Learning to roast in the Neapolitan style - Page 6

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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#51: Post by Almico »

happycat wrote:It's a symptom of a gap in this thread. People are arguing from personal experience with no common frame of reference.
I think it's simpler than that

Scott's roasting method is designed for production roasting: to eliminate as many roast defects as possible while maintaining dynamics and sweetness and to be as repeatable as possible. As far as I know he does not get involved in trying to alter a roast to bring out or enhance any particular flavor notes.

Hobbyists can have other goals. I did when I was first playing with coffee roasting. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about all the nuances of roasting.

What I learned was that there are many things that can be done to a coffee while roasting, all of which changes the result to one degree or another. But to quote the economist Thomas Sowell: "There are no solutions, only trade-offs". Just like there is no magic roast profile that brings out every aspect of a coffee. We only trade one for another.

So it comes down to the choosing. I won't choose a roast defect in order to achieve a particular flavor note. No how, no way.

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#52: Post by N3Roaster »

I see that I'm getting quoted around this thread and was invited to pop in for comment.

One thing that I think is important to keep in mind when interpreting my writing on roasting is that I run an unusually broad range of roasts with percent mass loss typically somewhere in the range of 12-22% and end temperatures generally in the range of second crack plus or minus 30F°. Plus or minus 40 as measured on my machines is where I consider the palatable range but I've only had a good reason to do something on what I'd consider the extreme edges in a production roast with very few coffees in over 20 years of roasting. To put that in context, 2C-40 would be 1C+10 and there's a very specific raw coffee vegetal that is always present below that temperature and always absent above it regardless of how you get there. That means that when I'm talking about dark roasts I'm considering that as at least 15F° above the start of 2nd crack and more likely 20-30. People who primarily stick to either the lighter half of that or primarily stick to the darker half of this might reasonably have very different views on the matter.

When learning about the impact of different kinds of timing variations, there's really no good substitute for being able to try lots of different roasts of the same coffee at the same time. I recommend starting with just a basic light to dark progression, and this is something that I do with every new coffee I bring in. But for timing variations, you can plan several batches of a single coffee with a baseline that's somewhere in the middle of what your machine makes easy and then within whatever ranges you're interested in exploring, try to do a batch that's faster in that range and a batch that's slower in that range (go for big changes at first) while trying to match everything outside of that range as closely as you can such that if you imagine the different roasts on transparent sheets you can shift them along the time axis to get those to match up before and after the range in question with the only difference being the range you're trying to change. (Typica has a feature that makes this kind of exercise easier, but in the absence of that you can work out the plans on paper.) Repeating those exercises with different coffees, different varied ranges, and different ending temperatures is tremendously helpful in developing an intuition for how to get from what you're tasting to what you think you could be tasting with a different roasting plan. Those broad strokes can then be refined with further consideration of rate curves within more useful constraints. Unfortunately that kind of personal training does take a lot of time, a lot of coffee, and a lot of practice and I can understand people not wanting so much "waste." Shameless plug: I'll be teaching a class at SCA Expo with a limited version of this exercise, no roasting, just tasting, but the roasting plans for all batches will be available. Another instructor is doing a similar thing more focused on sweetness at that event and that has previously been a very good workshop as well.

With regard to the slowness of my machine, this is true (except when I'm on the IKAWA which is much faster) and my advice for matching on a faster machine is to let the earliest part of the roast just be faster. If things are lining up from the initial color change through the end, all reasonable consistency metrics (everything except obfuscations like DTR) will match closely enough for whatever it is that I'm trying to get across.
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#53: Post by OldmatefromOZ »

Almico wrote:
That roast profile looks good, but it would be better without that post 1C dip.
No it wouldn't, i know from experience with this roaster that it actually just makes the coffee very flat and the people I roast for prefer it this way.

But yeah you know better from looking at a screen shot.... :roll:

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#54: Post by Almico »

OldmatefromOZ wrote:But yeah you know better from looking at a screen shot.... :roll:
I know better from looking at 1000s of roast profiles of the same coffees over and over again.


#55: Post by OldmatefromOZ » replying to Almico »

And this proves what? I can say the same thing ive roasted over 10,000 batches on my roaster...

Roasters who think they have it all figured out are generally the ones I avoid.

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drgary (original poster)
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#56: Post by drgary (original poster) »

Gents, please take a breath and agree to disagree.

I appreciate your participation and am glad that Neal chimed in. I look forward to people comparing different profiles by taste and am prepared to find either of you correct or that some other method gets us there.

I am left wondering what Italian roasters actually do to achieve profiles we enjoy, but I don't know if this gets into the area of trade secrets.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#57: Post by Almico »

drgary wrote:I am left wondering what Italian roasters actually do to achieve profiles we enjoy, but I don't know if this gets into the area of trade secrets.
I think you're going to find that it is more in the green than the roast. This is a page from the Kimbo site. Nothing has less than 20% robusta, one has 65%. That will affect the flavor much more than the roast level or profile. I do not have a lot of experience with robusta, but what I have tasted resembled burnt rubber.

https://kimbo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/ ... Retail.pdf

And since most of these Neapolitan coffees have been roasted for many, many years, way before modern thermometry, my guess would be the roasts follow a pretty natural roast path, where RoR would be rising significantly heading into and through 2C.

This is a roast I did last night. I did not turn the gas down at the end as normal (finally shut it off at 10:00 to stop the runaway) and you can see where the RoR crept up naturally. You can also see my roast plan in the background with my typical gas/air settings. That little bit of a bump in RoR will affect the roast and add a little roastiness while subtracting a bit of sweetness. Most customers will not notice. I've roasted this same coffee for 4 years. I do.

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#58: Post by Marcelnl »

The few roasts I have done that ended in the realm that could be considered Neapolitan style, which is darker than I usually roast, ended up roasty and less enjoyable than usual.

I'd be highly surprised if the Neapolitan roast style was designed, I think it's a result of certain beans in a blend with Robusta done in a certain type roaster, and someone dialing the knobs controlling the roast with just sensory input.

Unless we can tap into one of the companies or roasters behind them it probably will stay guesswork.
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drgary (original poster)
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#59: Post by drgary (original poster) »

Almico wrote:I do not have a lot of experience with robusta, but what I have tasted resembled burnt rubber.
There are better robustas. When I visited Mr. Espresso in Oakland, CA years ago, Luigi Di Ruocco showed me a bin of robusta and said that it can taste very good all by itself. When I tasted the Saka Caffè Gran Bar blend with 20% robusta, there was absolutely no rubbery note. I think the high quality robusta in a good Italian coffee is added for taste, mouthfeel and shelf life.

Also, a note on your roast, above. I don't think you're taking it into 2C, or are you? It's not noted. I enjoy going about 10 seconds into 2C for the spice and rum-like distillates. These may be flavors you don't like.

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#60: Post by Almico » replying to drgary »

I heard or read something a few years ago that said the old school Italian roasters scoop up all the good robusta. What's left for us is 2nd rate. No idea how much, if anything, is true about that. FWIW, there are classic Italian roasters, like Illy, that never use robusta.

I've tried not to touch 2C on my "dark" roasts, but I'm game to try as long as I can get there without the offense roastiness that typically goes along with it. I'll be roasting another attempt soon.