Light/medium newbie advice

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

#1: Post by Smitward »

Hey friends,

I've read through a lot of articles and the forums I feel like I'm coming up slightly short on finding the best fit for me. I really enjoy sampling and drinking juicy/fruity lighter roasted coffee in the form of espresso.

I pull 1-2, 16 to 18g doses per day for myself, So sometimes a bag will last outside of its freshness for me. I also just think this sounds like a hobby I would be interested in. I don't want to spend more than 3k.

I think my needs might be met by a smaller device but wanted to tap specific wisdom. I have a whirly pop for popcorn of all things... but I read it's not great for going lighter.

I pull at home on a decent and at work on a robot if that's helpful to know.

Thanks in advance,

Supporter ❤

#2: Post by Milligan »

A few questions for you that will guide the advice:
  • Are you wanting to learn the "craft" of coffee roasting using a traditional drum roaster and traditional techniques?
  • Do you want to dive deep into the science/data analysis side of roasting and do experiments or are you more concerned with hitting general targets?
  • How much coffee are you planning to roast per week/month?
  • Do you live in a place where venting the roaster won't be a concern or where you are allowed to use a device that can emit enough smoke to trip an alarm?
  • Do you have natural gas available or are you allowed to use bottled gas in your residence?
There are several roasting machines that would match you well but to give you a more specific response it would be helpful to know what direction you are going in.

Smitward (original poster)

#3: Post by Smitward (original poster) »

Thanks! Although I respect and admire the craft, I'm not likely to be someone to stop by sight and sound alone. When I cook, I love sous vide and I use temp control fans when I bbq. So I don't mind having technology that i can control. I do enjoy the data and analytics.

Based off my usage I'd want to have around 150-200g per week. For venting can I use a kitchen hood or alternatively could
Do it outside.

We have gas burners on our stove, and could also use bottled. We live in a single family home and have a good sized deck of outdoors is needed.

Let me know if there's anything else that would help.

Thanks so much,

Supporter ❤

#4: Post by Milligan »

Ikawa Home would likely be a good match with your quantity needs. Since you have a Decent espresso machine I think you'd appreciate the graphs and tweaking that can be done. It is a widely used machine so you'll be able to join the discussions about roasting profiles with the community. Ikawa has great support as well and you can buy greens from them to start with that already have profiles made specifically for them. Then you can branch out on your own.

It is compact, at the bottom of your price range, and will make enough coffee for your needs in two batches.


#5: Post by carl_694 »

I went down this same path. I'm also into bbq. Ended up with the Cormorant 600. Almost went with the bullet but was not interested in proprietary parts/software and sought transferable skills

User avatar
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by mkane »

Get a Behmor


#7: Post by zefkir »

Most of the light roasts I drink peak at three weeks and stay awesome at six. You shouldn't have any trouble with commercially available coffee, especially with the current trend being shrinkflation.

Smitward (original poster)

#8: Post by Smitward (original poster) »

Thanks so far! Love the advice and looking forward to learning a new hobby.

@zefkir Regarding the optimal drinking window for each person, i'm not one to argue with your experiences since we all experience things differently.



#9: Post by GDM528 »

Speaking of "optimal drinking window" and "differently":

Switching to a 'tiny'-batch roaster (Ikawa Home) broke the way I roasted and queued my coffee - for the better. My consumption rate is similar to the OP, such that 300-500g of roast would age too much (IMO) over the time it would take for me to finish it. The Ikawa got me to switch to quart-sized ziplock bags that each hold no more than a weeks' worth of consumption and have as many bags queued as needed for the proper resting time. It's easy to push the air out of the bag after dispensing, and I can write notes on the bag for how they were roasted. So, the moral of my story is that sometimes, 'pros' and 'cons' can switch places.

User avatar

#10: Post by mrgnomer »

I've had a Hottop digital roaster for years. It's a tank. I roast at a 230g green bean weight. Pretty good control on the fly. Nice electric element drum roaster. You can dump the roast at any time or stretch it out past a programmed time. Its cooling stage dumps the roast in a tray that sifts the roast evenly. It does set off smoke alarms so venting is needed indoors.
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love