean at darker and lighter versions... could start at 50/50 for a Brazil Cerrado)

I enjoy cooking and I think in flavours. So I adjust my mixes based on last taste.
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Postby Marcelnl » Jul 12, 2018, 9:00 am

I'd suggest to roast first and then start thinking of blending after roasting and evaluating the results as you'll like have a few too any confounding factors when you're just starting to roast but as others already said; it begins with some more information about what you try to aim for, what experience and equipment you have or plan for.

other than that, buy enough of a decent inexpensive bean (with a known flavor profile that you desire) that is easy to roast and start off with same size batches of approx 80% of full capacity of your roaster and find your way through the process learning your roaster and how various parameters affect the result, I find that advice works pretty well for me.
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Postby rynegold » Jul 12, 2018, 9:32 am

Thanks so much for the responses!, sorry for the late reply, have been hoping for a laptop... but I'll just have to do this from my phone for now.
I have a new Silvia M model, and tend to put a pid on it, and am trying to buy a grinder as we speak. Looking at this one, or one like it...
I have been home roasting for a number of years with the behmor roaster, and I'm fairly proficient in its use. I have no experience with espresso at all, and rarely drink it! Go figure! But I want it so there you have it. Not much for going out to coffee shops and such so I imagine myself using this a lot if I had it at home so that is my theory. As for types of coffee, I've never met a decent properly roasted coffee that I didn't like! If I have to narrow it down, I guess I like Ethiopian, Sumatran, just about anything from Guatemala, Brazil, and so on. I love coffee!
So as roasting goes, let's say I buy some Brazilian beans, how would you roast this for espresso? Full City? I used to think that all espresso was extremely dark roasted but now I'm learning that simply not the case.


Postby Marcelnl » Jul 12, 2018, 9:57 am

FC or slightly beyond is a good start depending on what beans you buy, why not first order some roasted coffee from well reputable roasters and start there to see what you like best in espresso and to be sure the roasting is not keeping you from getting good results. Learning how to roast for espresso while learning how to make good espresso IMO is multiplying the challenges of both jobs at hand.

as to roasting for espresso:
https://www.scottrao.com/blog/roasting- ... -vs-filter
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Postby yakster » Jul 12, 2018, 10:10 am


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Postby rynegold » Jul 12, 2018, 12:05 pm

Was going to order a bag of beans already roasted from "Red Bird"? Supposedly a really really good espresso roaster/ blender? Anyone else come instantly to mind to any of you folks?


Postby MCALheaven » Jul 12, 2018, 6:40 pm

I enjoy blending:
50-60% Columbia, Brazil, Guatemala
20-30% Sumatra, Peru, Indonesia
10-20% Ethiopia
Plus 10-15% Robusta if you want a more traditional Italian flavor although I like it just as well without Robusta.
Nothing's final, just giving you ideas that work great for me. I like roasting on the Behmor as close to second crack as I can get without going into it.
Raven's Brew, Three Peckered Billygoat is an outstanding Italian style espresso roast in spite of the silly name.