Roast and Learn Together - April 2014

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

April's roasting - April:
Ethiopia Danch Meng ($6.49 per lb), ... Danch-Meng

Boar_d_laze facilitating.
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#2: Post by boar_d_laze »

Sorry to be so late in getting to this. I should have posted earlier but all sorts of things kept me from profiling the Dench Mench, and since I didn't have much in the way of information I just kept putting it off.

Well... I've roasted a few samples, cupped them and still don't have that much to say about it other than it's a Wild and Crazy Ethiopian with the usual potential of Wild and Crazy Ethiopians, but more balanced than most. However, the real surprise was how good it was at FC.

I took a risk, guessed at the milestone temps, and planned an "ideal" espresso profile to FC of 6, 3:30, 4:30; a profile I use a lot as a starting point. Impulsively skipping the usual "minimum amount but good temps" charge, I went straight to a full charge -- which allowed me to hit my intervals with fair precision even though I didn't know exactly what the milestones would be.

The roast won't be rested enough to be pulled as espresso until the 12th. I'll roast some beans to C/C+ (~415F) today, and brew them in the press, Chemex+KOne, and/or siphon the same day.

Here's the espresso plot, which I offer not as a recommendation, but only for milestones and by way of example:

It seems like we're developing a fairly substantial population of USRC Sample Roaster users. If there's interest, I'll add the basic gas, damper, and fan manipulations.

And because plot temps aren't legible on every device:
  • DE (Color: Yellowing; Appearance: Wrinkled face; Aroma: Baking bread and rum): 301F. N.B., I go into every bean assuming that DE -- as I define it anyway -- is going to be very close to 300F and am seldom disappointed;
  • 1stCs: 384F;
  • 1stCe: 409F; and
  • 2dCs: 431F

For brew, Brando at Bodhi Leaf recommends 11:30 to 1stCs, with about 5min to 300F and the remaining 6:30 for a (very slow ramp). He further recommends about 1:30 to 1stCe, and drop at about the same time, 13:00 total, for a "C" finish. Brando's preference is for a slightly underdeveloped and bright coffee, but not blonde or sour. He specifically mentioned Craft as too far.

Brando hasn't roasted for espresso yet.

My apologies again for the procrastination.

Hope this helps,
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#3: Post by boar_d_laze »


An "ideal" brew profile for this month's bean; largely following Brando's suggestions. I'll brew Saturday or Sunday.

Note 1: I shaved a couple of seconds off the pre-1stCs intervals and put them back on the other side -- because that's the kind of I like more development than he does kinda guy I am.

Note 2: Local weather conditions seem to be bumping my temp read outs by a couple of F.

Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator

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#4: Post by Col_Potter »

Just got my espresso order from Venia Coffee today and there was a 4oz sample of Danch Meng included! :P :D I don't see it on their website, nor do I know if it is the same coffee as this, but sure sounds like it. Roast date of Monday, so just made and Aeropress and not espresso, wow! I have read people describe coffee with descriptors like "Juicy Fruit" or "Purple Skittles" before, and chuckled at them...this has those qualities, very candy/fruit juicy. I am most certainly going to give them a thank you call and see when it will be available for order. Looks like a lighter roast to me, similar to what I have gotten from Heart, but not as in your face acidic as coffees I have had from them.

Will enjoy watching this thread and seeing what you all come up with.
Boldjava wrote:April's roasting - April:
Ethiopia Danch Meng ($6.49 per lb), ... Danch-Meng

Boar_d_laze facilitating.
The Colonel

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#5: Post by boar_d_laze »

Espresso "cup":
  • Grinder: Ceado E92;
  • Machine: Cimbali M21 "Casa"
  • Shot Style: Between Ristretto and Normale; with
  • Dose: 18g dose;
  • Shot: 24g shot;
  • Pull: 4sec line pre-infusion, + 25sec pump, cut at "blond;" and
  • Pull Temp: Cool ish.
If you'll look above you'll see that I roasted this bean just into onset of 2dC, which -- I think -- is too far. I had to pull a little cooler than I would most coffees, which may be only because of the roast level or endemic to the coffee itself. I'm not running a thermometer (haven't for a long time), but guess it pulled best at slightly below 200F.

I'm on my way to a "coffee Sunday" where we'll try the brew roast, tasting while I write, and don't have time to really do this right -- so am "cupping" as I ordinarily drink coffee. That is, no stir, first sip while the espresso is still very hot, with four sips from start to finish, finishing while the espresso is still hot. I'm also limiting myself to three doubles because I'm a crotchety old bastid, and there's only so much coffee I can drink before vibrating into an adjacent dimension.

There's a better way to go about it, I'll do it tomorrow and report any changes.

Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with good weight, and the espresso leaves a rich coat on your palate. However, I'm grinding with the Ceado and pulling through a naked PF, so the equipment and technique signatures magnify anything along that direction.

Sweet lemon peel at the start; going to sweet lemon plus raspberries; going to raspberries. Lingering aftertaste, raspberry lemonade.

Considering how deep the roast went, surprisingly little caramel and no chocolate; what little caramel there was had a very light quality, reminding me of a drink sweetened with agave syrup. In other words, far more sweet than dark.

There are some other fruits going on, but I'm having a hard time identifying them at this roast level, with this technique, and trying to simultaneously taste and write at this clip. Although all the notes are "acidy," the espresso is not at all sour -- even pulled cool.

My guess is that once the roast is right, this coffee will score in the low 90s as an SO espresso.

The first roasting profile is one my standards; and my generic for C+/FC SHB Central espressos and blends. For the next roast, I'll stick with something very close; possibly adding a little bit of development time if I can do it without stalling; and drop at 423F (C++) on aroma cues. At that roast level, there should be significantly more fruit without pushing the espresso too far into the bright side; and hopefully a little more complexity. Since there's no chocolate anyway, I'm not going to waste effort trying to enhance it.

I am your father, Luke.

Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator

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Boldjava (original poster)

#6: Post by Boldjava (original poster) »

boar_d_laze wrote:Espresso "cup":

I am your father, Luke.

Stop it, too early for r<R>ich humor.
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#7: Post by [creative nickname] »

Thanks for these notes, Rich. I roasted two half-pound batches yesterday, one to C and one to C+. I'm going to cup them this afternoon and I'll post a profile or two if the results are anything worth repeating. Your comments regarding the roast level for SOE are giving me more hope that I might be able to get a decent shot out of the C+, which I had been conceiving as a brew profile but which did get a decent amount of development.
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#8: Post by pShoe »

Roasted two batches a few days ago. They are both into the lighter side of FC, but different ramp and development timing. I brewed one roast at ~24 hours rest that had a predominant floral fragrance/taste (despite its roast degree) and a lingering vanilla aftertaste.

I was pretty excited, but they have completely dropped off since then. Brewed both roasts side by side, and didn't finish drinking either. There's a slight fermented taste, which makes it hard to taste much else. Game plan for next batch is finish lighter and use a more leisurely roast both in heat and time.

I love the fruit bombs I normally get with natural Ethiopian coffees. I didn't get that when brewing Bodhi Leaf's roast, and certainly not with mine, so maybe this coffee just isn't for me :? .

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Boldjava (original poster)

#9: Post by Boldjava (original poster) »

pShoe wrote:Roasted two batches a few days ago...
Bagging coffee and roasting this one today. Danch Meng, eh? Had to come upstairs to find its name for the log.
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#10: Post by boar_d_laze »


I'm getting some fall-off with both the first espresso and brew roasts, but no "ferment" notes.

In re espresso:
The fall off is far from complete, is controllable to some degree by adjusting brewing parameters. I'm getting most of what I got before -- but with lower intensity -- but had to drop brew temp slightly and brew at a slightly lower brew ratio -- going from 66% to 50%. Actually getting more out of today's shots than yesterday's.

In re brew:
The first time I tried it was at a friend's home; he used very different equipment (Lido 2, Technivorm) than I do (Bunnzilla, and whatever). Yesterday's Chemex + Kone had a much juicier mouth feel, but without as clearly defined berry-lemonade as it had Sunday at Tim's house. I'll brew Espro today.

FC is too deep for this bean for anything other than dropping in Sambucca. If you hear second crack at all -- even in the tray after you've dropped -- you've taken it too far.

The best finish for brew is probably right at the C/C+ border -- which means confidently identifying 1stCe, and dropping within a couple of seconds afterwards. 416 was pretty close, I'm sticking with it.

While for espresso, we both went overboard. I wanted to nail 2dCs solely as a reference point -- I wasn't suggesting that anyone else should go there. I expect that closer to the middle of C+ than to the border of C+/FC would be much better in the demitasse. On my machine, 426ish, probably.

More to the point, going a little slower through Drying, faster through Ramp, and slower through Development might help some with the staying power.

Just as a way of making sure we're on the same page, and not proselytizing for my definitions, without referring to aroma or Agtron levels (which, obviously, are determinative) here's how I identify the different roast finishes:
  • C: End of 1st - a few seconds afterwards;
  • C+: The rich vein of gold between C and FC, typically a range of around ~20F;
  • FC: First snaps of 2d - a few seconds afterwards;
  • FC+: Something other people do.
Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator