I was stoked by the results from my heat gun and metal bowl roasting experiment with some Kenyan beans. So stoked that I went to my stash and found another favorite for some more fun. I scooped out 228g (1/2 of a pound) of green beans and headed out to the deck for some fun. These are above average beans - in fact they are what I would call awesome beans. I do not say this because they are a Cup of Excellence offering - I have tried a lot of these COE coffee beans from different participating countries. These earn their accolades honestly.
One thing I did differently this time was to let the beans go longer after hitting first crack (still in the eight minute range) to a twelve minute finish time. These were a little darker but for espresso I like it this way - why roast for anything other than what you know you will enjoy, right? Even before these had cooled properly I could tell from the smell something was going very right with this roast. The beans look awesome and smell awesome - a little rest and I am confident the cup will not dissapoint.
As coffee it is chocolaty sweet with great body and clarity but that was just a sample I used for cupping on day two. The real test comes in the portafilter. Words can not describe the shots I have been pulling with these beans - the finish is like nothing I can remember - honestly, an hour later I am still tasting the finish in my mouth.
The moral to the story might be pay as much for the beans (eight dollars per green pound after shipping costs) as the roaster (eight dollar heat gun from Harbor Freight) and let the good times roll. It looks like if you do not ruin the roast through carelessness then the quality of the beans will be the best indicator of potential for success - no real surprise there.