Suggested coffee beans for a beginner home roaster?

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

#1: Post by TypeDiabetes »

Hello all, brand new to the site :), I am learning to roast coffee at home. I am wondering if there is an ideal or recommended coffee bean that is great for learning the basics? I understand this may be reduced to personal preference. I usually drink Italian dark roasted beans for espresso but I'm open to more exotic flavors. I'm trying to narrow my focus for learning purposes so I can really develop a sense of how the process works regarding one specific kind of bean.
I've heard some say Brazil is good for starting out?

For reference: I am using a cheap JIAWANSHUN Home Roaster (seen here on Amazon: ... UTF8&psc=1)

So far I have roasted beans from Guatemala and Ethiopia purchased from Martini Coffee Imports (seen here:

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#2: Post by MNate »

I had been thinking of posting this question too. I've seen the answer "Brazil" often. I went for a variety right off the bat and found the best flavor from Central Americas no matter what mistakes I made. Brazils haven't worked for me. Ethiopia have been fine. But I digress. Some metrics I think should be considered for the best bean for a newbie like myself to roast needs to include:

•easy to sort for defects (some types seem harder to tell? Or a good quality level so there are fewer defects)

•distinguishable smells throughout the roast process

•easy to hear first crack, second (maybe they have a narrower range of so they are all making noise at once? Bigger gap between FC stop and SC start?)

•tastes ok at a variety of roast levels BUT better yet would be if there were some easy distinctions from one roast level to another so I can better tell post-roast what level I hit or maybe what mistakes I made

•clear visible post-roast signs of good/bad roasts. Some beans are just easier to see their nice rounded shape or light colored crease at one roast level and then other colors at other levels so I know what I hit.

Maybe that's too much wishful thinking, but in summary I'm hoping the bean will help guide me through the process and show me where I'm at, more than it necessarily being "you can't mess this variety up."

Maybe it's not even a region but rather a specific regular offering from one of the standard suppliers. That would be great.


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#3: Post by Nunas »

Get a big bag of Santos and stick with it until you're happy with the results and achieve consistency. I suggest this particular bean because you say you like espresso. I find it easy to roast. Brazillian Santos is a good Single-Origin espresso bean, and it is the base bean in many espresso blends. Also, it's not particularly expensive. It's one of my go-to beans, and we drink nearly nothing but espresso. Once you get that under your belt, have a go at Guatemalan Antigua. This is another excellent SO espresso bean, with an entirely different flavour profile to the Santos. It usually costs a bit more, so learn with the Santos. Beyond these, I suggest you try many different beans to discover what you prefer. I used to buy the samplers from suppliers such as Berman and Sweet Maria's.

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#4: Post by beanman »

I just got a new gas roaster with a max load of 2 pounds, and I bought 40 pounds of Guatemala from Sweet Maria's, and I'll only roast them until I'm confident I have it figured out.
So I'd suggest buying a quantity of beans that will give you 20-30 roasts. Now you have one less variable as you learn the roaster.
I've only bought Sweet Maria's, when I roasted for 12 years on a Behmor. UPS shipping is reasonable at $8.99 for up to 20 lbs of coffee.
Showroom Coffee in NYC may be worth a look also.
Good luck as you learn your roaster.

TypeDiabetes (original poster)

#5: Post by TypeDiabetes (original poster) »

Great this is exactly the kind of information I was seeking, thank you all for the input.

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#6: Post by LBIespresso »

I would also suggest that you pose the same question to the supplier that you will be buying the greens from as they will likely have received feedback on the coffee you intend to buy.
LMWDP #580

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#7: Post by mkane »

Anything washed and buy from Genuine Origin. Some real deals there. I buy all my give away beans from them. ... custcol3=1