Roasting books

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

#1: Post by tag1260 »

I am looking at all the books on roasting but if you could only buy one for the home roaster, which would it be? Something that would take you from beginning to good results. Thanks

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#2: Post by spromance »

Something to take you from beginning to good results?

Roasting and lots of it. Not trying to be facetious, but that's the advice I wish I would've been given years ago. In the name of "responsibility" or "frugality" I didn't want to ever have to throw a batch of beans away, as though that would be a mark of honor on the learning curve... Problem was that I was too afraid to test different roaster settings that would've helped me learn exponentially faster. So, my advice would be determine to "waste" money at the outset burning through beans while you learn what works well on your equipment, and ultimately what roasting decisions lead to the tastes you enjoy.

IMO, essentially, you need to figure out what preheat settings give you enough heat at the start of your roast to get things moving with good momentum (but without adding any scorched flavors), what setting to throttle down to (so you don't blow through 1st crack faster than desired, or so you don't stall out beforehand) and at what point to throttle back (I.e. I throttle down at end of dry), and finally how long to develop after crack before dropping.

A book can't tell you that directly, hence my encouragement to roast in series to determine your ballpark settings for your roaster. If a roast tastes bad don't force yourself to drink it, but reference your roast notes to try and determine which setting is too high/low.

Personally, I like Rob Hoos Modulating the flavor of Coffee because he presents reasonable theories about whether/where to speed/slow the roast based on what you're tasting or what you want to be tasting. I found it more helpful than Rao's books personally but not trying to downplay Rao. Good luck to you!

tag1260 (original poster)

#3: Post by tag1260 (original poster) »

Thanks. I'll look into his book. Sounds like what I'm looking for.

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#4: Post by mkane »

Scott Rao's latest will get you there faster because is gives some really good guidelines. After you get a handle on what your machine wants, then experiment. Robs book is a good read but it's not for a beginner. His book is the one I bought first and didn't understand what I was reading but, I'm very simple-minded.


#5: Post by medley »

I agree that Scott Rao's latest book is a good place to start.
His book will give you an understanding of some fundamentals, but it is geared towards professional roasters. How useful it is will to depending on what you'r roasting on.